Sunday, November 25, 2012

Italian Gothic

Italian Gothic
This is the middle section of a triptych that I am working on.  It is my take on American Gothic.  Hmm, no pitchfork here!  The blue background is from homemade papers I made using CitraSolv.  I found the photo after an extensive search for 1920s men.  I love vintage photos and really like these two "farmers."  This piece reminded my partner of Starry Night.  It kind of does with the sky and the cyprus trees.  Watch for the next part of the triptych soon.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Patient Bird Watcher

The Patient Bird Watcher
With a hushed silence
The sun crept in unnoticed.
The woman sat still.
 
 
This piece took a chunk of the afternoon to complete.  The woman, a bird watcher, sits patiently waiting for what she knows will come today, the EuroAsian Crane.  The light changes rapidly in the early morning hour and yet a cloud passes over before the brightness erupts.
 
I used a vintage photograph from the 1920s for this collage.  The mediums used were watersoluable oil pastels, acrylic paint, pan pastels and of course PhotoShop. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Caution

Caution
There is a story that goes with this one, but I will leave it to your interpretation for the time being.  Perhaps in a week or so I will give you the scoop.  How is that for a tease?

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Martha


Martha


Martha, the woman who I honor with a journal spread, is now 91 years old and about to begin a new chapter in her life.  In December she will move into a retirement home and will be near one of her sons, my friend, Darrow.  Martha is a bit nervous about this move, but as I told her she is actually regaining her independence and only has to answer to herself in her new location.

This piece began as all my works do with a treasure that I find and in this case a wooden SE Asian statue.  I really should not begin a work of art when I am tired as I worked a little too long on it last night.  I started to make mistakes and stopped.  Over the night, as is frequently the case my brain solved the problem on how to repair the damage of the night before.  Also, as is frequently the case, I like the repaired work better than what I had done previously.

Think of the right side of the spread as a stage set.  Starting at the bottom and working to the top you see a garden and a door and windows.  The door represents everything that has happened in Martha's life and the windows represent the ability to look into her life.  The background for the stage set is Martha's childhood photo when she was one year old along with the calligraphy for her childhood name, Lok King Oy.  Let the play begin!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Waiting for Dates

Waiting for Dates at the Subway Stop
For some reason upon looking at the completed version I find that balance is what this piece is all about.  Counterbalancing items must have been in my subconscious.  Right from the start of splitting the train station down the middle at the intersection of the doors started the balancing process.  For the palm tree there is a flower, for the kola there is a seltzer, for the portrait of the man there is the stamp.  The two women break the balance and add additional interest.  I wanted to name the piece Working Girls, but I did not want them to seem to be prostitutes.  In my narrative they are just waiting for their dates to take them into the city for possibly some dinner and salsa dancing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just What Do Chickens Think About?

Just What Do Chickens Think About?
This was a total experiment in my flea market find journal.  (I think I will refer to it as my FMJ from now on.)  I started this piece by just painting the background with a credit card. The acrylic paint just seemed to jump around and right off the page.  Then I was looking through my stash and found the chicken.  The mail arrived from Finland and the stamps were great.  I had scraps of paper right on my desktop and so basically everything just started to be glued down with UHU glue.  I had not used it before as I usually use a more clear liquid glue called Glue-It.  However, for some reason Glue-It has not been doing what I want on acrylic.  I really did not have a plan for this piece.  It just became....

As I got going I started to think about chickens and what do they think.  AHA moment!  Around the border is what they think about and throughout are possibilities if we personify chickens a bit.  After a bit of collage work I decided that I would spray the piece with an acrylic varnish.  But NO...it was black spray paint and the right side of the journal spread was way covered.  Thank goodness for rubbing alcohol.  It took a great amount of black paint off.  Perhaps it took a bit more than I wanted as the chicken now is more impressionistic.  Mostly the piece was saved.  Distress ink covers a multitude of mistakes.  Journals are for experimenting anyway.  I learned a lot on this piece.  PhotoShop also took some of the sins away.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Georgia On My Mind, A Tribute

Georgia On My Mind, A Tribute

Months ago I created the background in a Jane Davies online class.  We were working on landscapes.  I came across that background after a recent trip to the SW.  Little did I know that it would be perfect for my tribute to Georgia O'Keeffe.

The Southwest has always intrigued me.  When I was younger I heard stories of my grandmother making the journey from LA to Santa Fe.  It was a desire to see the Santa Fe of those stories and my retirement that led me to my October vacation, 7000 miles, crisscrossing the SW.

I loved the simplicity of the adobe, the flatness of the land which really is not flat but gently rolling. The starkness of the vegetation and the light.  It is true about the light in New Mexico.  I totally understand why Georgia O'Keeffe wanted to live there.  The light especially in the late afternoon is much like the light I found in the south of France.  It is gorgeous.

This piece, Georgia On My Mind, is simple and meant to be a tribute to Georgia O'Keeffe.  The background although completed months before my journey fits so well into what I saw in New Mexico, the adobe and the colors that I saw in October.  I am in awe of the flower paintings and landscapes created by such a determined woman.  Since returning from my trip I have read two books about O'Keeffe.  The first, Remembering Miss O'Keeffe: Stories from Abiquiu by Margaret Wood, is a memoir of five years of life spent with O'Keeffe.  The second is a cookbook, A Painter's Kitchen: Recipes from the Kitchen of Georgia O'Keeffe.   Both give insight into this amazing American artist.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Apparitions


Apparitions
The photos for this collage came from the box of photos purchased at the Long Beach Flea Market last month.  This was one of those pieces that just started on its own only being manipulate by my hands and continued with a driving force until complete.  It was as it was driven by some unknown being as was the narrative.   Throughout the collage process I was worried about this being a sinister piece.  I even wrote to friends about how I usually do not do such pieces.  I loved the selection of what I thought were disparate collage pieces but which turned out to be what you see in the completed work.  I sure wish I knew about the people featured here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Funeral Lady

Funeral Lady
The story behind this piece is that I purchased a photo of the woman in this spread at a garage sale.  I asked the woman selling the photograph if she knew anything about the photo.  The Asian lady was the wife of her uncle who died.  It was my understanding that the woman made out like a bandit upon the death of her husband. 

This piece evolved from that photo with a fictionalized narrative.  The right hand side represents the man's death at 10:11 P.M.  The statuary symbolizes the cemetery with a cat scurrying about.  The left hand side represents the woman spending her husband's money by traveling around the world.

This piece was created for the 1001 Journal that Brian Kasstle is sending around.  I have been fortunate to have created three pieces for Brian's two journals.  It is amazing what others have created in the two journals.  Here is the link to Brian's blog..... http://apaperbear.wordpress.com/

November 2012 ATC

Man With Veil of Leaves

I exchange ATC cards monthly with two artists, Brian and Terry. There was no theme this month which left me wondering what to create.  Most of my pieces just start evolving without much thought in the beginning, I just start.  Brian, who lives in Long Beach, California, and I went to the flea market there last month where we found a box of old photographs.  We decided to split the box and so this is one of the photos from that box.  I added color, embroidery thread, the veil of leaves and mica to create this piece.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monkies

Monkies


About the only good thing about junk mail is that it provides me with journal fodder.  These monkies come from a political ad for Washington state politician.  They screeched to become the first new page in my altered journal from the Long Beach, California flea market.  There were quite a few happy accidents with this piece. The best one was that the background which was made first matches  the monkies clothing perfectly.