Sunday, September 30, 2012

Plein Air Paint Out

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind, with an art show in mid September, an Art Walk to prepare for and, yesterday, a Paint Out by the Lake in our town. A great deal of preparation went into each of these events, and all went very well!
The Paint Out yesterday was organized by my friend Pam, who is a very talented painter. 

It took place alongside our weekly Farmers' Market at our beautiful Lake Quannapowitt.

Painters registered and then set up their easels throughout the park beside the lake and painted.

We were so fortunate that the rain, which had been consistent the day before, held off for the event.

I helped with registration, photography and other tasks.
At noontime, painters gathered in the center of the park and held a "wet paint" sale! 

It was wonderful to see a community of artists gathered together for such a creative event!

The rain and cold weather resumed today. I'm hoping we'll have some sun this week.

Hope your week starts off well!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Audrey and Marilyn

We are having an Art Walk in our town beginning tomorrow, with participating businesses showing works by local artists in their windows. Since I've been helping with the planning, I requested a specific shop, Florence's Fashions, because I enjoy the the owner's  sense of humor and glitzy fashions. When Barbara, the owner, mentioned that she was doing a Halloween window, including a mannequin dressed up like Marilyn Monroe, I decided to make something specifically for this display.

So, using fabric, stitching, pastels and plastic "jewels", I made Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly!

She is mounted on an 11x14" canvas and the sides are trimmed with silver glitter ribbon.

And, done in cut paper, fake "jewels" and an elaborate frame - Marilyn Monroe!

This was a fun project for me! I spent a great deal of time researching photos and stories about these women, made many drawings, and glued on each "jewel" by hand - and felt very satisfied when I delivered the pictures today! Barbara was really enthusiastic about them and they'll be in her window for two weeks. Today is cold and rainy, but on a better day I'll take a picture of the window and  post it here.

Here's wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Looking at Recent Work

Now that I've had a chance to recover from the show last weekend, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what constitutes a body of work. I have a tendency to want to try different things, so I go from figurative work to colorful abstracts to sweet little vases of flowers to landscapes... you get the picture. There is really nothing wrong with that, but in my session with creativity coach Lesley Riley in June,  I received some solid advice to stick with what I'm best at - which we both felt was sketching with stitches and bits of appliqué, concentrating on figurative work.
Regardless of that, when planning for the show, I became obsessed with doing small decorative abstract  pieces, which were fun, but not my best work.

I added small stitched flower and leaf embroideries to the top two. The thing I do like about these pieces is the presentation. I bought 3/4" deep canvases from the craft store, painted them black and then mounted the needlework pieces on top of them. They look more modern than if they were framed under glass, but then I wonder if they would get dirty after a while. Right now I feel that I've done enough of these for awhile. I may put them in an etsy shop (yet to be opened!) and concentrate now on figurative work.
I did do a couple of "people pictures", women with rather blank expressions on their faces. I thought of them as being straightforward and uncontrived, but I think they need more - maybe a sketched  background and a bit more expression in their faces. These pieces are stretched over 11"x14" canvases.

Getting back to my original thought on this post, I think that when you see a presentation of an artist's work, it is nice to see a consistency in the various pieces - something that identifies that artist's style. I've been spending a lot of (too much) time on Pinterest lately and I've enjoyed collecting pictures of paintings by some of my favorite artists. One thing that becomes very obvious after awhile is the consistency in style that marks a painting as, for instance, a "Matisse" or a "Modigliani". Here is my board on Matisse. If you look at it you'll see what I mean - for that matter, look at any artist's body of work. Of course, there are always exceptions.
So, I'm getting back to work, taking out my linen and textured background fabrics, black and brown threads and creating a new group of pictures. I have a small exhibit coming up in November, so that is something to work toward.

I hope you're having an enjoyable and creative week!
It is cool and sunny here in New England - my favorite kind of weather!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Needle Felting With a Friend

Yesterday I pulled out my wool roving and felting supplies and invited my friend Debbie over for some needle felting. We sat on the porch, had some laughs, punctured our fingers a few times and created some tiny masterpieces.

Debbie is working on a little sheep...

This is some gorgeous white roving, and also a flower on white wool...

Deb made an apple and we both made sheep - mine is the bow-legged one on the right!

I had to close the door on the cats, as they are very attracted to wool roving and will try to eat it, but they managed to chill out in other parts of the house as we took over "their" porch!

Angus on the ottoman in the living room...

Rosie on the hall carpet!

It was a fun afternoon and I really enjoyed sharing it with my friend Debbie.

What creative things have you been up to?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Successful Show

The last few weeks have flown by, but finally things are quieting down a bit and I'm happy to get back to my blog! I've missed writing here, although I've done my best to keep up with friends' blogs.

Yesterday I was part of a show and sale which took place in the web press room of our local newspaper, The Wakefield Daily Item. The show was organized by Melanie, a talented ceramist, who is also in charge of digital layout at the paper.

The affair was beautifully advertised in area papers and I was invited to be a part of it, which felt very nice. I worked pretty steadily in the weeks prior to the show to finish up some new pieces, which I'll share with you soon.

Here are a few photos from the show. It was a very interesting and funky environment, and there were ceramists, potters and clay artists, as well as painters and two jewelry artists.

my table

birdhouses mimicking real homes

a gift packet from Melanie for each artisan - so nice!

I met some lovely people at the show, was happy to see friends who stopped by, had a terrific day and even sold a few pieces of my work! It was a great experience.

Soon I'll post photos of the pictures I made recently.
 Meanwhile I hope that everyone who reads this has had a wonderful weekend!