Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hungry Duck

This is the way I found Nikki's toy ducky this morning. Think it's trying to tell me something?

new things

Thought I'd better post a couple pics of new works while they are still sitting here. The file folder is one of the ones decorated that Rosemary is going to bind into a book for Julie, our gardening teacher. The Kitchen Chair Memories was done on a whim. I came across the old chair painting series I had done more than a decade ago. This is the cover, there is at least one painted chair on each spread inside. It was fun to find a use for them - and it made me reminisce about my family's dinette and what went on there. All important things in our family took place around the dinette table - whether it was planning a vacation, reviewing our report cards, homework, playing cards, paying bills, wrapping packages, putting together puzzles, opening the mail..... etc. Oh yes, and we ate there too. What was the heart of your home?

When I was a young girl, it was before television. We never sat around in the living room unless we had company. Both of my parent worked, so they were always busy getting ready for the next day. I read on the sofa in living room. I think I used that room more than the rest of the family.

I entered the little chair book cover in Art Fest at the Cloth Paper Studio group website and it won this week. So, next week I get the privilege of judging the week's entries. I've already peeked and there's some good stuff there.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cross obsession

I notice every year about this time, I gravitate towards using crosses in my artwork. Yesterday I was in a little shop in Arnold, up in the Sierras. There was this really wonderful old cabinet that I'd give my eyeteeth to have. I really don't have a good place for it, it's probably 10 feet tall, and I don't want to ask anyone to drag it home for me, so I took pictures instead. While trying to get a good angle, I noticed the cross piece and that fascinated me enough to shoot it several times, with the doors open and closed. The cross on the tree is one between San Andreas and Angel's Camp. I've seen it there for years, and thought I'd stop and take a picture. One of my goals this year is to photograph the sad shrines made for people who were killed on the various roads I travel. Here are pics from yesterdays trip.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The show is over, it's time to call it a day......

Final day, good friends, old and new, grandkids along for support, a good way to end the show. Prizes were awarded and I got $100 plus my blue ribbon. Kids had such a good time, Nathan is now already planning what he might enter next year. I'm going to keep pushing him, because I think it would be so awesome to have my work and his work hanging in the same show. Then maybe I'll retire with grace and let him carry on our tradition. I could hardly believe how they studied every piece and didn't seem conscious of the time - we were there for 2 1/2 hours. I took a picture of them in front of their favorite. We called it the Teen Favorite, and thought it should have a prize! Francis was there and received her honorable mention award. One pic is of Sally and Nancy . Nancy had two pieces in the show.

This was such a good experience. Life at 70. It just gets better and better. My wish for you is that you will find it the same.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blue Ribbon

Honestly, I'm so backwards sometimes! I went to the opening reception for the art exhibit where my new painting is hung. It's in a big winery so the paintings (and there were lots of them) were all around in this huge building. I spotted Nancy's painting right away because I looked for the color blue. Gosh it looked so good - I had only seen a photo of it. In person it was lovely and dimensional. Then finally from way across a room, I spotted mine and turned to ask my friend Jean - what's that blue thing on my painting. Of course that made her laugh, because as she explained to me "That's a blue ribbon, you got first place!" So, my friends, I'm one elated lady! It's definitely a first for me in a painting division juried show. May be my last also, but for now, I'm just basking in the glory! Doesn't take much to make me happy, huh? By the way the reception was awesome. Wines and food and a dessert table - first class all the way. An awesome evening.

Modesto Valley Girls

Twelve of us met at Bev's, and decorated bottles with wax. It was nice to meet half a dozen new people who love to play with art materials. We had a great art play day today. Here are some of the results of our challenge.

Friday in my garden

Stopped to smell the lilacs on Friday. Spring is here. Lilacs overhead and violets underfoot. And warm sunshine on my shoulders. What a nice place to pull weeds and plant seedlings.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

More of the garden show

The garden show tour was a SICL activity, for our gardening class and other members. Julie, our instructor, had set it up and we all signed on as fast as we could to make sure we had a seat on the bus. One of the gardens I really liked had this rock installation which was very cleverly and beautifully done. Another one used galvanized corrugated sheets for fencing and other recycled materials - very dramatic. here are pics.

Garden Show

It is said that this is the final San Francisco Garden Show. In fact, it was not even in San Francisco - but in San Mateo. There were booths galore, plants for sale from orchids to succulents to veggies. The most exciting reason for going is to see the gardens that are constructed inside the building - designed by top garden designers. They introduced many new products and innovations. I have two top favorites. The Matisse Garden designed by Keeyla Meadows. You can visit her website at keeylameadows.net Her garden was so colorful and delightful. Here are some pics. I also met the young man who constructed this really beautiful path of recycled wood. He's with Quilici Gardening in Santa Cruz.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kites in the wind

These kites were not flying outside, but inside a shop in Sacramento. I love the look of them. We get really strong winds here in the Valley in the Spring - well, during much of the year. I'm thinking I could make some to hang inside my screen room in the country. Hmmmm..... the other photo is Sally with a treasure she found there.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Found poetry

Each of these lines were picked out of a full page of text. Usually no more than three words from any one line. It's a great experiment with words. Pick up any book and try to find a "hidden" poem in it. These are from the book "Elected Friends: Robert Frost, Edward Thomas to One Another". Some of these words are those I selected, some were found by my friend Jackie.

Page 1. Elected Friends, to one another, met unknown, formed friendship with musical cadence and conversation to, for and about one another.
Page 2. To One Another. Again, I have altered what turns up. If rejected, I might really write some.
Page 3. Peace, imagine it. It will be so very brief.
Page 4. Seeing you and saying too little, I seem bitter.
Page 5. Old Man, In spite of time, I love the path. I am remembering others more sweet.
Page 6. I remember father, an old man bent, footsteps like a tortoise's. Polite. Happy, he turned to raking leaves. ( this is exactly my like father)
Page 7. The girl and her brother, slowly and surely olden.
Page 9. To dream. To do something we had desired.
Page 10. A traveler from dawn's twilight into the night. Often footsore, never weary.
Page 12. The footsteps of life, its Youth, love, age and pain; I am still breating and interested.

The tag shown here with words on it are from a word exercise devised by Jackie. another kind of found poetry.

Sacramento Book Collectors Club

Last evening the club witnessed a first! Daryl Morrison, who is the head of Special Collections at UC Davis, and president of the SBCC, introduced us. Five book artists were on the panel, each one presenting examples of their work and discussing how they developed their books. I went first giving a quick overview of altering books, and then showed some of my books. I could have talked for the full hour and a half, but had to reign in so the others would have their turns. The audience was very receptive, it was quite casual and we had good interaction. If my books were music, some of them would require a full orchestra, while others are strictly piano pieces. Then Jackie, whose work is very fresh and makes me think of the faint pure sound of a Tibetan bell - are soul touching and personal. With her book arts (she actually is a collage artist) she prefers the found text technique and collages and adds art to illustrate what she has found. Wendy was next on the program. Her work is rich and multifaceted. Layers of research coupled with her own constructions and design sense, bring her themes to life inviting the audience to touch them and be touched by them. She also does what she calls book "explosions" which are full of all kinds of oddities attached - and two sided. Reminds me of a marching band. Susanne then presented her works, some of which are very innovative and only loosely called books. Some of them contain her own poetry, and all of them are awesome. Susannes work is like more like jazz - not everyone will understand it, but those that get it can see how extaoridnary it is. She inspires all of us. Then Sally showed some of her work. Sally is the queen of embellishments. Layers and more layers. Sally is the music of a carousel. Bright and lively and full of fun. She also shared some collaborative works, like decos and chunky books which were new to the club members.

After our presentations, the club broke for chocolate covered strawberries, and then were invited to come up and talk to us and handle (yes, we let people handle our work) our books. Some people went through page by page of the ones they were most interested in. One gal in the audience showed us a purse she altered to become a really nice handbag. If I had seen it earlier I would have asked her to show it to the audience too. Anyway, we had plenty of time to chat with the members and I think we all came away with a good experience. I'd like to thank them for their hospitality and for being so receptive.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nikki is trouble

Despite the fluff hanging out of her mouth, and she won't look me in the eye - she claims she did not chew up that toy!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Dance!! and other stuff

The new piece was accepted into the show.

Tomorrow is the book talk at Sacramento Book Collectors Club. Our panel is prepared and excited about doing this. today I need to get my books together to show. My problem is - I have so many! I need to edit it down and focus!!!!

Picture is Wanda's hand holding a banana cluster from her tree which she brought to SICL gardening class.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Done, done, done.

The new painting/collage is done and ready to enter in the Lodi 49th spring Art Show today. It's signed, framed, and labeled! Ready to go. I'm hoping it will be accepted after all the work I've poured into it. I've retitled it, based on a scrap with the words "bread and butter" on it. That's a pretty odd title for it, but the work took a whole agricultural leaning celebrating our ancestor's back breaking work to keep food on the table while settling the new land. It's all about a work ethic. I didn't use Kipling's quote"...when your back stops aching, and your hands begin to harden, you will find yourself a partner, in the Glory of the Garden." but instead have the words, "Give us this day our daily bread" in tiny handwriting hidden in it. Also, the words "Put your back into your work." printed above the shoulder of the illusive brawny guy on upper left. The eagle on the skeleton shoulder above center right signifies the burden of taxation. There's a lot going on in this piece. Here is a sneak peek - sorry about the lighting. The little barn in the lower left is my paternal Great Grandfather's farm in Wisconsin. The Quarry photo is the same ggf. The man in lower left is my maternal grandfather on his farm in Iowa. I've got farming and mining in my blood.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Planting time - gardening class

Today in Gardening class, we each planted some basil seeds in labeled pots. They will now go to the college greenhouse for a couple weeks and later on we will have little plants to take home. It was too rainy today to work outside, and allergies have me feeling awful. A few days of sunshine will have me feeling good again. In the meantime I've got to finish the painting because I plan to enter it Friday in an art show. Rosemary is busy getting something ready to enter, and now Nancy is getting charged up. I can't wait to see their pieces. Sally might even enter something now that her big project has been turned in to her class.