Friday, April 18, 2014

Quagga

   "Quagga"
    A friend, and a very fine artist herself, Colleen Werner, recently commissioned me to create a 'memory piece' to honor her sister Irene. Irene passed away one year ago this month.
    When Colleen came by my studio she brought with her a bag full of things that belonged to Irene and a few that belonged to their mother to be used on the memory piece. The bag contained bling and bits of this that were special to Irene, Colleen and their mom.
    While Colleen was at the studio, she also selected the perfect substrate for the memory piece.
The image below is of the wooden horse she chose. In this photo, I had already altered the horse's tail, the original tail was made of rafia grass . . . it is now made of black yarn.

     Colleen liked the idea of a carousel horse, embellished with bling, then she mentioned she really loved zebras, and wondered if I could make this horse a zebra . .  . humm.
      I thought about it for a few days, and realized I am not skilled enough to 'paint' the stripes on the horse, so I started to think about other options.  

     FABRIC!      A fat-quarter of zebra print!
But YIKES!  It was too much!

To tone it down, I used McCall's pattern tissue. As you can see in the image below, the tissue softened the boldness of the fabric.


In an earlier conversation Colleen mentioned a breed of zebra that had gone extinct in the late 1800's called "Quagga". We decided this piece should be titled "Quagga".

 Below is a bit of information on this exquisite creature:

 The quagga is a recently extinct mammal, closely related to horses and zebras. It was a yellowish-brown zebra with stripes only on its head, neck and foreboday. The quagga was native to desert areas of the African continent until it was exterminated in the wild in the 1870s. The last captive quaggas died in Europe in the 1880s.
A quagga was distinguished from other zebras by having the usual vivid marks on the front part of the body only. In the mid-section, the stripes faded and the dark, inter-stripe spaces became wider, and the rear parts were a plain brown.

Below is the finished piece, she is pretty special.
Colleen picked her up last week. She loved her. LOVED her!  I am happy about that.

A wooden horse, covered in fabric and overlaid with sewing pattern tissue. Embellished with bling and other fun objects. The tail is made of yarn, and the base is a teflon iron shoe, a flea market find. By the way, the base is on a swivel, allowing the horse to spin.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Glass of Wine

"A Glass of Wine" ● 
  
"I ENJOY A GLASS OF WINE EACH NIGHT FOR THE HEALTH BENEFITS IT OFFERS.
THE OTHER GLASSES ARE FOR MY WITTY CONVERSATION AND FLAWLESS DANCE MOVES."

I had a lot of fun with this one.  I came across the quote while looking for quotes having to do with 'wine' or 'wine country'.  This one made me laugh.

Before I finished it I took a few photos of it, and forgot about it.

When I found the final embellishment, I finished it and took it directly to the Sebastopol Gallery for display, forgetting to take final photos of the finished piece . . . thinking I would photograph it the next time I went to the gallery, but I kept forgetting.  When it sold a couple of weeks later, I panicked just a little bit, because I didn't have a finished photo of it. . . . fortunately the buyer was kind enough to leave his email address and I was able to contact him, asking him to please take a couple of photos for me. . . . which he was gracious enough to do . . .  Thank you Carl!

This is an image of the finished piece. . . .

For this piece I used vintage embossed anagram wooden tiles from the 1930's - 40's, apparently a word building game.  These rare tiles are charming and have great character, with just enough wear to make them interesting. Some of the tiles are yellow some are cream colored. 

The tiles are set in a constructed frame that has been covered in tissue papers the color of wine along with wine labels from Sonoma County wineries (Kendall-Jackon and Smith-Madrone). The final embellishment is a pewter wine cork.

Hope it makes you smile!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Snake Eyes


"Snake Eyes" (or Dice Snakes)  According to Wikopedia, a dice snake is "a European nonvenomous snake. The colors vary from greyish green to brown or almost black, with dark spots on the back. The belly is sometimes vividly colored in yellow or orange, with black spots, very similar to dice, hence the name."

Several months ago I came across a wonderful image of vintage dice inside a wooden frame on Pinterest.

I tried to find the source, and I got nowhere. . . but the 'image' itself and the background, reminded me of a blog I follow called La Belle Brocante. I emailed blog's author Alwen Rambo, and asked her if she recognized the piece. She replied saying that it was in fact one of her creations, originally posted on her blog St. Patrick’s Day 2012. Here is the link to her original post: http://www.bellebrocante.com/2012/03/lá-fhéile-pádraig.html

Anyway, Alwen's creation was the inspiration. Thanks Alwen!

In my version, I attached 2 identical frames to each other, and in between the glass are 165 dice. My idea was to allow the dice to 'sway freely' between the glass. A surprise for me was the way the dice moved within the frames. They remind me of snakes.

The base was built using a 1"x3" piece of wood covered in vintage book text and overlaid with sewing pattern tissue, and a vintage wooden hotel hanger advertising the "Hotel America" in "Houston, Texas" cut in half to create a snug slot to hold the frame.
The piece, by the way, is meant to be picked up and played with.  It is very fun.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fulton Xrossing


"Fulton Xrossing"
I recently moved my studio to a new place.  And it IS wonderful.

This building formally operated as a poultry processing plant for about 50 or 60 years. Before that, there was a small winery on the property, surrounded by vineyards and orchards. Today it is a thriving artist's colony . . .  (wine, chicken and art, not a bad history . . . all in all )

After the slaughterhouse moved out, the building sat vacant for 4 or 5 years, until it was purchased by the new owner, Rami Batarseh late last year. His vision was to convert the old facility into a place for artists. Rami and his crew have done a lot of work on this old building, converting the whole place into artist studios and a gallery.  YEY!

The new name given to our artist colony is FULTON XROSSING because it sits next to the railroad tracks, where our new SMART Train will soon pass.

The studios are clean, well lit work spaces for artists and fine crafts people of diverse disciplines who go there everyday and work their magic

We have painters, sculptors, a piano technician, a glass blower, one who makes furniture out of found objects, a videographer, a cabinet maker, a handpan enthusiast, and several other artists . . . I have yet to meet.

I moved in last month.  Can you believe my luck?  I have a wonderful studio, with lots of light, and plenty of space. I love going to work - EVERYday!  and having all these creative people around me is a huge bonus.

Here are some images of moi in my new space.




Anyway, back to the reason for this post . . . a few weeks ago, Rami, commissioned me to "make a sign out of found objects". . . the only other instruction I received were approximate size dimensions.

As is my usual style, I struggled, I debated, I tried different things . . .  In the end the image below shows the finished sign.  It was hung in the main gallery entrance this past week.

The sign is made out of barrel staves (thank you to my friend Michael at La Crema Winery),
Roof tacks were found at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore,
The rusty iron "X" is from my own bag of tricks.
Note the chain that supports this very heavy sign, it is made up of a collection of key rings.

Rami loved finished sign. I, too, am very happy with it.

What do you think?



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Fish Named Pes




"A Fish Named Pes"
In Spanish the word for a fish in the water is "Pez".

A fish that is out of the water, after being caught is called a "Pescado" (the word pescado literally means 'caught')

This jazzy-snazzy flounder took the name Pes, as a shortened reference to his current state, as a caught fish.

A wooden box that previously held olive oil, is now a caddy for 'Pes', vintage, hand cut wooden letters spell the word "PES". The ceramic fish was broken when it was given to me.  I glued it back together,and added drops of yellow nail polish create spots.
I stained the background, the letters and the fish the same paint-stain color. Then I mounted it all in the box that has been covered on the inside in beautiful aqua papers, and overlaid everything with sewing pattern tissue to tone down the colors.
A part of a fishing pole, that I found washed up on a beach in Aransas Pass, Texas last year embellishes the piece.
A brass drawer pull along the side, finishes the piece.

My apologies for the poor quality of the image, this piece was taken out of the studio and into the gallery before a proper photograph could be taken. . . .  but it is a fun piece.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Name Game


"Name Game"
A couple of months ago I was invited to be in a show with 3 other assemblage artists.  Each of us were asked to make up our names in an assemblage piece.  This was mine.  

This piece has a couple of pieces that move. The ball in the 'jacks and ball' in the upper left hand side moves freely attached by a nylon thread. Also note the small Mexican-made lady-bug on top of the letter 'I' in Trevino, and it's little head bobbles.

A wooden box lid is collaged using tissues, vintage sheet music, text and magazine images. My name is spelled out in children's alphabet blocks. A clown, a toy Golden Gate Bridge, a hand painted yellow bird, a fish and a green M&M character embellish the piece.

After the show was over, I decided to use this piece on the door to my Obtainium Art Studio.

ps: the photo below is from the show titled "Assemble - Collective Soul" of the 4 artists in the show: Mark Brudzinski, Rebeca Trevino (me), Anne Shaheen, and Stephenie Brudzinski

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

You Are My World

 

"You Are My World" 
A sweet old candle lantern flea market find has been converted to a glass enclosed box (of sorts . . . ), a mirror on the bottom, reflects it all for the world to see.  A globe hangs in the center, and revolves. 
A bottle cap on the globe top, and on the bottom of the globe I attached what looked like to me, a vintage Japanese fishing lure.

Sweet!
The tassel is made from a long piece of orange, mason's twisted nylon construction line that I found on one of my walks.  I unraveled the line, and attached bits and bling at each end to glam it up!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Light it Up - The Lamp



"Light It Up - The Lamp"
One of the galleries where I show my work asked if I might consider making a few pieces of 'functional art'. . . If you follow my blog you know I make 'memory mirrors' - these are considered functional art because not only are they mirrors, but they are also beautiful pieces of art.

When I stopped to think about it, several things came to mind.  Lamps, candle sticks, clocks, even tables to mention a few. I am currently working on a few pieces, and they are coming along, and I will show them on this blog in a few weeks.

This lamp is my first attempt.
A wood lamp base, found at a thrift store in Cayukos, California last summer, provided the perfect substrate for this project. When I found the lamp, I knew it would need to be re-wired (a new skill), and it needed a lampshade.

There is a lot to see on this piece. I tried to show you all 4 sides with the images above.  Please click the image to take a closer look.

In the end, I was very happy with the final piece.

What do you think?  I would love to get your feedback.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ro Sham Bo

"Ro Sham Bo . . . how to resolve any dispute like an adult"

It all started when I found this beautiful rock on a beach near Gualala, California.
I asked my archaeologist friends Bill Roop and Kathy Flynn to help me ID the rock.  

It is a low density rock, composed of dark gray/black, volcanic material, 
the small natural holes in the rock are filled with white sandy quarttz. 
The proper name is ANDESITE, a volcanic rock with a so-called average 
composition. It is more felsic than basalt and more mafic than dacite.

Apparently, it is just a rock . . . I was hoping they would say it was a very special rock, believed to hold very mysterious powers for it's owner, but they didn't.
Andesite is a common rock. Important in other ways, but no 'mysterious powers' . . .

I like my story better, so we will go with that . . . this is a very special rock, believed to hold mysterious powers . . . (my art piece, my rules).

I knew I wanted to use the rock in an art piece. The small holes filled with sandy silica made it easy to drill into the rock.

The finished piece is small (approx 10"x4"x4") so it's going to take a few photographs to show it to you


 

Top View
Bottom View 

  The rules to play RO SHAM BO (also known as Rock Paper Scissors) are simple. But as a reference, here is a brief explanation:
Rock breaks Scissors
Scissors cut Paper
Paper covers Rock
In my interpretation, a 'vintage'cigar box (?) holds a vintage pair of SCISSORS stabbing the 'very vintage' magical ROCK.  And yes, PAPER which is a €5 bill (a Euro bill) wins!

My art piece, my rules!  Right?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End


"The End"

"EVERYTHING WILL BE OK IN THE END, IF IT'S NoT OK IT'S NOT THE END" John Lennon

As we bring 2013 to a close, and anticipate the dawn of the new year, this is the ultimate advise, don't you think? 
In other words, no matter how things look today, with a new year, we all have the opportunity to get it right, to do it better.

Those of you you follow my work know I have used this quote before in other pieces.  I like it! And I am not alone. Customers who come into the gallery where I show my work, seem to like it too. This piece sold a few days before Christmas.

Initial research credited this quote to John Lennon, however, further digging  revealed a variety of origins, from a recent movie, to a Brazilian fiction writer. In fact, it has even been credited to No One (Anonymous).

I like this quote because it is memorable  I like it because it can be used as a simple general statement of curiosity and how truly free from complication life and the world around us can be.

A wooden box has been covered, front and back in various papers, including text, music, magazine images and tissues, frame the vintage children's alphabet blocks that spell out the quote.
A small frog on top finishes the piece.  Ready to hang.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Three Fives and a Foot . . .

"Gimme 5"                                       "Hi" 

 "High Five"                                             "Leg Up"
"Three Fives and a Foot"
A few more 'smalls' I made for  the holiday season . . .these 'stocking-stuffers can be paperweights or just something fun to look at while sitting at your desk at work or at home.  They are colorful and fun, and made from strange and wonderful things.  They were a 'kick' to make, and apparently folks really liked them, cause they are all SOLD!

"Gimme 5" The small ceramic clown's hand is mounted on a part of a vintage carpenter's level and 3 metal washers that have been covered in papers, (maps, music and text). On each end are bits of a carpenter's ruler.

"Hi!"  A doll's hand is attached to a small wooden block that is covered in magazine images, text and music and tissue.

"High Five" is a Barbie doll hand mounted on a small wooden platform atop a small rip saw blade, and some found metal washers.

"Leg Up"  is a ceramic Harlequin doll leg mounted on a small wooden block that has been covered in magazine images, music, text and tissue.

All are no more than 2" or 4" wide and tall.