Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Capture the Castle

(9" X 9" X 4 1/2" D)

We've all heard the sayings- Queen of the Castle, I want to be treated like a Queen, etc... I had purchased this Queen figurine awhile back and she came with a matching King. I was going to use them as a pair, but nothing seemed to work. I've had them sitting in my studio for a few months now, trying out different ideas.

I also have a miniature crystal ball and dragon that I am trying to work into a piece of art. The dragon is one of the remaining "original" miniatures that I collected as a child in NJ. Now that I have figured out a scene for the Queen, the King might have to be all about the magic.

Last week while participating in the February Arts and Crafts Show, I met Aimee in the booth next to me who sells notebooks made out of old books. She was selling the spines of the books which she no longer had a use for. (10 for $1 if you need any) Talk about reusing. Well when I saw I Capture the Castle- bingo! I had my theme. I had never heard of the book so looked it up and found out that this was the first novel of Dodie Smith (published in 1949) who afterward became famous as the author of 101 Dalmatians.

The glass coffee stirrer with the crown was given to me by my friend Deborah who had saved up a whole bag of goodies for me.

The thimble was purchased while I was traveling in England about 10 years ago. There is an "underground" ticket on the back wall from that trip. Inscribed on the back of the thimble is 100th Birthday of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

I have used a lot of different purples in this piece as purple signifies royalty. The curtain is a vintage handmade piece from my grandmothers collection.

Besides finishing this piece today - this morning I lead my first 1/2 of a docent tour at the BAM... 6th & 7th graders touring the robot exhibit with Bonnie, my docent mentor. I think it went very well.

This evening I spent with Marianne from the Gypsy Gallery, we attended the Capital City Public Market annual meeting and then went to the Modern to drop off our application for the Modern art show scheduled for 1st Thurs. in May. Then since our hubbies were out of town...well we might as well stick around and have a drink at the bar. Tonight was vinyl night which was pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How sweet is that...

So last night just after watching my newest Netflix rental (The Nanny Diaries) I went outside to clip it to the mailbox and when coming back in the house, I thought I saw something on the front porch. I bent down for closer inspection and it was a small red tricycle. A very weird thing to find but as an assemblage artist of found objects...voila...a found object, right on my doorstep! Thank you to whoever left it for me, that was a very sweet gesture.

Tonight I attended my first board meeting as an official board member of the new Treasure Valley Artist Alliance. What a great group of artists all volunteering to help other artists in the area. If you are an artist in the Boise area you should click on their website and plan to attend our next general meeting on March 1st.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Time For The Show"

20" H x 11"W x 3" D

This has been a fun piece to create. Lot's of playing involved. I bought the main piece at the "bins" a few months back and have looked at it every day trying to figure out what to do with it. I was going to use a "dinosaur/monster-barbie" I had created, but her hair overwhelmed the whole thing.

My first step was to cut a base for the giraffe to stand on and a back for the piece. As I was picking papers for the collage, I came across a ticket from the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. This started the Circus theme really rolling, but I didn't want a traditional circus so I put the wings on the giraffe that I took off my barbie creature.

I painted the whole contraption with what Michael DeMeng calls "uszhhh" a mixture of colors he usually uses. Then dry brushed green and white over it, to give it a feel of verti-gri. The metal decorative cross pieces are drawer pulls that I painted with some Alcohol Inks they come in a small squeeze bottle and you just drop them on.

I wanted a kind of Victorian Fantasy world feel for the piece. I have been researching the Steam Punk movement (thanks to my new artist friend Cheri) and this was in the back of my mind. The old Walthum pocket watch on top came from either Bill's family or mine. We can't remember which. Decoration details include vintage buttons, game pieces, beads, and hand painted designs. I plan to enter this piece in the We Art Women 2010 Juried Competition.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Hunt and Gather Expedition

Today my daughter and my friend Nancy and I had a fun girls day out. First we stopped at an Art tag sale and visited a few friends. Then we ventured out of the Boise Bubble and actually got on the interstate and went all the way to Nampa and Caldwell. I have lived in Idaho for over 2 years now and had never been to these two towns before. (Except for driving through them without stopping.) Today was the Re:Use art market monthly opening. Everything is free for artists with a donation. I got a lot of wood items, some candles, old razor blades, and small silk flowers. Katherine and Nancy also found some cool stuff. And we got to shop in the White Pine boutique up front and Katherine bought a short sleeve grey sweatshirt.
We walked around the downtown area and saw quite a few cute shops we would like to come back for when it is warmer and to visit the Sat. market when it is open.

Then it was off to Caldwell, the main attraction there was a Tex-Mex restaurant that I had met the owner of -last summer at the Boise Sat. Market. He was originally from San Antonio. Well when we walked in and saw the Huge Texas Flag on the wall and the cooler of Big Red Soda it felt like we were back home. After a satisfying lunch of Cheese Enchiladas it was off to see what Caldwell had to offer.

Well we got back in the truck and saw a huge billboard down the street that said "Arts and Crafts" so we head that way and found a block of 3 storefronts that were just filled with art stuff. I bought a big roll of white paper to use for my seamless background for when I photograph my art. A miniature giraffe and a wood cello. This was a HUGE store and the woman at the register knew the price of everything. (even things that were not marked)

Down the street was a thrift store and antique/collectible store which we stopped in before going back. I purchased the book and creepy doll with the cut off hair.

So all in all it was a great day.
Now it's back to creating....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your Dentist Recommends....

Found object assemblage/collage in a hand-painted wooden frame with game pieces, burlap, buttons, jewelry parts, rick rack, beads, wax and resin. 9 1/4" X 9 1/4 square.

One of the items in the collage is an old ad for Viceroy Cigarettes, that says Viceroys filter the Smoke! and "As your Dentist I would recommend Viceroys."

I have named this piece "Your Dentist Recommends" AKA "Playing with your life" hence the game pieces.

As some of you know, my dad is currently battling for his life with all kinds of cancer throughout his body. He is only 73, which is I consider fairly young nowadays. But he smoked his entire life, did not exercise and ate the typical American diet, which isn't all that healthy...they say smoking cuts 6-12 years off your life. I'm just saying.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day Arts and Crafts Sale

I am participating in a 3 day show in Boise. 16 artists have taken over a vacant store front, it has been lots of fun meeting new people and lots of local artists that I had not met before. We are located at 6521 Ustick Rd. Tomorrow, Valentines Day will be our last day and we will be there from 11-6. The above picture is a photo of my booth of assemblages.
I did make a few new things for this show with a heart theme. These hearts I had tole-painted back in the 80's and updated them with some glitter hearts.
This is an assemblage piece I just made titled "Ode to Granny" The original photo is of an unknown woman I found in the bottom of a box at a thrift store. She is on a tin heart candle holder that I have attached pearls, beads and a miniature ceramic vase and hangs by a gray ribbon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Inchie's Frame

A couple of posts back I told y'all (I can say that since I have lived most of my life in Texas) that I entered a challenge to create some 1" collages called "inchies" Well I won the challenge, I think her cat picked the winners:) and my prize was a frame for one of my inchie's. It came just a couple days after I won, all the way from B.C. Candada.
The above photo are all the cool things that came along with my winning package.

Here is what I did with my frame. Lots of fun.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Those cold gray days of winter

I think we are all a little tired of the cold gray days of winter. Not everyone can jet off to Mexico or Hawaii, so with us poor folks stuck in the gray in mind I have created the I Wish I Was Someplace Tropical -drink/candle holder. Bird and wooden base from the Salvation Army, Coral from Florida from the 1960's, metal coaster from my family from the 60's, Fish from Belize.

This piece along with many others will be for sale at the February Arts and Crafts Sale this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11-6 at 6521 Ustick Rd. Boise. Come stop by and say hi.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good Luck

I just finished reading a book about survival in extreme conditions, and who survives and why. It pays to be prepared and to be able to keep your head in an emergency, but like a roll of the dice...a lot of it comes down to just plain 'ole good luck.

This piece came about when I was testing the whole wax with resin idea on the plastic cowboy.
The cowboy is in a top from a tea canister. The words in wire and beads that spell Good Luck were given to me by my daughters when they both gave me all of their scrap booking paraphernalia. I added the dice as a symbol of luck. All the items are attached to a metal tin that a CD came in. The yellow thing is also a test piece for the wax/resin. It is a button in a metal bottle cap.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Butterfly Brilliance

Butterfly lamp- found parts of lamps at 2 different thrift stores. The base even had a bulb in it that worked! I put them together added silk butterflies and leaves and painted the same on the shade. Cute little lamp selling for $25.

Friday, February 5, 2010

YouTube Artist Video's

So after a short tutorial on how to embed these into my blog. I now have all 3 videos on here. If you missed the story about these, just read my previous blog. Randall filmed me for about 45 minutes. Unscripted, no re-takes, had to think fast. Of the 45 minutes of speaking he edited it down to 3 videos of about 23 minutes total time.

Though it is painful to see oneself as others see you, I think it turned out pretty well, and I'm not too embarrassed to share it with all of you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things are happening this week!

So I met this muralist the other night at the Treasure Valley Artist Alliance "Mingle at the Modern." Randall Miller who is making educational video's of artists. He films them in their studio's or homes and just lets them talk about their art. I thought what a cool idea, but I don't think I'll do it. Then I saw one he did of Melissa, another artist in the TVAA, whose work I really admire and thought- I can do that.

We made an appointment and he came over yesterday at 3. We walked around the house and into the studio and back patio and I showed a lot of my art and collections and talked about my evolution from painting to collage to adding 3D elements to doing almost all 3d assemblage at this point.

I know I was very nervous at first- having no script, and when I am nervous I talk really fast, and say dumb stuff like " you can see my art at: and then I gave my email address. My husband was listening from the back room and assured me I sounded very articulate.

Tonight I went on to YouTube and found he already put part one up-here is the link to my first YouTube video.

I also went on my first docent tour Tuesday at the Boise Art Museum and followed my mentor Bonnie Peacher. What a good experience that was.

Then I wrapped up the day by going down to Kristy's studio and got to hang with Kristy, Marianne, Vicki, and Nancy while working on a new assemblage piece and drinking some good wine Marianne found at the Grocery Outlet of all places. It's always refreshing to get to work with others instead of by myself, though it is hard to decide what to pack and bring and then you always forget something you really need!

The fun did not end today when I was notified that I won my very first online art challenge! It was the "Inchie" challenge I blogged about a few days ago and won a frame for them. Yeah!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Working with Wax

I have been intrigued with using wax in my work but had never done it before. I had an old double boiler I had saved for years for just this purpose but left it behind in Texas when we moved out west without ever having used it.:(

I had heard about encaustics but was told it was really expensive to get into. Then when I was at Art & Soul in Portland last year, I was given an artist trading card by one of my teachers and she had used wax on it. At the make and take table we collaged a tag and then dipped the whole thing in melted wax.

I decided to try this at home. My experience- First off, don't float a pie tin in a skillet of water and expect it to stay upright. The wax melted and the whole thing started tipping into the water. So I got wax in my good skillet and water in my wax. Then called my husband to come help, he didn't know what was going on and grabbed the whole thing and poured it down the sink! My daughter then reminded me that I had a little melting pot somewhere, that plugs into the wall and is made just for this purpose! duh! Much easier!

The Dia De Los Muertos frame is a collage of paper and 3D elements that I then spooned melted wax over and used water soluble oil pastels on top to add some color. Then coated it all with matte medium. The picture is removable, so you can add your own if you like.

The bottom project is a handmade wooden box filled with bottle caps that I have painted and glued into the box. I gathered together a collection of charms and small items that went well together color wise, some of which I have had since I was a small child. A charm was placed in each compartment and then I poured the wax over them. Somehow it didn't quite look finished, as after the wax was dry some of the pieces were still loose- so I poured resin over the top of each one to seal them in. I stamped "The ABC's of Every Little Thing"around the edges of the wood. And have decided to give it the name of my blog as this piece typifies what I am trying to do with my art. I am not sure if it is finished yet. Suggestions welcome.