Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Words Escape Me"

"Words Escape Me"
I love to make assemblage works.  If you follow my work, you know that I often incorporate collage in to my work. I rarely use paint, because I have found that paper creates texture and depth, in a way that paint cannot.

On long road trips, I will bring along a couple of grocery bag fulls of old magazines, and use the hours in the car as a passenger to comb through the magazines and cut out images and words that catch my eye. I save these in folders marked "birds", 'faces", 'religion', and 'words' among many others.

Eventually, many of these images and words will be used in my work.  This piece came together as a result of a bulging "words" folder in my studio.

I love words. I love the different fonts and fanciful styles of words. I am thrilled when a few words can tell a complete story.(i.e., "The Little Brown Saint" or "Because The Sky is Always Falling").

This piece represents words in in our heads. 
What we think . . . What we say . . . What we wish . . . What we understand . . .
To use  these words in a 3-D collage, demonstrates the beauty and versatility of collage as a medium. Collage can bring together my found disparate words, and by arranging the papers in no particular order, will create a whole new conversation.  The process of collage is meditative and personal for me. Now I can touch the words and think about them, and have them near.  In a larger sense I am able to bring order to my love of words.
A foam head form covered in layers of words and tissue, a Japanese text book about the Jewish religion, sit atop a wooden revolving spice rack base, also covered in Japanese text. A vintage thermometer in the eye finishes the piece.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Moon Rabbit"

"Moon Rabbit"
The Moon Rabbit in legend, is a rabbit that lives on the moon. Based on pareidolia that identifies markings of the moon that resemble a rabbit.

File:Rabbit in the moon standing by pot.pngThe story exists in many cultures, including Korean, Japanese, Chinese and more interestingly it also exists in Aztec mythology

But my favorite is the legend from the Native American, Cree Nation. This legend tells about a young rabbit who wished to ride the moon. Only the crane was willing to take him. The trip stretched Crane's legs as the heavy rabbit held them tightly, leaving them elongated as crane's legs are now. When they reached the moon Rabbit touched Crane's head with a bleeding paw, leaving the red mark cranes wear to this day. According to this legend, Rabbit still rides the moon to this day.

A small wooden clock box is gold-stained on the outside, and holds a fanciful china rabbit inside. I replaced the back of the clock box with a vintage glass pane that has a silhouette of a tree painted on it, allowing the viewer to see straight through the box. A small wind-chime is attached to the side of the box adding whimsy. You can see a sterling silver moon in the upper right hand corner of the back glass. A vintage wooden drawer pull finishes the piece. 8" x 6" x 3"

Friday, May 11, 2012

"All That Remains"

"All That Remains"
Several months ago, I came across a vintage printer's tray type case drawer. In its original condition, the oak drawer measured 32"x16", containing over 90 compartments!

To make it more manageable, I cut it into three equal parts. It worked great, but still, this one has 35 compartments!

The back is covered with a map of the United States followed with a layer of pattern tissue to mute the colors of the map (love the lines). Next I began to fill the tiny compartments . . . each one contains bits and pieces of this and that, each one tells an entire story on its own.

If you would like to see the details of each compartment, click on the image to enlarge.  See if you can find: the little green monkey, the '72 toy Volkswagen, the 3 tiny brass Buddhas, the 3-minute egg timer, and the Queen of Hearts.

To finish the shadow box, I added a vintage brass drawer pull, and glass cover. The pieces is ready to hang on the wall or sit on a stand.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"First Kiss"

"First Kiss"
A dear friend from Chicago came to visit last month. She had made special arrangements for us to attend a private wine tasting at Smith-Madrone, a winery in Napa. The tasting took place in the small but efficient, and authentically dusty wine cellar, where we were entertained and charmed by Charles Smith, the owner-winemaker. He shared with us many interesting stories of his 40 years of making wine in this beautiful vineyard/winery setting. 

Looking around the cellar, there were many things that caught my eye, and Charles generously shared their history with us. One item that was of great interest to me was a funky black board, the kind you might see at an old neighborhood tavern, with the following quote written on it, in chalk:
"We are all mortal, until the first kiss and the second glass of wine."
Eduardo Galeano
I am always on the lookout for quotes I can use in my scrabble art pieces.  
Needless to say, this is one is my new favorites.  

A small cabinet door found at my local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, is collaged in layers of colorful tissue and over-layered with sewing pattern tissue. Scrabble tiles spell out the quote, and 2 butterflies finish the piece.  Ready to hang.  14" x 5"
(click on image to enlarge)