Monday, May 30, 2011

A full life

I missed you all last week! I had some unavoidable health issues, and then we had the terrific pleasure of driving out to pick up my son from school - all of which prevented me from updating here like I had wanted to.

My son is a ballet dancer who attends UNCSA for their high school dance program, and he just completed his freshman year. We are incredibly proud of him, and he has LOVED his time there so far.

Its so nice to have him back home, as brief as it is. In a couple of weeks, we have to drive him down to Miami for his 5 week intensive with the Miami City Ballet. A dancers life is a full one, and we don't get to seem him much anymore.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Postcard Friday

My son goes to school out of state, and I send him these postcards every week. Its really my way of sharing pieces of who I am with him.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Praise of Morning is in the shop

Praise of Morning
9 x 12
Acrylic on canvas sheet

This painting is a one of a series of hand studies.

This contemplative piece appreciates those moments when you take pause and enjoy the quiet. This lovely painting is loaded with texture and depth.

Available in my shop for $30

-->Click here to buy<--

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Link of the Day - Jonathan Harris : Today

I've always enjoyed the photos from folks who participated in Project 365 and DITL. There is something really intimate and telling in such pictures and I always feel that I know the individual better than I otherwise would have.

Jonathan Harris takes his project to another level in this short film. He narrates as all of his gorgeous and otherworldly images pulse from one to the next. We get to hear his feelings on the work, the process and how it evolves into its own philosophy. Its moving and all together wonderful.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Swap goodness

I've been having such a good time swapping mail art with Jessica Gowling! Last time we traded one of my postcards for her wonderful first zine. This time, I received her envelope full of original art and delightful ephemera!

In turn, I sent her a mini print, an original drawing, and some paper goodness of my own.

There really is something magical about getting a little bit of art magic in the mailbox. Anyone else want to swap? :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Studio time

I wanted to share with you how I organize my paint tubes. I got cheap little crates from the dollar store and turned them on their side so that all my tubes would face out. Because they are tubes, they taper, and I haven't found them to work so well standing up.

I also painted the tops so I could easily see which color to grab as I'm painting, which is awesome in more ways than I can describe. Being such a visual person, it really helps to be able to see what I want as I'm mixing colors without really having to think about it.

How do you organize your colors?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Postcard Friday

My son goes to school out of state, and I send him these postcards every week. Its really my way of sharing pieces of who I am with him.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Heron Blues is in the shop

Heron Blues
4 x 4 inches
Acrylic on canvas panel

This little painting glows with layers of brilliant colors and strong silhouettes!

This is from a stamp series that uses hand carved block stamps and acrylic paint. Its a multi step process involving several layers of paint for an image with depth and exuberance.

Available in my shop for $20

-->Click here to buy<--

Link of the Day - Between the Folds

Origami is far more than paper cranes these days. With a thriving community that pulls the best of art and engineering together, the boundaries are getting pushed further and further in ways that are both beautiful and exciting.

The documentary is a little slow paced, but I recommend sticking with it because it really does deliver. Just seeing what can be done with a single fold is worth the price of admission.

To add to the story, there is a copyright dust-up between popular origami artist Robert Lang (seen in the documentary) and contemporary artist Sarah Morris. Morris took the folding patterns from dozens of origami creators and turned them into vibrant 2D paintings that have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lang and others are suing Morris for copyright violation.

Copyright in the artistic domain has always been a tricky issue. It will be interesting to see how the issues of derivative vs. transformative work shake out in front of a judge.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lost my stride

Have you ever been in a rhythm of life that works and supports you, only to lose it? That just happened to me! I had an art groove goin on, and I was able to keep pushing forward in spite of family obligations, mini meltdowns, and all those obstacles that life inevitably throws at us.

I had the most amazing weekend. I cleaned the house with my kids until it was sparkling and ran all the important errands on Saturday. Then on Mothers Day I went kayaking on three lakes for several hours.

We saw different kinds of heron, red-wing blackbirds, canada geese, humming birds, yellow finches and a big fat groundhog.

There was grand adventure when we found our own hidden pond through the brambles, off of a main lake. It took me back to my childhood and longing for my own Secret Garden.

It was all so beautiful, and like being pulled into another world - which has kindof been my problem. I can't seem to find my footing back in my daily reality.

Hopefully I can find my way back soon. In the meantime, I'll be daydreaming of being on the water with the sun at my back, the scent of spring flowers, and birdsong filling my ears.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Postcard Friday

Taking another postcard detour this week! I participated in a wonderful swap with nature loving artist Jessica Gowling, who sent me her first fantastic mini zine. In turn, I mailed her this postcard, which I hope she enjoyed. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shadow of my Former Self is in the shop

Shadow of my Former Self
7.5 x 5.5 inches
Collage on book board

This is a unique piece of art on an old book hardcover. It has fraying ends, like the raucous calls of an aging woman's memory.

Available in my shop for $20

-->Click here to buy<--

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Link of the Day - Emily Crabtree

This is a lovely little video about artist Emily Crabtree. She works with ink, paper and vellum to create pieces that are organic and secretive.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Artists Against AIDs success!

The lovely Jan - proud keeper of one of my birds, and local gallery owner

We went to the public opening of the Artists Against AIDs show to scope out where my paintings landed, and to see what our other talented area artists had submitted.

It's a huge event this year with 11,000 square feet of space used to house as much art as humanly possible. It certainly made for a rich visual experience.

As I spied my bird paintings, I caught some women talking about them and I went over to introduce myself. Turns out, she was buying this painting on the spot! How fun is that?!

Well I was so excited, and later conversation revealed that shes a local gallery owner who would like to have more of my little canvases in her space! What serendipity!

Its been an extremely exciting art week for me. I get to go in tomorrow to pick up any remaining art that didn't sell and a check for those that did. It feels a little like Christmas morning. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

All together now

I received this photo from my son last night. He has all of the postcards put up together on the cork board above his desk. Its so nice to see them as if they were one large art project. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Inspiration of the Month - Darla Jackson

I love to use animals in my work because I think they convey the entire range of human emotion. You can imagine then how awestruck I was when I first saw Darla Jackson's sculpture! Her work is so expressive and each subject has more than enough to share with the viewer. I am captivated and haunted by the beautiful vulnerability threaded through each piece. I hope someday to bring one of them home.

What are your main inspirations in art?

I am inspired by everything from movies, artists, music, etc to random stories I read on the internet, but three of my biggest inspirations have been Disney movies (all of them...seemingly so lighthearted but most are actually quite dark), Eminem lyrics (what can I say :), and my husband Justin, who is also a sculptor, who continues to push me (and my work) to the next level.

What is your art background? (education, experience, etc)

I graduated from Moore college of Art & Design in 2003 with a BFA in Sculpture. My first job out of college was as a scenic sculptor for Kitchen Sink Fabrications and this was essentially my dream job. I was paid to sculpt animals all day, including a maquette for a 14 ft high baby chicken that now lives in the State Museum of Harrisburg in a children's exhibit. From there I went on to teach figure and animal sculpture classes at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA and the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, PA (I still teach at Fleisher). I also have taught at Stockton College in Pomona, NJ and currently teach at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. I've been showing my work since leaving Moore in 2003 and show often in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, and as far away as Tremelo, Belgium.

What is your process for creating your work?

I always start by sketching...sometimes the image comes to me first and sometimes the idea comes to me first. If the image comes to me first, I just start making it and try to figure out the meaning along the way. If the idea comes first, I research what animals I might want to use to express the idea and look up any symbolism related to the idea (I'm a big fan of symbolism...). I start by sculpting the piece in clay first, then making a mold of it. I cast the final piece in either Gypsum Cement or Polyurethane Resin. Once the piece is cast and cleaned up, I patina it with a graphite finish. Any other elements are added at this time (i.e. party hats).

What is the single most important thing you want to communicate with your work?

The single most important thing for me to communicate with my work is some kind of connection with the viewer. Most of my work is meant to show human emotion and when a viewer identifies with the piece I feel that its successful.

What are your career goals?

My current goals are to continue making new bodies of work and finding new venues in which to show them. I'd like to branch out to the West coast and galleries in Europe. I'm also interested in doing larger installations...full houses/buildings, outdoors, etc. In addition to those goals, I love working with other artists and have some plans for future collectives and artists groups!

What one object has been the most instrumental in helping you achieve what you have so far?

Does my husband count? He has been amazing, helping me with molds, armatures, critiques, installation, deinstallation, you name it. I wouldn't have gotten nearly as much done without his help and support.

Tell me three random things about you.
  • I hate slugs.
  • I am irrationally terrified of zombies.
  • I used to be a power lifter and a tattoo apprentice.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Post full of goodies

Once again, the wonderful New End Studio has been more than gracious. She wrote up a terrific post about my giveaway, and shared all the goodies I sent along with it. :)

--> Click here to see more!<--

Friday, April 29, 2011

Postcard Friday

My son goes to school out of state, and I send him these postcards every week. Its really my way of sharing pieces of who I am with him.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Matchbox party

The lovely New End Studio won my matchbox giveaway!

If you were really hoping to bring a matchbox home with you, I have two more listed in my shop today.

Confetti Friends - a whimsical treasure with beads, findings, worry doll and a fantastic plastic fish - like a mini surprise party in a box. $20

Wish You Were Here - and exotic box with beads, wheat, wooden scoop and plaster art - little mysteries from far off lands. $20

---> Click here to buy them from my shop! <---

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Link of the day - In the Realms of the Unreal

Outsider art is a term often used to refer to primitive stylized work. Real outsider art is more rare than what is found in the marketplace these days. These are artists who create for motivations purely their own, without feedback or compensation from the greater art world.

Henry Darger is just such an artist. With a tragic childhood behind him, and a difficulty relating to people, he created his own world in order to confront his demons and live out his fantasies. When he passed, he left behind 15 large tomes (he liked to collage phone books) totaling 15,145 pages of his illustrated novel!

The documentary is a vivid summary of his life and his work. The filmmaker animates Darger's wonderful characters to make his novel come alive in a way that Henry's real life never could be. Its a poignant and sad story that is beautifully handled and I marvel at the strength of Henry's spirit as he tried to rework his bleak existence.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

MFA show 2011

hanging work by Motoko Furuhashi

We went to see the grad show at our local university art museum a short while ago. It's exciting to see the new trends in art and design and how area artists are tackling the challenges of today's topics.

work by Kerianne Quick

It was a well attended opening, with a wide variety of media that confronted, engaged, and challenged the viewer.

work by Katie Latona

work by Anna Gutsch

One of the most exciting aspects of the evening for me was watching my daughter be inspired and excited about the work she was witnessing. She looks forward to being an artist herself, and its beautiful to watch her discover just how limitless the possibilities are for her.

work by Hanako O'Leary

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back to Dreams

Now that my pile of deadlines are behind me, I can devote myself to finishing Dreams of Flight! I'm looking forward to the next project already and I'm eager to start, but I've promised myself to complete this one first.

I'm also going to work on a new stack of postcards and will be making my first tutorial to share with all of you. So many things to look forward to - I love it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Postcard Friday

My son goes to school out of state, and I send him these postcards every week. Its really my way of sharing pieces of who I am with him.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Art for 99 cents!

Emerald Dragon
11.5" long x 4.5" wide x 5" tall
Polymer clay with acrylic paint

This creature of legend shimmers with metallic jewel tones, like the treasure he undoubtedly guards. Bring him into your home to watch over your bounty.

He is handmade using a wire armature, covered with foil, and then molded with polymer clay. I added texture, several layers of paint, and then a final varnish so that it gleams. Its lightweight, weighing 6.5 ounces - but is baked hard and sits stably on a flat surface.

Buy it here on Ebay - starting at 99 cents!

I'm participating in Nibblefest again! Every month, on the 20th, all the participants list their work - according to the chosen theme. (this month was Dragon)

If you ever wanted something from me, for a song, this is your chance!

This is my first time working with polymer clay, and I'm really rather pleased with the results. I know there is room for refinement, but as a first stab at it - I think he came out splendidly. I am mulling over using clay to start making art dolls again.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Link of the day - Scott Avett and relief printmaking

The Avett Brothers are one of my favorite bands. We classify them as "punk-grass" for their frenetic energy in concert and their bluegrass leanings.

In addition to being a remarkable musical artist, Scott Avett has a BFA from East Carolina University. His drawings, paintings and relief prints are all wonderful. (although not easy to find, now that he's taken down his art website)

This video shares a behind the scenes look at some of his print making, as he creates the 2011 tour poster for the band. Its impressive in its detail and its size - definitely worth watching.

Amazon is selling their album Emotionalism for a limited time at $3.99!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dropped off my paintings

I bundled up all my paintings and prints, with paperwork in hand, and dropped them off at Artists Against AIDs' new location. I was directed to a table with a volunteer, and she went through my inventory and matched them up with the items on my forms. It was really streamlined, and I was in and out in a handful of minutes. Gotta love a well organized process!

Then a separate volunteer arrived and whisked the artwork off to be sorted into batches, and hung later. You can see the art stacked up on the walls behind the table there. They get thousands of submissions, and rotate work in as stuff sells. Its an amazingly well oiled machine and means that you can go to the show multiple times and see completely different work!

I put up individual photos of my bird paintings on my Flickr account, if you want to see them in more detail.

Now I'll be working my tail off to get this month's Nibblefest entry done in time! After that, I can breathe a little more freely once again. I look forward to being able to work on my larger Dreams painting. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Done in time!

I finally finished all of the birds, and just in the nick of time too. All of them used the painters tape technique, and I really like the results. I will drop these off, along with some prints and older paintings, later this afternoon. I'll be sure to take pics and share that process with you too.

50% of all the proceeds go to AIDs education and support of AIDs victims. Fingers crossed!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Postcard Friday

My son goes to school out of state, and I send him these postcards every week. Its really my way of sharing pieces of who I am with him.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Heat and Dissonance print is available in the shop

This reproduction of my original mixed media work is now available! Its a striking piece with bold lines, color and a lot of movement. Perfect for an area needing some personality.

Click here to buy one from my shop!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Link of the day - We Live in Public

My husband is an IT guy and my eldest son is a hardcore math/anime/video game kid. I have a love for science fiction and more - so its not a stretch to say that the geek dynamic runs pretty strong in our household. I have found so much overlap with art and geek culture, and its really special to find both highlighted in this film.

Josh Harris was an early millionaire that took his payout and turned his focus to blending art culture and internet broadcasting. The movie starts out normally enough, but as Harris's obsessions grow, his goals and the movie begin to take a dizzying turn.

Harris's love for art turns him into a creator, using the public as his canvas when he sets up a closed community in NYC - where absolutely *nothing* is private. When that project ends, he turns the tables and broadcasts his own private life into a public spectacle. Both are fascinating experiments that exemplify the relationship between art and the viewer, and how each role impacts the other.

I love love love this documentary and like all converts, think everyone should watch it. There is just so much to glean from this movie! It's not hard to find - you can watch We Live in Public on Netflix streaming, or Hulu has the whole film available now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Boneyard Arts Festival

Andrea Jennings & Evelyne Tardy

April really seems to be Art Month in my neck of the woods with event after event. It really serves to fill up my creative reserves for the whole year. This weekend it was the Boneyard Arts Festival when our local businesses team up with area artists and a grand art crawl, of sorts, ensues.

Beth Darlingon the left - entrance to several artist studios on right

We wove in and out of cafes, boutiques, and various retailers looking at the art that graced their walls. We heard didgeridoos in concert & saw break dancers performing.

The real treat came when we stumbled upon the artist studios. I just love seeing how creative people set up their spaces. The nooks and crannies full of things that inspire them and the tools of their trade. One of the studios, seen above, had an entire corner devoted to the lushest plants Ive seen outside of a garden store!

I love my little studio in my bedroom. It certainly is convenient, and I can paint in my pjs if I want to. That said, I miss the instant community found with having studio space surrounded by other artists.

Kris Cain

We got the chance to speak with a couple of artists in their studios. Kris was new to her space and so welcoming. I find her work exciting, vibrant and interesting. She doesn't have a website set up yet, but I hope she does soon because I'm dying to see the rest of her work.

Judy K. Dethmers

We met briefly with Judy who was in high demand with the other art crawlers. Her work defies expectations with a level of precision and grace. Would you believe those portraits behind her are done in colored pencil? Truly amazing!

We had a grand time at Boneyard and look forward to the next one, to see what everyone is up to in a years time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Artists Against AIDs - WIP

Just wanted to share where these little bird paintings are headed. I was inspired by Stanka Kordic's negative space leaves, and decided to experiment with them using painters tape.

The leaves on the left painting have been finished, and the leaves on the right are in process. The yellow is where the tape is pulled off. The upright painting is still getting tape cut and put in place. I'm still working on the birds themselves. :)

I am just loving where this is going, and anticipate using this technique in the future and with larger paintings!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Still time to enter my giveaway!

There is still time, and a REALLY good chance for you to enter and win this really fun little matchbox! :) Its such a tiny mystery, and one of those treasures that you keep just for yourself.

Just click the link below to enter:

---> Click here to be taken to Giveaway Blogdom to enter and WIN <----
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