Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Finished piece from previous post...

20" tall $55
 I wrote about the piece in my previous blog. It was inspired by the broken ornament below. I need you as my reader to help me name the piece and/or give a possible use for it. When I showed it to my husband he said it reminded him of Russia and came up with the name Cyrillic Christmas. I showed it to another friend who thought I made a bong! I thought it could work as a ring holder or candy dish. Guess it doesn't have to be anything, it just is!  Please leave your comments below and let me know what you think...I do like getting comments. :)

A possible base with stars...nah...too clunky
the piece that started it all- I'm not sure what it looked like you can see the red tip was broken, I assume it had something to hang from on that end. I snipped it off with wire cutters and it fit into the wooden candlestick holder.
detail of painting

Painted to match the top...almost finished...

A quick trip to the thrift store...I did not have the brass leg base in mind for this piece or the ceramic bowl. But when I got it back to the studio and started playing around with the pieces I saw that the bowl fit perfectly inside the base and that the piece fit perfectly on top of the base and the blue ceramic matched perfectly! If I had been searching for something specific to finish this piece, I don't think I would have found as good a match.
May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 21, 2011

10 Days in a Snow Globe

I love it when random things fit together. This tin fits in part of this ipod holder and this random dollhouse drawer fits in the other. My next major project is going to be a series of secret places, drawers and compartments. 

Random new cards
 My husbands new job is teaching Wilderness Medicine classes. All of them to date have been to places that you have to fly to. This last class (10 days) was in Ketchum, Idaho (Sun Valley) ...which is only a 2 1/2 hour drive from home. So I got to tag along! Such a beautiful setting. I brought my mountain bike, hiking boots and A LOT of art supplies. In previous posts I have talked about weighing my art kit down to ounces for backpacking trips and camping trips, well this time we were bringing the I took advantage and filled the truck!

I called ahead to the hotel and asked about accommodations. They are in their "slack" time right now before the holidays, so they upgraded me to a suite for NO EXTRA CHARGE! When we brought Bill's co-instructor up to the room to show him some of the items I was working on, he told me the next night that he called an artist friend of his and told them that my studio space in the hotel room was larger than her regular studio.

It seemed a lot less stressful than being at home. I got to create all day and break it up with a hike in the snow over to the one thrift store in town for inspiration and even found an office/art supply store. I was looking for a razor blade, which they don't sell and the owner gave me his box cutter at no charge. So I bought some mediums from him. Black Gesso, Gold Acrylic and Impasto.

 This was one of the items I brought with me. It was broken on one end. I had also brought along an unpainted wooden candlestick holder. I snapped off the broken end and it fit in the candle holder perfectly. I painted it to match, and set it on a round piece of wood.
 Then on one of my trips to the "Gold Mine" I found the perfect base and something to go in that base. Finished photos to follow in another blog post.

 Some boxes showing all the little bits and pieces I brought with me.

Working on projects on the hotel coffee table.

"Christmas Spoon"

view through our balcony

Works in progress

Another view through our balcony

playing around with some miscellaneous pieces...nothing solid yet.
Some ephemera for a custom piece...Chicago Cats....

The finished piece, or so I thought. Found out the cat is a male and is still alive,  so I need to remove the pink bauble and words saying "she was always happy" and remove the trumpet. So I have some more to do on this one. Finished result will be in a future blog.

Besides making art all week, I also got to do a 24 mile bike ride before the snow hit and then hiked 2- 10 miles every day. It was cold but beautiful and sunny.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Antlers Change Direction

In my original piece of art using these antlers I made this Antler Mirror- Objects from my travels put together. The mirror was bought at a thrift shop from a trip to CA last year. The old bottle was from weird place in VA that I will be blogging about (my husband and I still have nightmares from this place)  and the antlers were obtained from my mom's garage in TX. (No one knows were they came from or how they got there) But that piece is no longer available as I took it apart to make something else. Why did I take it apart, well I had it outside and the antlers were glued and well...lets just say the antlers are too heavy for glue. Luckily nothing broke, just came apart.

The new incarnation of the antlers started with the handmade wooden box I found in a shopping cart in front of a thrift store marked "free" those are the best finds! It is a well made box, not flimsy. The rectangular pieces in the middle are small encaustic paintings that I made in a workshop last year. I really do need to go back to one of those classes as I have used up all but one of my wax painting/collages in an assemblage!

This time around the antlers are not only glued but also screwed into the wood. They are not coming off this time! Placed around the encaustics are river rocks given to me from a friend that brought them back from New Zealand for me.

The last step was I poured two part resin over all the rocks to seal everything in and the rocks appear to be under a layer of water.

I really like the simplicity and natural colors of this piece. I don't have a name for it yet. I'm taking suggestions. This piece is for sale $250.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Trapped By Her Own Doing She Struggled to Break Free

 Playing around in the studio with my pieces of treasured junk, I saw that this doll head fit into this wood box I had. I then "antiqued" the head and hands with some thinned down acrylic paint.

I wasn't sure the direction I was going with this...I had the news on and a story "commercial" came on about how this woman was so into debt that she decided the only way out was gambling. It showed her children vying for her attention but she was too busy looking at the lottery numbers to give them the time of day. The family was crumbling around her, she was in despair! Then the credit counselor voice came on said there was hope...IF you gave him a call.

I had my theme!

I like to tear a page out of a book and then find a word or sentence that goes with the theme I have in mind. If you search through books for the perfect thing, I takes way to long to find what you are looking for but I find that if you limit it to a small amount of text, the perfect things pops the sentence on this page. " How the rest of it was, I know not; only that I had the end of it..."

The rounded wire piece covering the glass is what I can assume is a top to a candle holder of some kind that I think I found at a thrift store. The piece still needed something to tie it together so to speak and I found the chain and wrapped it around the piece. And then came up with title " Trapped by Her Own Doing She Struggled to Break Free" Since there is nothing per se with the piece having to with debt. it could relate to others on any addiction or problem they may personally be struggling with.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Green Chutes: 14 year olds, recycled art projects and holiday art

 Green Chutes the Co-op gallery I am in will be putting up a Christmas tree and asked the artists to create an ornament for the tree and then to make multiples to put under the tree. I am not good at making duplicates of anything, so I wondered what to make...I had just ordered all these postcards with my logo on them...I also bought all these small frames at a backyard craft sale...and had no specific idea in mind for them and the idea was born. I glued a jewel on each crown  over the photo of the jewel and added a ribbon. These are priced at $7 each.

On Tuesday I volunteered to take 2 groups of 15- 14 year olds on a tour around the galleries to see how artists repurpose items into art. I then had the idea that each student should make or at least start their own recycled project. After viewing lego's made into credit card holders and old jewelry made into new jewelry, china plates and candle holders made into cake plates, maps made into purses etc. We then went upstairs and they got to come up with their own ideas with the items that were generously donated. Every one was on task and seemed quite thrilled with the whole idea.

 While I was down there I brought some winter/holiday art to display and hopefully sell.
A Walk in the Woods  collage in a decorated frame

Tin Soldier  Baubles in a painted tin

Christmas Cow

Bless This Home

Happiness Book

Mardi Gras Angel Hand painted wood body, one of the pieces of wood is the top to a hot sauce bottle, vintage button

Dali Angel made with Vintage handkerchief and fork/hand

Royal Angel Silver sugar spoon, gem and tassel

Snowman on a Sled- Wall plaque

Monday, November 7, 2011

The evolution of an idea...

I want to turn this old frame with a piece of board stapled to it (given to me by my friend Miriam)  into what will look like a piece of a tiled bathroom floor for a project I am working on. I have an idea for an upcoming juried show.

I went to home depot to gather ideas and I picked up a bunch of paint chip cards, I cut them all into 1" squares and was going to glue them down to create the tile floor and look- not nearly enough! I did not feel like driving back to the store and I wasn't sure about these anyway cause I am going to be pouring resin over the whole thing and didn't want them coming up.

Plan B is to paint tile squares....

First I covered the whole board with Gesso and let it dry.

Then I used painters tape and made horizontal stripes leaving a small gap between tape strips to fill in with brown paint.

I let the paint dry and then peeled off the tape to reveal horizontal stripes.

Next I used the same pieces of tape and put them across horizontally.

I then painted those spaces, let dry and peeled off the tape again. I now have a checker board pattern. Where the paint leaked under the tape, didn't matter...

as I then painted each square individually with 4 different colors. First I used an off white mixed with burnt umber and yellow ochre. It looked kind of dirty when it I then did a layer of white and light blue which gave it a cleaner look but also more three dimensional quality with all the layers of different whites in each square.

I then glued a "Health Check" card and painted a shadow around it. When it was dry I poured Enviro Tex lite, pour on high gloss coat is equal to 50 coats of varnish. I moved it to a warmer part of the house and let it dry 48 hours before...

 I started laying things on it. Now to back track a minute, the only items I purchased exclusively for this project were the scale and fork which I bought at a thrift store for a total of $5. My original plan was to have just the scale, dumbell and wieghts all attached to each other and it would be a hanging piece. I had them set out at the BOSCO art studio tour and one coment was I should get a piece of tile floor to hang it on. So that was how the tile floor came about. Then I wanted to hang this whole thing on the wall but the dumbells and scale weigh quite a bit and I think might just pull off the wall or frame.

Plan B on the display:  now it could either be displayed as shown above by sitting on a pedestal or...

Plan C:  attach the frame to this table and make it a functional piece as well as a statement.

The scale, dumbbell and fork and vegetables become part of the base. The drawer would be used to hold women's stories. Read below to see what I have in mind and then please leave me a comment.

The comment can either be something to go in the drawer or your thoughts on how you think this piece should be shown or both. If the base with drawer is not used then the notes of paper will be slipped around the sides of the scale on top.

This is an art piece about women and their experiences and feelings related to food, weight loss, dieting etc. Please send me a paragraph, sentence or even just a word on your feelings related to this topic... I will hand copy them and fold them up and put them in the installation. 
 Hopefully after all this, it will be accepted into the show. :) I'll keep you updated and thanks for your help!

Friday, November 4, 2011

What I did with those wine cork frames...

Life's Journey 
original collage in a wine cork frame with Fleur de lis. I love the Quote: 
"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it...but by siting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one becomes to feeling ill...Thus if one just keeps walking, everything will be all right."
-Soren Kierkegaard
letter to Jette (1847)

I can't say that walking cures every burden but I do know that when I get out and excercise everyday be it walking, hiking, running, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, or kayaking. I feel much better physically, even if I started out tired; I come back energized and some of my best idea's come to me while I am outdoors.

 Falling leaves 
Original plein air painting

A New Adventure Every Day
This was a painting that I had done a few years ago and decided to collage some things over it to make it all about Idaho. Because this is how I feel about my (relatively) new home. In Texas I didn't get to do all the cool outdoor adventures everyday for a number of reasons. 
  1. I lived in the middle of a large city 
  2. I taught full time
  3. Went to grad school and wrote a thesis
  4. and raised 2 children
As I tell people when I am exhibiting my art; I used to be the teacher, now I  get to have all the fun- make art and play outside.