11.30.2012

One more to go...

Its amazing how that frantic rush to get everything ready for a show produces either enough inspiration or desperation (depending on how you look at it) to get those last projects completed...

This photo collage was halfway created...
and then it just sat there for weeks...
not quite sure what direction to go...
but with the final activities of packing & pricing for my weekend show, a burst of energy finally kicked in...






































You might remember that I wrote about my production line of coasters here...
These are the completed coasters, just before I packed them up...






































If you're in the area, I hope you stop by...here's the info once again...

11.27.2012

Getting ready...

 






































I like to give each holiday its due so I've done no christmas decorating yet...but now that thanksgiving is over, plans are underway.  I like to vary the holiday look from year to year...and since I strive to use only what I have at hand to make my decorations, the design is dictated by what I find that inspires me...

This year I'm going with "an all natural christmas"...here's a few glimpses of the materials that I've gathered from my studio, my closet, my yard and even my neighborhood...





















Intrigued?  There's also a couple of weathered tomato cages and a carpenter's ruler in the mix as well...
 
But all this will have to wait...I have my last art show of the year this coming weekend...
Phinney Winter Festival in Seattle...its one of the best holiday events in town...art, food, music, dancing...
 
So I'll be busy with all of that...why don't you stop in and see me?  I'll be in Room 5 of the Blue Building...
it'll get you ready for the season in no time!
 

11.24.2012

Taking a moment



Before our Thanksgiving guests arrived on Thursday, I needed to clean off the dining room table...which was a first since early spring...its been a temporary work table throughout the year...but now it was going to be used for its intended purpose.



Since I was on a roll, I cleaned off my office work table as well...and in the process of picking up and organizing all the bits and pieces from previous art projects, I soon had accumulated a small pile of ephemera that called out to me...



An idea formed...there was a spare piece of wood in the pile...with an interesting grain pattern...a little paint, a little texture...I was on my way...


I started the collage on Thursday morning and finished it up Friday afternoon...that's the bit about layering paint, paper and found objects...each step takes only a minute or two...and then needs to dry or set up before the next step occurs...which made this collage project ideal to begin before cooking the rest of the t-day meal...and squeeze in another step in-between last minute dinner preparations...and continuing the next morning before taking off for work...so that by the time I came home from my shift (and surviving Black Friday) I was ready to add the finishing touches...







































I like projects that limit my physical material choices...I find it stretches my intuitive options...and it was the perfect activity during the rush of these last few days...cohesive, creative, calming...
Because there will be more hectic days ahead...hopefully I'll squeeze in a few more moments of collage...

11.20.2012

Denying the frenzy

days whirl by as deadlines loom
my work table covered with remnants of projects
turkey defrosting...preparations underway
shopping ads outnumber newspaper articles
record rainfall floods basement

stop
breathe
remember
begin...
























11.15.2012

The assembly line





Though I experience both joy and frustration with creating my art, everyday can not be so emotional...some days are filled with repetition of the same tasks...
glue
wait
sand
wax
wait
buff...











Years ago, when I was just starting out...and every one of my vintage art cards were made by hand, using all original materials, it was draining to hear the constant din of "what do you have that's new..."  At the time I was wholesaling my cards to shops across the country, through Ted Kennedy Watson's showroom.  Ted offered me some sage advice - don't always think that you need to create a new image...rather, think about how else you could use that image but in a new way.

Ted has long since closed his showroom, concentrating on his retail shops, but he has continued to be a mentor for me...be sure to check out his blog at www.tedkennedywatson.com 


So with the advent of digital printing, I have been using reprints of my original images in several different ways...this week finds me mass producing coasters for my last holiday show...
























It would be nice if everyone wanted a piece of original art...but art is a very discretionary purchase...using my images on coasters, paperweights, message boards and greeting cards makes it an affordable gift...and still gives me an opportunity to share my view of everyday ephemera with others.

I hope to see you in two weeks at my last show of the year...Phinney Winter Festival in Seattle...until then, I need to get back to glueing, sanding & waxing...



11.12.2012

The metal addiction deepens

 

 

Though I have a love affair with metal...especially rusty old metal, not all varieties qualify...the example seen here caused me and the Southern Man no shortage of grief last week...a leaking bathroom faucet - that leaked no matter what we tried - until we finally gave up, bought a new faucet and convinced our handyman friend down the street that we needed help - and he replaced the faucet in no time at all.  A word of advice to any young person searching for a path in life...become a plumber!



The Queen of Junk, Shelley Holm, has been writing a great series of posts over at her blog, From the Attic to the Gallery, all about how to buy and sell junk metal at the local recycler.  She was making a trip on Saturday...I tagged along so I could learn firsthand from the pro...and to gladly toss the object of my disgust on the metal heap.  To my surprise, Shelley wanted the dreaded faucet...who knows what it will turn into...

It was a sunny but chilly day...perfect for digging around the mud and the metal.  I was very discriminating in my choices and limited my selections...I truly am trying to diminish my horde of junk...but here you can see Shelley checking out the 1952 Ford truck...she's going back to disassemble the doors and use them in a future project...
I can't wait to see what she creates...I have to agree that I love the color and patina of those doors...



























We looked through the steel pile, the copper pile and the brass pile...






















from the massive to the miniature, they have it all...
And just so you are clear...there's no trash...
























only treasures...























 
 
 
 
Shelley got the clock...but here's a look at my treasures...
 
 
 
 
This hammered copper vase has "Dorothy" inscribed on the front... mmm...might be a return to Oz collage in the future...
And who says you can have too many well-loved silverplated trays...or brass stencils...certainly not I...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The orange metal box used to hold drill bits...just might hold a holiday gift next...the garden nozzle will be a welcome addition to my nozzle collection since I don't have one like it...and the others bits will most likely appear in upcoming creations...

























So happy to have an enabler for my metal addiction...
now that I know where the metal junkyard is, will I be able to stay away...

11.09.2012

Letting go


I once had a friend comment that I must have been born in the 1930's...I'm never throwing anything away...and can always find a use for a stray piece of string or a lone button...as if I lived through the Depression...

I have an similar attachment to clothing...never throwing anything away, wearing shirts and jeans until they are threadbare...especially pieces that are worn from wear but so soft and comfortable...so familiar...

Unconsciously I must see myself as a bohemian artist, with these tattered threads as the appropriate attire...





I love my blue woven shirt but even I confess that its past its prime...I'm holding on to it in the likelihood that I'm struck with inspiration to turn it into...into...
still waiting for that inspiration!















Recently I dug up an old t-shirt that I bought on my 1993 trip to Italy with my sister...outside of the Vatican, from a street vendor.  After the first washing, it shrank two sizes smaller, but I loved the graphic...

finding it again, I was inspired...

I decided that I would display the front of the t-shirt on a canvas frame...an 11" x 14" frame was the perfect size to capture the graphic in its entirety...stretched it evenly over the canvas, stapled the edges to the back and it was done...but it was lacking something...



A simple wooden frame was the answer...but the stain color was too light...easy to rectify...


I used Polyshades by Minwax...black satin...it has the stain color and polyurethane in one.  For simple projects like this, where there won't be a lot of wear and tear (as opposed to a table or chair - in that instance I would use a stain, followed by several coats of poly for protection), this is a great solution...makes for ease of application...I even used the portion of the t-shirt that I cut off for the rags to apply the stain.  And though I'm usually one to plunge right into a project, even I use disposable gloves at times...for anything that needs mineral spirits or paint thinner for clean-up, I use gloves to save my hands the torment of harsh chemicals.



One coat didn't seem sufficient, so I applied a second coat a day later...

And easily popped in the canvas when the frame was thoroughly dry...


















An old world master in a contemporary setting...







































A piece of art...and a great memory...all in one...








































linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special...trash to treasure projects...I think this fits right in...




11.06.2012

The quiet of early morn







I'm an early riser...always have been
I treasure my time in the morning...before all the commotion of the day begins
A time to sort out my thoughts...
and plan for the day













While staying overnight at my friend Kate's home during last weekend's artist studio sale, I had a chance for a moment of quiet...and an opportunity to study a few details of her creative space...

and then added my own touch with textures...


 
photo edited with kk texture/leslie at multiply 60% opacity; french kiss brush/paris postage mark
participating in kim klassen's texture tuesday...come and play along...

11.05.2012

The gift of handmade



With the calendar turning over to November, the pace toward the holidays quickens...this past weekend I was part of an artist studio sale...where several artists provided plenty of opportunity to begin whittling down that gift list.
I encourage you to give handmade this holiday season...the artistic community needs your support...and with a wide range of talents/mediums/price ranges, you are sure to find the perfect gift...one made with soul and inspiration...















A snapshot of the artistic work available...starting off with Leslie West, the hostess of our event on Mercer Island...




























































Though I neglected to get a pic, we also had Michael Pinckney of Pinckney Cookie Cafe with the best cookies ever made!

Like what you see...make sure you visit Full Circle Studio,  Gem + Bone Jewelry...and moi, four corners design for holiday gift ideas that you can purchase wherever you live!

What's up next?  well Jan, Brett and Suzanne will be at Best of the Northwest Show in Seattle, Nov 16-18.
And I'll be joining Brett and Suzanne at the Phinney Winter Festival, Dec 1 & 2 in Seattle...
But no matter where you live, there's an artist community...
and I encourage you to seek them out...
and give the gift of handmade this season...

11.01.2012

Ready for the show!






I'm all packed up and ready to go...go where you ask?  To the Artist Studio Sale at the home of Leslie West, encaustic artist and hostess extraordinaire...

its a great sale starting today - this Thursday evening and running until Saturday noon...

and yes, I do use my stack of vintage suitcases (that have been featured on the blog a couple of times...) They are great for transporting all that stuff...and give a vintage vibe to my setup and display...ideal for helping to promote my vintage art cards...


I'll be joining a dozen other artists with lots of handcrafted treasures...
perfect for holiday gifts...
or a special treat for yourself...
Find all the details here...I hope I see you there!

worth a look...

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