Monday, February 28, 2011

Sedge Meadow II from the series: Claiming Sancturay

Sedge Meadow II
 I finished another sedge meadow piece and finally got it scanned and entered in my art database.  This is the same size as the previous work, 8 by 8 inches, and was done on 300 lb water color paper.  The nature altered papers were further enhanced with acrylics, water soluble oil pastels, and graphite.  I have one more sedge meadow up my sleeve and then I am thinking I will move onto coastal waters.  In between my art I really need to start focusing on the details for the upcoming gallery show.  While I find this process rewarding, details drive me crazy!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sedge Meadow: From the series, Claiming Sanctuary

Sedge Meadow I (from the series: Claiming Sanctuary)
 I don't think I have been this excited about my art in quite sometime.  There is something about working with talented people, all focused on a similar goal, that just gets those creative juices flowing.  This piece, Sedge Meadow I,  is the first in a small series of works focusing on the theme "Ecological Ethics in our Global Society."  The series is entitled, Claiming Sanctuary, and it is a play on words (think about it and you will get it). The piece is 8 by 8 inches and was done on 3oo lb Arches rough watercolor paper.  In addition, I just finished my second piece in this series entiled Sedge Meadow II (not a very creative title but oh well).  And I will probably do a third sedge meadow.  I am totally rocking on these beautiful places that face such an uncertain future (unless we do something now).  

Last Thursday, the Paper Packets group met to unwrap their packets and look at their papers (unfortunately I did not get any pictures even though I had my camera with me).  What a great evening.  We all brainstormed what the the theme of our soon to be gallery show really means. Ideas poured out of everyone and I could barely keep up writing down suggestions on the dry erase board.    I do hope this will ease peoples feeling about having a theme.  Actually, I was so hoping that this would focus our artistic efforts as well as unify the show.  I think those that view our works will have some semblance of understanding why these works are so meaningful and just how truly unique they are.   After all, it is not everyday that mother Nature has such a huge hand in the process.  Once these papers are gone...that is it.  They are one of a will be the art that is produced from them.  I am so excited for all of you ladies.  I know your work will be amazing.  Our gallery show will begin April 15th (with a meet the artist opening) and then run about 4 weeks.  Still a lot of work to do but it is the kind of thing I thrive on.  This subject matter is so near and dear to my hear.  I just wish former Vice President Al Gore could make an appearance (hey why not dream big, I mean really big LOL). 

This will be the first gallery show for many of the artists participating in this project.  I want to thank Lucy at The Studio for lending us her space.  I know that your walls will be adorned with incredible work.  I hope this experience will be fun and not so scary.  You are all amazing artists!  Your work and voice should be seen and heard.  Remember, we are all in this together and I could not be more proud of you!

I have some other things cooking too.  I really have to get cracking on a collage gallery show that I was invited to participate in (once my jpegs have been looked at).  And this morning I received a lovely comment on my last blog post that I though was really exciting.  I need to look into this a bit further though and then I'll post about it. And finally, I need to do a piece for my the Pink Ribbon Angels breast cancer fund raiser.  I'm smiling could not get much better than this.

More pictures will follow soon of my papers (as I work on them) and of course, my finished piece.
Happy and peaceful Sunday to you all!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Studio Time: Paper Packets project 2-22-11

My packet right before I
brought it in.
Papers after removed from packet
More time in the studio today.  I have all this energy right now and I really am not sure why.  My poor house is a mess (which is pretty usual) and I am not any less busy but my priorities have shifted again.  I really want to complete my first piece from my personal papers that were in my packet at home by this Thursday. That is when our group meets at Lucy's Studio to unwrap their own packets. I further altered some of the papers, coated them with polymer medium, and have begun to rip and tear away.  My first pieces will have to do with preserving landscapes for future generations.  While the images will be abstract in nature, I think the title of each piece will help the viewer feel my story.  I have nothing in mind yet except for a sedge meadow that keeps coming to me, as a place of beauty, right before I fall asleep at night.  I simply can't imagine what would happen if these meadows disappeared.   How would that effect the environment? How many species would become extinct or at the very least, endangered?  What about the the water cycle and oxygen cycle? Would that tip the scales?

copied from:
papers after further altering

Ecological Ethics is the theme for our gallery show (in celebration of Earth Day).  I hope our work will convey some sense of urgency to the viewers.  If not through the actual works, then through our voices as we greet people and tell them our story.  The work will be unique in as much as the papers and other items that were used to create them, were altered by Mother Nature herself.  Once they are gone, there will be no others like them.  They are unique, just as each work is unique. I feel very strongly about this topic and I am so proud to have been able to get this project off the ground for our artists and our community.  I do plan on writing up a little summary of the work (and why each piece is so unique) to hang with the show.  Lots to do before Earth Day !!!! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Paper Packets: Drying and ready to go 2-21-11

After the storm
This past Friday, the paper packet project actually became a reality for me.  Its one thing to bundle up a bunch of papers and throw them outside to decay (if you will) but it is quite another to rescue them after almost 5 months of exposure to the elements, lay them out, and begin the creative process.  The packets that were put together by the Studio's mixed media class, were rescued from the Studio's little portico.  A few of the papers were still buried under snow (from the great snow storm of 2011) but most were accesible because there had/has been a big thaw.  On the home front, I brought in my packet which had been hanging on one of our white pines for 5 months.  By Sunday, the packet was dry enough to unfurl and then the fun began.  I felt like a kid in a toy store...looking at the contents of the packet.  Some of the papers were coffee stained and tea stained while others were stained from easter egg dye tablets.  Still others were frail and I had to handle them with care.  The pages from news papers that I included actually bled some what.  My only regret is that I did not stuff that packet with more papers. 

So much snow, Feb 2011

On Thursday of this week, the group will get together to examen their packets.  I can't wait to see the looks on their faces as they rip through the screening that held their papers.  While I wait though, I have begun to stain the papers from my packet at home in colors that have a earthy feel.  Greens, blues, browns, grays etc.. will be needed for the art that follows.  I spent most of Sunday and Monday altering and getting really messy (my favorite part).  My goal is to have at least one work done by Thursday's class.  I have had a sedge meadow in my brain for the last two days that is just waiting to become a reality on 300 lb water color paper (Arches...yummy).  The ideas for the Earth Show theme are swirling around in my brain...some more serious, others, imaginary places I would love to spend time in. 
After the thaw

Drying in the Studio

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The AfterGlo: Taking the 5 week course with Misty Mawn

Gosh it is so hard to believe the course/class is over.  Misty Mawn's Stretching Within course did just that.  It had something for everyone.  Once I figured out that there was no way I could "keep up" with all the assignments.  I just picked what I would enjoy the most.  I did "stretch" myself with drawing assignments and the painting exercises.  There was so much more though and some I really had no interest in, at least for right now.  I did take notes for future reference and I did copy all the useful links with her favorite tools of the trade.  For example, I can't wait to try the white gel pen she has recommended.  I have yet to find a brand that will handle mixed media works.  I promise to review it once I order and receive it :) 

"Industrial Evilution."
 So how much art did I get done.  Well, not too much.  I sketched more that I have in decades.  I did a couple of paintings and one collage that you see here.  This work will be mailed to Misty for a future article in Somerset Studio (about her course).  I plan on getting it out early next week.  Bottom line, would I take a class with her again?  Oh yea.  Having wanted to study with her for years...this on-line class was the next best thing for me because travel is out of the question at this time. 

A little bit about this work.  Often times I try to make some kind of commentary with my mixed media/collage works.  This one definitely is full of my ire with how things are going in the world.Lets just leave the rest to your interpretation.  I used images that Misty gave us (the bust of the woman, her head piece and her hand).  In this work I did a total of 10 transfers, all of which turned out pretty good.  My collage glue for this work was soft gel matte medium (Golden). Some of the media I used included: acrylics, water soluble oil pastels, graphite, washers, and a variety of papers.   I composed the piece, if you will, lying in bed before I fell asleep (over about a week).  And I will say that I am pleased with it because it actually does convey some deep emotion.  So now it is time to move on.  I am grateful for this experience and will use it to build some new work that will emerge out of my paper packets.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Blizzard of this decade so far: 2/1/11

"Through the Screen." Really, really snowed in.
It has been an interesting couple of days.  On Monday I had a colossal headache so I knew that something big was coming.  Snow started gently on Monday, stopped, and then again started Tuesday morning.  My headache cleared up Monday afternoon, only to return Tuesday morning at work.  I know my body well enough by now to recognize that this headache was not due to my pre-k class (screaming five year olds), but rather that a huge front was going to hit our area.  The meteorologists had predicted this huge Midwest storm but again, due to experience, I often don't believe them.  I mean really, they are more wrong than right.  But my head always knows....  Good thing I made all the copies I needed for my class on Tuesday at noon (just before it started to get bad) for the next time we meet.  So by Tuesday night, roads were impassable, school had been canceled for today (2/2/11), and ballet classes had been canceled. It was wonderful cuddling up in my snuggie and renting a movie (U-Verse) knowing that I did not have to work today and the kids were home too.   Ahhh the good life.  Today, as you can see, we were snowed in.  Could not go anywhere.  The plow only just came through our subdivision and school was canceled for tomorrow as was dance (for tonight, not good by the way since Colin and Claire have performances this weekend in Schaumburg).  So I tried to be productive and I guess you could say that I was.  Our Christmas stuff is finally all down and put away, carpets vacuumed, and I managed to work on a collage for the Misty Mawn course I am taking.  Misty's course is just wonderful but I have been wayyyyy behind on the lesson because of life (good reason I guess).  Since we will be off tomorrow, I will get some more art time :))))  Hopefully the kids will have their
Later in the day, with help from a plow (thanks Kurt)
dress rehearsal tomorrow evening.  They worked  so hard
on rehearsals for these upcoming performances.