Join me on Sunday, September 10th, 4-6pm for the artists' reception at Studios on High Gallery (686 N. High Street, Columbus, OH). The "Hit the Hop" Exhibit will officially open on September 2nd for that evening's Gallery Hop and the show will hang through September 29th! Check it out! Support Local Artists!
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do something every day that scares you." Well, I try to live by that because I have learned how it can open your world and I'm trying to teach my sons the same... that you only gain by putting yourself out there, whether it is in a business, athletic, artistic or personal venture.
Admittedly, I've remained in my comfort zone for years in working small. Small fabric books, small fabric collages, small watercolor illustrations, small paintings. Someone once said, "Go big or go home." There's truth in that statement. Would we have enjoyed Jackson Pollock's work if he had kept it nice and neat in an orderly, manageable size. Hell no!
So, despite the fact that my studio may not accommodate me much longer, I am painting on larger canvases and panels. I'm moving out of my comfort zone. Truth be told, it feels great!
So, if you do anything this summer, do something that scares you! Leave your safe, comfort zone and try something new. You can't run with the big dogs if you stay on the porch! So Winston says...
I live my life in spurts, or rather there seems to be an ebb and flow, admittedly sometimes positive and sometimes negative! When I was going through cancer treatment from the Fall of 2015 and into the bleak winter months of 2016, my creativity was as drained as my energy. Now that both have returned, my mind keeps turning to the subject of roses when I'm in the studio creating. I started painting in acrylic back in January, out of a need for vibrancy. Those who share my hometown of Columbus, Ohio can attest to the long, bleak, gray winters that seem to drag on endlessly!
Every time I looked outside my window for inspiration I was met with the color of dirty concrete. Ugh! I needed a change of pace! I was craving color! Color that my typical soft watercolors couldn't provide. I needed bold, thick, happy color!
I have found a certain joy in painting and collaging on wood panels, working small for now. "Giddy" is a compilation of acrylic and the paper from the interior of security envelopes. The dots make me think of champagne bubbles. It is the second in what is becoming a series based on my return to creativity post cancer.
Here is the first...
This piece is a statement on how one feels going through a cancer diagnosis, putting on the front that everything is just fine, just rosy, but if you look beneath the surface you find another realm, reality, world (depicted by the underwater colors and school of pink fish). This too incorporates the interiors of security envelopes, which for me, is a small way to fight back against the overwhelming clutter that accumulates from receiving mail!
Both pieces are finished and available for purchase by contacting me via email or facebook.
The opening in Mansfield went well and was heavily attended! While a little rain threatened outside, it turned out to be a lovely evening of meeting fellow artists, making new connections and taking in a variety of wonderful art!
If you have the time, it takes less than an hour to get to Mansfield, Ohio...check it out until June 4th!
Need a pick-me-up after this week's grey skies and seemingly nonstop rain?!
Add some color to your Saturday night by joining me from 7-9pm at the opening of the 72nd Annual May Show at The Mansfield Art Center, 700 Marion Avenue, Mansfield, OH. No worries if you can't make the opening, the show will hang until June 4th if you have time, could make for a nice little day trip! Especially if you add in some antique and Amish shops!
"Trumptown", Acrylic, fabric and paper collage on wood, 10"x10"
I am not one who likes to discuss politics. I am one, however, like every other human being, animal and amoeba sharing this earth, is one who is feeling the deep effects of our new political situation at the hands of our new president.
As an artist, my emotions come out through my work. I pour my happiness or in this case, frustration into a piece. This is a collage that speaks to that hypocritical, political "promise" that we are all too familiar with, "Make America Great Again!". (I personally didn't feel a need for much improvement after Obama).
When I started this piece, I found myself creating a base of dark colors, navy blue. I then wanted to add some hope (which is what I crave politically) and so I added brighter blues and greens. When I went to fine inspiration from my stash of recycled papers, envelopes, etc. I was shocked to find a disclaimer page that had accompanied an old insurance letter. The two white strips of text at the top of the collage discuss (ironically when thinking about Trump) how we treat people in this country, (or claim to). The roses' stems represent that same statement in various languages.
I always gravitate to my stash of old children's books and primers and that is where I found one entitled, "Wake- up Town", which tells a story of a beautiful place to live. I used the illustration of the concrete sign and all the "promises" in puts forth: "Clean streets; Beautiful homes; Excellent Water supply (my mind and heart then went to Flint, Michigan), etc. I thought the illustration of the little boy and his megaphone summed up how I have felt since the elections...a lot of noise.
Finally, when I looked into my fabric scraps from previous projects, my eyes caught a selvedge that actually said, "protected soil", and I thought...yeah, protected soil, stop fracking and opening our sacred green spaces...our national forests and parks.
I don't want to live in Trumptown, thank you very much. So I will push back in my own, small, more polite ways...through art, writing and action. I hope you'll do the same!
You're Invited! Join me at the opening of The 72nd Annual May Show at the Mansfield Art Center (700 Marion Avenue, Mansfield, Ohio 44906) on Saturday, May 6th, 7-9pm! Take in the exhibition, meet the artists and hear the winners of awards at 8pm.
Can't get there? You've got a little time! Pop in to see the exhibition which runs until June 4th, 2017!
I had several friends ask after I posted this recently...so I thought I'd tell you all about what I am currently working on...
In the new year I began painting in acrylic and fell in love with it! I want to eventually move into oils but for now I am really enjoying painting on not only canvas, but paper, fabric and wood. Right now I am working on the second piece in a series of rose-related collages. The first (shown above) is an acrylic and paper collage on wood, measuring 10 x 10". It is entitled, "Undercurrent" and simply is a statement of how things may seem "rosy" on top, but if you look deeper you will see beneath the surface and find the undercurrent. In one corner of the piece you will see a school of fish for example. I often use the insides of security envelopes because I like the various designs they offer. It also makes me feel better to recycle my mail into my artwork! The paper pieces here are used to show the movement of the water around the rose, which is bright and unyielding, as people are when they are stressed and determined to keep up a positive front.
The second piece is on wood measuring 12 x12" and has a large rose at the center, painted in pink hues of acrylic. With the rose as the focus, I wanted to incorporate subtle black and gray hues, again using security envelopes. This one has a long way to go but I'll share it when finished!
Working in acrylic collage on wood...I am typically quiet when it comes to politics but I came across these pages in a children's primer about Wake Up Town and then opened up an insurance mailing I received and it literally had the fair treatment statements at the top... it got me thinking about all the travesties already occurring in Trump's presidency with regard to how people are treated...the flowers with various nationalities represented on their stems was my hope that we can grow, coexist in a beautiful garden, not a scary hell...only time will tell.
This is one of several embroidered patches I am in the process of completing that will eventually find its way into a quilt!
You're Striking!! Be My Valentine!
No Horsin' Around...Be My Valentine!
We have now entered February, so you'll be seeing red, pink and purple for 14 days, until retailers have to quickly swap out St. Valentine's Day for incoming St. Patty's Day! Don't blink, you might miss it and have a disgruntled spouse, significant other or family member on your hands!
I miss having small children, and the fun we'd have making valentines for classmates, teachers, neighbors and family! Looking back, we made some fun ones through the years...like our salt-dough heart-shaped kitchen magnets (which was in Parents magazine, showing my son, Jackson at the time).
There were the multi-colored crayons made by melting crayon shavings into foil-lined, heart-shaped mini muffin tins. Then there were the years of carving linoleum blocks and handprinting valentines (no fingers were lost in the process). Then we played with polaroid film, taking a head shot of each boy, having them gently scratch hearts and arrows into the background of their picture as it formed, and adding the punchline..I'm "Picturing" You as My Valentine, Be Mine!
My favorite valentine was sent to me when I was about 7, by my oldest brother who was away at college. It was a simple, black, thin-lined sketch of two whales, nose to nose in the water (tails sticking up, rows of squiggly lines for waves, and their blow-holes each spouting one red heart amidst a spray of water! I thought it was the coolest thing ever to open the mailbox and find it addressed to me!
Upcoming blog posts from me will share some valentine ideas/illustrations I've created so please keep checking back and know that reproductions are available by emailing me...and remember you are never too old to create, share, and send a valentine!
"I'd be standing tall if you were my valentine!"
I was recently invited to escape cold, gray Columbus, Ohio for a weekend in Marco Island, Florida to visit my in-laws. I was thrilled to have an entire day and a half of brilliant sunshine, temperatures in the high seventies and the freedom to sink my feet in the sand with my family, lounge on the beach with a good book and to slow down long enough to soak up the colors and patterns around me!
My last day there the weather turned dark and winds were harsh, turning my Florida oasis ironically into the same shade of gray that I had left (and was now preparing to return to) in Ohio! Squeezing in a final walk before heading home, I had to laugh at these guys, each bracing against the strong wind, they refused to move and forced all beachcombers to walk around them!
Back in my studio, a painting I had completed a while back, now proves to be the perfect reminder of my weekend! What color gives you a break from the gray?
Having a long, holiday break with my teenage sons has been lovely, but somehow not a Norman Rockwell scene (unless Norman lived at Giant Eagle like I do). Our break together has been really fun, while serving as a vivid reminder of several things...how much teenage boys can eat; how cranky they can be when they get hungry; how often they are hungry; and how many trips I can make to the grocery store and still not have enough food in the house to satisfy them!
It reminded me of the fabric cookbook I made years ago for my nephew, which came out of a conversation with my sister-in-law about what kind of after-school snacks would help calm the "hangry"...
The above fabric illustration opened the book with the following text...
Monsters gnash their teeth and drool
when they're hungry after school!
The best advice to avoid being bitten,
is to serve them a snack of which they are smitten!
New illustrations, new writing and new ways to enjoy my art, all coming in the new year, so keep checking back!
Wishing you peace this holiday season, may your celebrations be colorful and fun!