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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

From the sketchbook

I started her yesterday morning with a vague idea. And she turned into Maya Angelou. I'm really diggin her. I think she'll find her way, with a few slight modifications, to canvas.
And here's a wider shot which shows my fabric sketchbook. Another thing I'm REALLY diggin!!!! I see no reason to purchase big clunky sketchbooks ever again!!!

From the sketchbook

I kind of like how snoody she looks. She makes me laugh!

Friday, April 23, 2010

From the sketchbook

This little fishy is a study for the first painting in this post. I love drawing koi. I'm sure I'll work them into other paintings again.

want to make!

I didn't make these fabric cuffs. I saw them at a recent festival we went to. But I'm dying to try!!! I just love the vintage look. I would have bought some at the festival but they were wayyyy wayyy overpriced. So I guess I'll make my own. :)

Erosion Bundle - Unwrapped

Remember the Erosion Bundle Project? Last week on the 15th was the day we open them.

Please Unwrap Me!!!

One layer gone...

And here I am!

Not much weathering to tell the truth. This was my first bundle of this kind and I think I added too many protective layers. I was hoping for more age and rust. But still, I think I'll be able to come up with some kind of assemblage for this collection.

Next time (and OH YES, there WILL be a next time) I won't add the mesh to the outside. I'm thinking of doing another bundle fairly soon. Here in Georgia our Springs are pretty wet and our Summers are pretty hot. I should get some good weathering from that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Paradise Gardens

This past Sunday me and my sisters had a grand time at Paradise Gardens. For those of you asking 'What is Paradise Gardens?' well, I'ma gonna tell ya!

Reverend Howard Finster - A Man Of Vision
Paradise Gardens is the creation of Reverend Howard Finster. Reverend Howard was an Evangelist minster in rural north Georgia. He started preaching when he was 16 in 1932.

Always a man of visions, Howard had his first vision when he was 3. He saw his recently deceased sister Abbie Rose walking down out of the sky wearing a white gown. She told him, "Howard, you're gonna be a man of visions."

In the late 1940's Howard started building a garden park museum on his property in Trion Georgia which he dubbed the Plant Farm Museum. His idea was to display one of everything of all mankind's inventions. One could never say Howard didn't dream big! In 1961 he ran out of room on his Trion property and moved to 4 acres in Pennville Georgia (now part of Summerville).

In 1965 after many many years of preaching, one Sunday evening Howard was visiting with some of his flock. He asked them all "What did I say in this mornings sermon?' and not one person could tell him. That was when Howard retired from preaching and put all his focus on his Plant Farm Museum.

In 1976 Howard was working on some bicycles when he had another vision. In Howard's own words: "And one day I was workin' on a patch job on a bicycle, and I was rubbin' some white paint on that patch with this finger here, and I looked at the round tip o' my finger, and there was a human face on it... then a warm feelin' come over my body, and a voice spoke to me and said, 'Paint sacred art.'"

God told Howard to paint 5,000 paintings to spread the word of the Gospel. Well Howard painted much more than 5,000. To the day he died in 2001 he numbered every painting he did. I don't know the final number but by 1989 he was already at 10,000.

Howard was a character. Clips of interviews with him are all over YouTube. And they are worth the watch. Howard came to prominence when the Athens rock band R.E.M. learned of him. They used his art on album covers and in videos. The video for Radio Free Europe was films at his Paradise Gardens. In 1985 Howard's painting for the Talking Heads album cover Little Creatures was named Album Cover of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine.

A trip to Paradise Gardens is a must for anyone interested in art and the perseverance of the human spirit. Here are a few pictures from our trip.

My sister Lynn in front of Paradise Cottage
A view out into part of the garden. This structure (which houses artwork by many artist influenced by Howard) is called The Bridge.
a googily eyed Jesus

The Folk Art Chapel
one small view of the bicycle tower. This structure is MASSIVE. It must be 40 feet around and 25 to 30 feet tall. You used to be able to walk thru it but it's now so overgrown.
I don't know the offical name for this. But I've always called it The Disco House. It's a treefort-like structure completely covered in mirrors.
Both my sisters, Lynn and Sonia. We've been calling this one: Coke Thumbs Up
And this one: Death Thumbs Down
A detail of one of the many cement towers on the property. This tower is composted completely of different faces. It's my favorite of all the towers.
The bottle House

Thank you for viewing my pictures of Paradise Gardens. Paradise Gardens is a rare thing. Art Enviroments generally have a very finite lifespan. Paradise Gardens has been maintained by the Finster family and volunteers for the Paradise Redemption Project. It is my belief that Paradise Gardens should be declared a National Historical Site and restoration funded by Government grants. There are steps in this direction but it will be a long and slow process.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pass and Create Journal

On the Lovin Mixed Media NING group (formerly Art From The Heart formerly Mixed Media Arts formerly Gary Reefs NING) we started a group art journal project. A list was started of those people who wanted to take part in a pass-and-create art journal. One person would do a page then mail it to the next person on the list. So many people wanted to take part that they divided the group into 4 smaller groups and started mailing 4 moleskin journals around.

After several months of wait I finally got the journal this week. I finished my page tonight and posted my scan below. In person the colors aren't this bright. But aside from that I'm happy with my page.

a bird in the hand...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Here's a few pictures of my current work-in-process. I realize now I did the bulk of this painting while watching The Princess Bride. An influence? Hmmmm. Perhaps.

And this second painting shows how large the board is. It also shows what an ABSOLUTE wreck my studio is and now little storage space I have in this house!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

the as-yet-untitled work-in-progress

The picture quality isn't good here. Sorry about that! But I took a couple quick snapshots of my current work-in-progress before I left this morning.

As a child I was OBSESSED with drawing horses. More to the point, donkeys and mules, which I thought were just cool. But like most young girls, I just loved horses. Strange child that I was, my favorite reading material was the World Book Enclyopedia. My favorite edition? H. Horse.

I drew this horse months ago. I always knew I wanted to do something large with it. So I give you: LARGER. Those the picture is very hard to see any details, I've got a decent start on composition. I'd done a background on this wooden board about a month ago. A pretty smokey blue. Two nights ago I roughed in the horse and rider. Last night, because I didn't want to loose my lines, I painted over the drawing using a clear gesso.

That's all I've got so far. But I'm excited for this one. I hope to paint more on it this weekend.

Puple Twilight Girl

more sketches

My new favorite canvas? Paint samples from the Home Depot. No background required!!