Sunday, August 13, 2017

Commission Painting Finished!


I don't typically do much commission work, but I am always open to it if I have the time and it's something I know how to do. And, when the clients are your daughter and son-in-law, how can you refuse, right? I actually really enjoyed doing this painting; it's different from what I usually do, and that was liberating in lot of ways. It was also really nice to take some time way from working on the website, which can get (very!) tedious at times.

I had already shared a couple of teasers on instagram, just some work-in-progress details. But now that my daughter and her hubby have seen it, and given it the final stamp of approval, I can share it with all of you!


The Wave
acrylic paint with acrylic ink, 30 x 40



I had lots of fun making this piece. It's been a long time since I've worked this large, or used quite this much paint! I did most of it out on my front porch, since it's shaded during the early part of the day.  I was using the inks and watered down paint in a watercolor-type technique, pouring on puddles of paint and then letting the excess run off the end of the porch. This would not have been practical on the hardwood floors in the studio. Later on, I did some of the foamy parts inside, coving the floor with old throw rugs. Really made me want to go to the ocean, though!






Thursday, July 13, 2017

Porkbelly Press 07.11.17





Porkbelly Press has just published a new chapbook, MEXICAMERICANA, (poetry) by Eloisa Amezcua, and I'm super excited to say my work is on the cover! The incomparable and very industrious Nicci Mechler runs Porkbelly Press, a small independent chapbook press in Cincinnati, Ohio. Besides her jobs as editor, designer, and artist for the chapbook, she does about a thousand other things, all while continously producing a steady stream of gorgeous etchings and other artworks. Her blog bio starts off like this:

"Nicci is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University (BFA Studio Art, Masters in English). Between research, novel revisions, poetic alchemy, reading, retreats, and caring for roomies, rescue dogs, and rescue kitties, she makes art, edits the literary magazine Sugared Water, and runs Porkbelly Press (a micro press in Cincinnati, OH). She is also the editor and maker of several zines, including the body image zine LMLMB.

I was very honored when she asked if she could use my work on the cover, and it really does look wonderful. I have no idea how she manages to get all this stuff done. Here, you can read an excerpt from Eloisa Amezcua's beautiful poetry; you can buy a copy of this handbound chapbook, MEXICAMERICANA, here.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In My Garden




This is why they call it butterfly weed...








The yellow hostas have a strange pale flower that I like very much.








Coreopsis verticillata blooms all summer, if you deadhead it... I need to do that about a week ago...




Bee balm, also known as monarda and bergamot, is what gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor.




 I love all these perennials...




Hostas, coleus, and ferns in my shade garden.




The echinachea seems especially vibrant this year...




The bees seem to think so, too.




One of the orange turk's cap lilies is dying, but has produced these humongous seeds, unlike the lily's usual seeds. Anyone know why?



Here you can see the regular seeds that appear on the stem.




I chased this tiger swallowtail butterfly around for probably half an hour,




trying to get a decent shot...




                                                                It was pretty camera-shy...




...but I finally managed to get a few good ones.



I hope you enjoyed my little garden stroll. Have a great week, everyone!






Tuesday, June 27, 2017

When I Was a Bird


When I Was a Bird
collage on multi-media board, 8 x 14 inches
ingredients: vintage book pages and hand-written letters, image transfers, magazine cut-outs, gampi paper, water color crayons and pencils, stitching



This one looks pretty much the same as the last time you saw it; I just added some stitching, the birds, and tweaked a few other things. Trying not to overwork it, as I sometimes tend to do.

You may have noticed that people with wings, angel-like figures, and girls with one wing appear frequently in my work. I tried to get to the bottom of this obsession in a past blog post titled, "Where Wings Come From", which you can read here if you're interested. Someone once said that all of the figures an artist paints are reflections of him/herself, and in some way, I believe this is true.


detail of first spread from my handmade book, Book of Dreams


Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher


a page from Not an Open Book


In trying to find quotes for this post, I came across a very interesting website called Every Pianter Paints Himself: Art's Masterpieces Explained. The home page text states:

Every painter paints himself, a saying first documented in the early Renaissance, has been mentioned by artists ever since. Both Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci used it, as Picasso did too; Lucian Freud and other contemporary artists still cite variations today. Yet despite its great significance to artists, art scholars rarely discuss the saying or its meaning. Those who do seem to have no choice but to deny it: painters don’t really paint themselves, they say, but their sensibility. But why would a phrase that meant so much to great masters, and still does to their followers, require re-phrasing to mean anything? The truth is, as this website demonstrates, it is the images of these visual artists that are veiled, not their words.

Here's an example from the site where they discuss some of Basquiat's paintings in relation to his life. I plan to go back and read what they say about other artists and their work. Just something to think about, you know?


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

So Far...



Despite drowning in a sea of product tags, focus keywords, alt attributes, meta descriptions, and SEO titles, I have managed to make a little more progress on When I was a Bird, a collage I had started for an art challenge a few weeks back. I took photos of it with my phone, and they did not upload to my dropbox. I have no clue why, but it is surely aggravating. So I took photos with my Panasonic Lumix, and couldn't get them to upload to the computer! Just one more thing, you know?





But I have managed to grab little snippets of time here and there to work this collage, mainly to keep myself sane. Now, back to work, and maybe a bit of studio time! I'll keep you posted!





Sunday, May 28, 2017

Art Challenge: Birds



When I found out the theme for this week's Art Challenge was "Birds", I couldn't resist, despite the fact that I'm busy trying to build a new website (trying is the operative word here), and I've got tons of yard work and gardening to do, not to mention the normal everyday stuff to keep up with. But it's BIRDS, you know? If you've followed my blog for very long, or looked at my website, it's pretty obvious that birds are a very important part of my symbolic vocabulary. In fact, I did two long posts about birds in art, which you can read here and here, if you're so inclined.

So I thought I'd maybe just take one of my old collages that didn't work out, since pretty much all of them have birds on them, re-work it here and there, and voila! - a new bird collage. Nope. Ideas started whirling around in my head and I found myself starting a whole new collage, which I knew I wouldn't be able to finish in time for the challenge.


Work in progress: When I Was a Bird


But luckily, no one in this lovely group of artists cares much about deadlines or rules, so I'm posting what I've got so far. There's a lot more work ahead, but I think the basic bones of the composition are in place, and you can get an idea of where it's going. I will be sharing my progress here, so check back in a few day for an update!


Eric Adama of Cerulean is our kind host, so head over to his blog for the links to more bird art!







Monday, May 15, 2017

New Work: Temple





Temple, 17.5 x 11 inches, mixed media
ingredients: vintage book cover, monotype, vintage maps and engineering drawings, other vintage ephemera, metallic ink, found objects, brads, brass wire, acrylic paint, artist pens, feathers




So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to thee.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 "Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life."                                                                                                                              - Hermann Hesse