Friday, October 31, 2014

Sudden Alarm

Sudden Alarm
Last week while I attended CREATE workshops I was able to try new tools.  In this case I was introduced to Liquitex Paint Markers.  I, of course, had to orders some when I returned home.  Sudden Alarm was started in Nathalie Kalbach's workshop and completed this morning.

My Haiku reads:  Quiet woods, calmness
                              Lost alone uncertainty
                              Sudden alarm, wolf!

I love using napkins in my art and I discovered something new when using the leaf napkin I recently found. (Thank you Liesel Lund for pointing out Costume Display's fantastic supply of napkins.)  The napkin has three plies.  Ply one was the print, but underneath was ply two and three.  I discarded ply three.  Ply two had a faint bit of the design which was used in Sudden Alarm as it was so subtle. Check out the plies next time you buy designer napkins.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chinese Bambi

Chinese Bambi
This piece is fairly complex in its layering.  I used my gelli plate, ephemera, deli paper, acrylic paint and my handmade chop stamp or mark.  I love the fact that I have my own chop mark.  I made it last February in an Orly Avineri workshop.  I have started using it pretty much in all my work of late.

Chinese Bambi looks pretty cluttered here but not so much in person.  The layers stand out much more when held.

Why a Chinese character you say?  Well, I started learning something that is Chinese yesterday.  I will leave it at that for now.  It was quite a day I might add and I loved every minute of it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Camembert No. 8

Camembert No. 8
The Camembert series comes to an end.  At least for now that is.  I always leave the door open for more but there is so much more to create.  I have moved on to a new series using the gelli plate and French vintage ephemera already.

The reason for the magenta framing of Camembert No. 7 and No. 8 is because the pieces were a bit smaller than I normally make.  Since they are postcards I wanted to standardize the size.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Camembert No. 7

Camembert No. 7
There is satisfaction in creating a series in an art form.  In this case a series of postcards that has a theme.  It is a challenge to find threads to complete the theme.  Who would have thought that the idea of Camembert cheese would be incorporated into pieces of art?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oz Journal

Last week I attended CREATE Seattle and in Katherine England's workshop we created journals. Katherine brought covers and wood for adhering the front and back covers.  We drilled holes in the covers for binding and we tore paper for six signatures.  Using the coptic stitch we bound the book. It took five hours to complete.  It was fun but not necessarily easy to sew the coptic stitch.  Once finished everyone felt that we had really accomplished something. Chests swelled with pride!  I need to do another one soon so I can remember the stitch.

Oz Journal


Oz Journal Back Cover




Sunday, October 26, 2014

Camembert No. 6

Camembert No. 6
Today is the last day of CREATE Seattle.  It has been an amazing ride.  I have met so many wonderful people and had a wonderful time in each of the workshops.  It truly is an experience I would do again.  I am most proud of the journal I created in Katherine England's workshop.  There is something about binding a new journal and the swelling pride of accomplishment that is felt each time I pick it up.

I hope to show some of what I have done in the workshops over the next week.  I still have Camembert No. 7 and No. 8 to share as well.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October ATC

2001, A Space Odyssey - October 2014  ATC
More of the Camembert series later this weekend, but for my international ATC group the task for October was to create using film as the theme.  I had some leftover CitraSol/National Geographic papers that looked space like.  So 2001, A Space Odyssey became my film of choice.

Off to the fourth day of CREATE this morning.  Each day has been just about the best that one can expect from workshops.  I am thoroughly enjoying each experience.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Camembert No. 5

Camembert No. 5
So much to do and so little time or so it seems.  I have been attending CREATE in Seattle for three days.  Tomorrow and Sunday will be days four and five.  I am tired but it has been a wonderful experience.  Each workshop has reminded me how much community there is in the  mixed media art world.  I love being around others who "get it".   There are only two men participating in the workshop as students. I think there is one male instructor.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Camembert No. 4

Camembert No. 4
Lucky me for the next five days as I attend CREATE Seattle....I signed up for five workshops.  I love the community that is developed each time I attend or teach a class.  It is so amazing to be among artists who "get it".  It just feeds the soul.

Creating mail art also feeds the soul.  Coming up with a composition that works takes some time. Searching for the "right" elements to meet my standards is not something that just happens quickly. Creating gives satisfaction, but then it is time to send off the finished piece to artists out there who also "get it".

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Camembert No. 3

Camembert No. 3
I am imagining that this woman once lived on a farm somewhere in Brittany perhaps.  She move to Paris and never returned but she has memories of making cheese that perhaps she would rather forget. Who knows?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Camembert No. 2

Camembert No. 2
I found these great paper dolls and I love how stiff they look.  This postcard took on many "lives" until I found the Camembert labels.  Then everything fell into place.  I love auditioning ephemera.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Camembert No. 1


Camembert No. 1
A new series evolved yesterday, a series of eight postcards.  They all are connected through vintage pieces I found that relate to Camembert cheese.  I am loving the French vintage site that an art friend in Florida pointed out to me.  Thanks Thomas. :-)  Isn't the internet just about the best place in the world to explore.  It has opened up windows to worlds that one would never have visited before.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

78 But

78 But
Martha loves spending the afternoon in art galleries.  She can not afford to buy, but she loves to look the part of an art patron.  What is it about story telling that I like so much?  A story never comes first when I am creating a piece of art. I never know how a piece is going to end up. I start and a story evolves.  Sometimes I provide you with my story version and sometimes I leave it up to you.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve
This was another piece made from my cleaning up baggies of ephemera.  I have had the stone Adam and Eve for some time and never seemed to find a place for them.  Now they have a new home as they are going off to someone in today's mail.  When cleaning out my mother's house I found an old bank book.  Pieces of it are showing up now as collage material.  I think perhaps I will not need to find new ephemera for a long time as I sure brought home many boxes of it from Orcas Island.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Secret Told

Secret Told
Don't you just know he has told her a huge secret?  She loves him but is his secret such that it ends their relationship.  Perhaps a story of your own comes to mind.  In the gay world so many men have kept their "secret" from their loved ones.  I love that that world is changing so rapidly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cat Nightmare

Cat Nightmare
I had so much trouble with this postcard.  I had done the background....easy peasy.  I added the cat because I loved the photograph.  But what to do next....background done, middle ground done!  Then I found some wonderful vintage pieces on a French website.  That brought about Cat Nightmare. Actually it should be Stella's Cat Nightmare. Foreground done!

Stella, the woman in the foreground, had a reoccurring nightmare about a cat!  I had a reoccurring nightmare when I was a child.  To this day I am deathly afraid of snakes.  I can not go to the reptile house at the Seattle Zoo.  I have to close my eyes when watching a television show where a snake appears.  And I hate being surprised in a magazine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Veiled

Veiled
I love being an abstract random.  It fits me to a T.  I totally believe that it allows me to be creative and free to the max when it comes to art.  Abstract randoms are not organized at all.  Things in their studio are is disarray.  There are piles upon piles of stuff everywhere.  Probably the one of the most famous artists who I imagine to have been an abstract random is Andy Warhol.  I have read that he had so much stuff in his apartment that walking through it was like walking through a maze.  I am not that bad.  The one thing is that I know where everything is.  I can find something quickly.

I live with a concrete sequential, one who organizes to the max.  Some concrete sequentials even alphabetize their spice cabinets.  Mine does not.  I really like having a concrete sequential in my life because every once in awhile my space gets invaded and organization takes place....not without me watching though.  I have to know where everything goes.  If in the slight chance I do not know where something is all I have to do is ask.

I love the randomness of Veiled.  It came together when I was going through zip lock bags of ephemera.....pieces of paper that I had not looked at for some time.  Actually this is a fun activity to try out if you have not.  Take random pieces of ephemera and just create.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cock Fight

Cock Fight
I just plain do not understand fighting.  Any fighting!   What is it that makes someone want to watch or partake in hurting another person.  It must be that testosterone is a major factor.  Although I know that there are some women who engage in physical behavior as well....think roller derby!

Historically we humans have engaged in brutality of the worse kind.....think the Roman Coliseum. One could make a long list of other similar societal or individual acts.

Whether it be verbal or physical I just don't get it.  In my relationship of 22 years we have never had a fight.  Early on we decided that we would discuss anything on which we disagreed.  Never is there a raised voice.

In creating Cock Fight I thought about societies where it seems there is less concern about the power over another.  Sweden and Finland and Norway come to mind.  Hence, I give my nod to Scandinavia by including the stamp that my friend Ingrid used on an envelope to me.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gram

Gram
An art friend of mine has several grandchildren.  She is very close to all of her family.  I envy her relationships.  So many of us, me included, did not have that closeness growing up and as adults. Funny how the dice are rolled!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Suave

Suave
What is it about someone like George Clooney who presents himself in a way that provides us with an example of someone who we would say is suave?  Confidence is one of the things that comes to mind.  Certain clothing exemplifies confidence.  Cary Grant possessed the qualities that I connect to someone defined as suave.  Both men were and are charming and elegant.  The man in Suave certainly fits the standard.  One does not have to be rich to meet the definition, one just has to have good taste.  But isn't that in eye of the beholder?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Moo and Cluck

Moo and Cluck
I am not worried about perspective in most of my collages.  A smaller item may be superimposed over a larger piece of ephemera.  It never bothers me in collage, but it might bother me if I was doing a landscape collage for instance.  I really never gave it much thought though.  I am more worried about balance and color and total composition.  I like oddities and figuring out how to make those oddities work.  Somehow my eye just knows what works and what does not.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Moon Lanuage

Moon Language
I lived in Japan from 1983 to 1985.  During my stay there I was always brought to laughter by the English that was written on clothing.  It seemed that it did not have to make sense, anything goes. Moon Language is my remembrance these fond experiences.  Perhaps there is a language of the moon.  I certainly have had many experiences looking at it in 64 years of life.  Then there is the great film Moon Struck.  Who does not remember the moon in that movie?!  It is just fun to put two words together whether or not they make sense.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ukiyo-e Dragonfly

Ukiyo-e Dragonfly
Killing two birds with one stone, what a strange idiom!  Who wants to kill birds these days?  Just the image is repulsive to me.  The origin of the idiom is Latin and adopted into the English language centuries later.  You might be asking why am I bringing this up when there are no birds in this postcard.  I had two tasks to complete.  One was a thank you for some stamps that were sent to me from Finland. Perhaps you have seen the Tom of Finland stamps.  Pretty risque stuff for Puritanical Americans! My friend, Ulla, who sent them to me, says that they are selling like hotcakes over there.

The second reason is that I needed to document a step-by-step process that I use when I make postcards.  I will be teaching at the Schack Art Center in Everett in November and I needed the process for my lesson plan. Hence I created Ukio-e Dragonfly and hence the appropriate use of the strange idiom.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fish Face

Fish Face
I am using up stuff lying around my studio.  I have piles and boxes of ephemera that has just been waiting to be used.  Finding just the right ephemeral combination for a composition to work is the trick.  Isn't that a great term...ephemeral combination.  I have coined a new art term as I just did a google search and nothing came up for "ephemeral combination." :-)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bird Food

Bird Food
The only thing about putting out bird feed is that it attracts other critters that are not wanted.  Case in point, my mother use to feed the birds until rats started coming to eat the feed that was spilled on the ground.  That led to extermination issues and the ending of the feeding.  The squirrels also thought it a good source of food.  There was an easy way to stop them.  A metal shield worked as it was slippery and the squirrels could not get at the food.  I would rather have squirrels than rats.

Although I did have a squirrel living in my attic one time.  That was quite the situation.  Finally I trapped the squirrel and released him on the University of Washington campus.  I have never seen an animal so angry as that squirrel.  When it was a safe distance away from me it turned around and gave me HELL!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Stone

Stone
I don't know where I found the "stone" faces like the one on this post card but I just love the look. There were three originally.  The goggles just make the face!  The letters are press on letters that I got at an art garage sale last spring.  The Schack Art Center has a yearly garage sale for artists to sell their unwanted stuff.  It really is an amazing sale.  Michele, my art friend, got tickets for early entry and so I did not have to elbow the crowds like the previous sale.  I definitely will go again next year.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why

Why
Don't you remember when you were a kid and always asked the question WHY?  That was our way of putting sense to everything around us.  As I get older making sense seems to not be in the cards as there is so much nonsense going on around us all.  So why did I choose to put everything into this postcard the way I did.  Who cares!  It just is.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

423


423
This postcard was inspired by figs.  I know it sounds odd but I love figs and last weekend I was in Whole Foods to see if there might possibly be figs yet and sure enough there were.  On my way to the checkout I saw the most wonderful cocktail napkin with dragonflies.  Since I love to use napkins in collage I had to purchase the napkins.  This series of eight uses the napkin ephemera in the background.  I created the series on heavy stock paper that I found at a garage sale last weekend as well.  It only cost 25 cents for about ten sheets 20 by 32 inch black paper.  I guess the seller was cleaning house and meant it!  Anyway, I scored big time.....lucky me!

423 has a secret meaning which I explained on the back of the postcard to the person who will receive the snail mail.