Friday, September 30, 2011

New Work: untitled

I love October and all of the harvest festivities that come long with it. Apple picking, raking the leaves, putting the garden to bed... it also means that ghouls and ghosts will be out in full force to celebrate Halloween. In our house we have many traditions associated with the season. The last couple of years, that tradition has come to include making a few pieces of art to put in the Art of Horror show at the S.P.A.C.E gallery.  I love this show. It's gory, spooky and completely unconventional. Putting work in this show helps me to stretch my mind and challenges my personal notions and ideas. When I finish working on pieces for this show, I always feel recharged and inspired about making art again. 

Yesterday, I put up photos of Poor Dolly, this new piece was conceived in my head the same day, way back in July. The doll came from the same lot of dolls are the decaying baby and the sled was oddly paired in a lot with the domed box I transformed into her cradle (someone today called it her coffin, yikes...I guess it does look like one, doesn't it.)

There was something about the velvet red dress and the doll's startled expression that seemed to work with the faded, broken sled.  So, tonight, I committed to the piece, did some gluing and screwing and pulled the whole thing together...

It makes me think about Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. about sledding down the hill as a child, even past dusk when my mother had already told me told me several times to come and that it was too dangerous to stay out in the bitter cold. What are the consequences of simple pleasures?  Where is the point where thrill turns to folly? turns to disaster? is a life lived entirely in the "safety zone" really lived? 

All these questions percolate to the front of my mind, when i think about this new piece. The only thing I can't think of, that i can't come to terms with is a name... maybe you can help me title it....
what should it be called?

New Work:
Assemblage from found objects: sled, doll, prayer book, shoe, bonnet, ribbon

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Work: Poor Dolly

Poor Dolly
Assemblage made from found objects: old domed box, doll, old photograph, silk flowers, child's shoe, fabric.
16"x 18 1/2"x6"

This doll shrine came together over the course of one night, although all the pieces were in my workroom for months. I found the the old dome box and the doll at an estate auction in July. I was so excited to put them together then. The doll fit perfectly into the box, like it was a cradle made just for her.  I don't know why it took me two months to actually glue and screw the piece together. I think I was having a little bit of a commitment issue. That's what I call it when you can see the piece in your head, you know you should do it, but you still walk around it and avoid finishing it. So tonight, the tienen duende, the chill in the air or the falling leaves, must have got to me, because the macabre creeped into the workroom and let me finish this piece. So much for the other things I had on the to do list....

She (the doll) reminds me of a time when I was young, probably around 4 years old. We were living upstate NY. My sister had a Mrs Beadsley doll. Christine was probably about 2 years old, and loved that thing to death. Some boys in the neighborhood, grabbed the doll from her and threw it over the fence into the "swamp:" A very wet wood area out back behind the housing development where we used to live.  Mrs Beadsley hung for months and months in a tree in the swamp, in a place where no one, in their right mind, would ever attempt to pull her out. So she decayed there, growing dirtier and dirtier, until finally one day she was gone. Probably her shirt had given way and she fell into the muck. Noone really knows what became of her.  Parts of her are probably there stil.

In part, this shrine is dedicated to all the things that are lost; the things we can never get back, to all the things that decay, only to reveal another of beauty underneath the paint and the gloss.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ghost Stories: Opening Reception Sunday October 2nd

I just got home from Stowe, where I finished hanging my show:
Ghost Stories at the Thompson Gallery, inside the Black Cap Coffee Roasters. The building that the coffee shop is in is really old and has lots of funky charm. The walls in the gallery space are not quite straight and the floor slopes a little here and there. That's what I really love about the room.  It's narrow, crooked nature. It's almost like you are in Alice in Wonderland. My pieces, fit right in perfectly. 

Plus to be honest, I think there might be a spirit or two hanging around (and I don't mean the ones in my art work, either.) You will have to come by and check it out for yourself.

The wonderfully talented Natasha Bogar helped me hang it all and we were done in record time. I am really looking forward to the opening reception on Sunday. Hope to see you there!
Opening Reception:
October 2
Black Cap Coffee Roasters
144 Main Street 
Stowe, VT


Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Work: Sing to Me

Mother O mother, my heart calls for you!
Sing to me your lullaby 
I miss you dearly, it's true 

Sing to Me
Created from Found Objects: Old Bird House, drift wood, rusty metal, kitchen items, wire, old paper, old photo, silk flowers

7 1/2" x 7" x 6"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ARTFEST 2012, updated teaching schedule and other news....

I can't believe I forgot to post this?!   I suppose there has been so much going on lately. Sometimes I think I would forget my head if it was not attached to my body.  My blog, definitely has Facebook envy, so I should give it a little more love, I know.

Here's the scoop.... I am teaching @ ARTFEST, in beautiful Port Townsend in 2012!!!

Can you tell, how excited I am. 

first- I am so in awe of Teesha Moore and everything she does. It is such an honor to be asked to teach at this amazing art retreat that she and Tracy put together every year. This is their 13th year!!

second- I have three terrific classes lined up....
Soul Houses
Books Unbound and... a brand new class.... Sailor's Valentines....
It's going to be so much fun to meet a new group of talented people and make art together!

third- I have never been to Washington state. I can't wait to get there and see everything the Seattle area has to offer.

I'm hoping you will join me in this creative exploration... find out more about the classes, registration and ARTFEST in general at the ARTFEST12 website.

There's a ton of stuff going on in the next two months, so stay tuned for all the updates to come....There's new classes in Williston @ Artist's Medium, The annual Art of Horror show  @ the SPACE gallery,  Art-Is-You in Danbury, CT, and a solo exhibition @ Black Cap Coffee roasters in Stowe (which opens next weekend!)

and.... don't forget... if you live in the Burlington area.... you still have a week to get in some last minute art-hopping. There's one week left to see the Art Hop juried show  @ SEABA's office @ 404 Pine Street.  My piece, Litany of Fear, is in the running for the people's choice award. Make sure to get down there and check it out!

Ok, glad we got to get caught up....
Time to get back to work!

Creatively yours! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Work in Progress: More little bird houses

I'm working a bunch of new pieces to take to the ART TRUCK @ ART-IS-YOU, in Danbury, CT. next month.  There's some new little houses sitting on the work table that need to get finished, like this guy. I've got the house together and the face, still working out the sides.... needs a title...

And there are still some spots left  in my SOUL HOUSE class in Danbury.

Thurs. Oct. 6th 10AM-5PM
The symbolism connected to birds goes back to the ancient world, where birds were considered to be a supernatural link between the gods & men. In East Indian & Christian mythologies birds represent the soul. In this workshop you will you create a beautiful safe haven for your hopes & dreams. By tapping into your true creative spirit we will transform ordinary bird houses into vessels that whisper of remembrance. Learn to be creatively brave in this process orientated approach to creating altered art.

Check out the ART-IS-YOU for more information and to register. Hope to see you there!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Work in Progress: How We Left the Forest

Very remotely inspired by an album (and song) by Rasputina. Yes, Rasputina the cello-driven punk band from New York, that is renowned for their unconventional and quirky music style as well as their fascination with historical allegories and fashion, especially those pertaining to the Victorian era.

This is How We Left the Forest....
Almost complete.  
I'll let your imagination go with what it all means.....

 Just waiting for a special detail and some glue to dry......

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Work: the Old House

I started working on this piece during the hurricane Irene. The piece evolved as the weather changed. As the news reports came in about the flooding the house took on it's own significance for me.

Here in Vermont, hundreds of miles away from the coast, devastation and destruction was raining down on many towns and cities in the southern half of the state. A town that I used to lived in, Waterbury, was extremely hard hit. Homes were swept down river, roads were washed out, and families stranded or left to live in make shift shelters in church rectories and school cafeterias.

No other event comes close to this except for the the Flood of 1927 which stands as the greatest disaster in Vermont history. Devastation occurred throughout the state, taking place on November 3rd and 4th when 1285 bridges were lost as well as countless numbers of homes and buildings destroyed and hundreds of miles of roads and railroad tracks washed out. The flood waters claimed 84 lives, including that of the Vermont Lieutenant Governor at the time, S. Hollister Jackson.

History almost repeated itself, as Hurricane Irene (actually downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it got this far north) pounded Vermont with heavy rains and winds. I am grateful that our current home was spared. In comparison to our neighbors and friends to the south, we saw very little damage. 
You will notice the shovel handle, meant to symbolize the digging out of the mud and debris that settled in homes and basements, the feet, that represent the firm footing the community has, the driftwood, the yard sticks and the Virgin Mary on the second floor, who is prays intently for the storm to end. 
This piece: the Old House, is dedicated to Vermonters, old and new; who have seen nature's scorn and survived. 
I would rather not go
back to the old house
there's too many
bad memories
too many memories....
here began all my dreams....
and you never knew
how much I really liked you
because I never even told you
oh, but I meant to...
Are you still there?
or have you moved away?

I would love to go
back to the old house....

 but I never will- The Smiths

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Work: She gathers the sweetest flowers

New Work
7" x 5" x 3 1/2"
Assemblage created from found objects:
old box, statuette, magazine scraps from 1870s, rusty metal, door handle, dried flowers, driftwood

Just like Persephone, she gathers the sweetest flowers....keep watch over her, so she will not be swept away.