Monday, November 30, 2009

Looking Back

It's time to update my fact it's way beyond time to update my website. It is one of those things I procrastinate about. But the good news is that it is offering me an opportunity to look at the work I've created in the past 12 months. I am being forced to consolidate and evaluate what I've done and decide what I'd like to present.

I'm also for the first time seeing images of work I did nine months ago in Sydney and remembering the process and experience of being in that very different place. Having two separate studios is a special experience and allows me to work on various projects in each place that may have no resemblance to one another. And because I don't carry much work between the two spaces I can create works unique to each.

So here are a couple of images of pieces from earlier in the year that I will probably include on my website. Now just to do it!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Paper Cuts Book is Printed!

Cynthia Emerlye:

This morning when I collected my mail, I discovered the long-awaited Paper Cuts book in my box. To my surprise, one of my kirigami keepsake cards is on the cover! The book includes a basic explanation of different kinds of papercutting and many examples of projects you can make. Two of my items are presented: the kirigami card and a kirigami mandala. I chose very simple designs to present because the kind of complex work I do would be too difficult for most beginning papercutters. Also, kirigami involves cutting through many layers of paper, which is much more difficult than cutting through single sheets, which is the case for most paper cutting methods, such as scherenschnitte. Shown above is the book cover. You can find this oversized paperback on for pre-order HERE.

In case you are not familiar with my work, here is an example of my most recent mandala:

You can find similar items for sale in my Etsy shop:

I hope all of you in the USA had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday yesterday. I wish you and yours the best.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Primrose at the Library

Most of my oil paintings are spending the holidays on the walls at the Norwich Library.

Seeing thirty six paintings gathered in one place brought some things into focus for me. My first thought, after dealing with the details of hanging the show was, "Wow! I've done a lot of work."

I was struck by the warmth of color and to see the range of my palette. I began to paint with oils because I wanted to paint dark, it seems that I also wanted to paint warm.

My show is up until the end of December and hope that lots of people take the time to see it.

Carol Egbert

AVA Holiday Exhibition 2009

This Friday, November 27th, the 2009 AVA Holiday Exhibition opens and runs through December 30. I have entered two small oils, the first shown here on the blog last week and the second, below....

"Fall Farm"

The Holiday Sale and Exhibition has an abundance of wonderful, hand-made artworks and crafts on display. With well over 300 original pieces in the gallery – including painting, photography, and sculpture, as well as greeting cards, jewelry, and textiles -- it's a great place to see and purchase beautiful artwork at nominal prices--most everything is under $400--and support the arts in the Upper Valley.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm still at work on the Tuscan landscapes. Some have moved from very early stages to near completion. A couple are still pretty "raw" but could resolve themselves rather quickly if I just keep working. My goal is to finish the series by early next week so that I can close up my studio in anticipation of our annual move to Sydney. I'd like to have these finished rather than having them awaiting my April return.

I have been "tweeking" the four pieces that were in my last post. By simply playing with the color of the "sky" I think I've been able to make the landscapes come more alive.

Here's the painting with the sky lightened.....

compared to before.......

Here's the painting with the sky lightened.......

.....compared to before

These little changes seem to make a big difference. It's worth experimenting, even when work feels like it's about finished.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Cynthia Emerlye:
Recently I was asked to cut some kirigami mandalas with Taurus symbology. Here are three:

Longhorn Taurus

Goofy Taurus

Hindu Taurus

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Upside down world

The other day in the studio, I found myself looking at a photo of a salt marsh I took in New Brunswick last September and wondering how to make a painting out of it. Because working from photos has never been my forte. I get tied up in the static details recorded by the camera. I feel distanced from the actual landscape as an experience. I tighten up. It becomes NOT fun. My memory of this landscape was of spaciousness, light, warmth, aliveness and freedom, and that's what I wanted to experience and to capture.
Then I had a bit of an inspiration taken from the days when I was teaching drawing. What if I turned both the photo and the canvas upside down? Upside down drawing helps to simplify the experience when one is having a hard time separating descriptive line from, for example, the labels "nose" or "eye".
Well, what can I say? It worked! Suddenly the photo became shapes and colors, lines and values. No sky, no water, no grasses, no clouds. Loosened up by this detachment from "reality" I was able to paint more freely and create a painting that worked.

"Salt Marsh, New Brunswick"

This is a small painting for me--only 8" x 10"--it has become a study for a larger work I started this week. I like this new way of working...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reindeer Kirigami

Reindeer With Tree - Kirigami Bifold Heart

Reindeer Diamond - Kirigami Mandala

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Late Autumn Colors

This series of designs was inspired both by East European folk art and the reds and oranges that tint my world this week. These images are a combination of water colors and Photoshop magic.

I replaced the white with black and resulting design has a richer feel.

More orange - less yellow for a third look.

I am using these designs on my food blog Carol in a series of posts about sweet potatoes.
--Carol Egbert

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tuscan Landscapes

Last autumn, after a wonderful trip hiking in Tuscany, I came home and began work on a series celebrating the fantastic furrowed fields of the area. I loved the irregular patterns created by plows over the hilly terrain. Because it was September the crops had been harvested and interesting stubble accentuated the curving lines.

I began experimenting with a heavy coat of gesso on board. Using small sticks and other implements I traced the imagined patterns into the wet gesso, then applied many coats of acrylic paint. Soon it was time to leave for Australia and I abandoned the work, feeling that it would be easier to figure out the next steps toward resolution when I returned in the spring.

I've been looking at the boards for months and decided that at last I would resume work. And they seem to be coming along. Some of the problems have been solved, others still await my attention. But it's been really interesting to return to this project and I'm curious to see how it will evolve.

Here are several pieces that seem to be working. My intention is to continue with others and see where they lead me!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Three Kirigami Mandalas

Love Daisy

Cynthia Emerlye: I'm getting behind in my displaying of new kirigami. Here are a few I've cut in the past three days (besides the ones I've already shown.) I will be laminating today, so some of these will be available on Etsy in a day or so. The Chandler Gallery is having a holiday Bazaar in December. Some of my kirigami will be displayed there as well.

Sounding Angels

Waving Friends

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On the Wall at the Norwich Library

Being an artist is so much more than form, color, design, execution, editing, framing, matting, stretching, pricing, hanging, selling, also involves dealing people, coordination, face-time at the computer, etc.

Charles and I arrived at 10:30 to hang the show at the Norwich Library, in Norwich, Vermont, and because of a mix-up we couldn't get in until 1 and we had to be out by 3 on the dot. Two stomach wrenching hours of fiddling with fishing line and hooks we managed to get everything up.

Today, I will spend a couple of hours at the computer to create labels, a price list, etc. and the go back to finish setting things in place for the opening reception, Friday, November 6, from 5 to 7.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of you there. The show will be up until the end of December so if you can't make it to the opening I hope you will have time to stop by and see it. - Carol Egbert

Monday, November 2, 2009

Blind Love

This past week I worked on a piece to send to my daughter Liz for her new apartment. She needed something to cover a green wall that seemed a big overwhelming, so the work had to be large, neutral in color, and something I could easily send.

I decided to paint on a length of an old bamboo blind that I had started to work on a couple of years ago. It never seemed to go anywhere, so I was happy to cut it into a manageable 3 by 4 foot size and begin again. I continued to use acrylic paint and also integrated some interesting papers that I bought in Korea years ago.

The finished piece was easy to role up and ship. It is now on the way to its new home in California. I hope the green wall will be more appealing with "Blind Love" hanging on it!
Barbara Bartlett