Monday, September 22, 2008

A First for Me.

I am most humbled by this thoughtful award. Sometimes when we are feeling sorry for ourselves, or "unloved, undiscovered, unwanted, un...", you get the drift, someone comes along to make your day, week, month, year..... I want to thank Linda for making my day and I am sure my week too. I am grateful that you read my blog and make comments of the nature that keep me going. And what is really so neat is that I can say I have a friend that lives in the United Kingdom. The power of the Internet has not ceased to amaze me. So anyway, there are some rules that apply when you receive an Internet award like this. First though, I will share what Linda (AKA Undaunted, said about this little spot on the cyberspace highway:

Kathy LaRocco is also a mixed media artist who paints and uses collage. Again, I can't help wondering how she even comes up with her ideas. Apart from producing work that is absolutely beautiful, I admire Kathy for stretching herself beyond her comfort zone and trying new techniques.

You know what, not even my children admire me! Now for the rules:

1) Choose 7 favorite blogs and…
2) Put the logo on your blog
3) Link the person you received your award from
4) Nominate at least 7 other blogs (didn't we already do that?)
5) Put links of those blogs on yours
6) Leave a message on the blogs of the ones you’ve nominated

I do have quite a few blogs that I try to keep up with for sanity's sake. Linda's and Rosa's have already won this award. So I am not sure, but my guess would be that it would be redundant to nominate them again. I enjoy these ladies art and words so much...Thank you for both being such an inspiration. Here are my nominations:

1.Kelly Rae
Kelly's words just soar. Not only do I look to her as a "mentor" but her sage advice and tenderness are so rare. Her art is definitely buried deep within her and she draws from her memories and experiences with so much strength. I think she would never admit to that because she is a very humble and appreciative artist, but never-the-less, she is stronger than she gives herself credit for. Please visit her site. You will not be disappointed.. Also, check out her new book. I absolutely loved it..... Taking Flight

2. Misty Mawn
Aside from Rosa's blog, Misty Mawn's was the first bog that I read with any amount of regularity. Her art reflects her soul. She is that good. She is a wonderful photographer as well. I so enjoy seeing pictures of her home in Virginia and pictures of her children. Because she feels with such depth, her writing ring true in the same vein as Kelly Rae's. But it is so unfair to even begin to compare these two wonderful artists. I just know that in Misty, I find some of myself. She too is a mentor. I treasure the articles she has written for both Somerset Studio and Cloth, Paper, Scissors. They are mini classes. I treasure her descriptions of all the wonderful encounters she has had as a guest teacher on her many art retreats . One of my greatest dreams is to be able to study with her, just once.....

3. Zorana
I discovered Zorana's blog after reading Artful Blogging (Somerset Studio). Her work is lovely and I enjoy reading about those little things that a working artists contends with. I can relate to her posts about her teen daughter and collage bound son. And well, I just plain love her use of color and form.

4. dj pettitt
dj is so well known in the mixed media world. Her classes are always well attended (so I hear, I have never taken a class with her). I have been a fan of her work for years. Her pro traits are so full of life and emotion. Her work with fabric is almost legendary. By reading her blog and getting a glimpse into her world, I have realized she is a regular person. She loves dogs and just went through the loss a her beloved companion. She only recently brought home a puppy and I swear her little Tulla Girl is just about the most adorable puppy that I have ever seen (and I have seen a ton of puppies). I will enjoy watching her little puppy grow up. Gosh I love dogs!

5. Kari
I have been a cyber space friend of Kari's for several years now. We met each other in a deco swap group run by Lisa Vollrath. The group is now defunct but I learned so many mixed media techniques by communicating with the artists from this group. Kari's blog is all about her "daily" painting exploits. She is primarily a watercolor artist who also explores the mixed media world. I enjoy reading about her thoughts as she completes a work. And her water colors are absolutely stunning. I look at them and shake my head. How the "hell" does she do that?

6. Paulette Insall
Paulette's blog was mentioned on another site (I wish I could remember where). I love her portraits and when I discovered that she teaches on line classes, I signed up as soon as I got payed (from my day job). She has a small son and as with these other artists, I really enjoy reading about her human side. The side that is a mother and is vulnerable. Her art work is taking off and she is becoming a presence on the Internet.

7. Claudine Hellmuth
Besides being an internationally known and loved collage artist, inventor of sorts, and all around cool person, Claudine's blog is just so happy. You can feel her smiles and her positive attitude. Of course she does write about sad things that happen in her life but for the most part, her blog exudes happiness. From her books and DVD tutorials, I have learned so many interesting techniques. And she keeps them coming through her blog.

And there you have...some personal favorites of mine. These ladies have inspired in ways that I can't put into words. I feel that my art is coming alive through them...even though they basically don't know I exist. It really doesn't matter though...I am just so lucky that blogging allows us to peer into the hearts and souls of so many wonderful artists.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Catching up with Found Art 9-19-08

I have been so out of sorts lately. Maybe it is because my fifteen year old has a new "friend" and will be going to homecoming, maybe it is because her grades are dismal, maybe it is because I have taken yet another volunteer role, this time for the public library, maybe it is because I have been uninspired to do any art and I have a show looming ahead (Nov. 1). I don't know.. maybe it is just me. Well yesterday I basically said to hell with it all and went down into my studio to start a new work. This one is inspired by the Arabian dance from the Nutcracker. I found all sorts of watercolor paper scraps on my table and completed this bookmark collage based on my state of mind. I am thinking I will leave it in our library because we are there so often. While I have not been doing Rosa's themes of late, I have been doing my own thing continuing in the found art tradition. I find it relaxing. These little pieces are so quick and satisfying. I just wish whoever finds these gems would at least leave a comment on my blog like I found it...thanks. Since 2006 I have been leaving little gems all over McHenry county and only once did I receive a comment! That resulted in my first ever gallery show. I guess I should just realize that the average person just does not get it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Una Sonrisa, a finished work: 9-4-08

My portrait of Claire is finally done. I am pleased with the finality of it! I think the process of giving a finished piece of art a title is rather interesting. I generally have nothing in mind as far as a title goes and will often give my work in progress a working title. This work sat around my studio and then my family room for a month and finally it dawned on me that one of the defining features of my daughter is her smile, hence the title which means smile in Spanish. I chose the Spanish translation of smile because I think it is such a beautiful word. Sonrisa evokes a happiness in me and that is what Claire does. My Claire is very intelligent and quick witted. I love her quips and she can crack up just about everyone. But when she smiles, she lights up my world. I also found a quote about smiling (I just googled the word smile and came up with a dozen or so quote sights) and the handwriting on the wall ( a pun is intended here) says: "If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will benefit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work." I did write in who the quote is attributed to but can't read the name which is rather long. This closes the book on the class I took on line from Paulette Insall. It is time to move onto the next project (an abstract collage for my mixed media class).