Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Weekend at the Hôtel de Glace

The Ice Hotel, St. Catherine, Québec, Canada
This past weekend I travelled to one of only two Ice Hotels in the world, The Hôtel de Glace. The first one was built in Sweden, and then some folks from Québec decided that they had the perfect climate to build one here in North America. It was cold, but lucky for us it was unseasonably WARM in Canada. We experienced temperatures in the mid to upper 20's, but the locals told us it really should have been about 30 degrees colder this time of year. They all had heard about Florida's cold weather on TV up there in Canada, they all mentioned it when we told them where we were from, "Oh! Florida!"

We had an incredible time appreciating this 37-room hand made snow and ice structure! it's absolutely beautiful. We stayed overnight in room 37, the biggest room, with three beds. We were tucked into thermal sleeping bags and we lay on a foam mattress on top of a piece of plywood, on top of a block of ice! Believe it or not, we were warm.

My husband is a professional photographer and if you have a minute, here is a link to his gallery of incredible photos.

Featured Gallery

Celebrations Gallery and Shoppes
(four paper paintings in the image with the fireplace)

The folks at Celebrations Gallery have been amazing to work with! Jackie gave my family the royal treatment when they went to visit the gallery to see my work on display there. My Dad said that the area of CT where they are located was amazingly picturesque, lots of nice shops and restaurants as well as plenty of antique shops and wonderful natural beauty. "It was a great day trip, and we'll be back" he said "And everyone who works at that gallery is incredibly helpful and nice!" My Dad is a hard one to please, I might add!  YANKEE Magazine has just listed them as the TOP CHOICE for New England Galleries for 2010.

Here's what others have to say about Celebrations:
  •   One of Yankee Magazine's "Favorite Last Green Valley Spots" – March/April 2009
  • "Best Places to Shop" – New England Travel, Best of New England 2009
Celebrations Gallery and Shoppes is located in Pomfret, Connecticut, a quaint New England town on National Scenic Byway Route 169 in the northeast corner of Connecticut (also known as the "Quiet Corner"). The setting is a lovingly restored 19th-century Queen Anne Victorian set amidst stately beech, maple and cherry trees and surrounded by lush and colorful gardens.

Click here to learn about all of the wonderful artists, in addition to myself, who display there work at Celebrations. If you live close, you might consider a visit to this charming New England gallery. And check out the Celebrations Gallery Blog!
Check our their Valentines Day upcoming event

Monday, January 25, 2010

NEW Flashbags Available

New Year, New Art, New Bags
The folks at Flashbags have added new images to my collection and you really should check them out. There are new cows, new roosters and lots of fun stuff available in bags, clutches, place mats, etc. Order directly from Flashbagsonline.com and tell them I sent you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Collage Bangle Available for Purchase

Australian Stamps (left)
Much positive feedback on these! Offering the stamps first (my personal favorite) One of a kind. These bangles are coated inside and out with two layers of UV protective varnish (see previous post).

If you try to purchase and PayPal will not let you, that means it's already gone!

Collage Bangle with Australian Stamps

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS Magazine

Spring 2010 Issue Available 2/23
The Studios edition of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine which features my very own backyard art space will hit the newsstands the end of February. I am so fortunate to have a 2-page spread in this issue! This magazine features some great storage solutions for a studio of any size or shape, you might like to pick it up for some ideas for your own art space.

I showed the table of contents page to my husband and was going crazy over that little gingerbread house looking studio at the bottom of the page! I just love the flower boxes...."honey, how about building me some flower boxes?"

Collage Bangles

Collage in Another Dimension
This week I was looking for something I could do sitting at the kitchen table, I decided to mix it up a little bit and work on a project that I came up with while flipping through my favorite magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors. In the advertiser section, I saw an offer for unfinished wood bangles from DiyBangles.

Remember when I collaged the 3-D mannequin and said I'd never collage anything that wasn't a flat board again? Well, these bracelets were nowhere near as difficult as going around each and every one of that guy's fingers and toes...

Let me know what you think of my bracelets! They are varnished with two coats of UV inside and out, they are signed on the inside and created with all the same papers I use for collage. In fact, one might consider these another "scrap bag project" since I limited myself to the scraps from my large work to create them.

I have created on with Australian stamps, one with hand-painted sheet music, one with maps and one with tidbits from larger collages (including hand-painted and hand-made papers).

Friday, January 15, 2010


Next Workshop, Altamonte Springs
Judy Segall and I are doing the two day paper making and paper collage workshop again at her studio in Altamonte Springs. If you are interested, there is one more week to sign up, click here for the PDF registration and information form.

If you are interested in workshops, keep an eye on the right hand bar of this blog, underneath where it says Upcoming Workshops, I've just added one in Atlanta in July that should be tons of fun at Binders Art Supply which is an amazing art store, I could spend hours in there, and tons of money!

Atlanta Workshop Dates:
The Art School at Binders
July 16/17/18 

Jacksonville Workshop Dates:
Society of Mixed Media Artists soMMA
May 1/2

Asheville Workshop Dates:
Grand Bohemian Gallery
May 22/23

Amelia Island Workshop Dates:
October 8-10
Amelia Island Artists Workshop, Inc.

If you do not see complete details at any of these links, it just means that they have not got things posted as of yet, check back later or check with me. I'd love to meet fellow collage artists!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Four Underpaintings

20x24 | acrylic on panel primed with GAC-100 (clear)
I felt a little bit like Jacob Lawrence when he was 23 years old in Harlem painting his Migration Series, as I painted all four of these panels at the same time!

Last year I taught 3rd graders about how Jacob Lawrence worked on about 60 panels of the Migration Series at the same time, he'd paint yellow on every panel, then move on to red on every panel, then move on to brown on every panel, and so on until he was completed.

These four underpaintings, I experimented with this very process. It all started because I mixed up too much blue, and then I realized that every panel needed blue, so I went across all four and painted the sky. Then for the heck of it, remembering Mr. Lawrence, I continued on this way until I had all four under-paintings complete.

As you can see, my under-paintings are very basic and not very detailed. I use them just as a map for lights and darks and colors for the next step, collage. These under-paintings are done on sanded 1/4 inch plywood from Home Depot that is sealed with Golden GAC-100.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Progression

Is Bigger Better?
Cow Bell | 24x30 | collage on panel

This piece was done on an American Easel Wood Painting Panel  I decided to try the largest size they make. Usually I limit myself to 20x24 on my own flat wood panels from Home Depot, due to the fact that larger size requires the wood to be cross braced to prevent warping. I ordered the boxed out wood panel wondering if they would cross brace it, and guess what? they did not. The box helps to keep the panel straight and the edges are finished just as nicely as the panel. I am experimenting with this "gallery wrapped" look in lieu of framing.

This was a big project, the wood was big and the cow was big and the bell was even bigger! It was fun, I tried to keep my ripping loose and free, tearing some larger shapes than usual since all my details were much larger. The green dripping paint ended up running down the easel and into the grout of my studio floor, so Cow Bell has had a permanent effect!

I'm not sure I'll continue to work this big, it does become a storage issue, AND the last Dick Blick catalog did NOT list this size panel, their largest was only 20x24. Availability, perhaps?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Barnyard Friends and Fowl

New Works for Asheville
Un Petit Coq #1 | 24x20 | collage on panel

I set out this weekend creating new roosters for the Grand Bohemian Gallery in Asheville since I will have a show there in conjunction with my workshop and reception in May. I am also exploring some art licensing, so this rooster is also going to serve at the "mate" to the one that I recently completed and sent to Gerri at Juxtapose Gallery. The nice thing about art licensing is that all they need is a very high quality image of the original artwork, then I'm free to send the art on it's way!

Student Work

Michelle, Childhood Self Portrait
20x16 | collage on panel

Recently I made a presentation to the advanced art students at Lake Brantley High School in Longwood, Florida. I spoke to them about my collage process, as well as marketing yourself and how you can apply that to getting into art schools and colleges.

We talked about taking one of your best works of art and making a self promotional postcard, printing online with vistaprint.com. I explained to the students that following up is essential in marketing yourself and your artwork. Admissions officers would take notice of a follow-up note card or postcard with original artwork. We talked about ways to make yourself stand out from the rest.

I also stressed the importance of reliability to the students, meeting deadlines, following through, delivering work that is gallery ready, and delivering it on time. This also translates to college applications, be neat, be on time and be thorough!

Michelle worked very hard on this class project where she had to do her own piece of art in the style of an artist she admired. I was very flattered to know that she chose my style, and me as her artist of admiration! Michelle is a friend of the family, she has babysat for my kids and our relationship made it all the more special. I talked her through the process and gave her a wood panel and a scrap bag of papers so she could hit the ground running. I think she did a great job working from a preschool photo of herself in black and white!

This weekend I varnished and framed her artwork for her in my studio (with the space heater on full blast! it's cold her in Florida) She should be proud of this piece and the grade she received on it, A!

Way to go Michelle, I hope you will consider exploring the Paper Painting process more in the future, this is a wonderful first piece. I think she deserves a copy of the DVD for her efforts!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mosaic Mania

Patricia Rockwood, Blue Nymph
Patricia Rockwood is someone I met at the Katharine Butler Gallery in Sarasota. She contacted me saying she admired my work, when I visited HER website I have to tell you that I am in awe of her work!

The KB gallery recently hosted a Gallery Artists Invitational where gallery artists such as myself, would invite other artists they know to participate in a one month invitational at the Katharine Butler Gallery.

I invited Patricia, and Chris Falk the director was really taken with her work. Patricia's mosaic work is amazing, you really must visit her website to see her installations!

I received great news over the weekend, one of Patricia's pieces from the show had sold! What an ego booster for an artist, to sell her work, to be worthy of a sale. You see Patricia? I knew it all along. Congrats!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Studio To Be Featured in Magazine

Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS
I am pleased to announce that my backyard art studio will be featured in Cloth Paper Scissors special STUDIOS edition in the Spring! I have a two-page spread with photos of my exterior, interior, and my favorite paper storage solution. I'm really excited about being featured in this fantastic publication!

STUDIOS can be purchased at book stores nationally. Or you can find them online click here. The Spring issue is not available yet, but keep your eyes open, it should be soon.

I am so lucky to be able to work with all the wonderful people at CPS!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Workshop in Asheville

New News!
We are still working out the details, but stay tuned for information about a Paper Paintings collage workshop in May at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, NC! This hotel is amazing and the gallery is exquisite! My collages have been selling very well there in the last few months, so the corporate director of art galleries has asked me to come up to Asheville for a show, reception, and to present a workshop.

Starbucks Bags Anyone?

Starbucks has Changed Their Bags!
This is terrible, I thought it was just for the holidays that they introduced this very garish green on BOTH sides of the bag. (It's like turquoise, but not quite...) But it seems this bag is here to stay! I am not sure what is on their BIG sized bag, but I think it's the same :(

Does anyone have any of the old bags with the beautiful brown and grassy green sides? Does anyone know if they are gone forever and ever? Does anyone know anyone who works for Starbucks???? These bags were a staple in my collage supplies, if you linger with any of my collages, you will find tidbits of these bags.

I'm having withdrawal, can anyone help??

Monday, January 4, 2010

DVD Inspired Work

Elizabeth Parsons
Elizabeth sent me these wonderful tea cups that she did after viewing the DVD. I think her "shine" is just perfect and it really gives me a sense of porcelain, it really reads "coffee cup" to me. I also LOVE her very subtle shadow on the green ground, just a little bit of darker green pieces with an undefined edge, perfect!

Here's what she had to say about the DVD:

 I first saw your work in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and loved your technique/process and wanted to know more, so I purchased your DVD. I had great fun making this piece- it reminded me of putting together a puzzle. The DVD was clear and helpful- gave me the details I needed to continue from the article.

Thanks for sharing your process/technique!

Completed Rooster

Un Petit Coq | 24x20 | collage on panel
Here is the completed rooster, I am quite pleased with it. After my husband took a professional photo of the art, (always document your artwork) I packaged it up and sent it to Gerri who will frame it and make it look fantastic in her gallery.

You can see from the photos here that my process includes a rough sketch on wood panel sealed with clear GAC-100 from Golden, an loose underpainting with Golden Fluid Acrylics, and collage on top with Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium for the glue.

Paper Paintings work best with one large point of focus and simple backgrounds. I like the large point of focus because collage can be a very busy medium, and a large subject helps to simplify things.