Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mars - God of War

"Mars - God of War" - Digital Collage
Wandering through the streets of Rome one fine day, I happened upon this bad boy. He was locked away behind the gates of a private courtyard; which is probably a good thing, otherwise I'd have been all over him. Try as I might to get his attention, he kept his head arrogantly averted and paid me no heed. Thus, I was smitten! He's just the type of dangerous man who has proven to be many a woman's fatal flaw. After all, who could be more dangerous than Mars, the god of war? He was forever stirring up trouble and always falling in love. Yes, a very good thing he was kept behind locked gates! ;D

Monday, December 26, 2011


"Soapsuds" - 10x20 - Mixed Media Collage
I like the semi-interactive quality of abstracts. The viewer brings his or her own perspective to the experience. I love it when art patrons describe to me what they see in my abstracts and, of course, I always agree with them. (Even when I haven't the slightest idea what they're talking about!)

But, with that in mind, I've signed and wired this piece so that it can be viewed either horizontally or vertically. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Red Leaves & Copper Coins

"Red Leaves & Copper Coins" - 16x20 - Mixed Media Collage


This began as a floral that wasn't making me very happy. So after a coat of black gesso, it was reborn as an abstract. (You can still make out the outline of little daisies which I love!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Green Earth

"The Green Earth" - 12x12 - Mixed Media Collage
This poor canvas is in its third incarnation. I just haven't been very happy with the previous two images I created on it. The added layers, though, has produced a rather happy texture, which I love and I think that finally I can live with this image. Third time is a charm, right?

Denise's Scream

"Denise's Scream" - 11x14 - Mixed Media Collage

I call this piece "Denise's Scream" and she knows why. ;D

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Shiny Objects

"I Heart Buttons" - 4x4 - Mixed Media Collage on Canvas

"Silver Heart" - 4x4 - Mixed Media Collage on Canvas
A recent post by artist, Cindy Michaud, Chasing Shiny Objects made me envious of the fun she and her friends were having. I, too, love to collect shiny objects. I have vintage buttons, mercury glass hearts, dichroic glass baubles, beads, and even scraps from the floor of my husband's workshop that have caught my eye. After reading Cindy's post, I felt long overdue for a play date with my shiny objects and so I created these two little pieces using modeling paste, acrylic paints and whatever shiny objects caught my fancy at the moment.

These chunky little pieces are 4"x4" and can sit on a shelf as well as hang on a wall. Fun! Thanks, Cindy Michaud for the inspiration!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

And Then There Was Magic

"Frosty Moon & Mistletoe" - photo
Early this morning, before the sun was up, I peeked outside to see moon glow through a thin veil of icy clouds. Without thinking twice, I grabbed my camera, went outside and took the moon's portrait by framing it through the tree branches next to a clump of mistletoe. Then I went back inside and posted it to Facebook, calling it "Frosty Moon & Mistletoe." 

It wasn't long after that that artist/writer, Katrina Small, noticed it and was inspired to write a poem which she then posted on her blog with my photo after first asking my permission.

“Frosty moon and mistletoe, the silent eve lies still in snow.
Across the lea, in shadows still, the sudden cry of Whippoorwill.” © Katrina Small

You can say whatever negative things you will about the social media, but moments like this are nothing less than magic.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another Bridge Across the Arno

"Another Bridge Across the Arno" - Digital Collage
One of my favorite artists, DJ Pettitt recently posted photos from the workshop she conducted in Orvieto, Italy this year (I adore that town). DJ teaches the art of altering photos, art journaling and bookmaking; all things of great interest to me. So, needless to say, I've been drooling. I've also been inspired to dig into my own photo album of Italy and play with my own photos. Back in 2002, when I visited Italy, I was still shooting 35 mm. In 11 days, I shot 11 rolls of film (yea, you do the math) and have treasured these photographs. Many of them have served as subjects for my artwork, and I know I'm going to have fun making digital collages from them, too.

This photo, taken in Florence, is of a bridge that runs directly parallel to the famous Ponte Vecchio. Florence is enchanting and my traveling companion, Annie, and I awoke early on a Saturday morning to engage in some plein air painting while the city still slept. Our memories are just priceless!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Delphinium & Poppies

"Delphinium & Poppies" - Digital Collage
I spent a very productive day in the studio. It's time to begin new artwork for the 2012 Yellow Springs show. The catalog piece is due in one month and, of course, I want it to be my best work ever.

In addition to beginning five new canvases, I spent some time sketching ideas for the exhibit. It's in the spring and florals seem to be a very popular subject among the clientele. Since florals are really my best subject in any medium, I've decided to stick with that as my theme.

At the end of the day, I took the sketch below and combined it with one of my Bomomo images to create the digital collage above. I find this a perfect way to blow off steam at the end of the day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Dolles Salt Water Taffy"

"Dolles Salt Water Taffy" - Digital Collage
For years I've been wanting to make images of the local landmarks in my area and I've decided that digital collage may very well be the best approach for me. So, here is my first attempt with the beloved Dolles Salt Water Taffy on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Sea Star Wreath"

"Sea Star Wreath" Digital Collage

After a two week leave of absence, I'm back in the studio and loving it. Of course, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with my "to do" list. In one column I have the things I "have to do" list and in the other I have the things I "want to do" list. I'm sure you can guess that one column is creative and the other is administrative. Fortunately, I rather enjoy doing both so it's not a big problem. I just have to remember to always keep the deadlines in sight!

In addition to the new digital collage, I also created a new section in "shop crabulous!" today entitled Low Country. If you're interested in perusing the gift items, click on the heron here:

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Art of Taking Time Off

It would appear that all is quiet in "a crabulous life!", but that's simply not the case. True, no work is being produced in my studio for the time being, but the work going on inside of my head is unbelievable!

My mother is here visiting! It's been five years since she's been able to get here to see me and probably that long, too, since I've been a tourist in my own town. Together we're having fun rediscovering the places we've always been so fond of and exploring new ones as well.

My mother has such a keen sense of design and color and a great eye for detail and whenever I'm with her, my mind always goes into overdrive seeing things with a new perspective and turning these new perspectives into new design ideas. She's only been here a few days and already I find myself thinking about new color combinations and about new subject matter.

Above you see a new hat and scarf that she insisted upon buying me as an early birthday present. Upon seeing the scarf in our favorite clothing boutique, she knew immediately that I'd love it because of the color combination. And the wool felt cloche was a natural. I've always had a thing for hats and this one is just too cool. I've never been too into fashion and I wear pretty simple, straight forward clothing (read jeans & t-shirts) which act as a blank canvas and I love, love, love to accessorize.

You may have noticed that the cloche and scarf are draped around a book. You may have also already guessed that it's vintage and foreign. Danish to be exact. I don't know why I'm so fascinated with these objects, but you know I'll be drawing all through it.

This book is particularly interesting because it has illustrations that look to be woodcuts. The title is Vers Og Vaerktoj, Et Udvalg Af Digte or Verse and Tool, A Selection of Poems by Oluf Bertolt and Hagmund Hansen. The copyright is 1951 Forlaget Fremad - Kobenhavn (Copenhaven).

I know it's imperative that I write down all the new ideas that all the new stimuli have been stirring in my mind so that I can sort through it when I return to the studio and decide where to begin anew. Vacations, even from something you really love doing, are imperative. They clear the mind and open it to brand new possibilities!

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Reading Nude"

"Reading Nude" Digital Collage

Playing with old sketches again. Since I'm away from home this weekend, my laptop is serving as my portable studio.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Lynn's Stinkbug"

"Lynn's Stinkbug" 4x4 Mixed Media Collage
For whatever reason, this has been an epidemic year for stink bugs. While I've noticed a few more than usual around my place, apparently my old stomping grounds in northeastern Maryland have been overrun with them. I've seen more than one friend complain of them on Facebook. One friend in particular, my good friend, Lynn, seemed to be particularly plagued and wearied by them.

Then one day, Lynn posted that she and her granddaughter carefully "saved" a stinkbug by gently removing him from her house so it could live free. She said they couldn't resist its "teddy bear eyes."

I was shocked! Could this possibly be the same woman who only a month before had been cursing these invasive insects? Poor Lynn, the bugs had driven her over the edge and made her delirious. So, I felt a get well gift was in order and I created the stink bug collage just for her.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Keepsake Collage

I was recently commissioned to create a Keepsake Collage from a wedding invitation. As you know from previous posts, I love doing these.

In this case, I was given not only the collage to work from, but other accompanying pieces. This included the cover from a "thank you" note from the bride to one of her bridesmaids as well as a "save the date" card. Because these items were coordinated with the invitation they went beautifully together in the collage.

I was also advised that the bridesmaids will be wearing black with sparkly buckles and the bride's bouquet will contain deep red flowers. This information is what inspired the flowers made from a deep red paper with white rhinestone centers.

A lot of thought goes into the design of a wedding invitation and I'm tickled to be part of helping preserving this special memory for the bride.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Low Country"

"Low Country" - Digital Collage

I received inspiration in the form of a wonderful photo from my friend, Debby Ann Nixon the other day. She lives outside of Charleston, South Carolina; in Mount Pleasant to be exact. Last weekend was beautiful and her photo here of Shem Creek only goes to prove the point.

Photo of Shem Creek by Debby Ann Nixon
I absolutely love this type of landscape. We have our own share of marshlands in Lower Slower Delaware and I have long loved the savannahs of Savannah.

Debby suggested I use this photo in my digital collages and my mind immediately began spinning in a million circles. I have many more circles to explore, but I began with the obvious; combining Deb's photo with an image of one of my many, many, many (did I say many?) heron collages that I've created over the years.
"Great Blue Heron" - Mixed Media Collage
I'm kind of tickled with the final result. Thanks a million, Deb!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Lonely Snowman"

"Lonely Snowman" - Digital Collage

OK, so Halloween is over and now we're into the holiday season (or so Madison Avenue would have us believe.) Personally, I tend to hide my head in the sand until well after Thanksgiving and then I start kicking myself. So, this year I've already created the design for my holiday cards and have even posted it to Cafe Press so anyone who wants can also get note cards in the same design.    

Fortunately, my family decided a few years back to dispense with the gift giving and just enjoy the beauty of the season, each others company and good food. When you take the pressure off of the season it becomes so much more enjoyable! 

So, I'm kicking off the celebratory season of the winter solstice with great enthusiasm!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Improved Sea Samples

In getting ready for upcoming art shows, I decided a couple of my "sea samples" could do with some additional "glam"! Above is the new and improved "Sea Sample 3" while below is the original version.

And here you see the original version of "Sea Sample 4".

And this is the glamorized version of the same collage. I think the new versions are prettier, don't you?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Art of the City Part 2

When you're one of 8+ million, how do you stand out from the crowd?

While in New York City last weekend I collected examples of personal advertising among a few other souvenirs, such as visitor's passes to the Met and a movie stub.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Art of the City

New York City is a circus for the senses. The sights, the sounds, the smells are fantastically overwhelming. I made a visit this past weekend and realized that I had been away for far too long. 

So, without rhyme or reason, with no order or explanation, I offer some of the sights that assailed my senses during my weekend in the city that's like nowhere else in the world.