Thursday, August 13, 2015

Intentions and Consequences

Thank you for stopping by.  
Take a moment and leave a comment to let me know you were here.
I enjoy reading what you think.






"Intentions and Consequences"
Constructed in a vintage sewing machine drawer, this diorama is full of interesting bits and mementos meant to challenge consciousness and provoke memory.  

Regardless of our intentions, our actions, ideas, proposals, policies all have consequences, some are good and some are not.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#7 - The Legend of The Golden Duck



#7-Legend of the Golden Duck

A few years ago, my husband and I were at an estate sale, where he spotted a wooden duck form that was plain, no color or other detail.
He asked me if it was something I might be interested in for my art work.  Although I had no immediate inspiration, I liked the wooden duck form, it was well made and the right size and the right price, so I said yes.

 The wooden duck sat around my studio, somethimes he would be sitting on a vintage roller skate, other times he would be sitting on the window sill, patiently waiting his turn at the worktable. 

Those of you who follow my blog, know that I make a lot of "memory" pieces.  Memory pieces are art pieces typically start out being a recognizable wooden form, a frame, a box, an an animal form, then I will usually 'paper' the piece with a selected color, and then I begin to 'embellish' it with bits and bling. 
I typically work with silver-toned bits and bling, for no real reason except that I like the way the silver looks.  
Looking back on when I was working on this piece, I realized I was working on 3 pieces at the same time, a mirror, a mannequin head and this duck . . . and all three were in gold tones.

The title for this piece is inspired from a children’s activity book titled: “The Legend of the Golden Duck”.

Happy Summer everyone!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Champ


"Champ" 
This is Champ, he is an show winning Irish Setter.  Actually, Champ represents several, in a long line of show winning Irish Setters.

This piece was commissioned as a birthday gift for a dear friend's step-mom, Wendy.  
Wendy shows Irish Setters in shows, competitions and obedience trials. From what I understand Wendy has had a long history of "Champions'.

Not only are Setters beautiful dogs, they are energetic, intelligent, affectionate, loving, high-spirited and full of energy. They love family time, whether indoors or out, and they get along famously with children and other pets. They have no real  guarding instincts, however.
***
"Champ" started out as small wooden dog form found at a local antique store.  
This is what he looked like when I first saw him.

After few weeks with me, he transformed into a pup full of boisterous energy and whimsey. 
It turns out that Irish Setters want to be involved in everything you do. This one apparently got into a few of the 'stashes' in my studio when I wasn't looking . . . when he came out he was all "bling-ed up and fancy".

Champ sits on a silver trivet. The trivet sits atop a smaller silver tray, which sits on a mini turntable lazy susan, so he even spins!



The birthday celebration was this past weekend, and from what I understand, "Champ" was received with open arms, and he won the heart of the birthday girl!


Thank you Tracy!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pearls of Wisdom



"Pearls of Wisdom"
We discover the 'pearls' as we go.  We collect them, one by one.  Precise and succinct ideas about what is right and what is truth.  We discover our own realities, we acquire our own indisputable principles. We pick and choose the bits of internal advice that fit. These are the things that develop our character.  These are the Pearls of Wisdom that guide us as we journey.

***
The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, (Marin MOCA) will be holding their 6th annual altered book fundraiser, to include the work of over 100 Bay Area artists who re-construct and re-work books to produce a highly entertaining and remarkably varied exhibition. The exhibit and silent auction will be open for bidding from April 18-May 23.

"Pearls of Wisdom" is my entry to the book show.





Friday, March 27, 2015

Reflections

I would love it if you would stop by my FACEBOOK art page and LIKE it.


"Reflections"
Several months ago, I came across this wonderful vintage mirror, The mirror appeared to be handmade by someone many years ago, lovingly sculpted out of a piece of fur, or possibly pine.  A heart shape design cut-out was fitted with a 1/4" thick mirror.  The fine sanded wood frame was painted silver.  Truthfully, the piece was beautiful as I found it.

But, alas, I had to bling it up.  A thin layer of tissue was first, (you can see it in this closeup photo).

 Then I began adding the hardware. Mostly silvery bits, and baubles and bling. 
I have included several photos which will hopefully provide you an opportunity to take a closer look at the many pieces included on this memory mirror.

Mirror Top

Bottom half of mirror


Lower left hand corner
The finished size is 16"x16".  And I think it turned out spectacular.  

I finished the piece a week before Valentine's Day, and although I felt I was a bit late for the holiday of hearts, the piece was sold a few days after that.
***
The sweet couple, Tom and Carol, who took "Reflecitons" home with them, sent me a lovely email telling me how much they are enjoying the piece. The also included a photo of the piece in their home.
How cool is that?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Knowledge and Power




 "Knowledge and Power"
The U.S Bureau of Engraving and Printing is the only agency authorized to develop and produce United States currency notes.  The BEP prints billions of dollars each year for delivery to the Federal Reserve System.  
When currency becomes badly soiled, dirty, defaced, disintegrated, limp, torn, or worn, they may be exchanged for new notes, through your local bank.  These damaged, no longer useful notes are removed from circulation, and returned to BEP who will shred the bills. Believe it or not, these shredded bits of US currency can be purchased directly from BEP . . .

I, however, found this bag of shredded money at a local garage sale recently.

 

 I called the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to inquire about this, as I was worried that there maybe be legal considerations for the use of this product.  I was told it was ok to use this bag of shredded money in what ever way I wanted.  Yey! Art materials!
***
A mannequin head wearing rim-less eye glasses, is covered in bits of shredded currency, and sits atop several CDs and a 1945 Standard American Encyclopedia Volume 1 A - Art.  
A small glass bottle is also mounted on the book, filled to overflowing with money. Two vintage brass drawer pulls anchor the piece.  Note the feet under the book . . . are vintage brass toilet seat hinges.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Do Better

"Do Better"
Last Summer, I came across this quote by Maya Angelou. I loved the quote, and decided to use it in a Scrabble assemblage piece. 
So far I've made 4 using the same quote. The first 3 can be seen here. Each one is different and unique, yet the message is the same. They have all sold. I think it's because the words are simple, yet poignant and powerful:
"Do the best you can (un)til you know better, 
then when you know better, do better." Maya Angelou
                      
 Found wood and vintage wooden hanger are covered with various papers and tissue, scrabble tiles spell out the quote. Chop sticks and metal embellishments finish the piece.
My apologies to everyone for my absence on this blog . . .  after the holidays, we went away on vacation - we spent 10 glorious days on Kauai, and then after we got home, I think I just got lazy about posting . . . But I am back now, hoping to get back on to my weekly posting schedule.  I am far behind, and have lots of new work to show you. 

 
Husband Walter and a glorious sunset, Kauai, Hi
 I do hope everyone is doing great.
It's a New Year, with new opportunities to make good art!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sister City of Wonder

"Sister City of Wonder"
The "City of Wonder" is one of my earlier assemblage 'city scapes'.  This piece is the 'sister City' to the 'City of Wonder" . .  . does that make sense? 

I absolutely love working with art materials that have a story to tell, a past, a history. Every element in this cityscape had a previous life, being something else. Here, they have all been transformed into a city scape with a new story to tell, and a bright and interesting future.

The four 'buildings' in this piece are made of wood. Two of them are scrap lumber (#2 & #4 above) 2x2 pine and 4x4 mahogany from the Dave the Cabinet maker.

The other two are most interesting.  
#1 is made from a hand made chess piece, found at a garage sale a few years ago.  At the time I did not know what it was, but i loved the patina on the oak and the signature and date on the bottom. As luck would have it, I did not photograph the piece before papering it. I only found out later what it was from my studio mate, 'Cliff' who knows about all these things. 
On top of the chess piece (staring at the fish) I positioned 2 additional pieces of wood, a 1" slice of 4x4 and a 4" piece of 2x2 that has been shaped on top, to form the skyscraper.

#2 began as a hand carved incense burner tower, similar to this:

All four 'buildings' are covered in text from a 1926 dictionary, and washed in an off white paint/varnish finish, cut out images from the same dictionary are collaged on top. Each building is embellished with bits and bling, top to bottom.

 
The base is a wooden box, unsure of it's origin. Possibly made to hold candles.  I lined the bottom with 'canvas shims' or tightening keys, and created an inlaid soft-wood floor for the the cityscape.
My friend Paula, who is a prolific painter, gave me a bag full of these shims, asking me if I had any use for them. 
I didn't, but I found one . . . 

Thanks for stopping by. let me know what you think of this city scape. I would love your thoughts.

Have a creative 2015, everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

When Pigs Sing

"When Pig Sing"
I made one similar a couple of years ago titled "Pig Song" (same quote - different embellishments.)

It still makes me smile when I see it.  This one is constructed on a wooden game board that has been covered in papers and tissues. 

The quote is spelled out using SCRABBLE tiles:

"Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time, and it annoys the pig."

The vintage wooden toy pig has legs, a tail and a snout that move when the string is pulled.



Very cute.
Don't forget to go to my Obtainium Art Page on FACEBOOK
and give me a like. That would be nice!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The End (Parrot)


"The End"
"Everything will be ok in the end. If it's not ok, its not the end."
 I remember when I first read this quote, I think it was in the 70's. The Beatles had made a recent trip to India to meet with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and I read an interview with John Lennon in one of those 'teen' magazines that were popular then. 
I forgot about it until a few years ago, my friend and blogger Paula Guhin from Mixed Media Manic posted an image of the quote on her blog. I remember liking it as much that day as I did when I first saw it in the 70's.

I have researched this quote several times, and what I have found is that it has been quoted many times, by many people in many different countries and cultures. Although I have not been able to ascertain who originally said these words, I like attributing it to John Lennon.

 Alphabet blocks spell out the quote in a deep picture frame that has been covered in artist papers. A wooden napkin ring parrot that has been fitted with wooden drawer pulls covered in green tissues, embellish the piece.

Guess What? I just created my Obtainium Art page on FACEBOOK.  Click here to go there, and while you are there, hit LIKE would ya?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

City of Wonder


"City Of Wonder"
What can I say?  I am onto something new, here . .  .

BACKSTORY: A few months ago, when the building where my studio is located was undergoing remodeling, I asked for and was given 3 foot long pieces of scrap 4"x4" wood by Rogelio, the construction supervisor on the site. When he gave them to me, I could tell he was confused as to what I was going to do with this leftover pieces of wood.

A few weeks later, the construction work ended, and Rogelio moved on to another site, and I was not able to show him the finished piece, but you can see it HERE. I titled the first cityscape "Aspires".
I think Rogelio would have been pleased.

All that to say, that I have really enjoyed making these 'city scapes' so much that I am currently working on my 4th in the series.

This one, "City of Wonder" is #2 of the series.


"City of Wonder" is smaller that "Aspires", but just as interesting. Scrap wood, magazine images, including altered images using National Geographic and CitaSolve, and metal embellishments, make the 'city' come alive with activity. (a dangle earring, a crucifix, a wrench and a small hinge are mobile).

The 4 'buildings' are contained in a small wall shelf that has been turned upside down and braced on the back side with a vintage wooden hanger from "Wonder Dry Cleaners" (hence the name)


Here are individual images of each 'building', for a closer look.
                                        (small hinge - lower center)

                                      (wrench)                                                    (dangle earring and small crucifix)
My husband said this one looked like a cathedral, so I added the crucifix.

Is this a city you have traveled to?  Or maybe someday?

Stay tuned.  City Scapes #3 and #4 will soon appear on this site.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vegas, Baby!


"Vegas, Baby!"
This is the third 'dancing dice' pieces I've made over the past few months, (see here and here). There is something exciting about the sound dice make when they click together. I've been to Las Vegas only a few times, and always on business. 
Although I never got into the gambling madness that Vegas seems to be, there is an excitement to that city that is very much "Vegas".

  All that aside, being the collector that I am, dice are just one of the the many things I collect. 
At one time, I think I had over 1000 dice in a glass jar on the studio shelf. Like marbles, or other game pieces in my collection, I just love the way they look, all together, in separate jars. 

Over the years, the dice collection grew.
This piece started out with 2 identical picture frames. I picked clear 'red' dice for this piece because they are beautiful to look at. I added a few odd colors, to add interest. As I was working on the piece, I realized that most of the dice were from Vegas Casinos (hence the name). 

Originally, the intention was to have this piece 'hang' in a way to let the light shine through. But because the piece is interactive, and meant to be 'played' with, I thought it might be better as a table top piece, so I constructed a stand out of 2 vintage wooden clothes hangers, and a barrel stave. (the hangers are from Pasadena and Barcelona not Vegas - oh well, you can't blame me for trying . . .)


If placed near a window, one can still enjoy the translucency and beauty of the clear dice.
When I worked in the 'corporate' world, I spent most of my day on the phone. I think this would have been fun to have in my office, to play with while waiting or on hold.