Sunday, December 2, 2012

After the Exhibit

Once again, it seems a long time since I've written.  My show, The Art of Tea II, at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH, has finished.  After all the work that went into putting it together, it feels good now to be back in my studio, working on some new pieces.

I reflect back on the highlights of that venture.  It was very satisfying to work with AVA staff to hang the exhibition.  The pieces chosen very well fit in that lovely venue and I was pleased with how it showcased a variety of work created over the past three years.  I also found that giving a gallery talk was an excellent experience.  With Carol's help I learned to use Keynote to prepare a slide show that highlighted the influences in my work, my process of learning to use tea stained paper, and what I have learned.  It was very gratifying to experience the appreciation of many who viewed the show.

Above are a few photos from the exhibition.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"New England Landscapes" at Norman Williams Public Library

My current exhibit, "New England Landscapes" is now showing at the Norman Williams Public Library.  It will hang until December 6th.

Please come to the Opening Reception
this Saturday,
November 10th at 5 pm

The Mezzanine Gallery holds seventeen paintings done in Massachusetts and Vermont.  Several of them are plein aire paintings in oil, some are studio works and there are also two watercolors of barns, one in Rochester and one in Randolph.

I hope that if you can't make it to the Opening on Saturday you can stop by to visit during open library hours: 
Monday through Friday 10 to 6
Saturday 10 to 5

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Art of Tea II

It has been ages since I've blogged.  Somehow life has been too full.....of making art and all the other things that go into daily living.
The big focus has been preparing for my upcoming show at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH.  There was a big push to complete a number of pieces, and then the huge task of organizing and getting the word out.  Most of that seems to be done now.
So yesterday and today the show was hung.  It was a pretty daunting process, but Margaret and Kayla at AVA were terrific, very experienced and professional.  Here are some photos of the process (so glad I wasn't the one balancing on a high ladder!):

Now I look forward, after a bit of a rest, to the opening, which occurs on Friday evening.  I wonder what it will feel like to walk into the gallery and see all those pieces, work that occupied me so fully for almost three years, displayed together.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Custom Wedding Kirigami Papercutting

I've just finished a commissioned papercutting for a couple soon to be married.
The design depicts a long-haired woman and a short haired man with glasses holding a heart. Beneath them is a cameo of the Golden Gate Bridge. In the surrounding border are four scales (lawyer) which also form a kind of compass (stay true, right direction, etc.) There are star-like flowers and leaves and a claddadh.

I left the design un-ironed. That way the dimensionality of the papercut comes through more. This will flatten out when framed between glass, if that is the method desired.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Colored Mandala

Here is the hand colored version of my "Serfs" mandala.  This will likely become the cover to my new set of adult coloring pages with a medieval theme.  What do you think?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sun and Rain

August already, in fact well into it.  I'm slowly working away, finishing some things, starting new pieces and still on hold with others that I am trying to figure out how to complete.  My show at AVA is just  two months away and I am hoping to have some more three-dimensional pieces to add to the mix.

Meanwhile Lisa, my artist friend in Sydney, told me about a book art show that was asking for submissions.  I'm quite pleased to be juried in, so now need to figure out how I will send the work so it arrives in time.  One thing to apply, another entirely to get it there!

I have completed the bees wax hanging piece that seems to do best in a window so the light can shine through:

This umbrella, made on the frame of a Korean paper umbrella, was challenging logistically to put together, but I think is fun!  Unfortunately it won't collapse and certainly shouldn't experience any rain in its lifetime.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Moth Southeast Asia - black clayboard engraving

Here is the first in a series of 5x7 black clayboard engravings I will be doing with the theme of butterflies/moths. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bees and Teas

I have recently been working with tea sacs, experimenting with ways to transform them into little pouches to hold my California pine needles.

Most of the energy has gone into filling them with various patterns created by the pine needles, then covering the sacs with bees wax.  That done, I punch holes in each sac and tie them together with red thread.  The bees wax creates a lovely finish that also strengthens the paper, so the bags will be able to form a sort of hanging curtain, once assembled.  So far, so good.  I'm not sure how big I can go without having problems with spacing, but I can surely stop at any time.  Here is the piece on my work table:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Studio and Gallery

It's been a lot of work but now I think I can say the Summer Studio and Gallery in our barn/garage is just about complete thanks to my dear husband who did all the cutting, nailing and painting!  Thank you, Rick....

We used homosote panels painted dark brown to hold smaller works....

When the doors are open, the space is filed with north light--a perfect spot to finish plein aire paintings....

Smaller, unframed pieces reside in bins....

And I found a great old drawing table at a used furniture store--with a bit of sanding it's perfect....

Just a few more finishing touches and we'll be finished.  Then, we'll have an opening and you're all invited!  If you'd like a personal preview, just email me and we'll set it up!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Art and......

It has been a long time since my last post.  Life in and outside the studio has been busy and I've been preparing work to enter into local shows.  At last the long book made with round teabags is complete.....I've called it "The Book Worm."

The other book, made with tea sacks kindly supplied by Laura at Mon Vert Cafe, is also finished.  I've titled it "Reading Tea Leaves."

Combining printmaking with the teabags inspires me, so I've experimented with teabags on paper, using an old woodcut as an overlay.  I'm not sure where this could take me:

Also interesting has been to introduce beeswax with the work.  My brother Greg in California has sent me long pine needles that are filling tea sacks.....I then seal the sacks onto canvas with the beeswax:

Today I tried painting the filled sacks with beeswax, then stacking the bags on top of one another.  There seems to be a lot of opportunity to play with different combinations and configurations of wax and the bags, so I imagine I'll spend some time exploring this option over the next days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Re-Working the Packaging for my Floral Line

My floral series of coloring pages have been packaged in a black case.  It looks elegant but doesn't show up well in shops so I've re-designed them with color.  You should see them in my venues in a couple of weeks when they are back from the printers.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A New Set of Coloring Pages

I've just finished the cover layout for Set 3 in the Mandala series of my adult coloring pages.  If all goes well with the proofs, I will be printing these and offering them for sale in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cup Flowers

Here is my newest scratchboard, called "Cup Flowers." 
Visit Studio 47 gallery in Woodstock to see more.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer Blossom

And now for something completely different.
 Rather than using oil paints on stretched canvas, why not acrylics on a cotton onesie?

You don't have to be able to walk to have a stylish buzz.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back to Vermont

It has been wonderful to return to my old studio, clean out the cobwebs and get cracking again.  Most of the work so far has been completing pieces that began in Sydney.  The long piece that I am (at the moment) calling Book Worm just keeps growing.  I have almost run out of round tea bags and need to replenish my supply:

I have finished a layered work that I also began in Sydney and brought here in pieces in a box.  I've been trying to decide if I will keep the strings or eliminate them.  So far, they stay:

Looking to do something new, I'm experimenting with using printmaking techniques with the tea bags adhered to paper.  I have done some wood cut printing and plan to use the press soon to see what kind of results I might get.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My First Upscale Gallery!

I'm excited!  Studio 47 in Woodstock, Vermont,  has just hung eight of my black clayboard engravings in their main gallery space.  I love this gallery and think it is one of the nicest in New England.  I am honored that they like my work enough to represent me.  The engravings look very elegant in the heavy silver frames and linen backing.  If you have a chance to go see them, please do!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Star Flower - scratchboard

This black clayboard engraving (scratchboard) is 8x10 inches and depicts two fantasy flowers I am calling star flowers, wound with a striped ribbon.  This is about a 26-30 hour project done by hand in my Night Studio.  This engraving will be available for sale through Studio 47 Gallery in Woodstock, Vermont.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The North Calls

Today was the first really cool day here, a harbinger of days to come and another indicator that it's almost time to head back north for spring. Sydney has been wonderful and has fed my visual reservoirs for some time to come.

I continue to work on three pieces, two of which I'll assemble when I get back to Vermont, as they won't travel well except in pieces. Here is one which I have just pinned together on my work board....I'll have to figure out how it will go together once in the studio:

I'm also figuring out how to box and roll up pieces to carry with me. It's always a challenge to manage to get work back to Vermont, but so far I've had good luck with it arriving in decent shape.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Too cold, too windy....

A beautiful sunny April day but too cold and windy to be out painting....  The unusual weather last month had us ready and raring to go, but we're back to more typical temperatures for a Vermont April.  
Below is a just finished painting I started in South Woodstock last summer.  It is good to have all last season's plain aire work completed now.

"Summer field, South Woodstock"
12" x 16" - oil

Today, I spent some time out raking flower beds and there are definite signs of life--lilies and daffodils and primroses poking up green shoots.  The sun is warm and the sky is blue--a lovely early spring day. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A 3D Kirigami Papercut

This 3D papercut was made as an engagement present and delivered today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

MUD (Season) Exhibition at ArtisTree

That time to be cautiously optimistic is back, inspiring the creative sap to flow!   Please come to view how local artists interpret the season by looking ahead, thinking back, and...
looking down.

MUD (Season) Exhibition
March 31 to April 2, 2012 at ArtisTree Gallery, Woodstock.  

Saturday March 31, 5:30 to 8 pm.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Working away

I've been working on a number of different pieces recently, partly to keep it interesting and partly because I have been needing to accumulate certain types of bags. I miss my Vermont supply team!

The "caterpillar" piece continues to grow, now about 30 inches long with much to go!

I've also been stitching small square and rectangle bags together. I plan to print the word for "tea" in many languages on it. (who would guess the Tamil word is the nee?)

Recently on a walk I collected a bag of wonderful seedpods and have been playing with them....I wonder what they will end up being?

I have been loving keeping up with my fellow art-wise women on the's wonderful to see what they are doing!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Early Spring, North Road

There a giant benefit to this unseasonably warm weather for plein aire painters.  We can get out there and paint in March without sitting in the car or going to more adventurous means to be warm enough to paint outdoors.
So, yesterday, we went to Barnard and found a lovely spot in the shade looking off to the west across the valley to the distant mountains.  Dump trucks and friends came by and it was fun waving and chatting.  But more importantly, it was wonderful to be out there in the fresh air doing something we love.

"Early Spring, North Road"
11" x 14" - oil

Unfortunately, despite my attempts to correct the color, the painting here looks much more "turquoisy" than it actually is.  So, you have to use your imagination to make the sky and rocks a more soft and quiet blue....

Comfrey - my latest scratchboard engraving

This black clayboard engraving, named "Comfrey," is the final 10x8 inch scratchboard in a set of four.

When I finish framing them, along with four 7x5's, they will be going to Studio 47 gallery in Woodstock, Vermont. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Time Marching On

I can't believe it's March, which means autumn is beginning here in Australia. In six weeks we'll be back in the northern hemisphere, enjoying a Vermont spring. It all strikes me as rather strange even though we've been doing this for a number of years. But work continues, wherever I am and whatever the season.

I've been working on two pieces that will take a long time to complete. The first one uses round teabags, many that I brought with me this time around. I'm folding them in half and stitching them together into what will (hopefully) be a long snake-like form. It's taking a lot of teabags and a lot of patience to do this, so I hope the end result will be okay.

The second piece uses standard flattened teabags that I am adhering to one another with gel medium. Here's the vision: a large (about 8 feet by 10 feet) sort of curtain that I will paint with many coats of shellac when it is completed. I envision hanging it in a window as a sort of curtain and hope to shape it so that will will be a bit 3 dimensional. At this point I am creating long strips that I can transport and assemble completely back in the Vermont studio.
I've put some of the strips on my studio floor here to see where it is going:

So one project is quite small, the other certainly the biggest piece I've ever made. If it gets too tedious to work on these two I'll start something else (?) to bring in a little more variety.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My New Online Kirigami Classes

My online Kirigami papercutting classes are live now for registration.  Check it out HERE.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Happened in Classes This Week?

In drawing and mixed media classes this week, among other things, we were working with little still lifes of fruits.  Of course it's hard to draw them without knowing how dark and/or light parts and pieces of them are.  So we started by testing the softness and hardness of various pencils and then creating value scales like the one below.  It goes from white on the left to black on the right with all the intermediate steps in value in between....

Then, using little fruits each person made a small study of apples and pears, trying to use the full range of values in their drawings....

It looks to me now like I could have gotten a bit darker in overall value....

In mixed media class we attempted to create a drawing of the same fruits using Prismacolor colored pencils in only process colors:  canary yellow, process red and aquamarine.  By mixing these three colored pencils,  you can create a full range of colors as in this drawing.  It requires some patience, layering one color on top of another, mixing them together to get just the right color and value.....

Above is my attempt.  Give it a try--it's a challenge!