Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Balancing My Chakras In a Hurricane

In the aftermath of Irene, the recent hurricane turned tropical depression, I sat in my boarded up house, listening to the wind, with just a sliver of daylight peeking in. I decided to cope by making some art. With a flashlight, I bumbled down to my studio, grabbed some good rag watercolor paper, watercolors, watersoluble oil pastels and took it upstairs. I painted two big pieces of undulating curves in rainbow colors that blended into each other; I later cut one of the pieces down to ATC size.

As I was falling asleep that night, I realized the balance connection: I use meditation and visualization of chakra colors to calm myself, especially during a panic attack. So, I added watercolor dots [which I cut with a hole punch] in the reiki chakra colors to the little undulating curvy backgrounds. The ATC reminds me that I need to meditate on a daily basis to keep my crazy life in balance.

Monday, August 22, 2011

23 and 3

My daughter celebrated her 23rd birthday over the weekend. I happened to snap a photo of her wearing some new earrings, and she was standing in front of a fiber piece based on a photo of her at 3, when she was in the Nutcracker at the local Y. (The pieces of the 'fractured photo' were done by me and 7 other members of an art exchange group, and I stitched them all together.)

Also included is her birthday card, with pictures of the family photoshopped into a Graphics Fairy http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/ royalty free clipart of 4 French old-fashioned ladies.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Little Stuff, and the Smithsonian!

My small labor of love is making art-o-mat blocks which are sold in vending machines around the country. Today, along with a check, I received the listing of where the blocks had been sold. How cool that there was a bunch in the machine in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC! Fortunately, I am devoting much of my art time this week (that is, my stay-cation)to doing art and making more mini quilted pieces for art-o-mat. Last time I got a check and a sales listing, there were a gazillion sold in the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas. So, here is a picture of the different blocks I make. The most popular one seems to be my yellow self portrait. (This is it unquilted. I add some beads and sequins to jazz it up.)

And it is a good day for small things...SAQA just announced a new show, "A Sense of Scale" that will contrast big pieces with small ones. So, I can do a series of pieces as small as 12" x 12". I have felt alternately annoyed, sad, and mad that I can't enter most art quilt shows since I like to work small. Maybe someday when I retire and can devote all day to art I can go big, and get a giant longarm sewing machine, but with my crazy, busy work schedule, small is all I can comfortably do right now.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I just joined a group within a group, Le Papier Dolls, part of Roses On My Table, where I already exchange ATCs and tag art. Who knew Le Papier Dolls would be so much fun? This month's theme was "Back to School" so I went back to my childhood and did some 'Little Linnie 1967' girls. I used a template available to the group, but added an A-line dress that I sketched from a vintage 1967 Simplicity pattern. I cut pieces of my own fabric designs (printed on paper) for the dresses. Of course, I was compelled to have textured stockings, because the key to my whole late 60s wardrobe was colored fishnets in every shade of the rainbow. The face is me at 10 (well, it was taken from a group shot of my family at a reunion in 1965, but close enough.) I printed the b/w pix, spritzed with fixative, and added a tiny bit of watercolor.

I had more fun (artistically) than I have had in years making my paper dolls (I did about 10), I think because it combined the freedom of collage with the pure joy of being a child again playing with paper dolls. It also brought me back to a simple time, before jobs, mortgages, child, husband, and before school work actually got hard.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Left Brain, Right Brain

I go back and forth between my left brain and my right. Sometimes I take comfort in mathematical, repetitive designs; sometimes I just want to paint and make a mess and hopefully end up with something beautiful. My left brain wants to be neat and logical, my right brain wants to let out emotion and be a messy 7 year old.

Recently I had two ATC challenges. One was divas, and I made a pretty right brained homage to Chrissie Hynde. I used a royalty free graphic of a fairy on a butterfly, then photoshopped on Chrissie's face, some red boots and added wings from a Graphics Fairy butterfly. http://www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/
The other was opposites, and I felt the need to do a precise expanded square with clean lines and sharply defined blacks and whites. Both designs are very "me" but from different parts of me.