Friday, June 30, 2006

Studio Friday theme: time/timing...

"When we are in our studios. I find that I can't be in there everyday. Particularly when I have just finished something I feel drained and need a good break. I also find that there are only certain times of the day where the juices get flowing. I'd be interested to read/see what others think." -Jo
I think my experience is somewhat opposite of Jo's. I have a hard time carving enough time to spend in my studio, but I long to be there most of the time...and when I am finished with a piece, I am often energized to start something new. I do agree that I am more creative at certain times of the day -morning and early evening are more productive for me.

To illustrate this post, I am featuring photos of a book I altered while we were in the process of buying our house, one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. Time and timing played such a huge role - my studio was packed in boxes, but I needed to make art to stay sane, so the book is made with Golden acrylic paints and magazine pages, two of the only items I could access during this time.

Many of the pages illustrate the theme of time and timing and waiting - so much a part of the home-buying ordeal.
Of course, I love our home, and we now have the puppy too (actually, he's two now), so it was worth it!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


This is a picture of a fountain in the small courtyard at my office. I walk past this beautiful courtyard numerous times everyday, but rarely think to visit, to take a break, to take stock. So today, I sat there for half an hour, and listened to the waterfall, and the birds sing, to read a little, to feel the sun (yes, sun!) shine on my face, and to be thankful...
for my health (or the blissful lack of knowledge of how bad it is); for my husband and my family; for my dog; for my art; for 41 wonderful years; for my home; my friends; my neighbors; for my job, and this wonderful courtyard; for possibility; opportunity; for today - it's really all we have.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


This piece of art is a page from my art journal entitled 'transformations.' Yesterday's post was also from that journal. My friend Debbie Wachel made the book for me, and because it looks like a set of wings when opened, I've devoted all of the pages to a series of women with wings. I still have many pages to fill, and I am feeling very much like working on my winged women again, so I foresee that this will be a project to which I devote good studio time this week.

I love all the symbolism that wings represent... freedom, flight, femininity...

Monday, June 26, 2006

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge...

that myth is more potent than history,
that dreams are more powerful than facts,
that hope always triumphs over experience,
that laughter is the cure for grief;
and I believe that love is stronger than death."
- Robert Fulghum
... I was reminded of this quote while reading Teesha Moore's fabulous zine - Art & Life, and I thought it was well worth publishing.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday morning cartoons

...Today, as I was walking Max at the ungodly hour of 5:05 am,(it's true, I don't even run into God until 6:05) I engaged in one of my favorite dog-walking pastimes -- looking in people's windows... and believe it or not, at about 5:45 am, I saw a TV on. Anyway, it looked like a cartoon - which I could see given the technology of BIG-screen TVs...and it got me thinking about how much I loved Saturday mornings as a kid because it was 'cartoon day.' And then, given that I have no children besides my husband and dog, I kids even have Saturday morning cartoons in the age of 'instant gratification" - like Direct TV, and DVDs and computers.
So, readers, please post a comment to enlighten me, and tell me if your kids sit in their pjs all morning to watch cartoons on Saturday...
Or tell me, (if your kids are grown or like me, you are out of touch with the Saturday morning TV lineup)... what were your favorites?
Mine were: (some are not cartoons, but other cheesy wonderful forms of weekend entertainment) HR Puff n Stuff, Land of the Lost, Scooby Doo, and Schoolhouse Rock, which featured such hits as "Conjunction Junction," "I'm just a bill,"and "Interplanet Janet."

..and for those of you who don't recognize them, those are the "Sleezstack." - terrifying villains of Land of the Lost.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Studio Friday theme: family...

Family history, things that have been passed down from one family member to the next, family values, all influence me as an artist, whether I'm consciously aware of it or not.

I wonder how others are influenced or inspired by their families---either past or present. What family treasures might be found in others' studios?"
-- Ellen

I have dozens of family influences in my studio, but I chose to feature my all-time favorite piece - a sewing cabinet that my paternal grandmother, "Dambi" made as a young girl. She passed this on to me when I was in my 20s, and I've treasured it.
"Back then," she told me what seemed like millions of times, "we didn't have tv or video games, so we had to be creative to pass the time."

In addition to being impressed with her craftsmanship as a young girl-- carpentry, upholstery tacks, hinges and sewn pockets, to name a few -- I always loved the array of "stuff" inside, much of which I have not changed over the years... colorful wooden thread spools, carded needles, jars of buttons, and scraps of felt and fabric. I love the promise of creation that they symbolize, and their colorful chaos.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Twenty-minute collage

The collage posted here is my submission to Claudine Hellmuth's podcast #5. For those unfamiliar with Claudine, she's a very successful collage artist, and she occasionally posts "challenges" on her blog. She presents a theme - in this case the theme was the word MACHINE. Artists who visit her blog are invited to make a 20-minute collage that fits the theme, and then briefly describe the artistic process behind it. You can see my previous podcast submissions at the right. At first, the 20-minute time limit was very difficult for me, and to be honest, I usually spend about 30 minutes, but it's now very freeing to know that in half an hour, I'll have a finished piece of art. Sometimes, when you allow yourself less time to think, the art is less contrived. Here was the basic premise behind this piece...
"machine" -
What do I know about machines? I'm a girl! But then I thought - hmmm, sewing machine, or typewriter- girly machines with lots of collage potential. I found some old typewriter key letters among my stash, and created an antiqued background to go with the old letters. The heart - also an amazing machine- was cut out of a dress pattern, and glued in place. We often think with our hearts, I believe, so that's where the word "think" came from. I added hand-stitches around the heart with a black crayon. I was very satisfied with the result since the word intimidated me so much at first.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Catching up!

Kathy's party was wonderful, and the ride up and back with my friend Angela was a total talk-fest. We see each other very infrequently, due to busy lives, so we had much catching up to do. At 60, Kathy is even more energetic and inspiring than I remember her being in the 80s, when we worked together. The group of women who attended the party -about 40 in all- drove and flew from all over the country, a testament to what a special person she is. Angela and I agreed that for both of us, who were very, very young at the time, she opened doors (when she did not have to) and gave us opportunities, even when that meant more work for her. She was also a very fun, cool boss for two young women in their 20's. - FYI- Kathy is the hot chick in the middle!
...As for the party, it began on Friday night, when the first 15 women arrived. On Saturday morning, we counted 16 and a half empty wine bottles. Which may explain why I decided to take so many photos of Caroline's shoes, which, admittedly, were very cool...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Headed to Stowe!

This afternoon, I'll be traveling with a friend to the Winding Brook Lodge, in Stowe, VT, to celebrate the birthday of our former boss, who has rented the lodge for the weekend to throw herself a 60th birthday party. She's got lots of activities planned - hiking, shopping, tennis, masseusse, etc - so it should be fun. It's an all-girls weekend, for all of the women who have shared in Kathy's life. I will be returning late on Saturday night, after the official birthday party,to celebrate father's day with Scott's dad. (I saw my dad last weekend.) I hope to take some fun pictures in Stowe that I can post next week. I have to see if there are any fun art-related places to visit there.

Monday, June 12, 2006

All things tiffany

I just ordered this fabulous stained glass Tiffany window as a 60th birthday gift for my friend and mentor Kathy, who was my first-ever professional boss when I began my career in the mid-80s. Kathy has always been a fan of stained glass, so I started searching online and was thrilled when I found this site. The pieces on it are breathtaking if you like stained glass, and many are quite affordable.

This "window" is actually a hanging that hangs in front of a window on a chain.

The company owner even called me to confirm my delivery request, because I need it shipped quickly - excellent customer service.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Repetition, chores, repetition, & chores...

Some days, it just gets the best of me. Wash, dry, fold, put away. Dust, vacuum, repeat. Fill the dishwasher, empty the dishwasher. Make the bed, fold the blankets. Walk the dog, feed the dog. Walk the dog. Most of the time, I just do it, but sometimes, I just hate it with homicidal intensity. I cannot stand the idea that so many hours of my life are spent attending to such soul-sucking, boring activity... and that, no sooner than it is done, it begins all over again. For two people, Scott and I accumulate an avalanche of laundry.
I have a wonderful life, I know. Actually privileged in many ways. I have food on my table, and a roof over my head and a safe place to lay my head each night. But I still hate laundry, and today, I am complaining about it. so there. At least I don't have to wear this ridiculous get-up while I do my chores. And for that, and many things, I am grateful.
And speaking of grateful - check it out - I finally personalized my blog header. It's too narrow, so I'll be revising it, but a generous young artist helped me find the murderous html code to fix it. - thanks Tiphoni!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Studio Friday - favorite art supplies

As much as I love ALL of my art supplies, it wasn't difficult to pick my stipple brushes as my favorites. I love the tap, tap, tap as I apply color to a page, and I use them in my classes all the time, so that I spread my stippling obsession to my students!! I even love the way they look, like a bouquet of rich colors bunched in the jar. This image is a photo that I digitally rendered in Photoshop.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Rain & reflection

This is a page from one of my journals that I have digitally re-worked. The original has a small mirror in the center, but the digital version does not illustrate that very well. I like to incorporate mirrors in my art so the viewer becomes a part of the work when he or she looks at it.

I walked Max in the rain again this morning. It has lost its novelty. I long for dry, hot, sunny, summer days. I think that even my plants are getting waterlogged.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


This is a re-worked piece of art that I made for a fundraiser for Hubbard Hall in February - another winged woman. The original was sold at the fundraiser. I had taken photos of the piece before sending it off for sale, and now I am adding elements to create a digital collage. The original, a mixed-media painting on medium density fiberboard, did not include any text. I love the solemn look on her face.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A four-leaf clover!

When I was growing up, once each spring or early summer my dad would go out on our lawn and find a four-leaf clover, pick it, and press it. Because he was able to find one just about every year that I recall, I thought that four-leaf clovers were pretty easy to come by, so I began looking for them myself. Well, it's taken me forty-one years, but I found one on Sunday, right in the middle of my front lawn!! Of course, given the amount of clover that is growing on my lawn, maybe this should not be such a surprise, but I am still excited at my good fortune!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Evidence of our day in the studio...

My friend Debbie came over as scheduled on Friday, and we spent the morning going over her entry into the first Washington County Arts Tour. As anyone who has ever entered a juried art show knows, the process of presenting oneself on paper for an arts show is grueling, but worth it if you can get in and get some exposure. In the afternoon, we experimented with a few background techniques from Claudine Hellmuth's books, and then finished one collage on the background. The techniques were easy, and yielded very textural and interesting results. Debbie's is the wonderful green one with "Gladys," whom I affectionately refer to as my adopted ancestor. It's an image that Scott bought for me at an antique store or auction, one of his many finds for my art!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Sunday, June 4, 2006

At right is a journal page I created last year for the art gallery debut I made with Debbie Wachel at the Small Gallery in Cambridge, New York. Many of my recent journal pages include women with wings. I don't usually think about why, but if I allow myself, I guess it can symbolize any number of things... the passage of time, freedom, escape, success.

I am now inserting this piece of art in the hopes that it will become my blog header. In order to make it the header, I think I have to insert it here first...

Running with scissors...

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Here is the sign that greets us at the school grounds where a group of us all walk our dogs in the early morning hours. Actually, there are several signs, with slightly different messages, to welcome us. As you can see from the small print, they know that we disregard the top part of the sign, so they just ask that we pick up after them. Too bad no one picks up after the kids who go to school there, who throw their food containers and water bottles all over the fields. At least dog poop biodegrades in less than 100 years...
And here is Max, one of the dogs from which they are protecting the school grounds. What a terror!
Debbie and I had a pretty successful artist's date yesterday too. We experimented with some background techniques from Claudine Hellmuth's books. I'll be posting some pictures on Monday, when I have a chance to download them.

Studio Friday's theme: SPACE!!

Note about date: I thought I was being clever by drafting blogs to finish over the weekend, but it apparently uses the draft date, so all of these entries (from Friday through Sunday, are logged for Thursday, but this is actually my Friday, June 2 entry)

This week's topic for Friday June 2nd suggested by Tracie: SPACE?!!.

" Space? The final frontier? I have limited studio space, but not by the mere fact the room is only probably 9x10 but because of all the many things inside of that space! What consumes your creative space? Tell us about those infringements."

Wow, now that's a challenge to find in my studio too, but when I looked up, I discovered lots of space...on the ceiling! So here are my posts... one is of how most of my studio looks at eye level (and most levels)-- every surface covered with art & assorted stuff that will someday be art... and then there is the ceiling - uncharted territory ( far!)
And Debbie is here, so we will be making art soon!!

My designs make it to rubber...

I opened my mailbox yesterday to find a wonderful surprise -- a limited edition set of rubber stamps from Teesha Moore's Art & Life zine, issue #4, for having several of my designs selected for inclusion in the set. Here is one of the designs she chose. Tomorrow is "studio time" with my friend Debbie, as her horse Oki is on the mend, and now we can get down to making art. Our plans are loose, but include trying out some techniques from Claudine Hellmuth's first book, Collage Discovery Workshop. I'll post our creations, if we deem them worthy, early next week.