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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Progressing... a Few Quick Glimpses

Coming along slowly with the new piece I first showed you in this post. It's been quite a while since I completed something; as some of you may know, I've been busy studying business things. More about that later. (You can read a bit about it here and here.)

Most of the basic components are glued down, and I have added some stitching; I think it will be finished in the next day or so. In the meantime, I just wanted to share a few more details before you see the whole piece. (Is that an oxymoron?) Anyway, without further blah-blah-blah:

I kind of enjoy using the hammer and awl to make holes for the stitching.  My dogs, however, do not enjoy the noise - I suppose it sounds like thunder or fireworks to them - and when I start, they quickly find another place to hang out.

My son-in-law gave me these old engineering drawings, which I have since found out are done on silked vellum. We knew they were vellum, but when I tore a piece of it to use in a collage, I saw tiny threads, and realized it was woven. Later I heard, just by chance, that in the past very very thin sheets of silk would be somehow laminated onto vellum to make it more durable. It's a strange material to work with, as it doesn't behave like either paper or fabric, and seems to stretch when wet (or has glue on it), and is very hard to glue down flat.

Here, tree roots have been stitched with embroidery floss - a mix of two different blues. Hopefully, it will all come together soon, and I will share it with you here!

Happy Monday, everyone!