Monday, April 24, 2006

Productive Weekend

Wow, did I have a productive weekend -- I finished 3 collages and got a good start on a couple more. I don't think I've ever finished this much in so little time. I'm not going to post them here until I decide whether I'm going to enter them into an online "show" with ArtChix studio (if I do, they don't want them posted elsewhere). If I don't post them with the ArtChix show, I will be taking them to a recovery event that features artists, musicians, and writers.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Butterfly Man

Stayed home today with a cold, and after I slept a whole bunch got up and finished putting Butterfly Man together.

I was going to say that it was a really tough piece to put together, that I must've laid down and ripped up the background about three or four times, but I do that with every piece. I am really happy with how the background turned out -- the weathered and aged look -- lots of layers of paint and gel medium and spray matte medium. I got the text from an old instruction book on learning to type (1938) -- it has writing exercises with a heavy business work-ethic theme, which I think are cool. In this case it fit perfectly.

This didn't come together for me at *all* until I put the wings on him. I must've been inspired by the new issue of "Somerset Studio". Anyway, the wings came from the cover of a vintage book on butterflies. Anyway, I've never really worked much with images of men before, so this was new for me - working with a more masculine theme. David thought I should put a tutu on him for dramatic effect but I said "no". The image is from a collage sheet from

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mary Collage

Here is the "Mary" referenced in the previous post in her full regalia. The biggest challenge of this piece was finding the right background. There must be four layers of "background" work on this canvas. I ended up with a bold and busy background, but at first Mary kind of disappeared into it. So I added black backing so there'd be a solid margin around her, but her wings still disappeared into the background. Since I had already glued Mary to the black backing, I needed to find a way to make that work. First, I transferred buff and then red paint onto the layered background, trying to unify it. That helped, but the wings were still an issue. So I found a red paper heart doily, and tried to work that in. It didn't really work for me until I turned it upside down.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What a Face

I absolutely could not resist this photograph. Picked it up at an antique/junque shop on Sunday, and got her all dolled up last night.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

More Saturday Art

Saturday mid-afternoon: just put together another collage. This one seemed to come together in a hurry, but it had really been simmering all week. I should be cleaning, but I haven't even gotten dressed yet. Many Saturdays are like this, I wake up, make coffee, sit down in the studio and not get up until it's time for church at 5:30.

The Blue Graces

Have been working on a collage for the past several days, and notice that destroying what I do is an important part of the creative process. It isn't the way it sounds -- it's more a process of discovery than it is of destruction, although I do get to a point where I want to pitch what I'm working on into the litterbox.

Here's the first version of the collage I'm talking about (this happens with most every piece). I was happy with the focal point (the three graces on the tag w/ the lace and raffia), and I liked the other elements, especially the eyes with the veil, bu† the whole didn't work for me. I was ready to let it be the way it was, and scanned it for posting on my gallery.

I went back to my studio with it, planning to put it on the "done" (abandoned) pile, when I decided that, although they looked cool, the eyes had to go. Then, re-working the background around the tag seemed impractical, so I lifted that off too. Then the blue button background came off, and so on. Pretty soon I was back at a blank, albeit very coolly distressed, background. Did the paint transfer technique I used in the Angel piece from last week, and went to bed.

Picked it up again this morning, and started doing the Lynn Perrella "tying stuff around other stuff with string" thing, and ended up with this. Much better, I think, even though there is a lot of Perrella derivation in it. I don't go to art school, so I learn by imitating the artists I love. : )

Back to work, I have a 4 x 4" canvas with a similar background that I want to get started on. I'm supposed to be cleaning mwuuahahahahaha.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Still on a White Kick

The last couple of weeks I've been taking a break from my desk and going to a coffee shop to read/work on poems for one hour during the day. It is helping me stay sane and somewhat connected to what I'm about while I navigate these uncertain times. I run into a couple of people that I like seeing, but don't usually converse. It's obvious that we're taking a break from our desks to have our head to ourself for a few minutes.

The coffee shop employees start making my double-shot medium coffee as soon as I walk in the door.

On the art front I am pushing myself to produce -- and am working on a couple of canvases vs. canvas paper. I'm still on a white kick, that colorful background technique side trip didn't start me off in another direction. Not yet anyway.

May be picking up some freelance work this week, which would be fun -- it's been a while.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Stormy Weather

The image is of the new background technique I tried based on an article in "Cloth Paper Scissors" yesterday, and I guess it's OK. I'm not really into the "put wings on anything and make an angel" genre of craft/collage, so I'm not too excited about it. Although it's not bad.

Am making more collage business cards and doing laundry today. Am going to start going through paper and shredding stuff in the dining room in a bit.

Stormy day -- it's 2 pm and looks like twilight. It's about the right kind of day for staying in PJs until 5 pm.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

No Fooling

Am doing some spring cleaning today, boy am I a mess. The dining room has become the "catch-all" for "stuff I don't know what to do with". I don't think HGTV would touch it with a ten foot professional organizer.

While I'm cleaning, I'm doing short breaks in the studio -- am playing with some textured background techniques that are outlined in the current issue of "Cloth Paper Scissors", and am having some fun. What to do with the backgrounds is another story.

New poem in the works, it's used a Linda Gregg poem as a jump-off point, so it's not completely "mine" yet. But it will be. I stole the title from the a painting I saw at a show at the Burkholder Project a couple of years ago.

Horizon Therapy

From the empty hill overlooking the prison,
something was stretching. Filling the horizon
and making it empty. The light pushed me to stillness
as I moved forward. Now,

I understand why I left the coast to come here. And know
the story of the ragged bird clutching branches in the wind,
using it to help him climb higher.

I understand going to the sandhills in August
and believe, as in seeing the ocean, in loving
the illusion of lasting forever.