Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thermofax Inspiration

We got a dusting of snow this morning, so I went outside with my camera to take a few photos in the yard. The photo above is the armrest of a wrought iron glider and the edge of a matching wrought iron table on our deck. Not too exciting normally, but I know from experience that, coupled with a dusting of snow, this photo will make a great thermofax screen.

After changing the photo to gray scale and maximizing the contrast, here is the resulting black and white image --- perfect for screen printing all or parts of it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tis The Season

Autumn Remnants
4" x 6"

As I am clearing out my studio in preparation for a new year, I have decided to offer a sale --- kind of an appreciation/holiday sale. With the economy in dire straits, I know most people are not spending huge amounts of money on gifts this year, so I am offering my textile postcards at blowout pricing. This is first come, first served while they last. Email me if you are interested in purchasing some. Click here for details.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sneak A Peek

I am working on a new series of 8 collages --- no hints about the working title, but here is the palette. These are off-cuts that are waiting to be re-incorporated into the collages.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day of Thanks

Sunset on the Platte River

I am at a point in my life where I have time to appreciate the little things as well as the big things. Some of the things I am thankful for .... the beauty of nature, unconditional love, puppy kisses, being surrounded by art, hope for the future, quiet walks, piping hot coffee, family, friends, and God. Today and every day I give thanks that I can enjoy these things and so much more. What about you --- what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Paper Bag Book Cover

The completed book with its painted cover (3.5"h x 8.5"w).

Scan of the front cover.

After receiving my journal from Sue, with its paper bag cover, I wanted to play with using paper bags myself. I had a text block that I bought at PaperSource in KC several months ago, and I had never covered it. I dug it out, measured it, cut the brown paper bag, and started painting. I'm actually quite pleased with the way it turned out, and today I am planning to try another cover using a brown paper bag as a backing and collaging on it, rather than painting it. Too much fun!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Newest Acquisition

peace 1
Artist: Virginia A. Spiegel
6" x 4"

Above is the latest addition to my art collection --- a collage by artist Virginia A. Spiegel. She has just completed a new series of 36 "peace" collages. The graphic elements in this series intrigue me, and I think the monochromatic color scheme lends itself very well to a feeling of calm and peace. Very appropriate for the season, and I am anxious to see my collage in person! Click here to see the entire series.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Journal Extraordinaire!

I have been looking at Sue Bleiweiss' journals for some time and watching all of the different varieties of journals that she is making by hand. My favorites are the ones that have a brown paper bag cover that looks like worn leather. Recently I asked Sue to custom make a journal for me with this type of cover in a wrap style and fill the journal with lotka paper and hand-painted pages. My journal arrived in the mail yesterday, and I could not be more pleased --- it is everything I envisioned and so much more! Above is the journal with it's wrap cover.

This is the journal laid out with its pages open. Look at all the pages and pages of glorious color!

Three signatures of hand-painted papers and lotka pages. What an inspiration to open this journal and contemplate working on these pages. Thanks, Sue!

*If you're interested in seeing more of Sue's journals, click here to see her Etsy shop.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Final Layer of Paint

Here are the medallions this morning. As you can see, some some of them now have additional colors added to them, and some of them totally changed colors. I wanted a variety of colors, so I added and subtracted with the different paints until I reached this point. I am happy with them now and plan to glaze them later this morning.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Necklace Medallions

Sometimes it is worthwhile and fun to play in a new medium. After seeing some artsy necklaces that were way out of my price range and mold-made, I decided to try my hand at making my own one-of-a-kind necklaces. I love chunky medallions on a beaded necklace, so I bought some clay and started making medallions. Above is a photo of my work table this morning with the first layer of paint on the pieces. My plan is to add several more layers of paint for depth, then glaze the whole thing. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On The Needles

It's always a sure sign of winter when I start knitting in the evenings. I am a morning person, so by evening I am too tired to be creative in the studio, and in the winter it is too dark and cold to work outside. So, with my gardens all cut back and mulched for winter, it is time to start knitting again. This is the start of my first pair of socks for this season. I fell in love with the colors in this yarn and decided it was perfect for socks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FANTASY UNCOILED: Prints by CoBrA Artists

Anton Rooskens ( Dutch, 1906-1976)
Untitled (detail)
color lithograph on paper

Mogens Balle ( Dutch, 1921-1988)
Untitled (detail)
color lithograph on paper

Eugene Brands ( Dutch, 1913-2002)
No. 11
color lithograph on paper

"In 1949 the Surrealists met in Paris to establish a plan of international collaboration. The artists from Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam were bitterly disappointed in what they viewed as Surrealism's suffocating intellectualism, and they penned their own manifesto. Calling themselves CoBrA (an acronym for their cities of origin) they sought to combat sterile and dogmatic theories through childlike spontaneity and instinctive imagery."

CoBrA only lasted for three years, yet the three artists in this exhibition continued a lifelong commitment to its goals. There are 12 prints from each of the 3 artists in this exhibition, and each of the 36 prints in this exhibition is a stunning example of unfettered creativity --- bold strokes, bright colors, abstract whimsy.

An excerpt from the CoBrA Manifesto reads "The more perfectly defined the form, the less active the onlooker." I was so moved by this quote. In one sentence it sums up exactly what I try to achieve in my artwork and why. This exhibition was the highlight of the day for me!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Joslyn Art Museum

Saturday I spent the morning wandering through the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. There were several special exhibits that I wanted to see, and Saturday seemed like a good day for a break from the studio. The photos above are Moravian floor tiles that are incorporated in the floor and fountains of the Storz Fountain Court in the museum. The symbols for literature, music, architecture and painting are in several of the floor tiles as shown in the top photo.

The main exhibit was "DIEGO RIVERA: Masterworks from the Museo de Arte del Estado de Veracruz". From the Joslyn publicity ---

"Drawn from the collection of the Museum of Art of the State of Veracruz in Orizaba, Mexico, the 36 works in this exhibition survey the entire career of Diego Rivera, including his earliest work in Mexico, where he was nurtured in the classical tradition as a student of the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. In the first two decades of the 1900s. Rivera was part of the international avant-garde movement that gathered in Paris. There, his paintings took on the influence of Impressionism, and later, when he was a colleague ofPicasso, Cubism. The exhibition culminates with examples of Rivera's monumental paintings of Mexican rural subjects for which he is best known. This exhibition, shown only at Joslyn, is the first time that this collection of Rivera works has traveled as a group outside of Mexico."

I enjoyed this exhibition, and I felt it was important as an artist to see an exhibition of this caliber, plus it was historical in that it is the first time that the collection has been displayed outside of Mexico. For me, the most interesting aspect of the exhibition was to see his progression of style, and especially the influences of his surroundings on his art. There was a docent tour in the gallery while I was there, and that added to my understanding of his art.

I also really enjoyed the CoBrA exhibit, which I will blog about tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gelatin Plate Printing

These are some of the pieces created in a recent afternoon gelatin plate printing session. They are all 5"x7", printed on watercolor paper. I will be cutting and tearing them up to use in future collages. Some of the patterning was created with corrugated cardboard, and some of it was created with plastic needlepoint canvas. The white spaces are from the gelatin plate starting to disintegrate --- which is the part I love in this process.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Working It Out

Sometimes design answers come unexpectedly, and when that happens, it is an unbelievable feeling. I spent a week in Asilomar & Monterey last March, and it was an amazingly relaxing and inspirational vacation. Ever since I returned home, I knew I wanted to create a series of artwork about this area of California. Since March I have struggled to come up with a design idea that would capture all of this in a way that was meaningful to me and did justice to the experience. Yesterday, as I created the page above in one of my sketchbooks, it suddenly came to me exactly how I wanted to create this series of collages, and I am excited to get started on them. They are going to be collages in a "postcard" format --- incorporating writings from my journal, photographs of the scenery, sketches, and topped off with a postage stamp. Problem solved thanks to a warm-up collage in a sketchbook!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Recycling At Its Best

Zeke is so little, and his fur is so thin and fine, that we worry about him staying warm in the winter --- especially this winter when we are trying to keep our thermostat even lower. So when Mom recently decided to retire the comforter from her bed, she asked if I wanted it to make Zeke some blankets. As you can see, Zeke loves burying himself in it --- and we all feel much better about him staying warm while he sleeps.

P.S. Tomorrow Zeke officially turns 16 months old, and he weighs a whopping 9 pounds now.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hint of Winter

Hint of Winter
6.75" x 5.5"

Almost overnight it feels like we have gone from Autumn to the bitter cold winds and temperatures of Winter. Most of the trees have dropped their leaves now, and in the studio I sense my color palette shifting in response to the barren landscape. This is the last of the "Autumn Traces" collages. Click here to see the entire series.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

More Maple Leaf Collages

Every time I think I am done with this series, I find more great leaves. Another neighbor's tree just started dropping its crimson leaves, so here are two more collages made with maple leaves. Each one of these is 6.75"h x 4.25"w and will be mounted on 10" x 8" Bristol board. This makes 8 collages in the series so far, and I am still loving them.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Collection of L. Jenison

Monday, November 03, 2008

Urban Blossom

Urban Blossom
8" x 6"
mounted on 12" x 9" watercolor paper

I finished this collage yesterday, and it was inspired by the contrast between man and nature. The upper left corner is a dark, urban landscape, whereas the brilliant magenta is the center of a flower blossom. It is telling that the urban section is dark and barely visible, yet the nature section is brightly colored and takes center stage.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Blowing in the Wind

Along with all the gorgeous Autumn colors on the trees, we also have this fluffy white stuff blowing in the wind. No, not snow --- not yet anyway. But the milkweed pods seem to have burst overnight, sending their seeds off on the wind currents.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Blazes of Color

This year the Autumn leaves have been extraordinarily colorful --- blazes of crimson in the maples and gorgeous golds and oranges in the oaks. It's no wonder I have been inspired to make collages with them, hoping to preserve their beauty.