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Stopped in my Tracks by Beauty

As I was driving home from work along the edge of a creek, I noticed the sky screaming at me with intense colors — orange,  blue, gold and darkly shadowy trees. I had to pull over to the side to look at it nature’s show. Don’t pass me by, it seemed to call silently. Take my picture. I am gorgeous.

Pulling out my Canon Sure Shot while reveling in this gift that was mine just for the stopping, I shot a picture. Wondering if the pullover spot was made specifically for beauty moments like this I’d hoped it was. Happily I was able to enjoy this brief encounter. The solar system never stops. So we must.

It goes without saying that my picture comes nowhere near the brilliance of the moment.

If I hadn’t stopped and if there were beauty officers around I would have been fined for Opportunity Lost.

I went to my studio to paint, scratch, and tear up paper to make a collage in response.

It is 22×30″ made of hand-colored, hand-torn paper with layers of colors.

Tearing It Up or Anatomy of a Collage

My collages are made with Folio paper by Legion Paper Co.  It is a workhorse paper and is able to stand up to the abuse I give it.

First I apply a think acrylic wash to several 1/2 or 1/4 sheets.  I also apply a thin wash to the background sheet to which the strips will be added.

Next thing I do is distress the paper a little with different objects such as forks, by scraping the tines on the paper to make indentations.

 

 

Soft pastels give my collages a soft flat surface which I prefer. I use Rembrandts and other brands. Arranged loosely by hue.

Applied over the marks I’ve made in the washed paper pastel allows the marks underneath to show, giving the papers depth.

Then I tear the paper into ever smaller strips.      

 

 

 

 

 

 

I use a metal wall and magnets to work up a collage so that I can see it as it progresses.  It is a lot easier to see what I am doing.  The magnets are extra strong ones. They are round and come in different diameters.

 

Then I build the collage, one strip at a time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sketching with Wire

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Mississippi Art Colony, Autumn 2014.

“Secrets of the Road” is a body of work that I started two years ago.  Safety cones are just the latest inspiring image/idea. I see them everywhere I go. They are parked on highways, around working trucks, along wet cement areas.  They are usually orange.  Yesterday I saw a lime green one.

While I was taking a walk in the neighborhood a month ago, I saw a batch of discarded green fence along the side of the road.  It was just was I needed to sketch up some 3-D cones.

Add Photocrati Gallery

 

Doors with New Life

One day about three months ago I found a stack of closet doors lying on the side of the street I live on. They were left out for the special trash pick up that was due a couple of days later. I examined them to find they were all in excellent shape, no holes or gashes or worn areas. I put them all in my old van — gotta’ love that car — and delivered them to my studio where I sanded them and primed them for painting. For years I’d had visions of another folding screen. These six doors were the perfect basis for one.

I am turning each door into an interior wall with a view out of a window. Each one is different. Each one can “stand” alone visually or with one or all of the other panels. I will connect them all with hinges to form a free-standing screen

Bamboo and Cat -- 2 panels

Mount Crushmore, aka Mount Glassmore

Yesterday was the “Dirt Show” at the N Space in Baton Rouge.  I participated happily, having dreamed for weeks that I would build a Gaudi-esque wall out of my cubic yard of dirt.    I enlisted the help of a friend, Jamye St. Romain, to assist me in creating a mosaic covered side of a pile of dirt that I shaped a little bit by mixing water in the dirt and moving it around.  So at 8 am I started.  It was about 43 degrees and windy. I had my thermos of coffee.  

 

 

 

My pile of Dirt. In the parking lot. In front of my studio.

The beginning of the mosaic. Bowls of glass shards.

More glass, more mortar, the color will be coming around the mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Nikoff, the mastermind of the idea of the Dirt Show (and of the N Studios), moved wheelbarrows full of dirt on the night before the project so that they lined up along the curb in front of the studios.

 

 

Jamye and I had fun cutting colored glass as we ran out. 

 

Nearing Completion.

Here I am with my assistant, Jamye St. Romain, who spent over four hours helping “Gaudi-fy” this pile of dirt.  It was a windy, shady, 43 degrees.  But the fun of creating kept us going, along with hot coffee.

A long view of the piles of dirt and some of the projects along the curb in front of the studios.

                         The final version, all cleaned up.                                                   In the end, we won the prizes of future publicity in the magazine “Our Louisiana” and a gift certificate for  Mestizo’s Mexican Restaurant. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening of the Exhibit “Moon in the Garden”

“Between Land and Sea” and “Moon in the Garden”

 

Last night at the Grapevine Cafe and Gallery in Donaldsonville, we had an opening of the show — “Moon in the Garden” art by two sisters Sheryl Southwick and Billie Bourgeois.  This is a shot in the front of the space.

 

 

 

In the back of the restaurant, just in front of the wine cellar, there are about seven works.  Here you see two by Sheryl on the left and one on the right by Billie.

 

 

This is the opposite wall from the above picture.  I love the brick walls.  Here are four pastels by Sheryl.  These are in a very nice dining area separated a little from the rest of the restaurant.  The table accommodates a larger party.

Four by the windows

Four Pastels by Sheryl

 

Four by Sheryl

 

In the front dining room, as you walk in on the left you would see these four of my works on paper.  The white mats really set the colorful works off very nicely from the brick wall.  People are happily dining on the delicious food served by fabulous people!  After a very short time the place was packed with diners and art and music lovers, not an empty chair to be found.

 

And all the while, we were being treated to the wonderful jazz sounds of the Bill Kimbrell Trio!  Feasting for the ears, the eyes and the mouth — soul-full all around!

The artworks will hang until November 6.

 

Sketching at the Jam at Fly’s

 

On August 6, I went to Fly’s Coffee House at 109 N. Main in Breaux Bridge to sketch the musicians who were playing at the Cajun Jam Session.  I took the sketch home and started a painting from it last Friday.

 

The fun thing is that there were two boys sitting outside the window.  I haven’t nearly finished this.    I’m looking forward to developing it.

I am painting with acrylic on 22×30″ Folio paper from Art Supply Warehouse.

Musicians and Monotypes


I often sketch local musicians when I attend shows.  There are scores of sketches now — here are just two examples.  I make monotypes from such sketches by tracing a sketch on plexiglas.  I then turn the plexiglas over and paint on the reverse with Akua inks.  After I finish applying ink, I run the plate through my etching press.  The results are exemplified here when I used different sketches.


 

Two for the blues.

 

I will be making monotypes from many of the musician sketches.

June Open Studio and New Work

Saturday evening at the N Space where I work on mosaics and prints was a fun evening to show my new work — mosiacs, paintings and pastels.

Tonight I made another work in the series that is on the wall of the studio.  I used a small thumbnail to work from.  

On the left is the 30×22″ soft pastel work I worked on tonight.  I brush water into the pastels in some places.  It gives the effect of  watercolor or lithograph marks.  Then I work over the washes.
This is the very small (3×2″) thumbnail sketch I was inspired by.

Going to Pot

I recently acquired many terra cotta pots from a neighbor who had seen my mosaic pots recently. When I got this great number of pots, I thought of making ” Garden Totems” all covered in shards that will reflect light. They will be suitable for outdoor use.

Here are some of the pots glued head to head, then stacked.  With this number of pots, I should be able to make several totems.

Most of the pots are about 6″ across the top.

There are a couple of different shapes.

Here the first shards are attached to the pots with mortar.

The totem starting out.

Another view. I worked about 3 hours on the totem today.
The mosaics hanging on the wall are made of broken ceramic shards.

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