Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Secretary Blues

So the other day I had a friend come over and she wanted to see my studio and all my collections etc. She was very interested in all of it and we talked for several hours. It was this exchange that sparked my next project. She noticed my blue and white collection and said she had a blue and white dish set. 

I also showed her some of my encaustics and how I like to incorporate them into my collage/assemblages and this was how my piece started to come together. Top and centered is a wood encaustic piece I made with lace and blue encaustic wax. Also pictured above are things I pulled from the "Blue and White" shelf. I added some vintage blue children's blocks and a wooden case from Dinosaur magnets that I bought at a thrift store. The small figures I collected over the years. 

The old bottle of ink was from my mom as well as the fountain pen. I then found a page of short hand script, from this I got the idea that this piece would be about my mom and her days as a Secretary in New York City in the 50's. The two pitchers didn't seem to fit the theme, so I took a cup and saucer from another set- this seemed to go better.  The elephants were also out.

On top of the encaustic collage I nailed this blue glass heart, to represent my love for my mother.

I lined the inside of the box with the shorthand paper and blue gingham washi paper tape.

The final touch was a strand of pearls to tie it all together. I called my mom today and quizzed her on her early jobs. She was fuzzy on the details but did remember that her first job was as a secretary at the FBI in NYC. Her job was to go take notes from the FBI agent and then go back and write them up. 

Her second job as a secretary was at an advertising agency in NYC and the two major clients she remembers were Chivas Regal and The Rose Bowl Parade. She said she remembers them getting to sample the liquor at work.

This is so far removed from the mom I know, it is fun to picture her before raising a family of 5 and seeing her going to work on the bus and shopping on 5th avenue during her lunch hour or walking through Central Park.

Monday, June 17, 2013

E is for Eggplant

"E" is for Eggplant  2 1/2" x 4" x 3 1/4" $35

 This piece started out with the definition of eggplant from a 4 volume dictionary from 1899 that my daughter gave me. She bought it from Goodwill for $24.99, said it was worth $100 but couldn't find a buyer, so I decided to use it for my art.

Since I decided to cut up the dictionary I took the scissors to another vintage item, circa 1958.

I used Plymer medium to glue the painting to the sides of the box. 
I measured and cut colored tissue paper for the front of the box. 

I used A Bar at the Flies-Bergere, by Edouard Manet mainly for the colors that went well with the piece- greens and purples. 

Side view

Top view

Bottom view

Final touches were adding a translucent purple acrylic stain. Glueing the miniature eggplant and large letter E and adding the green dots to the E. I think I had eggplant on the brain as I recently made an eggplant lasagna for a vegan friend of mine and her husband who's vacation condo we were invited to stay. She and I both love eggplant.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bike Boise

 Here I am in the midst of a lot of ideas going on at once. This post will focus on the one in the middle. The substrate for this piece is a used stretched canvas that I picked up at a reuse store in Santa Barbara. I covered the whole back of the canvas in joint compound. I like using this as it is absorbant and really soaks in the watered down acrylic's very well.

 The focus in the center is an encaustic transfer I made on a piece of wood in Karen Bubb's encaustic workshop a couple months ago.  I keep a sandwich bag file for every letter of the alphabet so hunting for the correct letters is not too much of a time suck. I used stickers, cut out letters, wood letters, a clothing tag and game pieces.

Bike Boise, 8 x 10 $75
Finished piece with painted dots and green added to frame to bring out the green in the encaustic piece.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Buried Treasure

Seth Apter of the Altered Page hosts many projects that bring the mixed media community together. The latest called Treasure Time where, (so far) over 79 artists are participating by reposting their favorite blog posts of all time. 

I went into my "stats" and found my two most popular which both have over 800 views each:


I have written 343 posts. This one only had 36 views but was the one I was most excited about and it was on this trip I was able to meet Seth in person while I was in NYC! Please click below to view:


Thanks Seth!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Learning to See

This past Saturday I took one of Lisa Cheney's drawing workshops. She is a very accomplished local visual journalist.  She has taught at Art Fest, Journal Fest, Art Unraveled etc. and has been published in quite a few books and magazines. It was quite a treat not to have to travel to attend one of her classes.


 Lisa starts out the class with several exercises to make everyone feel comfortable.  

 It was also fun that several of my artist friends were in the class. Zella, a metals artist joked that it would be easier if we could draw with a blow torch.
Lynn, who creates life like equine sculptures and
Marianne , Queen Gypsy, Mixed Media and Photography
Marianne's drawing of Zella's squid.

My drawing-practicing contour drawing and crosshatching

mine-adding watercolor to the line drawings

At the end of the class we switched to pencil and worked with values

 It was a fun class and I was glad not to be the teacher for once.

Friday, June 7, 2013


 There is nothing like selling a couple pieces of art to get motivated to make some more. I sold 2 canvases to a woman from out of state who had bought a piece from me that she saw at the Boise Art Museum and then wanted a couple of companion pieces. I am a prolific artist. Once I get going, I can just whip them out...the problem is my house is overflowing...maybe I'm not as good at marketing as I am at producing...hmmm...I think most artists are in that boat!

 Here is the start of Bambi. All my art is made from things I already have or got second hand except for paint and mediums. I had this plaque that was just unstained wood which I gessoed and then stenciled over a plastic doily that was my grandmothers.  The stand is made from a wooden diamond and a bracket that I nailed and glued.

A few years ago I had seen stuffed animal heads attached to these boards as take on taxidermy animals, that was white I had intended to do but then spotted this little guy in my stash and decided to use Bambi.
 I also found this antique bead/button when I was sweeping under a bookcase and decided to include it too.
Bambi 5 "x 7 " $45
The finished piece has a 70's kitschy sort of feeling. Finishing touches are dark brown and white detailing around the edges, a gloss polymer coating and a sawtooth hanger.