april and august (again)

I finished April, called Gaining Ground, which I am loving for its earthy, loamy colors- and for the fact that it evolved quickly and surely, thus rescuing me from a very strong, neurotic fear that all of my good ideas were used up and nothing good was ever going to come from my studio again:

I also made a few changes to August, which I posted in my last post, but didn't feel was completely resolved yet. I worked it a little more and am much happier. I was thinking of those really hot, lazy, windy days that come at the end of summer around here, so it's called Flying Kites.

So, not much time to post here lately...Lots of other bits of life are vying for my attention. My mind and heart have been divided many ways in the past weeks: Some of me is in Chicago with my grandmother, who is recovering from a major surgery; some of me is right here with a sick (again) kid on the couch, who just can't seem to steer clear of all the little viruses being passed around his classroom. Some of me is looking toward the end of the week, when the first of two weekends-worth of family are making the trip to visit from far away (that part of me is trying to figure out when to clean the sheets and stock the fridge and plan fun stuff!), while some of me is looking further down the line to the show I'm trying to be ready for in June. And some of me is still mired in house-projects and paint colors for the walls, spring cleaning and garden-digging, etc. etc. A small, small bit of me is trying to get some exercise and be healthy. Also, a persistant, but largely ignored, part of me just wants a nap. Ah well- that's life!

Happy Spring! I'm predicting easter cookies for my next post...then I'll get back in the studio.


a new series

Hooray! New work to show you! I've actually had this piece done for several days, but today was the first chance I had to photograph it. I'm thinking of doing a series of twelve pieces, each representing a different month. The piece I did for Found Art Friday sort of kick started the idea...that'd have been June. The above is entitled Road Trip, and it'll be for July. Then comes Flying Kites, for August. (I'm still working on this one a bit...it wasn't feeling quite right, so I brought it to a critique and got some great insight- so I"m hoping to make it a little better- I'll re-post when I do!)

They're each about 8 inches square, and as is my habit lately, involve acrylic paint and various drawing media (mediums?) over lots of bits from vintage gradeschool primers, sewing patterns, report cards, maps, etc. The finished piece is stitched onto a nice piece of heavy printmaking paper, and they'll probably end up in a shadowbox frame. I'm loving the colors, and they're making a nice little collection on the studio wall. It'll be interesting to see how they evolve month by month.


old and old...but new now

I've had this pack of vintage flashcards for a while now...I've used a few in paintings, cut up a few for greeting cards. But my grand plan has been to make a larger piece out of just the cards to hang on a wall somewhere. So I built  a structure and covered it with the cards- wrapped them around the sides and everything, and put it up in our kitchen: voila...revenge against the math drills of my childhood. (My 7-year-old, by the way loves math drills. Crazy kid- he gets that from dad, that's for sure!)

The shelf we found to put it on then had plenty of room for me to display this cross-stitch my mom made when I was 2. (Does that mean it's vintage too? shudder) It's the alphabet, with a food that correlates with each letter, and often a catchy little phrase to describe said food. I will forever chant to myself "vichyssoise, pronounce it if you can" whenever I come across any recipe for that particular soup. Nevermind pronouncing it- try spelling it! Better yet- stitching it, along with 25 other mini-compositions! Want to know what I was doing when my kids were 2? Just trying to stay sane...definitely not making giant, complicated projects! But I'm really glad she did, because it's as awesome in my kitchen now as it was in hers when I was 2.



So, I've been working on a few new pieces this week. Hopefully one or two will be ready to post next week- in the meantime, wanna see what else I've been up to?

I found that being in the middle of several little pieces at once puts me in the middle of a big mess in the studio- I eventually ran out of places to put half-dry, half-resolved things- especially when most of my work surfaces tend to get pretty littered with little bits of paper, and big old books etc. that I'm not ready to put away. Not to mention pallettes, paints, brushes, coffee-cups...you get the picture. I knew that hanging stuff on the walls would be a great solution- out of my way, and up where I could see from a distance what was missing- so they could go from being half-done to all-done.


We moved into this house about 8 months ago- and one of my favorite parts of the place has been that there was a bedroom I was allowed to claim for my studio. It's upstairs- with windows, and a door- not down in the basement tucked in between storage shelves and laundry piles. It's soooooo wonderful- except the walls were painted with a porrly executed 'ragging' technique in a terrible, gross mauve color scheme. I didn't think that swirly gross mauve would be a good neutral background for artwork I'm trying to figure out.

So, despite being midway through stripping wallpaper in our bedroom, not quite finished painting the kitchen, and needing to caulk and paint the trim in the living and dining rooms (this house was great- but ugly- lots of surfaces to deal with before it suits us), I decided to do this:

I'm so excited to have room on one whole wall to hang finished, framed pieces- and on the opposite wall to clip up work in progress. The room feels so bright now- I can't wait to get back to work! Hopefully I'll carve out some time this weekend. No excuses- unless the wallpaper in the bedroom starts calling to me...yuck.