Friday, March 27, 2009

Seducing the spring sun

This was a daunting week for me. The chaos of lots of company throwing me off my comfortable routine, a (thankfully!) brief bout with some little cold or allergy and our “test” system at work going unavailable which left me dead in the water for most of the projects I’m working. Then my friend Carol gave me her March 2009 issue of The Oprah Magazine with an article called “The Storyteller” book marked for me on page 153. OMG! I rarely read books anymore because I spend what little free time I have playing in my art room. Sandra Cisneros! Who knew! Her take on life and art rocked my world. She put her priorities and goals in order at a young age and, most importantly, gave her self the permission to be who she is. It is easy to say things like “follow your dream” and “be true to yourself” but I think it is the rare individual who finds life balance and manages to make a living, balance work and personal goals and still hang onto who they really are. I will read this story again and again. Thank you Sandra! BTW… be sure and visit her website at There is a link to an excerpt from the Oprah article on her homepage and her website is great fun. Be sure to check out the “Button Box”. I swooned! Ebaying buttons was the beginning of my Internet experience and I didn't have just a button box, I had a button TRUNK. I had a suitcase full that I could barely lift and those were just the ones I didn't care about and hauled in to the office so my co-workers could paw through them. This woman is a writer PLUS she likes buttons, old typewriters, occupied Japan porcelain and has the soul of a collage artist!
So about the picture in this post…
This view is right next to my driveway so I see it each morning and each evening as I pull in and out. The emerging bulbs give me hope that we will be released from the worst Winter I can remember in years. I think Sandra would say something like…. “The ripe, swollen daffodil lost patience for the warmth of Spring to reach down through the damp, dusky scented earth so it pushed upward, breaking free from it’s Winter prison, lifting it’s just-born face skyward, seducing the Spring sun to come closer”. Yes, I’m certain she would say something like that.
I might look at the old typewriters when I make my weekly pilgrimage to the Volunteers of America store.....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Watercolor inchies

I haven't posted in a while since I've had houseguests. My mother-in-law was here to visit, taking a break from caring for her invalid husband, and of course the kids and granddaughter were all over to see Grandma. It was a busy week and topped it off with getting a SECOND cold, dangit! I'm worried if I don't keep posting I will forget how so today you get a more recent piece that fit in the scanner.

These aren't REALLY inchies, mine are more like 1-1/2 inches! This was a fun experiment in hand-coloring some papers. I used Easter egg dye on the first ones I tried but the pallet was too limited so I broke down and bought some tube watercolors. I diluted them to a transparent, watery consistency and brushed them on, working lightest to darkest. The papers are torn from foreign language books. I love the contrast of the black stamping on the colored background.The metal grid was some sort of match holder or something like that; made to hang on the wall. I used sheet metal snips to cut it apart then flattened it by crushing it in a vise and then hammering. It seemed to me like just the right amount of blue paint chipped off! I did use a file to debur the edges.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's Old is New Again!

If you have read my profile you know I'm an avid "junker" - in fact it's just about my favorite thing to do. I found these postcards at an estate sale last month. The thing that really intrigued me about them is the postmarks on the back. The postmarks reveal they are all nearly 100 years old, and yet the art is so similar to the mixed media and "altered" art that is so popular today. Click on the image to get a larger view and you'll see what I mean. I speak to this because I sometimes feel frustrated that my ideas aren't new enough or fresh enough or look too much like what other people are making. None of us wants to copy someone else's art! I think it is nearly impossible, though, to not be influenced and inspired by what other people are making. Maybe it's really about making something someone else wants to "fill up their eyes" with. Maybe it's just about making something you want to fill up your own eyes with! Maybe what's old really does become new again!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Book of Love

Our March weather was simply, well, March today... with rain most of the day. In spite of two errands to do after work I was lucky enough to arrive home to a break in the rain and a relatively bright sky. Perfect! I followed the advice in the Feb/Mar/Apr issue of Artful Blogging to take pictures outdoor in natural light and my husband coached me on using the digital camera. This is one of the first pieces I made when I discovered this genre. It is made in a shallow cigar box so doesn't lend itself to the scanner. The red circle is an advertising CD covered with tissue paper. Based on what happened with the scanned picture, I think Google will "size" it for me. We will see how my first attempt at posting a photo works out!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

He was too good looking for his own good.

This is my first attempt at posting a picture. I made this piece in 2008. The picture is actually my Great Uncle Martin as a young boy. Even at this tender age you can already see he had that special something that set him apart. As an adult he was one of the best story tellers I have ever met and had sparkling blue eyes. When he told a story he could animate it with his expresions and gestures as if he was a player on a stage bringing the characters to life. I certainly don't have his capacity to "become the rabbit" but I like to think he played a part in my penchant for story telling. I will hope it will serve me well in my attempt at blogging!

At Last!

"At laaast...." (can you hear Etta James?)! In typical fashion I have started in the middle and now I'm backing up to the beginning. I have been published twice now in Somerset Studio with no blog in place to connect with the other artists out there, something I am so looking forward to. I recently received an email solicitation to submit to the new Green Craft magazine. I packed up a piece for entry then unpacked it when I finally found my much anticipated March/April edition of Somerset Studio. Jenny Doh's Letter from the Editor really resonated with me. Time to put my worries about the time it will take aside and just do it! I unpacked the Green Craft entry and committed to getting my blog started instead.
I will be posting some of my previous work (more back to beginning!) to fill in a little history and get some practice uploading the pictures. Random chatter to follow.......