Wednesday, February 26, 2014

swamp art or a brief musing on ferns

ferns are an overlap that i have found in mossy forest and oozy swamp and in my own backyard in every state i've lived...  i like their nearly universal knack survival. i've seen them in volcanic craters in hawaii, with sulphur gas coming from nearby cracks, their tendrils creeping up to the surface... in greenhouses they are exotic winter indulgences. they make me a little less uncomfortable in the humid florida air. they are green and tender yet tough and tenacious and threaten to take over their surroundings which isn't an entirely bad thing in my opinion.  here's to ferns. prehistoric and modern. quaint yet potentially sinister. making the best of wherever they are.

they also bring to mind a tale from my creative hero edward gorey, the evil garden.  which if you haven't read it you should.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

art is everywhere even in cabbage

we as artists can't improve on nature
we can reflect upon it and be inspired by it and relate our impressions to others and try to communicate our fascination but nature is the source of art.
at least for me.
turning a simple pot of vegetable soup into a study of line, color, texture... i  see pencil drawings or block prints and yummy contrasts and colors.
people have come to manufacture a lot of things, lacy delicate things but they can only imitate a cobweb or a cabbage. look around you, art is waiting already made.
my job is just to point it out so you don't miss it.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dripping Pitch and Made of Wood

It's Valentine's Day, a holiday that stirs up a lot of commotion and sometimes emotion.  I've been working on a lot of heart themed images party around the idea of Valentine's day (I love to send cards!) but also as a continued step on this soul searching journey I've been on this past year or two.  

I'll be one of many lady artists in the "Art of Women" show that opens tonight at Oleson Gallery (685 Central Ave in St Pete) The 600 block has multiple openings tonight so it is worth a trip down and walk the block.  It is a nice alternative for those of us without significant others to maybe get out without feeling the pressure of dates or lack there of.   This is my piece for the show, please pardon the poor lighting but you get a taste of it.  It is called "Dripping Pitch and Made of Wood".  

The title comes from a Modest Mouse song called "3rd Planet" from I think back in 2000 but it is a line that has stuck in my head on continual loop for ages : "Your heart felt good, it was dripping pitch and made of wood". I didn't start out with that title in mind but I knew I wanted to have drips from the heart when I was working on this piece and then that jumped to mind so there you have it.  A glimpse into why things are what they are.  The cobweb? Well that is what I call nature's lace which serves to tie my love of spooky themes with the over the top sense of Valentine's day being all sugary... and maybe it needs to be cleared out so an old heart can beat again. Who knows.  Sometimes things just look nice and have no meaning.  But I like that it is there and I think it balances things out nicely.

Silk Screen, Acrylic, and Sharpie on Board
approx 20 x 25 inches (just a guess i forgot to measure before dropping at the gallery)

Oh you can hear the Modest Mouse song here, I think it is nice. 3rd Planet on youtube

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blog Blog Blog, A Conversation on Art Art Art

At a market last weekend someone looking at my art asked if I have a blog... which should be an easy yes/no answer but it isn't really... I have blogs for mail art and a photo blog for a pink giraffe but not one specifically about art, my process etc.  It never occurred to me that this would be of interest to people honestly. And I'm still not sure it is but I do enjoy writing so as I have the time and inclination I'll post some ruminations as topics present themselves to me...  and shorter posts will still be a regularity on my facebook page since that is so instantaneous. And away we go...

So this morning I've been seeing a lot of conversation online about how an artist's work impacts viewers and it got me thinking about how I personally respond to art (which is an emotional/visceral reaction) and the various comments I've received from others based upon my own creations.  Often people tell me that seeing my work inspires them to try their own hand at making art which seems incredible that I may be causing ripples of creativity out in the world and yet I know that same sensation, when I see something that moves me I want to then respond in kind and let that magic feeling spread further. And creating art does seem like magic to me, this wild random idea pops into your mind and the next thing you know you're humming and working and time no longer exists and suddenly there is this new thing, this image that is fun and makes you laugh but yet is mildly creepy and you love it.  (At least that is how it happens sometimes, other times it is a struggle but today we're thinking about the positive easy flow of creativity so I'll save the down side and struggle for another day.)

As I have been fortunate to show my work in multiple public venues, I've had the chance to talk to a lot of people about my art in a casual, person to person way.  Sometimes I've felt put on the a card carrying introvert all this public exposure at first feels awkward.  Every time I do a show, I feel a little bit bad for that first person who comes to my booth because they get the rough around the edges fumbling conversation as my mind tries to get into gear. Luckily the art usually does most of the talking for me!

Countless times people have stopped into my tent at a show and told me that someone sent them one of my cards or that they received something I had made as a gift for a special occasion and that is truly the most heart warming thing, to think that I was involved in enhancing their experience. To think of my art being seen and loved on a daily basis in someone's home or office is an amazing thing.  (I really feel art is to be lived with.) What we surround ourselves with influences our spirits so I am honored to be a part of peoples' lives in that way.  I hope to continue making work that others can relate to and enjoy on whatever level, be it a simple card, practical kitchen towel or a large formal piece on their wall.  The full lifespan of a piece of art from creating, to viewing, and enjoying couldn't be complete without the viewer.  So thank you for doing your part art fans!  If it weren't for you my art would only have half a life.

And I think I will pause this stream of consciousness post here for now, but stay tuned.  Now that the ball is rolling I may come to like this blogging thing and will likely have frequent occasion to write about the ins and outs of the art world as I know it.  I hope it provides some food for thought.  Until the next time!

Monday, February 10, 2014

About Me

My artwork reflects the family traditions that I was raised with and the value that was instilled in me for creating items by hand. The work ethic of farm life and the appreciation of a partnership with nature have greatly influenced my artistic process and imagery.
As we become technologically dependent, the old ways of hand made get lost. We loose a connection to the world around us that working with our hands brings. This is why my work is hand printed without computers, my silk-screens hand drawn without photo emulsion processes, my lino blocks hand carved, inked, and pressed putting my direct touch on every aspect of my work. I work from home with every day tools that anyone could access.
I make art to express that which is felt but unseen and to engage myself and the viewer with things we may have forgotten: the connection to our roots, to childhood, nature, mystery, and the unknown. It is easy to forget that we are creative from birth and stifle the impulse to play. I hope with my art to stir some of those hidden inclinations back to life both in myself and in the viewer.