Saturday, February 9th, I had the pleasure of teaching an art collage workshop with eleven women who are currently battling or have somehow been affected by cancer. In our three hour workshop, we shared art supplies, stories, encouragement and chocolate! I believe the day’s 3 greatest takeaways were (1) that art is therapeutic and can calm and soothe stress (2) it is important to take time, schedule whatever time one can afford in their day, to sit and be creative and (3) color can be powerful in enhancing one’s mood! I encourage everyone to tap into their own creativity! It can be as simple as doodling on a scrap piece of paper, but I highly recommend taking it further, and add color!
Saturday, April 21st, I had the opportunity to join fellow Pen Women, (from L to R)Brenda Laymen, Renate Fackler and Rosalie Unger in an Artists & Writer's Panel Discussion, where we shared our writing and artistic processes and discussed our collaborative work that will remain on exhibition at The Works, in Newark, through July.
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!
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.
"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!
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!
Earlier this week I was in the waiting room of my son's dentist office, sitting and needlepointing, waiting for him to finish his appointment, truly waiting to learn if he had dodged cavities again! He's one lucky sugar hound!
A little boy, 4 yrs old I'd guess, walked in the door with his mom and baby sister. He was adorable...curly brown hair, round face with pink cherub-like cheeks! He b-lined right up to me, placing his tiny, chubby hands on my knees and said, "Hi! Whatcha doin'?" Before I could answer, he returned straight to his mom, I think because he realized (and was startled) he didn't know me after all!
So here's what I'm doin'!
Yesterday in the studio was spent playing with watercolors! Working with the Caran D'ache crayons on both paper and cotton, just seeing what comes out on cloth, primarily. I was also prepping more fabric collage pages with selvedges! I was trying to rebuild my foundation pieces that I use in collages, both paper and fabric, so they are at the ready when inspiration strikes!
This collage base has been bugging me...I could take it a few different directions but can't decide which, so it sits in time out for now!
Yesterday I also put out an email and Facebook plea to local friends and fellow sewers...I am in need of more selvedges! My stash is dwindling and I am seeking selvedges cut from cottons or home dec fabrics, with their typography and any hints of the original fabric from which they were cut. All colors but would love bright pinks, lime greens, etc. Spread the word...I'll arrange to pick up and I'll barter with home baked cookies or a starbuck's card!