Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of the year bits...

 I am trying to work on several things at once today in the studio and not really succeeding at any of them.  My mind is scattered and I don't want to focus.

I have been cutting out choice phrases from a trashy novel for the narrative for my Sketchbook Project piece.  Always an amusing thing to do.  Now to place them into the pages of my drawings.

I have 32 small pieces of paper prepped for my Fun-A-Day.  I intend to create small assemblages with a daily found object and an illustration of the nexus of a word a day and that found object.  We'll see what comes of it.

Currently, the follow three paintings are occupying my studio walls.   They are mixed media pieces using pastel, watercolor, graphite and acrylic paint on paper.  I have a fourth paper waiting to have an image ready to go as well.
Exorcising some Demons
Mixed Media on Paper
22" x 30"
The Heiress (Work in Progress)
Mixed Media on Paper
22" x 30"
The Heart is a Fluttering Bird
Mixed Media on Paper
30" x  44"
Here's to hoping that the new year will be a productive and happy one.  I'll be sending Monday evening painting and dancing with my sweetie hoping that it will seep into the deep recesses of 2013.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dolls that I never had

 I have had possession of my 2013 Sketchbook Project book and assignment for the better part of 2012.  My topic, my theme was "A Memoir."   I had intended to create a story about my childhood.   Specifically about my lamb and my dog, Allie and how we used to go on walks out in the woods together.  I have the nebulous imagery in my head but I could never get motivated to bring it out (of my head).

 And as the deadline for this project is approaching, I settled on dolls.  As I first began to draw, I completely forgot that I was supposed to have a theme.  What to do? what to do?

So these dolls are representative of dolls that I never had as a child.  I will be adding bits of color and more stitching.  Then I will upload the images onto my profile at the Art House Co-op.  Finally, the actual book will be sent (hopefully with a January 15th postmark) to the Library down in Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dinosaurs at Christmastime...

 Every year, my daughter, my husband and I make a gingerbread house.  The houses we make tend to be rather pathetic.  They are often lopsided and cave in on themselves.  We'd always try to make them cute and tidy.  But alas...we'd fail and they would be sad little houses.

This year while planning for our annual house building, we spotted little marzipan gingerbread men at the store.  My daughter and I looked at each other and almost simultaneously said, "Godzilla!"  We'd make our normal pathetic house but add a toy dinosaur to wreak carnage on the house.  This would justify our lopsided construction!
 The cookie part of the house is actually really lovely gingerbread...very tasty.  The toy dinosaur will be washed off in a few days and returned to the bin on much loved animals and figures.  The marzipan gingerbread men are gross...(I hate marzipan.  It tastes like sadness.)

We had fun and as usual truly enjoyed building our little house together.  This year our building skills were actually a little better as the house really did stand up.
We also learned that gingerbread men bleed blue frosting.  

Have a warm and bright winter holiday wherever you are.  I hope your days are filled with laughter and the people (and other creatures) who love you.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Teaching as a soul soother...

My day job is working as a violence prevention educator.  Specifically sexual violence prevention.

Today, I was in an all staff meeting with other members of my agency completely until late afternoon unaware that 20 school children had lost their lives.

Drawing given to me by a child in a class...
Yesterday, I spent the day working with elementary school children, talking about personal space.  The school I was working in is listed as a "failing" school.  The children are taught to the test, measured, sent to intervention and tested again.  The lessons on violence prevention that I teach often seem as wing nuts in the structure of the day.  In some schools, it seems as though the children have no space to themselves.  My introduction of personal space sometimes seems as attainable as travel to the moon for children in this culture.

But yesterday, I changed my lesson a bit.  Other groups of children in this school weren't "getting" the lesson even though it was easily "gotten" in other schools.  So yesterday, I removed as many transitions as possible and allowed the 8 year old children to draw pictures of whatever was important to them.

This drawing was made by me when a child walked up to me with a frown and blank pages.  He didn't know what to draw.  The two other children at the table were engaged in the activity but stopped to listen.  I told the young boy that he could draw anything he chose.  After this drawing, the group of three happily drew and chatted for the class.  The child who was at a loss before filled several pages with drawing and was beaming.  He said, "This is ALL my personal space!"

The children made books, pictures of Christmas trees, images of pets and best friends, flowers and video games.  For 40 minutes, the children owned the time.  They could chat together about their images, share crayons and markers, or just draw.  The drawings were THEIR OWN PERSONAL SPACE...something they were in charge of.

I received a couple of images from the children.  These drawings are precious.  I hope that the children know that they were seen and valued.  This evening in this time of tragic loss that is all I really can offer.

And on Monday, I will get up and go teach more children about personal space.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Suggestive Thoughts...

Jump start 2013 in creative fashion!  Check out the artclash collective and tune in here everyday in January 2013 for my Fun-A-Day.

Also, I'm taking suggestions on what to do for the Fun-A-Day.  If I use your idea(s), I'll send you a piece of art.  Comment below!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

a little darkling lovestory...

 I love the simplicity of paper dolls, especially white paper on black paper with pops of color.  I decided to take two paper dolls, my rabbit woman and her skeleton, and fashion a photo story.
 These images are a peek at the images in the book I created on  I hope you like it.  The dolls are for sale at my shop, Inventing Trees.  Even if you don't wander over to those places, I'll still put images up here for you to see- for free.  (Thanks for visiting my site!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Manipulate the Rip & Tear...

On Friday Rip & Tear will open.  This experimental drawing show involves 6 diverse artists manipulating their own drawings and allowing the audience to literally rip copies of those drawings off the walls during the show.  Interacting with viewers often makes me nervous.  I am a shy person, although people often don't believe it.  They often mis-perceive me to be mean or hostile. 

I'm really not.  I'm shy and just putting on a front. 
The drawings that I have created for the show are in honor of a friend who would like to have a baby.  The images are all of zygotes and cellular division. 

I hope that you will join us at the Meg Perry Center on Friday if you are in Portland.  You can have the honor of ripping art off the walls for a mere $5.