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.