Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Paper Chair

I've been working diligently since this past Thursday to construct a paper maché chair that will have flowers and grass growing out of it. The idea is based on one that I tore out of a magazine years ago of a yarn bombed chair. What's yarn bombing, you ask? Covering things in knitted and crocheted yarn, usually things in public spaces, sort of like tagging with spray paint only with yarn. Stuff like this:

Cool huh? I decided that since I have to make a paper maché sculpture for my art class, and I really wanted to work with yarn that I'd do two chairs: one paper and one yarn bombed chair. Both will be sprouting flowers, grass and vines in paper and yarn respectively. The paper one stood on its own four feet this afternoon, although it required a little assistance from some wire around the supporting joints. More photos to follow as work proceeds on the project.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Seven Scientific Ways to Win Any Woman

A website by this title has generated 12 page views of my blog recently for some reason. Are the guys out there so perplexed by me that they need the assistance of this web site? Well I'm perplexed too, so we're even.

The craft fair this past weekend wasn't terribly lucrative, but at least it gave me a goal for producing some jewelry. I now have a display of my stained glass earrings at The Art House in Craftsbury, plus they carry my soap. This is in addition to the Blinking Light Gallery in Plainfield which has these plus my nuno felted scarves. Next on the agenda is my application to Art on Main in Bristol. My display for that is ready now since there was such a production crunch last week.

After a few busy days with a craft fair, working at a gallery, checking out a business opportunity with a gallery partnership in southern Vermont, I've finally gotten back into the studio. I worked yesterday on a couple of collages over existing (rather boring) prints. This one is called "Open Your Eyes" because of the chocolate wrapper in the center that says "open your eyes to all the love around you." It has a puzzle piece that I picked up during a date with my last partner and the cancelled stamp from my finalized divorce settlement. A moon phase calendar, a tag from a Christmas gift to my ex-husband, and a block printed whale that I picked up during my residency at the Studio Center are included along with some vintage photos and other miscellaneous images. I made a second collage with a big red squirrel speaking in Spanish surrounded by random pieces of writings in other languages. Photos of that one will follow later.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Make Sure Your Choir is Securely Fastened

The Choir sculpture took an unfortunate fall from my wall this afternoon when its hanger disengaged from the dry wall. I guess I'll be redoing this piece. :(


That's very unfortunate. Perhaps plaster of Paris wasn't the best choice due to the weight. I may redo it with paper mache or something. But hey, I have a studio now! I can do things like this without taking up my entire kitchen.

In my art class we worked last week on linotype printing. This involves drawing a design onto linoleum and then cutting a relief into it, rolling ink on the linoleum and printing from it. I started with this great tree from Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, SC.
Turned it into a black and white, and then drew the structure from there. For a first attempt at printing, it's not too terrible. I have to create an 8x10 print for next Thursday, so that's on the agenda.

I'm also prepping for Antiques and Uniques in Craftsbury on the 13th, so I want to produce some jewelry to sell there and maybe get on spinning some yarn. The same yarn has been occupying the bobbin on my Louet wheel since January, and that is just sad. I must get to work.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Assemblage is an artistic process. In the visual arts, it consists of making three-dimensional or two-dimensional artistic compositions by putting together found objects.

Exhibit A:
Let's go one step further and add some text. Two Hearts is the combination of a wood block printed heart from the Cheap Art Bus at Bread and Puppet in Glover, Vermont, and a three-dimensional heart made of expandable foam and covered in paint, by an unknown maker. It had a bite chewed out of it, a chunk spit at the audience, and then the remaining heart thrown out into the crowd at last year's STRUT fashion show at the Art Hop. Lastly, is a passage that I came across recently by Aimee Bender from On a Saturday Afternoon.
..."even though I am making steady proclamations about who I will go for next, and why, and how it will all be different, it is brutal to imagine the idea of meeting a new person. Going through the same routine. Saying the same phrases I have now said many times: the big statements, the grand revelations about my childhood and character. The cautious revealing of insecurities. I have said them already, and they sit now in the minds of those people who are out living lives I have no access to anymore. A while ago, this sharing was tremendous; now, the idea of facing a new person and speaking the same core sentences seems like a mistake, an error of integrity."

Exhibit B:
If I had stylists, hair and makeup people from Vogue, a professional photographer to snap photos of me, a gorgeous Valentino dress that probably has chicken poop on it now, and oh by the way Katie Perry's rockin body, you'd get this. Photoshopped not very professionally by me.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Still Life with Pears

I always said that I was not a painter, and couldn't really draw all that well either. My drawing is still just passable after a 12-week course at CVU, but apparently my painting is not so bad. I've been taking an Intro to Studio Art course at CCV with Stephanie Bush whose natural material nests I am in love with, and she makes these terrifically enormous paintings as well. Her husband has a shared studio space and has really dark and creepy paintings. Creepy in a way that I love, that make you feel just a little uncomfortable while looking at them. It's right up my alley... my creepy, creepy alley.

Here's the still life I did in class the other day:
And my homework assignment:
As you may have noticed, all still life paintings MUST involve pears. It's not an option, but a requirement. I'm not sure if you were already aware of this, but now you know.

I've also been working on some jewelry. License plate bracelets which have obviously been done before, but a friend wanted one. And I've also been making sterling silver hammered earrings. I don't have photos of these yet, but will soon.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Splattered with Bee Guts

I had an interview in Woodstock this morning for a position at an art school/gallery/music and yoga space. It seems like it would be a good fit, so fingers crossed that I am called back for a second interview. At any rate, I was driving back and going down I-89 when I was suddenly splattered across the face with the guts of a bee who had just bounced off my side view mirror, through the partially open window, off my face, and then landed on my passenger seat. Besides being a bit horrified, is it weird that my next thought was that I should keep the bee to use in a project? It was natural causes after all, I'm not out murdering bees.

I also stopped by the little bookstore in town this afternoon, which is conveniently located next to the scarily radical church in the shopping plaza. I picked up some terrific little pamphlets explaining that people who drink, are Muslim or Catholic, who are bisexual or homosexual, or who are just a wee bit too sinful in one way or another definitely need to accept jeesus as their savior or they'll be off to burn in hell for eternity. Some of them have wonderful illustrations, and even dialogue in Spanish. Some of the best panels may be combined with a deceased bee into some sort of project soon.

That's just as soon as I finish my color wheel project for school. I really want to stick a googly eye in the center of my color wheel, just because. But then, I see a bee related project coming soon.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Artist's Block

Since being at the studio center, I've created almost nothing. Well, I'm taking a class at CCV so I've had to do some drawing and painting, but besides that and one crafty project with a five-year-old that involved stringing some photographic light gels together with ribbon to make a bunting sort of thing, I've created nearly nothing. I'm taking a look at a studio on Thursday. It's only $100 a month, so that's not bad at all, but considering that I have no clue about the course of my life, I'm not sure that I can commit to even a one month lease. Today I've been severely in the dumps and I'm having beer and self-pity for dinner between my bouts of crying. I just don't know what I'm doing. I'm 37, almost 38, and looking at all of these other people who have good careers and families and seem so happy and successful, and here I am doing the same thing I was doing at 21. Apparently I'll "never be a good mother" to said five-year-old, and so that is over. I've got no job, although an interview tomorrow, fingers crossed that I don't eff it up. I've got some depression issues and no path or plan or much hope for either. I have "an artist's temperament" as I like to call it, meaning that I'm emotional. Probably shouldn't go into a whole lot more of that detail, since who knows who is reading. Sigh. Probably no one.

Here's some art or something:

Both of these will be at the SPACE Gallery from June through September. I've also lined up a home for Forbidden Planets at the Warren Library starting in September when they have a Vermont fiber show.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Two Summer Courses at The Art House

The summer course schedule for The Art House is available at last! I have two on the calendar: soap making and stained glass pendants. Someone please sign up so that I feel like a somewhat legitimate art teacher!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Art + Soul

Two of my pieces were selected for the Art + Soul exhibit to benefit the ECHO Center this year. The show opening unfortunately lands on the date of one of my art classes at CCV and I'm already missing one on this coming Thursday. Maybe I could propose a field trip to the opening for just an hour or two. My "Chandelier" was chosen, along with a mixed-media piece called "Yellow Bellied Sapsucker with Birch" which is a photo in a shadow box with birch bark framing it. It's hard to determine the scale of "Chandelier" in this photo, but it measures around three feet tall and is made of driftwood gathered from the lake.

I was honestly pretty surprised that my photo "Lake Champlain in Winter" wasn't chosen since I feel that it is so strong. Perhaps it's too literal an interpretation since it is a photo of the lake, for a lake-related benefit. I'm sure that there were a hundred photos of the lake submitted.

Open Studio in Vermont is this weekend and I plan to check out a number of locations around the county on Saturday. Perhaps I will find a few new opportunities for myself as well.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


My residency at the Vermont Studio Center really made me realize that I couldn't let this wait any longer. While in Johnson I produced prolifically and felt a huge weight lifted from my mind. It lasted for a few days after I left, but then the reality of my job set in.

Today I was freed from the constraints of my office cubical. I'm no longer participating in a soul-sucking job, but instead will follow my calling to produce things of beauty.

This is "The Choir" made from 10 reused CPR dummy heads, chicken wire, plaster, paint, broken stained glass, and white LED lights.

 This sculpture is now installed at the Studio Center. "A Harrowing Ride" is made from half of an old bike, a garden implement, horseshoes, old square nails, a wrench, old door hardware, and a pitchfork. The garden tool came from my old house and the bike was acquired by leaving a note in someone's mailbox. I passed by this great rusty bike for years on Route 116 and always thought that it needed to be used for something. Here is the "something".

 The "Seed Pod" sculpture is almost like an alien space ship. It happened because I was playing with the shapes that I could make with chicken wire. Then I added paper mache on the top leaving a mouth shaped opening that I covered with red glittery foam. Hand dyed red mohair spills from inside the pod along with four tendrils of green beaded wire. These remind me of tentacles in a way or vines bursting from a seed. Maybe it's a sign of the new growth that I've begun.
I produced fifteen pairs of earrings to stock the Blinking Light Gallery in Plainfield, VT, along with four nuno felted scarves. Today I began marketing in earnest for The Art House Gallery Studio and School in Craftsbury Common, VT, especially for a felted vessel course they have scheduled for September 21 and 22nd, and just generally to get their name out there. I feel like this could develop into something big