Sunday, April 27, 2008

Handle with Care

Hmmmmm...I have been thinking about…hands. The importance of hands. The utility of hands. The beauty of hands. The meaning of hands. I use my hands to draw. I use them to paint. I use them to write. I use them to turn the lens on my camera and to press the shutter button. I am using them to type this post. Hands as nouns. Hands as verbs. Hands as adjectives. Raise you hand to ask a question. Raise your hand to answer a question. Lend a helping hand to your neighbor. That piece is handcrafted. This piece is handmade. And what beautiful handiwork they both are.

Hands up. Hands down. Hands on. Hands off. Hands across America. Clap your hands to show appreciation. Handles open and handles close. Handle with care. I can’t handle it anymore. He is handy. I've got my hands full. One hand washes the other. Employees must wash their hands. All hands on deck. The winning hand. Hand out. Hand it over. I want to hold your hand. On the other hand...hmmmmm...I have been thinking about...

Thursday, April 24, 2008


angel dressed in stone
marked by age everlasting
watchful in her gaze

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Season's Greetings

As winter has turned into spring, my thoughts have now turned to autumn. Roxanne Stout and I have begun a collaborative project, creating decos that honor the fall. A deco is basically a small, handbound book or journal. Our plan is to trade our decos back and forth, each working on a single page at a time. When autumn arrives, our books will be complete. Here is a small preview of pages I have worked on in both books.

I have also been working on another collaborative project, my nature journal with Sarah Whitmire. Click here for previous details and see below for a peek at my newest page.

Also, a big thank you goes out to Nancy at Something Two Crow About for giving me the Arte y Pico award. Much appreciation Nancy. Check out her amazing journal pages on her blog...they are overflowing with color and are sure to make your day! As part of this award, I am suppose to pass it on to five inspiring sites. Having already done this recently, today I offer the idea of going to my blog roll and visiting 5 sites that you haven't been to yet. In my mind, every blog on this list deserves this award!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Let Nature Appear

like no other feeling, like no other sound
the rush of the wind, the pulse of the ground

elixir, intention, a spontaneous space
a sense of adventure, a majestic embrace

light and enchanting, a plumage so warm
dark and encumbered, in shadow and form

by design, it will stretch, it will soar, it will fly
the power of forests, the freedom of sky

there is rain, there is thunder, it is second to none
adrift and asunder, it cant be undone

transition will follow the edge of a breeze
and times we cannot see the woods for the trees

the call of the wild, the answer so clear
the echo of time, both rich and austere
the story is written, let nature appear

Friday, April 18, 2008

You say you want a revolution...

Revolution -- The act of revolving or turning round on an axis...a far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behavior...a cycle of events in time...the motion of an object round a fixed point or line. This revolution is complete. I have enjoyed the challenge of working on such small canvases (3 1/2" x 2 1/2") and in a way that is new for me -- quickly and with limited evaluation along the way. Art imitates life. Some of the pieces focused on very specific ideas, emotions, or issues. Some were not preplanned but rather were driven by the materials used and evolved in the making. All represent a personal revolution in my thinking about art in general and my own personal process of creating in particular. Each is a piece of me.

"You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Revolution XVII

ingredients: altered paper, acrylic paint, dry transfer, pigment inks, rubber stamp, eyelets, wire. click images to enlarge.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Revolution XVI

ingredients: altered paper, acrylic paint, dry transfer, pigment & dye inks, found object, colored pencil, Uniball gel metallics, ColorSharp metallics. click images to enlarge.

Friday, April 11, 2008

After the Storm

When the thunder ends and the rain stops falling
When the sea is calm and the birds start calling
The clouds will part like a curtain drawing
Promise of an open door

When the air is clear and the wind stops blowing
The sun reappears and the earth starts glowing
A light so strong as if all knowing
Sense of wonder to explore

In that window, in that time
A clearing of a cluttered mind
A ray of hope, it all takes form
In that moment, after the storm

Monday, April 7, 2008

Playing Favorites: wrap-up

My aim in Playing Favorites was simple: to showcase favorite pieces of artwork as selected by the artists themselves from their own body of work and to have them include reasons for their selections in their own words. I had hoped to create a virtual museum, room by room, to exhibit a sampling of the talent of our community. I want to thank the artists who contributed pieces of themselves through their art and their stories. Thanks to everyone who visited my blog during this round of The Pulse. And extra special thanks to those who shared their thoughts via comments and emails.

I am constantly amazed at the level of talent, creativity, and generosity of the art and blogging community. 52 artists shared 138 favorites that spanned all mediums. As varied as their work is, they all clearly share a passion and commitment that was evident in both image and word. I feel that each artist opened a window to themselves through their selection and accompanying text. The intimate stories shared by many artists were captivating and the descriptions behind the creation of the pieces were fascinating. I feel as though I just had a private tour with each of them.

Once more, thank you all for playing. I hope to see you at The Altered Page again and again. Links to each post from both Playing Favorites and the recent Artist Survey will remain on the sidebar. And stay tuned for the next episode of The Pulse -- coming soon!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Playing Favorites: melange


Cadiz is one of a series of collages I made during my "ghost" workshop with Nick Bantock in May 2007. I was registered to take a workshop with Nick at Omega in Rheinbeck N.Y. - (I have loved his work for many years and had read all of his books) and was packed and ready to drive down when Omega called to tell me that the workshop was canceled - long story short - I was very disappointed - so I decided to cloister myself in my own workshop. I created a series of eight collages revolving around a woman named Cadiz and the mysterious mail art she received from a man in Tchula Miss. The series is posted along with the accompanying "story" as postcards in my June archives. Cadiz is my favorite because of the references to Egypt - where I traveled many years ago - and as my husband is our resident "Egyptologist" I had access to his beautiful vintage books about Egypt from which I scanned many of the images used in this series. Although certainly not as polished and rich as Nick's work - Cadiz brings all of my senses to Egypt - I hear James Asher's Camel Train, smell jasmine and the dusty sun caresses my face. The week I spent in this "ghost" workshop was rich and focused - so primed was I to be in this environment - I would work and then take long walks plotting the story - I was dreaming awake and I loved it.

I am attaching another fave from the Nick "ghost" workshop - Gypsy Dream - connecting the Egyptian Gypsy with the Dreaming - and here they are as a conversation - mail art conversation...conversing with Redan, Cadiz and Nick... and now cyber Sybils sighing...


Valerie Foster

This is one of my favorite texture artworks. I made it on the spur of the moment, in just a few hours. It came together easily, with no hesitation or agnst. (I always love it when that happens!)

I chose to use wallboard joint compound on the background. Once that was dry, I didn't have a plan on how to proceed. But I was in my yard, and started picking up "nature" items I found on the ground, and decided to use those. Well, I love doing nature themes anyway, so it seemed so, well.....natural.

The cheescloth idea just popped up, so I went with that too. Although wrapping it in cheesecloth didn't come until the end. But I'm glad it did, because to me, that part really makes this piece, really makes it different and original, and makes it one of my favorite pieces. If I can feel that my artwork is totally original, totally my own, that makes me feel very good.


Sarah Whitmire

This painting “Butterfly Fantasy” ( 12 x 16 inches) is true mixed media, acrylic paint, collage, UTEE. It was done back when I did my first art show at “Butterfly fest” local festival here in Florida) I love it because there truly was a metamorphous going on in my life at that time and I think it is very symbolic of those feelings.


Dawn Sellers

Beeswax Collage Artist Trading Card

This piece became one of my favorites immediately upon finishing it. It was my first attempt at this medium and I now have a deep appreciation for beeswax. I have always loved the look of beeswax. What I did not know is how rewarding it can be. Going from a bag of wax pellets to a beautiful textured finish on a piece of art work. I enjoyed smelling the wax as I heated it and spread it on the collage; layering it between the elements as I re-heated each layer to fuse them together and then adding a coat over the top. I wasn’t sure how the dried rose bud would work out, but the wax just melted around it and holds it nicely.


Linda Woods


I created this piece in a moment when I was full of joy and gratitude. The bright yellow of the tulips symbolized my overflowing happiness and the snippet of blue sky symbolized never ending gratitude.I wanted the inky colors to flow and drip into each other freely because that is how my excitement felt...unrestrained! I get happy every time I look at this piece. It is a reminder of a great time in my life.


Cory Celaya

Bits and pieces of painted papers left over from visual help given my students become fodder for jewelry and other artworks. Some of the pendants are collaged while others are veiled with layers of paint. Some are delicately beaded while others are heavily embellished with hand made faux resin beads and motifs of mixed media.

The faux resin charm bracelet was made several years ago for my daughter. Using a thermal process, I encased photos of her and myself as children on both sides of the charms along with meaningful text.

As a mixed media artist/teacher, nothing is safe...if it's within reach and doesn't move, it will probably end up in one of my art pieces.
Britt Vuorio

The Old Bench is one of my favorite spots in Helsinki. It is my “rest room” where I go when I feel the need of getting away from all worries and trouble. The green branch brings me a breath of fresh air and reminds me of the beauty of life. The reason why I once had to stop and rest by this certain bench was that it looked so lonely and inviting. I almost heard it whispering, "Don't rush; there is no need to hurry." I have a personal relationship (LOL) with this old bench, which dates back to 1810. I think of it when we are apart and when we meet again and I feel the embrace of my old friend, my heart fills with miraculous serenity. So the bench in the image is not just an ordinary bench but a bench with a spirit. The spirit is there if you let yourself believe in miracles.

I love my Mother Kaisu very much. She is 80 years old and she has been working hard all her life. Her life can be read form every little line in her hands. Yet her hands are very soft and I love the tender touch of them when she strokes my hair. Her hands are the most beautiful creation I have seen not only in their appearance but also for the strength and love that they carry. Knowing that my Mother clasps her hands in prayer every day gives me strength and hope for the future.

The story behind the Angels is the story of my dear brother Mauri who died when I was 6 years old. He was only 21 years when he passed away. We were very close to each other. He was my hero in many ways. He took care of me and protected me. He was always there when I needed him. His death has cast long, dark shadows over my life and only recently I have began to understand that all these 36 years I have blamed myself for not being able to save my brother.

Last summer I went for a walk in the old cemetery of my hometown and found these statues of Angels. When I looked at them, I realized that my brother is not gone but is here with me in a shape of an Angel. He has been by my side all these years, guiding and loving me as he used to. God didn’ take him away. Instead, He gave my brother a new assignment to be my Guardian Angel. There are Angels among us!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Playing Favorites: the zoo

Jonna Barnett

Blackbird. I love black birds, crows and ravens. I have several paintings that feature them but this one is my favorite. The gentleman that bought this painting now has several of my paintings and he always makes me feel so good about painting. So whenever look at this photo I think of him.

Tux Dinnertime. This little painting was the first painting I sold to someone other than family or friend. It was my first art show and a friend of one of the other artist's bought two of my little cat paintings. But this one has always been one of my favorites. And it was modeled after one of our cats.


Sarah Whitmire

This piece is closest to my heart. “Lions Pride” (48x36 inches) Another mixed media piece. I have always felt a bond with the spirit of the Lion. The courage, the power and also the strength of character. Something I aspire to be. My lion is cut from a poster of the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. (One of my favorite books as a child, back when I was still innocent) Caspiana (my make believe world and home) or Caspian was inspired from the second book in the series called Prince Caspian and was also my lost beloved dogs name.

There are many layers to this painting as there are many layers to me. If the lions mane is his pride then see what mine holds: Bits of time and hardship. Numbers of people that I have lost. Pictures of family that is gone. Praying children. Lace that belonged to my Mother. A community of women. I enjoyed seeing myself in the bits of broken glass I added as I worked on this piece and I like how the viewer will also see parts of themselves as well. I will never be able to part with this piece as it is a part of me and one of my most authentic pieces to date

Friday, April 4, 2008

Playing Favorites: digitalize

Marie Otero

One of the first digital compositions that I ever printed in "large format". Inspired by the art of Eadweard Muybridge, this remains one of my most favourite digital creations and was used as the basis for the artwork on my website.


Peggi Meyer Graminski

Nobody's Aunt is one of my favorites. I suppose because the lady looks so forlorn and forgotten she has a special place in my heart. I created this collage around the time I first began incorporating vintage images into my digital work, and as I worked on this particular one I had several "Ah ha!" moments where I learned some new techniques. This is a piece where I would hope the viewer would stop for a moment or two and ponder a bit about the lady in the picture.

She Who Brings the Morning Light is a special one to me, mainly because I have always been a morning person - when the first rays of morning light begin to show we welcome a new day full of endless possibilities. The past has gone, and the future awaits!


Kathy McCreedy

One of my favorites...the cobalt blue digital's done in Photoshop with blue tyvek paper I painted, a photo of a dead birch tree, a bird from a very old Audubon book, a page of that German handwriting from a journal from 1893 (like what I sent to you), and a photo of clouds, all blended together onto one image. It printed just as vibrantly as it looks on the screen... and the print of it I made, is the first piece I sold (to my photography instructor!)... I was so incredibly honored that she wanted to buy it from me!!! I don't think my feet my hit the ground for at least a day or two!

Trudi Sissons

The digital image “Looking Glass Self” was specifically created for “Playing Favorites.” It is intended to reflect my on-going passion to express myself creatively. It is, if you will, an ‘inner self portrait” encompassing the concepts of The Golden Mean (both philosophically and mathematically) and The Looking Glass Self (Charles Horton Cooley), from different periods of my life. In it I am observing both my present moment reality and my childhood innocence of the past. The child embraces art with uncensored passion and unconditional approval for its beauty. The image of the woman looking at the image of herself in the mirror, points to the same child-like adoration but is aware of the many social filters and judgements and how they color her purest imaginings and essence.

Within the image, you will see the two sets of numbers, 2, which represents my desire for a simple unadorned life as an artist along with the Golden Mean equation of 1.6180339887 – a symbol I’ve tied to reflect the journey toward my desired life. They are often hidden within my art. The Isles of Morpharchengigel is my imaginary country – but that’s a story best left for another time.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Playing Favorites: house & home

Gwen Buchanan

The Carved Headboard
Once upon a time back in the '90's I carved this headboard for my bed.... The 2" thick pine planks came from a tree that had grown not far from the house, across the brook up on the hill. They had dried for a year and were straight & true. Now they would be made into a bed....

The planks were glued together on their edges and clamped.... Shaped with a large 5' tall curved section in the center & two shallow curves on either side.... It was for a queen size bed.

When it was dry I drew a design of interwoven vines & flowers on the large center curved section. I used wood carving tools called gouges & an old hunting knife with a curve in the blade to cut out the design. I liked the hunting knife as it kept a keen edge....

It was very time consuming ... but not in a bad way.... rather meditative.... I did have to keep an eye out for the direction that the grain ran.... 'cause if I didn't my gouges would splinter parts of the wood or they would skip across the plane of the lumber & cut where it shouldn't.... When I had it all carved, I smoothed it with sandpaper in grades that finally arrived at the finest.... I rubbed oil into the thirsty wood... it glistened.... I buffed it with a soft cotton cloth... it gleamed...

I was happy.

Then it was done....

It felt so good when I laid in my bed in a half awake state & rubbed my hands across it.... Soothing....
I knew I had done it with my own hands. It made me feel good to know that...

I thought I would sleep in that bed for the rest of my life.... but I never .... things don't always last as long as you hope.... so cherish every moment....

It and the house it stood in only existed for a short time... only the ashes remain.

John Ackerson

Heat Shield
10 ' tall steel - welded, drilled and bolted, heated and bent

Besides painting, I love working with steel. This is a 10' tall heat shield I made to protect the wall directly behind the Jotul wood stove in the living room. Besides being very functional, I wanted it to have a cool degree of interest in its design.

I'll always remember working on this project. I was half way through cutting, and welding outside on a sunny morning when that fateful news came over the radio I was listening to on September 11.

Inge Bekaert

I think my best creations are my children Freek, Aran and Gaia... They
are one of a kind, they never go out of fashion because they keep on
evolving and as a mom it's a challenge to help them create a life of
their own...
My second best creation is my house. It's an old house from 1924 : for
the past fifteen years I have been busy to renovate and decorate it
all by myself. It's full of colors because colors make me happy. All
shades of purple are my favorite, but I also like lemongreen,

I love to look for creative solutions like this mirrorsurrounding: I wanted something special for this focal point so I made a drawing based on paintings I saw in fantasybooks. I painted it right on the wall around my mirror. The color of the walls changed already two times, but this "artpiece" stays for as long as I live in my house, because I never get tired of it.

Jonna Barnett

There goes the neighborhood. I was driving home from work one day listening to Sheryl Crow and one line in the lyrics was 'there goes the neighborhood' and it reminded me of my ex-sister-in-law. When they bought their first house she wanted to paint it in rainbow colors, each door a different color, window frames a different color and each board a different color. It never happened as her husband veto'd the idea but it stuck in my mind. When I got home that night I started on this piece. It is one of my favorites and has been very popular with everyone who sees it.