Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh Yah...

Another quick note - for those of you pining to know what I was looking for that was sold out - it was an art class. But someone, somewhere, heard my plea. I got an email the very next day after that post letting me know that a space had become available, and I was able to sign up for the class. I know, not that exciting, which is why I didn't give the details. But - I can see you all love the details!! I didn't mean to be obtuse.

Street Walking

How does one REALLY go about changing something big and important in their lives? It's HARD!! How did we get to the place we don't like? What keeps us there?

"My Life in Five Chapters" is a well known anecdote about making change in one's life. I'm not really sure who is the original author of this fantastic piece, but I have put together my own version from my memory of it being told to me:

Chapter 1: I walk down the street, there is a deep hole in the sidwalk and I fall in. I am lost. I am hopeless. It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2: I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend not to see it, and I fall in again. It's not my fault, and it takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3: I walk down the same street, and there is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see the hole, but I still fall in - it's now become a habit. But, I know where I am, I know it's my fault, and I get out quickly.

Chapter 4: I walk down the same street, and there is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter 5: I walk down a different street.

There are things about ourselves that we all want to change. For me, it is the way I think about food. The bottle of rum that's been sitting on my kitchen counter for weeks now is almost invisible. I could really care less that it's there. But, the half eaten bag of chocolate chips? Oh my. It calls my name ever so sweetly, caressing the back of my neck, smiling, reminding me how good it will be. Oh yah, I'm sick!

But, where is the 12 step program for foodies? An alcoholic can eliminate alcohol from their life, never walk into a bar again, never drink another cocktail. A smoker can throw away their cigarettes, never take another puff (although I hear this is one of the hardest addictions to break). But none of us can stop eating. We just have to learn to eat less, and that is really tough.

So, here I am, totally embarassing myself on my blog, talking about how I eat too much. Yes, this is embarassing for me. Even though it is obvious I eat too much from the moment you see me. What we eat in private does show up in public, after all.

But I am making serious changes in my life about food. I am walking down a whole different boulevard. I don't know where this road will lead, but I have to change streets because I don't want to fall into that hole ever again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Art Festivals

Did all you moms out there have a nice mother's day? Mine was mellow, I had to plan it myself, I got what I wanted, but only because I specifically said what I wanted, and it was something I had to go out and get myself. Then, when I went to go get it, it was sold out. No, it's not a Wii.

But, look who stopped by - why, it's Jay Leno!

he was so sweet with the kids!Now, for our regularly scheduled programming...

A week and a half ago, I took my two girls to our local art festival - The Calabasas Fine Art Festival. This is a great art festival, everything is very high caliber art. I saw a friend there - Shari Beaubien, who many of you may read her blog, which you can read too if you click the link on her name. Here we are together in her booth. Beautiful artwork!

There was another artist there, who I don't know, but her work impressed me so much! Angela Alvarez was kind enough to let me photograph some of her pieces and let me post them on this blog. Most of her work is mixed-media on steel. Yah, steel! You can see the beautiful paints, all drippy and puddly above, beautiful colors. Then, she sands some of it off, to see the metal underneath.

ain't it puhrtee?

Another artist that I loved at the show was Adam Stone. He was not hip to me photographing his art, which is ok. I get that. So, go forth and click the link to his website. I've seen Adam many years now in these art fairs, and his style is changing dramatically. He used to do a lot of musical type pieces, and now, he is moving into a fairy-tale/sci-fi thing. Sound strange. It is - strange and wonderful!


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Finish Line

Lots of things are getting finished around here. Firstly, I finished updating my website with all the new holiday designs for this year! This is just for my gift card holders. Whew, that was a bunch of work. You can check them all out here.

Next, I finished my commissioned piece! I just couldn't stand thinking about whether it needed another coat of orange paint, so I decided it was done, and drew the black outline of the girl figure. Oh, I loved this project, and this style. I will be glad to see that huge canvas out of my studio though! Here it is:
Yah, I do plan on leaving those white parts white.

I also finished resizing pics of my nature journal to share with you. The first page on the right is a transparency of a space nebula (don't remember which) over a handmade paper with a leaf in it. I did this to juxtapose the far reaches of outerspace, with a lowly fallen leaf on Earth. They are all part of the same nature.

The page on the left has my poem "The Face of God" which you can read here. It was the topic of my first blog post, and very moving. Definetely worth your time clicking the link to read.

This next page below is one of the tissue collages. I had netting and the butterfly on top, sandwiched between tissue paper. Well, the paper tore just above the butterfly - what another happy accident! You can actually stick you finger under the netting, and it just looks like the butterfly is flying off the page. The poem on the card below is another one of my originals.more wire mesh antiquing, using crab grass. I guess it IS good for something.This page is one of those Victorian photo frames that I completely covered with scrapbook papers, a leaf and wrapped with fiber. You can see a portion of the page behind it through the window.

ok, ok - last picture - another tissue collage. The image on the far left is a stamp I hand carved of the bird on the branch. Nest is photo I took. The three eggs are for my three kids, of course.

Sheesh, and that's not even all the pages!

I also finished my first mandala. Way back in February, I signed up for a mandala class at Viva Gallery (where I also teach). I did actually only make it to two of the four classes. Hey, man, babysitters are expensive!! I loved working with the circles and will post more next time!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mmmmmm, Art...

As promised, below are some photos of my nature journal from LK Ludwig's class in Asilomar. The binding technique for this book is quite clever and allows you to bind any kind of page anywhere in your book. It also allows the book cover to lie flat.
Here's the cover:

That's a little assemblage we created inside the cover of an altoid tin. It's filled with resin, which I think will be my new favorite thing this year. So easy to make, fill anything, and dried like hard plastic, completely clear. It has MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) in it, which is an irritant, but not a known carcinogen. So, please use outside, and allow to cure 24 hours outside. I glued everything inside the assemblage, including the branch and ribbon just by pouring the resin.

Next, the inside cover page, above. I must admit I did a piss poor job of folding the cover fabric over to the inside of the book, but, there wasn't much time. I love the blue of the gelatin print on the right, and I just made a quick transparency page with gold paint behind, a german scrap butterfly on the front, and white, rub on letters, spelling "Nature".

Here's one of the inside pages, made with a water photo transfer. I had a MAJOR advantage in the class that not only do I already know how to do image transfers, I've been teaching the darn technique for almost three years now.

This is a photo transfer of a dandilion seed ball. Then, I wrote on top, one of my poems. Good luck trying to read it.

Here's another page, (on the right) where I poured that same resin right over regular paper with that scruffy ribbon, a twig and the butterfly. I like how that white cotton ribbon flows in and out of the resin. This was my favorite page. The left is another gelatin transfer with a butterfly glued onto deli wrap with more resin. The resin makes the deli wrap tranparent like that.

The image on the left is a photo transfer from a photo I took out on a hike in Seattle, this was carved into the wood handrailing.

On the right is a page I tore out of a Victorian "photo album" - all reproductions. I sandwiched one of my tissue paper collages between the frame, which conveniantly had two sides. The tissue paper collages are so cool, 'cuz you can see through them, like this:Here's another layout that showcases the metal etching we did. Very fun - adhere natural leaves, etc. (here's a fern picked from right outside the door) to brass wire mesh, antique mesh, peel off leaves, here's what you have left on right. The left side is the reverse of the Victorian oval frame. I just couldn't handle two pages of sweetness, so I had to paint over it.

Well, I think that's enough of that journal for now. I'm even more excited that I've begun working on my commission piece again. Yah - that cool, big thing taking up lots of room in my studio. So, the next step, after making the background and gessoing over it is tracing the focal point image:

I had my image on regular paper, then traced over it with carbon paper underneath onto the canvas to get the image onto the canvas without having to re-draw it.

Then, started throwing on paint, literally.

Next comes some orange. I feel so good that I used up the entire little bottle of that orange paint I've had sitting around for over two years. Well, it's really a glaze - Goldend Pyrole Orange.

Dry time sucks.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Childhood Friends

I just had to get a shout out that one of my best friends forever, Lisa Myers-Bulmash - we've been friends since 3rd grade for God sakes!! (we will not discuss what year that was...)-is the author of this month's Gypsy Bonfire at Lisa Hoffman's blog.

This is the girl whose lacey, canopy bed I coveted, who I sat huddled together with in her mom's closet, reading her mom's sex books at sleep over parties, who I was a twin hobo with on Halloween ('cuz neither of our parents would even dare consider purchasing a costume, oh no.), who I sneaked eating candy with on the school bus, and who I am so grateful to share a love of art and still have as a friend, so many years later. We do have twin chicken pox scars after all.

Go check it out!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Winner for April!

Is Mija! Well, Mija - thanks for leaving your comment this month! You win the lovely microscope slide necklace! It will be on it's merry way to you by tomorrow. Wear it well. Below are the lovely pair of earrings up for grabs for May - blue dichroic glass with sterling silver beads and findings. Only the best for you guys!
All you need to do to play is leave a comment on this blog during the month of May. Each comment is an entry!