Monday, March 31, 2008

Titled and soon to be mounted

Thank you to Morning Dove
for her title suggestion. So the piece is officially titled 'Life Outside The Window'. And I am going to be mounting it on barnwood.

Also I was in an international collage exchange based in New Zealand. The work has been posted at I hope you check it out. There is some truly amazing work here. There are 2 rooms, one is exhibit and one is for pieces for sale.

This is short as there is a storm coming so I will be shutting off the computer soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I am so excited about this piece I can barely stand it! This may just be one of my favorite pieces ever.
So, I left off in the post before this one with the first layer of paint going on. Then the next step is turning the piece in all directions to put little dabs on where I missed spots in the nooks and crannies. This really took a lot of time. Seems like every time I thought I was done there was another little white spot shining at me.

Then I mucked around awhile with paint colors, and ended mixing a red and an orange to get the next layer. I applied it sparingly with a sea sponge and went over it with a dry brush to blend.
Then I used a stencil brush to add a little green to the leaves and again hit it with a dry brush.
Then I gilded the edges of the leaves with copper and the bark with antique gold and the mushrooms and fungus with a combinationof the two.

I may mount it on a board, kind of like a mat, and do the mat in black maybe? Or maybe mount it on some barn wood. I need to live with it awhile before I decide.
And I guess I should title it, but I am not coming up with anything at the moment. Anybody got suggestions for a title and about the mounting?


Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Technique..I'm so excited

I don't usually show works in progress. But I am sooo excited about this I had to share. While cruising around Bloglandia I found and was blown away by the piece she did in her March 13 post. This artist is brilliant with backgrounds and texture.
So I had to try for myself. I used crumpled tissue paper, bark, dried mushrooms and fungus, a dollhouse window, a scrap of rodent wire, a couple of keys and the thing you stick the key into. Oh and a LOT of oak leaves big and small.
So I started sticking stuff on using matte gel medium. Then I gessoed over everything. Then I added more stuff because, well you can never have enough stuff. Then gessoed again. Then I decided to go over the leaves with light modeling paste to make them stick out more. Then I drew the veins in the leaves with a bamboo skewer. Then more gesso.

Then I decided it needed an eye peeping out of the leaves. So I did the paper clay thing again and after it dried,gel'd it on and added more leaves. Then gesso again. Now it is ready for painting.
The hardest part is to think monochromatically. Because it doesn't matter what color the things are 'cause they will all be gessoed and painted. The drying time is hard too. Patience is not my strongest virtue. And there is a LOT of drying in between layers and what not.

So as you can see the first layer of paint is burnt sienna. I have to get some more colors, but I am leaning towards reds and red-oranges and coppers and golds. Maybe a green, I don't know.

So check out her work, you will be inspired too.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wood Spirit

This is on eof the Wood Spirits I make using things from our property. The bark is from a dead fall oak tree. The fungus is from another dead fall that I won't let my husband cut up 'cause it grows such good stuff. The feathers are donated from a hunter friend of ours, they are Pheasant.

I make the face using terra cotta clay. Then I dusted it with Pearl-Ex powder. Then I just glue stuff on till I'm happy. The hardest part of this is to make the piece hangable. The bark is curved so I had to make a hanger that was long enough to work with that. So I cut a piece of leather thong. Then I glued it to the back in a loop using E6000, one of my favorite glues.

So in the spirit of Spring which has to be here one of these days I offer my Wood Spirit.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tattered Fairies

These are my Tattered Fairy dolls. I use 14 inch bendi-type bodies that I paint with craft paint. Then I add seed beads for the eyes. They don't have noses or mouths because I can't draw. I call them tattered because their clothes are shredded and distressed. This is because I like the effect and I don't like to sew.
I make really big pom-poms for the hair out of whatever kind of yarn strikes my fancy. The wings are made from those sheets of copper mesh you get at Hobby Lobby the most fun place on earth. They are trimmed with glitter glue.
They will have ankle bracelets and tags giving their name. The green one is 'Earrach' which is Celtic for Springtime. The pink is 'Athas' which is Celtic for Joy.

Happy Easter to all


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blue Jay

This was a really fun piece to do. It just kind of created itself. I found these feathers last summer. They were just sitting in their box marked Blue Jay feathers. And I was poking around in my stuff and I saw that I had some blue teddy bear eyes. And the next thing I knew this was happening.

The canvas is a small one. Just 6x6. I painted the background with metallic craft paint. Then I took some of that really big sort of metal ribbon that they sell by the spool at Xmas time. I guess you could use it to make really big bows for a wreath or something. I had a spool 'cause...well I don't know why I have it. Anyway I painted one side of it black metallic and pressed it paint side down on the canvas.

I mounted the eye in paper clay. Then I painted it. Then I ran a bead of glue around it and added some seed beads. Then I added feathers and more beads and so on.

So this is my homage to the Blue Jay who so generously donated his feathers to me. Even tho I'll bet he didn't do it willingly!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Basket Weaving

Since the weather has been making my mood so crappy lately, I thought I'd do a little basket weaving. Supposed to be soothing right? I saw all these colored wires at Hobby Lobby and they made me think of peacock feathers and well, one thing led to another and there you go.

I stripped some 12g solid copper wire for the base. Then I soldered it and wirewrapped over the solder. I did this for stability and because quite frankly my soldering sucks. I've tried to do it. I know how to do it. I like to do it. But it just isn't one of my best things. Then I spread the wires out in the form I wanted.

Then I took 20g purple, blue, green and burgundy wire and just wove. And ya know what? It is soothing.

Then I curled the 12 g tops down and wove peacock feathers thru. It is surprisingly stable. And it feels good to hold. I think maybe I should have used a colored background. But you get the idea.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Shoes Shoes Glorious Shoes

The first pair of shoes that I coveted, that made my little heart go pitty pat were black leather low boot types. They came just below the ankle and had a folded flap around the top. They zipped up the back and had a low heel. I was in high school and wanted these shoes more than I ever wanted anything. I served a lot of burgers to get those shoes.

Then when I was older I was head waitress in a Disco and also did exhibition dancing and some teaching. So I spent the better part of my time in heels.

Now I go for comfort. But I still love shoes. I have a favorite pair of purple velvet MaryJanes. And during the summer I love sparkly flip flops. And my pink Converse knock-offs. I don't even own a pair of heels anymore. Unless you count the lowheeled cowboy boots I use to walk around our property.

So here is my shrine to shoes. It was going to have a lot of quotes on it. And the wonderful Ladies in Artists Circle came up with a bunch of good ones they shared. But as I built this it seemed to need simplicity to show off the shoe and the pearls and the beads, So the quotes are in a file waiting for another project.

I painted a Milkweed pod and filled it with pearls. A fun look I thought. And dribbled glue here and there and scattered tiny beads. A simple shrine, but I wanted the shoe and the Milkweed to be the focal point.
What's your favorite shoe?


Monday, March 10, 2008

Re-done Skull Done

After the drama and trauma of washing off my initial work, it's finally done! Yay!! I really enjoy doing the dot painting. Very soothing, if it's going well. But definitely something that should only be done when the eyes are fresh and the hand is steady. I decided against covering the whole skull. It has such interesting crevices that I wanted them highlighted, not covered. It doesn't show in these pics, but where the bones knit together, it almost looks like they were sewn with a wonky zig zag stitch.
I sealed it with a matte finish sealer. And now I am temporarily out of skulls.
At least until warm weather. Then I can boil and clean the ones that are waiting in my freezer. I don't know if I told you all, but I have a hog, a bunny, a squirell and 3 turkey heads waiting. The meat processor a couple of towns over saves skulls for me in exchange for brownies or pumpkin bread. I told him I would like one of whatever he gets in and he said ok. I'm very excited.

I know a lot of you are going EEEUUWWW right about now. But I think of it as a way of honoring the animal. When an animal is killed for meat, I think all parts that can be used should be used. The Native Americans had it right. Waste nothing.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Goddess For A Friend

I made this Goddess to send to my friend Moonwillow. Check out her blog 'The Starving Artist'. She will be going to Moon along with the other 3 I posted on an earlier date.
Her color is pink. Her word is COURAGE. I made her headress to resemble the Pink Ribbon.

Here is a closer view. All 4 will have stands like the one pictured here. That way they can go on desks or altars or tables or wherever. I hope they bring joy to the people who choose them.

Monday, March 3, 2008

More Shrines

I really enjoy making shrines. These came about becuase of my friend Rose.Check out her site 'Altered Rose'. We send each other stuff in the mail. And she sent me some cigar boxes. These reminded me of building blocks because they are so square. So I thought of piling them on top of each other and doing a multi-level shrine. I may still do that. I have one more I haven't used yet.

Anyway, building blocks made me think of kids. And kids make me think of fairies. So here are my fairy kid shrines.
I crackled the outside and papered the insides. I aged the blocks with ink. I mounted the images to cardstock. Then I cut them out and made stands for them with 16g copper wire which I glues to their little backs using E6000.
The wings are from cicadas. I took them off the dead bugs then preserved them with gel medium. I was going to use butterfly wings, but these were more interesting.

The little chick figurine is the match to the one on top of the branch on 'A Leg Up.'
Shrines are so much fun to make..have you tried yet?