Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beauty Denied Strikes a Chord!

Well Glory Be! My little project titled "Beauty Denied" won Honorable Mention in the industrial category at the Orion Center Art Show. If you haven't been to the Orion Center (, it's well worth the trip to Lake Orion. The people there are wonderful, warm, and talented. They make you feel immediately at home. I enjoyed being a part of their show.

The show runs from now until June. There were many mixed media pieces there including metal welding, collage, assemblages, and sculpture. The theme of the show is recycling trash to treasures. My "Beauty Denied" gals were assembled with flea market "Barbie" dolls, rags, cheesecloth, used corks, and milking machine parts. I picked up some wonderful cone shaped disks last summer at a flea market. I didn't know what they were but I knew I would use them one day. It turned out that they are part of a vintage milking machine. Considering the appearance of the cones, I hesitate to think about how they were actually used on the poor cows! They do, however, make perfect stands for my gals.

I picked up a bag full of used "Barbie" dolls last fall for a dollar a piece. I have had lots of ideas as to what I want to do with them. Finding the time to execute those ideas has been problematic. I'm glad I was able to create the two that evolved into "Beauty Denied". Little did I know at the time (I created them in January) that they would lead me to Lake Orion. Time to push through on my other ideas..........

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring is Here!

I pulled weeds today!! Oh my gosh, what a wonderful feeling after a long difficult winter. My poor state is in such a bad way right now. If you don't live in Michigan, you can't imagine how hard this economic depression has been on all of us. To top it all off, we had a very rough winter. There was so much snow that it seemed as if we would never see sunshine again.
The problem with Michigan winters is that they aren't only cold and full of snow, but they are always gray. We see so little sunshine that it's easy to start feeling seriously depressed by mid-January. I think this feeling of being shrouded in a soft gray blanket for months on end is why my husband and I seek out color where ever we can find it. Whether it be in the facade of an old building, or in the colors of paint I use in my work, our souls seem to feed off of the energy that comes from color. That's why the sun we've been experiencing this week has had a profound effect on our serotonin levels!
I couldn't wait to get outside this morning when I woke to sunshine and 70 degree temps. As soon as I stepped off of the treadmill (kept in my garage and another reason that I hate the cold of winter!) and into the sunshine on my driveway my color starved eyes landed on the most beautiful little blue flowers that have bloomed in several of my flower beds! I don't know what they are called or when I planted them, but I am very grateful for their presence. After three hours of working in my flower beds, soaking up the sun, and walking on the treadmill, I am ready to get my errands done and approach my failed projects from yesterday with new determination and optimism. Hooray for sunshine!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Time Not Well Spent

Have you ever had a day when God has granted you the time to create, your coffers are full of wonderful materials, the sun is shining, and the day holds the promise of endless artistic possibilities? And then, the worst happens, total creative disaster.
I had a day like that today. Everything I touched turned into a mess. I spilled gel medium on the floor, I had papers sticking to every surface possible, I knocked the paint jar off the table, and air bubbles attacked the paper I was trying to collage. After three hours of failed attempts, I gave up. I'm tempted to throw everything I did today into the fireplace.
Luckily, I'm too depressed to go in search of matches. So my mess will remain on the kitchen table until tomorrow. Maybe things will look better in the morning!
The piece pictured here was NOT a result of today's efforts :) This sunny collage consists of photos from my garden, cage fencing, tissue paper, stamping, wire, pastel chalk, and acrylic paint on a Masonite substrate.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beauty Denied

I discovered the most charming little art gallery today in Lake Orion. The gallery (Orion Art Center) is sponsoring an exhibit beginning next week which focuses on re purposing and recycling materials into art work. As most of my work consists of found and discarded objects, I knew this was a show I needed to enter! The folks at the center were very welcoming and seemed happy to receive my work.

I always get nervous showing my things to strangers. It is especially difficult to show those pieces that I am most proud of. Art that has drawn me out of my box, caused me to push my boundaries is work that is very personal to me. Of course, that makes me more vulnerable to outside scrutiny. "Beauty Denied" is such a piece. It was gratifying to receive the positive response that I did from the ladies at the gallery.

This assemblage consists of discarded Barbie dolls, rags, milking machine parts, cork, wire, vintage Bible text, beads and cheesecloth.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Echoes from the Past

Speaking of promises, I've been remiss in posting the calendar pages that are the result of a collaboration between my husband and I. I initially thought I would begin each month with a blog entry that included the page for that month.

Well, I believe I successfully completed my mission in December and January Then, like most of my diets, the mission began to fail! And, as with most of my diet attempts, I am here to try again.

The page for April consists of a background photograph taken in Calumet, Michigan. We are always fascinated with the texture and color of older building facades. I am particularly drawn to those walls covered in metallic material with a turquoise, teal hue. The town of Calumet was hit hard when the copper mines in Northern Michigan were closed. As a result, there are many abandoned buildings in various states of disrepair. Not so great for the town, excellent photographic opportunities. The town is attempting a comeback by becoming a micro art colony. There are a couple of wonderful galleries there paired with a quality gift shop.

The image framed by the window is a vintage photo altered in Photoshop. I love the haunted quality of this page. The past looking out towards the future.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I've made lots of promises over the years. Some I've kept, and some I haven't. I've always made a great effort not to break my word because I think that keeping promises speaks to integrity.

Being fallible though, I sometimes fall short. The promises I have the most difficulty keeping are those that I've made to myself. I promise to eat less, I promise to exercise, I promise to only say nice things about people, I promise to do better at recycling, I promise to do more housecleaning, I promise to be more patient, I promise to read the classics (though romance novels are so much more fun), I promise to play less card games on the computer and do more walking after work.............. The list goes on and on.

Why is it that we can give so much of ourselves to others but rarely give the same attention to our personal commitments? It somehow feels selfish to stop doing for others and indulge ourselves.

The one area of my life that I totally indulge in, is my art. I will buy any magazine that reflects my artistic interests. I will purchase any book, and any art supply that I deem absolutely necessary for feeding my artistic soul. I need my art to be true to myself. I will continue to indulge in art as long as my fingers allow me to do so. That is a promise!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grace and Beauty

This is Meg (or rather Nutmeg Sungold Blue). Meg is twelve years old and an absolute delight to her family. As artists, my husband and I are always on the lookout for beauty through the camera lens, through the colors of my paints and papers, through our children's smiles, in the well crafted words of our favorite literature, through our gardens, in the flight of our resident hawks, and in the sunsets over Lake Michigan. We share a love of color, art, and nature. We make an effort to express that love in all of our creative endeavors.

Since becoming empty nesters, we have focused much of our attention and need for nurturing on Meg. We knew she was cute and cuddly. We're always calling her a "pretty girl". It wasn't until I saw this recent photo taken by my husband that I realized that Meg has grown into a graceful creature. There is a dignity visible in her, now, white face that took me by surprise. As we were busy raising our family these past twelve years, Meg was aging too. She was becoming a thing of beauty.