Friday, October 30, 2009

Two x Two

In addition to my usual ebb and flow of art projects, I have large four projects I'm currently working on. Two pieces are commissions and two are for upcoming shows. The two annual shows, Black, White and Grey at the Keizer Art Association is slated for November and in December is the Artists in Action Something Red show. Here I am taking advantage of a break in the weather to do some sanding on my limestone clay boards.

Then inside to begin the work.

You can probably figure out which piece goes with which show!

Much more to do, but I'm done for the day.

Delirious With Delight!

I'm delirious with delight!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Final Round

I received the blocks of Sarah Fishburn in the mail earlier this week, in the same package that my blocks were returned to me. For Sarah's blocks, I added some paper I had designed, then added some embellishments that seemingly jumped into my hands. Ta da!

The swap is over. I liked it, I liked it a lot!

Come Now, Be Content

I had the pleasure to teach a private class last night to six fun-loving, sassy, and creative women. The instigator, er, I mean coordinator, was Beth, a woman I met when I taught a series of classes at the Salem Art Association last spring. Beth decided it would be fun to round up a posse of her girlfriends and have me facilitate an evening of art. I gave Beth a few options for what we could do; the ladies wanted to do collage and chose the Abracadabra technique that was developed by Sally Jean Alexander and shared in her book Pretty Little Things. (I led this very workshop to another group of women just a couple of weeks ago - it is a fun and non-threatening way to collage.)

Here is the work table all set up and ready for the supplies to start flying.

And it didn't take long for hands to be awhirlin'!

Six completed collages:

A parting group shot of this beautiful group of playful women.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recovering a Sense of Connection: The Artist's Way Week Seven

It was a beautiful fall day and a great evening to gather and discuss having a sense of connection. Two of the women who had been sick last week were back, but another one was absent due to illness. I'm hopeful that next week our full group we be reunited.

Last night it wasn't me wearing the fun socks, but Miss K . . . and Miss L brought the beautiful bouquet of fall leaves.

Our creative project was embellishing a soft Bendi doll. Each woman was given a doll and then turned loose in the studio to create their alter ego, a representation of who they are or what they want to become.

Miss D did not finish her doll, so it went home with her for completion. (Note: it was actually caused by a glue issue. In an attempt to be more environmentally sound, I brought out a glue called The Ultimate, supposedly as good as my favorite, E-6000. The Ultimate did not pass the stick test, so I'm sticking with the E-6000.)

Everything is Illuminated

Last week I rode along with Howard as he made his way to Dallas, Oregon. Dallas is located a few miles west of Salem and has a cute little downtown. One of the stores I spied, the Polka Dots Thrift Store, never opened while I was in town, so I just may have to revisit Dallas in the future to check it out.

I had been wanting to visit a large thrift store I had heard about for quite some time from several different friends. Opportunity knocked, and I answered. The thrift store, H-2-O, stands for Help and Hope to Others, and is located at 451 S.E. Maple Street. The store was huge and spread out over two floors.

I didn't really find too much as I poked around, until I meandered into a back corner on the second floor. And there they were. Two crib-size metal springs. I had been looking for just such an item (and here were TWO) . . . .

. . . to hang on a wall! I took the springs home and sprayed the square shaped spring with black Rust-o-leum (the wavy spring will be painted red and hung outside on my Crazy Fence, but that's another story and another post).

I installed the metal bulletin board yesterday and hung a few items to get the momentum going. If you've seen the movie Everything is Illuminated, you'll know where some of my inspiration was born for this idea (the guy in the movie hangs baggies of stuff all over his walls).

I'll occasionally post photos of my wonderful metal bulletin board as it gets adorned with fabulous artistic junk and items of inspiration!

Home Again

I joined an art swap back in August and this week it came to an end (those are my finished blocks sitting atop the angel's head in the above photo - their new perch). The swap was hosted by Susie LaFond and called Around the Block. The swap involved arting up wooden blocks of any shape, then sending them on to four other participants. You can read the details about the swap in my original post by clicking here or by doing a search on my blog for Around the Block to see what all I did to the other artist's blocks. It was so much fun getting to see what the four artists did to jazz up my cubes. Here is what I did to my three blocks before I sent them whirling around the United States (the front sides are mine):

And here is what the other ladies did (no one signed their sides of the blocks, so I don't know for sure if I've matched up the appropriate sides, but in looking at styles, this is my best guest. And if I didn't get it just right? That's okay, too, all of their work is beautiful and individual).

I hear rumors that another swap will take place after the first of the year and you can be sure I'll be joining in again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Art Exchange!

One of my blogging buddies, Kim of Merlin's Musings (in Australia!), recently left a post on my blog and asked if I wanted to be part of a mail art exchange. I thought it sounded fairly easy, so I said I would like to participate. When Kim sent me the details, it turned out to be more of a chain letter type of affair, only it was called an Art Exchange. Fortunately, it only required that I send a small piece of art to one person and then for me to invite six others to join in. I found six arty friends who wanted to play, mailed them the info to get them started, and today I sent off my art to Alicia, a woman in Portland whose name was at the top of the list I received.

Since I have more art projects in the works than I have time to do them, I decided I would send Alicia a goodie bag of little art pieces. All of the things I chose are things I have made for trades at either Art and Soul or Artfest. Here is what I sent off - a Bingo Babe, two Inchies, and a Be Bold magnet.

This was fun! If all goes according to plan, I will be receiving 36 pieces of art in the mail.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lending a Hand

Howard and I were asked by our former neighbor (and community activist), Hazel Patton, to serve on a Construction Task Force for Helping Hands Resources way back in May, 2007. A little about the organization. Helping Hands Resouces has served the Salem community for over 40 years. It provides clothing and household items for adults and children, without charge, to anyone in need. Helping Hands started out in the basement of a private home in March, 1967, moved to a room at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and eventually moved to a house on 13th Street in S.E. Salem. Helping Hands Resources has grown to the point that it now serves the needs of over 30,000 clients each year. Holy moley! That's amazing. And get this: Helping Hands Resources is completely dependent on donations and is staffed solely by volunteers! There is no paid staff. At all.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, captures the essence of their organization, their mission and their more than 40 year history: Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

So, back to my story. Hazel asked us to serve on a task force to help get a new building built for the organization. They had been operating out of a cute little house at 1755 13th Street in SE Salem (it was only 990 square feet). A group of community leaders were invited to be on the task force (I'm not sure where I fit into that picture) and two years later, the brand spanking new building is nearing completion (with a whopping 2,800 square feet)! And, the building has been designed to achieve the LEED silver level through incorporation of sustainable materials selection, energy efficient heating/cooling systems, double glazed windows, tankless water heaters and other similar components. The old house was also recycled by being moved to a new site. An impressive use of resources. Here's the new building as it nears completion.

Now this is the part where I come in. Finally, I was able to contribute something to the task force. I was asked to work with Hazel on the Grand Opening celebration. Hazel is rounding up food from the delicious restaurant Wild Pear and I agreed to take care of decorations and a little gift for the contributors and donors. For the gift, I decided a clothespin magnet would be appropriate, so I whipped together an assortment.

I was going to put them in a basket, but all the magnets were clinging to each other, making for a jumbled mess. To the rescue, a couple of metal objects from my storage shed:

For the Open House, I thought it would be fun to spell out H E L P I N G H A N D S using old kid's t-shirts. My daughter Amy contributed my grandson's t-shirts for the project.

It should be a wonderful celebration and conclusion to a long-time dream for the volunteers and a two-year commitment by the task force.

And if you're inspired to make a contribution, you can send your check to:

Helping Hands
c/o 1444 Liberty Street S.E.
Salem, OR 97302

Donation of items may be made at:

1755 13th Street S.E.
Salem, OR 97302

To volunteer, call: