Friday, June 23, 2006

Studio Friday: Family

"Family history, things that have been passed down from one family member to the next, family values, all influence me as an artist, whether I'm consciously aware of it or not.

I wonder how others are influenced or inspired by their families - either past or present. What family treasures might be found in others' studios?" - Ellen
My first vacation with my husband's family was last year in Bulgaria. While there, we met distant relatives, bought the pottery you see below, played on the beach, and went site seeing. We traveled through Sofia, Nessebar, Sozopol, and Sinemorets. It was an awesome vacation, soaking up great weather, history, culture, and family time.

Bulgarian pottery

Local beach in Sinemorets

The wind-up toy bear belonged to my grandpa. He loved kids and played with us often when we were young and growing up. I feel lucky that we lived close during those years. I have lots of fond memories! When he died, my mother passed the bear down to me so I could have a part of him here always. Now looking at the bear, I feel inspired to create a character...maybe tell the bear's story!

Wind-up toy bear

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Dance

Ballet: The Firebird

I know a great book for anyone interested in ballets or theater fashion, called Ballets Russes. This book was the inspiration for my Ballet series that I started some time ago. IF's theme this week was a great reason to revisit this series and bring The Firebird to life.

The ballet's story is of Prince Ivan capturing a mysterious Firebird. He trades the bird's freedom for a magical feather. If trouble ever finds him, he can use the feather to call the aid of the Firebird. A love story ensues between Prince Ivan and the beautiful Tsarevna...a monster gets involved...eggs get smashed...and the Firebird saves the day. Oh yeah, there's a wedding and Prince Ivan gets crowned.

The end!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday: In Good Time

What a fun project this week! A great way for a procrastinator, like myself, to get warmed up for the day. Unfortunately, I get caught up in details and turn small ideas into time consuming projects. I don't know how I thought I'd get this project done in 30 minutes...I'm overly optomistic a lot of times!

Snapshot at 30 minutes


Snapshot at 1 hour


This little image is tucked inside a Sucrets coughdrop tin. The "In Good Time" portion is finished. It took me twice as long as I had anticipated to complete the image inside. However, I decided to keep going. I drilled holes in the top and bottom stringing ribbon for a kitchen window ornament. I covered the words on the tin with medium gel and paper and adhered a flower photo to the front. The directions on the back "For temporary relief of occasional minor irritations..." seemed perfect! I modified the text, stamped my letters, glued and was done!

Final front & back - finished at 3 hours


Final inside

Friday, June 09, 2006

Studio Friday: Favorite Supplies

Mag Basket

When I pick up a magazine, I flip through it to check for it's texture worthiness. In other words, does it have lots of pretty pictures for collaging? I almost never buy a magazine to read (unless I'm stuck at the airport). My favorite type of magazines are the women's fashion mags, like W, Cosmo, and Glamour...and store catalogs like Pottery Barn and Bloomingdales.

Bud Box Filing System

Every once in a while I need to purge the mag basket to make room. I tear out the pages I want to keep and organize them in my Budweiser Filing Box. Some collage categories include: skin & hair (and feathers and fur), nature (wood, grass, etc.), fabric, patterns, and textures. Having this system helps save on time when I'm creating a piece. Although, I often go the long route and flip through magazines for texture ideas and inspiration.

Studio Space

I have a very small corner on our sun porch where I store my supplies and sometimes work. I have another area where I keep my computer, and another area still, where I have my sewing. A lot of times I drag my magazines, glue stick, and scissors to the living room so I can collage while watching TV. I feel like I have lots of room to work AND not enough room to work, all at the same time!

Inspire Me Thursday: Show & Tell Art


"It Was Then That I Understood"

I created this piece to explore a different style of collage, embracing a folk art feel. I usually don't incorporate stamping or text into my art (even though I'm inspired by words). This time I gave it a try.

I used recycled materials, like vellum scraps, old brochure covers,  recycled letter from my mom, and magazines.

It's simple and I enjoyed the process, which sometimes I forget to do while I'm busy being a perfectionist. It was also nice to have a piece not finished on the computer.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Illustration Friday: Portrait 2


King of Hearts

This paper collage image was my original idea for Illustration Friday's word of the week, Portraits. I was getting short on time so I put up an older image, The Beekeeper, while I worked on other projects. I want to post only new images on IF each week so I'm happy to have gotten this done before the week was out. Below is the continuation of my Queen of Tarts nursery rhyme (see "Illustration Friday: Cake" for first part of this rhyme):

The King of Hearts
begged the Tart
his heart he'd like to save.
She vowed to eat
his royal treat
and told him, "do behave".

"What of the Knave?
He seemed so brave
Giving his heart to thee."
Said, Queen Tart
"I tasted his heart.
It was sweet as could be."

"We're meant to be
you and me.
A wedding with gold silk.
Now's the part
to hand me your heart,
and don't forget the milk!"


So I guess my last image should be the Knave of Hearts?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday: Functional Art

Fiesta Garden Table with Checkerboard

Painted Rock Checker Pieces (bees vs ladybugs)

This is my first entry for "Inspire Me Thursday." My husband and I started working on this table this past weekend as a fun project we both could work on while enjoying the sunny weather. I just happened to discover IMT the night after we started this project and was looking forward to getting it done to share for this week.

Following are pictures capturing our process. We started with an old weathered, dog-chewed table that we use for dining in our backyard. We used coarse grit sandpaper to sand away years of abuse from the elements and that blasted dog!


We bought several colors of multipurpose latex paint and used them to paint the legs of the table. Here, we're taking our first break. This is NOT the dog that chewed off all four corners of the table (good girl!).


Breaks over, and we're starting the table top design. This picture shows how we accomplished a nice checkerboard pattern.


We used the same masking tape technique to create the purple wavy border around the table top.


I found 24 flat rocks perfect for checker pieces. I painted 12 bees with flowers on the flipside, and 12 ladybugs with leaves on the flipside. The four chairs are projects for another day.

Illustration Friday: Portrait



The Beekeeper is a digital collage piece. Like the bees he watches, he's sweet with a sting.