Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tidepools is one of two works of mine that will be on exhibit in the Rural Art Showcase, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Downtown Tucson, Arizona from:
October 25 to November 25, 2007
Artist Reception: Sunday, October 28, 1 to 3pm

I will be giving a demonstration in the Second Floor Conference Room from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m., sharing some of my other work and my techniques. In addition to the art exhibit, there will be several other demonstrations, slide shows and lectures! You can read more about it on the Pima County Arts Council site.
The above mixed media work consists of sand, shells, acrylic paints, fabric yo yos, couched threads, photo collage, rice paper on a base of quilted duck cloth.

Monday, October 15, 2007

This is a video of a work-in-progress. This is my first time posting video to my blog, please let me know if you have trouble viewing.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Fine Focus 06 exhibit opens today at the Rosenau Gallery at the Arts Center in Old Forge, New York. This two-year museum and art gallery tour is nearly complete (look for the Fine Focus link on my blog). This is my entry entitled: Faded Memories, Diagnosis, Alzheimer's.

When my Father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's I flew out from Tucson to San Diego to see him. I frantically photographed, attempting to capture that moment forever before the disease took over. This piece is based on my favorite photograph of my parents' that day. Although there is detail in my father's face, I drew a line in place of my mother’s features acknowledging the day when he would no longer recognize her. I stitched this freehand by taping the photograph to my sewing machine. It was such small detail work, it was difficult to draw and follow the lines, it was easier for me to do freehand. This isn't such a good photograph of the piece, but it is the only one I have, the top of the piece is cut off entirely. I am anxious to get it back next year so I can give it to my mom. My father passed June of this year.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I recently tried Suminagashi, which is an ancient Japanese art of marbling. There are several books on the subject as well as info online, so I will leave it to those that can explain it much better than me.
I have to admit that my first attempts were less than desirable and I grew a bit frustrated. I googled suminagashi to see what I was doing wrong (turns out quite a few things, but more on that later) and found a post on Nita Leland's blog about her experiments with it a couple of years ago. (Nita has written some wonderful books on exploring color, creativity and collage.) Anyway, here is a portion of what she wrote about her experiments (quoted with her gracious permission or you can click here to read her whole post on the subject): "I followed directions in a book, but my attempt was a complete failure. I was so disappointed, but I was determined to make it work. The ink I was using kept sinking and the more I added, the more it sank. It was frustrating, because the book said you could use almost any kind of ink or paper, but nothing I tried would work."
Gee, she described my morning! Not everything we try is going to work out and it certainly helped that Nita was willing to share the frustration with her results. Nita's comments helped me more at that moment than reading specific directions on the subject. I think we are more willing to post our successful work and yet I think posting our trials and errors (bloopers) helps others as well.
I purchased the materials from Diane Maurer, she has written a book on the subject (and check out the wonderful work on her website), so I sent an SOS e-mail. She responded right away and told me to give her a call. She immediately knew what I was doing wrong and kindly set me on the right path. Encouraged by Nita's blog and Diane's advice, I did more experimenting that afternoon on paper and canvas (the blurry picture is water color paper), much happier with my results! Even with my afternoon batch that came out much better, I realized several things I still was not doing properly and plan to correct the next time I experiment.
I think to grow as artists' we must be willing to fail!!! I hope this post encourages someone else when they read this blog. And, if anyone wants to try this, feel free to contact me and I can tell you what NOT to do!!