Saturday, July 28, 2012

Commemorating Dance

Artist Jim McMullan created these four new USPS forever stamps in honor of dancers Isadora Duncan,  Katherine Dunham, Bob Fosse and Jose Limon. The new stamps are now available.

Friday, July 27, 2012

With Pockets for Everything, Even a Marigold

I received a wonderful present from my friend and neighbor, Carol, who I met last semester when she took my screenprinting class. We discovered a few months into it that we live just three blocks apart. Along with being one of the best students, Carol was one of the most stylish, always wearing a gorgeous apron. Turns out she made it, herself, in about an hour. She's a world class seamstress who has been at it for years.

Carol has stopped by my studio a few times this summer to chat and share progress reports on the screenprinting she's been doing at home since school's been out. Yesterday she stopped by with a present: a beautiful handmade apron with FIVE pockets! She insists it is to be worn, not framed. Well... ok, Carol. I will. But it'll take a while to get comfortable with getting this work of art dirty. Today I'm wearing it with another apron on top.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


On a recent neighborhood walk, I saw a piece of trash on the side walk. Does it look like a fish to you? It did to me, so I took a picture.

In photoshop, I began to play with the image by increasing contrast and strengthening some of the textural qualities. 

Then I added a clearer fish eye and mouth by hand with a black pen on a printout of the image.

Here is the final version of my from-trash-to-fish recycling project.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Late Bloomer

I can't remember the name of this succulent because it has more than five syllables. The plant, which we call "Minnie," blooms occasionally for just one night. The gorgeous bloom lasts into the morning before wilting when the sun gets hot.

We inherited Minnie from friends who hosted impromptu parties on Minnie's blooming nights. When they moved into a condominium, they passed Minnie on to us. We haven't continued the party tradition, but we should.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Fun Little Project

During lulls in my "big art" schedule in the studio these days, I've been making journals from vintage book covers, filling them with pages made from printmaking paper scraps and portions of old prints. Here, I'm embellishing a few of the blank pages for one book with a little trim along the top.

I cut the flower motif from soft erasure block. Above, I've just inked and printed the block (which you can see in two pieces in the middle of the shot) onto one of the loose book pages.

The printed sheets mimic the top portion of the wall paper in the background of the print, seen here, which will serve as the title page. The just-printed pages will be chapter headings with blank sheets in between. The book can be used for a journal, sketchbook, to keep a history of projects in progress, or anything.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New From My Studio

My new Memory Loss series uses poinsettia plants as metaphor. In this case, I've replaced bird wings with torn poinsettia leaves.

Here is the full version of Memory Loss (3). It is hard to see well because it is long and narrow and the photo is taken with my simple point and shoot.

Memory Loss (3), 2012
ink, watercolor, encaustic

Here is a detail, perhaps easier to see:

Memory Loss (3), detail

And here is one I finished earlier, easier to see because, as a vertical piece, it can be enlarged so much more here. Both works are similar dimensions, 10" x 30."

Memory Loss (2), 2012
ink, watercolor, pencil, collage, encaustic

Monday, July 16, 2012

Among Friends

At least a hundred people attended Slater Barron's annual Garden Party yesterday. For Long Beach's community of artists and friends, her event has been held every July for probably twenty years. This year's gathering was especially fun. The weather was perfect, Slater's garden was inspiring, conversations covered the gamut.  

The group sitting in the geranium corner: Jim, Pma, John, Joe, John and Alice

Sue Ann, a book artist, wears a book necklace.

The remains of the day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hello Again

Hi! I've been out of touch here. It has been a busy few weeks due to a very active work schedule (my part time community college counseling "day job") and my desire to rush into the studio the moment I get home. 

I'm working on a slew of art projects concurrently and taking pictures as I go. An exciting time and I'll report on all that soon.

But let me play catch up with Joe's swap finds, which have been interesting and numerous over the past few weeks. I do think his good eye, creative instincts, and eclectic sensibilities are at their best as he digs down into big boxes of grimy junk at the swapmeets held weekly all over SoCal.

A twelve inch square ceramic tile, vibrant in color and detail. It's beautiful.

A collection of vintage rubber stamp letters for me! I've got many, but can never have enough.

And a whole box of fresh oil pastels. Oh boy!

A graceful Japanese wooden box. It was used as a type of purse, with fasteners for the strap on each end. I know it has a name; maybe my friend, Toshio, will read this and enlighten me....

A space alien. Joe has a collection of identical space aliens in a variety of sizes. He is very enthusiastic about it; I'm not so appreciative.

A handsome man with a broken arm. Since he is made of wood, we can help him heal.

A gorgeous collage of hand-painted paper on bark attached to cloth. I think it is from India but there are no identifying marks that we can find.

From the same source, a companion piece which is hand painted on what is a cloth-like paper. The detail is intricate and stunning.

A framed serigraph which Sophie likes, too. By Max Hayslette, this one is number 227 of an edition of 375. The Certificate of Authenticity on the back indicates that it was printed with 103 layers of color. Wow! That means the squeegee was pulled 38,625 times to create the entire edition of prints. 

And last, but certainly not least, is this pastel drawing on construction paper by Danny, completed in 1972. We love it!