My photo
North Georgia Mountains
sculptor, painter, mixed media artist

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Erosion Bundle Project

I decided to take part in the 2010 Erosion Bundle Project.

First, the important dates:
January 1, 2010 - place bundle in nature
In between = share thoughts and photos
April 15, 2010 - retrieve bundle from nature
August 1, 2010 - finish art piece using your eroded stuff and rejoice

Below are photos of the items I've included in my bundle. Some of these items are twine, copper foil, gilded leaf, a drawing from my sketch pad, a sliver from a 2X4, a paperclay heart wrapped in wire, watch parts, old magazine pages and assorted pictures.

I then wrapped my bundle in the old magazine pages. These pages were so brittle they started to break before I was even finished. I tied everything together with my twine and realized this bundle wouldn't last the night.
So then I wrapped that bundle in a piece of copper mesh and tied it off with red wire. I love this copper mesh and use it often in my mixed media pieces. I'm excited to see how it weathers.
The bundle is hung outside my kitchen window on a sheppard's crook. I'll be able to observe it every morning when I'm making our coffee.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

November is the month of W-I-Ps... December is the month of ....?

It never fails. November is always a highly productive month for me... for starting projects. As is always the case, I start more than I can finish. This doesn't truly bother me. I know they'll be finished eventually, when the time is right.

But here's my problem. November is highly productive... and December? Well everything comes to a screeching halt for the month of December. All my creative efforts have to be shifted to items which will be gifted. The paintings and/or sculptures that haunted me until I started them are stacked out of the way until the holidays are over with.

Here's a quick peak at what's waiting for me in January:

And that's really just the tip of the iceberg. Don't even ask about the paint and sculpting ideas in my sketchbook!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Erosion Bundles in 2010

This time of year I'm always on the lookout for art projects that will keep me busy (or at least keep my mind occupied) for a good part of the year. For 2010 I think I found that project with Erosion Bundles.

This is from the blog post: The idea is simple: create an artistic bundle made from materials of their own choosing and “hang, bury, submerge, or just place” the bundle in the elements. This collaboration is to be with the ultimate partner…Mother Nature herself!

Here is the time-frame of the project:
January 1, 2010 - place bundle in nature
In between = share thoughts and photos
April 15, 2010 - retrieve bundle from nature
August 1, 2010 - finish art piece using your eroded stuff and rejoice

I've already started gathering items. I made a quick clay heart (paint & wire still to come). I have a little slice of wood, some photocopies of vintage pictures. I'm going to add a few different colored, decorative papers, some fiber, some metal mesh. Not sure what else yet. Then I'll fold it all together and tie up with a combination of hemp and steel wire. I plan on hanging either on the Sheppards Crook or in the Rose of Sharon, both right outside the kitchen window so I can easily document any changes.

It needs to be hanging by January 1st. More posts to come.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

linking help

For the life of me, I can't get a link to show up as a hyperlink on my blog. I can do it on my livejournal but not here. Does anyone have any helpful hints?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Jealous Curator & Carylann Loeppky sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G

My new favorite artist I found thanks to my new favorite blog!!!

Blog? The Jealous Curator. Each blog entry showcases the work of a new and/or amazing artist. Just scanning this blog has introduced me to so many artists I hadn't heard of before.

Artist? Carylann Loeppky. She does the most amazing portraits. I'm drawn (heh, drawn?) to creating portraits but my work pales in comparision on Carylann.

This is the post that did it for me:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Birdhouse In Your Soul

Tiny canvas' make me paint tiny subject matter. Inspired by the They Must Be Giants song Birdhouse In Your Soul.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Circle of Cool

I just used the phrase Circle of Cool and then thought hmmm, that'd be a great theme. I've had in my head for a long time a mixed media piece called House of Influences. It would be a glass house and each wall I would draw a different artist (visual or musical) that I was influenced by.

The Circle of Cool would be simular. But I can't make a complete circle. so far:

Jack White --> Meg White --> Jackson Smith --> Patti Smith --> ______

I don't know a connection from Patti back to Jack. Shoot.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Slotin's November Masterpiece Auction

Last night was the viewing for this weekends Slotin's auction. <---- Day 1 <---- Day 2

Though we get 2 catalogs in the mail for every auction I never make up my mind about the lots until I see them in person. Often times items I've completely overlooked in the catalog end up being amazing works of art.

Thus was the case last night. I saw so many beautiful pieces that I hadn't even noticed before. Things that don't photography particularly well, like the oils on reverse glass paintings (AMAZING!)... or the 465 lots Steve added AFTER the catalog was mailed!!!! This auction has been split into 2 days. I won't get to watch day 2 because I'm in a PMC class all day. So I purposely didn't look too closely at those lots because I didn't want to fall in love with anything I couldn't even bid on.

But there are items I feel in love with on day 1. Sadly, my budget won't allow me to bid on anything this auction. I usually only get to bid on items in the Slotin's March Masterpiece Auction (can you say TAX RETURN?)

It's the morning after the viewing and there are a few pieces I can't get out of my head.

I saw this in the catalog and knew it would be good. I then saw it in person and changed good to fabulous. It's a large piece on unstretched canvas. Once stretched and framed I think it will be extremely dynamic. The estimate is low so I'll be very interested to see the final price.

The oil on reverse glass paintings are lots 701 -708. This one is my favorite. This photograph doesn't even hint at how cool it is.

I'm partial to crows and this is the best one I've seen at Slotin's. I'm not familiar with the artist. I do love what they did here though.

This is 2 separate paintings. I love the whole black sheep/white sheep concept. And I love the decorative-arts style. This would be perfect in someones Folk Art Kitchen. (Mine?)

I've always wanted a David Tinsley. From all the lots (564 - 569) this is my favorite:

Another artist I've always admired and thought it'd be nifty to own in Malcolm McKesson. This auction Steve acquired 2 rare colored McKesson's. and The first one is my favorite but I honestly think both are fabulous.

Woodie Long, Florida Folk Artist, died a few weeks ago (and weeks after the auction catalog was published.) I'm extremely interested in seeing what recent events do for these sales. Though Mr. Long has always sold well, now that we have a finite number of paintings, what's going to happen to the price? His paintings are lots 312, 313 & 314.

Erich Staub is another artist whose work I've followed. His are lots 349 - 351. His subject matter can be a little cutesy at times. But his technique is simply amazing. Someone once tried to convince me he was using punchinella (sequin waste) but I don't believe that to be the case. I think each dot is his own handwork. Here's my favorite from the group:

We (me, Ben & my sister) ALL feel in love with the Robert Brady paintings. There were quite a few. (Lots 144 - 151) Most were nude portraits. But oddly of the grouping this was my favorite: It did for me what Folk Art always does. It made me laugh!!! (not to mention it was just a fabulous painting!!! And as me and my sister decided, very much in the style of a Max Beckmann)

So this morning I'm already registered and logged into the Live Auctioneer website. Unless something goes UNBELIEVABLY cheap, I won't be able to bid. But I'm still very interested to see what my favorites go for.

Monday, November 2, 2009


talisman (TAL-is-man, -iz-) noun
1. An object marked with magic signs and believed to confer on its bearer supernatural powers or protection.
2. Something that apparently has magic power.

I felt the need to make a talisman for Someone. I found a great book called Amulets And Talismans by Robert Dancik where he made some unusual objects using found objects, clay, PMC, and so on. I've had the book for awhile but never done more than flip thru the pictures.

Then last week I read it. I found it very interesting, full of wonderful tips on how to do certain techniques, how to work with certain materials, some must-have tools, etc.

I didn't currently have access to several of the materials or tools he spoke of (though my day-long PMC workshop is next Sunday; YEAH!). But I can work with found object, polymer clay, wires, woods and metals.

I made the body of the piece out of pearlized polymer clay. I carved a mountains on one side (with a well-worn path) and pressed a geode into the other. I removed the geode and fired. Once my fired piece had cooled I inlaid more polymer clay in green and red into my mountain and path. I fired again. After the last firing, I placed my geode back in and attached with a two-part epoxy putty. I then got busy working on my base.

I took 2 small pieces of wood slightly larger than the body of the talisman. The bottom piece is wrapped in wire mesh. The top piece is wrapped is a soft sheet of copper. I used small purple glass beads as spacers and the feet are wood cubes painted black.

The body of the talisman was then screwed into the top piece of wood. I wanted to use the minimal amount of glues as possible so it's just held on with a screw. I wrapped a red wire (22 gage) around the top of the talisman and decorated with assorted glass beads and Milagros.

I then tea-stained a piece of paper which I had removed from my moleskin journal. I tore it into strips in various sizes, making sure each side had a rough, torn edge. I then wrote some of my favorite quotes about dreams, goals and following your path on each.

Friday, October 23, 2009

time to breathe

Our weeks are so full lately. When you count football (I do) and scheduled art time (yes, I do schedule it in though spontanious art is ALWAYS welcome) it barely leaves time for adventure.
We did manage to squeeze in a hike a few weekends ago.

But we're long overdue for jumping in Abby and driving around the mountains.

This weekend was supposed to be devoted to making my kiln-space weather-tight. We've worked out how to make that happen. But we need a few sunny days to get that done. Though they keep saying it's going to be nice this weekend, it's currently pouring!!!

And speaking of sunny, I need more sunny days to work on my bottle wall. I'm stalled out at 3 layers. All my friends have been contributing to the cause! Between what I've already collected and is waiting for me in the barn... and what my friends have given me, I've got several hundred wine bottles waiting to go into the wall. At roughly 46 bottles a layers, I've got about 4 or 5 more layers I can add. But I need 2 days of sun guaranteed to make sure the cement cures.

Next weekend is pretty empty. On Halloween night we're going to see 101 Dalmatians, the musical. The rest of the weekend is open but I don't want to do so much manual labor I'm feeling too tired for the trip into Atlanta.

The following weekend, November 6, 7 & 8 will be a busy one. This is the weekend for Slotins Folk Art auction. Traditionally, we go to the viewing on Friday night. When we've had our fill and searched every single nook and cranny, we walk over the tracks to have dinner in one of the great restaurants in Historic Buford. But I'm sad to say all my favorite places have closed down or gotten new chefs and changed their formats. I'm sure we'll still go out to eat. But I don't know where.

Then, if we find art we NEED to have, we come back on Saturday, the 7th. Steve Slotin knows how to treat his customers well. He caters breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks plus has an open bar the whole day (complete with irish coffees and bloody mary's at 8 am). This year I don't think our budget will allow us to purchase anything. We tend to mostly buy during the March auctions (can you say "Tax Return"???). So I don't know if we'll go back on Saturday.

Plus, due to an odd series of events, we're also going to a musical downtown November 7th! It's called In The Height and I've never heard of it. But we're going! I love musicals. It should be fun.

Then on Sunday the 8th I'm taking an all-day PMC class. It was the same day as the Paint With The Artist at Around Back At Rocky's Place. But I'll catch the next one.

In addition, I started 2 new canvas's last night. I think I'm going to like them both a lot. I've been painting lately on flat canvas's. Then I watched a tutorial on The blog of Maron Doyle the other day and I remembered how much I LOVE painting on textured canvas's. So I prepared 2 yesterday afternoon and I can't wait to get home and paint!!!

Whew!!! Deep breath and breatheeeeeee......

Friday, October 16, 2009

Buddha and a Thousand Candles pendant

Today's necklace uses the pendant made from my Buddha Ohm Ring painting. I printed a picture of the painting on heavy photo paper at about 1/2 inch square. Then I cut out the majority of the picture to leave just the subject matter. I also printed out my favorite Buddhist quote to the size of 1/2 square of regular printer paper:
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life the candle will not be shortened
Happiness never decreases by being shared
First I placed the quote in the pendant blank. On top of that I placed my picture of Buddha. I then added a 2 part resin mixture and allowed it to drive overnight. It becomes hard within a few hours but it's still sticky to the touch for about 24 hours. For the first 2 hours you need to periodically check and blow out any air bubbles that appear.
After the resin had completely cured I added it to a multi-chain necklace I had made. I embellished with a few blue glass beads and an Ohm pendant. Lastly I added a toggle clasp to secure.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pendant Crazy

the Merlot Crow hung on a gold chain

Where's My Vote?

AFP on leppard

Walking On Cobblestones



Robert Johnson

Buddha and a Thousand Candles

I've missed making jewelry lately. I'm soon going to be taking a PMC certification class (which will allow me to both teach and purchase supplies at wholesale). But in the meantime I thought I'd play with some pendant blanks and resin.

All the pictures used are thumbnails of my own paintings. I printed them all in miniture and added to the pendant blanks.

I need to work on my resin techniques. Too many air bubbles. But I'll get that fixed. Also, these pictures are WAYYYY enlarged. The bubbles are not as noticable in real life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Diagnostic Right Mammogram; Most Such Findings Benign

I painted this over the weekend. I knew I'd put the last letter from my Dr. to good use.
Mixed media & acrylics on canvas

Friday, October 9, 2009

I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing

Something very different for me. It started with a quote by Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet.

Pleasure is a freedom song,
But it is not freedom.
It is the blossoming of your desires,
But it is not their fruit.
It is the depth calling unto a height,
But it is not the deep nor the high.
It is the caged taking wing,
But it is not space encompassed.
Ay, in very truth,
pleasure is a freedom-song.
And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart;
yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.

I thought I would end up with something else but this is what came from it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

9 of Wands inspiration

These are the songs I'm referencing on my tarot card:
The Point Of It All This song is haunting. Very lonely, depressing and existential but I love it!!!
Leeds United
I love this song! It's best sung loudly while driving down Ga 400 at about 70 mph.
Oasis a light-hearted upbeat, cheery little ditty

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Today is Wonderful Wednesday at work; that's the day our boss tells us all to take a half-day. So I decided to use my half-day to work on art. I'm making good progress on AFP tarot. I'm satisfied with where it's going and see a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

With things going so good I decided to take a break from the tarot card to mess around in my art journal for a bit. I've started a new art journal and I LOVE what's going on there.

I took a mail-order catalog from one of my favorite retailers. The catalog I'm using is from DharmaCraft but of course you could use any catalog or magazine. Then I took a clear gesso and painted every page. This gives the slippy paper a tooth to work on.

Now I'm painting out each page. I'm painting around some of the pictures and words from the catalog. Once these pages dry I'll write, draw, embellish, etc around the words and pictures. I think it will be an interesting journal and give me lots of things to write about.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Update on Number Nine

I spent this weekend working exclusively on AFP Nine of Wands. Normally I have multiple projects going on at the same time. On any given day I might work on 2 or 3 different paintings (switching from one to the other to allow layers to dry), piece together an assemblage, do a sketch or two in my art journals, and so on. But I thought AFP Nine of Wands would be a great exercise to see if I truly could focus on a single project when I need to. This does have a very definite deadline. And focus isn't always my strong point.

First I sketched ideas in my art journal and came up with one which fit the criteria. It represented the card. It represented AFP. The composition was strong. It fit my own personal style.

Then I transferred my ideas on to canvas, tweaking here and there as needed. I color-blocked the background; the mountains, sky and path. I know the figure will take the most time and I wanted to concentrate on the easy bits first. After I had it color-blocked I started working on the details of the background. I spent a good part of Saturday and all of Sunday on this step. And I do have to say I'm happy with it.

After I had reached a state of completion with the background I color-blocked the figure. This is as far as I got this weekend. But it's a great stage to be at. I can now look at the painting and see what it will be. I know from past experiences I can spend weeks and weeks getting the shadows and skin tones just right. So that will be my focus until October 1st. I shouldn't have to tweak the background now. My focus is AFP.

As always happens, working so focused has opened a font of creativity.
~ I've got a strong idea for my scavenger hunt art project.
~ I also found a piece of driftwood that looks just like a llama's neck and head and I've got some ideas on how to finish the body.
~ The weather is perfect to continue work on the bottle wall and Zen garden.
~ I started 3 canvas' while on vacation in Florida and I'm anxious to bring them all to completion.
~ I have 3 portraits I started weeks before vacation and they certainly aren't going anywhere.

But I have to focus. Those projects will still be there when AFP Nine of Wands is complete.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Number Nine

Just spent a wonderful long holiday weekend on St. Augustine Beach with some of my bestest of friends. While driving home I made a very happy discovery. I have been selected to be one of the artists on the AFP tarot card deck. (That's Amanda Fucking Palmer to the uninitiated).

I've been selected to design and execute the card for Nine of Wands. So I've been doing a little research.

Some of the words or phrases associated with the Nine of Wands:
~ strength
~ perseverance
~ though obstacles may see insurmountable, continue to push towards your dreams/goals
~ determination
~ a long struggle with victory at the end
~ realism
~ heroism
~ protection
~ reliability
~ virtuousness
~ purpose driven

Some of the symbolism associated with the Nine of Wands:
~ path - follow your current path/goal/dream
~ mountains - represent the obstacles which must be overcome
~ central figure at rest - respite after a long period of hard work
~ armor - protection, preparation, strength

My ideas:
I've been playing around with a few rushed sketches. The one which seems to fit the card best (and Amanda best, cos after all, this is an AFP tarot) is this: Our Heroin Amanda is leaning heavily on her staff (wand). She's resting on her path, miles to go, yet miles and miles behind her. In the background are mountains (symbolising what she's already overcome). Her "armor" will be an astronaut helmet (taken directly from Amanda Palmer's song Astronaut). Given who Amanda Palmer is (NOT Goth but Brechtian punk cabaret I'm going to give her (and her astronaut helmet) a kind of Steampunk look to them.

The main rule for this project? No Striped Stockings!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

photo inspiration

In the Scavenger Hunt I'm currently part of, we're supposed to give our partner a jpeg image with a strong color. That color will end up be the predominate color in the art piece we make from our Scavenger Hunt finds. I passed my photo along this morning. But I happen to love the place I took pictures of so I thought I'd share some of them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

art journal - new layout

It isn't often I'll post a page from my art journal here. Maybe the whimsical stuff, like my Russian Studmuffin pages. But not too much else.

However, I really like this layout. I think it's one some of my friends might like for their own art journals. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009


I've finished Her. Haven't finished Him yet. I don't know when I'll get back to that one. My mind is on other creative ventures at the moment.

I've also submitted #LOFNOTC (as this painting is officially called) as an entry in a tarot card contest. The cards needed to be inspired by Amanda Palmer... as this painting is. And we also had to submit which card we wanted our artwork to be. I choose The Magician. The Magician speaks to one's creative actions and a willingness to take risks. It also has to do with recognizing one's potential to communicate.

I think this painting says all of that and more. When all is said and done, I'm very happy with this piece.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Zen Garden - a small step

Today I started building my bottle wall in the Zen Garden. Wow, this is hard work! Building the wall isn't too hard (though I'm a long way from finishing it!!!) Mixing the cement; now THAT's hard! I did it and everything came out ok. But it wasn't as easy as I had been imagining.

It's a long way from completion. Right now there are 3 layers of bottles. I'm envision more like 12 - 15 layers of bottles. I don't think I have that many empty bottles. I might have enough for another 3 to 5 layers. Guess I need to get drinkin! Or make friends with a local bartender.

Monday, July 27, 2009

the start of the Zen Garden; aka the first Zen moment

I see this as an art installation. Some call it gardening. I call it art. But my long-range vision is more about the art than the plants. So I feel it belongs here. Below is a before shot of the tiny little plot of land. The picture below that is after about 3 hours of work. As it progresses I'll add more pictures. The picture above is before I started any weeding. It's quite dense, filled with sticker bushes and mimosa trees. I do love mimosa trees. They have a prehistoric look about them and once a season are covered with feathery purple flowers. I do plan on keeping a few of them. But I can't keep them all. They sprout up like weeds. So I selectively removed most the trees. Mimosa's have such soft wood I was able to get the small ones with the electric trimmer. The larger ones required a hand saw. I also used the electric trimmer on the sticker bushes and then removed them from the spot using a rake. I got spooked once when I came across what looked like a dead rat. On closer examination (close, from a distance!!!) I realized it was a dead rat: a Halloween dead rat. It was part of my Halloween graveyard last year.

The picture above is after about 3 hours of work. I started early, 9ish, and then finished in time to go to brunch with my sister. I knew when I got back it would be too hot to continue. I think I got a good bit accomplished though. I've got all my supplies for the next step already. I'll do that next Saturday morning.
The next step: a wine-bottle wall across the back. As secluded as this little piece of land looks in the pictures, it actually overlooks the street and a neighbor. It's shielded by pine trees but if we're going to have a Zen spot, we need more seclusion. The wine-bottle wall will also have a recycled window set into it where we could have a view down the hill, if we wanted it. The wall across the back will be high, maybe 5 feet tall. I'm considering putting a wall around the other sides to make the Zen Garden completely contained. If I do, those walls will be low, maybe 3 feet tall.
After that: when the wall is completed I'll focus on creating a Zen seating area for us. This fall when we get our bi-yearly load of pea-gravel, we're going to get a double-load. We want to increase the size of our parking pad and spread the remainder of the pea-gravel thru the Zen Garden. I'm going to make cement paving pads and lay them in to create a path and a patio area. I'll also leave a few small beds for plantings. Or not. I might only have bonsai trees and container gardens in the Zen garden. That would be most lovely.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vampire Schoolgirl - WIP

So... I wanted to paint a vampire.

No, not a sparkle-y one. Not a NoLa Rock-Star Vamp. Not even an Old World Vamp... Though in the coming days I might do each and every one (though probably not a sparkle-y one. I don't do ~*~sparkle~*~.)

I decided to paint a young-punk-sexy-schoolgirl Vamp.

So I am. She's a WIP but I'm digging the composition so far. This will be a fun one.

Laughing Dog

First, the photo is incredibly dark. The flash kept bouncing off my varnish so I had to take the picture without it. Second, the background is way too dark. Yes, it was dark in the original photo. But it didn't translate well to canvas.

Anyways, this was just an exercise. I'm constantly in awe of artist who turn out good quality work very quickly. Some people seem to do a painting or two a day. I on the other hand get a painting 75 % complete in a day, then let it sit... for days, weeks, months, years.... So this was an exercise in ~completion~.

It ain't great. But I do like parts of it. I like Ellie Mae. She came out pretty good (though her detail is lost in the photographs.) I don't care for the background. I need to work more on backgrounds.