Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Celebrating gifts of Charley Harper and Cavallini

Growing up in Cincinnati, OH, the work of Charley Harper surrounded me. We lived next to Winton Woods and spent lots of time there as kids; all the park signage was designed by Charley Harper. He lived one suburb over from us. My mom worked part time at her friend's shop - they carried his work and frequently saw he and his wife Edie. As far as I knew, they were 'just' local artists. Little did I know, huh?

Anyhoo, I loved his spare style way back then, when I was too young to get how good it was (and still is). As a teen, I cursed my way through my one and only cross stitch effort, Fishful Thinking, by Edie (see below). To this day it hangs in my parent's living room, more a testament to Edie's keen design than my needle work, ha!

Anyhoo, these days I enjoy collecting any type of Charley Harper item, Christmas ornaments for sure and I was thrilled to add Brrrrrdbath to my tree (see above). I also got the book, Charles Harper's Birds and Words, a recently re-issued book of Harper's own commentary regarding the birds that he drew. It is a gem that every Harper fan should own. Not only does it have so many of his pieces, it is chock full of his humor, just delightful! And I got a Charley Coffee mug which I will use at the store. Nice haul, huh?

If you are unfamiliar with his work, check it out here. Very cool stuff, realistic yet with clean lines and a graphic design aesthetic. I adore it.

Speaking of stuff I love.....
Last night I attended a party with some arty friends. We do a gift exchange and I decided to assemble a group of my own 'favorite things' a la Oprah. Clever me had assembled a few small items that included a Cavallini Notebook, birds of course, indeed one of my favorite things. It was well received by the group then we moved to the next gift, also a Cavallini Notebook plus a tin of Postcards; the next gift was a Calendar; the next another Notebook. It was absolutely hilarious. Like minded souls I suppose.

Happy New Year everyone. Look for the Blue Moon, what an auspicious sign for 2010!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tuckered Out

This little kitty is catching up on his sleep. There have been little kiddos in the house - grand kids followed by my niece and nephew. This little kitty has run and scampered and rolled and jumped and scratched (yeah, I caught him using the tree as a scratching post) and has gotten very little sleep. Because he can.not.miss.any.thing.
Everyone is gone now and Jasper is sleeping and sleeping and sleeping. He is so cute. I want to crawl onto that feather bed and curl up with him because I am exhausted too.
But the peoples of our house have work and parties and more work and more parties. Perhaps 2010 will bring some sleep....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This is your brain on Christmas

Oy, I am fried. I've been working at the store; cranking projects for the book; readying my house for the holidays; shopping; wrapping; baking (ok, not really, that's planned for tomorrow) and preparing for my brother and his family to arrive. I am going so many different directions I truly do run into myself.

All this being prelude to the idiocy of this story you are about to hear. Ahem.

Last night, John was heading off to bed around 10-ish, his usual time as he likes to read in bed for an hour or so before he goes to sleep. Normally (what is normal anyhoo!!?!) I do this too but the last few nights I've stayed up till about 12 or 1 doing one of the items mentioned above and yeah, you can really shop that late if you use the Internet.

Wrapping gifts was on last night's agenda and my office was set up with supplies. I clicked on to my Netflix Instant Queue so I could watch Art 21 (which is the bestest PBS show, you should check it out) while I worked. Both the cats were in and out of my office, rolling around in piles of wrapping debris as cats will do. They were especially interested in the skinny ribbon, the kind that is good for curling.

So, I finished all the packages and breathed a sigh of relief. I decided to shut my office door to prevent the cats from becoming curious during the night and walking all over the gifts, chewing on ribbons, etc. And that's when my 'brain on Christmas' event happened.......I shut Jasper Johns in my office.

Oh lordy, I couldn't find him this morning and that is when I realized the error of my ways. He bolted out of the office like a shot, headed straight for his litter box. I will confess he was a very good boy with the packages, something just short of a miracle. Here is his sweet little face, showing me how innocent he can be......

And, in other news, I received a wonderful gift in the mail the other day, this fabulous purse from my friend Deb Trotter. Deb has signed a licensing contract with Icon (manufacturer of upscale arty shoes & purses) and this is her design on a purse. How cool is that!??!? And how lucky am I to be the gift recipient. In the words of Deb, Yee ha!!!

Happy Holidays everyone!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

On the Easel

This is the painting currently 'on the easel' in my studio. Sadly, it has been there for a few weeks, as have the little ones down on the floor. I've been finishing most of my smaller works while I am at the Store/Gallery. I love the fact I am to paint while I am there and I am getting better at continuing to work while people watch me. At first I would stop what I was doing and talk to them (cause it felt impolite to not talk), but I seriously think they just prefer to watch.

My mirrors have been selling like gang-busters which is cool. I am putting sayings on them now, (of course I forgot to take any pictures), but things like "Beauty is as Beauty does", "You look mahvelous" and my personal fave, "Like what you see."

These days, my works move back and forth between my Common Denominator series and my Abstracts. I find the works are merging together more which has been my intent all along, but it is on the s-l-o-w- train, ha, ha, ha.

My head is all over the place today. You ever have those days? When there are so many ideas fighting for space in your head, it is just crazy? There are Book projects occupying every inch of table space in the studio. I need to bring some to fruition though as it feels a bit wild right now. FUN (and fresh) stuff though and I can't wait to share them all with you.

Happy Monday everybody.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Paper Art

Yesterday on Great Day St. Louis they referred to me as a 'Paper artist'. Ah, how I wish......geez, I am simply a painter as I certainly lack the discipline, dexterity and attention to detail (not to mention patience) to be a Paper Artist. Check out some fabulous ones here.

And yes, the video of my appearance is up! You can see it here. Thanks so much for all the kind words and support. It means sooooo much to me. And thanks to all the talented folks at Great Day - they certainly made me feel at home.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's a Great Day, St. Louis (I hope.....)

If you're in the St. Louis area, check out Channel 4 (KMOV) at 10am. I am going to be on Great Day St. Louis (wish me well as I am nervous. duh). I'll be doing a Paste Painted Paper Demo and small project.
If you miss it, or you're not local, I believe you can check out this link after the show and see my segment. I don't know how quickly it will be posted.
To sign up for the class at Wood Icing (see sidebar), call the store (or stop by) (636) 536-5345.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

COMBO a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis

Very cool animation meets mural.
And I really do need to get to work now (ahem) after messing around on the blasted machine for the past hour.....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Is it really December

As a child I remember adults talking about how quickly time passed and I never quite got it. Especially in December cause it just seemed to drag and drag as I opened the little windows on my Advent calendar, convinced that Christmas was never going to arrive.

And now I move at warp speed. Presumably I am an adult now. Yikes, how did that happen!??!

We had the Grand Opening for the Wood Icing store over the weekend. It was well attended and I am so grateful for my friends who came out, thankyouthankyouthankyou. We made tons of free ornaments with kids and adults I am guessing we may do this all month? You'll have to stop by to see, wink, wink. And yep, I think we can count on Greg to be shooting more free Facebook photos too as that was just too much fun. I wore a reptile headpiece for one of mine. Ahem. It wasn't pretty.

I have updated my sidebar with workshop offerings near and far. I have also posted a link to my December newsletter, so you can click here if you would like to read it and you aren't already on my mailing list.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cross another one off the list

This is a recently finished commission that I delivered last week. The painting is 30" x 40" on canvas and incorporates a lot of symbolism that is personal to this particular family. Very cool stuff; they were quite inventive in their approach to the process and I think the final result is a testament to their thoughtful involvement. They saw a larger piece of mine (at a show) and asked me to do something similar only with their special collage elements. I was very pleased with how it turned out and I think they are happy too which pleases me immensely.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

For the Birds

I am still on this bird kick. Me and half the world I guess; birds remain crazy popular right now and I like working with them. These are my latest, on 9x12 panels. I enjoy working on the rigid surface for a change, it is so different from canvas and even quite different from the claybord I typically use. These are all headed to the store/gallery, that being Wood Icing. One is spoken for already but I could actually see these all hanging together. They are priced at $140 each if anyone is interested, let me know.

Still on the easel is a 30x40 commission that is almost done. And a piece for my brother and his wife, hopefully they aren't reading this. The commission is canvas, the other is claybord - it is interesting moving back and forth between the two, kind of challenging in its own way. Pictures coming soon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Valley Ridge Registration Opens Monday

I am honored to be teaching at Valley Ridge in 2010. Last year was my first time and it was a special experience that utterly transformed me. It is hard to explain the 'Valley Ridge' experience; it is just such a lovely place to teach and to learn - safe, cozy and comfy, yet also perfectly spacious and beautiful, with nice people and really really good food. I loved it!!

So I can't wait till I am there again in April for back to back classes that are brand new and not being offered anywhere else.

The first one is called Take Three: The Magic of Color Triads is Revealed. This is the class I sooooo wish had been offered to me. I have wasted so much paint over the years, messing around making mud. It took years of study and experimentation for me to gain control over color. This class cuts right to the chase as I share all the things I have learned about color.

My second class is called All on Board for Mixed Media.
In this class we will work on a variety of boards - claybord, gesso board, MDF, wood panel, etc. We'll learn the ins and outs and why you would choose one type over another.

Just click over to the Valley Ridge site and check out the amazing lineup of teachers for yourself. Remember, registration opens Monday, 12/07.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dance Inspiration

As an artist, I always aspire to do something that has never been done before. You know how it come up with something you think is so friggin' cool and you start doing it then you pick up a magazine and see 'your' technique. Sometimes I think there is nothing that is truly new. There must certainly be a collective creative vein that runs subconscious throughout every artistic community. Thus what you think is 'yours' has actually been done by tons of people for hundreds of years and, although it will be changed slightly and deemed 'new', it is still very much the same.

Luckily, since we are all individuals with our own specific DNA codes, whatever we do IS precisely ours and no one could ever do it the same way. That is the magic of it all.

So why did I title this blog post about Dance? Well, I continue to be amazed by the dance scene. It seems there are people discovering new things all the time. Hence this dance called Jerking. If you click on the link, you will see a slide show by the NY Times that explains the street gang origins of this young dance. Is it really new? I don't know and I don't really care. I mainly admire the ingenuity of these street kids and am influenced by their spontaneity and energy, just as I am influenced by anything r-a-w. Graffiti for instance. Love it!! And I am certainly not the first to explore it.

Here are a couple of my new pieces, graffiti and dance and bird inspired. My obsession with spray paint continues, as you can see. I built up the texture with tissue paper, not the way you might think, but I got really goopy with it, made snakes with tissue and gel medium. I especially like the family piece.

ps.....if you like these stencils, you can get them here from the fabulous Ginny Carter Smallenburg.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hey Mr. Postman

I've been a crafting diva today, making envelopes out of old calendar pages. It started simply enough.....I wanted to send postcards for my holiday gigs to my collectors. I had 2 postcards to send, one from a gallery and the other was a listing of places my work is available right now. I got all my addresses together, found postage and ugh, wouldn't you know it - I did not have any 6x9 envelopes.

I had previously promised myself that I was not leaving the house today because I desperately needed to nest with John and the kitties. So, I rummaged around in the studio and found these old calendars, dating back nearly 10 years. Can you say 'pack rat'? Ahem. At least I was able to find them, ha!

Anyhoo, here is the stack, ready to go out in tomorrow's mail. I am hopeful they will bring a smile to the recipient's face.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Puzzling People

We are puzzle people. Jigsaw puzzles to be specific, where all ages of family cluster around the table, shoulders hunched, working as a team. It is good clean fun and I have an entire table in my living room devoted to our puzzle madness. It is so bad we get 'puzzle neck.'

Our vacation this year involved a puzzle. Of course. Sure we were at the beach, but it gets dark and you gotta come in at some point. Our friends brought this monster puzzle of ocean life. It was absolutely the coolest thing ever, 3,000 pieces that were incredibly similar, or so it seemed. The size was exactly the same as the dining table in our beach house. Good thing your lap can hold a plate, huh? Cause the table was quickly converted to Puzzle Central. Certain people (names not shown to protect the guilty) were at the table when I went to bed and were still there when I woke up.

Yesterday we got the coolest gift ever from recent house guests, Chris & Debbie. They were collaborators in the beach house vacation so they know of our puzzle mania, or is that addiction, ahem. Chris and I finished a big 'hot air balloon' puzzle while they were here. We're kinda related to Chris and Debbie - Chris is the brother of my step son-in-law (how is that for convoluted?). Anyway, we adore them and would actually choose them as relatives, you know what I mean?

But I digress. They sent us this uber cool gift, a puzzle of our house and surrounding land. It is waaaayyyyy cool. Looks really hard too. You can check out this company to order one cause this would make a perfect holiday gift.
(no affiliation, bbb, just a neato product that I wanted to share)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wood Icing is Here!

Wood Icing is now open at Chesterfield Mall in Chesterfield, MO. We are part gallery, part classroom space, part frame shop. We have instructors who specialize in a variety of media including Mixed media collage, Acrylic painting, Faux Finishing of furniture and cabinetry, Photoshop and Digital Photography.

We have lots of fun gift ideas in all price ranges. Some artsy wall art, supplies, such as stencils and rubber stamps, fantastic photography. I have my line of Reproductions and Greeting cards for sale. My friend Heather has her adorable tree necklaces - among other things, of course! We will have guest artists join us during weekends through the holidays.

Come visit!!! You will enter the mall near Houlihan's and you can find us on the upper level by Sears. Open Wed - Sat from 11- 8 and Sunday from 11-6; closed Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dance keeps you young

Love this!!! She is apparently 80 years old? One report says she is 92. I heard the guy is her grandson.
Thanks to my friend Marian for sharing this.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Where Women Create

I don't believe I have ever 'plugged' a magazine here on my blog, but I guess the time has come.....I have been browsing through the pages of Where Women Create and simply put, I can.not.get.enough. I swear I am salivating as I turn the pages.

This issue features, among others, the amazing Patience Brewster, Winslow's Home and Janice Lowry. Go buy it. Now.
Then come back here and let's talk.

Ok, first, Patience Brewster. Oh my. I have bought her cards for years but I rarely give them away because I can't part with them. I lost site of her for awhile, but found her again recently. Her story tugs at my heart strings. I lovelovelove her art so very much, she is a modern day Beatrix Potter of sorts or at least it seems that way to me. The delicate nature of her illustrations is just so special; if you know me well, you probably realize that I like animals more than lots of people. I sense this coming through in the work of Patience Brewster. She seems like a beautiful human being, both inside and out.

Winslow's Home is a store here in St. Louis. It is enchanting, like entering a kinder and more gentile era. Daft as I sometimes am(it is on their sign, duh), I didn't realize there was also a farm. They are the vision of Ann Sheehan Lipton - I am so glad her her store is in St. Louis, how sweet is that!?!? Reading her story makes me want to chuck it all to raise chickens and plant vegetables.

And finally, the legacy of Janice Lowry is celebrated. Obviously, the magazine didn't realize she would die before their feature was published. All I can say is that I am grateful the feature was written and so many glorious pictures were taken. She must have been a truly amazing woman. What an incredible tribute to her life's work.

So, if you are still here, go buy the magazine already. There is so much more that I haven't mentioned. True eye candy. Try not to slobber on your copy.

(ps.....I have no affiliation, wasn't paid to say this, blahblahblah....its just a great mag)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Extreme Sheep LED Art

You gotta love it! The site of sheep in lighted blankets just cracks me up. And they are so compliant. Good fun for a Thursday. Thanks to Art Fair Insiders for tipping me off to this.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Artsy Fartsy

I had a lovely weekend at home (yippeeee) filled with all sorts of arty events. Friday started off with a play, Secret Order at The Studio. We met up with a group of friends for dinner which included a flight in incredible Zinfandel wines. I loved 'Nine x Nine' Old Vine Zin 06 from Lodi. I am going to see if I can find a bottle or two today; it was so fruity and jammy you could roll it around in your mouth, yumyumyum.

Saturday I met up with my dear dear friend Theresa, who has been part of my life for nearly 20 years. She is the kind of friend who knows where all the bodies are buried (joke) and still loves me anyway. We have been thru thick and thin, but have found ourselves at different places in recent years. So it felt especially good to connect. We roamed around an Artist's Boutique where I got earrings (ok, I should have been buying gifts, but I did that too!!!) from the incredible Diane Balber. The ones I got are oxidized silver yet they have some teeny tiny pearls on them, a great blend of classic and funky. Diane has such a great sense of style, I adore her.

Saturday night I went to see THIS (obviously I wasn't in Santa Rosa, but I thought this video captured the energy of the show Claire and I saw)!!!!

Sunday was 'stay at home' day with my sweetie pie John. We took a nice walk, I made art, he watched football, then we cooked dinner together. A perfect day, just divine. I cooked scallops in the cookware that we just got from Costco. Geez, this stuff is a deal!! Exceptional quality for such a reasonable cost.

So join me in a collective ahhhhh of thanks.....for such a restorative weekend.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why oh why

Seems like this Photoshop class is bringing out my secrets. Today I will confess to liking dead flowers (and yeah, I love them when they are living too!). I put them on my scanner and also take pictures of them. Not all flowers look cool dead, but I especially like tulips as they assume a completely new persona.

I am off to 'The Mall' again today. I haven't talked about this, but an announcement is coming very very soon, word of a new retail and B-I-G classroom space right here in Chesterfield, MO. And lest you think we have left you out if you don't live in STL, there is a gorgeous Drury Inn so close you could throw a rock. So I feel sure you will want to organize your arty get together with us. Stay tuned......

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Dirty little secret

I am fascinated with debris.

Ok, I've said it out loud. I remember a day, years ago, when my stepdaughter and I were going to the airport to pick up her Dad, back when you were allowed to go to the gate. Anyhoo, I surreptitiously (or so I thought) bent down to pick up a piece of garbage. She stopped walking and looked at me with puzzlement, "did you just pick up a piece of garbage?"


Seriously though, the dregs of society, garbage, litter, discards......all fascinate me in a Candy Jernigan way. When I take my morning walk, especially on garbage day, I am frequently puzzled, if not stunned by the things that are left behind. As many of you know, the majority of my studio has been furnished with stuff I have dragged home from my neighbor's garbage piles.

Halloween, as you might imagine, results in a completely different landscape of litter. Geez, the amount of candy was kind of amazing. And I am not talking about wrappers, I mean pieces of unwrapped candy, apparently dropped in confusion.

But this shoe takes the prize. My editing prowess is thanks to Susan Tuttle, I am in week 1 of her online Photoshop class.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Last Picture Show

My last outdoor show for the year is hereby over. Whew. What a year this has been. From frigid May to wet and muddy October, I feel like I have been through it all. I am exhausted, yet excited to get going on new work. I have ideas, oh how I have ideas!

Anyway, the Memphis show was a good one for me. In addition to seeing sunshine for two days straight (what a treat!), I also sold one of my 40x40 paintings to a delightful couple. We had a slight issue when it wouldn't fit in their car (ahem) but my brother helped me get that figured out and all ended up ok.

Lots of St. Louis artists at this show and it was fun to catch up with folks I hadn't seen for awhile. Even sat down and shared a meal with friends one morning. I had Sweet Potato pancakes which were totally yum yum and I am going to try to figure out how to make them.

I thought you might enjoy seeing websites of some of the talent from our fine city - we have such an abundance of outstanding artists:

Sharon Spillar
Jeane Vogel
Sarah Giannoble
William LaChance

Monday, October 26, 2009

Arachnophobia anyone?

Very interesting story......not sure I would want to be one of the people who harnesses the spiders though.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whoopie for Carrot Cake Pies

Wednesday is Hump day and we celebrate each week by having dinner with John's daughter and her family. We bring the food and have a mid-week feast that allows us a chance to see our grandkids and enjoy some quality time. We've been doing this for, geez, I can't even remember how long now, but its a tradition we all like.

Today I was out gathering ingredients for a Mexican feast, Carne Asada and Pollo Asada from TJ's plus a bunch of other things. I saw a package of Whoopie pies and they looked so delicious, yet I was deterred by the $4.99 price for just 6 of them. I knew that cake mixes were on sale for $1 at another, my adventure began.

Having never used a cake mix to bake cookies, I first called my friend Karyl because she has an encyclopedic knowledge of baking stuff. I caught her running errands (so she didn't have recipes at hand) but she said it was definitely do-able and suggested I would find recipes on Google. There were only 1,531,000 of them.....ahem.

So this is what I did:
Take 1 Carrot Cake mix (or the Spice cake mix I think would also be good). Add 1/3 cup oil and 2 eggs, using a hand mixer cause its kinda thick. Then add whatever you want - I added dried cranberries, raisins, shredded carrots, chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. I also added a little canned pumpkin, maybe 1/3 cup or something cause I was worried about moisture.
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Cool in the pan then move to a rack. Once they are completely cool, spread Cream Cheese frosting (also on sale today) between 2 cookies. Use tons of icing so it gushes out when you take a bite. I think that's the point, don't you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

River rock mania

This is my recently decorated guest bathroom. I think I should be on HGTV with this one as I did the entire room for less than $250. First I painted our fugly vanity. I used Martha Stewart French Bulldog (Valspar from Lowe's) - just a divine black that is oh-so-pretty.....same one I used on our kitchen cabinets. The walls are a neutral mid range taupe. New faucet was the biggest expense and my 'splurge' was the Marimekko shower curtain. The rug (not shown) is a fun retro look - thick fake FUR!! In black of course. Bare feet required.

I painted the rocks yesterday. Inconveniently, our electricity went out so I was standing on a ladder while also holding a battery powered lantern - a site to behold. I mixed a variety of colors using the wall color, the black and white. It was all free form as I wanted the rocks to dance across the wall with no rhyme or reason. Lots of empty spots because I didn't want it to look like a pattern. Now we are ready for our guests!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kentuck is not in Kentucky

Northport, AL is the place to be this weekend. If you're in the area, come on out to see me at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts. The coolest Outsider and Folk art you can find. Not to mention terrific music.
I'll be the artist trying not to spend more than I make......ahem......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Awakening

Love this hand shot, as the crowd swarmed around the sculpture.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Texture mania with Apoxie Clay

I am all about texture lately and today I started experiments with this product that I picked up at Valley Ridge. This is a neat little comes in 2 parts and you take an equal amount of each part and rub it together, mixing thoroughly (I wore gloves). You can then shape it or carve it or do whatever. You have 2-3 hours to work with it. I manipulated mine into some shapes and then stuck it on some blank Claybord.

It will dry on its own, no heat or anything needed. And I believe (or hope) it will remain stuck to my Claybord. I had fun building up more texture than usual. The clay stays pliable longer than acrylic products and I love the fact I can shape it in my hand cause that really isn't possible with any of the molding pastes I normally us. I have tried using using tissue paper which I gunked up with gel medium in order to make it pliable but I didn't have as much control as I might have liked. I think I am going to like this much better. I will see how it takes the paint and post more photos once I finish these pieces.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Awakening

This past weekend, John and I attended the unveiling of Chesterfield's newest public sculpture, The Awakening. It was a big event beautifully handled by the staff of Chesterfield Arts and also by the community.

For some inexplicable reason, I was initially a little lukewarm about the project, however, after hearing artist Seward Johnson talk about his work, I started getting really excited. I love his commitment to public art - the thought that people from all walks of life be able to experience and enjoy art - and that they connect and relate in new ways. He has such lofty goals, but I watched this exact thing happen as the sculpture was unveiled. Children clamored over it, people posed, boundaries were simply erased. Personally, I was WOW-ed. What an amazing impact, geez, I could only dream that I would touch people in such a way.

I was also quite intrigued that he was first a painter before moving into 3 dimensional work. This is what he and I were talking about in this great picture taken by my friend Bud Hirsch. Isn't it cool how you can see part of the sculpture above our heads?

I snapped tons of photos myself, of The Awakening and also of the other Johnson sculptures around Chesterfield. I am making a piece to be exhibited at Chesterfield Arts. Obviously I will update you with photos once I am finished. In the meantime, click on over to Chesterfield Art's site to see the full sculpture including shots of delivery and installation. Way cool, I am glad it is here and thrilled to have been part of the event.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Happy Anniversary

To my dear sweetie, my solid as a rock, nearly too good to be true best friend......thank goodness I got lucky and met this man. Sixteen years of marriage and our life together just gets better and better. I love you, John.

(pic taken by Bud Hirsch last year on our 15th)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hyde Park Recap

My show season is winding down with only two more to go. I am actually off this weekend, but last Sunday was the Hyde Park show in Cincinnati. John and I went together and that felt nearly like a vacation for me since I have put my tent up by myself so many times this year. Geez did I ever feel spoiled!

It was a lovely weekend all around. We arrived in Cincinnati on Thursday and I dropped off projects at North Light, then delivered product to Indigenous, then did the show. All while hanging out with my Mom and Dad. We had good quality time which was delightful; many laughs were had by all.

I met fellow blogger Rhonda Carpenter when she and hubby Jerry came to see me at the show. They are both oh-so-nice, the kind of folks I would want to hang out with if we all lived in the same city. Anyhoo, thanks to Jerry for snapping a nice shot of my new blue/green work and also this good picture of me and Rhonda together. I hope to cross paths with her again some day.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Blame Mary Ann Moss

I love to take classes. Unfortunately, with my show and teaching schedule, it is hard. Until I heard about Internet classes. And let me tell ya, the chance to take a class on your own terms in your own house.......well, it just rocks.

I signed up for a Stencil class by Mary Ann Moss. I have been reading her blog for awhile now and enjoy the work she does with stencils. I am no stranger to stencils myself, but I wanted to explore more and see how Mary Ann does it. My oh my was her class ever worthwhile. If you are even remotely interested in stencil work, you should definitely sign up the next time she offers it.

This book was the first project I made in her class, a little cardboard portfolio. I love the simplicity of it, my kind of binding - duct tape, yeah! The cats appear to enjoy it as well. As I progressed through the lessons, I kept thinking of more and more things I could do with paint and stencils and one thing led to another which is how the mirrors came about. And that is also how I got a sore throat from doing too much non-stop spraying indoors without the proper equipment (bad idea, she says smacking self in head). Hence, John asked our son in law to build me a baby spray booth in the basement. It has a kick butt exhaust fan so I can spray whenever I want without any ill effects. I also now wear a respirator, having learned my lesson the hard way.

And I blame (or maybe that is thank) Mary Ann Moss for sparking a new obsession.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Can a girl live on Popcorn?

When I was at Valley Ridge, all the peeps kept talking about popcorn they buy from a shop in the area. I didn't pay much attention and didn't even think a whole lot about it cause I like popcorn, but it's not like I'm obsessed with it or anything.
Ahem. Strike that.
When I left VR, my car inexplicably drove right the RR 1 Popcorn store. Naturally I had to taste all the flavors and got a small bag to eat in the car. I also bought buckets and tins to dispense as hostess gifts to folks housing me on my journey to Squam.
Needless to say, by the time I got home, all the popcorn was gone and I was left with a big ole hankering for a tub of RC Snakle, that's the one that is sweet popcorn & cranberries, smothered in white choclate. Nirvana.
Thank goodness I was able to order it. So now I have a tub of my own (snort, snort) in the fridge as Beth suggested - it is even better cold, if you can imagine.
I am having it for breakfast this morning. Delish with coffee, I might add.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dance, Sing, Floss & Travel

I am inspired by the above quote, which is on my water bottle. It came from a store, Lululemon, which recently opened here.
Cool stuff, mainly for Yoga and other athletic endeavors. I wanted to get some nice Yoga pants, hoping they would propel me back into a regular practice (I suppose that's a lot to ask of pants, huh?). But alas, they were upwards of $120 and that was a little rich for my wallet.
I adore the wisdom professed on the water bottle though, all sorts of sayings ranging over multiple topics and covering every inch of the bottle.

"Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself"

"The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought."

and finally.....

"Do one thing a day that scares you."
Hmmm, that one is really food for thought, eh?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Such a conundrum as to how and where to start when talking about Squam.

First of all, I didn't take enough pictures of my classes. I got all wrapped up in the experience, which is good, but forgot to pick up my camera nearly as much as I would have liked. This 1st pic shows some work from Day 1.

Some of these other photos were sent to me from BJ Lantz, an extraordinary talent who happened to be in my class on day 1(the last picture is her work). She is a sweetie although she did snicker when I ate dessert instead of a meal on Friday night. I would urge you to click on over to her blog to see more photos because she documented the overall experience quite well.

The 2nd picture is Morgan (facing) and Angel (hard at work) making book covers in the Painting without Paint class. Ok, so I guess its a silly class name, huh? But I was trying to prove that you can achieve painterly effects without even using paint. As evidenced by Angel's work. She has such a lovely hand, I truly believe she should do illustration as I could see a children's book in her future, wink, wink.

Finding words about Squam is tough though. Here I am, a week later, still feeling its effects.
I am Joyful. Blissed out. Invigorated. Inspired. And all this after teaching 3 days straight and driving 1500 miles!?! It is that good. Evidence by the incredible sunrise picture that I took. Yep, I leaped out of bed on the final day and ran down to to dock in my flannel jammies to witness this beauty. I think there must be something in the air that makes you gaga while you are there, ha!

Much more than an art retreat, the spirit of Squam runs deep yet simultaneously
uplifts if that makes any sense at all.

Today I honestly feel like I am a new person, a better version of my previous self. Maybe sounds woo-woo, but truly, that's how I feel.

I am just so grateful - to all my wonderful students, my roommates at the Eldorado, my bunkie Peg and especially to Elizabeth - what magic she creates!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Working hard

The mirrors have been a hit at my recent shows. Thus I spent today working on a batch I previously texturized (I don't think that is a real word, but I bet you all know what I mean). They are not quite finished and the mirror part is still taped up but I think you get the idea.

In other news, the iPhone continues to amaze me. John and I are like kids with new toys. We have loaded a bunch of apps, most free, but some had a small price. He loaded a weather app that shows a TV style update of the current weather. That's not really my thing of course (I am more a 'weather out the window gal') but instead I've loaded camera stuff, Facebook, a doodle app, and Bejeweled. Plus a level which is useful.

I am trying to use my thumbs on the keyboard as I heard that is the 'cool way'. Apparently use of your index fingers immediately tags you as older, translation, not hip. A dork of sorts. I've lived the majority of my life as a dork, so its really no biggie for me, but I have found that thumbs are oddly efficient.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Out and About

A site from The Lou - the Pageant and new Moonrise Hotel (note to self, dress funky/cool and visit again to enjoy a martini). This is my first picture with the new iPhone - had to wait till I got home to edit. Anyone have suggestions about a good editing app?

I am quickly becoming addicted to the phone and definitely get all the hype. Still haven't quite figured out which apps to use for mail, contacts, etc. I fear my data is not nearly as complete or organized as I want. Currently, I use Google for contacts, mail, calendar. The Google app for iPhone falls short in transmission of data in that its not complete. I also tried to sync the Google calendar to iCal, then put on my iPhone, but then I had dupes (like tons of them) plus I was missing pertinent dates too. What's a girl to do??? Suggestions are welcomed...I am clearly a newbie.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Favorite things

I have added a new section to the right with links to some of my favorite things. Check it out for blogs that I read and maybe find someone new. Right now I have just a few things posted but I will keep adding to the list in the coming days.

Today I feature a LOVE LINK to Rocio Romero pre-fabricated homes. I have a big ole hankering to buy a piece of land right here in Missouri.......rolling hills run amok with wild flowers, a babbling brook, sunrise and sunset views, a vast private space......and on it I will place one of these fantabulous modern homes. They are absolutely TOO COOL, at least in my estimation.

My piece of heaven will be a sleek get away for me & John (and perhaps a kitty or two). It will be restful and quiet and will house a light filled secondary studio space for moi. I will walk the perimeters of my land with camera in hand, journal my thoughts, indulge myself in arty adventures and then build a fire at night to cuddle with my honey.

A girl has gotta dream and dream big.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This American Life of mine

Wowza, wowza, what a journey I have been on.

During these last 2 weeks (when I've been mainly absent from this blog) I have traveled from my Wildwood, MO home to Wisconsin, then through IL, IN, OH, PA, NY, and VT to New Hampshire. Then from NH through MA and NY to south New Jersey/Philadelphia and then all the way across PA (that is one big friggin' state!) to WV, OH (hi Mom & Dad), IN, IL and whew, finally back home as of last night.

It was beautiful. Amazing. Transformational. I have never done anything like this before. It was interesting to have so much time alone. Time to reflect and t-h-i-n-k. Geez, seems like I don't get to do that so much anymore. I found comfort in my own company. I loved watching the landscape roll by while listening to podcasts of This American Life. Our country is so gorgeous and so very rural - for some reason I forget that - hills and valleys and cows and horses and goats, oh my, oh my.

Anyhoo, I am home now so indulge me while I step back to re-visit Valley Ridge.
Here are a couple of my photos; needless to say, I found inspiration at every turn.
I guess you were probably expecting photos of the student's work, weren't you? Ah, well..... lucky for me, sweet and generous Marge made 2 amazing slide shows of the Valley Ridge experience. Click here for the first one, which features the beauty of the site. And Click here for the second one which shows my class and the incredible art made by my students.

Lucky me, I get to go back next year, how cool is that!??!
And stay tuned, Pics from Squam will be posted soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Eva Cassidy - Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I am back, but still working on re-entry or re-energy or something like that. Will post all the details of Valley Ridge & Squam soon - the quick version is that both were magnificent - perfect weather, brilliant students and amazing companions. I promise I will post pics soon. In the meantime, enjoy this is a great accompaniment to my pensive mood, wallowing in the joyful memories of these 2 amazing places.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


First Valley Ridge, now Squam. It just doesn't get any better than this. More photos to follow when I get back home. I am just so lucky to live this life.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NASA Image of the Day

Very interesting. Could be inspiring for abstract work. And I think it is important to know what is going on with our earth. Even if it is depressing at times, like the fires in LA County, ugh. All in all, very intriguing images though.
Click here to check it out.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Be Spontaneous

I am nearly ready for my road trip to Valley Ridge. I am sooooo looking forward to it. There are still openings by the way........think of it, two days of wonderful glorious claybord!! Click the Valley Ridge link above to join us - be crazy, be spontaneous, you know you wanna do it. Trust me, you won't regret it. I will bring plenty of extra claybords so can get them from me if you can't find them in time.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

PHD Open House

PHD Gallery will host a Fall Open House this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from 12-5. Selected works from more than a dozen artists (including moi) will be on display. The top left is one of mine.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Who's the Fairest of them all

New products, yippee! Come find these mirrors in the booth Sat + Sun at Lincoln, IL - an art and balloon (as in hot air balloons!) festival. Come on out - the weather will be perfect and I am looking forward to being inspired by the beauty of the balloons.