Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pompanoosuc Mills in Thetford, VT is a wonderful venue for exhibiting art.  Unable to attend the opening, I recently drove up to view the exhibit.  How interesting to see art work hung in homelike settings, surrounded by beautifully designed and constructed furniture.  The exhibit, "A Celebration of Upper Valley Artists," was a delight to be to a part of.  The exhibit continues through September 22.  Here are some tea bag and joss paper pieces that were included in the exhibt:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rainy Day Rose

This is a real departure for me.  I'm in the process of practicing painting roses and today I decided to loosen up and speed- paint in acrylics. This is a 16x20 inch acrylic on canvas.  As you see, I am still obsessed with flowers.

 I would love to see if I can create some of this texture in water-mixable oils.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Loving Joss Paper

It's been a long time since blogging but I have been working away.  I'm really into joss paper at the moment, enjoying its texture and colors.  These two books are currently being exhibited until September 7 in the Unbound Vol. III exhibition in Woodstock.

Experimentation has led me to tearing and dipping the paper into beeswax to get a wonderful texture and different quality of color.  These pieces illustrate some different ways of assembling the pieces:

This piece, titled Fields of Gold, is part of the Pompanoosuc Mills exhibition in Thetford, VT that opens tomorrow night.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Rainy Day

This morning plans were all set to paint plein aire but lo and behold it was raining.  Again.  So, Sandy and I set up in the Summer Studio and worked there listening to Ottmar Liebert's flamenco guitar and the falling raindrops. 
We both worked on finishing paintings we had begun earlier and decided that the rain was a really blessing in disguise.  Here's the acrylic which I started way back in March, finished at last!

"Sap Buckets on Calendar Hill #2"
acrylic on canvas - 14" X 18"

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sydney Writer's Festival installation

During my stay in Sydney earlier this year I had the great fortune to join Sydney Book Arts Group (BAG).  What fun to spend a couple of hours each month sitting in a circle of interesting, creative artists whose passion is to make books!
While I was there the group decided to create an installation, a joyful piece called Life Cycle for the Sydney Writer's Festival 2013 (which took place in May).  743 pages from abandoned books were each individually made into a piece of art, then attached together and hung from a Hills Hoist clothesline, one that is found in backyards throughout Australia.

 I made a small contribution compared to the other artists as I had to return to Vermont.  But it was great fun to participate and then see the photos of the finished piece.  Wish I had been there to help put it all together!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ladybugs greet me!

So, back to Vermont and settling into the studio again.  Hundreds of ladybugs were hanging out there, ready to welcome me home.  It's so good to be back to this beautiful part of the world!

I returned with a duffle bag full of work in process and lots of packages of joss paper.  I don't think there is a source any nearer than Boston's Chinatown to buy more, so I came home prepared.  I believe I have just about reached the right length on this book made with the yellow joss paper made in the shape of a large coin.

Back to the tea bags, I am continuing to create small boxes out of two bags sewn together.  There are now over 100 pieces to the collection and I still haven't figured out how they will come together as a work, but eventually I'm sure the idea will surface.

This week I also completed a piece that I had started in December before I left.  I need to decide how the two separate pieces will attach to one another....for now I have used large paper clips to hold them together.  I also may want to use some gloss medium on the piece to finish it, so there are still decisions ahead.

I like the combination of working with the joss paper and the tea bags.  It gives me a little more variety
  rather than working with just one medium.   But clearly it is the joy of manipulating paper that is holding my interest.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sap Buckets on Calendar Hill

I just completed a painting which you can see below in an early stage. Here,  the landscape has been brushed in quickly.

As I continued, I brightened the sky and added details to the under painting.  I decided to balance the composition by adding a limb so that the tree would seem to "pose" for her portrait.  This is the finished painting, now exhibited at ArtisTree Gallery in their annual "Mud Season" show....

"Sap Buckets on Calendar Hill"
acrylic on canvas - 14" x 18"

Below is the photograph I used for the painting.  As you can see, the background differs substantially from the photo.  Instead of the gray winter skies of my "Posted" series I cropped out the background and changed the mood with a blue sky.

There is a great advantage to working from photos--when it is too cold to paint outdoors, I can work in the studio.  As always, the landscape is open to interpretation.  I look forward to getting out to paint en plein aire soon as spring really arrives and the weather warms up.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Fuchsia" - black clayboard engraving

This is my latest scratchboard etching.  To see all the versions which led up to this final, see my art blog at

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Joss Paper Explorations

For the past several weeks I've been exploring a new kind of medium, Chinese joss paper.  It is sold in large packets in most Chinatowns and used in ceremonies where it is burned to honor departed ancestors.  I first used it many years ago in mixed medium works and recently constructed a piece using the joss paper and tea bags:

When I went back to buy more of the paper I wasn't able to locate any of the same size and color, so decided to buy what I could find and do some investigating.   I bought several kinds, different shapes, sizes and colors:

It seems to be a good material for book making and I am enjoying exploring ways to tear and fold the paper.  Here are some examples of some of the work that is evolving:

I'm still working on some large tea bag pieces, but the joss paper work is giving me something else to focus on and I'm enjoying it!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Posted on Cobb Hill

I've been working on landscapes that speak winter and mud season here in Vermont.  Often we drive by trees sporting posted signs and these signs make a colorful statement in the cold and gray scene.  This is my second painting in this series.  Last week this is how it looked:

After removing an errant branch, cleaning up others, adding darker values to the sky and finishing the sign, this is the finished piece....

"Posted, Cobb Hill"
acrylic - 14" x 18"

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tea work continues

Blogging seems to have gone off my radar, but I am still working.  I have two long-term rather slow pieces that have been in progress over a month now.  The first is quite simple, small sacks sewn out of two teabags placed across one another:

I have almost 100 made now and plan to keep going....I'm not sure yet how they will be displayed, but I know that I will need many of them to make any kind of impact:

The other project is a kind of hanging curtain where each teabag is reinforced with cut-off toothpicks on each end and threaded together.  I'm imagining something about 6 by 8 feet when completed.  I brought a good supply of bags with me, but without my usual volunteer contributions I am quickly running out of material.

I'm also playing around with small sculptures of various kinds of containers, but don't know if this will lead anywhere.  This bowl is all held together with hand stitching:

Next post I'll talk about the latest work I am doing which uses Chinese joss paper.  I'm just in the beginning stages with this material, but i'm enjoying the change.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

La Vida - line drawing

This is the line drawing to a painting I have in mind which, hopefully, will be part of a series called Guardians.  You will notice that the perspective is deliberately askew.  Her "envelope", meant to suggest a bud or cocoon, goes underwater on one side and over land on the other.  Arms crossed, envelope crossed.  Every class of creature is represented:  bird, mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, plant, insect.... 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Marigolds for Chocolate

I was approached by a woman in Oregon who manufactures chocolate and wanted me to cut her a custom kirigami mandala with a marigold design in the center.  This design will go on the chocolate labels.  Here is what I cut for her. Which orientation do you like the best?

I can't wait to see the labels (and taste the chocolate!)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Art That Celebrates Winter

Snow is falling outside my studio window right now, and the media is calling this the Blizzard of 2013.  Having experienced the Blizzard of '78 while living in Massachusetts--four feet of snow and a week of "vacation" afterwards--so far this is disappointing!  Hopefully, before it is over we will have at least the expected 8" to 14" on the ground.

Speaking of snow, yesterday, I completed a painting for the Norman Williams Public Library's next exhibit entitled, "Art That Celebrates Winter".  It is an area group show which will be hung later this week in the Mezzanine Gallery.  The posted land that inspired this painting is on Advent Hill Road in Hartland.  Very seldom have I painted winter landscapes and this was a treat...

acrylic painting - 16" x 20"

  The Opening Reception for "Art That Celebrates Winter" is to be next Saturday from 5:30 to 7 on the mezzanine at the library.  If you're in the neighborhood, please come by!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Message from Down Under

It seems like such a long time since I blogged.....I have gotten out of the habit but hope to remedy that! Now I am settled in Australia, have passed through the holidays and am ready to report on recent work that I've been doing.

Before I left I made a pair of boots out of round tea bags.  For the first time I used an iridescent medium on the bags to give it a bit of silvery shine.  For the form I paper mache seemed the best option and after some experimentation it worked well:

I also worked on a sculpture made of wooden rods, tea sacks, beeswax and red thread.  The rods are flexible so move easily:

Finally I constructed a box made of rolled and waxed tea sacks and the red thread again:

Now that I'm working in my studio here, it will be mostly small pieces.  I brought a great supply of materials along.  More later.