Sunday, December 18, 2011

Butterfly - black clayboard etching

Here is my latest black clayboard etching (scratchboard.)  This is a 5x7 inch work on Ampersand clayboard.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Scratchboard Etching

I'm nearly finished with the center of a new scratchboard design. I quite like this one.  I haven't figured out what to do with the border yet. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tick Tock Tea Time

Just for fun......Adrian gave me clockworks to use in creating a clock that will be in a silent auction at ArtisTree Gallery over the next week. It was really interesting to work on a specific project and of course I had to think of a way to use tea bags. I found myself wanting to embellish the clock with lots of bits and pieces from tea bags, but ended up keeping it simple.

I look forward to seeing what other artists have done in making their clocks. It's a great idea that I imagine will capture the imagination of many!

New Medium

It's easy to forget that creating art should be fun.
I uploaded a sketchbook app to my Kindle Fire and wanted to share some images that were fun to create.
Nothing else, no expectations, no pressure, just fun.
Enjoy the day.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Scratchboard Border Design

After visiting Judy Jensen's Studio the other day and being inspired by her gorgeous illustrations, I am inspired to practice my scratchboard work again.  Since I found myself unexpectedly babysitting all day, I retrieved a 5"x7" rigid Ampersand scratchbord from the closet and began sketching.  My little ward was fascinated, so I had an observer most of the time.  This little piece was a three movie affair.  I took some (bad) photos of it in process and then scanned the finished design.

Here is the result after one movie: ("The Last Unicorn.) I've laid out the design as an eight panel border piece, sketched on the board with graphite pencil, and begun scratching out the design.

After the second movie ("Spiderwick")  I've finished the other side panel and the top center area.

At each corner I sketched a critter representing one of the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water.


Finally, after sitting through "The Last Airbender," here is the final result.  Perhaps I will make this into a card or enlarge it for a frame.  I don't yet know.

More practice to come.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More and More Coloring Mandalas

Over the past few months I've been slowly creating mandalas in line format for coloring.  I have enough now to create two new coloring portfolios or a mandala coloring journal.  I haven't decided which.  I suppose, if I create a few more, I could do both.  I would love your thoughts on this.  Here are some of them:

My first coloring journal, "A Tangle of Flowers" sold out for the fifth time at my local bookstore.  At least in this region, it is a best seller.  Yay!

You can find my coloring things in Woodstock VT at Arjuna or Shiretown Books or online at

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2500 Tags

This piece has been in process for many months. Even though the canvas the large (3 x 3 ft) I didn't guess how long it would take to make it. And it became quite tedious at times and I found I just needed to put it away. But yesterday, taa daaaaaa, I affixed the final tag and can call it complete, minus a few coats of medium over the surface.

About 2500 assorted tags.....that's a lot of cups of tea!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

In the Bag

Things are humming in my studio. I recently had new track lighting installed and as the days darken and shorten it is going to make such a difference! Today I completed a new piece constructed with Mighty Leaf tea bags sewn on canvas. The bags, which are made with a sheer fabric, allow the beautiful colors of the tea really show through. Here's the as yet un-named

I've also started another book piece which I am binding together with Irish linen thread. I'm about to run out of thread so have ordered more. This will temporarily slow down progress on this project, but I plan to keep working on another piece that has been hanging around waiting to be completed. I'm really savoring my studio time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An Imperfect Solution

After trying several things, I came up with an imperfect solution to framing my 3D kirigami piece. First, I placed the acrylic box onto the piece of glass in a standard frame and glued it down.

I inserted some similar colored paper behind the glass with a quotation by Abram Urban:  "My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams."  The show is called "Reflections" so I thought this quotation fit the theme.

At first I used a standard glue but it didn't hold so I finally relented and used aquarium sealant glue.  This means that if you want to remove the papercut you will have to break the seal on the box.  I did not glue the papercut or its backing to anything.  It is held together by the pressure of the box on it.

Sheesh! When will I ever learn to consider the mechanics of finishing and framing during the design phase - before I create the work?  I am forever barreling ahead into some new piece, and only as an afterthought do I think of how I will display it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

3D Kirigami Scene - Step 3

I finished cutting this three dimensional scene last night.  I perfected small details, like the people's clothing, bars on the shed doors, more greenery, and two goats in the shed.

I glued it all together with zots.

Now my dilemna is how to attach the back to the plastic box.  That will be the task rolling around in my head today. Until anon....

Friday, October 28, 2011

3D Kirigami Scene - step 2

Last night, while it was snowing heavily (in October no less) I sat comfortably in my night studio and cut another two-movie piece to the kirigami scene I am creating for the Artistree Gallery show.

This layer depicts two gardeners resting on their implements in the garden.  The man has a bucket of berries beside him. 


The woman has a (huge) butterfly on her dress.

 Next I will be perfecting the couple's clothing and I will put something behind the shed door. My dilemma is how I will attach a backing to all of this to make it stay together in the frame.  Well, that is tomorrow's problem.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A 3D Kirigami scene - step 1

I am creating a three dimensional kirigami piece for the new Artistree show here in Woodstock, VT.  I've used much heavier paper this time - Arches hot press watercolor paper in off-white. This makes it much more difficult to cut but it should stand up better.  Here is my first cut, done last night - a two movie project.

My intention is to mount it in a plexiglass case like this one.  (Barbara Bartlett gave me this idea.  Thanks Barb.)

Stay tuned, amici.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shades of Autumn

The foliage seemed to come and go within a few short days this year. Dried tea bags are reminding me a bit of the crunchy leaves on the ground. My wonderful tea drinking suppliers continue to faithfully add to my stockpile and I like having a collection of at least eight different designs of bags to inspire new ideas.

I finished another work on paper with the standard sized rectangular bags in quite an array of colors. I think it really does capture something of autumn.

I also completed another big canvas piece with tea bag sacs that Laura at Mon Vert Cafe has been so diligently saving for me. They are much larger than regular bags and really stain beautifully. The hibiscus stained reds are wonderful but they lose much of their color when in contact with adhering mediums. I'd love to find a way to preserve the red when I use mediums on them.

I'm currently sewing Mighty Leaf tea bags together. They are made of an almost transparent light fabric that allows all the tea leaves to show through. I'll have to see where this takes me!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Note Cards are Finished!

It's been a long time coming but finally I have finished two sets of note cards.  The first is a set of four floral prints....

and the second is a set of pear watercolors....

These images are taken from the pear watercolor and floral print calendars just off the presses.  It is is an exciting departure for me--from fine arts into a bit of the commercial!  They will be packaged and for sale in the area in the near future....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Paper

Working on paper with tea bags is a new experience. I'm doing some 3 dimensional work that actually has the tea bag extending from the paper rather than laying flat (as I've done in the past).
I've purchased a number of plexiglass box frames to hold the new w
ork and I'm quite curious to see how it will hang. Here are several pieces that are completed.

This piece is in the final stages....I'm not sure if it will hang vertically or horizontally but will be able to have a better idea when it is completed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Little Cottage in the Woods

I haven't cut a large kirigami mandala for a while.  This one is a commissioned work for Christine in England.  She is moving and bought this as a present to herself for her new home.  She wanted something with birds, trees and flowers and a little cottage.  I hope she likes it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Art of Tea

Last Friday Chris and I hung my new show at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. When I first heard that I would be exhibiting in glass cases in the Main Rotunda, which won't accomodate large pieces, I wasn't sure how it would work. But as I organized the show I began to realize it would be an advantage to show the tea work in a protected environment and I managed to gather and create enough smaller pieces to fill the space.

The show highlights a number of different pieces, using flattened tea bags, filled bags, tea tags and strings and a variety of construction techniques. Here are a few of the pieces:

The show will be up until early November. I'm delighted to be exhibiting in a venue that will allow many people, including those who wouldn't enter a gallery, to be able to view the work!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sidewalk Mural

On Saturday while the Woodstock Arts Festival on the green was going on, three Artwise Women, Barbara, Anne and Kathy,  took up chalk and created a flower and butterfly sidewalk mural in our assigned spot in front of the Woodstock Pharmacy.  The event was sponsored by the Change the World Kids.  Here are a few photos of the work we did that morning....

Barbara is working on her first block here.  Sidewalk art is a bit hard on the knees and the back so knee pads were the order of the day.

We checked out some books from the Norman Williams Library and used them as reference for our butterflies.

Anne's beautiful monarch butterfly.

And this is the butterfly that flew to the middle of the sidewalk....

An interested spectator, who asked if he could take a picture, came back after we finished and took this panoramic photo which he emailed to Barbara.  Though it's a bit hard to see, the caption reads:  "with love from Artwise Women"....

Monday, September 5, 2011

After the Storm

It has been a long week, this week.  When hurricane Irene came through this state she did lots of damage.  We were fortunate to come through unscathed.  But lots of time was spent taking care of people whose lives were turned upside down by the flooding of virtually every brook, stream and river.  So many roads and bridges washed out.  So many houses damaged and lost.  So many lives altered dramatically.  Every morning folks met at the elementary school here in Woodstock to volunteer in whatever way they could.  What a fine community of generous, involved and caring people we have in Vermont.  I am so grateful to be part of that community.
And, finally, despite the storm, my floral print calendar is complete--here is the final print intended for November....

"Rose and Holly"
9"x12" -  soft cut linoleum print

"Rose and Holly"
9"x12" - hand colored linoleum print

At the moment, all twelve prints are being scanned and turned into a proof calendar.  I'm excited to see what it looks like!  I still need to make some decisions about typeface, binding, etc. after I see it.  But I'm almost there.
And then the question becomes what to do next?

Friday, September 2, 2011

After Irene

It's been a while since I last posted. There was the fabulous trip to the big skies of Montana. Then some serious studio time before Hurricane Irene landed in Vermont earlier this week. Life is not quite back to normal, but it is moving in that direction.

Before I left to go out west I worked on a canvas piece with some wonderful envelop tea bags called Tea Sacs that the local Mon Vert cafe is saving for me. I don't feel like it's complete yet, but here's the first layer of work:

I've also been preparing for hanging my solo show "The Art of Tea" that will go up next week in the main rotundra of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. I made a smaller version to fit in the display cases of a favorite piece, "Fragilitea" (which I have titled "Fragilitea 2"). I really enjoy the process involved in this particular technique where it almost feels like I am painting with the tea paper.

"Come Round for Tea" is now complete. This is the third version, a permanent one.

Now I have to work on writing my artist statement and hanging details. It's quite exciting to anticipate a new show!