Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The heavens are conspiring to cheer me up. Below I wrote about a piece of Fenton glass my favorite shop owner gave me today. Then look at what greeted me in my mailbox!

A gift card from CB2! Here's what happened. Remember the Ambria vase I ordered (previous post)? It arrived in fine condition, and it is beautiful. See pictures of it on my flickr set. However, I had some difficulty with UPS. I wrote to CB2 to inform them they should not pay UPS. I didn't ask for a refund, I love the vase. But with gas prices like they are, we rely upon UPS, FedEx and the post office. Well, they refunded my shipping costs and sent me a gift card! Imagine that. It really wasn't necessary, but thanks CB2! What great customer service. It's burning a hole in my pocket, so I might as well check out their site now.

Three broken pieces of glass

Like many creative people, I love thrift stores, junk stores and vintage stores. I enjoy seeing little treasures and enjoy the possibility of seeing a beautiful object repurposed. I don't care about the value of a piece, only its aesthetics.

These three orphans were given to me by my favorite shop owner (for free) because they were broken. One is a piece of Fenton glass, which I had admired for a long time but was too expensive (see previous post). It is now missing its top. The shop owner knowing my love for damaged pieces, saved it for me.
They might be broken, but look at those fab shapes and colors! I glued them back together, and placed them in a place of prominence in my apartment. And I love them all the more for being broken but still standing majestically.

Six Hours

First it was a dream. Then it was a doodle.

Now it is a painting.

Six Hours, 18" x 24", acrylic, metallic glaze and marker on canvas

The unforgettable dream went something like this. I observed a somewhat slumped, round figure on a hostile planet. The sky was a beautiful pink, but it was bitterly cold and the winds severe. An amazing stellar phenomenon was visible, though it appeared to be day time. My mind tried to interpret the figure as an elderly woman battling the elements, but I am not even sure that was the case. I could not see her face. She was wrapped in the most beautiful fabric, the fabric seemed to have a universe on it. There was something on her back, what was that? A backpack? An oxygen tank? Wings? She was muttering something that I could barely hear against the wind. "Six hours. Six hours." Though I could not see myself in the dream, I asked her what "six hours" meant. Her answer came more as intuition, rather than audibly.

She had much to accomplish, she had to stay focused even though she felt crushing fatigue. She reminded herself that she could not entertain sadness for six hours. In six hours she would be able to succumb to the fatigue and sadness. "What sadness?" I asked. Again, intuition. Her lover had abandoned her, and she had to keep moving forward. Then I could almost hear, "You gotta do what you gotta do."

The message seems clear. A reminder of the indomitable strength of women. Women are amazing, they keep moving forward under the most debilitating of circumstances, always keeping a brave face.

Blog Envy, Vol. II

Image from Interior Inspiration.

Today's episode of Blog Envy features a beautiful new blog called Interior Inspiration. I discovered this blog via Vineeta's wonderful blog, Artnlight.
Interior Inspiration is just the ticket for a cold day. If you are having trouble warming up, just click over to Interior Inspiration. Sas uses a marvelously warm color palette with a soft romantic touch. But more than that, her entire home seems to glow with a loving aura. Makes me want to curl up with a cup of ginger tea! And she's got lots of cool Buddha shots too! What could be better than that?

Ahhh. Enjoy! Sas and Vineeta, thanks for being an inspiration! xxoo

More experiments in photography

I happily click images of severe angles, and I tend to look up as I walk. The Lake Erie sky is a constant source of fascination for me. In this series of pictures, which is an ongoing experiment, I place objects or buildings to the side and at an extreme angle. In so doing, I hope to show the insignificance of what humans build when compared to the sky. Conversely, I also hope to show the beauty of looking at something in a different way and how that complements the sky.

In these pictures, I had to crouch in doorways to get the angle.

Stay tuned for more in this series of angles and sky.

I also love experimenting with reflections. The following image amused me because not only was the window reflecting outside, but there was a mirror in the window reflecting inside and outside.

Whether painting or photographing, I feel compelled to show people how I see things. Perhaps this is a compulsion that artists share.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Experimenting with Saturation

I've been a dabbler in photography for a long time. I don't know much about it, but I've always experimented with the making of images. Before digital photography, I tried to create angular, surreal images and images of objects in extreme closeup. Digital photography makes it so much easier. Since I am dearly in love with saturated colors, it seems natural to experiment with high saturation. (I love Picasa!) I've been carrying my camera everywhere with me, I can't seem to stop clicking. It's addictive!

Abbey's candy bracelet. She made this for me on Easter a few years ago. I adore it.

Votive candle holders. Here I've also experimented with soft focus.

Coaster. Here I've also experimented with the glow effect.

A mural. Photographing this mural was such a joy! I've admired it since I was a child. It brings back memories of my father taking us downtown for the Christmas parade. In those days it was such a thrill to come downdown and I used to think, "Oh boy, I get to see the mural!" To me it is the quintessential Cleveland shot. See my flickr set for the original color of this mural.

I'm thinking of trying the Rasterbator on the pictures of the bracelet and the votive candle holders. I've heard that it requires a lot of toner, which can get expensive. I imagine it's even worse with saturated colors. Does anyone have any experience with Rasterbator? If so, please contact me.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I want to meet

I love that Starbucks carries books and music. One morning while waiting for my coffee I found myself drawn to Marcus Samuelsson's book. I don't cook, but I enjoy cook books. Sounds crazy, I know. I guess it's the same reason I like decorating books. One can dream, right?

Image from Amazon. The first chance I got, I looked him up on the internet. To say that Samuelsson is a strong-willed person is an understatement. The hardship he has overcome to forge a creative life leaves me humbled. When I travel to New York, Aquavit is on my list of places to visit.

Shortly thereafter, I was thrilled to see Samuelsson featured in Domino magazine. He's got incredible style and a great apartment. And he paints! I adore this shot of him surrounded by his paintings. I have looked at this picture many times, and it makes me happy. I dig his cool confidence. That smile, that body language, he's definitely comfortable with himself. And the blue shoes with no socks - undeniably chic. I've gotta crush.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Experiments in watercolor

Acrylic is my first love, but today I feel like playing. I think I will experiment with watercolor.

A romance that can't be rushed

Large canvases are a new addiction for me. At first I was intimidated by them, now I want to do larger and larger canvases! This one is 24" x 36". I've washed it in custom-mixed raspberry paint. Now it will sit. For how long, I don't know. The color will be contemplated, until it tells me what it wants. The key is trust the process. Contemplation of the pure potentiality of a canvas is a marvelous meditation. For now I have it hanging on the wall.
This is a good way to experiment with color, by painting canvases instead of the walls. The color can be changed easily on a whim.

New Paintings

These are the images that emerged from my creative session yesterday.

I adore pop art flowers. My sister-in-law, who has always been so encouraging of my art, likes my flowers the best. This one is acrylic, metallic glaze and marker on canvas. 12" x 12"

Here it is on a shelf in my kitchen.

Not sure what happened here. Perhaps inspired by vintage Japanese works. Swirls of snow are definitely on my mind. 12" x 24", acrylic and marker on canvas. Here is a detail.

You've seen this painting before, here. This painting is an ongoing experiment in texture. Though, I dearly love orange, I decided to take out the orange border to make the piece softer. Rain and movement are recurring motifs in my work.

24" x 24", acrylic on canvas.


There is no greater joy than creation. And why do I create? Because I must.

I mix all of my colors myself. One day I will have a studio. And an easel.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Confessions of an Obsessive Painter, Vol. IV

I seem to have two distinct styles of painting. Maximal and Minimal. Remember my new painting I showed you the other day?

Definitely maximal. Sometimes I can't leave well enough alone. I love to add layers and layers of paint to a canvas. This painting now looks like this:

This style is so fun. I listen to music - usually techno - and I dance with the canvas. It's almost as if the image appears on its own. I am merely the conduit, bringing forth the image inherent in the canvas. The process is as fascinating as the end result.

I love this style of painting, but prefer my minimal style in my decor. My thought was that I was going with purple for spring. But, I've changed my mind. I am still dearly in love with orange. Orange makes me unspeakably happy. And paired with turquoise it is even more sublime.

So I rearranged. Again. And edited my pottery. Again. It's an illness. And, okay, there's a small splash of purple. The glass vase above and the purple vase below are both from India.

TGIF. I have so many art projects (and so much editing) I'd like to work on this weekend. Who knows what my apartment will look like on Monday?

Is it 5:30 yet?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I dream of paint

Images from Michelle Ramin's Etsy Shop. (link)

Last night I dreamed of paintings. Images flooded my visions. Images of funky, yet strong characters populating strange wonderful worlds. Images of movement, swirls, dance and geometric shapes. And colors! The canvases are becokening me, making it difficult to function in mundane reality. All I want to do is paint. Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Color Obsession

Color. For me it is an obsession. Thoughts of color help me get through my mundane existence. A color tenaciously invades my brain, then I feel compelled to reconcile it with other colors. Over the past couple of years, I have been in love with saturated colors. Always with large doses of white. Fuchsia has been my longtime favorite, and I adore it paired with periwinkle.

Last year I was surprised when I fell in love with orange and blue. Recently, I fell deeply in love with turquoise and raspberry. And now another surprise - lilac.

Lilac is obsessing me. But how to reconcile this color with turquoise? These thoughts, as well as a purple pillow I spotted (but did not buy) occupied my mind as I worked on this painting last night. I think more paint will be added, but I couldn't help but experiment with placement. I went to my stash and pulled out a studio piece.

Then I added my turquoise vase from Target and a lilac vase from India bought at a garage sale.

The pink and orange swirly pillow will definitely be edited out. I love it though, so it can go on my bed.

Leave it to Holly at Decor8. She finds something to inspire me on a daily basis. Last week I discovered the fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier via her wonderful blog.

These colors have been haunting me! How gorgeous. Not really saturated, but sort of washed saturated. And look at that picture on the bottom right. Purple lips, fuchsia outfit, turquoise and red background! Amazing! And somehow he's achieved a softness with very dramatic colors. A fine accomplishment indeed.

Last night I tried to mix the color Demarchelier used to the bottom right. I came up with a lovely raspberry color (below), but I will probably add more paint. I'd like to achieve a more washed, subtle look. I can't wait for the weekend, here are the art projects I want to complete.

One is a large canvas that I am sure will be inspired by Demarchelier's work. I used to be intimidated by large canvases, but now I love them! They are so addicting, I want to work on even larger ones.
Who knows what my apartment will look like when I am done this weekend. Is it Friday yet?

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Paintings

I'm working on series of paintings depicting prefab homes, strange weather phenomenon and funky vegetation. Here is the latest in the series. It will probably get more paint added.

All are acrylic, marker and metallic glaze on paper. Approximately 16" x 20"

New Vase

Hooray! My new vase arrived from CB2. It is gorgeous! Naturally I had to play with placement. It's a beautiful shade of white. I am falling in love with stoneware, it has a beautiful texture.

Wish I'd Painted That, Vol. II

Abbey Hendrickson is an absolutely fascinating artist. I can spend hours at her flickr site. She does the most amazing multi-media work. It's graphic and intellectual, yet soft too. SNL and I agree that these are pieces we could see hanging in our homes. I had a hard time deciding which ones to feature!

Abbey is a fascinating collector too. I just had to show her collection of wooden moms. I wish I still had my Fisher-Price set from childhood! I adore collections uniformly displayed like this. Collections of all the same object, but each one unique with subtle differences. Adorable! I wouldn't be surprised to see these images show up in a piece of Abbey's work.

Here is one of my favorite of her pieces. This one is near and dear to my heart, because Abbey later added more paint to it. I feel a kinship with her, because I do the same thing. A painting will sit for a while and more paint will be added.

All I can say is, "Wish I'd painted that!" Great work, Abbey, and thanks for being an inspiration. Abbey's flickr set is here. She's a got great blog too, with a catchy title. Aesthetic Outburst.

Wish I'd Painted That, Vol. I

SNL and I had a cup of chai tea at Starbucks before shopping yesterday. Everytime I go into Starbucks I marvel at the graphic art. I love these! I wish I had painted them! The faces remind me a little of Picasso. Experimenting with Picasso's faces is how I feel in love with Sharpie markers.


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