Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dog's day

Here are pics of dogs at the park today. The one (Peanut) with Nikki was her running mate. They chased each other round and round, and took turns being out front. The other dog was so interesting looking, I just had to take a pic.

Mixed Media April meeting, collaborative works

A collaborative collage was the project for this month's meeting. The originator had 5 minutes to start a piece, then it moved to the next person at the table on the right. She had 5 minutes to work on it and then it moved to the next person on the right. We had 12 people at the table, so when it came back, it didn't look at all like it did to start with. Here are a couple sample pics.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not always smiling

I don't want my picture taken! The doll belonged to my mother. We had a challenge to alter a childhood picture of ourselves, and I used my face as a mask for Margie, the dollie.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sidewalk Art at Lincoln Center

A community event aimed at raising funds for Lincoln High School is being held this weekend. Nathan and Candis and I went together. While we were there I met Jane O. , Nathan's art teacher who (surprisingly) was someone I knew 20 years ago when we did boutiques together. And Candis ran into parents of one of her friends. It was a lot of fun to look at all these works in progress. I'll be out of town tomorrow so won't see the finished work. Here are some pics. Kudos to the kids who are spending their days out of doors making art and the people who organized it so they would have this opportunity. The school provided the chalks.

Only The Educated Are Free

This is the new painting I created for the Lathrop art show. I just dropped it off at their new city hall. It's a perfectly beautiful day there. I'm hoping they will love it enough to buy it to hang there. Please ignore that shadow upper right. I took this outside and didn't notice it when I shot the photo.

Since the earlier versions, I knocked back the graduate image a lot, added the morphing butterfly symbols that I used in the My Fair Lady altered book, and did lots of tweaking, much of it very subtle. Anyway, now I really love it!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cirque du Luna? or Cirque Noir? What's in a name?

I'm just beginning to apprectiate the importance of the names of pieces of art. My last painting changed names several times. I wanted the name to be a bit illusive, so a viewer would have to think about why it had that name. It worked. If you painted a vase of roses, would you name it Vase of Roses? Wouldn't it be more interesting if you named it Aphid's Delight? Or The Scent of Love? Would you see the painting differently if it had a different name?

I've seen some of the altered toys "demented toys" made by Michael DeMeng and think he's so brilliant. I'd love to take a workshop but there are none close by and I already know what I want to do - so I'm just going to do it this summer. I decided I should develop a name for the collection I'm going to make. I bought a small cabinet at a yard sale last week for $2 and thought I could house them in it. And hang it on a wall. It would be easy to convert into a theatre - hmmm.... But, because some of the toys I plan to alter are animals - I thought I'd use a circus theme and make it "dark". Creepy. What fun!!!! When I make the pieces to show in it I'll try to think up appropriately dark names for them as well. I may need my friend Bobbi to help, as she is the fastest caption maker in history. She doesn't even need to think. You just show her something and her mouth opens up and out pops brilliant words. I'm in awe of this talent or natural gift.

What's new here

I have been so busy, I just didn't take time to blog. Gardening class took a walking tour of the demonstration gardens at Delta College on our last day, and then celebrated the end of semester with a lovely cake. These pics are the gardening class. And Julie, our instructor, receiving her book created by a collaboration of Nancy, Rosemary, and myself. It turned out beautifully and she seemed thrilled with it - and totally surprised. It is open to pages created by Nancy. Rosemary did the binding and it was the perfect touch with a little shovel attached to the cover.

We have had a heat spell, quite unexpectedly that lasted for several days. It was a good thing for my art, because I stayed home. It was even too hot for the dog park. The studio was warm in the morning, an oven in the afternoon - but in the evening it was perfect. So I put in some long hours and the new painting is done. Will post a pic later. During the heat of the day, while I was inside I cleaned out three closets that were crammed full of my clothes. I donated probably 15 bags of clothes and purses to the local shelter. My clothes look so much better hanging, I can find things and there is room to hang my t-shirts again. I feel like it was time well spent.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A busy week almost over

It's been a mad, mad week, with art, friends, dog park runs, errands, drives here and there to get to important things - and it's not over yet. Wed. Nancy and Rosemary and I had lunch, went to class and then descended on a local thrift store we had not been in before. What fun. It was a Senior discount day, and the things we got were dirt cheap anyway. Some things for assemblage this summer. And a new stuffed bear - the exact model of the one Nikki loves best that is now a dirty little rag she carries everywhere. I'm going to introduce her to the new one later today. She's in for a treat! Here is a pic of Nancy showing the file folders she decorated for our gardening teacher.

Yesterday the CaliforniaArtGirls met at the Art Bungalow in Brentwood, where Terrie let us play for the day with our bottles and waxes and assorted supplies. Then we visited her shop which is just so packed with goodies, you can hardly take it in. Here's a pic of Terrie and one of the bottles we did yesterday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New version of the Graduate

Here are a couple shots of work in progress. I'm much happier with these colors! I'm finding that by photographing the piece and looking at it on the screen, I can see things I want to change. - like the teacher atop the mortar board - he's too distinct, so will have to be layered back some. Same thing with the people and back of the schoolhouse on lower left. Need to knock them back a notch or two also. I think I've broken up the edge of the inner image to much now with adding so much to lower left. Hmmmm..... Problem solving. That's what it's about at this point. Tweaking and playing and making sure the original thought is still there. The quote I have not used yet is "Only the educated are free." Which if I recall correctly, is Epiticus. Using the computer this way makes it another artist tool I'm learning to take advantage of.

Bee in a bottle

Nikki was chasing a bee this morning that got inside and was trying to get out of our LR window. So, I caught it in a little jar to let it out, and then decided to let Nikki play with the bottle for awhile. Here she is with her new toy. No one got stung, it was good for a giggle, and the bee has been released outside. Happy ending.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Another attempt

Here's another version of the school collage. This one is too dark and the central figure is wonky. I'll have to try again.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Strong central images

One of the many things I didn't like about the works I just posted was - there was no strong central image. I seem to need it! Like a melody in a song. Something my eye can catch onto right away before I start to explore the rest of the work. A piece of music without a melody leaves me cold. I need something I can hum. That's what resonates for me. So, using that image of the graduate from the painting, I sketched the outline and think I'll use it in the next version.

Painting for the Lathrop show

After the last big win, I can't resist trying again. So, I've been playing with the idea for a collage using the old Lathrop school image. They have just opened a new high school there with the huge influx of kids that came along with all the new developments in the area. Here are the first three attempts. I do not like them. But, even though sharing something I don't like is harder to do - maybe it will help you when you get stuck - or just aren't happy with your work. We have good days, and we have la, la la, la la..... I have some new ideas just waiting to jump onto a new canvas.

The dog that eats faces

She's at it again.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Amador Flower Farm

There are many vineyards above Plymouth on the Shenandoah Road. Just off the main road is the Amador Flower Farm which was having their Spring Fling. Rather than have a garden party here this year, I thought it would be fun to invite the Wacko girls there for an outing. So, those of us who were fit and able this year, hightailed it to the Mother Lode foothills. After our tour and some walking around and a picnic, we headed to Fiddletown to visit the Chew Kee herb shop, which is an historical building with an all authentic interior. Here are pics of our day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Another reason to spay your pets.

They aren't all good mommies.

I'm hoping some day to take Michael DeMeng's workshop on altering toys. Nikki already took it!