Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Flashbags, Carry A Conversation™

My Art on Handbags
I have blogged about this before, but I just received an item detail from Flashbags yesterday and I was so thrilled looking at the list of all the different museum shops, galleries, and individuals who have purchased bags with my art on them since I started licensing with Flashbags!

It's really quite flattering to know that folks are walking around wearing my art. Last month when I was at the Katharine Butler Gallery in Sarasota, FL, one of the other Gallery Artists told me that she saw someone with one of my bags walking around Sarasota! Very cool.

Ali and Laura have been great to work with, they are two very cool women who started this company out of a living room in Burlington, VT. Click here to get the whole scoop!

If you have not checked out their site, I encourage you to give it a look! They have Obama Inaugural Edition handbags which were featured on the Today Show, along with fundraising and custom opportunities.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sanford Seminole Collage Workshop

Enjoying Art and the Florida Weather
Cindi Freeman (left) and I discussing her collage still life

Last weekend I taught a half-day workshop in Sanford that was a lot of fun. We setup outside and though it was cool at 9am, by 10:00 or so, it was just beautiful!

Many of the artists who took the workshop had never even experimented with collage before, and the comment I heard the most was "this is fun!"

Collage is fun, finding materials is fun, combining, overlapping and glueing is fun. Knowing that you can cover up your mistakes with new paper and that collage is very forgiving... that makes it even more fun!

I will be posting some of the work that was created at the workshop here on my blog. Right now I have in-progress photos, but I am hoping to get some photos of finished pieces! I am hoping that my inspiration goes beyond Saturday, and that these folks will actually finish their pieces.

Next Collage Workshop: February 7/8 at the Artist's Workshop of New Smyrna Beach,  contact Nancy Hagood, 386-690-1281, or

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Artist's Headshot

New Photo for Art Marketing
by Douglas Nelson
My husband is a photographer, and every now and then he sets up lights and back drops in the living room to shoot photos of me and the kids and the dog. He likes to practice with lighting, lenses, and effects. This photo, which is now my new artists headshot, is my favorite of about one million that he took over the weekend! It's true, you have to take millions of shots to get one good one. I am the worst, most picky client too! Since I wanted this to be my artist headshot, we decided to put something on an easel in the background, but to let it blur out of focus and just be fields of color. The piece that is back there is actually Fine Feathered Fowl, my recent peacock collage. The hat, was a result of my not being happy with my hair! I do love the hat though, a gift from my sister Aimée, Doug made sure with his lighting that I did not have shadow from the brim.

Doug chose a lens that not only blurred the art, but it also blurs the side of my face that is further away. I like the effect this focus has, its a creative touch he added by choosing this lens. I am pleased with the way that you can tell there is an easel and art in the back, but it's not distracting. 

I do not always have to provide an artist headshot for galleries, but it's a good idea to have one ready. The Katharine Butler Gallery features me on their website as a Gallery Artist and my headshot is at the top of my artist page. I am hoping they will update to this new one. I've also been featured in some magazines, and many times the editor will ask about an artist's headshot in addition to images of artwork. It's a good idea to have a headshot ready so that when the opportunity presents itself, you can just click and send!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chanticleer, 20x24, mixed media collage

Framing for the Big Show

Selecting Molding for Barnyard Friends and Fowl
Bloo Cow, 24x20, mixed media collage

Well here it is, the frame molding which will encompass all the new collage work I have created for the upcoming Featured Artist exhibit at the Katharine Butler Gallery in Sarasota, FL. 

This is a hand made frame, created from real weathered barn wood. Owen Tomlin of Tomlin Wood Products has made at least 20 of these frames for me, and I just placed an order with his lovely wife Louise for six more!

Owen and Louise live in Jackson, Kentucky. In addition to offering hand made frames, you can also buy a Turkey Call made by Owen, OR if you want to make your own frames, he also offers reclaimed wood or the COMPLETE barn! You can email Louise ( and she will get right back with you, or you can call and speak to Owen for a custom sized frame and a price quote: 606-666-8996. Tomlin Wood Products does have a price list on their website so you can get an idea of how much your one-of-a-kind frame is going to cost you.

I can say nothing but good things about these frames! Each one is unique, with nail holes, weathered striations and variations, and made from solid wood, assembled by hand. These frames are great because they can take a bump or a ding in shipping and actually come out better for it! Not many moldings you can say that about.

I encourage you to give them a try if you have a subject matter that lends itself to barn wood. Tell them Elizabeth sent you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Featured Artist Exhibit

Katharine Butler Gallery Show
February 18 - March 14 -- 
Opening February 20th 6-10pm
Sweet Sustenance, 24x20, mixed media collage

My Featured Artist Show, is right around the corner now! I have been working like crazy on new Paper Paintings and have just photographed the final four pieces, bringing me up to 25 pieces for this show, 75% of which is new work. This has been a very productive past couple of months for me, indeed!

Sweet Sustenance is an image of strawberry picking. Plant City, FL is the strawberry capitol of the world, and they are in season now! I went strawberry picking with my family a few weeks ago and it inspired me to do this piece, as well as a close-up of strawberries which I will hang with it.

The show has an agricultural feel, as those of you who have been following along know. In addition to Barnyard Friends and Fowl, I have also included some plants and trees, nests and even a bowl of apples entitled Flavors of Fall.

My collages will occupy all of the wall space in the main room of the Gallery. The director Chris Falk joked with me and said that my name was going to max out the space for lettering on the wall! 

Up until now the KB Gallery has only featured my roosters.  With any luck they won't be calling me the "Rooster/Chicken Lady" anymore after this show!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rays of Hope on eBay

Eve of Inauguration Art Auction
A Brighter Future--Rays of Hope, 18 x 23.75, mixed media collage on panel
On the eve of this historic presidential inauguration, I have decided to put A Brighter Future -- Rays of Hope up for auction on eBay. I completed this art on election night, 11/4/08 (see older posts).

I recently read a Time magazine article which featured several portraits that had been done of Barak Obama, and let me tell you there were tons of them, in a huge array of styles and media. I was impressed with the creativity and artistic ability that was featured. 

Obama's got some great supporting of the arts and art programs up his sleeve as well. I am happy to say, "Yes We Did!" Here's to many more artistic interpretations of our 44th president.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Calling All Collage Artists

Collaboration and Collage
Online I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful artists from all over the world. Kaite Matilda from Australia commented on my blog, and so I went to her blog, Yarngarden. Here we got to chatting and Kaite and I decided to swap collage supplies! She sent me a bag full of canceled Aussie postage stamps, and I sent her an envelope full of paper, among other tidbits...hand made paper by my friend and local artist, Judith Segall.

Jo Reimer commented on my collage work, and when I visited her blog, One A Day, and found that she was hand painting many of her own collage papers. Now I do this as well, but often find I end up with the same color palette and some of the same solutions, so I asked Jo about trading some papers so that I could open up my creativity by using some hand painted papers that might take me out of my normal comfort zone. Jo and I traded, she sent me some really amazing papers with writing and marbled paint, great stuff! My recently posted cupcake, Something to Celebrate, includes not only some of Jo's paper, but also some of Kaite's stamps!

So to all you artists out there, I propose this: Contact me if you want to swap a 9x13 manilla envelope stuffed with some of my favorite papers, for some of your favorite hand painted papers and we'll see just what we kind of collage work we can collaborate on!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Gallery Representation

Something to Celebrate!
12x12, collage on panel
Just this past week I was confirmed as a gallery artist at the Celebrations Gallery in CT. This is very exciting for me as my good friend and fellow artist Robin Maria Pedrero is already there, and we do love working and exhibiting together! In fact, it is thanks to Robin that I got in to the gallery in the first place! We are currently planning to have a featured artist exhibition together at Celebrations Gallery in May. Some of you may remember that Robin and I did "Chalk Paper Scissors" together in downtown Orlando, as well as our Seminole Community College show in Sanford. Being two New England girls, we look forward to revisiting our roots!

I created this cupcake to celebrate the beginning of what I anticipate will be a great relationship! Celebrations Gallery has a confetti theme going on with their logo and website, so Jackie asked me to send a few cupcakes. I created this one just for them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sentimental Barnyard Friends

Lockerbie Inspired Sheep
20x24, collage on panel
Back in October I went up to Syracuse University for their annual Remembrance Week honoring the 35 Syracuse University students killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. I was an SU student in London that semester, however I went to Germany for Christmas rather than return on December 21, 1988.

At Syracuse I met Lawrence Mason Jr. and Melissa Chessher, who published a beautiful book of photography highlighting  Lockerbie today, 20 years after Pan Am flight 103 came crashing down on this small village, killing 11 people on the ground and all 259 passengers on the plane.

I found a great YouTube video where you can listen to Lawrence "Doc" Mason Jr., townspeople, and SU students talk about the people and town of Lockerbie, if you have a minute, take a look.

I asked "Doc" Mason if he'd mind that I did a Paper Painting after his book's cover photo of the sheep, and he said he'd be flattered. He inscribed my copy of the book: "We at Syracuse University, never forget the victims of Pan Am flight 103."

I lost many friends and fellow students in the tragedy, so I too was honored to make a collage of the Lockerbie sheep. If you would like to purchase this beautiful photography book from Syracuse University Press, you can buy it online –– the authors are donating all profits to the Remembrance Scholars, each year 35 kids get a scholarship at SU, each in the name of one of the students who died on the flight, a worthy cause, a beautiful book, a great combination.

More Progress – Barnyard Friends and Foul

Just off the Easel
24x20 as yet untitled, collage on panel
I recently did the head of a peacock and sent it up to Juxtapose Gallery in NJ, they sold it within a week. Then someone said they would like to see me do more of the body of the peacock in order to show the famous feathers. My very first tattoo was of a peacock, because of my love of Art Nouveau. So I set out to do a more complete peacock and this is what I came up with. 

I enjoyed incorporating some book pages and wrapping paper in the black/white/gray area in the lower right. I also incorporated some printed material concerning birds, migration patterns and their coloring, throughout the background. I enjoy hiding papers with relationship to the subject matter in all of my work, the longer you linger, the more meaning you will find hidden in the layers of torn paper.

Making small feathers is slow going, the yellow area took the most time but I am very pleased with it. In order to make this simplified area look believable, I used what I call "directional ripping" I tore the pieces and glued them in the direction of the 3-D shape, changing the size and angle as I wrapped around the shape of the back. 

Creating the famous feathers was indeed fun, I used a variety of blues and dark blues to create the "eye" in the feather. Several of them were created with nursery book pages from that old book my father gave me from my childhood, published in 1971. This is a little bit of personal history woven into the feathers of one of my favorite Art Nouveau icons.