Saturday, May 4, 2019

How Do You Make a White Dog Look Colorful, Yet White?

I will have to say some of my most challenging Urban Collage Dogs are the long haired dogs. For example, my Hungarian Sheepdog took many many hours with all those locks!

Layers upon layers cutting paper and applying EACH ONE individually was quite a tedious task. Then of course after that was done I had to apply the shadows on each strand. I was happy with the end result but was even more happy when this cool guy was done!

With that said, my next dog ended up by special request a Bichon or Bichon Frise. They are quite popular these days because they are hypo-allergenic and non-shedding, which to me, a dog owner, can really appreciate.

Well starting with the white dog was no challenge until I started adding color with paper. I noticed the more I went, the less it was looking like a Bichon! So I started painting in more white and paper. But something still was not right.

I got out my trusty stencils focusing on more of Seth Apter's stencils which are perfect for my dogs, and brought out the bright colors. Adding in transparent bright colors made it all the much better, but it needed more.

I started mark making and that was the touch that brought it out all together! I am finally happy with how it turned out!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Artist of the Month

I am pretty excited to be chosen as Artist of the Month for April at the Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd, MN.
Included in my display is some of my oil and cold wax, collage, assemblage, sculptures and more.

Here are a few images of what will be there.

My reception is Saturday April 13th at 10 am to noon, so if you are in the area please stop in!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Working Intuitively

Working intuitively. I love working this way. No concrete idea of where I am going with a piece. That is not to say I do not have an "idea" of what I am going to create, but rather laying out pieces before starting and letting those pieces speak to me. A direction. That is a good start.

I will say that many more times than not, those elements I chose may not make it into my finished piece. Again, it is allowing that inner voice say "let's not go there, let's go here".

This piece started back last summer when I found this really cool, old tray at a garage sale. One of those items I had no idea what I was going to do with it, yet I had to have it. A small price for my easy to please palette.

Over the fall and then the winter months in Minnesota, life can become dreary and somewhat cumbersome, it was tucked away with my other myriad of stuff I found at garage sales, flea markets, estate sales etc....not forgotten, just put on the back burner because of other experiences that take the front burner of importance in usual life. Below is the wood substrate with me "gathering" a few ideas for the piece.

 By the time I brought this sad and somewhat forgotten "tray" back to the front burner, it was in the later months of winter. Being a very harsh winter in Minnesota this past season I was somewhat depressed and needed some nature that inspired me. The first thing I thought of was birds.

I have all winter been making sure the birds are fed outside with the feeders we have out for them. Heck, they have called our home their home under our deck. I had to make sure they had food to sustain. It has become a very positive in my life in the dreary months of winter. Knowing we are feeding them and keeping sheltered. Alas, my outdoor babies :))). Yes I know it sounds crazy but I have been called worse so I can accept this.

So I rounded up some inspirational elements like old tea bags that I painted a bird out of pan pastel and pencil, handmade rusted papers, old book parts, rusty metal, rusty wire, fabrics, twine, eggshells, beads, an old music roll, sticks, and many more elements I have kept in my stash for eons.

What I created surprised me at first. After looking at this piece I did not realize at the time, but I incorporated a "story". An emotion that was speaking to me. I just let it in, I just let it happen.

 I started adding to this old tray a roll from an old music roll, pages from a calculator book (yeah didn't know they existed), my bird painted on a saved tea bag, found fabrics, a part of an old ruler that I embossed with Seth Apter's and Emerald Creek's Vintage Beeswax embossing powder, a bird embellishment that was also embossed with Seth's/Emerald Creek's newly 2019 released embossing powder, an old rusty hinge, a medallion I made from resin and hand painted. Eggshells that were painted from my technique from here  

 A Mother Earth totem made from fabrics, beads, twine, branches, a polymer face, and moss were also added.

Here is the kicker......

I was all along creating my own story.........

My love of my LA Cali suburb upbringing, my love of nature moving to the Midwest later in life, my love of all things lost, forgotten, tossed aside, yet still have have history, my love of birds, my love of fabrics that have meaning in life itself as fabrics clothe us, and give us comfort on a cold winter's night, my Mother Earth totem, also comforted with various fabrics, wool and meaningful elements that not only comfort her, but me as well. Maybe the Mom I had only such a short time in my life with and so dearly miss, and me, the little girl with a bottle of bird seed beside her,  taking care of the birds; the mother role since my own children are grown up now.

I reflect back on these elements that made this work a "whole" and can say it is complete. Until of course, the next project that comes........

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Boy has it been busy the last few months. Between holiday shows and teaching, I have not had time to post for quite some time.

Our holiday show in Brainerd went well. It was over the course of two weekends in November. Then I also had for two weekends in December.

January really kicked off with teaching and it still continues!

I have been trying to find the time to do my own art at the same time which I will say has been quite a struggle. One evening I needed some "comforting" unwinding zen and looked at some pieces I had started quite a while back.

I had some mixed media sticks I had done some time ago and felt I needed to do something with them. So on I went. I created a face out of polymer clay which I painted. Grabbing a few elements and scraps of material in my stash and wire I started to wrap my sticks.

 I was months after finishing a project for Art Walk Alchemy 2019 that includes 24 artists for a year long course, which left such an impression on me. I did not at the time realize how much. Here is the link

I have some of my fondest memories of being with my family when I was ten. Coming from a broken family at such a young age, this was truly a time in my life I will never forget, and appreciate. My mom, dad and me drove up the west coast from southern California all the way up to Vancouver Canada to meet my grandmother at the train station. That trip has always left such wonderful memories and a huge impression on me. When I saw totems nearing Canada I was always in such awe of these somewhat scary, mystical, yet beautiful poles, at the time not at all realizing what they were or what they meant.

When I was asked to be a featured artist in Art Walk Alchemy 2019 and was told what the theme would be, Totems and Talismans, I was of course very excited. What I did not know was what emotions would come out of me from this project.

I finished my project with something stirred deep inside me that has not left, thankfully. Sometimes we may not necessarily “forget” fond memories, but rather they get pushed back due to every day life and what is important at that time. We are all just humans.

So recently I started a few projects that depicted a “woman” if you will. Nothing against any other gender, but just because it made sense to me being a woman myself that I could relate to.

My daughter and I have been gathering sticks and rusty metal objects for the past few years while out on our walks. I have always been drawn to rust, I think of the old weathered buildings my mom and I use to walk by on our trips down L.A.

I started my project with just twigs, sticks, material, rusty metals and beads. I painted her face with a patina and a dimple that I had impressions before baking her clay face :)

As I added her hair from moss and grass, attaching the two together with metal wire, she needed more stability as her “frame” was rather weak…. in the beginning.

She need more stability, a “strong backbone” if you will. So I grabbed larger twigs and branches to give her the strength she needed.

But now she felt “cold”. No protection. She needed more material and wool to keep her warm. I felt very “comfortable” now. Warm and protected from the cold. But she needed more. So I added more yarns, moss, beads, anything I could find in my stash to give her more “life”and comfort.

What I noticed was she was needing more stability to hold together. So I wrapped wire around her to help protect her even more. I kept adding more material, wool, metal objects, wire and yarns. When was she going to be complete?

What I did not realize was, was that I was “trapping” parts of her, emotions that she was keeping safe from harm. So as I looked at her and I felt compelled to “loosen” some of her fabric, then wool, then beads. What a release this was for me. I say that because as I was loosening some of the tight fabrics, I was also releasing a lot of what has been “held” inside of me for so long.

If one were to unfold her, there would be so many more treasures inside her not easily seen from the surface as I have left some emblems hidden, for she needs secrets to herself too.

Struggles, confusion, loss of self confidence and self esteem, and fond memories that are painful to remember, yet what I must, are what I have felt working on this project.

I added more metal wrappings but have found I have “loosened” them a bit, yet strong enough to hold her together.

As I look her smile on her face, I know I have given myself an “ok” to be happy, let myself have moments of self doubt yet realize them and overcome them, to be strong, to also loosen up a bit because it is “ok” I am human too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Things Have Been Busy In a Good Way!

Things have been very busy lately so I apologize for not getting on here lately!

I have work now showing at the Brainerd City Hall and the Brainerd Public Library for the next few months so I have been working on getting these two exhibitions ready for this fall.

We had our show with the Brainerd Area Art Guild at Rumbly Hall downtown Brainerd MN with a great turnout in our new location! Here I am showing one of my 3 demos at the show...

I also have been teaching classes at Canvas Expressions at the Westgate Mall in Brainerd and have my next class on November 27th. Plus I will have a spot the two weekends also at Canvas Expressions the weekends of December 8th and 9th and 15th and 16th selling my creations.

I hope you can join me. If you have any questions please let me know and I will answer asap!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

New Online Workshop!

I am teaching an online workshop in 2019! This course runs all of 2019 and you don't want to miss it. The theme is Totems and Talismans. Below is the project we will be working on. For more details click on the link below!

Make sure to sign up for the early bird pricing!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 2018 Show

Wow, a very busy past few days with my Nisswa MN show. We had a great turnout of people come to see 8 artists including myself. I met some very wonderful and enthused people this weekend along with a couple of local art councils who are interested in representing some of my work!

Here are a few images of my work on display...

We were set up at the Journey Church in the Nisswa square. I had a huge response from my fiber art, my Urban Dogs and my Giraffe.

Stay tuned for more updates as I have a new project that I will announce in the near future!