Thursday, December 17, 2009

Color is Personal

I have been working on creating some holiday cards to have available for my patrons at work this week. I remember distinctly that one patron who looked through my cards last year saying " I don't buy Christmas cards that are blue. I like them to be red, green, gold, etc. but not blue. I don't relay to blue as a Christmas color." It was a comment that challenged me away from making too many blue cards which is what I seem to relate to. I feel that angels should be in a blue background. The sky looks bluer in the winter after a snowfall. The night with stars is blue. The shadows on the snow appear blue. So my personal preference seems to be to use blue. I cannot explain why that is. But to my surprise this same patron chose my cards with blue this year. She could not explain it to me. Is she evolving a new taste in color???

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My holiday message

I believe everyone chooses their own message, symbols, etc. for the Christmas season. I have spent the last week or so looking at commercial cards. There are lots of messages out in the world. So when I focused in on my personal choices for symbols and messages, it always comes to basically one word, P E A C E. So many of my cards voice this message. I wish everyone to find peace in their midst, wherever they may be.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

An Inspiration Visit

Yesterday I was fortunate to drop by the Art Institute of Chicago for a few hours of artistic inspiration. The new Modern Wing is always exciting to walk through and I paid special attention to some of the artists work that inspires me: Joseph Cornell, Juan Gris, Paul Klee. I was paying extra attention to Juan Gris's work and discovered some details in this artist's work earlier this year when I was in Madrid. I always enjoyed the cubists but I never delved into the work Juan Gris as much as this trip. Yesterday I found myself looking closely at a few pieces at the Art Institute. I was especially focusing on the diagnals in his work.

Towards the end of my visit I found the work of another artist that inspired me as a collage artist. There is currently an exhibit of the work of James Castle. He is an artist from rural Idaho who, despite undergoing no formal or conventional training, is especially admired for his homemade quality. He was born to be considered deaf and never gained a language. More recently it is believed that he might have been autistic. He never learned to write but instead copied from commercially produced objects. He created small books using whatever cardboard, twine, string he could find. I was so shocked to see what could be create with just a little soot and spit. Many of his works are very small and use whatever paper he found from packaging, newsprint etc. It's really worth seeing. And now I feel like I should run to the studio and make some art.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Merry Christmas

Sometimes special orders bring new challenges

I had a special order for some equine cards. One for a birthday and the other for Christmas. I had a real challenge there. Can't draw a horse but I love the silhouettes so transfers saved the day. I was quite pleased with the results. I hope my patron likes them as well.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Where has the time gone?

I just noticed I hadn't posted for some time. What have I been doing? Well for starters I have been doing more exhibits and sales. Marketing took up much time. Some new requests came in for cards. I have an order for 20 Christmas cards. Just a sample of my order for you to see.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Studio is an exploratorium

I rose early in order to be able to drop into my studio again this morning. There have papers drying from coatings of acrylic medium. Once dry these little gems are ready to mount onto a card. So far I am keeping my daily visits to the studio that I committed to for the next month as I work on material for the upcoming shows.

My studio is really an exploratorium. I am borrowing this word from a recent blog written by a terrific artist in Vancouver Canada, Robert Genn. You can see his website for lots of interesting things about art, including an extensive list of quotations. This is the link:

I love the sound of the word and it describes by studio to the T. I have such a collection (not terribly well organized but I am working on it) of materials, supplies, paints, etc. On any day I might want to work with found papers, make surface design on existing bad art, or just read my collection of art magazines or art history books. I never know when an idea will strike me to catapult me into a new direction or an old one I have nearly forgotten.

A co-worker and new patron of mine commissioned me to make some cards for her nieces (4 and 5 years old) with butterflies. I don't always enjoy working on commissions but this one is so sweet I feel I can make a whole series and then there will be leftovers for those other cards.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Under the Fall Moon

Morning Work Studio

Having been away from the studio for several weeks, I can finally say I dedicated 4 hours to serious creative work. Completed two 4 X 6 cards. Framed one also and reorganized one corner.

Fall flower was a watercolor that needed to be recycled. It has a little glitz and glitter. It just needed something extra to sparkle.

A Season for Art Fairs and Exhibits

Although my participation in art exhibits has been limited to group shows with the Midwest Collage Society of which I am President for the second year, I am heading in other directions this fall. In the last half of October I will be part of a group exhibit in downtown Naperville with my Art Tribe. I have been a member of this wonderful group of art girlfriends for the last eleven years. There are eight of us. We meet every 6 weeks approximately to brainstorm marketing ideas, share personal successes and challenges, exchange ideas, test our new directions, etc. etc. This will be a great exhibit and I am so looking forward to it. Our newest member, Maureen, created a fantastic Supersize postcard to invite everyone we can think of to attend the reception.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Inspired by Fall

I believe there is plenty of truth in artist being influenced by their environment. The colors of fall and harvest are coming quickly on this September morning in the Chicago area. My passion for gingko leaves inspired this 4X6 card. It sat in pieces for over 6 months on my studio table until this morning when I had that AHA moment.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A new home for Whispers

A recently completed collage painting "Whispers in the Meadow" was purchased by a patron of mine, Kathy, which she will donate for a fundraiser to be auctioned off. Blessings for my loyal patron.

Monday, September 07, 2009

My art display 2007

This is how my display looks each year at the St. Thomas the Apostle, Celebration of the Arts Fair.

Upcoming Exhibits

I am dedicating a few hours each week to prepare for an exhibit I will be joining my "Art Tribe." We will exhibit in the studio/gallery of my good friend and art sister, Cindy. October's date is coming quickly, October 15-19. I hope to have a few new pieces ready for the show.

Simultaneously I am preparing for the annual art fair at St Thomas the Apostle in Naperville. Each year for the last 8 years I have had a booth for the fair. I also will do a demonstration of a technique. I haven't quite decided what technique to demonstrate. In the past I have done a wax resist demo, a monotype demo and a watercolor demo. I love doing the demos because I have a desire to engage people in conversation as I work. My best time is when a child comes up to see what I am doing. I just want them to jump in and play with me. Sometimes they do. I always have a Zen board for the kids to "paint" on. This is the most wonderful thing in the world for budding artists to try. It is a special paper board that one can paint on it with water and the image comes out black. One uses a chinese brush and if feels wonderful to paint. Within a few minutes the least parts of the painting begins to disappear as the paper dries. The opportunity is there to keep painting again and again. No waste of paper.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dry spells and Patrons

Sometimes life takes a detour from making art for me. Family, work, organizations, obligations.
Well the last few months have been on fast forward. Since travel was in the mix I have been reading some books that inspire the artist in me and are helping me reflect on how my art fits into my life.

I am reading Beyond the Flower by Judy Chicago. Her second autobiography. Worth a read for anyone who is an artist.

The previous blog of June 24 is a little card I created from an old monotype I experimented with and added a transfer of the birst onto it. One of my colleagues at work just loved it and purchased it. She sits a few cubicles behind me and whenever I go to her cube to consult on a work related topic I get to see it. She is a patron since she has purchased several cards from me and also a framed 8X10 which hands in her cubicle. Thank you Lisa.

During the two weeks in July while I was in Ft Lauderdale, I got to see my patron extroardinaire, Karla. Karla purchases my cards a dozen at a time several times a year. The theme she orders most often is hearts. She sends my cards to her friends and new aquaintances. Karla is all about love. I love her for it. Thank you Karla.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Making art again

After many months of stagnation due to a variety of family issues and complications I am once again completing work. Through that period I would experiment with all the supplies, techniques and possibilities but nothing seemed to come together. I organized another art therapy room at the workplace during Valentine's day and it was a success. Since then I have sold the odd card at work. But spring has come. Once again inspiration is percolating and I am committing some more time to the studio.