Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Resolution: Elizabeth Murray

I have been looking a lot at the work of one of my favorite painters again recently.  Elizabeth Murray's (1940-2007) use of humor, color and form endlessly inspire me.  Here is a video clip of Elizabeth talking about resolving a painting.

I am so excited to get back to work at the studio tomorrow.  Hope you are working well this week and finding resolution.  See you over the weekend for the Drawing Challenge, presented this week to us by BarbaraBee.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

(Artistic) Nature - DC

Although I do enjoy being in close proximity to the Forest and beach and am mostly grateful that I live in splendid isolation here on this Alaskan Island, I feel like I tend to inundate you, Gentle Reader, with scenes of Nature.  Therefore, in response to Tiny Woolf’s Drawing Challenge this week I want to talk about a region of the soul’s landscape – artistic nature. 

'The Nature of Love' 8x6 pigma pen and prismacolor pencil

Artistic nature is a quality all people possess in varying degrees.  It’s the place from which comes our impulse to stop in jaw-dropped awe at a sunset, a rainbow, a rock formation.  Some people, artists, are lucky (and/or tortured) enough to spend much of their time translating such feelings and experiences into tangible form.  
study for large painting, 8x6 pigma pen and inktense pencils

My artistic nature follows a pattern as regular as the seasons.  The first couple of sessions on any new painting or body of work are inevitably torture as I lay down chaos on canvas and endure a barrage of relentlessly negative self-talk to the effect that I have forgotten how to paint, am never going to make anything ‘good’ again, am wasting my time… but then just as surely as the tide rises, something happens in the action of working and I get a glimmer of form, an idea of where this thing I am slashing away at with my animal-hairs-on-a-stick is heading.  Magic!  Soon I am dancing in the creative moonlight, all angst replaced by excitement and pure joy of the making.
28 yards of silk organza ready to be cut down to size for my library commission

The past two weeks have been exactly like that at the studio as I began work on a couple of new projects including a big (for me) acrylic collage on an approximately 60”x44” canvas for my museum show in November.  Here is a little glimpse of where I left things yesterday at the end of week two.  Still a long way to go, but I am dancing now!
work in progress, acrylic and paper collage on canvas, about 44" x 60"
 Thank you to the extraordinary Nadine for this week's always-stimulating drawing challenge.  Please take a wander over to her part of the Forest for a look at wild Nature through the eyes of some exceptional artists.  Happy week!
silk organza panels piling up on my ironing board

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Making Bugs

I took a flight of fancy in the studio last week and made a set of creatures for the upcoming Rainforest Festival art show.
Making Tyvek beads is a blast and I knew that this technique would make dandy bug bodies if I cut the Tyvek strips wider.  I included Angelina Fiber and left-over thread scraps in the twist.
The day before, I made wing material by Gelliprinting on Pellon stiffener, to which I fused Angelina fibers.
Here is the green body after being heat-gunned; wing material for the green bug is in the background.
A roll of very fine brass wire has been laying around my studio for years and proved exactly the thing for wiring on the bug heads and forming the antennae.

The green bug head.
Another old spool of wire was the perfect gauge for legs. 

I just twisted the leg wire around the bodies.

When the bugs were completely assembled, I hot-glued on their wings.

The Rainforest Festival art show hangs at the Clausen Museum here in town from August 31 through September 9 with an opening reception during September's First Friday art walk.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bed and Board - DC

Oh, Rose - what a challenge you gave us!  Bed and board!  I thought I had a concept when I signed up but then decided it didn't really grab me, so - back to the drawing book! 

Fortunately, when I sat down to draw last night there was a beginning already there from the night before:
This time of year, sleeping can be interrupted by night time insect visitors.  An Alaskan-sized mosquito can make the night very long with her annoying high-pitched buzzing and threat of attack.
'Bed and Board' - pigma pen and prismacolor pencil in 8x6 gamma sketchbook

 I hope you are not plagued with such pests when you lay down to rest!  Maybe you can find a bit more quiet night of bed and board over at Ariane's lovely blog.  Lots of other artists are linked there!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mail from Abroad & An Opportunity

On Monday morning, mail from MANO!
 An envelope of delightful cards from my Bloggish friend Mano in Germany.  Thank you, my dear, and be on the look-out for an envelope from me in return!

On Monday evening, email from the Library Project Architect!
My proposal for 'Tidal River' has been accepted.
You will be seeing more about this in the next several months. 
I am very excited about the opportunity to create a large project for a beautiful new space in our town. 
Thank you to the committee who deliberated over the many elegant proposals submitted by wonderful artists local and farther afield.  I am grateful and honored to have been among those selected.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Camping, II

We went camping again yesterday afternoon.  Just can't get enough of this astounding summer sunshine.  This time, I made a little tent over the bed of my pickup, Bluebird, and slept there on the super-nice inflatable foam pad my Dad gave me last time I visited in Denver.  
Bluebird as a gypsy caravan.
The first thing I saw when I woke up this morning.

Well, maybe this was the first thing.  Curled up in my down sleeping bag with my cozy dog I stayed toasty even though the night was cool.

Once the others woke up and coffee and breakfast were over, we took a long walk on the beach.
A small lichen or fungus clings tenaciously to a drift log.

O. went through the log...
...while his mother, K. went over.

A drift log spirit.
Flossy did not want to come home and neither did I but alas, it is a work day tomorrow!
Hope your week end was as refreshing as camping in Alaska.  See you Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


The past several studio weeks have seen (among other things) the completion of a whole stack of new work for my September show at one of our two local galleries.  Last Saturday all but four of the remaining pieces were delivered for framing.
It's a good feeling, having everything signed and titled, ready to go.  
Now: complete the last of the stitching.
on to the next project!
What are you looking forward to?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Drawing Challenge Returns - Fern

The Drawing Challenge took a brief summer hiatus.  I rather missed our little get-togethers!  Thank you to Norma for graciously offering the theme as we commence anew.
Ferns are very prolific in Southeast Alaska.

The underside of the leaves has seed-thingies.

pigma pen in 8x6 gamma sketchbook, daily drawing
Please do yourself a kindness and drop by our friend, the Fairy Yellow Bug Queen to wander amongst a forest of ferns brought to you by many talented artists.


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