Monday, January 25, 2010

Come, Spring!

Mixed Media Collage - 6x6

This is the sequel to yesterday's post. The woven piece is glued and wrapped around the base and I added my painted bluebird and a couple of the "shiny" objects that birds seem attracted to. And, of course, the whole thing is splattered with a gold metallic wash as all my pieces are.

I've included the photo below so you can see how the image wraps around on the sides of the canvas.

I believe I'll debut this little piece in the Historic Yellow Springs Art Show, which is my next big deadline.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Under Construction

I was searching through my papers the other night to see what would grab my attention and lead me to my next collage and I came across some wallpaper scraps from my mother's powder room. It's a lovely cream color with violet and indigo pansies sprinkled liberally all over with green leaves and tiny little speckles of blue. It has a watercolor painting look to it and it definitely says springtime. I love working with wallpaper in collages. It is made to hold water and meant to be glued so therefore it's extremely pliable. What could be more perfect?

Then I started casting around for other papers that would complement the wallpaper. I found a slightly darker yellowy-cream colored Thai grass paper and decided to use it for my background. I ran across some indigo scrap booking paper with a metallic gold design and also a lovely blue African handmade kingfisher rag paper that was a Christmas gift from my son's girlfriend.

I applied the background paper to a 6x6 canvas block and began to rip the other papers into long strips which I wove together. The weaving process and the spring like colors made me feel a little as though I were building a bird's nest and I started to look for other interesting items to weave into it. So I added very narrow strips from an old dictionary and some long pieces of gold metallic thread.

The weaving will next be adhered to the base and I'm tempted to paint a little bluebird to use as the focal point of this spring piece. Hopefully I'll have it finished soon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wedding Invitation Collage

Finally, yesterday, I made it back into the studio to begin work for the first time this year. After cleaning up and sorting everything I looked around and wondered where to begin when my eyes landed on a wedding invitation.

A young cousin of mine was married last month. His sister, lovingly, hand wrote the invitations and I was a fortunate recipient of one. A number of years ago I began a tradition of making a keepsake collage of the wedding invitations I received as a gift to the bride and groom. If the invitation itself does not dictate the color choices I make in the collage, I try to find out the bride's colors and incorporate them in this memento.

Over the years I have received a number of invitations. Some have been professionally printed while others have been beautifully and simply printed by the bride and groom on their home computers. This was the first time that I had received a handwritten invitation and I was touched by its elegant simplicity.

I truly enjoyed creating this keepsake collage. The front of the note card was a brown and cream paisley design which I used in the piece and to which I added papers in tans and peaches that included pink roses. I know from seeing photos on Facebook that the bride had pink and yellow roses.

In a time when we are all pinching pennies I appreciate the couples who fight against the norm of the $25,000 wedding and, instead, celebrate their big day in a spirit of love and beauty with everyone in the family pitching in. Making this piece felt like the perfect way to kick off the new year as I'm sure this couple feels that their new marriage is the perfect start to their new year.

And Tim and Erin, if you happen to be reading this, I'll get your collage in the mail to you soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Savannah's Broughton Street

Savannah, Georgia is one of my very favorite cities to visit. Because my parents live here I visit rather often. For a number of years I've made it a tradition to travel to Savannah in January to escape the winter weather of the north for a little while and to enjoy Savannah's more temperate winter temperatures. While many tourists to Savannah love to trek to River Street, I am more charmed with a street a few blocks further south known as Broughton Street. This used to be the main shopping district of Savannah many years ago before sliding into neglect as many of our nation's cities' Main Streets have experienced. Fortunately, over the past few years, new life has been given to Broughton Street and I love its unique shops and restaurants that have popped up in the restored historic buildings.

The doorway above is the entry to The Paris Market & Brocante. To those of you who aren't francophiles, brocante simply means flea market.

On the street level, this shop is chock full of jewelry, fragrances, candy, accessories and tchotchkes for the home and also features a coffee bar. In the basement level, which must be as old as Savannah itself, you can find the most interesting home furnishings.

Also on the north side of Broughton Street and just west across Whitaker Street you can find the Savannah Bee Company's honey store.

This is the only honey boutique I have ever experienced and I find it simply amazing!

Once inside the shop, the first thing you encounter is the honey tasting bar. The various flavors of honey are set out in a specific order so that ones palette can best experience the unique differences of each honey type.

At the end of the bar there's sure to be a special honey-made snack; usually featuring honeycomb, cheese and some type of fruit.

In addition to the wide variety of beautifully bottled honeys, the boutique offers wonderful honey-based hand creams, body butters, lip balms, etc. as well as hats and T-shirts. There's also a "hive" containing fun and educational materials to teach children about bees and honey making.

On the south side of Broughton and in the same block we find DC2 design. This is a wonderful shop which features unique home furnishings, jewelry and handbags of a very contemporary variety. They also feature a coffee bar and lounge area.

Lastly on our tour we see the American Craftsman gallery. American Craftsman has three galleries in New York City, one in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and this one in Savannah.

Unfortunately, the gallery was closed for winter cleaning while I was there, but the window displays were stunning.

Then, on the other hand, maybe it wasn't so unfortunate. When I saw the beautiful silk scarf in the window I started to drool. I think the colors are just stunning.

There are so many other great shops on Broughton Street and this post doesn't even cover the restaurants and bistros that one can find there. Hopefully some of you will discover them for yourself if you ever get to Savannah.