Saturday, January 30, 2010

prep work

halle is sick, so much of last night was spent waking up out of a dead sleep and letting her outside, then waiting til she could come back in. not very restful. she didn't want to eat much today (until i tried tracy's roast chicken in with the brown rice trick), but she seems to be feeling ok otherwise, so we'll wait & see. but i was not terribly energetic this morning.

echo & i went to meet zella so i could get some photos of her pooches, clapton & joplin (one of the many reasons we get along so well!) who i have been needing to paint for over a year. darling, aren't they?

i love the flying ears!
so now i have enough shots of them to put together a painting. i haven't used my alkyds in probably 2 years, so this will be interesting! never mind the fact that i have also never not painted something from a photo- ie, haven't made something up, which i'll probably be doing here by using a few different photos. the prospect isn't too scary, probably because of all of the mixed media collage work i've done for the past few years.

here are some examples of the last alkyd paintings i did. z loves the first one, and that's why she wanted me to paint her pups in exchange for making some frames for me.

besides that, i out out a call to artists for the gypsy gallery march show, which will be in the same venue as the december one was- it's a great spot, so that's exciting. i also put our call to artists on the gypsy gallery facebook page, posted some painting from years past on the we art women facebook page, got my pieces to rotate in ready to go to the art source tomorrow morning at 9 (here's hoping halle's tummy settles down & i get some rest tomight) and printed labels. sent out an email to some friends about an exquisite corpse party in feb- where we each bring a starting point & everyone works one everyone else's piece of art throughout the day.

also got a bit of snoozing on the couch with the dog done, and read a bit. so i don't feel too guilty about not actually creating anything. maybe tomorrow! but now, back to the couch.....

Friday, January 29, 2010

happy blogiversary!

happy blogiversary to janice at postcards from wildwood . i'm not quite sure how janice and i crossed paths, but i am glad we did. i always enjoy reading her blog and checking out her photography. janice is funny and informative and thought provoking so please go visit, sign up for her handmade card give away & then vote for her blog in the Dorset Cereals Little Blog Award.

i read janice's post this morning and thought hmmmm. i started blogging in january. wonder what day? and so i went back and found my first blog post. over 2 years ago. january 18, 2008. it's not surprising that i missed this milestone, considering that my husband and i can't remember what day our anniversary is. (at least it's both of us, so we just get close & call it good).

the blog has achieved my original goal of focusing me on my art, even if some days it's just on the small things. i have been much more productive that i would have been otherwise. it has also, along with some yahoo groups, introduced me to wonderful people who have taught, encouraged, challenged and enlightened me. not to mention making me laugh (most importantly of all).

other blogs to check out (if you haven't) are  the altered page , diane's mixed art , judy wood art/photography , brokn heart art , creative every day , el milagro studio , every little thing , vikki's blog, live and learn and every other blog on my blog roll. they're all there because i find something fun, useful or interesting- the listed are just the folks that i have the most interaction with. thanks so much to each and every one of you for your generosity.

i got a small bit of art done tonight. i think that this is now finished. the shells were hanging by chain, but i wasn't happy with the look. i like this much better- the organic feel of the hemp works better and the addition of the glass beads not only adds color it also ties back into sand. called oceana. i will probably never be able to get a good photo of it, but i'll try!

i love using old patterns in my mixed media. the tissue dries so nicely transparent with wrinkles to catch glazes & the arrows add a fun element. i see that i need something strong horizontally now to balance the strong vertical. one of the unanticipated benefits of blogging works in progress is the distance gained. it's a lot easier to see opportunities to improve things on a computer screen than on a canvas that you've been laboring over for the past few hours.
it's also quite fun to go back & see the progression of various pieces and especially helpful to see that "OMG this is hideous and i will NEVER be able to make it attractive" point that nearly every piece of art goes through did, indeed, pass (usually).

this weekend: dog walk, meet zella to photograph her dogs & finally do the painting that i owe her (i hope i remember how to paint!) and then art time saturday afternoon. sunday is hanging day at the gallery (sounds lovely, doesn't it?). the art source is a co-op, so members work at the gallery in addition to paying monthly dues & a small commision (20%) on sales.

one work option is the hanging committee, which rotates the art monthly in preparation for downtown's first thursday art walk. each artist rotates 1/3 of their work every month, and things are moved about to give the gallery a fresh look. so sunday from 9-2 we'll be swapping out & moving art around.

have a great weekend! and thanks for stopping by- hard to believe i'm into year 2!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

skywatch friday

here's how boise looked this week. there were lots of gray icky rainy no opportunity for any sort of decent sky shot days this week....and if it's that way again next week maybe i'll look for interesting photo opps anyway instead of contemplating sleeping until april.

to see skies around the world (it's summer in australia!) visit skywatch friday

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


hub went skiing this evening, and i went into art mode. first, i finally made & uploaded a business card- and hopefully it's the right format & turns out ok! the background is a bleached photo and i like the whole surrealistic look and the colors. we'll see how the cards look. shipping cost damn near as much as 250 cards!

then i tried to make space on my art table to work. sigh. why put things away when you're just going to need them again..... some day....?

i managed to scrape out a space, put on some music- the dead weather , (which i like better every time i listen to it and the louder i play it- jack white & alison mosshart of the kills), the raconteurs (more jack white), them crooked vultures ( dave grohl, jimmy page & josh homme) and started playing with this. i've been rereading ann baldwin's creative paint workshop for mixed media artists and she does lots with letters and layering. out came the stencils.

i was a little worried about putting all of these elements on the same layer, but i can deal with that later if i need too- i can always cover stuff up. (and yes, the cool honey altoids are really good!)

got the stamps out again too. i love this face. it's stamped on some rice paper. the hands are directly on the surface. i'd had problems with ink running and someone in one of my yahoo groups suggested stayz on ink.

it worked great. here's where the evening ended up, with a coat of gloss gel medium over everything. the rice paper melted right in, and the ink didn't run. next thing will be a few glazes. i will try to be brave and try something other than my fave quincadrone nickel azo gold :) stay tuned!

and now off to bed with the year of the flood. i love reading margaret atwood, and this is a good one! stay tuned tomorrow for skywatch friday.

The Dead Weather - Hang You From the Heavens

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

playing around

our friend kristy was selected for the city's artist in residence program. the city provides studio space for artists for 3 months and the artists are present for first thursdays to promote both downtown and the arts. it's a great program. one of the perks is that the studio space can be used however the artist sees fit. so we did our tuesday evening painting with kristy tonight.

i couldn't haul my usual "and the kitchen sink" pile o' stuff, so i thought i'd be brave & bring all of this stuff i never use- watercolor, pastels, like that.

the first attempt was so incredubly hideous that i couldn't even see playing with it any longer. i reverted to a goddess form more similar to the doodles i've been doing, and used some markers along with the watercolors. better.

i want to do some sort of cool watery fishy floaty background, but we'll see..... luckily this is all experimental, so i can tear things up if they really scare me.

pam & nancy made good progress on atcs.

it was really nice to be back in the studio playing around with friends again, and it was OK that i didn't accomplish much. sometimes it's all about just giving it a shot....

Monday, January 25, 2010

the solitary business of art

art is a pretty solitary pursuit. time spent in the studio, or online doing research or learning, doing marketing. i have been very lucky in my art endeavors to have found a great support group. first it was class every tuesday evening, then gypsy gallery. involvement with the wca benefit has created some great friendships and this blog has helped me meet wonderful people from all over the world who offer suggestions, help, ideas and encouragement.

i am not a big joiner, not a group sports person. i am a good organizer & leader, but i have very little patience for babysitting or neediness. number one gypsy rule is be responsible & self reliant. i have come to understand that it is good to take the time to just socialize too, to relax & enjoy each other's company. we do all have art in common after all.

i attended an artist's social hour this evening. there's a group in town organizing to help artists make connections, find places to show, support each other. it's very cool. i have been unable to attend any meetings until this evening and it was great to see a good turn out. young and old, photographers, painters, textile artists- good mix too.

i usually don't bother with my last name when i introduce myself, but i wasn't getting away with that here. and i was surprised that people knew who i was. i also saw a lot of people i know, many of whom i haven't seen for a while and was glad to visit with.

it's nice to be part of an artist community. it's flattering to have my name recognized. it's a good reminder that although a lot of the making of art is solitary its purpose is to go out into the world & be seen, to make connections.

studio time tomorrow night with kristy, pam & nancy. looking very forward to that, it's been a long time since we've been together. and making plans for february to do an art day & an exquisite corpse exercise.

for tonight, very thankful that i've been as lucky as i am in my friendships.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

catch up

haven't posted much, or done much art- spent the weekend catching up- with friends friday night, then started this piece which had to be done by saturday afternoon....

here it is on saturday- i finally got smart and decided to roll the paint onto bubble wrap instead of applying with a brush- works much better!

here the pieces are hanging in the window - not a great shot, but it's what i have......the one above is on the far right.

after that, watched movies (the hangover- funny- and the international- good suspense); walked dogs this am, made jambalaya, watched football- weekend went fast, but it was fun!

go saints!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

skywatch friday

a selection of skies over boise, idaho

visit the skywatch friday blog to see skies from around the world

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


remember those shells in the lower left corner that i was trying to figure out how to attach? got some good ideas at the gypsy meeting last night, but i still wasn't quite there, so i took it in to boise blue and got a fabulous suggestion-

molding paste! it will fill the shells, give them some support and it's light. i should be able to glue them down once this dries. brilliant! love my local art supply store.

i also picked up some silver paper to back the plexi heart. i need something with a decent finish on the back since these will be hanging in the windows facing out. the silver is understated, but gives the piece a nice glow.

you can kind of tell in the upper right hand corner in this pic. and look at that beautiful frame! recycling the christmas windows- i love it!

here's another one. i've been looking at this canvas for a while thinking it was done but it needed something. and the frame seems to do the trick.

two down, one to go. this is another 8x10. i decided to make a print and start the plexi at the same time. this is the plexi after the print was pulled

and here is the print. i went back in the plate b/c the paint closed up some of the lines. the print & plate will have the same orientation when finished b/c the above is the back of the plexi piece. it may just get silver or rice paper and be done, we'll see.....

all for now. off to bed. trails were dry enough for the dogs & i to have a good walk today- yay! husband is feeling a little bit better- and i am spraying lysol on everything cuz i do not want the crud he has! so, another shot of emergen-c and off to bed!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the business of art

had 2 art business meetings the last 2 nights, and a meeting for the benefit for the women's & children's alliance at noon. i'm not a meeting person. if i could do everything by email i would be sooo happy. but at the end of the day, there is no substitue for getting together and brainstorming, bouncing ideas off of each other, saying "why don't we?" (or "why DO we?").

it's easy to keep doing things the same way if they work for the most part, especially when there's lots of other stuff (more fun stuff, like creating or more pressing stuff, like paying the bills) to think about. but taking the time to look at things and rethink is necessary and often fun once the process is started.

i'm lucky to have a great group of artists in gypsy gallery. we're all busy, no one needs hand holding or lots of direction. most years the only time we all get together is at shows. they're also not afraid to speak up & put ideas out there, and it's ok for me to say "great- who's going to do it?" we came up with some good ideas tonight, and it was driven by the group because they see a way we can be better and are willing to work together to make that happen. and i am finally smart enough not to offer to take it all on. not that zella would let me! (for which i am eternally grateful).

the art source meeting was an entirely different dynamic- it's a bigger group (over 40 artists) and it's a business, so there are different issues to be addressed. i can imagine that trying to reach consensus with that group is really interesting. i think that the best plan is to keep my mouth shut unless it's something that really matters to me. or i'll be on the board :)

the group working on the benefit is a great one- the whole process is much easier than one would think it would be, mainly b/c zella has things so well lined out. she keeps trying to hand the chair off to me (i am co-chair), but it scares me. we are good partners, and have a good committee.

the point of my rambling is that though most of us would rather spend more time on the fun stuff, the base needs to be laid for that to be successful. time spent on a marketing plan or website or in meetings shouldn't be viewed as a necessary evil, it's an integral part of the process. i need to remember that. time off is too.

as for the photo- halle loved her agility classes, even though she got balky & stubborn sometimes and echo loves his obedience classes too (ditto on the stubborn part). knowing what's expected and accomplishing it can be really rewarding.

back to the creative part tomorrow!

Monday, January 18, 2010


here's the decent photo of this piece. the more i look at it the more i like it. took this photo outside, and it isn't quite this glowy inside, but it's still nice (it took me YEARS to think it was OK to say that out loud about one of my pieces!). in case you're wondering, 16x12 on masonite. now i need a title. something to do with dreams.

i have actually decided that this is probably done after living with/looking at it for a while. need to figure how to shoot these so i don't get a shadow or the image of my face & the camera but i do get the color on the back of the plexi...... or maybe not :)

and played with the right backing for this. i think the silver paper could be good, just need to figure out the right way to do the bottom....and finish 2 more.

meeting was quick & fairly painless. hard to get 42 artists to agree on anything! but good leadership always helps (knowing how/when to rein in a discussion). 2 meetings tomorrow in between work- planning for we art women and tomorrow evening a gypsy gallery meeting. something i have avoided since our inception but a good idea with this group, because we can make things bigger and better.

and now, bedtime....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

what a luxury!

another whole day for r&r and play.....and i let myself do just that! i did get the new scanner set up. bought an epson b/c hp pissed me off by not having a windows 7 driver for either scanner i owned. one thing i am not crazy abt with the epson is that i have to restart the program with each scan. hp would ask if i had aonther scan to do. otherwise, so far so good.

i ordered some caran d'ache neocolors. they keep showing up here & there in books, articles & blogs, so i thought i'd give them a try. grown up crayons! woo hoo! goddess' body is markers (can you tell i did this during the saints game & who i was pulling for?) and the background is c d'a blended with turpenoid. i see possibilities.....

and a heart, b/c i still need to figure out valentine's window pieces for the gallery. again, marker & c d'a.

worked a bit more on this. i pretty much hated the bottom, so i added paper (natural dryer sheets... too bad the hub hates them, b/c the used ones are great for collage).

i'm liking this idea, but not sure how to attach the shells (because of course they're fragments & there is nothing but a little bit of edge to glue. tho as i read this i am thinking that i could maybe glue styrofoam inside & then glue that to the piece. it would strengthen the shells too.

i did attach the shells & chain. here's how it looks now. i am going to revisit the other shells- stay tuned!

art source meeting tomorrow night. my first as a member. i do know lots of the other members, which is nice. just have to try to keep my big mouth shut & my bright ideas to myself. always hard for me! so i may not have much new tomorrow, but it sure is good to be back in the land of the blog!