Tuesday, March 29, 2016

drawing and drawing and drawing

I have fallen in love.
In love with black lines, white lines, scribbled lines. Marks.
My enamels work is finding its way to this and drawing has become a big part of my creative life these days.
I love the little things. the forest floor. the little marks. the little arrangements.
These drawings are about that.
My enamels are about that.
here are a few...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Jetting to ArtRider this weekend

The total disarray of my studio is the first clue that I have been working my tail off trying to get ready for this big (for me) show. The chaos must at some point give way and a packed suitcase of work and display items will emerge!!

Getting ready for a show I am flying to adds a new challenge. I somehow thought months ago that this would be a snap. I have been wanting to par down my display and get real minimal anyway. The pipe and drape and tables will be waiting there for me. All I will need to do is to descend, wave my wand and a gleaming display will materialize! It all sounded so good, so do-able. I am flying at a reasonable cost right from Bangor and the venue is less than a mile from the hotel.

In my excitement at how "easy," I had forgotten that one of the most important parts of a display are the lights! Lighting alone will take up quite a bit of space in my suitcase plus checking a long box for the track lights.

Another issue is my arrival on the day of set-up doesn't give me much leeway if there are travel delays. Prior to my last air travel journey I had never really had any problems and I have flown a fair bit in my life. On my last trip I learned that indeed multiple things can and do go wrong so I am keeping my fingers crossed for no canceled flights or lost bags or damaged goods as my last journey involved all three!

Anyway, I am excited about my new work and looking forward to the adventure! The work is lyrical in nature and involves mark making and "mapping". I am exploring a human need to map and plan to help us through things we may not quite understand. A possible route through. An encripted talisman for life's difficulties if such a thing could exist. My pieces use a fused graphite technique with the enamel.

More info on ArtRider at Purchase

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Apple Pie - Oh My!

Beautiful blueberry barrens on the way to get the apples

The call of apple pie has become overwhelming! I finally succumbed and made my way over to the nearby apple orchard to pick up some delicious Cortland apples. 

I try to stay gluten free and have been doing so for a couple years now. I don't like to think of it as a fad (who does?) but more of a proactive stance against the chronic diseases that seem to run a bit in my family. I myself have IBS and a few other issues so I do my darnedest to try to deal with them from a nutritional stand. To follow and eat paleo generally means you are eating natural and unprocessed foods plus staying grain free to try to avoid irritating that super important gut. Hence I do a lot of cooking and surfing for recipes.

I was looking through the gluten free crusts online but didn't see one that looked quite right. Most called for coconut flour which I despise and were so complicated that they didn't seem fun to me. A while back I had posted my own crust which has worked fairly well for me for both sweet and savory pies. I have re posted that here with a few tweaks to make it better.

This pie crust is flaky and close to a regular flour crust (though nothing like my mom's or grandmothers flour versions --they happen to have been the BEST Crust Makers EVER!). Be patient with the rolling aspect, it can be tricky. Use LOTS of arrowroot flour on the parchment and on top of the dough.

Just out of the oven apple pie with a gluten free crust. Would have 
been even better if I hadn't forgotten to brush with egg whites and 
sprinkle sugar on top before baking--next time! :)

Crust Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 c almond flour
  • 1/2 c tapioca flour
  • 1 1/2 c oz arrowroot powder + extra for rolling the crust
  • 1 tsp Xanthen gum (may or may not use-helps a bit when replacing gluten)
  • 1/2 c coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp butter, very cold, in pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 4-6 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 heaping tbsp honey

Pretty Close to Flaky GF Paleo Pie Crust Directions

  1. Measure and mix flours and salt in the bowl of your food processor.
  2. Add the butter pieces to bowl. Process until crumbly.
  3. Mix egg, honey and 2 tbsp. cold water in a small bowl.
  4. Pour egg and water mixture over flour mixture and process until the dough comes together. Wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  5. Divide the dough and roll each portion between two sheets of parchment paper. Dust booth sides with arrowroot powder and liberally dust the parchment paper.  It is possible to roll this crust  but you need the extra arrowroot powder. If the crust comes apart during the transfer to the pie pan simply patch it gently together. You can alternately press the bottom crust into the pie plate if you wish, instead of rolling.
  6. Place bottom crust in pie pan. Trim edges. Fill your pie and then top with the second crust folding the top crust edge under the bottom and flute if desired. Vent by cutting slits in the top crust. Optional: brush with egg whites and sprinkle coconut sugar on top.
  7. Bake as needed per filling used. Note: Mid way through baking I covered the crust lightly with foil that had a circle cut from the middle to protect the edges.
    I baked my apple pie for 40 mins

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Work (play!)

My work continues to push into new areas as I just can't seem to stay with one thing for very long. My main obsession now is enameling. I am just touching on a couple of techniques with a whole lifetime of them to explore! Working for so many years in polymer has taught me tons about color and design so I am quickly moving into some interesting things but keeping my palate simple and focused is generally my approach at this time. The challenge is to not overwork a piece that you have already put a lot of prep time into!! I spend a day just cutting, sawing, filing and cleaning the metal so with that investment it pays to work more slowly and carefully.

"soul window" enameled copper, sterling silver with base metal chain

ready to go into the kiln

enamel powders

Its been really great getting to know the enamel colors. They come in jars with names like melon yellow, flame red, Robbin's egg, bitter green, lichen. Most fire to be a different color then the powder form and that also depends on what they are fired on or the color underneath. The changes take some getting used to but lead to all kinds of possibilities!

I hope to get really good at this stuff!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

My work is changing. A lot!

As artists, change is part of what we do. I know for myself I have an ever growing appetite for experimenting with new materials and techniques. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't but the adventure is always the best part right?

My work (play?) lately has been changing and evolving. This spring I went way over into some bright and playful colors and shapes. Neon has crept in! My shapes have taken on more of what I enjoy and often draw. Connected circles, mark making, lines and structures. This has all been fed by my interest in knitting and fiber as well. I am currently pursuing interests in enameling, pmc, bronze clay and faux bone and some really cool techniques using translucent polymer. Who knows what kinds of pieces will come out of all this new stuff.

Its always a risk moving away from what you have been doing (and selling). I hardly know what the reception will be but i am enjoying the journey.

                                                        Set yourself free!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Color and Texture: Abandoned Amusement Parks Around the World

There is no shortage of abandoned places in the world, from ancient landmarks and religious symbols to gaudy and festive amusement parks left to the weather and the vines. As people shift across the landscape, an imprint is left behind-- farms gone to forests, houses and barns left to the weather, and amusement parks with forever empty rides.

At left is a ride from New Orleans Six Flags, abandoned for years. Photographers and amateur explorers love to take photos there, or tag the structures with creative graffiti. "Six Flags 2012: Coming Soon," says one ironic message. The bathroom has spray-painted arrows pointing to the rooms for male and female roaches.

Across the world in Germany is another abandoned park that has been extensively photographed. Spreepark appeals for another reason: It has giant dinosaurs. Some fallen, some still standing, the massive statues are increasingly surrounded by wild nature, making them seem all the more like real prehistoric creatures frozen in a particular moment of time.

Though a little bit creepy, abandoned parks are fascinating tours of bygone days, full of intermingling color and texture from old painted attractions, spray paint, wild-growing plants and that particular kind of light that falls on abandoned places. It's not surprising that they are a favorite for photographers all over the world.

Spreepark, Berlin

There are parks such as these worldwide. Jon Dunbar photographed this beautiful abandoned park in South Korea. Below is a "haunted house," which was once haunted only by paid staff; perhaps now it is for real.


 Spreepark, Berlin (See more photos here.)

Jazzland/Six Flags, New Orleans (See more!)

"Takakanonuma Greenland" Park near Tokyo. Photo by Spiral.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Milan Fashion Week; Bright Colors for 2014 Spring (via FLooks.net)

Milan Fashion Week that was held recently already represented all the trends for 2014 spring and we will continue exploring fashion shows from Milan Fashion Week. At this time I want to show you the tendency of bright colors and bold prints that were spotted on several designer shows.

First fashion show that I want to show you is Prada collection and bright colors chosen for 2014 spring. Miuccia Prada chose bold and vibrant colors for spring 2014 and Prada fashion show turned into a parade of dazzling colors and styles. Pieces had colorful prints representing Mexican muralists. The philosophy of this collection is a woman and her strong personality.

Just Cavalli spring 2014 fashion shows and collections are fabulous; they are bold, bright and fashionable and all of them are completed with vibrant prints and patterns. The main conception of new spring collection is imaginary world with crazy color combos and prints. Styles are as bold as colors like sexy short dresses, skinny trousers, jackets as well as line of luxurious accessories.

Continue reading at FLooks.net >

Friday, March 28, 2014

Our Take on Pantone Spring Colors 2014

Pantone has introduced a Spring 2014 palette that is all about stability and balance. The collection aims to marry adaptable pastels with captivating brights, creating a sense of naturalness, energy and equilibrium.

The first four colors on the left, together with Sand, form the basis for the natural pastels in the collection. Hemlock is a very different green then we've seen in recent years, although it still calls up the color of 2013, Emerald. This green is sedate and gentle. Like all of the pastels, it can be paired with any of the bolder colors for a beautiful, energetic combo.  Match Hemlock with Cayenne or Celosia Orange to take advantage of the power of contrasting colors. These will pair up wonderfully without being overwhelming.

The pastel Violet Tulip finds its bold counterpart in Radiant Orchid, and Placid Blue has a beautiful, deeply saturated Dazzling Blue on the opposite end of the palette. The Pantone Color Institute writes that both Radiant Orchid and Placid Blue "are perfect companions to pastels, and add confidence and vivacity when mixed with other bold colors."

What do you think of Pantone's choices for Spring 2014?  If you like these selections, will you incorporate them into your work or your wardrobe? You can vote for your favorites here.