Friday, December 18, 2009

Recycled Again

One of my favorite and respected follows, Egmont van Dyck, left a helpful critique (see comments) of my recycled mixed media piece “Recycled”. I agree with what he had to say, but I am not sure I have accomplished what he suggested. The red crosshairs are merely guidelines to show that I have moved the focal point by cropping the piece. I eliminated the large black area by adding more of the dark gray collage paper and added accents of the other colors. I left the large blue gray area untouched to maintain some area of rest and the sliver of black for balance. I think I can live with this for now and will put it away until the mood to revisit hits me again.

Monday, December 14, 2009


As another year comes closer to the end, prompted by an online mixed media class, I started reevaluating some of the pieces I had set aside to revisit. It is interesting to see these pieces with new eyes. Not worrying about the consumer market has freed up my thinking. The piece I am showing, titled "Recycling", was cropped from a larger piece and a small piece of additional collage was added to break up a shape.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Persimmon Season

I spent four years in Japan as a military dependent and one of the many treats I enjoyed in November, were persimmons. Having never tasted them before I was pleasantly surprised by their sweet juicy flavor. It did not take me long to learn that one of the varieties of this fruit, Hachiya, if not ripe, will pucker your mouth with its bitter astringent taste. However, the Izu persimmons, which is of the Fuyu variety, can be eaten in its firm state like an apple and is my favorite.
Recently a new Asian market opened here and I was happy to see piles of these wonderful Izu persimmons in the fruit bins. I brought home my delicious find and decided to do a watercolor of them. I recorded a video of my efforts and posted it on YouTube. My camcorder is new and I have not learned to angle it properly or how to edit the clips. I have always taken photos and made slide shows, but I have to start somewhere. It is better to view it in HD. Here is the link. Watercolor Persimmon Demo

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Autumn Memories

It is a beautiful autumn day here and like all good things, I would be happy if it would never end. Many years ago, I lived in Vermont and the autumns were spectacular. People came from all over the country to enjoy them. As the leaves would fall, we would rake them into large piles and, much to my husband’s dismay, our children would run and tumble into the piles, scattering them everywhere. Laughter and squeals of joy filled the air turning it all into a wonderful game. It was legal to burn leaves then so when the games and the raking ended we would make mini bonfires of our leaf piles. I loved the smell of the smoldering leaves. Later we spread the ashes of our happy day across the garden to feed the soil. Tired and happy, the boys, piled into our gelding pony cart, would ride to McKay’s roadside stand to buy crispy McIntosh apples, cider and apple turnovers. The day would end with a treat of warm, spiced cider and pie. Those days are gone forever, but the memoires are still vivid enough to inspire this digital painting below.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October Memories

Every October when I see the piles of pumpkins at curbside markets, my mind and heart races back to a wonderful time in my life. I was a new divorcee and one of my first dates was with a delightful younger man. He was clay artisan, a talented potter, shy, blond and very attractive. We were exhibiting at the same art festival. At breakdown time, he approached me and asked if I wanted to join him for a snack and then see something wonderful. Who could resist such an offer? All through our meal, I kept asking what it was he wanted to show me. He would grin slyly and say, “It’s a surprise and it’s not here!” We popped into his van and drove out to the countryside. The sun was just fading to a sunset and then I saw it! A field rippling with colors of gold and orange created by hundreds of pumpkins! Never had I seen so many. The setting sun enhanced the colors and drama of it all. I was astounded! The scene and my date made a lasting impression on me. He picked out a small pumpkin, purchased it and gave it to me, saying, “This is something to remember our date.” Our paths went different ways after that, but I kept the stem of the little pumpkin in a small, decorated Altroids tin box. I recently rediscovered the pumpkin stem and decided to do this digital collage in memory of the occasion.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Celebration of Life

This collage is combination of a collage on watercolor paper and a digital collage. I was never happy with the actual collage so I scanned the parts I liked and used them for this digital collage. Because I used Ginkgo leaves, I titled it “Celebration of Life”. The Ginkgo tree, to my understanding, can have a life span of 1,000 years or more. China claims to have a 3500-year-old Ginkgo tree and the Ginkgo, revered in Japan because one at a temple survived the atomic bombing, called it the “Bearer of Hope”. This has special meaning for me now. Apparently, the stress of a flooded studio caused an acute raise in my blood pressure and a pounding heart. I ended up in the ER having every test imaginable. I was happy to learn my heart is fine, but I do have high blood pressure and arrhythmia. I do not mind the medications, but I must confess my new tasteless, low sodium diet without a glass of wine is not appealing. Creating this collage reminded me of what is important and reasons to celebrate my life

Monday, September 28, 2009

After the Flood

With my studio still piled with rescued stuff awaiting a new shipment of mold treatment, I am using my computer for my creations. Today’s image is a digital collage created partly from some photos I took when I was in New Orleans the spring before Katrina. The background is a photo of a section of the wall that surrounds the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on Rampart Street. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest existing cemetery in New Orleans. Seeing the devastation in our city and the little I experienced myself, fragments of New Orleans seemed appropriate for my collage.

Deep runs the water
A painful purging
Catharsis from the unknown

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nightmare Challenge

Atlanta went from drought in 2008 to flooding this year. Almost everyone is experiencing some sort of water problem. I feel fortunate to have only a flooded basement, some folks lost everything. For me it is the second time in the past week. To add misery to it, we lost our power all night. I did not sleep much worrying about the food in the refrigerator/freezer and not being able to wet-vac the water. Yesterday, during a rain break, I made some gutter and concrete repairs, but we still have water running in so it is coming from some other place. I know that I am not up to doing this anymore. I wonder if I will ever get back to painting in my studio instead of cleaning up mold and water. It is really a mess again!
I want to thank those of you who emailed me and commented on the Java Sunrise. Although no one sent an image to post,Layers , Leslie Avon Miller and Blue Sky Dreaming had interesting comments about their collages along with the insights of van Dyck. Check their comments and wonderful sites, you will not be disappointed and think sunshine for those of us who need it.Thank you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Challege

The latest challenge for the online art group was to use some household item as the material for our creation. I chose to create a collage with coffee filters and coffee in all forms. Although I titled this “Java Sunrise", some said it reminded them of a bouquet or a wild garden behind a fence. Either way, it was a fun challenge that will continue for the rest of the month. I may do another piece if time permits. What would you chose for your household item? Care to share? If so, email the image and/or the link to your site and I will post it here.

Friday, September 04, 2009


I recently entered another online challenge. The challenge was to create a modern twist on Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Artists have done this many times over the years, so coming up with something new was a challenge in itself. Lisa Patencio’s video on YouTube was my inspiration, and possibly by the fact that lately I have not been able to work in my studio without a mask.

Because of the wetter spring and summer this year, my basement has been mustier than usual. A month ago, I decided to try to remedy it by cleaning up any suspect areas. I opened an old trunk filled with some old art booklets. I was shocked how musty everything was. Immediately I removed the books and dusted out the residue without gloves or a dust mask. Then I sprayed it with an aerosol Lysol. The spray blew the spores all over me and released them into the room. The next day I was wheezing, a rash covered my arms, and my basement was mustier than ever. I bought another dehumidifier, replaced all the filters with HEPA filters, and now I am preparing to fog the whole basement using a mold control fogger from Home Depot. I hope after this I will be able to work in my studio again without a mask!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Scanner Art

Recently I participated in a scanner art challenge with an online artist’s group. The only requirement was that we had to use some part of the face or hands. One scan of my face and I knew that my hands would have to be the subject. I was surprised to see my hands were as upsetting as my face. Photograph a body part pressed downward against a piece of glass and it becomes bizarre to say the least. Wrinkles become huge folds that seem to melt into puddles of flesh. The only solution was to the rest my hand on something so it would not touch the glass without any excess weight. Frames were my solution, albeit they still required more tricks than I had imagined. On the second go around, we enhanced our scans with Photoshop. In the end, I was pleased enough with them that I chose the hand with brushes as my avatar.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Older But Wiser?

Being older and wiser has come with a price. The cost has been many years of hard work and also mistakes and failure. I have become increasingly aware that of some my knowledge is almost useless because information and opinions continue to change. Today people see the world differently. The old rules often do not apply. This is not new with art, but it is more acceptable now than ever to break the “rules”. Often the creation becomes more interesting. The work does not bore you with convention. Instead, it provokes, it charms, may disturb, but always grabs your attention. To prove the point there is a new movie out that is having record-breaking attendance because it is so radically bad. In this day of higher stakes and expectations to master everything, do we need a break and crave some perfection in repose?
I recently learned this lesson when an artist asked my opinion of her painting. I offered to do a digital diagrammed critique. Unfortunately, I realized after I emailed back my critique, the painting was no longer hers. I had been so foolish to rework it and I robbed her spirit from the painting. I quickly let her know that I had made a mistake and apologized for being so presumptuous. A wiser I will restrain from ever doing this again. I will instead ask the artist how they feel about their creation and why, then listen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back To Square One!

I am celebrating!I recently went to the Atlanta Artists Center to pick up my art from the latest show.In the process of going though the storage rack to find my paintings, my lost painting "Back To Square One", magically appeared in the lower rack!It was such a strange feeling seeing it again. It's funny how we can get attached to our creations.It's a joy to sell or give them away, but to loose them is really hard for me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bring Back to Square One

My prize winning painting, "Moving Back To Square One", is missing. The last time I saw it was when I went to pick it up after the show at the Atlanta Artist Center. This was the same time I picked up and sold the “stimulus” painting I wrote about earlier. In the confusion and excitement of the sale, I lost track of it. I have search everywhere, my home, my car and both of my art associations. Nada, it is not to be found. Although I have a large canvas giclee of this painting, I would love to know where the original is. I hope if someone has it, they will enjoy it as much as they felt they needed it.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Another Layer

This morning I decided I wanted to create some collages. I have so many discarded prints, transfers and abandoned paintings for collages. However looking at all of this, I lost my desire to add to the pile of rejects. I decided to do the collages on the computer. Like my scrap pile, my external hard drive is loaded with images and photos I have taken over the years. Enough to last me many life times. I can get lost for hours, altering, filtering and layering these images. The great part is there is no mess to clean up or piles of rejects to store. Today’s image is the result.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Saturday, I went to the Atlanta Artists Center to submit work for this month’s show and pick up some from previous ones. At the last minute, I decided to include a realistic oil rock study. I blogged about it on September 20, 2008, “ Back To Square One, Rocks”. While I was at the gallery, another artist introduced herself saying she admired my work and was happy finally to put a face with the name. To add to the delightful moment she decided to buy the piece I was picking up,(shown here.) When I returned home, I received a call from the gallery saying the “Rock Study” painting won an Honorable Mention with a small cash prize! Now that is the kind of stimulus package I like. Not only did I earn it, it motivated me to continue create!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Evening Shadows

Recently someone asked me if I painted portraits. I told them my portrait art was limited to digital painting in Photoshop and Painter, two of my favorite computer programs. He was agreeable to let me try it. I worked all day on the wonderful family photo taken in their kitchen. My biggest challenge was what to do with the kitchen cabinets. I finally came up with a promising solution, but when I enlarged it to print size, I was shocked at all the mistakes and mess I had made! My eyesight has aged as fast as I have! It is hard to accept that I am in the evening of my life. Like the shadows that I cast I hardly recognize the woman I use to be!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Colorful Memories

I recently received an email from someone who located me on the web. He said he purchased a piece of my art in the early 80’s at the Winter Park Art festival in Winter Park, FL. It was flattering that he went to the trouble of finding me. It also brought up many memories. The first year I participated in the show I won an award and received an automatic acceptance the following year. That year my late former husband decided to come along and be my assistant. This was before they required tents and I used clear plastic sheets to cover my work if it rained. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my plastic sheets and I sent my “assistant” to purchase some. He returned proudly with an ORANGE tarp! I was horrified and he was upset with me for not appreciating his efforts. When the rain came, I had no choice but to create an orange tent over my display. My work took on a hideous glow and my spot stood out like a festered toad! Although I sold well, it came as no surprise that the judge walked right by my display. I can chuckle about it now, but it took a long time to get over my embarrassment and disappointment that I was not invited to show there again.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Gelatin Monoprinting

I discovered monoprint printing on a gelatin plate in a workshop a few years ago. The gelatin was so responsive to the ink and paper, that I promised myself to try it again. It took until recently to keep that promise. For some reason I didn’t want to go to the trouble of making the gelatin plate. As a result, I made a mess of it when I did. After patch and repair, a suitable plate emerged and the next day it was firm enough to apply the inks. It didn’t take me long to realize I was dealing with a sizable learning curve. I only had a couple of water base ink colors and the caked rollers created unexpected results. “Moving Forward” is the only print that satisfied me. I have a couple more that I may enhance later. I will probably try this again before the gelatin plate goes bad, but I am not too sure it was worth all the effort .

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Best Laid Plans

January has really been a push pull month so far. I have been eager to start some new art projects now that the holidays are over, but non-art related matters have taken priority. As a result, I have a mix media sculpture to finish and plans incubating for gelatin monoprints waiting. The non-art load increased when two books that have been on my library list for months, arrived. They were Oprah’s book club choice, ‘The Story of Edgar Sawtelle”, and Good Morning America’s choice, “The Secret Lives of Bees”. With only two weeks to read them, I knew my short attention span would make this difficult! I chose “The Secret Lives of Bees” because of its smaller size and was happy that I did. I love southern stories and this one was so captivating and easy to read I managed to stay glued to it! The timing was perfect as the story, not entirely about civil rights, does evolve around it and prejudice. It made the historic inauguration of our new President Obama even more meaningful. I do not want to give too much of the plot away as I hope you will read it. As you can see, the story triggered my creative urge and I could not resist taking the time to create a digital collage and posting.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year, New Beginning?

I spent New Year’s Eve watching the wonderful movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend that you do and take a handkerchief with you. The makeup special affects and photography alone are worth seeing.
This movie had an emotional impact on me and prompted a mental review of my own life. I began to see how every event, conscious and unconscious choice had a reason that eventually determined the outcome of my life. Maybe not the way I would have liked or imagined it to be, but the healthiest conclusion considering the circumstances. This leads me to hope that the recent downturn in our economy may eventually prove to be the same. I am wishing everyone a “Happy New Year” toast for a positive outcome for the year ahead.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...