Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Have you carved your pumpkin yet?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Life on a Different Coast - New Jersey

Cape May, New Jersey - crowds gone,
autumn winds and blowing sands.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

My sister sent these wonderful shots of Iron City Cemetery near Collegiate Peaks in Colorado.

She said that maybe people were getting tired of all the mossy, foggy atmospheric graveyards

and would like to see one under "the clear blue Colorado skies."

So for the next couple of weeks we'll wander through Iron City.

Friday, October 28, 2011

From the Bookshelf

My father was a wonderful chef, and when he sat to down to relax he loved to read cookbooks. While I didn't inherit his cooking abilities, I do love to peruse cookbooks - especially when they have marvelous illustrations. Susan Branch has been drawing beautiful books for decades, and while they are full of delicious recipes and lovely holiday ideas, they are also fun to just sit down and read. This one is the latest in my collection of Susan's books which I started back in the 1980's. She divides her time between Martha's Vineyard and San Luis Obispo county where she grew up (which makes her a home-town girl for those of us here on the central coast). Beautiful drawings, delightfully handwritten text, yummy recipes, and heart-warming stories of happy homey traditions - what could be a better read for a cozy autumn evening in front of the fire?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Brilliant Workshop in Engalnd

Lynne Perrella spent a three day weekend in England a couple of weeks ago and has been e-mailing all of us and raving about the work her students produced. Go to this link and see why.

Lots of lovely pictures like these and a beautiful video that makes you want to quit whatever you're doing and get thyself into the studio NOW!

I know that every time I've studied with Lynne I've gone so far beyond what I thought I was capable of and my art takes gigantic leaps. Sounds like her English students feel the same way.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

Another tiny cigar tin, this one home to piano key ivory. These are the ivory tops and sides of old piano keys. Margot found these for me on Etsy and I find them fascinating.

I've used them in some of my steampunk assemblages and check here to see some lovely Nina Bagley creations including piano ivory.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting Ready

Just a week away - getting ready for Dia de Bloglandia's celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Gathering flowers and skulls to put into a shrine. And have to dig out my sugar skull earrings and tee-shirt!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Take a Breath and Relax

I've been on the hop - art-wise - since April of 2010 when I started preparing for last year's Open Studio Tour. When that was over I jumped right in and began working on all the pieces for my solo show The Pity of War. And then, when that went up last spring, I began working on pieces for this year's Open Studios which wound up yesterday.

And now, I'm going sit back, take a long breath and maybe even spend a weekend or two away from the studio and relax. But, in reality, I'll probably get a fantastic idea and won't be able to wait to get started!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Life on the Coast - Open Studios

Here are a few shots from our first day of
Open Studios yesterday.

Lots of people, lots of art, lots of fun.

Some of Debra's gorgeous jewelry creations.

A few of my collage pieces.

One more day, come join us, 10-5
Altered by the Sea Studios in Morro Bay.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

A last visit to Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery.

This area was in hounour of those who had
served in the American Civil War.

A cannon stands guard,

And rows of cannon balls provide a border for the plot.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Open Studios Tour 2011

San Luis Obispo County's 13th annual Open Studios Tour continues this weekend with the North County, including Morro Bay. Saturday and Sunday 10-5. Catalogs are available on line here.
My colleague, jeweler-extraordinaire Debra Jurey, will be joining me for two days of art, fun and friendship here at the Altered by the Sea Studio in Morro Bay.

Come and see what we've been up to!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mahjong Time

Asian Winds 6x6"

Ok girls, it's Mahjong time! Both of these pieces created on the reverse side of a 6x6" canvas painted in black acrylic. Asian Winds features vintage Bakelite Mahjong tiles on each corner and Mahjong cards showing the four winds along the sides and top and bottom.

Inside, painted with Golden's Quindriconene Crimson is a stack of Asian coins topped with a vintage ivory mahjong counter.

Mahjong Melange 6x6"

Mahjong Melange has three bamboo bookmarks and an Asian coin surrounding a shadowbox lined with handmade paper with a kanji. Enclosed within are a vintage ivory and bamboo Mahjong tile and ivory counter.

The last two items to be completed for
Open Studios this weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

When is a cigar box not a cigar box? When it's a holiday tin that holds all the picture hanging material. And I will be using it over and over again this week as I prepare pieces for this weekend's Open Studios.

I suppose there are those of you out there that are smart enough to add your hangers and wire as soon as you finish a piece - and how I wish I was too. But invariably I find myself in the last week before a show screwing in eye bolts and twisting wire in the wee hours of the night before the next day's opening!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Haunting in Highgate

A Haunting in Highgate 8x10"

Just in time for Halloween (and Open Studios) we have A Haunting in Highgate, another reverse canvas assemblage. I painted the wooden edges with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint and the back and sides with brown acrylic.

A Xerox copy of a photo of Highgate Cemetery provides the background for the tombstone and a pile of skulls- all from Michael's. The edges are draped in dyed and paint-swiped cheesecloth. Skeletons and the hand (Rite-Aid) are nailed and gel mediumed on.

A far cry from my Shabby Chic assemblages,
but rather spook-tacular!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gotta Love the Shoes

Place de l'Opera 8x10"

These two pieces were a lot of fun. Our house is always awash in shoes from my darling wife Margot's company Sassy Feet. But this time the shoe was on the other foot - mine! Both of these were created on the reverse side of the canvas. The first is bordered with wide satin ribbon (a luscious find on our Portland trip last spring) held down with upholstery tacks and stamped with Cavallini & Co. Paris and fleur di lys stamps. Two vintage postcards of the Paris Opera House form the background for the shoe and a frozen Charlotte both held on with copper wire. A brass stamping, affixed with heavy gel medium tops the piece.

What a stunning boot to wear while strolling the streets of Paris.

Stepping Out 6x6"

This smaller piece is framed with distressed copper fastened with upholstery tacks. A xerox of the London Illustrated News backs the canvas and the fashionable shoe, adhered with heavy gel medium, steps right out of the frame towards you. An old jewelry piece (thrift store find), rubbed with black Staz-On and affixed with gel medium provides the finishing touch.

Ready for this weekend's Open Studios Tour.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life on the Coast

Driving down Highway 1 through Big Sur.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

Interesting bits of headstones in
Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery,

Shields and anchors, scrolls and acanthus leaves,

and an urn so covered in lichen that from the back,

it looks like monk with a golden shroud.

Friday, October 14, 2011

From the Bookshelf

Time for a little bragging! My wonderful wife Margot and our friend Destiny have just published the second edition of Sassy Feet. If you've ever found the perfect pair of shoes in the wrong color, this book is for you! If you have to wear a certain style that only comes in black, white or taupe, this book is for you! If you just want to have the sassiest shoes (and purses) on the block, this book is for you. The authors have presented a volume that is full of fun, has loads of eye candy, and includes full instructions and how-tos on turning those boring, blah shoes into works of wearable art.
This team has presented dozens of workshops across California and their excellent teaching skills are evident on every page. The photography is gorgeous and the "little shoe" rating system for each project is not only inspired, but very helpful. How could you not love a book that tells you how to make your shoes so fantastic?! And I'd say that even if the authors weren't my wife and friend! Click on the Sassy Feet link above for purchase information

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Copper Clad Steampunk

Rose's Fan 6x6"

Two more 6x6" reverse canvas with copper cladding. I painted the sides and back of the canvas in dark brown acrylic, then attached distressed copper around the opening with upholstery tacks. I made xerox copies of the back page of the London Illustrated News for Feb. 18, 1860 and fitted them into the openings.

Charlotte's Time 6x6"

Embellishments were affixed with heavy gel medium and wire and include Staz-On distressed brass stampings and a cameo, a metal fan, a frozen Charlotte, a sewing bobbin, a fabric button and a Tim Holtz watch face.

Two more for Open Studios, coming up in just a week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

This box is full of wood trim - fun shapes, very lightweight, takes paint, stain or ink. I recently found a terrific source for these in all kinds of delightful shapes and at fabulous prices.

They are wonderful for assemblage, their light weight makes them work in collage as well and what fun on journal covers!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Trafalgar Square

31 Trafalgar Square 6x12"

A vintage etching of Trafalgar Square, dotted with Mary Beth Shaw stencils covers the 6x12" canvas. Distressed copper sheeting caps either end. Embellishments were affixed with heavy gel medium and include old watch parts, wooden (Small Studio) and metal (Tim Holtz) gears, a number plaque (also Tim Holtz), a vintage escutcheon and an antique military cap badge.

Another Steampunk entry for Open Studios!