Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday - on Tuesday

Having to shuffle things around a bit due to holidays and birthdays, but didn't want to let a week go by without Cigar Box Wednesday - so here it is one day early. I have supreme confidence in all of you to adjust to this! This time it's doll parts - heads, feet, hands, legs, arms. Most bisque, a few plastic.

As all of us mixed media types know - nothing sets off that collage or assemblage better than a disembodied hand or foot! I acquired the majority of these when our local hometown hobby store went out of business after nearly 40 years.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Week for Openings!

Towers & Spires

Almost two years ago at a workshop in Taos, Anne Bagby urged us to "Get your work out there!". Well, this year I've certainly taken her advice. I was counting up the other day and by the time this year draws to a close I will have participated in 15-count 'em-15 shows and exhibitions in 2010. The last two both open this Friday night December 3.

The Pity of War

Towers & Spires
will be available for view at Cambria's Allied Arts Gallery for the next two weeks. And The Pity of War as part of the "War and Peace" exhibit at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obsipo, which runs through the end of January. You were so right Anne, there's nothing that improves one's art like "getting it out there!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Life on the Coast

What could be better than taking a kayak class
on a beautiful Sunday morning?
Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cemetery Saturday

This is a tiny graveyard tucked away just out of town in Nevada City, California.

Surrounded by tall, tall pines.

Stone, weathered by hundreds of snowy winters and blisteringly hot summers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

From the Bookshelf

I found this lovely book in my Amazon recommendations, for a ridiculously low price and couldn't resist. I'm glad I didn't. It is a delightful read, as well as being full of beautiful sketches. Vivian Swift spent the first part of her life traveling the world. She then settles down in a small village on Long Island Sound, and finds the world, there, in all the small and wondrous details of her surroundings. Presented in a monthly journal format, it makes you laugh, cry and think. An undiscovered gem,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 1913

A Thanksgiving postcard sent to my Grandparents
back in 1913 when they lived in Warren, Indiana.

And the greetings are as warm today 97 years later.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

Very cool instruments you can make, using
- you guessed it! - Cigar Boxes!

Check it out here

and here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Towers & Spires

Towers & Spires

I've been working on this one for a couple of weeks and just finished yesterday. Margot helped me figure out how to attach all the large metal bits. The two brass church facades were a swap meet score about a year ago, and the central door I found this summer up in Sebastopol.

The background was done in Golden acrylics, using cross stencils and masks, and two sizes of puncinella . Xerox copies of English church spires and towers were coloured with water soluble oil pastels and provide not only visual interest but the title as well.

A wooden cross surmounts the copper painted door that opens to reveal a picture of a heavy wooden gate topped with a santos angel.

The final touch, ghostly wisps of an Anne Bagby stamp
that suggest ecclesiastical grill work.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Water's Fine!

Here's another watercolour from our trip to Mexico 5 years ago this month. This was the pool, at the hotel in El Manzanillo, where we stayed for a few days at the end of our vacation. It looked right out on the Pacific to the west and the city on the curving south coast.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Life on a Different Coast - Provincetown

The north end of Provincetown beach,
looking out across the harbour.
Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cemetery Saturday

Copp's Hill Cemetery, founded in 1660, Boston's 2nd oldest burial ground.

What with Halloween and Day of the Dead just past, I've been sifting through my graveyard photos and thought I'd share some here on the blog. I've never been one to visit at night for the spooky/scary aspect, rather I like to visit in daylight hours. I'm fascinated by the old tombstones and the inscriptions. I find the atmosphere restful and feel an abiding sense of peace.

These skull and crossbones are ubiquitous in graveyards throughout New England.

Friday, November 19, 2010

From the Bookshelf

"Decorative Patterns from Italy contains a wonderful collection of patterns reproduced from some of the country's most beautiful Gothic and Renaissance churches. Most of the designs are taken from floor mosaics and wall friezes in churches and have been carefully restored and digitized for contemporary use."

Found this while roaming around Amazon. And it looks like a lot of fun. There are several others in the series, and all come with a CD-Rom including all the patterns. Eye candy in the book and on the computer!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grab a Chair!

How fun are these?

Great stripes, colourful chairs and bags with bling!

At the Boston Museum of Fine Art on the cafe wall.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

Again, a lunchbox, serving the purpose of a cigar box (to hold the stuff!). This one is cowgirl on the outside and cowboy (and Indian) on the inside.

Those wonderful little 2" high figures that I spent so much time playing with in my misspent youth.

And here's a view of the "cowgirl cheesecake"
on the sides of the lunchbox.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall Colour

This is a beautiful mural in Philadelphia. I don't remember where exactly, but I know my daughter and I came across it on a walk one day . She lived in Philly for a couple of years and we went back to visit several times.

Philadelphia is jammed packed full of beautiful public art work - painted murals, fantastic mosaic murals and sculptures. And of course, it also boasts one of the best art museums in the country.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mlle. Bouton & Madame Ruban

Mlle. Bouton

The dress forms for these two "ladies" are from Cost Plus World Market. Mlle. Bouton wears a skirt made up of 21 coloured tags that feature all kinds of buttons - vintage, new, wood, glass, horn, plastic and metal with everything from flowers to the Eiffel Tower.

detail of above

Madame Ruban

Madame Ruban's skirt is made of dozens of snippets of ribbon - silk, satin, plain and patterned, vintage, retro and new. Both of these Parisian fashionistas sport a length of vintage French ribbon across the bodice, and are now available for purchase in the Shabby Chic gallery on my Altered by the Sea website -here & here.

detail of above

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life on the Coast

Sunrise along the boardwalk at Moonstone Beach in Cambria.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pretty, Pretty Maiden

I found this vase years ago, in a little antique shop on State St. in Santa Barbara. She sits on a shelf in my bathroom and makes me happy every time I look at her. Here she is with a headdress of precious pink posies!

Friday, November 12, 2010

From the Book Shelf

A marvelous new book that showcases 40 artists. Lynne Perrella had mentioned that she was featured in this volume which is why I first picked it up. Each artist has an intro page that tells a bit about them and their art and then there are a dozen or so pages featuring their work. It's nicely edited and well designed, with great graphics. I think what I enjoyed most was seeing the extremely wide range of artwork presented - from stark minimalist to "more, more,more". A great book for inspiration and stunning eye candy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

WWI, the war to end all wars (if only mankind could have learned) ended 92 years ago today at 11:00. The above shows King George V laying a wreath on the newly erected Cenotaph at its dedication on Nov. 11, 1920, two years after hostilities were stilled. The Cenotaph is the site each year of remembrance and the traditional two minutes of silence to honor the fallen.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

Actually this should be called "Lunchbox" Wednesday today. But it's serving the same purpose that all those delightful cigar boxes do - holding the stuff. In this case - thread spools. Some full, some empty, most vintage, a few not. I've found them at thrift stores, garage sales and swap meets, and even been gifted with some when people have cleaned out their mother's or grandmother's sewing boxes.

I love the colours of the thread, the satisfying feel of the turned wood in one's hand, and the great old graphics on the labels.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Return of the Little French Chef

Two more vintage shots of the little French chef.
Attacked by the vicious onion,

and noting the colour and bouquet of the evening's wine.

These are the delightful calendar toppers that
appear each month at Castle in the Air in Berkeley.
If you've never been, you must go!

Monday, November 8, 2010

In the Garden

These are two watercolours I did a few years ago when I was taking a class with the wonderful Joy Krull. We were playing around with prepping the paper with matte medium and then applying the paint before the medium was totally dry. I was especially pleased with the fence in the picture to the right.
I met Joy again at an exhibition opening recently and it was fun to reminisce and catch up on the intervening years.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life on the Coast

A great blue heron strides purposefully in Morro Bay harbour.
Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Atomic Lemon and a Good Book

As the evenings draw in this time of year, Atomic Lemon likes to settle down with a good book. Of course this book is made of polymer clay, but then, really, I guess that doesn't make too much difference to a lemon, does it?!

Friday, November 5, 2010

From the Bookshelf

This book was a literal life-saver for me eight years ago. I was building up the courage to leave a long term marriage. Everyday I would sit down with that day's prompt and write out my thoughts, my fears, my reasons for leaving. It became my year long/everyday therapy and helped keep me on track and sane during that time. There is a prompt for each day of the year in the form of an unfinished sentence, along with tips and suggestions about the writing life. Judy's style is warm, approachable and informative. A 10th anniversary edition has just been released with even more wonderfulness inside. Three years after I spent that intense time with the book I took a workshop with Judy and over the years we have been blessed with a developing friendship. It's been a real treat to be able to thank her in person for how much her book helped me in discovering my new life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"The Pity of War"

The Pity of War

Here are a few shots of the book I've been frantically working on. But it's all done and ready to turn in to the gallery - on time!

I took my inspiration from the WWI British poets. One spread features a poem and the one following illustrates the spirit of the poem.

I used lots of cheesecloth (my one weakness!), rusty bits and xerox copies of vintage photos.

The show will run December and January at the
Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo.