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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

number 64

another print in the "photo wall" series.  this is john, as a high school football player (with artistic license).  still playing with the idea of abstraction and realism going back and forth.

Monday, June 27, 2011


some of you have never been to the shop in littleton, so i thought i would share a few shots of the place.  the space is pretty small, about 420 square feet.  i that space we have a kiln, slab roller, potter's wheel, a big architect's desk for working upon, a cash register, several show cases, and lots of artist supplies.  we reallly try to get as much art in there as we can.  early on, we put in ledges instead of trying to put nails in the wall for framed work.  it works out really nicely.  we also did some shelves made from brackets on to which books sit.  then work can be placed on the books.  it's a nice look, but unfortunately we found teresa's pottery is not steady enough on the books.

anyway, some shots for you to enjoy wherever you are!
and don't forget to click on photos for a larger view.

tom's work in clay

teresa's pottery and radios

the "book" shelves with ruth's work and collage materials for sale

the work table, re-purposed for the moment, as display space

the register, as positioned for our may show

Friday, June 24, 2011

inner turmoil

i made these collages in a sketchbook as an exercise.  the good and bad feelings one has around being a creative person.  

there are two of me.  the one who doesn't feel like a real artist.  the one who doubts. and the other me is the one who celebrates my work, and puts it out for all the world to see.  so how does one find the place in between being a bragger, being vulnerable, and being earnest?

marketing oneself as an artist is difficult.  it's like putting the inside of yourself on the outside for everyone to set their eyes upon.  it's uncomfortable, but at the same time necessary.  one moment you feel all vulnerable...will they like it?  will they think you suck?  and the next moment, you are on top of the world, a cheerleader for your talent and ability to create.  maybe that's why there are so many crazy artists out there.  they can't find the balance between needing to create art, and needing to market it to pay the bills.

today i am in between.  i guess i need to make one more collage to add to the ones above.  it should represent the artist who is situated somewhere in the middle of these two states.  the calm artist who makes work because it is truly inside, needing to come out.  the artist who places her work into the universe, and lets the people decide if it speaks to them enough to want it in their home.

it's on the list.  when it's done, i'll let you see....

Monday, June 20, 2011

in the navy

another print day.  i spent forever on this one.  in fact, i couldn't figure out why the dog kept coming in and looking at me longingly.  then i realized i was almost 2 hours late in feeding him.  he hates to come into my studio because of the laminate flooring.  i think he feels like he's going to slip or something...or maybe it's that hollow sound?  anyway, i got lost in the creative process and worked for hours uninterrupted. it was heaven.

i like the piece so far, but think i will work a bit on the face.  it feels a bit unlike the rest of the print, so i will wait a few days for it to dry and then do a little overprinting.

this is based loosely on a photo of my dad in the navy during WWII.  i still have that wool jumper, and actually used to wear it sometimes.  it looked great with a long grey shirt.  maybe i'll dig it out of storage and try it on again!  hopefully it still fits.  my dad was a very small man back then.  in fact, he still is!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

wedding day, 1947

i had an idea to further expand on the concept of the mug shot prints i have been working on.  i thought it might be interesting to open the series up to other photos from other eras.  then i could hang them all together in a sort of "installation" that plays on the idea of the photo wall.  you know, the kind at your grandma's house.  all of the kids, grandkids, cousins, and relatives are up there. it's not hung in a particularly professional fashion.  it's a bit off kilter, and the frames don't exactly match.  sometimes there are even those collage frames included in the mix.

so here is the new print.  it's about 9x12 inches, and is actually based on a photo of my mom and dad on their wedding day.  so even if the wall never comes to fruition, at least i spent the last day thinking of them as i re-created their special day in ink on paper.

btw, you can click on the image for a closer look if you'd like!

Monday, June 13, 2011

mug shots

two new monoprints.  i am further playing with the concept of yearbook mug shots.  maybe my years as a high school yearbook staffer are coming full circle.  anyway, these are a bit larger and more detailed than the ones i previously created.  these are about 9x12 inches.  as you can see, they are similar, but still have some differences.  it's kind of like that game you played in the dentist's office, looking at the two almost identical pictures in highlights magazine.  (i was always so mad when some kid before me circled the answers!!).  can you see the background has come through in different place on each print?  which one do you think works better?

Friday, June 10, 2011

nina lindgren, cardboard heaven

i want to make this.  unfortunately, nina lindgren went out and did it first.  it's the perfect balance of re-use, texture, and theme for me.  i mean, she must have thought it up just to make me happy.  first, she used all of that cardboard.  and then she assembled it just right.  and she made houses.  they are just about my favorite subject matter in the world.  there is something about roof tops that are especially appealing to me.  and look how many she included on my behalf!

here is a link to her site.  click here to see it!  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

so much for focus

what?, you say?  no photo with her blog entry today?  that's because every single piece of art i did went in the trash yesterday.  i will call it a "cleansing" day, to make it sound like a positive learning experience.  but it didn't seem that way.  i had to go home and vent to my poor dear husband for an hour, then have a glass of wine, then take a very long walk with the dog and husband to clear it all out.  but i feel better today.

this whole artist thing is very exhausting.  don't let anyone tell you otherwise, because they are just lying.

ok...on to a better day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

focus, focus

this is a print i made that is part of a series i am working on that is loosely based on yearbook pictures of 8th graders from 1953.  i am experimenting with merging non-objective backgrounds with snippets of the mug shots.  the idea is that it is recognizable, but still not completely representational.  i am also playing with color schemes and overlapping many layers.  

here's another.

the colors are not exactly as they are in person.  i can't seem to get the colors right on the scans.  these are pretty tiny, only about 3x4 inches.  i have been making very large prints, and needed a change in scale to get myself re-motivated.  all are oil-based printing ink on 90 lb. watercolor paper.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


shoot out, 12x12x4 inches
this is one of two pieces i will be submitting to the all colorado show.  i know i have posted this piece before, but i'm kind of in a strange place as far as work goes.  i have 3 new boxes that have never been seen in any venue, but am saving them for a show in october.  i have also been working on prints, but am saving them for october as well.  i made this box a few months ago, and thought it might be a good fit for submission.  john was nice enough to make the actual box.  he uses plywood, and then runs it through a dovetail jig to make the joints.  these boxes are very strong because of the dovetail joints.  i think they could probably survive just about anything.  anyway, on this particular box, i used old yard sticks for the trim on the front, and also to line the inside.  you can see the usual suspects in my choice of materials...old stuff, objects with numbers, metal things, boxes, toys, and old handwriting.  i'm not sure why i am drawn to those particular themes, but they show up over and over in my work.  i also like circles, and the outside of this piece is covered in them!  they also show up in the old ring toss target.

i read lots of artist statements, and everyone seems so smart, so deep, and so introspective when they write them.  writing the artist statement is really tough for me.  making art to me is explained simply.  i'm not trying to make a huge statement.  i like things with age and patina.  i like color.  i like to put elements together like a puzzle to make things that are beautiful.  i choose stuff because it calls to me, not because it is saying anything that is particularly significant in the world.  i also like a bit of humor, but not too cutesy.  hence, the headless cowboys, taking aim at one another, obviously beyond the point of no return.  i call the box "shoot out", but the name is really for identification, not to inspire deeper meaning.  

i don't mean to suggest that my work is uncomplicated.  i spend hours and hours getting just the right combination of elements.  assemblage, i think, is highly misunderstood.  many think you just stick stuff together, but it's a lot more difficult than that.  the magic word is puzzle.  it's a puzzle with no picture on the box top to help you get the pieces in the right order.  that's up to the artist to figure out.