Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stars and Stripes

"Stars and Stripes"
I found this lovely, rustic wooden box with an oval opening at a barn sale last year.  It seemed perfect for an altar, or a day of the dead piece or one of my usual pieces using a porcelain doll's head.

After many months, none of those ideas came together at the studio. A week or so ago, I started working on a piece that involved this box and a wooden rabbit, who seemed to fit perfectly in the box.

 Last week, I got a chance to spend a few days in San Francisco visiting galleries and museums, looking for inspiration. At the Martin Lawrence Gallery on Fisherman's Wharf, I saw the work of artist Robert Deyber, whose paintings are humorous and delightful.  He is probably best known for his literal visual portrayals of cliches, euphemisms and idioms from the English language. I invite you to take a few minutes and check out his work, I think it will make you smile!

Although I absolutely enjoyed viewing his artwork, I was more inspired by the titles of his pieces, the "cliches", "euphemisms" and "idioms" he uses to inspire his own work.

All that to say, is that when I got back to the studio on Monday, this piece sort of made itself. The wooden zebra head fit perfectly (well sort of) inside the wooden box with the oval opening. The crystal stars, and background zebra paper finish the piece . . . it all came together without effort - and this is the result. . .  my own "Stars and Stripes", just in time for 4th of July!

What do you think?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's All About The Alligators

 "It's All About The Alligators"
Many years ago, I worked for a guy that always liked to express himself in idioms.  He had a million of them. "get your ducks lined up" , "break a leg", "waste not want not", "take a load off",  the list is endless.

But one of his favorites was "When you are up to your ass in alligators" . . . .  Quite honestly, at the time, I was never quite sure of what it meant.

Many years later, I still remember the words. and with the help of the internet, I have been able to find the quote in its entirety, and I think I now know what he was trying to say.

Here is the full quote:

"The objective of all dedicated employees is to thoroughly analyze all situations, 
anticipate all problems prior to their occurrence, have answers for these problems, 
and move swiftly to solve these problems when called upon. 
However, when you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult 
to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp."

This quote, often used in business, is about how unintended consequences can assume greater importance than the activity originally undertaken. . .  I think.

Using a wooden game board, I spelled out the quote with Scrabble tiles. An articulated wood toy alligator is attached to add interest.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Upper West Side

"Upper West Side"
Many years ago, I had the chance to live on the east coast for a few years.  New York City is everything a young career woman would want to experience.  The 'bling", the buzz, the best of everything.

The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in Manhattan, that lies between the Hudson River  and Central Park. Like the Upper East Side, the West Side is an upscale, primarily residential area. Truth be told, many creative types live there, although I have to admit, all of NYC is full of energy and culture and activity.

The Upper West Side has the reputation of being home to the City's cultural, intellectual and artistic  types, while the Upper East Side is traditionally perceived to be home to the more commercial and business types.

This piece is inspired by the "Upper West Side" of New York City.  A memory piece that reflects the 'bling', the buzz, the action and the experience that is NYC.

This mirror, was formally an oak bathroom cabinet door found at my local flea market. The background is black tissue, overlaid with white Unryu tissue papers. The frame is embellished with bits and bling, from here and there, you will need to look close to see it all.

The back is finished with the same papers, and embellished with some favorite quotes . . .   (click the images to enlarge)