Process calms me down. Thank you, Willa.

Last week I was sketching and I left out colored pencils, big paper and a cup of coffee with a paint brush.  I knew my daughter, Willa would be unable to resist the supplies and would have to make something.  This painting is what she created.

Her eyes are so sorrow filled—as we all are about the events in the last month in America.  This girl clearly has “Well, you know what kind of eyes she got…a girl with far away eyes”  You can thank The Rolling Stones for the lyrics.

IMG_8741

THE ROLLING STONES  •  Album/Some Girls  •  Song/Far Away Eyes

These are strange days indeed.  Sometimes the news, the violence, the same excuses over and over from politicians are simply too much.  I have to calm myself down and process is usually how I do that. My daughter helped me realize this.

I made this bag out of a friend’s stained leather from her Audi seat repair.   I know this bag (inspired by Frida Khalo and Calamity Jane) isn’t curing the ills of the world, sparking the necessary dialogue or starting a revolution.

However in my small way, it’s an act that represents taking the time to slow down, get thoughtful during this time of chaos and try to understand what my part might be in all that’s going on in the world.

IMG_8751    IMG_8755    IMG_8762

PS Chuck don’t show the post to Colleen.  It’s a gift. She can keep her auto paperwork in the stained seat reincarnated. 🙂

an experiment in leather

I have increasingly become inspired by usable art.  I have a lot of leather scrap at my studio and I’ve made bags, jewelry and clothes, but I’ve never experimented with housewares.  This was basically a sketch of what I would like to create.

A word of caution: if you are going to “bake or cure” your leather you want to do so when no one is around and the windows can be open.  It smelled pretty funky, however by baking it in the oven when it was damp it did somewhat achieve what I hoped it would do.  The piece held the shape I intended.  This leather was too floppy though.  I have to work with leather that has more structure.  I will be doing more of this in the near future. I’m always in favor of some experimentation.

“Learn to fail or fail to learn.” —Tal Ben-Shahar.

IMG_7686 IMG_7687 IMG_7688 IMG_7689 IMG_7691

IMG_7723

part 3. RUST & MEMORIES. The mediums of Elizabeth Bunsen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“I live in a northern paradise with short sultry summers and achingly bitter and beautiful winters, spring we call “mud season” and fall is a glorious crimson and golden falling into winter. This seasonal cycle functions as my muse and guides my work… In the winter I simmer tea and eucalyptus, spring blooms in my rust garden where I slosh tea and make marks with my ever growing collection of rustie, summer brings warm days and cool indigo blues and in the gold of autumn there is much gathering – calling out the curves of oak, the caramel scent of maple, the saffron arch of ginkgo, as the leaves sing their last songs.  Wherever I am, I am in a continuous dialogue with my environment; I wander, gather, arrange and collaborate with natural processes. I explore and experiment as a “domestic scientist”. Meditative play is how I attempt to stay grounded and balanced. This is how I live my art.”  —Elizabeth Bunsen

Elizabeth’s studio is like visiting a museum with a docent who is warm, full of knowledge and passionate about the objects.  The metal grate was given to her by a friend.  The coral is from Australia where she traveled and taught.  The wool is from her sister.  The rust graveyard keeps growing and is always revealing something knew.  Rust and Memories.

Starting tomorrow for the next three days I get to participate in a workshop with Elizabeth and see what kind of “rusty voodoo” she practices.  I can’t wait to explore and see what happens. I have a dress that is way too bright and in dire need of some “mucking up”. I will post some pictures of process. Rust and Memories.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

rust
rəst/
verb
gerund or present participle: rusting
  1. be affected with rust. (I’m pretty sure I’m going to be affected with rust.)
    “the blades had rusted away
    2. deteriorate through neglect or lack of use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Frida Kahlo inspired handbag. My steps included.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I spent an inordinate amount of time on this bag.  I’m thrilled that it turned out looking like a museum piece. It’s has structural integrity, but it looks like it should be handled with white gloves.  I think Frida Kahlo might’ve actually carried this.  I’m not sure which of my models for STRUT will be carrying this bag because it works with all four looks. I could do this type of design for days and neither need rest or nourishment.  I love when I’m in “flow” in my studio.  It’s a rare and unbelievably fulfilling time as an artist.

Yesterday’s studio work for the fashion show.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My designs are coming together for STRUT—Saturday evening, September 12th at 6:30 an 8:30. If you’re in the Burlington, Vermont area you need to get your tickets soon. These shows sell out pretty quickly.  Here’s the link: http://seaba.com/art-hop/strut/

Yesterday in the studio…

I have so many men’s jackets and I’ve wanted to rework one for a while.  This silk jacket was the perfect color to fit into my collection.  Now, I don’t possess any tailoring skills whatsoever, but this is the start of what this piece will look like.  I like the reference to silent film star fashion with the deep arm lines.  Now I get to design something for underneath.  I think that piece will reference Friday Kahlo with some heavy stitching and maybe even some painting.  My model, Genie is stopping by for a fitting this morning.

The second image is the start of a wrap I’m making out of scrap fabric I have in my studio and jewelry I have laying around.  I can’t wait to work on this.  Hand stitching is a very meditative process for me.  Last night a few hours went by and it could’ve been fifteen minutes.  I’m off…I can’t wait to see what happens in the studio today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“unhinged” at Revolution Kitchen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“unhinged” 2015, wood scrap, paint & found hardware ($500)

Definition of UNHINGED adjective un·hinged \-ˈhinjd\

upset, unglued; especially :  mentally deranged unhinged extremist>

First Known Use of UNHINGED 1652

Related to UNHINGED

LEVITY seven TRUNK SHOW @ Vintage Inspired

This Friday and Saturday I’m part of a TRUNK SHOW at VINTAGE INSPIRED in Burlington, Vermont with 6 very talented women. We call ourselves, “LEVITY seven”. We meet every few weeks over coffee in one of our studios or homes and talk about the issues of running small businesses.  Sometimes we stay on topic and often we talk about what’s happening in our creative lives.

“Without some occasional levity,

the working environment is not better than a sweatshop.”

What an amazing group of women to spend time with and learn from their collective experience. Having LEVITY in our group name reflects that we don’t want to pile more pressure on each other to do more than we already are, but rather reflects our level of encouragement and collaboration…with a healthy dose of humor.

Our group includes mostly Germans…two women are jewelers, one a fused glass artist and a garden designer. There are also a few very talented American women—a contemporary painter and the owner of CB Sacks—a Burlington company that makes beautiful bags out of coffee sacks from around the world.

Here’s what I’m preparing for the TRUNK SHOW…bracelets, pendants, a few paintings, hand-painted shoes and a few paintings.  I’m not a terribly skilled salesperson.  It just doesn’t come very naturally to me—so if you come to our TRUNK SHOW I’ll be the one showing the merits and creativity of my friend’s work.

Please stop by if you’re in the Burlington, Vermont area.

Vintage Inspired • Friday May 1st, 5-8pm, Saturday noon-5pm • 180 Flynn Ave

Here are links to see their work:

http://www.eenadee.com/ (Ina Deane/jewelry designer)

http://www.janefrank.net/ (Jane Frank/master goldsmith)

http://cbsacks.com/ (Kara Greenblott/bag designer/upcycled coffee sacks)

http://www.lynnereed.com/ (Lynne Reed/contemporary painter)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/glassart-by-gabrielle/927215810628357 (Gabrielle Baumann/fused glass artist)

http://www.oldworldgardendesign.net/ (Silvia Jope/garden designer)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am getting ready for a trunk show…

the first weekend in May at Vintage Inspired in Burlington, Vermont (details to follow).  I’m trying to decided exactly what I want to create…bracelets, pendants, jewelry holders, small (affordable) paintings or perhaps even something that hasn’t revealed itself yet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

photo

I found this Jill Heller piece in a magazine at the gym.

What luck, huh?  So cool.

I think this will provide some serious inspiration.

today in the studio…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

today in the studio

not feeling too creative

i played with some scrap blues and then added a few other hues

a bowl, a couple of bracelets

things created

my brain settled down