Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life on the Coast

Look at that colour! Here on the central coast of California our hills are a golden brown from June until we start getting rain in late fall or early winter. These last two weeks of stormy weather have turned the fields into rolling velvet carpets of luminous green. We'll be enjoying this for the next several months.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Library Talent

Olivine Spectrum Necklace - Rock Water Jewelry by Alexandra Salkeld

During the month of February the Cambria Library will be featuring works by three of us that work there.

Let My Heart Go - Destiny Carter

I will have a dozen of my red rosin paintings and assemblages on display. Colleagues Destiny Carter and Alexandra Salkeld will be exhibiting their paintings and jewelry respectively.

The Glove & the Blade 6x9"

A portion of all sales will go to benefit the Friends of the Cambria Library. They are currently raising money for a new larger library building and the three of us are thrilled to be able to help out through our art. The show goes up today and will run until February 27. Drop by!

The Baker's Daughter 24x36"

Friday, January 29, 2010

From the Bookshelf

Altered Art by Terry Taylor is a compendium of dozens of wonderful pieces and projects. Eye candy for those of us that love that, and plenty of tips and directions for creating altered objects. Not just books, but boxes and tins, game boards, dolls, clothes, globes chairs, and...wait for it - "so much more!" Even if you don't plan to do any of the projects in the book, you will come away with a wealth of techniques and ideas to use in your own altered art.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Art & Wine Festival

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the annual Cambria Art & Wine Festival. There will be a myriad of activities all around the town; wine tasting, fine dining, art demonstrations and much more including a silent auction of works by local artists.

Midtown Kiosk - 22x28"

I will have the above piece Midtown Kiosk at the auction. The weather forecast is for sunny skies, so come join the fun in beautiful Cambria - pines and sea, wine and art - what's not to love?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

Match boxes - remember when you could pick them up anywhere? Great graphics, wonderful advertising, brilliant color, instant souvenirs and all for free. Now they are still around, but harder to find - search antique stores, flea markets or your great aunt Emily's parlour where there might just be an old brandy snifter full of them.

It is easy to find postcards, stickers, notepads, etc. using these wonderful old images - many of which are perfect little pieces of art. I think as a society we've gotten a lot smarter in the last 50 years about smoking, but I must say I do miss the match boxes!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gallery Opening

In Flanders Field 22x28"

Allied Arts of Cambria is celebrating the opening of their new gallery space with an exhibition entitled Best Works. It opens this Friday January 29 and runs through Monday March 1. The new venue is housed in the old Cambria Grammar School building located at 1350 Main Street. I will have two works hanging in the show; In Flanders Field and Never Forget.

Never Forget 24x36"

The move, necessitated by the gradual deterioration of the former gallery in the 125 year old single room Santa Rosa school house building, will provide more hanging space as well as room for 3-D installations and much needed office and meeting areas. Opening reception for the new exhibition will be on Friday February 5, 5:00 -8:00. See you there!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Storm Treasure

A handful of treasure from yesterday's walk along the shore. Just after we got home, the clouds and cold came rushing back in - more storms on the way!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Life on the Coast

"I suppose you're wondering why I called you here"

Talk about a photo-op! Twelve seagulls, looking like they've shown up for the morning meeting on the Cayucos Pier. After I shot the picture and began walking down the pier, they peeled off one by one in formation as I went by. Quite a sight!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shady Palms

The last few days of our trip were spent in El Manzanillo in the state of Colima, 30 miles down the coastline. A charming little hotel, right on the shore. Beautiful rooms, spectacular sunsets, and long walks along the Pacific.

This bridge arched over the swimming pool. It was delightful to relax on the patio, listening to the rustle of the palms with a margarita in hand and watch the lights of the city across the curve of the shore.

Friday, January 22, 2010

From the Bookshelf

This week's selection is a feast for the eyes and the soul. Wondrously conceived and decorated homes, large and small, full and spare. Ranch houses, centuries old adobes, cabins and haciendas. I especially enjoyed this, it was like a return visit to Taos for me. The author takes us through the gates and doors for an insider's peek at riotous gardens and peaceful courtyards, stunning views and warm firesides. Beautiful photography and descriptions, you can almost catch a whiff of pinon smoke as you cross the thresholds of these hidden homes and gardens.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

On the Patio

More watercolour sketches from our trip to Jalisco. Long lazy days in the sun, naps in the hammock, endless time to read, journal and paint. And a constant 180 degree view of the bay.

The house was built right up against the hillside and surrounded by lush foliage and myriads of palms. Two iguanas lived on the carport roof and kept a watch on the outdoor shower. But...

...not near as close a watch as I kept on them!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

Film -home movies on a reel, 35mm film-remember that?, negatives, film strips. In these days of everything digital, the ubiquitous length of film has become almost an instant antique. But... what wonderful stuff for page embellishment. Layering is what it's all about and a semi-transparent square or strip of film provides a scrim leaving a distant glimpse of what lies behind.

If you don't have any laying around, ask your friends or relatives - you know - the ones who used to live in a pre-digital world!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Breakfast in Mexico

This is a watercolour sketch from the travel journal I kept on our trip to Mexico. A charming sidewalk restaurant where we enjoyed breakfast one morning - mmm fresh tortillas, chimichanga and big mugs of steaming cafe con leche. Done with medium line Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens and Windsor and Newton watercolours. I love, that inexpert as I am, the sketches really capture the essence and feel of when and where they're created and can transport me right back there -ah! is that a whiff of the coffee I smell?

Monday, January 18, 2010

In the Garden

In the Garden

A few years ago I took a year of watercolour classes. I had a grand time, learned many useful techniques and have really enjoyed embellishing my travel journals with small watercolour sketches. The above was an assignment to do two pieces that would go together. It was fun finding the subjects and mixing so many different colours of green. I was especially proud of the fence and the violet touches in the palm tree.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Life on the Coast

Enjoying an early morning walk under the pier before the predicted rain and wind storms hit later tonight. Then I'll be in front of the fire, candles burning and settling down with a mug of chai and a good book.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Is it bigger than a cigar box?

Not everything that one gathers, hoards, and collects will fit into a cigar box - that's why vintage suitcases were invented! Here are just a few of mine - great vintage looks, but actually found at Costplus World Market and Ross.

They hold a variety of valuable art supplies, from blank journals to cigarette cards to artificial flowers and leaves. As with cigar boxes, my collection of suitcases has grown to house my ever-increasing stash.

Friday, January 15, 2010

From the Bookshelf

Steampunk Style Jewelry by Jean Campbell, just released, is a treat for the eye and full of interesting and quirky ideas. Margot received a copy for Christmas and we've both had fun pouring over the pictures and getting inspiration - Margot for shoes and me for assemblage, collage and altered books.
And I guess you could even use it to make jewelry! I love it that so many art forms (and artists) today have the ability to crossover and use techniques, supplies and ideas from many different disciplines to create work that is uniquely theirs. Even if you never have and never plan to make a piece of jewelry, check out this book. I know you'll find something fascinating that you can use in your art.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Caramba Mexico! Parte Tres

Before we left I raided my stash of Mexican inspired images and ephemera.

This spread was done completely with detritus -or art supplies as I like to call them - picked up off the streets on a walk through the village one morning.

And this one with labels from various things we bought for dinners from the local store.

It was a wonderful trip and every time I look through this book it's like being back; feasting on fresh shrimp with a cerveza fria, listening to the sound of the waves and the chatter of children and feeling a warm breeze lift the hair off my drowsy brow. Que bueno!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

OK, so it's not exactly a cigar box, but it's just about the same size and has the same ability to hold stuff. In this case, page pebbles - those fascinating little smooth rounded bits of glass that can be used in vases to hold up flowers. Or...

...used in assemblages, journals or altered books. The clear ones are great on top of old photographs - magnifies and really highlights the faces. And it's just so much darn fun to run your fingers through them!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Caramba Mexico! Parte Dos

One of most memorable parts of the trip to Jalisco was going to the street markets - a riot of brilliant colour, mouth-watering smells and wonderful music. We'd pick up provisions for the day's meals and then browse the craft booths.

We came home with lovely blouses, table linens, and belts.

Of course my favourite was the stall that had loteria cards - in four different sizes!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Caramba Mexico! Parte Una

Caramba Mexico!

This is an altered book I did a few years ago when we where staying in the little seaside fishing village of La Mansanilla in Jalisco, Mexico. It's 90 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta and about 30 miles north of El Manzanillo. We rented a house high on the hill with a killer view of the bay and the town below. I spent lots of time on the beautiful patio painting small watercolours and working in this book.

It was great fun to go out for the day, wander the streets and the beach collecting bits and bobs to use in the book and my journal.

The substrata for this creation is Caramba! by Nina Maria Martinez, a wonderful illustrated novel. I bought two - one to read and one to altered! More pages tomorrow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Life on the Coast

I almost hate to post this, here in the middle of January. Daughter Bronwyn is enjoying 10 inches of snow and highs of 6 degrees in Missouri, friend Lisa has been having snow in Colorado since October, but what can I say? Here's a lovely early morning shot of Cayucos Beach, taken on my way to work. We're having temps in the high 60's, blue blue skies, picking lemons off the tree in the backyard and loving every minute of it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If you have an extra million or two... might consider moving to the Cota Street Studios in Santa Barbara - colourful, great design and just plain fun!

Last weekend,we got a chance to stop and take a few pictures.

How much do I LOVE these garage doors?

And, best of all, they are only a block away from Art From Scrap and not far from the best tacqueria in town La Super Rica!

Friday, January 8, 2010

From the Bookshelf

Here's the review of Lynne Perrella's new book that I posted on Amazon. I realize that if you're reading this blog you probably already have a copy and love it intensely, but just in case - read the review on Amazon, click to say you thought it was helpful and then purchase this incredibly wonderful magical mystery tour through 31 studios!

We all wait with breathless anticipation for a new Lynne Perrella book and this one was, as always, well worth the wait. Once again Lynne takes a subject that has been written about before in books and magazines, and instead of merely adding more of the same, she turns the dial to a new channel, gives the subject that inimitable Perrella tweak, and produces a volume that stands alone. This is not another "here's how to make your studio - complete with measurements and purchasing instructions", this is a beautiful, intimate, colourful view into the studios of 31 incredibly creative people.
The photography is wonderful and the layout as well - I especially love that on one page you see a shot of a large area of the studio and then there will be an extreme close-up of a small section of the same shot. It's like being in the studio, seeing something you love and then walking over to get a better look. Lynne's writing welcomes you into each space and makes it come alive.
You leave feeling a deeper kinship with the artist -not necessarily knowing the dimensions or location of each closet, but definitely knowing a bit more about their creative spirit. A wide spectrum of the arts is covered; mixed-media, photography, quilting, print making and others. Who among us can pass up a chance to peek into an artist's studio?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bravo Destiny!

My friend and colleague, Destiny Carter, has just opened her Etsy shop . She does custom pet portraits and they are truly amazing. Below is one she did for Margot and me of Snickers and Pookie. You can see by the photo that she has captured them impeccably! Take a minute and visit the shop, it's purr-fect!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

A box of metal numbers. Gathered from e-Bay, Etsy, street fairs and craft stores. Seat numbers, cow tags, room numbers and small metal stencils. I am always on the lookout for these when I'm at swap meets and flea markets.

I find it fascinating that the addition of a number to an assemblage or journal page can add so much interest. There's a hint of mystery, that human desire to figure out what it means.