Thursday, May 27, 2010


The new Sew Somerset magazine arrived in the mail yesterday, and, finally, there I am in print. Yep, I'm in the back. Pretty much as close to the end as you can get without being an ad.

Sort of a cross between the happy birdy pieces and the dark brown and black pieces.

I felt a little funny just packing up these pieces and letting them go. Hopefully, they will be returned to me shortly and I'll post them here and on Etsy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I, Me, Mine

I, Me, Mine, 7 x 6"

Another one of my dark pieces. Probably the darkest one yet.

Here's the description I wrote for it on Etsy:

All too often, we think we own our houses, the ground they are built on and the moon and stars above. Too rarely do we think about the consequences of destroying forests and leveling land for subdivisions and the toxic wastes from our lifestyles. Instead of forests, we now plant little trees in containers as if they were animals in a zoo.
Happy thoughts? No. True? Yes.

There are so many lifeless places being built. Remove the trees. Strip the topsoil. Level the ground. Insert large homes that have to be heated and cooled. Mostly cooled. When you remove all of those trees, well, there's nothing to protect your house from the sun.

Plant a tree. One that grows large. While you're at it, plant two. A third one couldn't hurt.

Stepping off soapbox now to go into studio.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Back in Black

So I did recently poke my head out of my usual black hole and created a blue and gold piece (with black, of course), but now I've pulled my head back into the black hole and just kept going.

Perfect Home, 7 x 6"

My dark side is, apparently, a large side. It is my dominant side. And it must be fed regularly. The bright and happy side does emerge on occasion. Birdies chirp. The sun is golden. Skies are blue. But the weather changes quickly in my world. Skies outside are leaden. Artwork inside turns black.

Easy!, 7 x 6"

I don't always mean to be grim. And I don't think darkness is necessarily bad. Dark can be cozy. As I look around me, I realize my office is perfectly reflected in these pieces. I'm surrounded by chocolate brown walls, books, black and white artwork and red accessories. And I'm darn happy in this room. To me, this is reflected in Perfect Home. This piece includes my favorite things: maps, letters and words, trees, red, and home.

Easy!, however, is a bit grim. Same colors, different meaning. I'm trying to get across that we all want things done in the easiest manner possible, yet we don't think (or want to think) of the consequences: oil spills, rampant suburbanization, etc.

I'm going to post these pieces on Etsy and then I'm going back to the cave of darkness (studio). Two more pieces are nearing completion and then I think I'm going to relive my New Orleans series. It seems somehow incomplete and since I've been obsessing over the show Treme, I feel new work coming on.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Happiness that $7.00 Can Buy

Each Spring, our local chapter of AAUW holds their annual used book sale. Here in these parts, its a big deal. Four days, 250,000 books. Lots of fun for us bookish types.

Day one brought very little. Two novels. And it turns out I had purchased one of the novels at last year's sale.

Day three is half-price day. Ahhhhh. There's nothing like being able to throw book after book into my bag and not have to worry about the price. On this day, I avoided the fiction section which was a little heavy on the romance and decided to go to the "collectors" and children's sections.

I was looking for some books to cut up and put into my artwork. Found 'em. But, they're just too darn beautiful to cut up.

Yep. Only $7.00.

A beautiful spread from the Children's book of Natural History. I'm going to have to find another copy to cut up.

And. For 25 cents. A modest looking atlas on the outside. But, the inside! I made a little squealing noise when I opened the book. Luckily for me, the folks around me are strange book people, too. Nobody noticed.

No way can I cut up this beautiful book. Sigh. I'll have to try to find another copy.

I did find a little natural science book with beautiful text and luscious, thick paper. That's been whacked already. Not sure what to do with the London Zoo book of birds. Too darn nice. And the bug book. I'm sure some info. is outdated, but it goes into my library. So much for scissor fodder.

I did find three maps. One, I purchased for feel only. I'm always on the lookout for pre-1960 maps. The new ones have slick paper, new colors, and little detail. Imagine my surprise when I got home and discovered this was a special map. Recently, I had torn apart a wonderful world map to put into several pieces. It now lays in tatters. One side has fantastic white text on black about the many ways in which man has ruined the world. The map also has the best ocean blue I have come across. I was so sad to see it looking like a carcass. And now I have a replacement!!!!

No, it doesn't appear to take much to make me happy. Smelly books and old maps. And $7.00 in my pocket.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Is G the New H?

G is the New H, 12 x 12"

On occasion, I’ve been known to read those women’s self-help magazines. Only at the doctor’s office and only when the Time magazines are too dated. I rarely do get help from those self-help magazines. What I usually get is an inferiority complex.

I gather from reading articles from those magazines that I should be well on my way to success by now, as should all women who have reached their 40s. I should be in the sexual prime of my life. I should be able to fix any and all relationships that I am involved in. The children I have raised should be confident, well-rounded and out of the house by now. I should be and know all sorts of things. Apparently, I am behind. Oh well.

One thing I have learned from those magazines, is that whatever age you are, you can (or should) feel like you are something else. 40? No. You’re 30. Having a mid-life crisis? If so, you don’t have to be 40. Now you can have your mid-life crisis when you’re 30. Is 70 the new 50? Is 40 the new 50? I’m 46. I feel 32. Some days. Tomorrow I could feel 60. Does it matter? Sure it does, if I want to write and sell an article to a magazine.

The other day, I was in an artistic slump. I did the usual pacing and flipping through books and magazines. Finally, I took the scissors to some magazines and cut out whatever text interested me. Oh! What a lovely G. Look at that H. Just beautiful! If age is changing, why not the alphabet? Could G be the new H? Would H be the new G? Would G really feel like an F? I’m really feeling like an E today. Tomorrow I could feel like a J.

G is the new H is an experimental piece. I grabbed whatever colors and text appealed to me at one moment in time. While I may have changed some placement and made some mistakes that could not be corrected, I stuck with the original concept. I wanted, needed, to complete something. I felt that “new” was an important part of the piece and included the word several times. Everybody wants new. How long does “new” last. One year? One week? A few minutes?

Hey! How about old is the new new? Or would that be, new is the new old?

I can’t keep up.

G is the New H is for sale on Etsy for a special price.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Signs of the Times XXIX and XXX

Signs of the Times XXIX, 6 x 6"

Signs of the Times XXX, 6 x 6"

Signs of the Times XXIX contains text about Pittsburgh, PA from a vintage book. Signs of the times XXX contains pieces of a vintage map of Central Park in New York City. Both of these pieces are now available on Etsy.

This is the end of the series. All of the remaining bits and pieces have been filed and stored. The scraps are in their boxes. The studio was cleaned. It's over. Actually, its been over for about three weeks now. I've just been trotting out a couple of pieces at a time.

I've been doing some puttering in the studio. I do have a new piece to show you in a couple of days. But that's been it. I've been looking in books. Looking at nature. Staring at the floor and ceiling. I'm waiting for the next idea to hit.

I feel weird. I feel wrong. This has been the longest I've gone without "the next thing" sitting there waiting. I have a strange untied feeling, like I should be floating, but I feel very heavy instead.

I'm off to get some pruning sheers and attack a few shrubs. And then guess where I'm going. Just see if you can guess before you scroll down.

Target. You knew it didn't you?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Listening to Nina

I've been a huge fan of Nina Simone ever since 1998. That's the year the Coen brother's The Big Lebowski was released. I purchased the soundtrack when it came out, and included was a song that crawled under my skin immediately: I've Got it Bad & That Aint Good, sung by Nina Simone. Up until then, I had never heard of Nina Simone, but that quickly changed.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite Nina Simone tune. The "video" I selected is one of her more upbeat songs. This song also showcases her talent at the piano. I listened to this song, and dozens more while completing the last piece in the Women Singing series.

Nina, 24 x 20"

All of the Women Singing pieces are available in my Etsy shop, and on my website.