Thursday, August 30, 2012

Capital Artists Studio Tours - Please Join Us!!!

Mark your calendars -- it's time for Sacramento's annual Capital Artists Studio Tours again and they're taking place over two weekends for the first time ever!!  Beginning Saturday, 9/8 and 9/9, you will be able to tour dozens of artist studios in the midtown/downtown/western Sacramento area from 11-5.  And on the following weekend (9/15 & 9/16 from 11-5), you'll be able to see even more artist studios in Sacramento's "East Side" (including my home studio with fused glass, lampworking, jewelry, abstract paintings and special guest artist, Joanie Springer from Santa Rosa!).

Angel with Gold Earrings – 5 x 7, original gouache and ink figurative painting on paper, $25
"Angel with Gold Earrings" by Joanie Springer
Joanie is a self-taught artist who paints endearing faces, still life's and animals full of color and personality.  She is a huge believer in working with natural and recycled materials, and works on a variety of supports including cardboard, wood panels and junk mail.  After a recent visit to her Santa Rosa studio and spending a few minutes soaking in some of her genius, I knew I had to invite her to join me for the CAST tours on Saturday and Sunday, September 15th & 16th.  I think once you look at her website you will see what I mean and will join us both for the big show.

The uber-talented Ms. Springer even put together this fabulous YouTube video about the upcoming CAST tours with specific details (times, dates, and location) and lots of photos of her work and mine.  Please be sure to check it out even if you can't make the tour!

One of my favorite things to do in life is visit other artists' studios to see how they make their art and what tools they use to work their magic.  I drool over their work spaces as much as I do their artistic offerings and generally come home with a desire to totally redo my own studio from top to bottom so that I too might improve my work by osmosis!  But for now, I'm going to be satisfied with what I've got and promise to have it cleaned and ready for demonstrations for the CAST Open Studio tour on 9/15 and 9/16 from 11-5.

This will be my 4th year participating in the tour and let me tell you, it's a lot of fun.  It will also be the first time I'm opening my home studio to the public and I've got to invest a little time getting things ready to make room for Joanie's display area and show my newest works including lots of glass jewelry, new beads and fused glass (and debuting my latest XMAS ornament!) plus of course, my abstract paintings.  Here's a photo of a portion of my messy glass studio (formerly known as a garage).

Interior shot of a MESSY glass studio that will be cleaned for the 9/15-9/16 show!
So please join Joanie and myself for the CAST Tours on 9/15 & 9/16 in Sacramento, CA.  We'll have lots of art, cool drinks and will be doing demonstrations.  If you'd like more details (like the address and times) please watch this video or send an email to me at   Bring the family and your friends and see how we do what we do best.  Hope to see you there!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Dictionary

I have always been drawn to the written word and the often brilliant people who are able to put them together so eloquently.  One of my favorite books that I own today is "The New College Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language." 

My Dad gave it to me for Christmas in 1981, and for months I would read it before I went to sleep.  Yes - I mean "read!"  I'd pick a random page and read the meaning of the words and would try to commit them to memory.  I loved the tiny print and the black & white photographs of some of the words that were printed at the edge of the translucent, crispy thin paper.   

At an early age my parents taught me how to use a dictionary when I didn't know the meaning of a word.  To be honest, I was one of those kids who constantly asked "why?" and I think they got tired of having to answer me, so directing me to the dictionary whenever I came across an unfamiliar word was probably a major time saver for them!  

30+ years later, I still keep my dictionary close by in my office, and probably use it at least once a week if not more.  The bottom corners are discolored from the constant fanning of the pages and the paper cover is torn and ragged.  I know I can use an on-line dictionary when I need one, but my number one choice is always and will always be opening my own book and finding the word myself.....and after I read the definition, you can bet I'll take a few moments to read a few more,


Friday, August 10, 2012

Pretty in Pink - Bead Soup Reveal #2

It's time for Bead Soup Reveal #2 and I'm really excited about my humble offerings today.  My exchange partner was the amazingly talented Dot Lewallen.  Dot makes exquisite chokers and dolls out of seed beads, and you can see more of her work here including the two beautiful pieces she made from my ancient seaglass beads for this Bead Soup exchange!

Here are the shots I took of my finished works -- they're photographed on top of one of my big canvas paintings which I hope do not distract from the finished pieces too much.  I tried a variety of backgrounds and lights and finally settled on the almost neutral background of "Autumn Leaves are Falling."

Dot supplied me with an exquisite Raku owl pendant and some
creamy pink jasper beads along with some gold pearls and pink
beads.  The clasp on the bracelet is absolutely beautiful - gold
pearls are inside the silver roses.  I used one of my own lampworked
beads on the bracelet -- it's the free-form pink/black one on the left and
matches the other free-form pink bead on the pendant.

Isn't the silver flower clasp unique?  I wasn't sure how to use it and hope
I did it right......I truly love the combo of the soft pink with the golds and
silver metals.  I had to throw in some crystals for good measure!
Of course I had to add a pair of my asymmetrical
earrings.....these stone beads from Dot are beautiful!
Here's a closeup of the Raku owl pendant.  I used a bronze necklace
that I had lying around and added 4 strands of mixed beads with pinks,
golds, bronze and ivory to go with the pretty little iridized shells.  The
lampworked bead at the top is one of mine and is etched to give
it the creamy look that I love so much.  I couldn't get the camera
to show off the lovely iridized glazing on the owl - but it's there!

I had a lot of little beads left over and wanted to make another pendant with
a bunch of "hangy-dangys" on the end.  I used a sterling pounded metal
circle as a holder and added 4 charms that included 2 of my lampworked beads.
I'm so grateful to Lori Anderson for her continued patience and incredible creativity.  I partake in several exchanges throughout the year, but Bead Soup will always be my #1 favorite.  I am eternally indebted to Dot for opting to be my exchange partner after my first candidate had to back out; and want to thank my very first Bead Soup partner, Karen Williams for surprising me with another set of beads too.  Doing
two Bead Soups this year is truly a treat, and I'm looking forward to learning some more techniques between
now and the next exchange!

Check out the links below to see more eye candy from this week's Bead Soup participants:

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure
Amy Severino, Amy Beads

Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads

Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead

Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations
Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders

Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place

Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle

Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends

Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Drift Away

"Faraway Land"
9" x 12"
Acrylic on canvas

When I need to think or just get away from the heat, I head to the beach.  There's just something about having my feet in the sand and listening to the waves that brings me back to my center, and feeds my soul.  

As many of you know from previous posts, I've been on a bit of a painting drought since before the studio closed.  For the past couple of months, I've been longing to take a little seaside excursion and it seems every time I get a few days to myself, something comes up that keeps me home.  

So instead of pouting because I'm not able to get away, I decided to bring the beach to me.  Here's the first of several new paintings that I made this week - I can almost hear those seagulls screeching as the waves crash into the sand!