Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Olive as a china doll

My very best friend Tanya Nagahiro came to visit for the holiday weekend.  Her parents live in Hawaii and visit China and Japan often.  This visit they gave Olive the mos precious outfit ever.  Olive put on the shoes and said"these are my official my dancing shoes!!!" She is 2!!! (according to her she is 28...on her next birthday)  I thought you might like to see my multicultural baby

here she is "resting..not sleeping" with brain.  Those shoes really can wear you out dancing! no worries, she will be back up dancing in no time!

Tiny art is on is way home

I was fortunate enough to have Janne Robbersand as one of my 3 fantastic room mates at Art fest.  As any of you artfesters know, it is very difficult to spend time with everyone you meet.  Janne was one of those people who I knew we were kindred spirits but we were just both so very busy we were unable to spend time together.  We did develop a deep bond over the temperature of our dorm!!

At the end of Artfes  Janne approached me and said "you are now part of our group"  She gifted me a lovely blank journal with manta ray skin binding. as all he other "members" had  books throughout Artfest, most left home with these wonderful books filled with small original pieces of art.  Jenne sent me a lovely giraffe and I placed him in the first page of my book.  I have made her 2 small pieces  to include in hers

  You can find Janne here

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fight Like a Girl

Im sending off my bras for the "supportive arts" challenge for Cloth Paper Scissors.  I was selected as one of the finalists!  Im very excited at the possibilities that they may be printed.

But more than that, participating in the challenge gave me some time to reflect.  Breast cancer awareness is all around us, but some times I feel like we are so inundated with it, we may not really stop to ponder what this may mean to someone.  pink lids on my yogurt, pink ribbons on all my socks, and adds in many magazines.  Spending time on this art project gave me time to really reflect on how my life has been altered by Breast Cancer.  Both my grandmothers passed from breast cancer.  My paternal grandmother died at age 42 from a very aggressive form and my maternal grandmother passed at 70.  
As a hospice nurse, I have seen far to many young women, in the prime of there life, die a very painful death.  The last Hospice patient I had with breast cancer was a 23 year old woman with a 2 and 5 year old. 
I could go on and on about the horrible, sad stories I have personally witnessed, but that's not what I what to focus on.  I want to remind all you chickadees to get your mammograms!  If you have any history of breast cancer in your family, begin getting annual mammograms much earlier.  The American Cancer Society is no longer recommending doing self breast exams.  The now say that self breast exams are not effective and give women a false sense of security.   
As a Nurse, I continue to teach self breast exams.  It may not be effective in detecting lumps, but what it does do, is make you more familiar with how your breast feel and makes it more likely that you will notice small changes like change in size, shape or density.  So while you may not detect a lump, you may notice small changes that alert you to something bigger.
  My grandmother did discover her cancer with a self breast exam.  She had her annual mammogram with clear results and 3 months later she found a large lump while preforming a self breast exam. So start feeling your self up girlies!!! You can find more info on  early detection here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Old find

While cleaning my dining room. I came across a stack of old paintings.  I had forgot about this.  When I turned it over it was dated 1988 and I had filled out a submission slip to be part of a juried art show in Colorado.  It was NOT accepted.  I remember being heart broken.  I had used so many "new" techniques!  I took a picture of snow white and painted it with about 20 layers of Elmers glue. {waiting for each layer to dry}  After it dried, I soaked it in warm water and the paper came off.  I was left with a fairly transparent  image of snow white!  I was so amazed I could transfer an image onto a transparent "sheet" of glue.  of course now there are 20 different ways to get an image transferred and to look transparent. I painted part of the canvas with that Iron pain and then rusted it (I could have just painted rust color) I sewed on individual sequins and beads.   I used plaster from the hardware store to get texture. (we did not have a Home Depo back then) I thought I was so clever using the plaster  and was so disappointed that the jury did not see the effort and creativity that went into making this piece!  It took weeks to make.  Now with all the new products and how to books, I could do it in a night.  
It was nice to revisit this piece and remember what I was willing to do to get a single transparent image that no one even noticed

Sorry about the quality of the images.  Back then my motto was the more gloss the better! This baby has some high gloss finish. I think Ill hang it up as a reminder that short cuts are not always the best.  I would not call this a good piece of art but its a good study in a lot of technique!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

new work space

I have been using my dining room as an encaustic/sewing room.  It has not worked very well and my family has not been able to use the table in months.  So I spent the last 2 days working very hard to transform the space into a workspace.

Here is how it started:

  I know I should be humiliated; and I am!  Ive been fearful of A&E  Hoarders showing up at any time

Here is the progress

And here is the finished project

I love having my Artfest banner in the center of the room to inspire me.  The room still needs some work, but at least I can sew and my son and I can do encaustic work in a designate area.  No I just need to tackle my silversmith/enamel studio!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Olive got her toes painted

Olive is such a girly girl sometimes.  When it to nail polish and lip gloss, shes all yours!  I just want to eat those little sweet toes!

Friday, May 4, 2012

re visiting old designs

I made a lot of these pieces years ago.  Now that birds have made a resurgence in design, they remind me of nests. What do you think?  A design worth reworking or should it just remain in the past? 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Artfest Junker Janes Class

I never posted about my PROJECTS from artfest because there was just to much other grand things to comment on!  But my classes were fantastic.  I tool a 2 day class from SLK and made a metal journal with transparent papers (it came out a bit wonky so I really dont want to show it off) The final day was monster dolls with Junker Jane.  She and her husband were so very sweet.  Miss LuLu offered me her sewing machine but as she was bringing it up to the workroom, it fell and broke.  I felt so bad...she was being so generous and offering to help a stranger and it bites her in the ass.  Again, Im so sorry LuLu.  But Cathrine was fantastic.  her husband set up a new machine they had recently purchased and let me use it for the class.  It was much like mine at home (basic,,cant mess it up kinda machine) I made 2 dolls but did not stuff them as I did not need any extra items in my luggage.  So over the weekend, I stuffed them and put on the finishing touches.  I love how the first one came out.  The second is a mermaid and I really did not understand how to sew the tail so that when I reversed it right way out, it still looked like a tail.  He will need some remodeling!

 I used one of my enamel disks for the eye
 I made 2 furry bunny ears
I think he looks like a drag queen at 3 AM.  eyes a bit droopy (maybe to much absolute Vodka!) Matted wig, just a few falsies (I mean eyelashes) the rest fell off in the dance off, but Ill be dammed, the fake mole and bright red lips are fantastic as ever!
I need a good drag name for this fella.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sweet Pea Jewelry: Im keeping it!

I think I may have posted this bracelet in the past..not sure.  I took it out of the gallery today because I finally decided to keep it.  Its one of those pieces that I have taken in and out of the gallery several times because I was hesitant to let it go.  When it was in the gallery, I had it priced so high, no one would purchase it anyway!  
        Its very simple and really has no technique to it, Its just an array of gemstones wire wrapped on a silver chain.  Yet it continues to speak to me!  I love the blues and browns together and It feels so good around my wrist.  Its heavy enough to feel like a quality piece, but not so heavy it is unconformable.  I love the sweet chime it makes when I move my wrist.  Isn't this what jewelry is suppose to do for us?  I rarely keep my own jewelry.  I keep my prototypes and my "firsts" (first solder,enamel,etched, riveted ect) usually because they have some flaws.  But this piece Im keeping because I LOVE it. 
The pictures really don't do it justice because the way the gems transition color is really beautiful.

I made one in red yellows and white using garnet,rubies, citrine,pearls and moonstone.  Its a pretty piece but it dosent have the power this one has for me.
As an artist, I think my one strong quality is color.  I don't have lots of faith in any of my other skills but I'm good with color.  I can reproduce a color I saw 10 years ago...I can match a pain color to a gemstone I only saw once.  I think one of the reasons I love this bracelet so much is because it validates my ability to work with color.  I guess we all know blue and brown go well together, but I spent hours combing thru beads to pick the perfect shades.  I used Appetite, aquamarine, Kyanite, Amnozite, Lamar, smoky topaz, smokey quartz and colored pearls. 
So as simple as the technique is and as generic as the design is (everyone has a "cha cha" bracelet, to me it feels thoughtful.  The artistry is in the choices of materials.
Well shit,  now I feel like a braggart..Not my intention,  I was really just trying to express my love for this piece and why a seemingly simple design would be so special to me.
Let me know what you think.  Is this a special piece or is it just way past bedtime and Tylenol PM has kicked in???