I'm getting ready for the River Arts Studio Stroll next weekend- Nov 10 & 11. Here are a few of the tin paintings I've been working on. They are milk paint and acrylic on galvanized tin. To finish them I will add a coating of polycrylic for protection and a linen cord as a hanger.
Last week I delivered new work to Penland Gallery. Included were 5 paper mache birds, a paper mache dog and these 3 small paintings shown below. The frames are embellished so that they become integrated with the painting rather than just being a "holder" for the image.
Last weekend I taught a one day Cloth Books workshop at Cloth Fiber Workshop. What a good time we had sewing, laughing and creating together. Several of the participants were experienced quilters and had their sewing machines humming away right off the bat. It was a fast paced day, but everybody went home with at least one finished book. Each time I teach I am reminded that to be a teacher is to be a student also. I always learn from the people in my workshops- techniques or ways of looking at the world. I am grateful for each new idea.
BookWorks in Asheville, NC will again sponsor BookOpolis September 21- 23. BookOpolis is an open call for handmade books of all kinds and a weekend of book and print related fun. I look forward each year to creating a piece for this unique event. There is something for everyone and for all ages. One of the highlights is the ability to handle most of the books. Typically book shows only allow the viewer to "look, but not touch." At BookOpolis as long as your hands are clean your fingers and mind are free to roam the "pages". Below is my entry for this year.
Artist Book Mixed Media Crown
12 x 10 x 10
This is the latest in a series of wearable books in the form of crowns. I think of the crowns as visual manifestations of thoughts in my head. Many Me(s) expresses my feeling of being mulitple and sometimes conflicting me(s). There is the kind me, oppositional me, goofy me, greedy me, good girl me, pollyanna me, and melancholy me.
Artists are often asked to donate their work for fundraisers. I am happy to help when I can. It's my way of giving back. Here is a small piece that I just finished for the Hirsch Wellness Network in Greensboro, NC. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a cancer support community connecting cancer patients and survivors, caregivers, family and friends. My friend Mary Beth Boone asked if I would contribute to this organization that has made a difference in her life. This little bird will be included in the Hirsch Silent Auction September 14. Proceeds from the auction go toward supporting free art classes for cancer patients in treatment, survivors and caregivers.
The 2012 Penland School of Crafts Ornament of the Year
*Or Hanukka, Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Year, Festivus, Chrismukkah, Yule, Birthday, etc.
This is the fourth in our series of annual Penland School of Crafts ornaments. We hope that each of these ornaments will capture and share the spirit of creativity that lives within the school's community of artists and friends. So far we have had two ceramic ornaments and one glass. This year we are proud to offer a little something from the book arts world:
Beloved Idiots, created by Margaret Couch Cogswell
My friend, Gail, brought her granddaughter, Natalie, to the studio last week for a visit. Natalie decided she'd like to make a paper mache cat for her dad in memory of their dearly departed Fozzie cat. Gail joined in by making a dog modeled after her pup, Chessie. The first afternoon they made the shape of their animals with newspaper and making tape. They left with paste and instructions on how to coat the animals with layers of paper and paste. At the end of the week they returned to put the finishing touches on Fozzie and Chessie. We had such a fun time and their animals are adorable!
A few weeks ago our friends Karen and Craig Morgan brought their son, Justin, and his girlfriend, Mali, to visit my studio. Justin and Mali were in town from San Francisco. Mali was immediately drawn to my crowns. A fashion show commenced with much laughter and fun including Justin modeling a "Tess" crown. Thank you Mali and Justin- my crowns never looked better!
My husband and I recently returned from 2 weeks in Colombia, South America where we visited our son who has been living there for the past year. I was stunned by the beauty and color that abounds in this vibrant country. Americans rarely travel to Colombia because the perception is that it is dangerous. While that was true 10 years ago, now it is very safe. This was the best kind of vacation- fun and challenging at the same time. I was completely taken out of my world and thrown into a swirl of people, striking landscapes, exotic fruit, and bright colors every where. The creative recycling/repurposing/living-by-your-boot-straps that goes on out of necessity was exciting and inspirational. A sure way to put things in perspective and to remember "there's more than one way to live a life."
My journal is about images rather than words. I try to put something down on the page each day I come to the studio- that's the goal anyway, but I'm forgiving if a few days go by without an entry. Journaling, for me, is an exercise in openness to what comes without agenda, expectations or editing. The usual suspects on my studio table- paper scraps, gouache, pencil and glue stick are the materials utilized. I can see the direct relationship between the images in my journal and finished work in the studio. The journals contain the seeds of my work and have become a personal history, a graphic memoir that explains who I am in a way words never could.
Between other projects I painted these dogs for Taupe Gallery in North Wilkesboro. Jim and Steve who own Taupe are a hoot besides being great salesmen. I'm pleased to be in their eclectic gallery. It's worth a trip!