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Monday, August 29, 2011

framing madness

the framing for the show has begun.  my guest room is filling up with framed art, ready for its trip to pagosa springs.  i will be driving the pieces down, deciding that it will be safer for them than the post office.  hopefully nobody will come visit between now and then, because there is really no room at the inn.   with a few exceptions, the pieces will have chunky, modern, silver frames.  you can see some of the choices above.  i have chosen off-white or cream mats for everything.  the rest of the cache will be done in about a week.  i can't wait to see them!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"clay and paper 4" at shy rabbit


i am thrilled, flattered, excited, and scared.   michael coffee, who taught me a reductive ink process to produce monoprints, was nice enough to include 26 of my works (including the one above) in his annual invitational show.  it's going to be at shy rabbit contemporary arts, in pagosa springs, colorado.  it's a bit of a drive from denver, but it's certainly worth the trip.  michael and his wife denise have carved out a beautiful space there, which shows some amazing art.  michael, an architect, has created a gallery from a former auto garage, that is spectacular.  they show art by nationally recognized contemporary artists, and also teach printmaking, ceramic, and photoshop classes.  

click here for a link to their website, so you can see for yourself

the show opens on october 1st, and will run until november 6th, 2011.  if you happen to be in the pagosa springs area, i would love if you would stop by!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

bon iver - holocene

my husband, john and i met in iceland. way back in 1988. i was teaching there, and he was stationed there in the navy. i came across this video today, and had to share the amazing, austere, surreal landscape with you. we spent many days exploring this rugged and breathtaking country. oh, and i love the music!  enjoy!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

no title yet...but another box finished!!

finished this one last night.  i have had the clown knock-down target for at least 5 years.  i bought it up in silverton, colorado, at an antique store there.   i loved the hand-painted surface, and the patina of wear.  at the time i paid $24 for him, the price tag was still attached!  i created the monoprint in the background with the same color scheme, and tried to get a whimsical, fun pattern to work with the clown.  the roulette wheel was purchased on ebay, it's really old, and is marked "made in england".  the front of the box is a loom of some sort, and each sawtooth-shaped spike was hand-cut with a saw.  the discs on the front are made from some old poker chips which have paper circles overlapping them.  i cut them from a monoprint.  

john made the box for me.  it's made from oak, and has beautiful dovetailed corners.  it measures about 10x15x3 inches.  it can hang or sit on the legs i have installed discretely on the bottom of the box.

there is really no story attached to this box, i just loved the pieces individually, and think they look really nice together.  sometimes when i create a box, i'm telling a story.  and sometimes i just like to play around with combinations of elements.  

here's an image of silverton from a 1950's postcard.  it still looks exactly the same!

silverton, colorado

Friday, August 12, 2011

"OCD", a new box in progress

messy studio


well, it's not quite finished yet, but i am getting close.  this is another box that includes cut-up prints and found objects from my collection.  i think i am in a red mode.  (i am concurrently working on another box with a red color scheme as well.)  the title, OCD, reflects the number and label theme.  as humans, we are always trying to put things in order.  the tags are vintage, and look like they were originally used to identify keys.  one says "K's suitcase", another "freezer".    the numbers (a personal favorite of mine) show up in a cool old ruler, some metal "numbering tacks" that declare on the package that they are "for marking screens, storm windows, bins. drawers, lockers, etc."  the red squares are from some sort of vintage game.  i have no idea how to play it.  the wooden box, divided in sections was obviously some sort of container for keeping something tidy.  lastly, the wooden nurse.  she works well with the colors, and she's the perfect size.  and she reminds us that there is a very thin line between order, compulsion, and medication.  ( i think about that every day when i count the 16 pieces of banana i put into my cereal in the morning.  i often tell myself that i'm not OCD, just a virgo.)

speaking of order, the top photo shows my messy studio in action.  just yesterday that table was pretty clean.  in hours it went to full-on crazy mess.  guess my virgo tendencies don't transfer everywhere.  the picture below shows it a little less chaotic!

clean studio

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

engrish funny

when i am feeling crabby, and reading the news is just too difficult, i often go to this site for a bit of a laugh.  

instead of getting crabbier, i tend to laugh out loud.  i think i will put this link in my "news & media" bookmark section so that it is handy whenever i need it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

she's no bird brain!!

i wish i had thought of this.  it's created with vintage negatives, sewn together.  you can see more of anne lemanski's amazing work at  i want each and every thing she has created.  period.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"mind of the president", a new assemblage box

finished this one up this morning.  how apropos.

i have had this figure of president taft for about 5 or 6 years.  i found it in the hall at grandview high school, and left it on my desk for several years, thinking someone would claim it.  it was one in a series of president figures made by marx in the 1960's.  i guess it was cool to collect presidents at the time!

originally i had this box covered (with an original monoprint) and ready to be assembled with an entirely different interior.  then yesterday a customer came in named barb.  she had given me some clock parts and an amazing clock case some months back.  her visit got me thinking about those parts, and when i got home from work last night, i pulled them out.  taft was sitting on the shelf next to me as i worked, and things immediately came together.  that's how it is with boxes sometimes.  the idea just happens lickity-split.  other times i hum and haw and struggle.  the original interior was kind of like that.  i didn't glue it for a few weeks because it just didn't feel right.  now i am glad.  i like this one so much better.

the background is also a monoprint, and the sides are an old letter from the 50's.  the clock face is from a coo coo clock,  i added the rusty gears.  taft is standing on a half of an old block, and a composition checker from the 1920's.  hopefully this will be one of the pieces in the show in october at shy rabbit.  if not, it will be in the shop for sale.  its' about 5x7x3".

i could get all political, and try and explain the metaphor here.  but i think i can leave that up to you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

new stuff

sissy and buddy

in the mirror

a couple of new pieces. 

first,  a print (about 8x10") based on an old photo of my parents from the early 60's.  although my parents went by fran & joe at this time, i named the print for their nicknames from younger times.  this one is a bit more graphic than the others i have been working on.  don't know why, it just turned out that way.  i also did the print in a green/orange color scheme, which i like as well.

the second photo shows a new assemblage box (i think it's 8x10x3", but i need to measure to make sure).  this is the finished box i was working on in a previous post.  i covered the frame with old tickets from a restaurant.  i came across two sets of them in different greens, and mixed them up kinda crazy quilt style. inside the box is a "household hint" booklet, taken apart and used for the sides.  the back is layered with: 

1)  a monoprint i made and then overprinted with a floral/star lino block print
2)  an old leather-covered compact with a broken mirror.  it was given to me by a very nice woman named lucy who has been a great patron of mine
3)  a barbie dress i got on ebay.  it still has the original barbie tag inside.  i didn't use any glue to attach it to the box.  instead i sewed it to pieces of stacked foam core, and glued the foam core into place.  that way it is removable for anyone who cares to take it out in the future ( but i hope not!!)
4)  the broken pieces of the mirror sit in the bottom of the box, loose.

the box is kind of an exploration of womanhood, and the way we, as women, try to balance all of the things in out lives.  the broken mirror is a symbol of how sometimes  that balance is a bit tricky.  part of my boxes are trying to say something, and part of them are about getting the perfect balance of elements. many people don't quite "get" the whole assemblage box thing.  a lot of customers come in and want me to put family items together for them.  i always tell them i can't do that.  making a box is not just the time spent gluing the pieces in.  some of the boxes take years of serious collecting to get the right mix.  i'm a very picky collector!