Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Goodies

This has been the week for collecting goodies, yesterdays blog I showed you all the boxes I picked up from Miriam. Then today I received the items pictured above in the mail from my daughter.

And on Monday one of the docents handed me this little packet of goodies, his wife had put together for me. There was a mini crisis as when I got home I couldn't find it and sent a note out to all the docents that I thought I dropped it in the parking lot but no one had seen it.
I had looked in the car, purse, coat pockets etc. to no avail. Then today when getting out of the car I saw something peeking out from under the drivers seat and there it was!

Now it's time to buckle down and put all this good stuff to use!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another woman's trash... my treasure!

Miriam (one of the gypsies from the Gypsy Gallery) was cleaning out her studio and asked if I would like to come get some stuff, and stuff she had... some neat shadow boxes, driftwood, beads, ribbons, tins and old violin and leather suitcase from auction and some stuff she bought in England. And this is just what is on the surface, I'm saving digging into it all and organizing it later. Now If I can just keep my husband out of the back room until I get to it.
When I asked what I could do for her in exchange, she said nothing, just make some cool art out of it!
Thank you Miriam!

Monday, January 24, 2011

9 years in the Making

Search For Meaning
Mixed Media Collage

This mixed media work had its inception in 2002 when I purchased the original canvas at a garage sale in Dallas for $10. On it was painted a man falling from a skyscraper and sprouting wings, which I can only guess was the artist's attempt to come to terms with the horror of 9/11.

During the following year I covered this with a very dark still life of bottles in a doorway. As I didn't care too much for this either, I started adding collage and 3-D elements such as a picture frame, a mirror, and some dog tags that read Every Little Thing. At this point I began to consider it a somewhat of a "self portrait", as it contained many elements drawn from my own life.

In 2007 when we moved from Dallas and purged many of our belongings, this unfinished monstrosity narrowly escaped a second garage sale. Since that time it has hung unfinished like an albatross in my studio, akin to a book you have been meaning to read, just not right now.

After doing some work at Marianne's studio the other night, I took home a handful of small items to work on including a wooden shrine/cabinet. After painting it the thought occurred to me that it would be a nice addition to this painting, thus began phase 3 of my self-portrait with a new title, Search For Meaning.

In this hopefully final incarnation, I tried to express how women, including myself, struggle with both internal and external expectations in creating their sense of self. Some of the myths and social icons I have tried to touch on are represented by:

* A gas station photo from the 50's with a sign stating, "Marriages performed with the purchase of 5 gallons of gas."

* Several Goddess-like figures, including a saint holding a badge that says "achievement"

* The quote "Who says you can't burn your candle at both ends?"

* A shrine holding little bottles and boxes that

might contain secret potions of eternal beauty or power.

* Above the mirror is the phrase, “you'll always be lovely to look at”.

* Two fortunes attached to the inside of the cabinet doors state, "your artistic talents win the approval and applause of others" and "Soon you will have a chance for a profitable transaction" (I received both these fortunes this past year in fortune cookies.)

I have entered this piece in the 2011 We Art Women Juried Show. I will let you know if my artistic talent wins the approval and applause of others. Who knows, it may even end in a profitable transaction.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Encaustics Day 2

Today we played with texture, learning how to carve into the wax,
add oil sticks, letters, transfers, collage etc.

Cheesecloth and rice paper additions

Black and White photo, with wax and scratched into surface with a pencil.

Eve-Marie added many new ideas to our repertoire today...
one of those was using painters tape for making a straight line...since I am now all about adding 3D elements to my artwork --and glueing on top of wax is a conundrum...
I had the perfect idea? (waiting to see if the glue holds)
I traced around the items I wanted to glue down
and then taped them up (in blue)

I used a razor to cut them off and then scraped off any wax that had creeped under the tape.
You now see the white gesso, under the tape.

The finished piece is in the upper left hand corner.
These are some of the other works I finished today,
I know they will change again before you see them, I already have some of my
Every Little Things to add to them.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Encaustics...oh yeah....!!

Eve-Marie, teacher: demonstrating covering the substrate with encaustic gesso.

As an art teacher I have had a chance to dabble in a lot of different media. One that I have not gotten to try but have been wanting to is Encaustics. Last June I wrote a blog entry about visiting an Encaustic Paint Factory in New York State and Marianne commented that she wished I could have taken the workshop with she and Kristy that same weekend in Boise.
Well small world, turns out that Eve-Marie who taught that workshop and the one I am taking this weekend worked for them for 10 years!

Denise mixing medium with the wax colors on the hot plate,
with samples of my work in the foreground.

Another serendipitous moment was finding out one of my new friends from the Women's Hiking Network, Denise whom I spent a week with in Death Valley was my classmate. This class was taught in Sue Latta's Sculpture studio, were I took a class from Sue a couple months ago. One of the same ladies that was in that class is in this one too.

Some of the yummy wax colors!!

So now I am all excited about this new medium and how to incorporate it in my work. I am pulling Every Little Thing together to bring to class tomorrow. What a cool day today was and I have another one tomorrow to look forward to!! Before and after pictures to come....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Co-Op Gallery in Town

Well today I got juried into the new Co-op gallery in town, Green Chutes. Earlier this week my husband and I went by to check it out, we were impressed with the space- it has a hip big city "loft" feel to it. We also had a really good lunch at the cafe housed in the same building. I took home an application. After discussing it, I decided to go for it and spent the last two days updating my resume and biography and getting samples ready. Today I met with the owner who said I had been accepted. I spent the day filling out more forms, and picked out all the pieces I wanted to put in the gallery, priced them and made up an inventory list. Rent is $60 a month and I need to work one 8 hour shift a month. Next is getting my info. in for their website. I'm excited, hope this turns out to be a good adventure!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Art at Nancy's

Nancy invited me over to make art together tonight, we missed our friend Marianne who is in Florida, but still had a great time listening to music while creating. This is the piece I made out of two small canvases. After painting them with a brush and adding texture with a rag. I collaged pages cut from an old book, and glued objects with my favorite E6000.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fun making art with Friends

My friend Marianne just built a new studio in her backyard and invited a bunch of her friends to come visit/play/drink wine/make art. Pictured above is Nancy in the red jacket working on her prints for the "Leftover" project, in between her snacking. :) Patti (maroon) working on a project for her kinder class. Lynn (Sculptor) talking music and Marianne (white t-shirt) holding court and working on her "Valentine for Aids" and new work for the Art Source Gallery.

I was busy in the corner working on the 5 pieces of art I promised from my facebook post to Ellen, Patti, Marianne H. PennyLea and Denise. and the 2 ATC's I promised from my blog to Amy and Rebeca.

Thanks Marianne K. it was a productive afternoon and lots of fun!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Valentine for Aids

I was invited to participate in the 18th Annual Valentine for Aids Silent Art Acution held Feb. 3-13, 2011 at the Flying M Coffeehouse in Downtown Boise. This is a benefit for SNAP, Safety Net for Aids Program. So what might the above items have to do with this, you might ask?

I created my piece out of a yellow block of wood leftover from a pergola, two small white plastic boxes from an order of business cards, a clay pin with beads from a garage sale, the inside of a dental floss container and a switch and gauge given to me by my friend Nancy, which I think she got at the Reusium. And the book was used for ideas on Electrical drawing.

I painted all with gesso and then planned the layout. The papers are candy wrappers and the envelope from the invitation.

I looked up electrical stuff in the Mechanical Drawing book and drew some symbols around the edges.

side view

These are the products I used. Gel medium to glue down the papers. Pickling gel to wash over the entire piece. Glitter/glue on the light switch. Alcohol ink to cover the metal on the light switch plate.
Finished piece: LOVE, you turn me on

Monday, January 10, 2011


Today I finished up my prints for the "Leftovers" print exchange. The whole idea behind the project name is to use up small leftover papers from previous projects. Well as you know I am all about using leftovers. Above photo is were I left off yesterday after carving the flower design and printing it with acrylic on Joss was a lot of trial and error.

My idea was to mount these on black paper. I cut out these two and it looked great with this handmade red paper with gold leaf design. On the side is a piece of red acetate that Vicki gave me on Sat.

Well those plans fell apart as I could find no more solid black paper. I did find four sheets of this scrapbook paper (leftover from my daughters scrap booking days) with words printed on it. This would work. But the design on the red paper was now too much. So I decided to go with just the red acetate.

I was going to use my handy xacto paper cutter but it wouldn't cut through 4 sheets of paper at a

so I used my scissors...

I wanted to use spray mount for a perfectly flat adhesion but the pieces were so small I could forsee problems with that. I remembered a technique from a book making workshop I attended using white glue and a piece of cardboard and laying a smooth coat of glue over the entire back. Well this didn't seem to work too well...

Plan C was to try this little doohicky and it worked quite well.

The finished set.
Not the best photo as the gold and silver leaf reflected the flash and my scanner is not working...oh well they do look better in person.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Night Musings

Fun weekend hanging out with girl friends, eating, drinking, watching movies, skate skiing, hiking and making art..and speaking of to play in Marianne's cool new studio.

When Marianne came over the other night she thought this piece above would be good for the Valentines for Aids Auction...looking at the invite, it's all electrical stuff and it says "you turn me on" Nancy gave me the pieces below...I may play around with them this week and see what else I can come up with.
In my last blog I also mentioned the print exchange "leftovers" I started on that project today. I drew out a design of some flowers on a disk that Vicki gave me, then carved out the design. I inked it with black acrylic and then printed it on Joss papers , with gold and silver leaf that I bought at the Asian Grocery.
Next I will mount them on black paper and then see if I need to add anything else. Photos to follow.
This week lots of meetings. Docent recruitment and Boise Open Studios on Monday. Wed. and Thurs. Treasure Valley Artist Alliance Board Meeting and Education Committee meetings. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Boise Bike and 5 things to get ready for!

Boise Bike
6" X 8"

This piece was done by starting with a collage. I then melted wax over it. Most of the 3D objects are actually found objects collected while hiking or biking.

My husband was cleaning out one of his backpacks the other day and started pulling out bits of metal and discarded items that I had forgotten about in a pocket, and he was like, what the??? and I said oh! wait... don't throw those away, they are mine. His response, I should have known.

What's next, well after unpacking everything from the Gypsy Show in December and the end of 4Q Gallery this past week. I was thinking to myself that I needed to get my art back out there for the new year. Well within a week. I have 5 events/projects to work towards!

There is a new all ages art/ music club looking for consignments. I sent an example of my work and have an appointment on Wed. to possibly consign with ColorCube.

I received my coveted invitation to create a piece for Valentine for Aids. I was on the waiting list for 2 years.

During First Thursday I stopped by Atomic Treasures and visited with Cindy, the owner and she invited me to be the guest artist for the First Thursday in February. The store motto is Repurpose/Reuse/Reinvent. Just up my alley!

Amy over at Wingtip Press is doing a printmaking swap called Leftovers. She is looking to get 100 artists signed up, so I signed up. If you have an interest -click on the link.

And last but not least Marianne, Queen Gypsy has found a cool venue for The Gypsy Gallery for the month of March with an opening reception on First Thursday.

See you around!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Playing in the Studio

This piece was started with a box with a hinged lid that I bought at a thrift store along with a picture frame. I told the lady I didn't want a bag. ( I usually bring my own or just carry the item without a bag) Well I promptly dropped the box on the floor and it broke, she just looked at me as I said a not nice word. I picked it up and walked out and thought to myself ... well you can't just throw it away, so I glued it back together and then collaged it with tissue paper.

I have been saving used tea bags to use in a project. I saw some stacked in an art piece in a gallery about a year ago and then I saw them used again in the winning piece in the We Art Women Show last year and really liked the look. When I saw how well they fit, I knew what I would use the box for. I had a copper kettle to balance out the piece along with some scrabble pieces that spell out TEA.

Texas/Old West Collection

One of the top New Years Resolutions every year are organizing and cleaning. Today as I was doing just that...dusting my shelves, moving items around, unpacking from my last two showings and making room to make more art. It dawned on me that I was playing just like I used to as a little child when I would rearrange my doll house miniatures. Now I rearrange my collections to get ideas for possibilities new assemblages.

Chinese/Japanese Collection

Saints and Royalty

Budda, India and Nepal

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fairy Tales Do Come True!

What if Cinderella was a dragon?

This collage/assemblage was created using a thrift store gold frame. I added rhinestones and paint. The collage is red and gold handmade paper with the word "fairytale", a cut out of a dragon with words that start with d surrounding it, and a partial label from a crown royal bottle. The main feature is a Cinderella carriage/gold rhinestone pin given to me by a friend and tucked into the carriage is a dragon that has been part of my collection since 1968. This piece is 7" round and has a hanger on the back.