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!