Saturday, January 31, 2009

Do butterflies grow on vines?

Here I stitched only through the centers of the butterflies so the wings were slightly 3-dimensional.

A very cozy nest

This is a sample of a stitched paper collage that I'll be teaching at the Salvage Studio on Saturday, March 7. I combined wallpaper, scrapbook paper and vintage images along with scraps of sheet music, tea-dyed cheesecloth and cherry-printed ribbon snipped into bits for the nest. I like how the mother bird is tending to the little girl.

Hope is a grand thing

For this stitched paper collage I used text scraps with 6 different languages (7 if you count music). I'm thinking if they all work together in this project, they should all work together on the planet, n'est ce pas?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

N-39, N-39!


Had no idea safety matches had such fun logos...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Prejudice + Pride...a timely reminder

As my wonderful friends at the Salvage Studio mention in their blog, our mutual friend, Julie Sotomura has created an amazing photography exhibit to honor Japanese-Americans who were interned (as was her mother) during WWII.

A local woman, Mary Matsuda Gruenewald has written a touching memoir of her experience. In 1941, Mary was a typical American teenager, attending Vashon Island High School with her friends, and reacting with shock and dismay to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But after the issuance of Executive Order 9066, Mary's family, along with over 100,000 other innocent Japanese-Americans, was rounded up and sent to an internment camp. Their "crime" was "looking like the enemy". Separated from their homes, jobs, schools, friends and possessions, they had no idea what would happen to them or how long they would be imprisoned.

Aptly named, "Prejudice + Pride, the Faces of Executive Order 9066", Julie's exhibit juxtaposes historical photos with current portraits of 14 Japanese-Americans from the Pacific Northwest. As I read their brief biographies I was literally moved to tears by the grace, courage and optimism demonstrated by these remarkable men and women. I was particularly touched by how many young Japanese-American men served bravely and willingly in the Armed Forces despite the internment of their families.

Julie's project is a timely and powerful reminder of the devastating consequences of persecuting innocent people simply because they "look like the enemy".

Prejudice + Pride opens at the KOBO Gallery at Higo in Seattle’s International District today and runs through February 7. There will be an opening reception on Sunday, February 1 from 1– 5 pm which will be attended by many of Julie's artgirl friends.

Where: KOBO Gallery at Higo
602-608 S. Jackson St, Seattle

Dates: January 26 - February 7

Hours: Mon – Sat: 11am – 6pm
Sunday: Noon – 5pm

Thursday, January 22, 2009

All together now!

I'm sitting at my desk craving chocolate and caffeine. But wait, it's nothing a little "Fodrulling" or "Kropsrulling" wouldn't fix! Come on...stand up, put on your best suit and tie, wax that mustache, and "svingn" those "bens"!

And let's not forget this one that looks like some sort of bizarre interpretive dance:

So here's a funny postscript...I googled "fodrulling" to see what it really meant and the only other place it turned up was in another person's blog...someone who used this very picture. Makes me wonder if I've been fodrulled into thinking this was a real word...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The times they are a-changin'

I'm feeling retrospective right now, having attended an Inaugural Brunch this morning hosted by my good friend, Quinn. Can you even imagine when today's styles and looks will seem as outdated as this? I cannot begin to speculate about what life will be like when everything we currently take for granted is quaint and antique.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Beaded Bling

I was wandering around my art room dinking around with my camera, trying to figure out the settings (I WILL learn how to take good photos or die trying) and I liked this picture of beaded flowers I made some time ago.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pizza cutters and polkadots


I collaged this green bird that I rescued from last year's Cavallini calendar onto a mat board previously embellished with random stripes of green, white and black paint applied with a pizza cutter.

"A pizza cutter?" you ask.

"Yes, a pizza cutter."

I did not invent this technique, but I've tried it several times with fun results and nary a scratch. You simply squirt a blob of paint onto a paper plate, frantically roll a pizza cutter (mine obtained from the local Goodwill) back and forth through said blob, ensuring that the entire wheel edge is coated and then roll it over the paper. The pizza cutter doesn't hold a lot of paint so you can only apply a thin stripe of paint at any one pass, but that may not be a bad thing if you want to leave a lot of background showing.

Then of course I got out my nifty white gel pen and outlined everything with polka dots. Ever notice how polka dots make just about anything more fun? Then I added some swoopy-loops with black dimensional fabric paint and made sure I placed my masterpiece in a cat-proof place while it dried.

Et voila! Un oiseau! Verte! Estee Lauder! Chanel! Lancombe! C'est la guerre! Je ne sais pas!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Very odd bedfellows...


Cherries and hedgehogs...who woulda thunk it? And prompted by my friend Kim in Illinois, I found this video. Disco and hedgehogs...I NEVER woulda thunk that.

Beaded ribbon curtain


Truly ephemeral

This sheet music is so fragile it crumbles when I pick it up.

Herban Housing

Still more dwellings on Cabana Lane...

Bead garden


These rare plants grow only on Artgirl Island...

Pink paisley wave

Sometimes it's fun to incorporate already existing drawing/text to the painting.

McCook to Macdonald

This is another watercolor painting I did after being inspired by my friend Carla. I found a very old encyclopedia with pages made from heavy, absorbent paper that I love to paint on. After sketching out the design lightly in pencil, I went over it with a fine tip waterproof pen and then applied a light wash of paint. When the first coat dried (in just minutes) I went over most of the areas with another coat of a similar color to give the painting more depth. The great thing about this project is that it's surprisingly portable and not messy at all...unlike almost everything else I do.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oodles of doodles


My artist friend Nancy B. told me about a fabulous site called Zentangle which prompted me to doodle thusly in my calendar...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Blue bird of transformation


Unstoppable agent of world peace

Bluebird of possibility

What would Carmen do?


I made the crazy red art bra on the right as part of a group project. After hanging in my studio for 2 years I donated it to raise money for breast cancer. I fondly refer to it as my "Carmen Miranda" bra.

For a more glamorous you!




Journal page using turquoise duct tape and black masking tape...you gotta love the rubber stamp of the gal in the highlighting cap. And that Mark Twain quote...pretty much says it all, doesn't it?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hooray for Captain Spaulding

I'm such a sucker for these fancy-schmancy file folders. I especially like this crazy parrot that looks like it's sporting a Groucho Marx moustache. I fantasize about what my life would look like if I was so artistically organized that even my manilla folders looked cool. Kind of like those laundry rooms that have the soap powder in elegant glass cannisters instead of the primary-color-cardboard-box it came in.

End of the calendar year...


A nifty thing about reaching the end of the year is that I can rip apart my calendar and use it in art projects. This past year, in my office I enjoyed the 2008 Cavallini "Birds & Nests" calendar; each month portrayed a different luscious painting of...you guessed it...birds and nests (and eggs). These pages were from January and December. Even though the calendar images were huge, I suppose the actual paintings were very delicate (considering the size of the postage stamps and cancellation marks). I suppose that's 1867. Makes me want to learn some basic calligraphy.