Vote Now - the lines are open!

The 18th Juried Art Show opens at the Schack Center on Thursday, June 30 and runs until August 25.  My multi-media collage, "Time" was accepted for this gallery show.  The opening reception is Thursday evening which includes award presentations...including a special award (of $200!) to the piece that receives the most votes on Facebook...I guess its American Idol meets the Art World!

In any case - voting is happening now and continues until tomorrow, Wednesday June 29...so hop over the Schack Center Facebook page - click here - and then click on "Vote for Entries" in the left sidebar - and then find my piece (Time by Amy Duncan) and click "Like"!  You don't have to live in the Puget Sound area - anyone can vote!

This starving artist appreciates your support!


A weekend Retreat

unplug that phone...I'm taking a break!

On Saturday, my friend Sue and I travelled north
to the Retreat Summer Vintage Market...
Deb and Bob Kennedy hosted 20+ vintage/antique
artisians in their bucolic country field...
though the day was rather cloudy, my eye wandered
to bright summer hues...
Adorable stuffed toys from hasenpfeffer incorporated...a beautiful blue painted buffet from Seabold Vintage Market...

Tammy Gilley Studios had a bright, summery booth...loved her use of textiles and color...

Of course the Barn House booth was lovely...I bought a packet of old recipe cards...perfect for collage.  My other purchase at the market was several rusty casters that I'm going to attach to a couple of wood crates I have.  On our way back home, Sue & I stopped at a roadside berry stand (strawberries are finally coming on!) and at the local thrift store where I bought a good collection of Buffalo China for $5.  When I looked through the recipe cards and saw that there was one for Strawberry Jam, I just knew it was meant to be...


light as a feather

My photo celebrating the theme of White over at Kim Klassen Inspiration Studio is being featured today - Thank you I-Studio and Kristin of Faded Prairie!


Authentic style, part 1

Authentic - true to yourself, not imitating something else, the real deal...how ever you want to define it, its what most of us strive for...not to be the best imitation, but rather the best "me".  Amy of WhisperWood Cottage has been exploring what this means to her in terms of her decorating style...and has encouraged everyone else to join in with their individual interpretations. 

I'm ready to join in...my home is important to me...I want it to be practical/artistic/soothing/inviting.  So using Amy's design categories, I thought I'd share my authentic style...

For the first segment of this series, Amy has six categories of design elements inspired by Donna of Funky Junk Interiors, the first blogger profiled in Amy's Authentic Style series.  These six elements are
Clean lines
Nature's Elements
Authentic - found objects mixed with antiques

Thought I would start with Authentic (with a good measure of Nature's Elements too)
This pine dresser is the oldest piece of furniture I own - its a Danish chest from the 1860's.  When I moved from the Midwest to the West Coast, I had been living with  leftover college furniture...it wasn't worth it to move it halfway across the country...pitched most of it...figured to start over with "real" furniture.  When I bought this chest 25 years ago, I knew that I wanted a piece of furniture that would last a lifetime and be versatile.  Initially this chest was my bedroom dresser...but over the years it has been a dining room buffet, an entertainment bar and now a linen chest...it sits in a nook outside the master bath and holds all of the towels/bedsheets/linens for the house.

You might be able to see if you look closely...the bottom left corner is chewed off...the best dog we ever had - an abused/neglected/old/gentle yellow lab retriever named Forrest that we rescued, chewed off the corner one day...don't know what possessed him...he never chewed anything else in the seven years we had him...we kept the chew marks as a reminder of the (mostly) good dog he was...

Style tip here - buy real furniture when you want a piece that will last...the expense in the long haul is worth it...I paid $800 for this chest in 1986...it has been worth every penny...and this chest will move with me wherever I go.  This is the benefit of shopping for vintage furniture - more than likely, it is sturdily built with solid wood construction.

The vignette on the top is a compilation of found objects and natural elements.  A few volumes from the set of 1898 Encyclopedia Britannica my sister bought at a library sale-$5 for all 26 leather bound books...various bottles, vases and bowls each found for small change...
an old birdcage that I dragged back on the plane from Atlanta several years ago (before all the additional security...I don't think I could get on a plane today with that in tow!)...
a framed poster from the John James Audubon art exhibit that I attended at the Seattle Art Museum in 1996 and the metal crow I bought at Restoration Hardware many, many years ago.
What helps to tie all this together is color and theme...having design elements that are consistent is what gives your home its continuity and contributes to its good vibe.

Be sure you check out the other blog link-ups over at WhisperWood Cottage...I love looking at people's homes...always interesting to me to see what inspires others...

Also linkng up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special on decorating with birds & nests...

And I'll running posts Part 2 and Part 3 in the coming weeks with additional peeks inside my home and how I define my authentic style - stay tuned!


Saturday at the Schack

Saturday was the Artist Garage Sale at the Schack Art Center- lots of art & loads of supplies - all at rock bottom prices.  I rid myself of a fair share of stuff from my studio...especially those projects that didn't work out and keep nagging at me...I felt as if I should finish them or find another use/approach... sometimes its just best to be done with it and let it go! 

Even though the weather was nasty (so glad I had an indoor booth), spirits were high.  I snapped a few photos of the colors and textures that caught my eye...

I had my infamous paper bins with me...these three bins are filled with the scraps of my collage work...everything from old dictionary pages to wallpaper snippets to colored card stock gets thrown into the bin.  I take these bins to workshops when I'm teaching and shows when I'm selling...for 25 cents, you get to fill a paper bag with whatever you want.

Late in the afternoon, I had an idle moment...like a magpie, something colorful caught my attention and I just had to pull it out of the bin...
and create a mini-collage...

I'm participating in Mosaic Monday at Little Red House - check it out for plenty of colors and textures... 


What once was...

When I saw the theme for Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special, I could not resist...taking an item that once was one thing and turning it into something else is right up my alley.  Disregarding what something once was and instead seeing the potential in what it might be was the focus of The Salvage Studio, a retail/workshop studio I once co-owned but I had the recycle/upcycle bug long before that.

Most of the time I know what the original purpose was of the item I am re-purposing...but with this example, I'm actually not quite sure...was it a manifold cover?  an oil pan?  part of a carburetor from a big truck?  It didn't matter...it is now a flower box for my kitchen window!

It already had two holes in the bottom, so drainage was no problem.  I attached two iron brackets to the house so the flower box could set securely on the brackets just under the edge of the window sill.  I planted geraniums and trailing vines...our weather here has been cool to say the least so they have a bit of growing to do until it all fills in...I like how the reddish tones of the vines complement the rusty exterior...

I encourage you to check out the projects over at Funky Junk Interiors...I can't wait to see other stories behind what becomes of what once was...


Garden whites

While out in the garden, I snapped some photos...focusing on the color white.  Over at Kim Klassen's blog, The Inspiration Studio, the theme for the month of June has been white...there have been dozens of submissions from white daisies to white farm houses to white water!  Here's the two photos I've submitted...
blooming thyme

climbing white hydrangea

A little paint trivia here...did you know that white is one of the hardest colors to match...

I invite you to visit The Inspiration Studio and click on the I-Studio Flickr Group to get your fill of inspiring whites...


The joy of digital

I'm starting work on new collages in preparation for my art show in 9 weeks...I always think that I have plenty of time to get everything ready, but it never seems to end up that way.  One of the benefits of digital cameras is that you can take a quick shot of an image...no more sketching out ideas - though that does still have its place at times.  I do a rough layout of my collage and then take a quick snap of it - then I prep all the materials and the construction process begins.  Its easy to refer back to my photo to remind me what I was thinking...though editing/revising/rearranging certainly happens during the process.  And when I'm finished, the digital quick snap is easily erased.

Here's the rough layouts of a series of collages I'm doing with original vintage bird cards...I'm using old book covers as the base...the book pages were totally trashed (which I probably shredded for use in another project) but the covers with their leather edges and marbled designs were too wonderful to discard.
Well, I'd best to getting to it while inspiration is hot...I'm linking up to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House...lots more hot inspiration there...


From my studio to you!

If you live anywhere in the vicinity of Everett, Washington, you've got to mark your calendars to attend the Artist Garage Sale on Saturday June 18th at the Schack Art Center in Downtown Everett...
9am - 4pm

90+ local artists selling glass, ceramics, art supplies, paintings, old stock, seconds, and new stock.


Stay downtown after the event for the Third Saturday

Everett Artwalk from 4-7pm.

And, free parking 1 block north at Everpark Garage!

I'll be selling lots of stuff that I've cleaned out of my studio - everything from old linoleum floor tiles to unused card stock to flotsam & jetsam!  There's plenty of goodies to be found (and I try to not spend all my proceeds at other artist's booths...but sometimes its hard...)  If you do venture up this way, please stop in at my booth and say hi - I'll be inside the art center...just look for the four corners design banner.

And while you are making plans to travel to Everett - two other summer events you won't want to miss...

18th Annual Juried Art Show at the Schack Art Center from June 30 - August 25. 
My multi-media collage, "Time" was accepted for this show - click here to read the post about my piece.

Fresh Paint, an outdoor artist festival will be held August 20 & 21 at the Everett Marina.  I'll be participating for my third year at this event - always a great venue with the water, the boats, the artists, the farmers market...and hopefully great weather this year.

Wherever you live, I encourage you to visit your local artist events...your support, even just in attendance, strengthens the arts in your community.  Hope to see you this summer!


Five days in June

Back from our trip to Chicago...it was a study in contrasts...

self-portrait in front of the Millennium "Bean"

Our five days was a combination of old friends and new acquaintances...charming neighborhoods and busy city streets...warm weather and sunshine with a mighty thunderstorm thrown in...great meals and lively discussions...the perfect vacation.

Where do you plan to go this summer?

August 31 update...thanks Whisperwood Cottage for hosting such a great link-up focusing on summer vacations!


Do the Right Thing...

As a follow-up to my previous post...this is so important...I hope you join me...


Share & share alike

Blog world is filled with ideas...its easy to get lost bouncing around from one blog to another...no shortage of inspiration to be sure!

There's been grumbling on a couple of the blogs that I follow that people are not sharing nicely...and its disheartening to hear.  I know that once you put something on your blog, its out there...but it would be nice if people didn't steal ideas/photos/how-to instructions without credit/permission/link to the original creator.

It has happened to me...I would gladly give permission - just ask...enough said.

When I saw this "how-to" post at Funky Junk Interiors, I was inspired to make my own version of the ubiquitous wooden tool tote.  Click here to see the Funk Junk Interiors Post that gives you step by step instruction.  I read through the instructions and thought it seemed easy enough...should have printed them out...had a few glitches along the way...

First - I rummaged through my scrap wood...given the material list to make the tote, I figured I had at hand what I needed...found a length of wood moulding with perfect white chippy paint...

This piece would be the sides of the tote.  For the ends, the instructions call for cutting two boards with angled sides...I had a couple of old pickets...looked like I could use those since they were angled...I cut every thing to size and then sanded it smooth...this is where having an electic sander really makes the task so much easier.
Second, I started to nail it all together...there are no photos here...I needed a third hand to hold boards straight while I hammered into old, hard wood...needless to say, it wasn't always pretty...once the box was completed, I put on the bottom piece of wood, just as the directions indicated...except one major glitch...I forgot to insert the handle!

OK - everything was nailed together, edges flush and even...no way was I taking it apart to drill holes into the end pieces and insert the handle...my brain went into overdrive...I went searching for a handle...found a broken garden rake...figured I would drill a 1" hole with my spade bit and insert the handle and secure it somehow with the metal rake protuding from the opposite end.  Got out the spade bit, started drilling...and drilling...and drilling...old wood is very hard.  Only able to drill 1/2 way into the end but that will work since the end of the handle can then rest in the hole without sticking out.

On to drilling the hole in the other side so I can slide the rake into place...again, it was torture...and I forgot to have a piece of wood underneath the place where I was drilling...when I finally broke through, I tore up the wood from the bit still turning...good thing I was going for that rustic look!

Third, I sawed off the end of the broken rake so the length would fit snugly from end to end.  I threaded the rake through the one hole and secured the other end with a nail hammered through the end board into the butt end of rake.

And voila!
I whitewashed the cut ends of the boards as well as the bottom piece of wood to make them blend in with the rest of the tote.  I didn't whitewash the portion of the pickets where they were once attached to a fence...wanted to give it a proper provenance!

I love the jaunty end of my rake handle...
Lots of lessons learned...will make the next one so much easier!
I'm linking up to Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors where everyone else is showing off their tool totes...no stopping a woman with a jigsaw!


Off to the Windy City

Planning a trip to Chicago...visiting friends, celebrating a community, enjoying that Midwest fortitude...and hopefully warmer weather!

One of the things I'm relishing is a trip to the Art Institute...I have been there many times and it is one of my favorite museums.  I distinctly remember travelling to Chicago to see the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit in 1979.  I was impressed that T-L used whatever he had at hand to make his art, substituting cardboard for canvas and burnt charcoal for drawing pencils.  I bought a poster as a souvenir...and carried it around for years, wanting to hang it up but having no wall space large enough for it.  When I finally moved into a house in 2002 that had enough wall space, the poster was a bit torn and tattered...by now, I had started my multi-media collage work, so decided to use this poster as a backdrop for one of my first large scale projects...
"May Milton - Altered"  Amy Duncan   2003
I image that I will be similarly inspired...but hopefully sooner than 20+ years!

worth a look...

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