Sunday, January 26, 2014

domestic bliss

Along with making art I'm constantly doing projects around the house. Not long ago I discovered this great product, Annie Sloan's chalk paint, and took a class on how to use it. This stuff is amazing. It literally covers any surface and you can layer the colors. So I took an old dresser and I mean old, I've had it for over 40 years, and painted it. I used a taupe color first then the green and scrubbed away the top layer in spots revealing the color underneath. I then waxed it with clear wax and then a dark wax, then used steel wool to smooth the finish.

Here's the before picture.

and here are the after pictures.


It was a fair amount of work but I'm very pleased with the results. It really brightens up the room. I wish I had taken photos of the process but my hands were covered in paint and I always think about using gloves when it's too late. Next time.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

new directions

If you are visiting my blog via Create Mixed Media, welcome.

Some background to the story...I met Ricë Freeman Zachery and her photographer husband Earl several years ago at the art retreat Art Unraveled here in Phoenix. We did some consignment shopping, had lots of fun and just hung out for most of the week.

When Ricë returned home our friendship continued on line with my occasionally emailing her with updates as to what I was working on with my art. When I told her that it was taking a new direction and that I was working with a new material, clay,  she suggested I write a guest post about it.

This is a big departure from what I usually do and I'm really enjoying it. As I said in the CMM post, a broken hand caused me to reevaluate my creative life and how I make art. I typically make large (and somewhat heavy) steel wall sculptures but to deal with my injury (although it's completely healed now) I began scaling down the size of the metal (to reduce the weight) and adding clay pieces. By carving into the clay it creates wonderful texture and because it's a high fire clay, when it's done it's stone like and very durable. And since the water content is removed during drying and firing (the water is most if not all the weight) the finished pieces are also relatively light.

I've made lots of tile-like pieces. The holes are so I can attach them to steel plates.




 These pieces have been incorporated with my signature rocks and wire mesh boxes.


But what I'm most excited about is the clay jewelry. I love the primitive look...like they were dug up from some archaeological site. 



Working with a new material has had it's challenges but it's been well worth it.  My steel work has always been about being precise but the clay is allowing me so much more freedom. It's so spontaneous and has opened up a whole new world for me and I'm beyond excited at it's potential and where it may take me. 

At the same time it's really interesting to think about how you arrive at any given point in your life...all the events that have to take place to get you where you are today. Sometimes those events are good and sometimes there're not so good. But in the end you realize that it's all meant to be...part of the evolution we all go through.

Anyway thanks for visiting and thanks Ricë for all your support.

Monday, July 8, 2013

the arrival of the queen

The Tohono Chul Park is a combination botanical garden, gallery and bistro in Tucson Arizona. It’s also home to one of the largest collections of Night Blooming Cereus in the world.

According to the Park, “This particular plant nicknamed “The Queen of the Night” creates an elusive flower, blooming en masse for only one night a year. Opening slowly at dusk, the beautiful palm-sized flower is wilted within a few hours of sunrise. Since this particular species of cereus cannot self-pollinate, the plants must bloom on the same evening to ensure pollination, usually by the hawk moth. The more blooms that are open the greater the chances of pollination.”

So for the past week we've been waiting to hear that the “Queen” was ready to make her entrance and we got that announcement Sunday afternoon. So we headed down to Tucson wearing good walking shoes and armed with cameras and flashlights. By the time we arrived it was dark and the park was full of eager viewers. The many trails were lit with lluminaries. It was quite challenging to get good photos with flashlights but I am amazed with the results.


To think that such a beautiful flower can bloom from what looks like a dried stick.



There were also some giant sunflowers whose colors popped against the black night sky.





And Saguaro cactus...


Then I caught the profile of this bird sitting on her nest. She never moved but I think she was happy when I left.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

the final cut

I almost forgot that I had Roman Aguirre film my gallery show. I got the final cut today and I'm very pleased with how it turned out, especially the "out take" at the end. My husband Gary had set up a camera documenting us hanging the art. It's amazing what creative editing can do....thanks Roman!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

a local affair

I meant to write about this a few weeks ago but the time somehow got away from me. Anyway last month I received an invitation for a backyard art fair…. several artists/craftspersons got together and hosted their own show. It was wonderful. What a great idea for selling your work. All that’s needed are a few tables, umbrellas and of course a customer emailing list. It also helps if your backyard is as large and as beautiful as this one.