Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Eye to Eye

"The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected;
the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition."
- W. H. Auden 

"Eye To Eye"
There is certainly no boredom here.
This small 'memory mirror' came together effortlessly, with bits and bling from my studio seeming to position themselves exactly where they wanted to be on the wooden frame. It all started with the green eye in the center, fitting perfectly inside the vintage car emblem.
In the end, when I set the small mirror inside the frame, the surprise was the number of eyes looking back at me. There are 23 eyes on the front, (plus my own 2 eyes lin the mirror, for a total of 25). 
The back is collaged with the inside pages of a book on "cocktail party conversations". I tried to count the eyes on this illustration, but I stopped counting at 60 . . .
Later when it came time to give this piece a title, I considered: "Eye Level", "The Eyes Have It", "Cat Eye", "Here's Looking At You", "I See You", "Eye, Eye, Eye", and so on.
But then I came across the quote by W.H Auden, and I chose to title it "Eye to Eye" because the piece seems to come to life only when the viewer looks into the mirror and realizes that all those eyes are looking back.
A 12"x12" wall mirror embellished with bits and bling from here and there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Places You Will Go . . .

"The Places You Will Go . . . "
 I love Dr. Seuss.
There is something about the way he puts thoughts into words that make sense to my "child-like' brain cells. It seems like I've been reading Dr. Seuss most of my life, and today, still I enjoy re-reading his books. As I get older, the original meanings I attached to the readings, are changed slightly, but the words still apply, and the advice is still valid.
Dr.Seuss was a sly genius.

The very last of his books published before his death in 1990 is titled "Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Take a few minutes to read the words, or better yet, watch this short YouTube video I came across as I was doing my research, and you will see what I mean.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. 
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. 
You're on your own. And you know what you know. 
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”

This assemblage started off with finding the three small ceramic birds. The interesting thing about these birds is that they all didn't show up in my studio at the same time, nor did they come from the same place. One day, I realized there were 3 and they were exactly the same:  Ceramic, copper/patina in color, all were looking up . . .

A wooden wine box covered in vintage encyclopedia pages on the outside, and a vintage map of Europe line the inside. A bamboo stick, beautifully hand carved and shaped, fit's perfectly in the slot that formally held the box lid.

The birds stand on small wooden dowels to give them "feet' for their shoes. and a wooden abacus along the back, speaks to the 'brains in their heads' that Dr. Seuss wrote about.

It is true what they say:   
Seuss' message is simple but never sappy:                                                        
life may be a 'Great Balancing Act,' but through it all 'There's fun to be done.' 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Big Red - Not Just A Horse

"Big Red" Not Just a Horse . . . "
Secretariat also known as "Big Red" was not 'just a horse' but he was the fastest horse of his time.  He was an American Thoroughbred racehorse and in 1973 became a U.S. Triple Crown champion.  He is considered to be one of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time.

This assemblage came together after I watched a youTUBE video about Little Red with my little grand baby. The cartoon video has a catchy tune, that stuck in my head for days. . . . (I dare you to watch the video  . . .  and see what happens)

I had this wooden carousel horse in my studio for over a year. The wooden form was beautiful, but it was a bit too big, and he had a few too many curves, so it just sat there.  Eventually, and with the help of the 'catchy' tune, he found his way to the front of the line, and I started working on him.

The carousel horse came on the round platform you see in the images above. I added a lazy-susan  under the base to give the horse the ability to move and rotate. And in my usual style, I embellished the wooden form with bits and bling, until it couldn't take any more.

But the 'pièce de résistance' (the best part) is his eye. If you look closely you will see that I was able to drill a hole straight through and insert a brass 'peep hole' normally used on a front door of a house, allowing the person inside the security of seeing outside without opening the door.

Oh yes, check out his horse shoes, foils from my favorite Sonoma County wines.
He is fabulous!

 UPDATE: Today 3/27/12 while gallery sitting at the Sebastopol Gallery, where I show my work . . .  the lovely Ms. JustineToms came in telling me she had been in a couple of days before and had to come back and take "Big Red" home with her.  Yey!  He has a new home.
I happened to have my camera with me and I insisted on taking a final photo!  Thank you Justine!  What fun we had today. I hope Big Red puts a Big smile one your face everyday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

55 And Holding

"55 And Holding"
Odd title, right? (more on that later)  As I begin this post, that is what comes to mind.
My husband and I were in Fort Bragg, California over Thanksgiving weekend. While we were there, we found a small flea market, being held in a parking south of town. That is where I came across a pair of hand-carved wooden bookends in the shape of a "Holstein Cow".  Adorable!

. . . I failed to take a 'before' photo of the book ends before I started working on it, so I found a similar one on the internet, to show how it looked.

The base is the base of a 'spice tower' similar to this:

The hardest part was 'connecting' the 2 cow parts to each other to make a "Whole-Holstein". . . (pun intended). I drilled small holes on each cow half, and joined them with wooden dowels and wood glue.

Once all these logistics were resolved, I started papering and embellishing. After the green tissue, came the vintage brass numbers '5' on each side of the cow. I did this, not only because I love the patina on the numbers, but because I wanted to add a little extra support to HOLD the 2 cow-halves. (hence the title . . .)  Then I started 'bling-ing'.

She is very whimsical and fun! and the fact that she spins around makes it even more fun.