Monday, April 30, 2007

Found Art Tuesday 5-1-07: Water

I actually finished this piece on Sunday. I wanted my husband to take it with him today. There was a huge Outsider and Raw art show at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago and I wanted him to leave it there at one of the gallery booths. Marc actually went to the show on Friday and he said it was absolutely awe-inspiring. With a gazillion galleries representing an equal number of artists, there was plenty of eye candy. Perhaps his most humbling moment was meeting Phylis Kind. She is the New York gallery owner who put together a retrospective of Martin Ramirez's work. It is traveling the country now and we plan on viewing the show in October at the Museum of Art in Milwaukee WI. Marc talked to her about this great artist quite unknown until just recently. I think he was in art heaven. And where was I? Working and shuffling kids to and from dance classes.

With water as a theme, I immediately knew that I wanted to try my drawing hand once again and create a mermaid. The ocean was made with a slew of scraps that were laying on my work bench.
I drew the mermaid on a separate piece of paper and then she became part of the collage. The substrate was a drink coaster from Chili's. She is kind of looking at a ship wondering what it is really like up there. I entitled the piece "From the Depths." I wonder where Marc will leave her....


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Found Art Tuesday 4-24-07: TOY

What a day I had yesterday. While I did finish my found art piece, there was no time to blog it. My beautiful 14 year old daughter was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. This event pretty much was an all evening affair. I was the only Mom who balled like a baby as I congratulated her in front of an audience of class mates and parents. She was so embarrassed and did not understand my emotion even though I tried to explain it to her. You see, Kaitie has a reading disability. She is under the dyslexic umbrella. She and I worked so hard every single night for eight fricking years. Countless essays, tests to study for, books to read, assignments to do, projects to finish...I just about thought it was for naught. And now here she is, ready to graduate eighth grade, a top student. I think any Mom in my position would have done the same thing. I am so proud of her. I guess I have been pretty hard on her all these years...because I know she is capable of brilliance. But when you hate to read, I mean absolutely hate to read..well that does not get you very far in any world. So I rode her, and spoon fed her , and taught her how to memorize. We have been at each others throats for years. I guess this is sweet vindication! She can do it is she wants too, painful as it may be, she can do it.

So on to my found art piece. When I was small I would play with a variety of dolls. Barbie, baby dolls (Chatty Kathy, Thumbalina to name a few). The other thing I did was art. I had a big supply of color and paint by number sets, pastels, Crayolas, clay, and coloring books. My Dad loved to sculpt and paint. IT was one of his hobbies and I would sit with him and do my art. What I loved about my Father is that he encouraged this kind of "play." There were few rules (except clean up after or Mom will get you). When I sat down to compose a found art piece I wanted to combine the two, dolls and art. I can't sew..and regardless, to make an Art doll is out of my league. But I did have some polymer clay and so I fashioned a pin out of the clay. It is a Diva of sorts. She is painted with Lumiere paints and is enhanced with tiny beads and artistic wire.

I think I will leave this at a restaurant this Saturday.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Found Art Tuesday 4-17-07 : Travel

With the theme of travel, I immediately thought of all the places I would like to go in the world. I love to travel. It is just since we have a family, it has become prohibitive. So one of the first places I want to go after the kids are in college, is France. It is all about the art, the wine, the history, and the cheese :) Oh I wish I could go and just wander through the galleries and museums, sip wine at some quaint cafe....You get the picture. So when I sat down to create a piece about France...I came across in my pile of stuff, a piece that I had duplicated for a swap about a year ago. It is an original work, collage, about the size of a postcard. The piece is entitled: Travel France (duh). Someday........

I decided to use this as my found art work this week even though it was made about a year ago. Today is my twins birthday and my time has been very limited these past two or three days. Oh and from my little solo show I have a commission that is taking up brain space! I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Found Art Tuesday 4-10-07: Connections

The connections theme at first seemed difficult. With so much cluttering my brain as of late, I could not get my arms around the topic. Sitting at my artists reception I had plenty of time to work out the theme. And what I thought about is sort of the bigger picture. We are all connected through Earth. IT does not matter what country we live in, or what we do for a living, or what color our skin is. We are the World. And that is my title. So to depict this kind of connection, I cut out paper dolls from a map. We can be linked today through the technologies of cell phones and computers so those are included as well. All we have to do is reach out. This was a simple straightforward collage done on watercolor paper. The paper dolls lend themselves to a book mark format.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Artist Recption 4-7-07

Today was my day, my very first artist reception. The owners of Conscious Cup were waiting for me when I arrived. I was somewhat overwhelmed by their "accolades." Mike really likes my work and is already talking about another show later in the year! My art has only been hanging for a day and a half! Anyway, it was rather quiet for the first hour and then my friends began to arrive. I so enjoyed explaining how each piece was "born." My 14 year old, Kaitie, told her teacher about this and I was so pleased to see Mrs. Gavula at my reception. She bought two pieces! I almost died. She purchased the ones you see here called "Heralds of Spring" and the smaller piece that I did in Dec. of 2005 called "Innocence Prevails." The store owner is considering purchasing a piece as well. Gosh I really was flabbergasted. I did not know what to say or how to react. My husband was there with my three children and the look on their faces was priceless. What I have decided to do for each piece sold is to write up a little explanation of my thought process behind the work and describe the materials used. I will sign and date that as a sort of certificate of authenticity.

For the Heralds of Spring, I was practicing drawing these fantastical faces and it was late in February, rather cold and dreary. I was wishing it was Spring and about 30 degrees warmer. The piece just sort of came together. This is a mixed media and collage piece after of the style of Misty Mawn. I love her whimsical works. Mine definitely pale in comparison. But at least I am attempting to draw again! Acrylics, oil pastels, inks, rubber stamps found papers and objects were used to create the work on 300 lb watercolor paper. The work is 11 by 14 framed.

The Innocence Prevails piece was actually one in a series of 4. The other three were sold through Ebay in the Art Squared listings. This work is 6 by 6 in size and is primarily watercolor and inks done on watercolor paper. This piece was done right before Christmas in 2005 and came into being because I was thinking of my religious roots. Through so much adversitiy, Mary still managed to give birth to Jesus, a true miracle.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Conscious Cup Gallery Show. 4-5-07

Last night I hung my 13 works at the Conscious Cup Roastery and Cafe in Crystal Lake, IL. I am nervous, the excited kind of nervous. I have to say this has been quite a learning curve and I definitely learned some of my limitations! Rosa Murillo was kind enough to answer some of my numerous questions about how to go about a gallery show. She also supplied me with an excellent resource: , chocked full of info for the emerging artist. I am so grateful for such a site. But after immersing myself in the information there, I felt quite overwhelmed. I guess that is normal for being a newbie at all this. So I decided to wing it, at least for this gallery show.

When I was contacted by the owner of the cafe, I knew I had to seize this opportunity. It has been my experience that in my little corner of the world, mixed media and collage is a bit of an oddity. I think it is time for the public to get a taste of this art form. The galleries here are chocked full of very traditional works, quite nice, but traditional none the less. You will also see some abstract paintings, some assemblage, a little collage, and some outrageous oils (which I am totally not a fan of). I wanted to create some new work but where to begin..... I thought long and hard about what would sell in our area, trying to figure out the market so to speak. Well, that was a waste of brain cells! When it comes down to it...I do not have to feed my family from the income of art sales. Thank God I can create art that means something to me. You can drive yourself crazy if you try to approach creating new pieces from a good marketing perspective. I thought about how I buy art. The pieces that I just had to bring home either reminded me of a special area of the country or invoked strong emotions in me. Art is so individual... My new pieces are for the most part, issues that really touch me both on an conscious and unconscious level. Some of the pieces are very light, as you will see.

My husband helped me hang the pieces. I was pleased with the outcome. Let me say one word about framing though...this is NOT my forte. I simply do not have the tools. I discovered that I can't cut a straight line even with a t ruler and square. I don't have a matte cutter so I had to purchase pre-cut mattes. Then the frames I purchased had to be standard size and so with coupons and 50% sales, I purchased black frames from Michael's. The work I created had to fit the frames so there were those limitations even before I began to work. Even with premade frames it took a long time to set the work in them because I can't cut a straight line! I do have a "chopper" paper cutter but that is totally inadequate for large sheets of paper not to mention is is just for paper. It would be nice to sell a few pieces so I could pay for the frames...and while I am dreaming, how about an extra $3-400 for a matte cutter! Anyway we did get them on the wall and while not perfectly at eye level, they looked fine up there.

While we were hanging the works, I noticed a group of folks in the back of the cafe. There were maybe 10 people all huddled around a computer screen. Well it turned out that they were some kind of art group meeting to discuss current work. Talk about intimidation. I did not have the nerve to talk to them.

The work seen here is 7 by 7 and entitled "John." It is a lighter piece, mixed media and collage on watercolor paper. I had this terrific old photo of an Italian relative. The picture is circa 1940s. I can't remember his name, but he was related to my Father. So I wanted to build a simple work around him. Sure enough I found this headline from a vintage magazine and then the work just came together. John has one of those looks that is really hard to read. Is he smirking because he knows something that we don't, is he just happy, or is this a more sinister look (mafioso). Now mind you, I don't think my family was tied to that organization but I can imagine!

More work will follow.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Found Art Tuesday- 4/3/07: Green

Green has always evoked strong feelings of Spring and rebirth for me. In the past when using green as a theme, I indeed used floral motifs in the work. But this time I kept thinking about envy and the saying "green with envy." This little shipping tag is what came out of my head. In general, women wish they had more diamonds or bigger diamonds than their friends. Diamonds are sometimes a status symbol. So I thought that a hand dangling a diamond in front of many eyes would cover the envy feeling. If envy has a color, green indeed works!