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North Georgia Mountains
sculptor, painter, mixed media artist

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Busy Bee - 2

From the looks of things on my blog you would think I haven't been doing anything. Well it couldn't be further from the truth. I've been busy. Very busy. I'm just really not too happy with any of them. I debated chucking them on the trash heap but then decided to post... in the name of being my authentic self ya know... ref="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I heard a Princess was turning 5 this week. I thought she needed a Princess book.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

felting machine

The next toy I want to purchase is a felting machine! I got to work on 1 recently and just fell in love!!

I've done needle felting. Years ago I also tried my hand at wet felting. This is more in line with the needle felting. Only it's needle felting on steroids!

In a course with the amazing Liz Kettle, I made the book pictured below. We felted the cover with natural fibers (such as wool roving and assorted silks, cottons, etc) over a wool base. We then did a simple binding to add a sketchbook. I'm completely in love with how it came out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I get it that not EVERYONE loves Valentine's Day. So this year I made a few alternatives. The studio and barn are a complete mess right now so the kiln isn't up and running. These are air-dry paper clay. Wonderful product though not quite as durable as any of the fire clays or porcelain.

Happy Valentine's Day

I do love Valentine's day. I love ALL holidays. When you make things, holidays are just another deadline. But Valentine's day is nice because I get to spoil The One I love best!

Below are some homemade cards I collaged as well as a sweet treat :)

Doh! Try as I might I can't get the orientation of this picture correct. Good thing there are more pics of each individually. :)

This Belongs To You

Your Heart Shines Thru

My Heart Goes With You

I found this on.... PINTEREST! (of course) Neither of us eat Rolos but I thought it was so cute!

The one on Pinterest used craft paper. I prefer recycled tea bags. The color is so pretty!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Paradise Gardens revisited

I just learned with certainty that Chattooga County purchased Paradise Gardens. I can't express how happy this makes me. There have been whispers about this for the last several years but then it would get quiet again and nothing would happen.

Paradise Gardens is the product of the blood, sweat and tears of Reverend Howard Finster. An evangelist Baptist preacher who became an artist due to Divine intervention (God asked him to do 5,000 paintings to spread the Gospel; he did over 48,000 pieces of artwork), he is considered by many as the grandfather of the American folk art movement.

Reverend Howard started building what is now known as Paradise Gardens on it's currently location in 1961.... on 4 acres of swampland in Pennville Georgia. He worked continually on it until his death in 2001. A sad note: after his death a portion of the gardens was ripped out and has become part of the permanent exhibit at The High Museum in Atlanta. While I LOVE The High, Paradise Gardens makes no sense out of context. But maybe if it's introducing those people to Reverend Howard who wouldn't normally make the trip to Pennville, it's not a completely evil thing?

my two sisters being goofy with the Finster Coke bottle

my sister Sonia outside the bottle house, one of the inspirations for my bottle wall

my sister Lynn in the garden

cool cement faces! There are lots of these cement and mosaic pieces spread thru the whole garden.

I've always called this The Disco House.

The Chapel. This building is amazing... and also in danger of becoming a complete cave-in. A strong wind would blow it over.

The county owning Paradise Gardens can only be a positive. The gardens are in desperate need of funding and repairs. I've also been saying for decades the place needs to be listed on the national historic registry. Maybe with the gardens being owned by the county they can start getting the grants and federal funding needed to ensure the creations of Reverend Howard is around for many more years to come.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Sometimes I work on pieces so long I forget whether I've posted them or not. This piece took over a year but it's been complete for probably the last couple months. I lost steam like 3 or 4 times when making it. But now it's finally complete and I love it.

My crow was first formed out of chicken wire.

The wire is covered in joint compound.

Joint compound, once dried, sands up very nicely.

It's also very porous so it takes a LOT of paint to cover.

Originally I thought I piece of wood from our scrap pile would work as a stand. But all that wire and joint compound made my poor little crow (umm, or actually rather LARGE crow) extremely heavy. So The Man made a flat side to this log. Then He drilled holes in it to slide the legs down in. I thought I might need to pour some kind of two-part resin down in to secure it. But this baby isn't going anywhere!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


If I didn't have to work a 9-to-5er I'd have pink hair. I always tell myself this. Who knows if it's true or not. But when I go on journeys this is how I appear to myself.

Recently I found myself walking among a cluster of cute tiny houses. Cute as they were I felt claustrophobic among them. So I headed towards a group of trees. The trees were alive with noises; birds, insects, wild life of all kinds. It was a bit overwhelming so my instinct was to run. Until I noticed a single solitary butterfly.

It came towards me in a coy manner and then darted away. Come follow me. So I did. I ran forward without thought or caution. The butterfly went deeper into the trees but I didn't feel any fear. The Fool reminds us to take action, to move forward without fear and I became that fool.

Without knowing how I got there, I was running among the branches. My butterfly giving constant encouragement... Move forward.... Take action.... Don't be afraid. The butterfly said all these things in it's playful impish manner.

Or was it all just a dream?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

sneak peak from @arthouse Sketchbook Project

I finished my sketchbook for the Art House Co-op/Brooklyn Art Library. And I'm SO HAPPY with it! I really departed from style and made it much more illustration-ish. But I feel like it's very successful. It will be so cool going to the exhibit... or as they like to call it, World Tour. The exhibit will be in Atlanta August 29th thru September 1st. It will also go to Toronto, Los Angeles and Portland Maine (to just name a few).

My theme is I remember you. I choose to tell little stories of people I remember thru my lifetime. Some are funny. Some are sad. Some are rather embarrassing. But it was actually quite cathartic to get them out like this.

I had the whole book scanned and will eventually post the whole book. But for the moment here is a sneak peak.

learning to batik

I've been calling this technique faux batik. Mostly because the pin which pointed me to the website I got the information from called it faux batik. But then my sister (an artist whose major was fabric design) pointed out to me that batik is simple a dying process that uses a resist. So I'm now thinking of this as "non-traditional" batik.

All that aside, it's just plain fun!

My first time out I got beautiful results! I was so happy with it I thought I was an expert. I didn't plan my design for project # 2 but just sloppily painted on my crayons and dye. And the results were DISASTROUS!!! Lesson learned. A clear design idea is a must for this project. I think with more practice a bit of abstraction would work. But I'm going to go slower and get comfortable with the basics first. Thankfully I'm working on muslin so it's only $0.99 a yard worth of mistakes. Plus I've been needing small squares of colorful fabric for another project so I'm not really out any materials. You know my mantra.

No such thing as waste in the Artist Studio.

To begin this process you melt crayons. CRAYONS! How easy is that? I first melted them in the oven but they cooled too quickly. So then I set the muffin tin on the skillet I use to melt my encaustic medium. This worked perfectly. It kept the crayons melted so I could paint with them.

Sorry, I didn't take step-by-step photos. But the full process is shown on this blog. The only thing I did do differently is at the very end. On the blog they removed all the wax with an iron. I used an iron to heat-set the pigment in my crayons. Then I went back to the more traditional batik and boiled away the rest of the crayons and dye. Lastly, I took a stiff bristle brush and scrubbed off the rest of the dye. Boiling the fabric makes it much softer then only removing the crayon wax and dye with an iron.

Here's a picture of my fabric after I removed the fabric dye. Dig my pink pajamas. :)

Sunlight House.

Moonlight House. This is my favorite side!

I'm very happy with the finished project. I sewed the 2 long sides together and made a gift bag. The bag is currently in the mail with a bottle of wine inside for a birthday gift. I hope they like the bag (though of course liking the wine is a given!)

Friday, January 13, 2012


I can't believe I never posted this. I completed this one... hmmm.... 3 months ago maybe? This is one where I really fell in love with the process. In fact I loved making the wings so much I've gotten a series in mind which revolves specifically around wings. I LOVE wings. If i could get away with it (and convince everyone i really was a fae) I'd wear wings 24/7!!!

Here's my Fae with her crown; half of a vintage belt buckle. Doesn't she look pissed?

A close-up of her wings. I built the skeleton of the wings from wire and then skinned them in used tea bags. Tea bags are my very favorite kind of paper to use in art projects. They are excellent in taking color from acrylics (paint or inks), watercolors or even gouache. But even without color they're just beautiful in their natural tea-stained state.

She has a shriveled peach pit for a heart. No wonder she's pissed!

The piece in it's entirety.

The Unlimited Potential Of The Mind

Here's another one I did for a Christmas present. All things brain-related are good presents for The Man. I had this idea for a while but my original idea was for a painting. But I had a few of these interesting shaped cigar boxes that I knew would end up in an assemblage eventually.

Then about a week before Christmas it just hit me. This came together quickly but I'm real happy with the results. Funny. Sometimes a piece will take months and months. Other times it seems to come together all on it's own.

This is one of those pieces.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

the year of the pendant

Got some of the pictures off my Droid!!!

This year for Christmas presents I made a few necklaces. My friend Joy taught me how to make these beautiful pendants using glass tiles. So easy and so pretty!!! So I made a few for friends and family members. I'm happy with how they came out.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hello Art

To look at my blog you would think I haven't done anything creative in a while. That's actually far from the truth. I've been extremely busy in the studio. The problem was most everything I worked on was meant to be a Christmas present. So I couldn't post it for fear of ruining several surprises.

But I did take pictures.

Oh yes... the pictures. Well, let me tell you a little story. I've gotten very good at documenting my creative process. I enjoy posting things on my blog so I always make sure to have several pictures of both the work-in-progress and the finished item.

This Christmas I really tried to stay on top of things. So as I finished projects I photographed them, wrapped them and packed them up and shipped them off. Then 2 days before Christmas my 3 year old Droid (cell phone) decided to become a paperweight. I went and got a new phone; an iPhone 4 which I really really love.

The problem? They couldn't get my pictures transferred from the Droid to the iPhone. They're still on the Droid but I have to buy a cable to download the photos. le sigh...

Remember me? This piece was done for a Round Robin Journal I worked on. I really liked it and thought it would be good to do on canvas.

So here she is on canvas. I don't really dig her. I guess I should have stuck with the original pallet (which I like much better). I also didn't exactly capture the same look in the face as my 1st drawing for the journal