Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mrs. Beasley and Her Jaunty New Hat

"Mrs. Beasley and Her Jaunty New Hat" 

18" tall $35

this was a wooden box with feet I got at a thrift store. I painted the inside with gesso and the outside around the existing flowers. I added more of my own flowers and grass.

Detail of head. I added a butterfly on her back, a pearl necklace and the hat is made of a clay/jewel antique piece, ribbon, feather and silk flower.

This is Mrs. Beasely with just the necklace and butterfly wings.

The finished base, I added more paint embellishments and glued the 2 pieces together. The bottom box I actually glued upside down as I thought it looked better that way. I also brushed acrylic paint over the gesso and rubbed it in with a cloth to add some texture.

Why did I name her Mrs. Beasley? I don't know It just sounded good to me!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Strength For When the Wolves Come

Why wolves, you might ask? Well five separate things led me to make this piece.

1. The biggest factor was my fairly recent encounter with a wolf while on my mountain bike in the Wood River Valley in November. It crossed the path in front of me, stopped and looked at me and then wandered off into the sage brush. I tried to look to see where it had gone but it just seemed to disappear into the landscape, which was fine by me!  I was not sure if what I saw was a wolf or a coyote and engaged my friend Marianne who asked me a bunch of good questions about the size of the animal as compared to her huge dogs. We figured it must have been a coyote until I saw this newspaper article with the photo and then I KNEW that a wolf is what crossed my path!

2. Next up was this headline I came across in Ironman Magazine, whom my high school friend Steve is the editor:  "Strength for When the Wolves Come" really caught my attention as these words reminded me of a childhood memory. One night I was awakened by my grandmother having a nightmare and she was talking in her sleep. She was shouting to be careful as there were wolves in the house.  We lived in a suburb in New Jersey right outside of  NYC, so this was highly unlikely.  Well my little sister was woken up by my grandmother who was talking in her sleep but my sister didn't know she was talking in her sleep and assumed it was real and wanted to know where they were! We all got a laugh out of this the next morning but that night it seemed all too real!

3. The cool silver wolf pin someone gave me to use in a piece of art. 

4.  The the current controversial issue of the reintroduction of wolves in the state of Idaho and the lifting of their protected status.
5.  And the tipping point was finding the wolf statue last week.
This past week I bought this wolf statue at a thrift store in Ketchum. I already had the newspaper article and magazine cut out saved along with the wolf pin which was given to me.  I was saving these items to use on a future piece...with the find of the statue, I felt that I had enough items to start.
When I have an idea of what I want to make and it is something based on a letter, I dig out my plastic bags of letters and see what I have that I can use to complete the piece. I found several "w" game pieces and a wolf card.
I had a shadow box given to me by a friend that I decided to use for this project. I painted a mountain scene on the top, glued the pin and letters and then added paint to distress the pieces.
I painted and collaged all  4 sides and the back of the inside of the box. I then glued the statue and some silk leaves in the bottom. Unfortunately the glass does not come out of the box and it is very hard to photograph something with a glass front. 

The right side of the box...

and the left side. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nothing Like a Pretty Day for Some Inspiration

Everything looks better with snow on it.

While entertaining family from out of state we went to visit Sun Valley ID and had a great time walking around. We visited some wonderful may have seen these  three sculptures on my Facebook page whom all seem to be enjoying playing in the snow.

 We also snowshoed, skied, shopped and had some great meals. I always make it a special point to visit the wonderful contemporary galleries in Ketchum. One of the galleries I went into  had a large encaustic painting hanging above a lit fireplace which was quite warm. I asked the woman in the gallery about the placement of the painting above the fire and if there was any problems with that and her response was "Well, that would be quite irresponsible of us now, wouldn't it?" Nothing like making a person feel dumb to encourage a sale! Despite that, it was a wonderful show!

If I'm going to Die, I'm Going to Have Some Fun. (One of my pieces in Text Messages)
Unfortunely we got back to town too late to attend the opening of a local show Text Messages that I have 2 pieces of art in. This exhibition will continue through April 5th. I saw many of the pieces while the show was being hung and was very impressed with the caliber of work. The theme of the show was that the piece was to contain some text.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A New Year...A New Series

The new packages of baby wipes I noticed have these cool little doors that can be one day...the weird person that I am, I cut off the hinged door and started playing around with it. I covered one with modeling paste and added paint.

I started seeing what they might fit on and how they could be used. I started with two used canvases from a thrift store with paintings on the front. I covered the backs with modeling paste for texture and fit the doors over the openings.
My First piece has a mountain climber theme as my husband wants to get back into doing more climbing this year.
This one I call "Alpine Adventures" It is covered in modeling paste with layers of paint and small pebbles. I drew an ice axe on the front of the door. The dots around the edges is metallic fabric paint. available for $50

The top of the piece is a collage of Patagonia peaks tempered with acrylic paint.

The inside holds a small test tube of rocks and a rock climber on belay. The inside lid is a collage of some mountain peaks and a compass.   

This side contains a collage of mountaineers with a piece of real granite.

This side has accessory cord tied in a climbers butterfly coil.
My second piece was the theme of "Under The Sea" or a "Pirates Booty" This one is based on my childhood memories of Disney Land and the "Pirates of the Caribbean Theme Ride"which I loved.

This side has jewels, blue sea glass and a green sword.

The entire front was covered in modeling paste, black paint and then blue interference paint. Then all kinds of jewels and bead's and jewelry and the text "do your own dirty work" This piece is available for $50

The inside opening contains a drawer filled with shells and jewels.

The top has more jewels.
A view of the front with the baby wipe "door" open. In the center is the drawer full of more treasure.

This side is covered with more jewels, glitter and a game piece with the word "water."
Stay tuned for more fun pieces in this series....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bikes and Biking On My Mind

Collage on top of shadow box
3D shadow box of a little girl with dog and tricycle looking out over the fence at a woman riding a bicycle and thinking someday I want a big girls bike. $65
Bikes are still on my mind as snow has not come to this part of Idaho yet.

Our ski resort is losing $100, 000 a day! The snow markers register- nada! so what am I doing? Riding my bike in January. I got a new mountain bike for Christmas which I rode yesterday- 16 miles, and lots of climbing! There were a few patches of ice and mud but overall it felt like a spring day. The temp. registered 52 on my bike computer!

I was never much of a bike rider until my late 40's when I got my first bike. My first big ride was the "Hotter Than Hell"  in Wichita Falls Tx. 60 miles in 112 degree heat! Since moving to Idaho four years ago, I got my very own mountain bike at age 50 (the previous 2 years I was riding my husbands hand me down) and am now registered for my first mountain bike race coming up in April!

Maybe I was that little girl looking over that fence, it just took me a while to get there... those of you who have followed my blog for a while may recognize the red trike in the shadow box. It was left mysteriously on my doorstep a year ago, I found out recently it was a fellow artist and neighbor who had left it there. So for a year I have been making a little pile of papers and ephemera related to bikes around the red trike.

Tuesday at Studio Em was the time to make it all come together. First I went through my little pile and divided up the ephemera into 2 piles, one that was more related to mountain biking and one that was more related to casual riding around town. The mountain biking ephemera will be for a future piece.

side panel collage
me on my new bike in January and no snow!
Other side panel collage