Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Happy 2012"

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself." 
                                    - Neil Gaiman

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"I Saw One In A River Once"

 "I Saw One In a River Once" 
Wikipedia.defines a double entendre (French pronunciation: [dublɑ̃tɑ̃dʁə]) as a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first (more obvious) meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué or ironic.

In this case, the double entendre is in the title.  It may signify that we saw a "fish" in a river, or that we saw the accumulation of "flotsam and jetsam" on the fish in a river . . . Either way, it is a compelling reflection, albeit, sad in many ways. . . .  Ironic?

For this earlier piece, a wooden fish was first painted with acrylic paints and then the entire surface is embellished with found objects, including buttons, watches, jewelry, bottle caps, and small plastic toys. Four wooden drawer pulls are his feet, and a vintage brass drawer handle is installed on top as a carrier.  (click on any image to enlarge) IN PRIVATE COLLECTION  9909

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Mirror Me"

"Mirror Me"
     A couple of weeks ago, after a few friends and I finished working on a mosaic project, I invited them all over to my studio, because they were all curious to see my 'workplace'.
     At the time, I was working on a several pieces, but "Burbank - The Hollywood Horse" was front and center on my work table. Also on the work table was "Rocky", the Rooster, you might remember both of these from earlier posts. I think everyone was amazed at "how much stuff" is needed to carry out the work of an assemblage artist. (truth be told, I am often over-whelmed myself).
     Both "Rocky" and "Burbank" are made in the style of the 'memory jars' popular in the 1800's.  Memory jars were made by covering the vessel in mortar and attaching small objects such as keys, shells, coins and personal mementos belonging to someone who had passed away.
     I call my interpretation of this art form: Memory Art.
     This piece titled "Mirror Me" was commissioned by a dear friend, and former co-worker, after her visit to my studio. The only criteria she gave me was: "I really want you to make me a mirror like this. . . and i would really love it if you could use all 'silvery things'.

The wood frame of a vintage mid-century mirror is the foundation for this piece. (similar to the fame pictured here)

First, I collaged the frame in layers of green and blue tissue papers. Then, I embellished the front and sides with vintage silvery keepsakes, including clock parts, jewelry, buttons, coins, bottle caps, beads and other found objects.

So here it is.  I hope she loves it . . .cause I really do.
If you want to take a closer look at any image,  hold down the 'control' key and tap the "+" key several times to enlarge.  hit "control" and  the "-" key to reduce

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Day Dreams"

"Day Dreams"

At the edge of the garden, let the dream begin . . .
~ Author Unknown ~

Wkipedia defines a daydream as a visionary fantasy, one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass and experienced while awake. Daydreaming can also be a reference to future planning or a review of past memories.

While daydreaming has long been considered a lazy, non-productive pastime, daydreaming can also be constructive and productive. There are many examples of people in creative, artistic careers, such as artists, composers, novelists and filmmakers, who will often utilize day dreaming to develop new ideas.

This whimsical assemblage is housed in a sewing machine drawer that has been lined in green tissues, mirrors and magazine images. A porcelain doll head, a music box and a protractor reflected on mirrors add to the story. The word DREAM is spelled out in Boggle letter dice.   The glass lidded box is dotted on the outside with acrylic paints (nail polish). On the back I have attached a beautiful brass calendar, and a vintage bingo card. The music box plays the tune "Somewhere My Love".
A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers.
~ Author Unknown ~

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Burbank" The Hollywood Horse

In trying to find a title for this piece i googled "famous horse names" and came up with several I liked:
  • Mingo 
  • Fancy Pants
  • and Burbank
The "Mingo" people were part of the Iroquois group of Native Americans. The word "Mingo" is better recognized as the name of Daniel Boone's best friend from the 1960's TV series "Daniel Boone," where Mingo was a half-Cherokee, highly educated graduate of Oxford University and Daniel's constant companion. I thought this would be a good name for a trusty trail horse.

"Fancy Pants" is the title of a movie with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball, there was a horse named Peaceful but I like the film title better.

"Burbank" - This was the name of Danny Glover's cat in the 1987 movie "Lethal Weapon." It's also a good horse name for a horse that acts like a star.

I chose Burbank, the Hollywood Horse because this horse is definitely a 'star'.

In my typical style, I took a small wooden horse and first covered it in various papers and tissues. I applied a very long black zipper to the front legs of the horse (i think this is my favorite thing on this piece, next to the shoes)
btw: The reason the shoes on the hind legs don't match is because I used the mates on an earlier piece I made titled "Old Friends".

Click on the images to take a closer look, it is very fun to see all the bits, baubles and bling this little guy has collected along the way.

UPDATE:  Meet Janis, Burbank's new BFF!  (8/12)