Sea Change

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Sea Change, mixed media, 18×24″, 2010.

This combination of painting, collage, and drawing came about as a result of a weird dream I had where this woman was sailing away on a Viking ship.  I added in surreal details to add to the dream-like idea.  It recently found a new home, in a friend’s new home.

 

Garbage Landscape

Garbage Landscape, 12 x 16″, mixed media, 2019.

 

Pretty self-explanatory image.  The clouds are tissue paper with paint thickly applied.  The ground is corrugated cardboard with the top layer peeled off, and painted.

Ayeka?

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Ayeka, Mixed media, 9 x 12″, 2019.

Ayeka? Where are you?

The inspiration for the artwork comes from various things- my love for all things science and the art of diagrams, for one. The idea of skin and a barrier to outside forces, and a sermon on Ayeka, delivered via video conferencing, due to a howling blizzard of a day in Iowa.

Tropical Cat

Tropical Cat, Mixed Media – collage, Gelli printing, ink drawing, watercolor, 2018.

 

I have gotten so far behind on documenting completed artworks – there will be a spree of posts coming up.  This one I completed when I was in Boston last summer for the TAB (Teaching Artistic Behaviors) art teacher grad class extraordinary week of learning and art making.  They had the most glorious studio set up for us art teachers to use.  This cat was inspired by my daughter’s love of cats and making them in her own art.  I also have lived with my fair share of lovely gray cats in my life.

Mona

Mona, Collage, watercolor, marker, color pencil, 2019.

I started this Mona Lisa homage years ago, as a magazine face collaged on to a black marker drawing. At that time, I was sorely missing the coastal parts of North Carolina, which had been our home state for eight years.

I just rediscovered this unfinished piece in my studio, and added the watercolor and color pencil this week.

South Dakota Landscape

South Dakota, Embroidery, acrylic paint, denim, pine needles, 2019.

Last summer, I enjoyed a week with family, just outside Rapid City, South Dakota. The porch offered a serene view of the Black Hills. I sat and meditatively stitched on the legs of my cut-off jeans, as my children, nieces, and nephews played.

Iowa Skies + Batman Piñata

Iowa Skies

Iowa Skies, watercolor, 9×12″, 2016.  

My most recent finished watercolor, started just before our trip to Alexandria, MN – based on an Instagram photo I took a few years ago of baby blankets drying on the clothesline.

This summer has been flying by – we have all been making time for creating which leaves  me happier than anything else at the end of the day.

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As I write this, my youngest is throwing chalk and making the best 2-year-old smears of color that he can make.

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Last week, Greta had her school friends over for a belated birthday celebration, so we whipped up a quick Batman piñata.  The two kids worked on their own cardboard and tape creations, while adding layers of paste and newspaper when they felt like helping me.

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Batman’s head was formed from a large balloon.  The ears and nose were fashioned from cut up cereal boxes, which were then layered in papier-mâché strips.  My favorite paste for papier-mâché projects is art paste, it comes in a powder and when mixed with water, makes a gel-like paste that isn’t too sticky and lasts well, when covered.

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Batman, dried and waiting to be painted.

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The finished painted Batman.  This was a quick, get it finished paint job, as I was finishing the paint 1 hour before the party.  Nothing like a deadline to get an artist moving!

New Artwork

I finally finished an artwork that I made for a coworker’s nursery.  She sent me some color requests – pinks and grays, 2 quotes she liked and a general idea for the artworks.  I got to work, slowly, much more slowly than normal.  But, hey, it was a busy spring for me.

The quotes are printed and then collaged onto the canvas. I sealed the collaged areas in my favorite collage material – gloss gel medium.

The flowers are also collage, done from painted pages from an old dictionary.

I used a palette knife to rough up and wrinkle the collaged words, for a more aged effect.

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The flowers were inspired by some of favorite and currently blooming flowers – peonies.  This huge, pink beauty of a bloom was picked from my backyard earlier this week.

I started with watercolor paint for subtle all-over color.  Then, switched to thinned tempera paint for the bolder magenta hues.

During this project, I actually ran out of white acrylic paint – the first time in forever!  A good problem to have – it means I am actually creating something.

 

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My pile of scraps and old credit card that I use to ensure a smooth adhesion to the canvas.  This pile of cut petals and printed scraps was a goldmine for my daughter’s budding creative mind.

“Can I make something out of this pile, Mommy?”  she squealed with delight.

“Of course, you can!  What do you want to do with them?” I asked her.

“You’ll see,” she replied with a grin.

She set to work, glue stick in hand – gluing, tearing, cutting, and arranging.  She set up her paint space and requested her paint colors.  I was amazed at the care and time she vested in her painting.  She was so proud of her careful brushstrokes and the fact that she did not get any paint on anything other than her paper.

Her finished masterpiece. We will be doing much more of this kind of collaborative work in the next few weeks, now that school is officially out for me.

New Series -Things With Wheels

 

I am really excited about this new series I have started, for a couple reasons.

1. It’s whimsical, fun, and lighthearted.  Sometimes that is just the break I need from the art ideas swirling in my head, that look a certain way, and never seem to turn out how I want (at least as of lately).

2. My kids are really excited because it is based on the things they enjoy – machines with wheels.   Nothing makes me smile more than their sheer joy.
 My son saw these and exclaimed, “TUCK!!”

More to come soon. Maybe a back hoe or a crane next??

A book is a dream…


I make so many false starts when I make art. I don’t document then very often, as I usually recycle them, squish them, paint over them, or hand them off to my children to tear and cut up into collages.


This time, I decided to give the false start away with the finalized artwork. I started off very enthused about using the polka dot theme my colleague was using in her new baby’s nursery. Partway through, I came up with a different approach – more aerial and dream-like.  And so, I abandoned the polka dots.  In the end, I gave her both. I know, I know, total cop-out and not having to decide to throw it out, right?

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Sorry, Morgan, I promise I wasn’t trying to put the decision-making on your shoulders. One time, I was all ready to throw out my false start art for a friends’ tropical themed wedding gift, but she asked to see it and ended up wanting it as well. When I’m my worst critic, I send along the false starts now as well.  I’ll happily dispose of false starts if I am passing along a terrible task, as I have read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and really appreciated her entire section on gift-giving.

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In other news, despite the loud silence on this blog, I have been extremely busy and productive as of late – my own artwork, school samples, cooking, baking, organizing, decorating, and crafting. You name it – I’ve been working on it.  My hours have been spent creating, not documenting as of late.  Be prepared for a floodgate of posts on here at some point…