Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Soft Sculpture

Recently I've been researching soft sculpture. Searching the internet I found the work of Yuko Takada Keller a Japanese artist working in tracing paper. You can see more on her website.

I can't imagine how she hangs these sculptures, but they're beautiful. I love how light and airy they are.

She writes "Prismatic"is the second work that I installed 3-dimensionally. It is one of my favorite works. It is composed of 7,500 pyramids. The theme of "Prismatic" is a shower of light that I felt in nature. "Prismatic" was traveling in U.K. in 1991 and in Canada from 1993 to 1995."

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"Reflection" 1990

I recently stumbled upon the work of Joan Livingstone. Here are some of her pieces in industrial felt and epoxy resin. I love her forms because they relate to nature, even though they're abstract. You can see more on her website.

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Sometimes I'm scared to venture into new territory in my own work but then I say what's life like if you're not a little scared? Boring!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Events


Travel Log, encaustic on board, 6 x 6 inches

I have the above encaustic painting included in the 2010 National Small Works Painting exhibition at The Main Street Gallery in Groton, NY from December 3, through January 2, 2011. I'm happy to say I'm actually going to be able to see this show because it's not far from where I spend Christmas with my family. This show didn't have a theme other than size so I find it ironic that this piece was chosen since it seems to resemble a map of the Finger Lake area in upstate New York where we wander every summer.

I've been working hard in the studio and will be open next Friday evening if you're in the area stop in. Here's more information about what's going on at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. There's a craft show happening from 5-11 pm so you can get some of your gift buying done while checking out contemporary art. I'll be selling lots of fun things in my studio, new bracelets, painting pendants, a few painted purses and small paintings. I hope to see you there.

Free Flow, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I spent all day making pies and cleaning. I'm tired but happy.


This is a photo of a sunset I took in October in Ocean City, NJ. I will enjoy being with family tomorrow and missing a lot of family members that I won't be with. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Felise Luchansky

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This week I had the pleasure of interviewing my studio artist friend Felise Luchansky. I asked Felise what led her to become an artist. She said as a child she loved collage and ripped into her parents magazines as soon as they’d allow her to, cutting out images and pasting them into new arrangements for her own entertainment. She was always making things out of whatever materials she could find including leaves raked into floor plans in the yard. She went to college at Rutger’s University where while she was studying art history she discovered photography. She continued her education years later taking courses at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, specifically Leslie Mitchell’s classes Work on Paper dealing with printmaking, collage and other investigations having to do with paper.

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The Letter R

This led right into my second question of how she came to be working in her current materials? She starts by collecting imagery; most recently this has been scanned images of nature, sea glass and melted wax. These images are often altered digitally then printed and physically collaged to form new compositions. Her current body of work is dealing with Morse code a form of communication originally created in the early 1840’s and used for early radio communication before it was possible to transmit voice. She became interested in Morse code when she watched how her son was communicating in invented shorthand when he was text messaging. The images are in the format of rectangles and circles to correlate with the dots and dashes of Morse code literally spelling out her message across the gallery walls. She’s incorporated a sound track of drumbeats spelling out the words D-E-S-I-R-E and R-E-L-E-A-S-E in Morse code. She is using altered and collaged images of melted wax for its connotation to the phrase “burning with desire” and the luscious visual qualities as well. Her work is like an invented language that resonates on many levels.

Felise is the recipient of a Delaware Division of the Arts fellowship grant for emerging artist, visual art: Work on Paper and her show titled Context at the Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery runs November 5th through the 25th. The reception on Friday the 5th from Friday from 5-8:00 pm. She hopes that the viewer walks away with the understanding of the concept behind the work but she likes to leave room for one’s own take on it. She is working with a good knowledge of art history and the understanding of art’s role to comment on and decipher the current social trends and that she does in a language all her own.



She cites her influences as photographers that use photography as a jumping off point such as Olivia Parker, Maggie Taylor and Leslie Dill. Other influences include Jasper Johns for his use of appropriation of images from popular culture and Felise has used things such as s and h green stamps and bingo chips in her work. Robert Rauchenberg has also influenced her with his use of silkscreen which allowed him to use his images over and over. Felise has collected images for years and with digital technology she can pull them into her work and manipulate them to suit her needs time and time again.

If you miss her show at the Mezzanine Gallery you can catch this body of work in December where she will be showing with Renee Benson at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in the Elisabeth Denison Hatch Gallery. If you're interested in seeing more of her work here's a link to her website.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

In the Studio

I've been working on new wool and silk nuno felted bracelets. Here's the process step by step.

Hand dyed silk ironed to heat set and placed on top of bubble wrap.


Pulling tufts of wool and placing it in designs on the silk


I place wool close to the edges if I want the edges finished or place the wool in from the edges if I want ruffled edges.


I use a hand soap that smells like vanilla, mixed with room temperature water. Not hot because then the wool felts to it's self before it has a chance to work it's way through the silk.


After they bracelets are soaked lay bubble wrap over the top and roll it up over a swim noodle, rolling pin or rolled up bubble wrap.


Roll it up in a towel to soak up the water and roll it back and forth for about 5 minutes


At this stage I unroll it and trim off wool that is coming over the edges


If you don't want to trim just push it back onto the silk


Roll it back up and roll it back and forth some more then unroll it and check to see if when tugged on it feel attached. You can also check the back to see if the wool fibers have worked there way through the silk.
If not you can run your fingers back and forth over the back with it face down on the bubble wrap.


Okay now that the wool is laminated to the silk you rinse it in warm water and then throw it down hard on the table or in the sink 200 times at least. I break it up by rinsing it with warm or hot water a few times thinking this probably aids in the wool's shrinking process.


When the silk starts to ripple and get wrinkly then throw it on the table some more. You heard me, it always shrinks a little bit more with the last 50 times it's thrown down hard. This is called fulling.


Here are my bracelets after a final rinse, let them dry then they can be trimmed and snaps or other closures sewn on for finishing them.

New photographs of finished bracelets.
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bracelets black and white.jpg

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bracelet gold.jpg

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I listed the black and white one in my etsy shop last night and plan to list more soon and send the images to a gallery in Philadelphia.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nature Photograpy

Yesterday I brought my camera along on my walk through the woods. I rock hopped down the middle of Naaman's creek stopping here and there to take pictures of the water.

I didn't bring a tripod so I steadied the camera against my face or knee as best as I could.

I love how you can see bits of blue sky reflected in the water.









Since art imitates nature, this is what I worked on when I got home.


This is painted fabric that I then spray painted with rocks as resists.


The top half of this shot is a painting on plexiglass, I'm holding it up so the light from the window is coming through. This is something I'd love to work on scaling up for the gallery.


Another piece of fabric I worked on. And now I have some really cool spray painted rocks.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Kids Are Artists Too

People often ask me if my kids aged 12 and 15 are artists too. My answer is “hell yeah!”. I’m really proud of their work but sometimes I wish they weren’t so busy all the time and would learn to clean up a little once in a while. They wrote, directed, acted, filmed and edited their own movie this summer. I love how my kids can make their own entertainment out of the dress up bin. I hope they never outgrow this. Will the finished piece be a masterpiece? I think probably not, but what a great experience. I bite my tongue when I see the incredible messes that are left in the wake of their creative flurry.

Here are a few pictures of what they’ve been up to this summer.

Delaney's abstract paintings


Delaney's art portfolio from summer camp


Savannah's watercolors from summer camp


This was actually Delaney's lunch one day, that's Larry Cat checking it out


Delaney helped me make wrapping paper with some left over paint and newsprint


Delaney has to wear collared shirts to school and she's not going to wear boring solids every day so she splatter painted her shirt


Here's a shirt I made for her with fabric she chose


Fabric she painted to make a pillow for her room


I painted the wall purple in her bedroom to surprise her for her birthday and together with a friend we painted the spiral. Here she's gluing pompoms to her lamp shades.

Delaney also made cute animals out of plastic eggs, paper flowers from a tracing of her hand and cool jewelry out of buttons. Today they were off to their friend's house dressed as cats.

When I was a kid, the neighborhood kids were always at my house where my sister’s and I were allowed to make costumes out of old clothes and odds and ends and we wrote scripts and put on plays all the time. Our Christmas gifts were always craft kits like a pottery wheel or glass cutting kit. My mother sewed and my father had a wood shop in the basement. I was always making things, and still am. My craft room is a mess! I cleaned my studio this week though and can't wait to get in there and start making messes!