Sunday, March 25, 2018

March went so fast

Things have been rather hectic and intense of late. We put our house on the market March 9th- so there was work for that and of course the thinning is ongoing. I had been having some symptoms I didn't like and went to see my cardiologist.  She had me do a stress echo test- she called the next day to say she didn't like part of what she saw. So the 12th I had an angiogram and a major blockage was found- so I now have a stent to take care of that- at least the rest in there looked good.  So I am on a blood thinner for at least a year-to avoid clots around the stent. The part that surprised mt was I now have nitro pills-  I know I have coronary disease- and that along with the stent  makes to possibility of an "event" go up. So I am getting use to a new normal.  So thankful this was discovered and dealt with. The work of late has been in my journal. I have packed much of the studio but have left a few things out and the rest that is packed I can get to if I just have to cause I didn't seal the boxes yet.  I will include the narrative I wrote for each spread- these where shared with two different art groups I am a part of. I will start with a February spread.

February 18
Well today was challenging - we got around 9 inches of snow- a reminder that winter up here in northern Minnesota is far from over- Made the best of it and got more studio sorting and packing done and I had to do a spread. I have this book that is 5 1/2 x 81/4 so the spreads are 5 1/2 x 16 1/2. It is a book about rocks- I am using it as a journal. I will often do backgrounds using paint I have left from other projects. This one is called:
Adrift in the Sea of Uncertainty. The song by Jesse Marchant - "Adrift" was in my head. 

Drifting in a Sea of Uncertainty 

February 14
Hello all- I have been working hard on the thinning and sorting and have piles for two art teaches in town that were art education students of mine. I just had to work on something today it has been so long. As I was sorting I came across all these zines I had saved. The Studio zine is one Teesha Moore did in the late 90s early2000s. I have several pieces in different issues- I was unprepared for the emotional reaction I had. That was such a great fun time. So the spread today: "It is hard to cut" is about that and just the emotional part of going through things that trigger all these memories.

It is Hard to Cut

March 14 at 2:30pm
Took the morning to work on a spread- I want to thank you for your loving and supportive comments concerning my heart issues. I really does mean so much and I know it makes a difference. So glad I only had to spend one night in the hospital. This was another one of those wake-up reminders that this is no dress rehearsal - and to live my life- thankful for each day. To me it is a marvel that they can go in from an artery to your heart- see what the arteries look like and then repair a blockage. SO this experience was one of those reminders that yes in fact we are mortal and to make the best of the time we have. Thank you again from my repaired heart!

Repaired Heart

 It has been a while- I had to go to my journal today. Lots to process. I have been off kilter since my getting the stent put in and being told I have to have nitro pills with me at all times- guess stent people are more likely to have a heart attack. I deal with depression and sometimes something like this heart stuff knocks me off kilter- I don't recovery as fast as I use to - often I circle the abyss as do many with depression but I can usually stay away from the edge- this has been a challenge. This spread sort of illustrates my state right now- I am finally up out of the pity party chair. The figures in the upper right are from the artistic director of The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, Sandy Spieler. They are to me - Ron and I holding our dream of a new home together. When I get in a downward spiral I tend to play melancholy music- it feels like a warm quilt of comfort around me. But I am surfacing again.I started cardio rehab this week and that helps- House has been on the market for 16 days and have had only one couple come look. I know eventually it will sell.

Off The Pity Party Chair

Friday, February 2, 2018

New Month-Hello February

I completed a book collaboration with Beau Gostomsky a week or so ago.  I do enjoy these- As I have mentioned before I love the challenge of creating a story with another person through art.
These are tricky to photograph and explain but here goes. The first set is the inside of the book I started and Beau finished. So first photo is my start then I show Beau's finish to it and then it standing up- then I move to the backside of the book- once again my start then Beau's finish and then it standing up.

My start to my book inside.

Beau's finish to my book inside.
Finished inside standing up

My start for the book backside.
Beau's finish for the book backside.
Book backside standing up.

Now for Beau's book
Beau's front cover.
Beau's back book cover.
Beau's start  for the inside of his book.
My finish to Beau's inside.
The inside of Beau's book standing up.

Beau's start to the back of the book.
My finish to the back side of Beau's book.

And finally  the back of Beau's book standing up.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 2018- over have gone!

I will post some journal work here and a journal I started from a used book I bought. I have several journal pages and will post some of those.
The winter has been brutal with many days and night of way below zero weather. So with doing outdoor activities not being an option I have done some real thinning in preparation for our hopeful move to New Mexico.  It is hard to  get the studio thinned   and ready as every time I go down there I want to make art- SO I need t know I will just have to have some art time when I can.

This spread is in a large journal with fold outs- this is 25" long.  I did this for an assignment for  the online class I took with Fonda Clark Haight.  We were working with our spirit animals-  This one is title: The Blue Bear Walks.

This spread was inspired by a quote from Alan Alda:
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.”

Here is my last spread for 2017- it felt good to do this I wrote out a lot- I did that Target over my face quite a while back for a group I am a part of that uses targets in the work. In this context I have felt  that being gay has made LGBT a target due to the political actions of some. But you know what? They didn't get me and they won't. The figure with the target with a heart in it is me moving forward. My work in the coming year is to continue to work from my heart and to continue to share my heart with others. Carol Wiebe shared a link to an article about Walt Whitman. Such an amazing man- this quote of his says what I intend to do.
Re-examine all you
have been told.
Dismiss what insults your soul.
This spread was inspired by a quote I saw that a wonderful artist, Linda Linda Eaton Marcille used for a piece.
Sometimes we need both hands to climb out of a place. Sometimes there are steep places, where one has to walk ahead of the other. If I can’t find you, I’ll look deeper in myself. If I can’t keep up, if you’re far ahead, look back. Look back.
―Anne Michaels
This last spread I am sharing was inspired by this quote.  
The best view comes after the hardest climb

This is a digital collage I did recently.  Sometimes I like to do things digitally.
The title is: Dangerous Climb.

This is the used book I mentioned that I bought and I will use it as an art journal.  The first photo is my cover I did over the existing one.   The book is 14" tall and I will more than likely paint over the pages with gesso, paint and then collage.  I removed half of the pages so that it hopefully will be able to be closed without bulging when I finish.


Friday, December 29, 2017

More work from the class

While some of the work for the class  was done on loose sheets I also did a fair amount in my journals.  There was a time when I would work in one journal until I had filled it- not any more.  In fact I have at least five going right now all different sizes I will share a few spreads that are recent here. This will be my last post for 2017  So Happy New Year to you all.

This spread was inspired by a wonderful thing- right before the snow covered our deck- I looked out one morning and there was this beautiful bight white ermine. Lots going on here- not sure just yet on the levels of meaning but there are several. This is a fold out in my big journal- 12 x 25. The traits of this spirit animal are interesting. I feel our hearts/spirits are connected to everything-Weasel Animal Totems traits include: Quick wit, forethought, good mental acuity
Encourages intense observation of life situations
Ability to analyze these situations and deduce probable outcomes

This spread like the one above is a fold out spread.  I have dealt with some challenging things this year. A few health things that are getting better and some  issues with people in my life. This quote is what inspired this spread.
Sometimes the person you'd
take a bullet for ends up
being the one behind the gun.

This spread is in my larger journal- this fold out is 12 inches tall and 25 inches long.
The background was fun-  I have an eBrush  this is an air brush for markers-  you can get adapters for various markers-  sharpies work- and copic markers- prismacolor markers and there are a couple of other kinds. I drew and cut out some chairs and used those as masks.  More working with the houses on the chairs.  Is the house inviting you to come in and sit or is it keeping you from being comfortable?
I did a positive negative thing with the chair- I have set my boundaries and feeling protective and protected. People have asked how I can stand to cut out detailed things- for me it is a sort of zen like I have music on and I cut away- I will say the barbed wire was tricky but yet that helped me think about the concept of keeping one out of a space or keeping someone from getting in your space.

The ending of a year always has me thinking about my life- what I have experienced- what I enjoyed about this year what was challenging- and then I send out my hopes for the new year to the universe. The large door in this is a photograph of mine that I altered- this house ruin is near where we use to live- I was so drawn to it. It is like a portal in this context. Best not to get trapped in the past.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Some new work

I have been taking an online class from Fonda Clark Haight. The class is titled:  The Down Deep- Mining Your Truths on the Creative Journey.  Part of this was very much out of my comfort zone and it is why I took the class.  I was not disappointed. I tried out some new ways of working and that's always a good thing.  The people in the class were an amazing group- lots of deep sharing and so supportive of one another. I still am amazed at how close  I can become with people in an online class- this class was a great way to end the year- had lots to process and this was a great place to do just that.  Here are a few of the pieces from the class- these are all mixed media collages.

I have certain images that I use frequently in my work.  Chairs, houses, doors, windows, birds are part of my visual vocabulary.   2 big symbols for me are houses and chairs- what you see here- the house is a very potent symbol with lots of good and bad feelings associated with it. Chairs for me are are big and the meaning depends on the piece. Chairs can be a place of power- or a place of punishment or a symbol for intimacy- when you pull the chair up close and rejection it is turns away. Of course I had to collage- also used stabillo pencil. I drew the chairs and cut them out of chipboard and placed under the paper and did rubbings over them.
On this one I used the house symbol- I also cut out the house swish symbol out of chip board and did a rubbing.  A house  can also be viewed as simply a place where we can express my private and unguarded self.   The house has meaning with memories both good and very challenging- happiness and sorrow.

Each of us carries within us our own ideas and memories of home.

Ravens are very special to me-  I am very fortunate as we have them around our house and I love to hearing them talking to one another.  I have such a deep connection to nature.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Finally I am doing a post

It has been a long time-  what can I say- life happens. I wanted to share some good news- Our Watermark Art Center, here in Bemidji had it's grand opening December 2nd.  The center had been under construction for a year.  I was honored to be asked to have a show in one of the 4 galleries in the new center. The center is 10,000 square feet- there are 4 galleries and a beautiful space for art workshops- a retail shop and The Region 2 Arts Council has their offices  there.  Here are a few pictures. I will be posting some new journal work soon.

Here I am with The Watermark Art Center's director, Lori Forshee-Donnay
during the opening.
View of the reception desk from the Lake View Gallery.
That is my wonderful supportive husband reading my
artist statement.

A shot of part of my show

Another shot of my show- I have 25 pieces in the show


Friday, October 13, 2017

New Book Collaboration

I recently did an accordion book collaboration with Nancy Gene Armstrong, a terrific artist in Louisiana. I saw her work on Facebook and was so drawn to it. Her collages are very narrative- each one seems a story and that is how I often like to work as well.  The first book is mine and I will show my starts and then show her finish.  Then the next book will be hers- I will show her start and then how I finished it. I love the challenge of a collaboration like this-

My start  for inside of my book

Nancy's finish for the inside of my book. She
told me the bright colored background I had painted
was a challenge for her as she never uses bright color. As you can see she did just fine!

The finished book  inside standing up.

My start for the backside of my book

Nancy's finish for the backside of my book.

The finished backside of the book standing up.

Now for Nancy's book. She uses amazing old papers for her backgrounds. Old letters, ledger pages
and pieces of old book pages with that amazing "patina" of age.

Nancy's start for the inside of her accordion book.

My finish for Nancy's book inside.

 The inside of Nancy's book standing up.

Nancy's start of the backside of her book.

My finish for the backside of Nancy's book.

The backside of Nancy's book standing up.