Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Sometimes I sits & thinks,sometimes I just sits." Satchel Paige

That quote pretty much sums up my life for the past few days. I've given myself a bit of 'downtime' and haven't accomplished very much in the studio. Come to think of it, I haven't accomplished anywhere near the amount of work I had scheduled for myself the month of April.
I keep telling myself "it's OK". This isn't a race, no one is keeping score of the amount of art I produce. BUT... I'm really hard on myself and really don't like it when I don't get things accomplished!
The whole sinus problem/inner ear thing just threw me in a funk and I've not felt like doing a whole lot of anything. So I finally told myself that all those projects will still be waiting for me when I DO feel like doing something.
With that said, I will be taking off tomorrow morning for a much anticipated trip. I was hoping to be in a better frame of mind, but maybe this trip is just what I need right now.
I'm flying to VA for a quick visit with my brother and his family. I will also drop in on my aunt, who is 86, to visit with her and on my former boss that's almost like a father to me.
On Friday afternoon I'm meeting up with some girlfriends for a weekend at the lake! I have been friends with most of these girls since elementary school! A LONG TIME AGO...
We have talked about doing this for sooooo many years but have never done it. SO, this is the year to start our GIRL'S WEEKEND! I'm sorry to say that my oldest friend (we've been friends since we were FOUR YEARS OLD) is not able to make it. She had a family obligation, but my
other oldest friend (friends since we were 8) will be there. All together there will be 9 of us
and we are going to a lake house owned by one of the girl's parents. There has been months of emails and facebook chats in preparation. A very big weekend for us all! It's almost like we've turned back the clock and are anticipating one of the big slumber parties of our youth. We've even been posting pictures of those old parties on facebook to remind us of how much fun we used to have and how close we all were back then.
Some of us have remained close over the years and some of us only talk once in a while, so this weekend should be a great time of sharing all the things that have taken place in our lives since high school! On second thought we probably need much longer than one weekend for that,
but since we plan to make this a yearly event we will suffice with one weekend at a time.

The photo above is from one of my birthday/slumber parties. Yep, that's me holding the cake, wearing my older brother's football jersey. Three of the other 5 girls will be at the lake this weekend. ** Just realized the number on the jersey is the same as the year 1971!**
This photo is from a Christmas party in our hometown. We all happened to be 'home for the holidays' and got together that year. The 5 girls (including me-2nd from right) will be there!
You can tell it was the 80's-just look at the permed hair!
Another bright spot of the trip is that I get to see my dear 'art buddy', Sandy. She also lives in my hometown but I didn't grow up with her like with these other girls. She will be attending the
magnificent Art & Soul retreat in Hampton VA this weekend. I had originally planned to go there with her. It's such a wonderful art retreat with fabulous teachers but my other girl's needed to do this weekend at the lake. AS much as I wanted to go to Art & Soul with my art buddy Sandy
this weekend with the girls had to come first since we've been discussing for over 10 years.
So, when Sandy gets home from Art & Soul and I get in from the lake, I will drop in to see Sandy and play with her in her studio until time to leave for the airport on Monday!
I will be home late Monday night, so I plan to play catch up with everyone's blog on Tuesday.
Hope you all have a great weekend. I plan to!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

It's a glorious day here in northern Illinois. I have the windows open and the doors open. The birds are chirping loudly, the flowers are blooming and the trees are trying to sprout their little leaves. The forecast for today is 85 degrees!!!
I cannot believe it. My only hope is that this wonderful sunshine and warmth will hang around and not give way to cold, gray skies anytime soon.
With this warm weather comes a fervent desire to spring clean. Not in the same way my dear old mom used to, but spring clean my studio. Clear out, clean up.
I've got my finger in so many pots so to speak that I've got an abudance of artwork
as well as art supplies. In the next few weeks I hope to go through my supplies
and figure out just what I REALLY need to keep and what I can toss.
There may be some giveaways posted or some items put on etsy.
In the meantime, I have started a new etsy shop, Flamingo Studio
to try and sell a few of the ceramics I've made over the years. They are piling up and cluttering my house. I've got vases and bowls in every nook & cranny
plus an entire cabinet full in my basement.
So if you're in the need for small litte vases right now, I just added some to my shop. Photo below shows them grouped together.
I'm going to use this etsy shop for my ceramics and assemblages and keep my other pinkbirdgirl etsy shop for fabric creations and collage/mixed media pieces.
We'll see how it goes...

Have a glorious weekend my friends! I hope you're experiencing weather as great as I am!
Choose to live creatively~
c

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." Buddha

Happy Earth Day!
I awoke to a beautiful sunny day! Something we haven't seen since last week.
I am feeling better and better-of course the warm sunshine could have something to do with it.
Anyway, thought I would post these projects I was able to finish in the last week.
The first one is something that I had done awhile back. The main portion was posted on my flickr over a year ago, but it always looked unfinished so I took another look at it and decided to add it to a background to give it more depth. The inspiration to update the piece came from looking at Judy Wilkenfeld's work. Especially her piece in the book 'Exhibition 36' by Susan Tuttle. (If you haven't seen the book, I suggest you go out and buy it right now! Great stuff in there.)
I think I like my piece much better now. The old book cover is attached to a canvas board that was painted with layers of paint and oil pastels. Then I applied a piece of tapestry fabric that I distressed a bit with fraying and ink. Under the book cover is a piece of
river birch bark that was peeling away from my tree and just begged to be incorporated into the piece since I already had an actual leaf attached to the old book cover. Of course the leaf is a maple leaf but the birch bark didn't care.


This piece is titled "Abigail Loves Autumn".
'Abigail' is the name I gave the little girl in the tintype photo in the center.


This next piece is titled "Love Birds". This piece was started several months ago
and I got very discouraged with it. I had printed out a pair of birds (not actually love birds,but the color that I wanted) on a transparency and I was planning to use the transparency over the background which is a canvas board layered with an old tissue paper pattern and then a layer of chiffon over that. I also added a poem titled "We Have Lived & Loved Together" on top of the tissue pattern but under the chiffon.


The plan was to put the transparency over the chiffon and under the cabinet card. Well, I had to secure it with gel medium in order to make it stay put. BUT I FORGOT TO SPRAY THE TRANSPARENCY FIRST with a fixative. SO, when I put the transparency on the gel medium it made a transfer of the print onto the chiffon. BUT when doing transfers
you really need to use a bit more gel medium than I used, plus I always have better luck with a fluid matte medium vs. gel mediums for transfers. It didn't transfer very well. In fact it looked as though I should just toss the whole thing in the trash. I have real hard time tossing things. I always try to fix it; make it work!
So I set it aside until I could figure out what to do. I was planning to print out another transparency and apply it on top after spraying with a fixative of course. BUT then after staring at it for a few days I decided to try and paint over the areas that didn't transfer well. So I painted... Still unsure... Let it sit a few more days...Painted some more... Used pastel pencils...Let it sit... Used charcoal pencil...


Then I gave in and finished the project. I added the huge letter 'L'
which I collaged old papers onto, inked and painted. Added the cabinet card wrapped in tulle, distressed. Drilled holes in the canvas board and added the ribbon and the stick to hang it from.
***Sorry to my friend Marsha--I know from reading a previous post of her's she doesn't like buttons**
Choose to live a creative life!
c

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where Have I Been, You Ask?...

Cannot believe it has been a whole week since posting! Thought I was getting back into the swing of things but along came another illness just after getting over the sinus thing! Oh what fun... I won't bore you with details just that I have an infection of the inner ear(labyrinthitis).It affects your balance and makes you dizzy.
I did happen to take off for the weekend to head to college-it was MOM'S WEEKEND!
I was feeling a bit better by the time I got there, although I had to ride with someone else. If you knew me well, you would know that that just about did me in.
I am EXTREMELY independent and I LIKE TO BE THE PERSON DRIVING, THEREFORE I'M THE ONE IN CONTROL! So I gave in reluctantly since my doctor said I should not be driving since I was experiencing dizzy spells. Can't imagine why???
Mom's weekend was fun! Got to hang out at my daughter's sorority house, got to see a performance by some of the sororities and fraternities.Lots of moms and kids went out to a bar on Sat. night. Then my dear daughter insisted that we go to a party at a fraternity house! So I did. A little bit crazy and a whole lot of fun. Oh to be young again!
Mom and daughter below. We had our mom's weekend t-shirts on.

Finally added fibers to the tags that have been sitting in my studio for weeks.
Obviously I haven't done ANY this month! I guess you could say I'm taking a break from my daily tags. Maybe I will start it back up in May.


I did manage to finish up the month of March. The final one below with the zebras on the side was done on March 31st.


I did manage to complete a few other unfinished projects over the last week or so.
I will save those for tomorrow.
Choose to be Creative~
cathy

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hidden Beauty

Just playing around incorporating fabrics into my paintings. I used a piece of gold cotton, a piece of muslin and the black printed fabric. I dipped the gold piece in watered down sepia ink as well as the muslin in the watered down ink. Dried them slightly before applying them to the canvas with gel medium. Then I added more ink and paint randomly and applied the black script fabric down on top, applying more paint.
The face is actually a rubber stamp on beige cardstock that I colored with pastels and paint. I apologize to the maker of the stamp. I cannot remember who I bought it from, therefore I can't credit them with the stamp! It's unmounted so there's no identification on the stamp and I've had it for quite a few years. If anyone out there knows who the maker is, please let me know.
The background is several layers of paint washes in several different colors.
The verdigris embellishment is an old earring! After adding the earring I went back and added some interference oxide green paint on the petals covering her head.



I still need to photograph and post the other daily tags. Although with my sinus problems I was pretty lax and did not get any made for the past 2 weeks...
I'm going to let myself slide and not be too critical.
Live creatively~
c

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain." Edware De Bono

A good sense of humor is essential to everyone but I think it's especially good for artists to have one. Or at least for me-I definitely benefit from being able to laugh at myself and all the silly things I do sometimes.
I'm taking an online class for cloth/clay dolls and being a seamstress for many years I was a bit too over-confident about the pattern and the cutting and the sewing.AHEM!!! It really does pay to read ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS! Even if you 'think' you know how to do something. HAHAHA... So I'm laughing at myself for totally screwing up the very FIRST steps of the process. I will have to admit this to the group I'm in.
I thought it would be easier to admit it first on my personal blog before admitting to the teacher and all the other participants.
SO... with a little cursing then alot of laughter I READ or rather LISTENED to all the instructions(the class is done with videos of each step) I can't post each
step of the way on this blog but I will post my doll when she is finished.

Does anyone else do really stupid things while trying to create? Do you get in such a hurry, such a state of creative frenzy that you can't wait to see the outcome and you rush through a particular step or steps. I do that alot,usually I do that knowingly, trying to hurry the process along because I'm so excited about it.
With the dolls, I was so excited about getting to the sculpting part that I just tried to zoom through the 'easy' part.
Oh well, if you never make mistakes then you can't learn from them!

I would like to share with you the ATC's I received in the mail today.
I am in the network, Creative Souls (created by Izabella) and Stacy Alexander hosted the swap on that site for some of the members.
I received one from Stacy, Jo Archer, Wewer Keohane and Jess Taylor.
They are all lovely. I'm so excited, I love to get surprises in the mail.
I have included the blog, website or etsy of everyone but Jess Taylor.
Sorry for that as I have no other info on her at this time. When I can find out I'll post it.

Thanks to all those I received ATC's from.
Live creatively & humorously!
cathy

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter/Passover/Spring to all!


Some good news...My camera arrived safe and sound and fully repaired! Yay!!
Additionally, my new modem finally arrived, albeit a day later than I was told it would. Nevertheless, I am fully operational on the technical front.
However, my sinus adventure has been a strange one. Good news is that the infection
is FINALLY getting better. Not so good news, the medicine I was switched to has left me with some side effects that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
So for now, I will show a few spring-like photos of my flowers and birdie.


And I will show you the crazy quilt I was able to finish in between bouts of extreme dizziness! The orangey fabric around the borders is decorated with Shiva Oil sticks
rubbed over a texture plate. I used several different plates then cured the oil paint, ironed it, cut the borders and stitched it up. I added a solid back background that rolls over the front edges to create another border.

I do hope to be back to MY LIFE in the near future.
In the meantime, please have a wonderful Easter, Passover or whatever holiday you celebrate!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Painting is an attempt to come to terms with life. There are as many solutions as there are human beings." George Tooker

This is the painting I finished a few days ago and was going to post yesterday but decided to add a few more highlights and shadows. It is titled "Honey, I'm Home".
Started it last week while hubby was out of town, hence the painting and title, I GUESS? I like the textures. This was an old collage that I never really liked so I threw some paint on it thinking I would turn it into an abstract piece. It didn't
want to be an abstract, so after the paint dried I applied tissue paper with gel medium and made sure it had ALOT of wrinkles in the paper to add texture and also to try and hide the previous collage elements. After the gel medium dried I painted this picture. To make the silhouette stand out a bit more I cut him out of an old map and glued him down; covered him with a nice coat of gel medium, let it dry, then
painted. I used my finger to wipe the paint off his chest in the shape of a heart,
exposing the map underneath. With the gel medium covering the map it was easy to swipe the paint back off.

Sorry if I haven't visited blogs much this week. This is the sinus infection from hell and it doesn't want to leave. Starting a NEW antibiotic today. Hopefully this one will do the trick.
Live your life creatively~
c

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." Anais Nin

That quote really opens my eyes.Makes me realize that art is so subjective.Art is
the raw emotions, dreams and imaginings of the artist and as viewers of the art we do not always necessarily see or feel what the artist felt at the moment the art was created. I think each person who views art will see it differently because of their own particular emotions or dreams. Of course on any given day those emotions can
be different, so each time we view art it can change for us. Which is why I always get really upset when I read a review of an artist's work by an art critic! How can one person look at a body of work and give us a valid and reasonable opinion, when art is SUBJECTIVE. How does that critic 'know' what the artist meant or felt when the artist created it?(Unless of course the critic interviewed the artist.)Also, when the artist created the art he/she may not have had any idea in mind and just let things flow intuitively with no rhyme or reason for it. Does that make any sense?
Sorry to be so DEEP today. Feeling rather introspective.
My week alone (daughter went back to college, hubby on business trip) did not go quite as planned.But then does anything ever go as planned? I developed a rather nasty sinus infection which has made my brain foggier than normal and a bit light- headed to go with it. So all the art I had planned did NOT get done. I did however
finally get my abstracts posted that I finished before daughter came home for spring
break.Also, finally got around to photographing some daily tag art.
I am VERY behind in uploading them.

There is still a stack in my studio waiting to have fibers/ribbon added and then photographed.

Hopefully I will finish getting all the old ones posted in the next few days.

Even though I didn't do ALL the art I had planned last week. I DID however, create a new painting which I will post tomorrow and I have started YET another project--
mixed media on fabric which I will photograph in stages since it's basically an experiment.

My crazy quilt from a previous posting is sitting patiently by the sewing machine awaiting it's borders and backing. I used some Shiva Oil Sticks and texture plates to create a design on some fabric that I want to use as the borders. Waiting for that to 'cure' before heat setting and sewing. Will post that when it's done.

Live creatively~
cathy

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Painting:The art of protecting flat surfaces from weather & exposing them to the critic. Ambrose Bierce


This is the most recent abstract. I started this one while the one in the previous post was drying. This is titled "Crimson Sunset". I was playing around with it and glued down some string to see if it would create an edge. As though it's a body of water at the bottom and the sun setting is reflecting??? Maybe it works.
Then below I reworked another from a few weeks before. Previously posted on 3-12-09
I wasn't satisfied with the sun previously.It just needed something more.
So here it is.


Of course my GOOD camera is still in the shop and my old Nikon just doesn't get the color quite right, even with editing. Hopefully it will return to me safe and sound and fully operational by next week.
Be creative~
cathy

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Which Way is UP??


Most days I'm asking myself that question...which way is up?...Which way do I go?...And where am I going? I usually end up going in circles.
NOW, I'm asking you guys to tell me--Which way is up with this painting...
I did this painting week before last after I found out that someone wanted to buy our horse.I knew we should sell her but I love her and my daughter really loves her so it was a tough decision. Lately when I'm frustrated I drop whatever art thing I'm working on and grab a canvas and started slopping paint all over it. Makes me feel alot better.Especially if I'm not trying to 'make' anything. Just globbing on paint randomly and wildly. This painting evolved over several days. The first layer was done with my fingers..that's right, as in finger painting. And it felt wonderful.
Wasn't excited about the outcome but the process felt good.
So the above/below painting is the final outcome.
The original title due to my emotions over the horse was "My Soul Bleeds", then I decided to rename it "Emotions Run Deep".
NOW my dilemma is when I was photographing it (with the old crappy camera whose battery is held in with a rubber band!) I photographed it upside down and I REALLY
LIKE IT BETTER! See below.. Now I'm thinking the title should be "Red Sky at Night".
Let me know your opinions.
I guess depending on the mood I can switch the painting back and forth on the wall.
It's versatile!



Live creatively!
cathy