Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jumble of Color

In an attempt to simplify/declutter my studio, I have been going through my fabric stash. I still had some commercial fabrics, which I rarely use anymore. A lot of them have already been given to friends and Project Linus, but there is still a drawer full of batiks that I couldn't bear to give away. So I am making a lap quilt with them. The scraps above are the off-cuts from some of the sewing & cutting. I loved the interplay of the colors and lines --- one of those wonders that magically happens when you just toss scraps in a pile, yet could never be duplicated by intentionally trying to recreate it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

February Calendar

February is done, and I like the reds mixed with the image of a winter tree. This is another project using the tree photo in prior posts. I printed the photo in grayscale and also in black & white. Then I tore a horizontal section from the black & white image and glued it on top of the grayscale image, lining up the branches.

For those of you following along and making your own calendars, I have uploaded all of the months to my website. This way you can download and print them whenever you want. I'll still continue to post each of my months here as a reminder for you. Click here for the download page.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Got Art?


I have some solid colored shirts that are boring, so I've been working on ways to spice them up. One of my ideas is to paint random marks in wild colors, and then screenprint a slogan as the final layer. Above is one of my preliminary designs.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Daily Collage


Another daily collage....
This one combines old pattern tissue with found papers, a striped computer printout and some "urban trash" photos, topped off with a final layer of text.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Trees & Lied Lodge


From the first time I stayed at the Lied Lodge I have been in love with the place. I love everything about the lodge and the land it sits on. Its founder, J. Sterling Morton, looked out over a grass plain and envisioned acres and acres of trees, and today his vision is a reality. The quotation above is carved into the massive stone fireplace in the lodge lobby. We enjoy starting each day at the lodge by sitting in front of this fireplace with our morning coffee. Pairing this quote with the tree photo from a prior post seemed perfect.

P.S. Thanks to everyone for all of the opinions I received about my dilemma. Over 300 of you wrote to tell me what you thought!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Opinions, Please

I am working on a new series of collages, mixing paper and cloth. The base layer is in the photographs above. My question is ... does the brown paper behind it all in the second version add or detract? I cannot decide if I like it in the composition, or if I am just in love with the texture it adds. Please email me or leave a comment with your opinion.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Anatomy of a Tree Screen

From this original photograph, taken yesterday at the lake

to this greyscale photograph, potentially useful for collages

to this black & white photograph, perfect for a thermofax screen.

Yes, I know there are perhaps better ways to accomplish this in Photoshop, but this is my "quickie" method of using my own photographs for thermofax screens.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crash or Crazy?


I love the bold, graphic element of the black and white lettering in this collage. Did it say "crash" or "crazy" or something else entirely different? Just a little bit of intrigue as the viewer is left to ponder the meaning of it. Now I am on the hunt for more large lettering samples like this to include in future collages.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

20 Days

20 days into the new year, and so far I have managed to make a collage every single day. Yesterday it was the only thing that I got done in the studio, but it is a great feeling to create something every day, no matter how small. The photo above is a scattering of the first 20 collages for the year.

Friday, January 16, 2009

First Layer

This morning started out with the realization that I am running out of the hand-painted papers that I use in my collages. Then FedEx delivered a box of paints from ProChem. So off to the paint studio I went. The photo above is the first layer of color on various papers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Morning Humor


I have collected postage stamps since I was in the 4th grade, so I definitely have alot of duplicates. For years the duplicates have been stored in a box on a shelf. Recently it dawned on me that these were perfect for inclusion in collages. Then I saw one of those insert cards in a magazine with the "No Postage Necessary If Mailed In The United States" message. It seemed like the perfect item to collage with a group of foreign postage stamps. The final layer is a screenprint of a note from a friend in French. I know, I know, very dry sense of humor!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Detail Shots

Von commented that he would like to see a detail of the piece in the last post. Since I don't know specifically what he wants to see, I've included 3 different detail photos in this post. All of these fabrics started out as white cloth, and I painted it with acrylic paints. The lettering in all of the photos has been screenprinted.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

On The Design Wall

Here is one of the textile pieces currently on my design wall. It is pieced with cotton cloth that I have painted. Now I am adding some raw edge painted pieces as a second layer. It's not done yet, but I do like the direction it is taking. As shown above, it is about 24" x 15".

Friday, January 09, 2009

More is More


My collage today is inspired by my friend and fellow artist, Frances Holliday Alford. Frances has been creating mail art collages for several years, and now she is posting one a day on her blog. She uses all sorts of postage stamps and trinkets and memorabilia to create her collages, and when they are finished, she uses the objects in the collage to "string together a story snippet". Her 3D collages are so fun to explore --- you see something new every time you look at them. She truly is the master of "more is more"!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Every Single Day


I'm always surprised when people comment about the amount of art that I get made and want to know what my secret is. I think that the mantra of a full-time artist should be "show up and do the work". If I go to the studio every day and create, I am bound to make a lot of art. On the days that I can't be in the studio, I have my sketchbook and camera with me, and I draw sketches or take photographs. All of this leads to a lot of work getting done. So today's collage gives you my at it every single day.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Working with Cloth

Lately I have been enjoying creating collages with paper and paint, and making cloth pieces held no inspiration for me. Eventually it dawned on me that the same thing that I loved about creating paper collages could be translated to cloth collages --- namely, working with my own photographs. So a new series is underway, incorporating digital prints on cloth, painted cloth, and surface design. They can't be revealed yet since they are for an upcoming juried exhibition, but there are 3 new pieces on my design wall that are approximately 30" wide each. The photo above is a detail shot from one of the new pieces. What do you think of my new look?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009



Today I am celebrating, because I have been offered a one month Artist in Residence at the Great Expectations Creativity Center. The center is located on 67 wooded acres in LaGrange, TX, and I am already making lists of possible supplies to take and new ideas to explore. Imagine having a whole month of uninterrupted time, with no responsibilities except to create art. My residency isn't until March 2010, but I am so psyched!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Daily Collage

4.5"h x 4"w

Last year I made a small collage (2.5" x 4.5") every morning in a little book. This was my warm-up exercise when I first entered the studio. This year I decided to expand this concept and make a little bit bigger collage each day using watercolor paper as a backing. I also changed from a horizontal to a vertical orientation.

The photo above is my daily collage from January 1st. I included the doorway on the left as a symbol of "choice", choosing to go through the door or to ignore it. I also added some notes on my focus for the coming year.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Calendar Project

One of the projects that I am doing in 2009 is a monthly calendar. I have designed a calendar layout that fits on a sheet of 8.5" x 11" cardstock, with space at the top of each month for journaling or collaging. Here is my January version.

If you are interested in creating the months along with me, I'll be glad to email you the calendar file each month. You will also need to download a free font called "A.C.M.E. Explosive" for your calendar printout to match mine. Otherwise your version will print in your default font. Email me if you need help or have questions.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


The start of a new year...
While I am the consummate list maker during the year, I have never felt comfortable making a list of New Year's resolutions or goals. Instead, I have chosen a single word to guide my decisions for the coming year:

1. Simplify my impact on the environment --- to appreciate nature and make a difference
2. Simplify my material possessions --- to reduce the physical and mental clutter
3. Simplify my use of my time --- to free more time to create and write and share

Thank you for your friendship and support and for sharing my journey through 2008. I wish you a creative, inspiring and artistic 2009!