Posts Tagged ‘collage’

catching up

October 8, 2009

Well, this is weird.  I wrote and posted, and then saw that the entire first paragraph had disappeared…now, what was I saying?  That the Doghouse Gallery opening was last Saturday evening, and it was a terrific party.  Lots and lots of people came, lots of wine was drunk and cheese eaten.  Mary Anne and I both sold a couple of things, which was wonderful.  I would have liked to sell more, of course…had  hoped to pay for my framing costs…but I didn’t really expect to, and I’m delighted to have sold anything at all. Nice things were said about the work, and it was gratifying to have it seen, and to be in the company of so many dear friends…and some new friends.

These events are draining for the artists showing work…I am NOT complaining, mind you, not at all, and of course it was great fun…but after the stress of getting everything finished, framed, hung, polished, cards and invitations made and sent, and then the high of the opening itself where you try to talk to everyone and remember names and not spill wine on yourself, or drink too much of it…well, then there is a sort of crash.  It takes a few days for the adrenalin to depart, days in which all I want to do is sit and stare into space.  I’ve learned to accept this period and just go with it; I’m going to be unproductive anyway so I might as well enjoy the little island of calm.  I am managing to do some much overdue house-cleaning; I can’t seem to get work done in the studio AND keep the place tidy at the same time, it’s gotta be one or the other.  There’s more to do, but the bills are paid, the cobwebs brushed from the corners, the papers cleared off my desk.

And then there’s the reflection, the doubt…why do we artists keep doing this?  I think of all the hours spent making stuff, sometimes full of joy and sometimes anguish, the expense of framing, the hauling and hanging, only to bring home yet another pile of pictures no one wants and find a place to store it.  I can only say I do it because it’s what I do.  I don’t think I can say I love it, though often I do…do I “have” to do it, as many art-makers say?  Maybe.  I don’t know; I wonder if that’s just a romantic myth.  I do get grumpy if I go for very long without making something, that’s true.

So what’s next? — a question that follows every such event. I’ll have a show in the next few months at Oriole 9 in Woodstock, and next November a solo show at WAAM, more reasons to keep on working.  Right now I need to shift my focus to figuring out ways to make an income; having recently been dropped by my longest and most faithful illustration client, my financial situation is on the verge of being dire, and my job skills are nil.  Well, there’s always Wal-Mart; they might need a greeter!

Opening, me with guests, and Tom, the gallery ownerwe drank a bit of wine...gallery door

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blogging my butt

March 6, 2009

Yep, I finally did it, the dreaded colonoscopy.  I was scared shitless, but just as people told me, it was as easy as falling off a log, and in and out procedure.  Everything came out okay, and I’ve now repooperated.  bullcolonoscopy

To change the subject (please), I’ve just made some more ACEO’s and sent them off to Arts Upstairs.  I felt inspired by the antique paper collages of Cecil Touchon, loving the colors and textures of the papers and the simple and elegant way he placed them. http://cecil.touchon.com/antique-antique-papers/index.html

Of course I don’t want to copy him in any way, but I dug through my old family stuff and pulled out some lovely pieces: my grandfather’s diaries, a great-aunt’s autograph book, letters from my grandmother to my dad when he was in college, etc.  Now, it’s not easy to tear pages out of these precious relics, and I’m careful about how I do it, but I’m liking the results and the sense of history/mystery they give these tiny objects.  Here are the recent cards—not all use the old paper, there’s a mix here, but I never can stick to doing just one thing!

New ACEO's

New ACEO's

Birthday Past

January 11, 2009

Well into the new year now, and with my birthday celebrated I finally feel like the holiday season is over and I’m settling back into working and routines: real life.  It’s always a relief to hit mid-January, with not much going on except watching weather reports and cancelling stuff because of the snow.  I’m a hibernator–hate being cold, but I’m happy to have an excuse to stay indoors with my books and music and projects.  For a couple of days anyway…then I get antsy.  Snow yesterday, antsy today, going out to do something…movie? music? tonight, to get the brain working again.

A couple of weeks ago, I did my third workshop with Christie Scheele’s daughter Tessa and her friends, Anna and Sonya. Christie worked with us too, this time…I hope they had as much fun as I did.  The 3 hours just zoomed by; I think I’ll add another hour next time we do it, if they’re up to that.  I’ve always been nervous about doing workshops…do I have anything to teach?  Can I transmit what I know so that it’s useful?  Do I go too fast, too slow, give too much info, too little?  I’ve worked with these kids and with a small group of artists, showing them collage techniques and getting feedback, so my confidence is gradually building.  I hope to one day (with better lighting in my studio!) give workshops and classes on a regular basis, both for the joy of sharing and for a little extra income.  With illustration work at an all-time low for me, I’m trying to add to my income with small projects.  I’m not sure if that’s a good idea, but it’s better than just whining. Here are a couple of photos of the last workshop–they all did fabulous work, making collaged accordian books.

collagers-workingcollage-group-with-work

My current project is making more little ACEO’s.  I know I can’t sell them for much, despite their complexity, and unless I get my process speeded up considerably, it won’t be worth the time involved to make them.  But I did set up an ETSY shop with four of these little gems, and I hope to put some at Arts Upstairs, in Phoenicia.  Check out my shop here…I’m kinda proud of myself for doing it!  http://www.barrtworks.etsy.com .  Any feedback would be much appreciated.

My friend Polly Law is offering a workshop in making ACEO’s, next Saturday (January 17).  It’s sure to be wonderful; she has such technical skill and originality, and she’s priced it quite reasonably; I surely encourage anyone in the area to sign up fast–give her a call.actsinvitea

Express yourself in just 8.65 square inches!
A workshop to explore the world of itty-bitty art made to trade with other artists or sell, your choice.
Artists Trading Cards are the art equivalent of baseball cards, 2.5″x3.5″ in size, materials and expression are open. They are as hot as pancakes right now- well, little tiny pancakes; but unlike flapjacks, they don’t pack on the pounds or raise your triglyceride levels.
Learn some new techniques, teach some new techniques, play with some new materials.
My studio can only acommodate 6 participants so please prepay with PayPal to reserve your space.
I will provide 5 blanks per person, fancy papers, magazines for collage elements, a printer, rubber stamp type, hole-punches, paints, Bill Wills and Django Reinhardt on the stereo, and assorted other bits and bobs.
Please bring any other materials you want to work with- think of it as an art-materials pot-luck- Elmer’s glue or Yes! paste, double-stickum tape (no glue sticks!!!), an exacto knife and blades, and your own brushes. (Catskill Art Supply is right down the block if needed.)

Caveats: My studio is a 3rd floor walk-up and there is a cat on the premises. Plenty of parking on Wall Street and 3 free lots on N. Front Street.

And now back to work…..!

pocket Buddha

December 13, 2008

This past week’s ice storm kept me indoors, so I heated up the studio and got to work.  We didn’t get many problems around here…it was very wet, but the streets didn’t freeze and the trees didn’t fall; it was another story on the other side of the river.  My eye exam got cancelled because the optometrist had a tree across her cul-de-sac, and my son and daughter-in-law just informed me they’ve been without power in Elizaville since Thursday night.  They’re coming over tonight with their cat Liam to warm up.

Back to the studio–with no biggish projects in mind, I busied myself working on some ACEO’s…(Artists’ Cards, Editions and Originals–same thing as ATC’s –artists’ trading cards–except they’re to sell rather than trade.) I want some for gifts, and I do hope to sell some.  With no illustration work, finances are tight, and I figure a bit of income here and there from little things might help keep me afloat for awhile.  And they’re so much fun.  I pulled up images and quotes from Buddha, and I’m making the cards with pockets, into which I insert a smaller card with an image on one side and a quote on the other.  Here’s the first completed one:

buddha-aceos

Now the studio’s heater is going, and pretty soon I’ll be able to head in there with scissors and glue.  Meanwhile, a word about some art hereabouts that’s worth checking out: I’m in a great little holiday show with about a dozen artists at Michael Nelson’s gallery on Partition Street here in Saugerties.  We had a great crowd at the opening, and it’s a lovely show.  My friend Patti Gibbons has work in a nice show at the Donskoj Gallery in Kingston–I haven’t been yet, but I know it’s worth seeing.  Last Saturday we went up to Hudson where my friend Anique Taylor is showing some of her recent gorgeous work at Deborah Davis Fine Art.  The gallery is beautiful, and Anique’s work is stunning.  Don’t miss it if you live around here!  img_55291

Another Saturday event was a crafts fair in Tivoli, where  my son Alex and his wife Faith displayed their wares: Faith’s wonderful ceramics, and Alex’s hand-built amps.  Here he is with a small sampling:

alex-craft-fairI was impressed by the sculptural beauty of the amps, and I continue to be amazed that he knows how to put these complicated things together.  Here’s the card he designed, just in case anybody out there needs an amp!

alex-card-finalOkay, that’s enough for today…back to my Buddha pockets!

Edna, Emma, and Lois

November 25, 2008

This is the fifth of this series derived from my visit to my home state; the girls are my mom, on the left, and her sisters.  The scene is one we passed by, shot from the car window…an abandoned limestone farmhouse, and the other characters are scans of toys.  I’ve run out of the little 4 x 4 canvases, so this one stands alone, at 8 x 8 inches.  emmaednalois-copy-3

Another photo-collage

November 23, 2008

This one was particular agony…the first of the series just “happened,” seemingly without any effort on my part, the second one emerged with some struggle from my memories, the third…a lucky accident.  But this one…I guess I’m trying too hard now, wanting to have this little series and make a piece that matches the others, but I’m not sure if the four parts really work with each other.  I’m having a lot of trouble with my printers; neither one matches the richness and color I see on my screen.  Well, I’ll proceed with the thing tomorrow and try not to judge in until it’s in its little box, and on the wall.sunset-swing

WAAM holiday show

November 19, 2008

The holiday show at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum will be opening next week; this is the piece I put in.  I helped sign people in, and there was a lot of good work at great prices…well worth a visit if you’re in the area.  This is a collage I did a few months ago.

waiting-for-the-world-copy

artwork progress

November 12, 2008

Upon returning from my trip to Kansas, I wanted to make some art about the feelings evoked by reconnecting with the place of my childhood, and leaving it behind.  I gathered some images; these are some old toy animals I found at a yard sale, which I scanned….animals

…an image of crows pulled from the internet (google image search)…

421626969_0d015b31f1_b…some shots taken on the road….kansas-backgrounds1And more.  I layered them, photoshopped them, and came up with this image:

leaving-kansas

I printed it onto Lazertran, a transfer paper, cut it into 4 4-inch images, and adhered them to small canvases.  Lesson learned: Paint the edges BEFORE applying.  It took forever to carefully paint the edges…!

img_5445

When all were dried, I varnished them and glued them into the box I’d prepared by texturing with paper and medium, and this is the final product:

img_5449