Wednesday, August 31, 2011

breathing room

one more night in the studio, a bit more progress.

the one below is done- it's 6x6 cradled panel, the background is one of the Nat Geo citrasolve pages (click to read the post), the crane is an apollo transparency inkjet transfer using golden soft matte gel medium. i thought about painting in the rather large spot in the wing that didn't transfer, but i kind of like it this way and i got such good response on facebook that i know i'm not the only one.

this has been hanging around for a while- since july probably, 8x8 cradled panel. (i'm loving these cradled wood panel from blick- they are great for layering and about the same price as canvas). anyway- this is how it sat for weeks.

and here after last night and tonight. making progress. as always it helps me to see it up here, at a bit of a remove. more layers will be good, but it's shaping up.

i have a routine colonoscopy friday- oh joy! so i will probably be silent for a while- be drinking icky goo tomorrow night to clean things out and maybe too tired to do much friday night (but we'll see about that!) so happy labor day everyone-

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


all by my lonesome for studio night tonight and although i missed my friends it was ok because i was blocked, stuck, cranky and kind of stressed about not having something in the works that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time (because i am so sure that the nests are going to go- optimism is a good thing, as is being prepared, but this is kind of silly. nevertheless it is.)

i just could not get started on anything and everything i tried (mostly citrasolve transfers to plaster) turned to caca. so i cranked the tunes (deadweather & heartless bastards), poured some wine, pulled out every bit of paper and lots of tissue and maps and sheet music and matte gel medium and started tearing and gluing

and progress was made!

i feel better now. what do you do to get unstuck?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Style File- Seth Apter's Pulse

if you're a mixed media artist and are not familiar with seth apter's blog the altered page change that right now. seth is a very generous artist who provides all sorts of sparks to the creative spirit.

one of those is his project the pulse. in seth's words:

...... a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. The Pulse is a collaborative project that aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals. More than 130 artists have answered a series of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented in a series of online posts which will run every Sunday.

the current pulse asked the following questions:

  • If you could take a class from one artist from anytime in history, including the present, who would it be and why?
  • The one technique or tool that you cannot live without is… 
  • Show a picture of a favorite piece of art that you have created and explain its meaning for you.
  • How would you describe your artistic style? Include one image that shows this off.
  • What is the one thing that you know now that you would have liked to have known when you first started to create art?
  • Photograph a still life that you create using an array of objects. I have attached an example but absolutely anything goes.
this is a great exercise for me because i am not by nature introspective and i tend to do rather than spend a lot of (any?) time thinking about what i'm doing. but i think that it is important to touch base with that sometimes (and it can make writing artist statements less painful)

the first of these to be showcased on the altered page is the one about artistic style, and it has been fascinating reading how artists describe their art and matching that to the images that were sent in. i'm in this week's style file , and this is the image i chose to represent my artistic style. i'm curious to know if you think i described my style like you would?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

new work- and rant warning

today was hanging day at the gallery. monthly before first thursday (our gallery stroll) we rehang the gallery. each artist is supposed to trade out 1/3 of their work. we have 144 linear inches, so that would be 48 linear inches. i was sure that i was going to be short inches this month b/c i didn't see how i would have enough new work done. but i managed to finish a few things and the gap went from 18 inches to 10 to 4.

this is the last piece i finished. this is a shot of the laser transfer that i did to a 3x3 canvas onto fiber paste, then painted over with acrylic thinned with glazing medium.

the 3x3 canvas fit perfectly into the back of this 6x6 that i had been washing with paint left from other things and was the perfect color for the image. (i need to figure out what brand of canvas this was, as none of the 6x6 left on the shelf will take a 3x3 like this. damnit!)

with the interior wood painted

and the finished product- which brought me up to 140 of my 144 inches and was completed around midnight last night, after the eilen jewell concert.

and i was up at 6:30 to walk dogs before going to the gallery to hang. and when i got there, the same regular group of artists hadn't bothered to bring in new art to hang and we were still moving and rehanging their art, even though we have the conversation about making everyone follow the rules every month. and i lost it.

it makes me incredibly angry that i work very hard to produce new art monthly to meet my obligation to the gallery, full time job and all, and these people are allowed to disregard the rules. i feel strongly that it is important for the gallery to have new art monthly.

i don't understand people who call themselves artists but don't produce art. working artists produce art- they grow and learn and keep refining and create a body of work. if we want to be taken seriously as a gallery and not viewed as a vanity gallery or old lady coop we need to push our members to keep getting better.

i have only once (for valentine's day) rehung something that was in the gallery previously. there have probably been some times when i have hung things that weren't great but were new, but i am getting better about that. and that's better than bringing in things that aren't great OR new.

what i am working on now is letting this go. because all i can control is myself. i have made my feelings on this very clear and spoken to board members and i can't really do any more. my mantra for the next hanging day will be ohm.....

Friday, August 26, 2011

what happened?

wow- it's already friday! what happened?

i did get to spend the evening in my studio, though, and am so happy about that. mostly getting ready for sunday's gallery hanging. i will be short about 10 linear inches this month cuz i didn't get enough made and i don't want to trot old stuff out. oh well!

i finally found a good use for all of those stupid sawtooth hangers that come with prefab frames that i can't use for shows. when i went to clip the canvas into the frame i found that the clips were wider than my canvas. so i got creative. i now know why i didn't just toss these damn things.

and here's the front- looks like i did a decent job of rendering mr. buff.

i finally got this where i want it. took a bit of work. the bird is scratched into drywall paste, the rest of the piece is modeling paste & a bit of crackle paste. this is an old piece reworked.

started with a black bird- crow, raven, that was the thought. but it just didn't work.

decided that everything was too close tonally, but i couldn't figure out how to lighten the background.

went for color, but i still have no darks or lights. and it's kinda garish, not quite what i was going for.....

i quit taking photos of all of the background trials, but after many washes and alcohol rub outs i finally put a white glaze on it and a quince nickel azo (my old standby) wash and got it to where i wanted it. i also used some turquoise acrylic ink to get the bird where i wanted her, and dropped liquid thalo blue in the low spots. and i actually like it and am done:)

looking forward to more plaster play. got some goodies from blick- sculpey clay for making casts and plaster tape- to experiment with. but first, open studios website maintenance tomorrow- three of us are getting together to upload the artist images for our october open studios weekend tomorrow afternoon and then eilen jewell tomorrow night. fun stuff!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1000th Post

wow. hard to believe. especially since i've been struggling lately. though i blog to make my art better and because it helps me think i have very much missed comments and interaction this past month or so. whether it's because my posting has been more erratic, my visits to other blogs have been sporadic or i'm simply uninspiring (or it has nothing to do with me) the quiet has made me realize how much i appreciate the blogging community that i've developed over the past few years. so thanks to all of you who have been on this journey with me for your comments and support and brilliant ideas and creative energy.

those of you who have been with me for a while know that i tend to use and reuse certain images. seldom do i use one image in a whole bunch of pieces in a short period of time, though. for some reason the photo below is proving the exception.
the first two are currently hanging in the gallery

and this is what my workbench looks like

all headed to the gallery on sunday. i finally googled nest, as is my habit when an image or number starts to appear in my art insistently and found that ....." a nest is a place of refuge....."

speaking of refuge, it was another wonderful tuesday in the studio with leslie and nancy- thanks guys! i am lucky indeed-

Sunday, August 21, 2011

long time away

ack! has it really been tuesday since i've blogged? things were supposed to slow down! i've been busy, though, never fear.....

wednesday night was a meeting to organize our fall open studios tour.

friday night was third friday at the gallery. we held a quick draw, with artists completing a piece of art in 2 hours to be auctioned off to benefit a local non profit. we had 2 oil painters, one working in acrylic, an assemblage artist, a jewelry maker working in enamel and a collaboration between a jeweler and painter to make a mobile. it was fun, and traffic keeps building.

saturday was tour de fat, a celebration of bikes sponsored by new belgium brewing. it's sort of an old fashioned traveling vaudeville show, featuring things like porta-yoke (karaoke in a refitted porta potty), oddly constructed bikes to try out, music, magic and- of course- beer. we always volunteer b/c money earned supports foothills trails, among other things. lots of costumes. the unofficial theme this year was blazing saddles and here i am in costume-

a shot through a large kaleidoscope-

this morning started with a nice hike

and i got back in the studio! all of this stuff in progress- time to finish some of it up for the next hanging!

here's the progress on this one-

sanded it back some and added highlights, also added the flower with modeling paste through a stencil

and as it is now. i think i need a bit of stem on the other side of the beak, and some more washes, maybe some bright colors spattered throughout, but it's coming along.

i was liking this as it was, but felt it wasn't finished.

googled nest and found " a nest is a place of refuge", which i liked (i've been using this image so much lately that it's nice to have a conscious meaning attached), so i used rub on letters to add that to the side of the piece. then went looking for another layer.

tried a few things to transfer- this looked a bit too ominous

this worked better for me- both sort of watching over the nest and maybe looking to the refuge.

i used golden soft gel matte to do the transfer. wasn't feeling like dealing with some of the texture issues i sometimes get with caulk when i use it on a large piece, and i decided what the heck. it worked great. (apollo transparency).

pleased with the progress on both, and hopeful i will have enough finished before next sunday! it could be a flurry of activity- come back & see!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

tuesday evening!

back in town, tuesday night in the studio- yay! lynn, nancy and pam ( left to right) along for the fun.

i am at one of those "everything is looking like it is half done and doesn't know what direction to take" modes. 6 inches left to fill for the gallery for september.

up to 4 nest images so far. those of you who know me know that i tend to use certain images over and over again. the nest will be one of those.

i think that this one is done (with the imaginative name of nest 2, since the first was just nest and i went from there). this is the laser image transfer to fiber paste. the background is some of the national geo citrasolve paper and there are layers of matte gel medium and paint (mostly micaceous iron oxide washes). 6x6 box board.

this is just started, again with nat geo pages and mica iron oxide. this laser transfer was done on soft gel medium. i ended up painting white gesso on the back so i could use it on a colored background b/c it is so transparent. like the path it's headed down. 8x8 canvas.


used to be this

but it started cracking and getting funky so i tore the bad parts off and started over. slopped drywall compound on what i ripped off and drew the bird in with a skewer. let it dry, added washed. the one bad thing about this drywall compound is that when it gets wet it loses shape and picks up brush strokes. anyway, layers of paint later we're almost there, but need something more.

fun fun studio evening- music, wine, good company, creativity- good to be back for a while :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

idaho music

last weekend was the braun brothers reunion in beautiful challis idaho. drivable from home. my friend and i loaded up (this is for 2 of us for 3 nights) thursday morning and headed out. you'd think everything we need is in here, but i forgot the tent. true. luckily they rented them at the rv park so we didn't have to sleep in the car.

you know that you're at an idaho music festival when the stage is half of a double wide
the beer garden is made from stock gates

and the surroundings are beautiful (to my eye at least)

there were moments when it felt like we were being invaded (but at least they understand good music)

country, but old, good, non pop country with enough variety to keep things interesting. as usual, i am trying to figure out why some performers really got through to me and others (who were anticipated and liked by other folks we talked to) left me cold.

one up and coming songwriter in particular left us wondering what we didn't get. we left during robert earl keen b/c even tho i like his songwriting we like it better performed by other people and my friend didn't care to stay. i like mickey and the motorcars better than reckless kelly (4 brothers, 2 bands, reckless older and more established, but mickey is more fun live and has more rock star charisma than big bro).

the greencards were a pleasant discovery, and rodney crowell gave great show.

randy rogers band is great, and the one most heard around our campsite, but hands down the best act of the weekend for me was cody canada and the departed. saw a guy sitiing in front of us early on and thought " he looks like a rockstar". it was cody canada and when he got up on stage with the band he was. some of it is skill, some of it that i just plain like the music better and some of it an indefinable power to pull people in.

because i love live music and it moves me so i am always trying to find the connection- what makes my heart sing and my feet move and what leaves me cold and why. i've seen some technically proficient musicians put on flawless shows and been bored to death. one of the opening acts (local) was a little rougher than some of the bigger ones that followed but, to me, more fun.

some of it is simply the music- not so big on piano or vocals at the higher end of the register, but there's more. there's an energy that creates a shared experience at the best shows. affected by the viewer's mood and perception, no doubt, but the best performers can reach most people. rodeny crowell was so strong that some of the idiots talking through his show in front of the stage even shut up occasionally.

and then i try to translate all of this to visual art...... and i'm still working on that one! but i do think that it is part the artist, part the viewer and part an indefinable energy. there are technically proficient artists who leave me cold too- what do you think?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the august garden

 remember the june post when the garden was lush and i was worried about having flowers in august? here's the august garden-

i planted annuals (four o'clocks, cosmos and bush morning glories in this garden to fill in for the first year perennials. seems to be working.

the last shot is a reminder that, even tho we haven't had anything but cherry tomatoes ripe yet summer is ending. and there's more beauty to come in the fall.

off to another music filled weekend at the braun brothers reunion in challis idaho.there will be some great musicians there- rodney crowell , randy rogers band, cody canada and the departed, reckless kelly and mickey and the motorcars among them. quite a contrast to lolla all in one week! looking forward to heading out tomorrow with my friend and relaxing to good music- i am so lucky!