Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Listening to Elis (Not Elvis)

I just came across this YouTube video on the Fiber Focus blog.

Elis Regina is one of my favorite singers. A Brazilian, Elis sings in Portuguese, a language of which I can understand almost nothing. This matters little to me as her voice is more like musical instrument. Perhaps I should state everything in the past tense. Elis died in 1982 at the age of 36.

Three years ago, I was inspired to create a piece based on her beautiful voice.

No doubt, this does not well enough capture her rich, clear voice.

I'm debating a change of tunes in the CD player to include her. I'm just worried that if I do, that will be the end of the Signs of the Times series. I am much too affected by music when I work. I will listen to the same CDs over and over again until a piece or series is finished.

Are others as affected as I am by music when they create?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Survivor, Kim Hambric Style

I've heard tales of a television show about people dropped off in rainforests or deserted islands with only the clothes on their backs and large attitudes. They are left to fend for themselves with nothing but the capability to eat bugs, s*%$ in the woods, and peel off clothing for the cameramen. I don't watch it. I have my own issues. One of those is cocktail party survival.

The shindig I went to on Friday was well tolerated. I was actually able to make conversation. Nothing green adhered to my teeth. Liquids did not come shooting out of my nose when I laughed.

Both pieces of my artwork sold for above the retail price and each garnered a few bids. That's a first. I did not overhear anyone laughing at my work or any comments about being able to do it themselves.

I survived.

And since it is a cloudy day (as is usual for Nov-Apr here), I will be able to photograph a few new pieces today. Results posted tomorrow.

Now, I'm off to enjoy my Monday. No sarcasm there. I love Mondays. Really.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Party Hearty

I have a "thing" to go to tonight. Not quite a party. Certainly not a meeting. It's a fundraising auction, tidbit-eating, wine-downing "thing".

Perhaps time has taken away the sting of loserness and rejection, but I kind of miss those parties of my teenage years. You would put on your coolest clothes, stand like you knew you were something wonderful, drink cheap beer, and you had a blast. You (I) could walk up to strangers and start talking. If there were no great opening lines, you could at least talk about how slow the keg was in dispensing the cheap beer. If all else failed, standing alone in the corner was an option. I know. I selected that option many a time.

Things don't work quite the same as an adult. A semi-responsible, respectable adult. Standing in the corner doesn't have the same appeal when you're in your 40's. That's where I'll go I'm sure. Parties are no longer one of my favorite things.

Then there's the auction part to worry about. Last year, there was a cluster of art, objects, and gift certificates up for auction. There were some lovely things that I bid on, but was quickly knocked out of the competition as the bid sheets filled up. And there was my piece. It's bid sheet forlorn and empty. Yes, the piece ultimately sold. But that agony of watching and waiting! The worrying and sweating. Did anybody connect me to the piece that was sitting there?

Maybe I should "sell" that piece. Work the crowd. Tell them that I am an International artist (what the heck DOES that mean). I should stick my snout in the air and profess to know the nuances of the artworld. Let them all know I am doing the world such a favor by letting the auction begin at such a small price. Right.

I'll be the one in the corner. Red wine-stained teeth (with a green bit added for color). Clutching a glass until my knuckles are white. Also white-knuckling a appetizer of unknown content (with some green bits).

What the hell. Bring on the keg and blast Foreigner and Journey. I'll put on my Levi's cords, suede vest and clogs. Let's party hearty. But only until 9:30 or 10:00.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Signs of the Times XVII and XX

Signs of the Times XVII, 6 x 6"

Signs of the Times XX, 6 x 6"

My original goal in Signs of the Times was to complete 20 pieces. So I have. However, four more have been completed and several others are in the works.

Signs of the Times XVII contains pieces from a vintage map of Detroit, MI, and text from my trusty vintage book, "New Towns for America."

Signs of the Times XX contains pieces from a vintage map of Toledo, OH. I LOVE the color of that map.

Back in college, when I was earning my degree in Urban Studies, my dream was to create new towns. I purchased books on new town planning, whipped up drawings of imaginary towns, and fantasized daily about how wonderful my new little towns would be. I now realize that no place in which I would want to live can be created from scratch. How dull. How impractical. Besides, it would put preservationists out of work & we wouldn't want to do that.

These pieces are now in my Etsy shop.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Love a Grid

grid. A pattern of horizontal and vertical lines forming squares of uniform size.

I Love a Grid. I'm very fond of squares as has been mentioned before in this post.

Rectangles please me, too. I like repetition. Few things please me more than seeing books lined up on shelves. I adore city maps and their grids of streets. I think crossword puzzles are stunning even though I rarely do them. Although I DETEST grocery shopping, I find the shelves of boxes and cans quite pleasing. Calendars are works of art, except when they are filled and I feel overwhelmed.

One square is kind of dull. As is one rectangle. Put dozens of them together and it makes me want to dance. I am ecstatic when I see a skyscraper with its rows and rows of windows. It drives me absolutely bats when one of those "important, comtemporary architects" puts a curved wall in a building. There are places in life for circles. I do like circles. I really like circles when they are placed in squares.

Could this explain why this newest series is the largest one yet?

These two pieces have been donated for an art auction for our local friends school.

Since it seems it will be cloudy for the next day or two, I will photograph the newest pieces in the Signs of the Times series and post them here and on Etsy soon.

p.s. Thanks so much for your fantastic comments on my last post. They are much appreciated.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm Such a Toad

Me, 65 x 16 x 10"

Yes, I have been a bit quiet lately. That usually means I am not in the best of moods. I try not to come to the blog in a wet blanket funk. So, I just keep to myself.

I have purchased the most recent copy of Artful Blogging magazine. I was hoping it would give me a lift. There are so many articles by bloggers that tell of how blogging has changed their lives. They meet so many people through the internet and then in real life. They refuse to share the negative aspects of their lives. Their blogs are bulging with poetry, photos and arty tutorials. They are fun to visit. But this fun does not seem to rub off on me. Why can't I be consistently witty, or fun, or bubbly, or optimistic?

One of these recent articles is written by Malka Dubrawsky, whose A Stitch in Dye blog is one of the several that I follow. She encourages fellow bloggers to be themselves and not self-censor themselves.

Don't second-guess everything you say or upload because you're worried that it's not serious, or witty, or sophisticated enough. Let your readers get to know you, warts and all.
I've been feeling very warty lately.

I feel that if I explain all of these warts that, you too, reader, will catch these warts. Isn't that one of those nature rumors -- that if you touch a warty toad, you will get warts.

I will share the largest of the warts with you. . .

O.K. so I did type it all out. Then I deleted it. It had to do with loneliness and lack of support from those closest to me. I went to re-read it and, well, it was too warty.

I'm now off to make some fudge for my dad for his birthday. Then I have to run some errands to get some things for my daughter. I guess my next warty post could discuss lack of studio time. Perhaps one of my errands should be to find some wart remover.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Signs of the Times XV and XVI

Signs of the Times XV, 6 x 6"

Signs of the Times XVI, 6 x 6"

Here are the two newest.

Signs of the times XV contains text cut from my favorite vintage book of city maps. The information is about Akron, Ohio, former rubber (as in tire) capitol of the United States. The map is from a vintage textbook of New Towns.

I believe the text in XVI is from the same textbook. I love those plastic letters. I did not purchase them for this purpose, but there they are. Perhaps I will have to find another set if I choose to actually sew them onto my pieces. I really need an excuse to surf Ebay.

These pieces are now for sale on Etsy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's A Small World . . .

Whee! We just came back from a trip to Disney World!

Aside from the bruising around my ankles from a multitude of collisions with strollers, I must say I had a wonderful time. Aside from the "Small World" song filling my head.

Yes, I was convinced to ride It's a Small World. The song definitely creeps into every crack, crevice, and orifice of one's self. Yet, it is a beautiful ride. So much great artwork from the 1960's. I could ride it over and over. With earplugs.

Epcot was incredible. So many lands. So little time. So close together. And a very clean Morocco.

Anyway, I'm not going into a travelogue here. Just wanted to let you know where I've been. Now I'm back to the land of ice and snow. Laundry and errands. And perhaps a little bit of studio time.

I wonder if I'll be able to get back into my darkish series. Am I now going to want to use pastels and princess sparkles? Mickey ears? Chipmunks and bunnies? Never.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Signs of the Times XIII and XIV

Signs of the Times XIII, 6 x 6"

Signs of the Times XIV, 6 x 6"

Signs of the Times XIII contains bits of map from a "new" town called Green Hills in Ohio. Signs of the Times XIV contains a map of San Diego. Perhaps I should check these places out on Google Maps.

I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't seek out a 12-step program to get myself off of Google Maps. I'm going to rationalize the whole thing by stating that I do not play facebook games. I do not have Wii, I am not a constant texter. Therefore, I have plenty of time to spend on Google Maps. I'm still considering it research.

I escorted a friend up to my studio yesterday. I proudly showed her my recent supply acquisitions, one of which was a vintage map of New York City. I now have a commission to look forward to using that map. Its been so long since I've done a piece with anyone else in mind.

I'm off to hack into that map. I find chopping up vintage items easier and easier. Nothing is safe from me and my scissors anymore.

These pieces are now available on Etsy.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Way too gray today.

The winters in central PA are grim. Cold and gray. Today is no exception.

My morning consisted of driving through the gray to the dentist's office. After some numbing and being roughed up for an hour, I drove home through the gray. Happy to be in my house. I'm going to turn on all of the lights and turn on some happy music.

Since it is overcast (a happier way to put it?), I will photograph some of the newer pieces today.

Perhaps I will take a little trip on GoogleMaps. For some reason it is always spring and summer in Google world. I'm off to take a visit. Think I'll visit the west coast today. Perhaps Portland or Seattle (where it will be gray?).

Photos soon.