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North Georgia Mountains
sculptor, painter, mixed media artist

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Joy!

Happy Birthday to my best friend Joy!!! I'm so happy to be able to call you "Friend" and for all the wonderful memories we've created thru the years! I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Remember... there's nothing better than a pickle. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

new post; old art

On a recent trip to a friend's house I realized how often I give away art as presents without taking pictures beforehand. So I quickly snapped a few to post here.

These are all old pieces... probably several years old. I've gotten much better about the picture-taking-thing. :)

a mixed media Mermaid
She swam along the ocean floor, looking for treasure...
And Sea Captains

(that's what I'd be looking for...)

Photo collage on canvas.
The dog in the car is one of my friend's pups Pepper. Yes, Pepper does drive a vintage Vette.

She's like that....

Dapper Gentleman Assemblage

2 pieces side by side

Please Don't Piss Off The Fairies

Always good advice!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Art and Soul Virginia - part 4

Jesse doing his demo
Jesse had tons of stories

Joy took the class with me. Her finished paintings are fabulous!!!

My painting at about the half-way mark. Still LOTS to go!!!

This is one which I finished in class. It's called I Have A Voice.

I started working on this one last week. Still not done but at the moment I call it Bear Hugs.

I finished this one last night. It's called Pachyderm On The Serengeti.

Day 4 was the whole reason I went to Art and Soul. Day 4 was the Freedom to Create class by Jesse Reno.

I stumbled upon Jesse Reno years ago in my beloved Raw Vision. Jesse's online bio said he was last published in Raw Vision in 2004. Have I been following Jesse's work for that long? It's quite possible. A time or two a painting of his has shown up at Slotin's Folk Art Auction where we are regulars (who have supplied 50% of the artwork in our house!!!) I check into his website on a regular basis. When I discovered he was teaching at Art and Soul this year I HAD to go!!! Just for his class.

I've been painting on and off since my teen years. I painted in my teens but it was easy to leave behind when I joined the service and started moving around alot... not like sculpting which I always feel lost without when I go too long without making something. The painting urge I was able to satisfy thru the years with drawing, collage and art journaling. I just started painting again about 7 or 8 years ago.

I've always felt slightly disconnected with the whole painting process. Detached. Removed. I just didn't loose myself in my paintings the way I do when I'm sculpting with clay or working with found object or assemblage. I did always enjoy painting but it wasn't that whole meditative experiance that I love most in art.

The first moments in Jesse's class and I felt that connection to painting again. Is it the whole primal process of painting almost entirely with our hands? (We didn't even pick up a paint brush until over 1/2 thru the 6 hour class!!!) Was it how he walked us thru the section on letting go of expectations, like a guided meditation? I can't say. Maybe a little of both. But since his class I've really felt the painting itch in a way I never have before.

Today at lunch The Man said my paintings had taken a very sophisticated turn lately. He is my biggest fan! But His words really touched me. And though the subject matter is still very child-like and whimsical, I too can see the sophistication He's talking of.

And it makes me very very happy. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Art & Soul Virginia - part 5

I'm skipping part 4 for the moment. I'll post more about it later.

On day 5 we took Wabi Sabi Wax taught by Serena Barton. It's an encaustic class using the Japanese design philosophy of wabi sabi. It's a hard concept to define. But the way i understand it, it follows the idea of living in the now, not dwelling on imperfections; using so-called mistakes (as there are really no such things as mistakes - only opurtunities to learn). It's very Zen.

I've used beeswax in collage before. But i had never done true encaustic. First off, the smell is heaven. It's heavy and rich and i think i could become an encaustic artist for the smell alone.

I know accomplished encaustic artist can do amazing things; portraits, precise landscapes, etc. But wabi sabi is perfect for beginners. I enjoyed the process alot but left thinking "this is fun but i can't see myself becoming an encaustic artist."

Well yesterday we spend the day gallery-hopping in Asheville. One gallery had a dozen or so pieces by an encaustic artist. These were less abstract but still very simple and Zen. I'm now iching to try it again!!!
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Art and Soul Virginia - snapshots

Here are some snapshots from the week:

The groups and classes are great. But sometimes you need to chillax in your room with a box of wine.

Ahhh, what a great vintage of cardboard.

Yes, we're artists. Notice the beret and mustache? 'Nuff said.

Oui Oui. (wee wee?)

Join us now for the Sad Poetry Hour. RichAnt doing her reading of "Die Die Die Burn Destruction with Fluffy Little Bunnies"

Joy during the Fluid Romance class.

Lunch with the Loving Mixed Media group.

Whose that guy in the background?

After hours with the Loving Mixed Media group.

Wait!!! We're not ready!

OK, NOW we're ready. Sitting up straight and smiling for the camera.

Art and Soul Virginia - part 3

The fabulous ring on the left is by Joy. Mine is the Geisha ring on the right.

Here is the front cover to my soon-to-be-made resin journal. I forgot to take a picture of the back cover. It's simular. Same decorative papers and lace but different photographs. More creepy kids though. :)

Day 3 of Art and Soul we took a class working with resin taught by Ty and Marcia Schultz . We made rings, resin paper and collages on canvas boards that can be made into book covers or hung on the wall as free standing art works.

I've worked with resin for many years. I use resin paper in my assemblages. I've made pendants. And I learned in Day 3 that I've been doing my pours ALL WRONG!!! (Good to know! Now i can do it correctly!)

I'm afraid i didnt get many pictures from Day 3 and i still havent gotten my boxes of art supplies or finished works yet. :( But here is just a sample from fabulous Day 3.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Art and Soul Virginia - part 2b

We took 1 evening class at Art and Soul; A Trio of Transfers taught be the fabulous Lesley Venable.

I've never been very successful with transfers. Those where i had fore-though just didn't come out. Those that came out i had no idea what to do with.

This was strictly a technique class so we didn't have a project we were all doing. But many people made tags or art journal pages. I chose to put one of my transfers on a small canvas which i had 1st attached book pages then stamped script and distressed with alcohol ink. The transfer was done with a photo copied on a laser let printer and transfered with contact paper.

We also did transfers with ink jet printer copies and transfer ink solution (not a lot of luck here) and one with a toner based photo copy, saran wrap and an iron. This one came out fabulous too but i haven't used it in a project yet.

Mr. Lesley made cookies and brownies for the class and kept us very entertained thru out. He is the very ideal of an art husband.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Art and Soul Virginia - part 2

The fabulous piece on the left is done by Joy.

Day 2 started bright and early. (Note to self: ALL days at Art and Soul start bright and early) Our class, The Women of Juarez, was an assemblage class taught by Opie and Linda O'Brien.

LOVED them! I learned so much in this class. Assemblage is one of my favorite things. I see things in my mind in 3D so sculpting and assemblage really speak to me. But i haven't been super-confident with cold connects.

After a day with Linda and Opie all that has changed!!! I cannot wait to get some new assemblage projects going. And i have some great ideas for Gary Reef's sardine can challenge.

But i also dig my Women of Juarez piece. The women in this city in Mexico have the highest rate of violence against them. This piece is done to give them a voice. I added a crown and the word "regal" to say how they ~should~ be treated... like queens. The red in the background is a symbol of the blood spilled.

Again, sorry for the bad cell phone pics. Better ones soon i hope.
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Art & Soul Va 2011 - part 1




Not much more i can say. I had a wonderful time at Art and Soul. I took 6 classes during the 5 day event. And damn was i exhausted. But would i go and take less classes? No, i don't think i would.

I went with my best friend Joy and we decided to take all the same classes. Some classes where ones we both wanted to take. Some geared more towards her and her art; some geared more towards me. But i learned something in every class. A real win-win situation.

Day 1 was A Fluid Romance taught by Kari McKnight. This was working with fluid acrylics; a completely new medium to me. But i really enjoyed them. I like the workability of the medium. I also discovered The Bestest of all The Mediums: matte medium.

We painted a background and then added collage elements to our canvas. I added both vintage photos and a photocopy of one of my sketches. Last i embellished with thermofoil.

Its different from my usual style but i like it.
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