Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bright new abstracts

December has been a long and busy month for me with the holidays,out of town guests and two art shows that I participated in.  Burning the candle at both ends finally caught up with me and I was down with a flu bug for a few days.  Feeling miserable and more than a tad bit sorry for myself, I sketched a couple of scenes from my living room sofa onto 12" x 12" x 3/4" canvases and tried out some new acrylic paints that are in tiny plastic bottles (cheap stuff from Michael's).  I highlighted them with Caran d'Ache Neocolor crayons and sprayed them with a varnish spray.  I loved working with the liquid acrylics -- they're matte and creamy and remind me of gouache, one of my favorite mediums.  I love the bright colors and the exercise did a lot to bring my spirits up--both physically and mentally.  I'm feeling great again and am now inspired to make some more pieces using these mediums.  Here are the two works:  one featuring my red leather chair and the other is a tiny table with a vase of silk flowers in the corner of my living room. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lynn Scholl's sculpture dogs & more

I am surrounded by talented friends.  Lynn Scholl, a creative force in art and the landscape architecture field, recently participated in the "Dog & Cat Show" at The Skinner Gallery in Sacramento.  Lynn specializes in assemblage and mixed-media art and created two outstanding dogs out of an array of found objects like typewriter keys; air filters; washers; light bulbs, wood and metal.  What you and I might see as junk, Lynn sees as treasures and puts them together in ways we'd never imagine.  Here's a photo of Lynn standing next to "Borg Dog."  This piece sold on opening night.

This next photo is Lynn standing next to "Ozone" -- an adorable little guy whose torso is made from an air filter.  I love him!

Lynn was also the featured artist recently in the Examiner.  Check out this fantastic article:

Way to go, Lynn -- I can't wait to see what unique little creatures you come up with next!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Upcycled tags

I love to turn junk into treasures.  Some people call it recycling but I figure since I'm changing the original piece into a higher and better use that I will call my process "upcyling."  Awhile back I snagged an entire string of Formica plastic laminate samples from one of the architects at work and didn't want to throw them away so decided to upcycle them into gift tags for the holidays.  What a fun process.....first I put a base coat of gesso over the entire tag (front and back); let it dry then cover with a thin coat of acrylic paint.  Once the paint dries I loosely smear another color(s) on; let dry; then start gluing photos; feathers; beads; buttons; magnetic words and other "found objects" onto the tag.  I use Elmer's Glue for the paper products and E6000 glue for everything else.  I let everything dry overnight then come in and add my accents -- oil pastels; tiny dots; Sharpie pens; etc.  The backs are left blank so you can write on them if you want or use them for ornaments; wine tags; or funky pendants.  Last night I made 24 tags and will be bringing them into the studio to sell for 2nd Saturday.  My next project -- upcycled keys and my fun "Key People" aka "Alter Egos!" 

A Crazy November

November was a flurry of work, artistic and social activities for me.....I attended another painting workshop taught by abstract figurative artist Ursula O'Farrell in Aptos; learned how to do Viking Knit at a class in Benicia; taught a glass workshop in my home studio; had a Viking Knit art day at my house with my art buddies and was a featured artist lecturer for a bus of art lovers in my midtown studio on 2nd Saturday.  I also played hostess to my best friend and her family from Seattle over the Thanksgiving holidays; attended BABE in Oakland (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza); and was part of the screening party for the new KVIE series on Sacramento Artists and 2nd Saturdays.  In my spare time and as part of my real day job I managed to close a $2.78 million dollar sale for a commercial building in Roseville; landed a nice project management job and finished 10 new glass works for my upcoming show at Arareity Jewelers where I'm one of two featured glass artits for December.   No wonder I'm exhausted!!  Here are a few photos from some of these activities:

Tammy and Sandy in my glass studio wearing their sexy first!!  Below are some samples of their beautiful work they completed in class.

Lynn and daughter Katie standing behind the big bronze bear in front of Arnold Schwarzenegger's office at the State Capitol

Here is an example of how to set up a palette using the method that Ursula O'Farrell demonstrates in her class.  The two colors on the left are complimentary colors; the middle three are whites in various amounts; and the ones on the right are blacks.  The two complimentary colors are blended with the blobs of black and white (separately) to form various tones of the color.  The results are then blended together again to get beautiful neutral shades (Ursula calls the blended shades "children" of the parental original colors).