Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Slowly Getting There: Progress as of 5-31-11


For my children, this past weekend was the first one of the summer.  School is out, no tests, no homework, no papers and both are sick.  My son has a nasty cold and sore throat, his twin sister seemed to have something much worse.  I took her to urgent care on Sunday.  I thought she had strep.  All symptoms pointed to it.  The doctor wanted a rapid strep test and it was negative.  So that left him with a probable mono diagnosis.  SHIT.  Swan lake is in two weeks!  Well tomorrow I will take her to her pediatrician and we will get a blood test.  I am hoping for anything but mono.  Her glands are so swollen she can barely talk.  Nasty.  Art time has been minimal.  I guess I should be use to it :(  I did get into the studio today and here is where I am at on the piece that will be a gift.  I still have more to do but for the most part, it has come together.  Being a little distracted, I have lost the enthusiasm for this work.  Need to get it back so I can finish it! I have a working title:  "Transformation"  and it suits the work. I do have some words I want to add as well.  Let me say that this photo is an iPhone one and the colors are off.  When I complete the piece, I will definitely scan it.     Its funny, as I am looking at this piece here in this post, I can focus in better on areas than still need defining etc....     Hmmmm  K

Friday, May 27, 2011

Demo finished from Spring Scape class: 5-26-11

"First Thaw"
 Just a tad bit whimsical, this mixed media and collage depicts the joy I feel whenever I think about Santa Fe in the spring. Actually the inspiration for this work is steeped in the art of Phyllis Kapp, an
internationally collected water color artist who resides in Santa Fe.  She turns 80 this year and I wanted to create a piece in her style.  While she of course is a painter, I altered these papers in southwest themed colors for use in my work.  The piece is entitled: "First Thaw."  In addition to the papers, some of which are from the Paper Packet project, I used acrylics, water soluble oil pastels, artist crayons and gel pen.  The work is  8 by 8 inches and is on canvas board.  

I did manage to work a little further on the piece below.  I have not titled it yet but I have a few ideas that I am ruminating on.  I hope to take a quick picture later today.  I probably won't get back to work on it till Monday as our weekend is shaping up to be really busy..that is nothing new :)


Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Gift inProgress:5-26-11

Step 1:The Papers
Step 2: Background painted
These last few days have been heaven sent.I am finished for the school year (yea, I graduated 10 pre-k children) and my own children are still in school (she said with a smile). Colin and Claire have finals right now and tomorrow is their last day.  I am taking advantage of this peace and quiet to do what I love to do...create.   since I have the luxury of time this week, I though I would share some of the steps involved in this piece as I go along.  This work is for a very special woman.  She is one of Colin and Claire's dance mentors and has just recently had a baby.  I usually don't like to share my work so early but I wanted to share the evolution of this piece because I am becoming attached to it (on many levels).  I took these photos with my iPhone 3GS so the poor quality should speak for itself. 

Having dancers in my family, well I am often inspired by their performances. Very shortly (2 weeks to be exact)Colin and Claire will be performing in Swan Lake. So it seemed appropriate to do something in that vein, especially since the new baby is a girl. The basic papers include some  adds from Dance magazine, an old Swan Lake program, and old ticket from Sleeping Beauty, and some pages from old books. The papers set the mood.  In Step 2, I glazed the papers in three acrylic using Misty Mawn's sort of style for moving the paint around.  I then used some alcohol and rinse aid while the paint was still wet.  This accounts for the streaking.  Step 3 was done today. Now you can see where I am going with this.Since we subscribe to Dance Magazine, I found a photo / pose that I liked and sketched it as best I could.  Using a Stabilio pencil to sketch and then I whetted a brush to push the graphite around to sort of shade in those darker areas (like an under painting but cheating a little). I have several more elements to sketch in and maybe do a transfer rather than sketch the final element. I can't wait to see this unfold. There is still much to do.....

Step 3: Loose Sketch of main image
On another note, the artist reception for the collage show called E/Glued,was wonderful.The show was beautifully put together and showcased the work of about 15 artists from around the area and out of state as well. I was indeed very proud to be a part of that show. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures grrrrrr. I forgot. But in my defense, I had a second artist reception to go to that same night.  I sort of was preoccupied. David Becker, renowned water colorist / artist, had a reception that was for his students. He teaches at The Studio in McHenry and has quite a following.  The show was wonderful and I am so glad I had those few moments to soak in all that talent:)  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Post Graduation: 5-23-11

Its official, Kaitie is out of high school.  I surprised myself by not crying.  That is really unusual for me but the ceremony was so large and almost impersonal.  I just could not get into it from an emotional view point.  I hope that doesn't make me a bad Mom. Kaitie ran off with her friends before I could really give her a huge hug.  I did finally get one and then I had to face a mass exodus of about 2500 plus people from the parking lot.  I mean really!  It was insane.  We celebrated briefly with cake and balloons and roses and then she was gone.  The parties are in full swing and it seems non stop.  I do remember my graduation and I too was a person in absentia for weeks on end :)  Good for you Kaitlyn!  Enjoy this time with your friends.  Soon everyone will be heading in different directions.

I finally came up for air on Sunday and got some studio time in.  I finished a piece called Vernal Pools from my Claiming Sanctuary series.  I also started a piece for an extra special Mom.  Here you see the papers I selected and these are adhered to a masonite board (cradled).  They may or may not be seen in the final work.  Next I will add more texture with coats of acrylic paint and perhaps some thicker media like molding paste or I don't know, whatever moves me.  There will be some drawing too.  Can't wait to get going on it. And finally,I will be in the Art of the Land benefit once again.  I finally finished the paper work (porcrastinated till the last minute as usual.  The Raue Gallery also send me notice that I can submit this year for a gallery show with them.  Lots cooking!  Teaching a collage class tonight too called Spring Scape.  Then I am taking a break (teaching break) till August.


Monday, May 09, 2011

Prom week: 5/2-5/6

Who was I kidding?  Did I really think that I would be able to get into the studio this past week?  At least I had a little time on Sunday to reflect on what being a mother means to me but even those few precious moments were very fuzzy due to a nasty cold that I caught this past Thursday.  I did a lot of running around for my 18 year old this past week.  This was her senior prom.  She worked last week, most nights and so details were left to me.  There was a big part of me that loved doing these things for her, you know, ordering the boutonniere, running down hair accessories for the new do, digging out the her camera and making sure it was charged, finding that perfect clutch bag (which she hated and did not take), washing her intimates, and the list went on... And then there was a small part of me that totally hated doing all this stuff.  Maybe it is because it was her last prom, maybe it was because I am finally realizing she is a young woman, or maybe it was because I never want this part of her life to end.  I am so dreading her leaving...  This is where my mothers day reflection came in.  In the fall, Kaitie will be going to our local community college.  I know she will still be living here at home but between school and her job, I will see her little.  She is making decisions on her own now, driving her own car, making her own appointments for hair, dentist etc, and has her own very active social life.  Sign...so bittersweet.  This high school time has just flown...just as I knew it would.  I tried to grab hold of it, tried to treasure each week, month, year...but come May 19th, Kaitie will graduate. She is anxious to leave it all behind, to start a new chapter, to move on with her life.  She is anxious to be her own person.  I just hope that I made the right decisions for her during the past 18 years and that she had internalized at least some of the age old wisdom I tried to pass on.  Being a mom to her was tough, very tough.  But there was one thing that came very easy...loving her.

Kaitie and her date

Monday, May 02, 2011


After the Paper Packets project culminated in our show, I took a deep dive.  I really needed a break from it all.  So no art since the 15th of April.  Now its time to get back at it.  I have a few ideas of where to go with my Claiming Sanctuary series (using papers from the paper packet project) and I have a new work I want to start for a very special baby named Ava.  I also just delivered 3 works to the first ever all mixed media and collage gallery show in our area.  Its about time!  That show begins May 5th and runs a month at the Old Jail House in Woodstock, Illinois.  Also I have a May 30 (or so) deadline to submit the works I want to hang for The Land Conservancy "Art of the Land" show in September.  It is really nice to be juggling these shows.  

Back to the Paper Packet artist reception.  A nice evening was had by all.  I think we stirred the pot a bit with these works and I was so proud of all the emerging artists.  I was overwhelmed when I viewed all the finished and framed pieces.  Absolutely amazing.  A few of the works sold as well and that was just icing on the cake.  I'm not sure how we will top this project.  It was a while in the making and I so appreciate all the artists sticking with the program.  I think it was a real learning experience for me in that while I have been in gallery shows, I never have been on the planning side of a show.  I can't thank Lucy enough for her support and guidance.  We learned the hard way.   There are things we will do different next time for sure.  But all in all, I think the show was a success.

Finally, on April 24th, Easter, my father-in-law turned 88.  Here are my twins helping him read a card.  Dear Jack is in the throws of Alzheimer. It has been a long road for my husband and his sister.  My husband and I feel pretty useless.  Between running our 3 teens around and all the other baggage associated with them, it has been hard to be there for Jack.  He is deteriorating quickly.  My sister-in-law is a saint.  She has been running interference between his doctors, psychiatrist, and the woman who runs the home where Jack is living.  It has been a nightmare for her.  Hopefully his meds will be figured out soon and prescribed according to his needs. 

Hopefully I will be in the studio at least one day this week.  Prom is Friday and it is Kaitie's Senior prom.  Big day.