Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wings of Paper

I am continuing to collaborate with Supria, Jill, Rita, Veronica, and Roxanne on our Inner Works project. We have each created an altered book and selected a theme, which one by one, all the artists will interpret in each book. We are nearing the end of this special adventure, which began back in January 2009. I just completed my pages in Supria's book and have one more book to work in before I receive my own, no doubt bursting at the seams with creativity.

Supria's altered book is entitled "On Paper Wings" and it tells the inspiring story of Helen Keller, well known to just about every one. I've included some peeks here but I do not want to post the pages in their entirety until after Supria gets her book back.

Helen's story is really one we all could take a lesson from...

thriving despite obstacles...

seeing hope where others may have seen despair...

(eye image created by Lynne Hoppe - thanks Lynne!)

meeting challenges with dignity and grace...

battling against the odds...

and ultimately achieving and surpassing her goals.

Please click here to be taken to the Inner Works blog, which highlights all the books in this project.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Share the Wealth

I had been so busy with my Buried Treasure and DisCo projects that I have neglected to post a thank you to the following people who have recently gifted me with blogging awards. I feel an embarrassment of riches here. But I decided to post these because I really want to acknowledge those who are kind enough to acknowledge me!

Many thanks go out to Kim from Art Alchemy, Nancy from Crowabout, LaWendula from Woven Letters, Lumilyon, Marit from Marit's Scrapworld, Jill from JazWorks, and Veronica from Simple Pleasures. I also want to thank Christine Marie and Boston Handmade for including my blog as a favorite to follow in this post. Feel free to click the links to be taken to each of these wonderful sites and spend some time there.

I usually "draw outside the lines" when it comes to blog awards, and this will be no exception. I would just like to use this as an opportunity to spotlight a group of bloggers and their blogs, all of which have at this point become old favorites and old friends of mine. And if the recipients want to post about their award and/or pass it on, you can see the awards on my sidebar or you can just click the links above. Take your pick among the awards. You deserve them all.

I always love to visit Roxanne at River Garden Studio. When I visit her blog I feel as though I am actually visiting a real place and not just a computer screen. Her posts are filled with heart, beauty, and creativity. Her joy in art and life is contagious. And having been lucky enough to see a number of her creations in person, I can tell you that as beautiful as they look online, they are far, far better up close.

I am guaranteed to feed my soul and find inspiration whenever I stop by Heart and Life to see Lynne Hoppe. Her style is so unique and creative. Whether she is working on paper or muslin, using watercolor, crayons, pastels, or acrylics, or simply sharing her love of nature, she always inspires. And nobody creates faces quite like Lynne!

I am forever amazed by the energy, humor, creativity, and style of the one and only Julie Prichard from The Land of Lost Luggage. I mean come on...anybody who can come up with that name for their blog has got to be great! She is Julifying the world one artist at a time with her Layer Love and Super Nova. She is innovative, exciting, unpredictable, and simply a wonderful person.

Judy Wilkenfeld from Red Velvet and Visual Anthologies constantly reminds me of the power of art. Her work is deeply filled with meaning, purpose, emotion, and passion. She pours every ounce of her being into her creations and every single detail that she includes is researched and meaningful. That she spends so much time and energy sharing her artwork, and the stories behind it, with all of us on her blogs is icing on the cake.

Robyn from Art Propelled never ceases to amaze me with her detailed posts centering around artistic themes like vessels, wood, crows, sticks and stones, and art from the discarded. She sources out the most interesting artists in these arenas and generously shares their art and links. Her hand carved, wooden totems are so unique and extraordinary. And I find her posts about her life in South Africa to be completely fascinating.

When I want my art infused with humor and real life, I run over to visit Chris at Prism Trail. I never read a post without smiling and laughing. Chris' humor is, well, dry and colorful at the same time! I really like the fact that as an artist, Chris also explores so many different types of art techniques and styles.

Thanks for all the inspiration!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chinese Checkers

I had the pleasure of being able to take a one-day workshop with none other than Lynne Perrella this past weekend. It was a rare opportunity, as she does not often teach on the East coast. The class was called Chinese Checkers. The specs: East meets West, as we spend a full-day exploring the dual themes of Asian images and classic grid compositions. Sounds good, right? But what got me was the next line: Create a lavish, heavily-layered, elegant/edgy surface! She had me at layered!!

Class started with laying gesso and adding texture, texture, and more texture!

While the gesso dried, we all participated in a very revealing art exercise...

...that just got better and better.

Spent most of the day adding layers. Paint. Portfolio crayons. Water-soluble wax pastels. Fiber. Altered images. And more.

My piece before collage...

Ultimately we had the choice of keeping our piece as a large artwork or folding it into book form. Guess which I chose? Both actually. I cut off a strip to make an Asian scroll (in progress)...

And folded the rest into a book. Here are some close-up shots of the book pages in progress...

I ran out of time before I was able to add many collaged images. But I look forward to taking the techniques I learned from Lynne and finishing both projects. And when I do, you can be sure they will find their way into a post.

And I will end with a personal favorite shot from the workshop that sums up the fun and abandon that is art: Violet's Hands...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Contexture Continued

I continue to work on my collaboration with Bridgette Guerzon Mills and Jen Worden. Each of us created a unique structure to pass back and forth. Bridgette's Trees is a handbound book of plaster pages. Jen's Shine is a series of metal sheets that will become flags. And my piece is a handmade book called Contexture. Think context, texture, and text.

Here is how my book is looking now...

And here are some photographs of the most recent pages I made in my own book...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

There is an incredibly fascinating and rich exhibition going on right now at the Museum of Modern Art called Waste Not. In his first solo museum show in the United States, Beijing artist Song Dong created an installation piece consisting of the entire contents of his mother's home. Every item, most being utilitarian household objects, becomes meaningful given the context of the Chinese concept of wu jin qi yong, which translates to waste not.

As stated in the accompanying artist book "Not long ago, because of the shortage of goods, the anxiety instigated by political instability, and the traditional virtue of frugality, people saved everything for future usage, including junk and rubbish. Bits of fabric left from making clothes or dust-covered bottles and jars, brick and timber from demolished houses or yellowed magazines and posters from a bygone era --- these objects were gathered piecemeal with insistence and determination. Day after day, year after year, they gradually formed a particular kind of family property, filling the limited space of a household and setting the physical surrounding for a family's day-to-day activities"

The exhibit is set up so you are able to walk through the contents of his mother's home and view close-up the objects that represent a life. The exhibit runs through September 7.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lucky Number Seven

Pasticcio Quartz Issue 7 is now on sale. This Quality Art Zine is the creation of the always amazing Sarah Fishburn and equally amazing Angela Cartwright. With every issue they continue to publish one of the most varied and jam-packed zines out there. If you have ever seen an issue, you will know what I mean when I say that Pasticcio is about so much more than art. And if you haven't seen an issue yet, what are you waiting for?

Issue 7 highlights graffiti, illustration, and stencil artists. I am happy to say that it includes my artwork in the Palais du Art section. And the issue also includes an original article that I wrote based on the following 1908 postcard that I was lucky enough to find quite a few years ago.

Click here to be taken to their studio storefront where you can purchase any or all of the 7 issues!

And while we are talking zines, Alicia at Altered Bits is preparing her next issue of The Altered Bits Zine, an online publication that keeps getting better and better. Each issue is themed and the next one is Black and White. She is accepting submissions through September 1. Click here for more info. Come know you want to be in it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recipe for Creativity

One amazing art studio (thanks Bee!)...

one awesome Aussie artist...

inspiration in every corner...

in every nook...

and cranny (what's a cranny anyway??)...

tables full of supplies...

and a group of artists eager to create...

A weekend workshop with Judy Wilkenfeld is definitely a recipe for creativity. She generously taught not one, but two innovative and unique book structures. My book remains a work in progress. Here are some glimpses along the way, with more to be posted soon:

Thank you Judy, Bee, and my fellow workshoppers (with links to their class posts):