Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Nope, I haven't taken up wine or sauerkraut making. Just lots of fermentation going on inside me. The "sabbatical" I have been on for the past several months is nearly over. The final stage consists of moving my studio from my little seasonal cabin in the woods to my Pink House right in downtown Saranac Lake. With much help from strong, kind friends, that process began a couple of weeks ago. My wonderful (incredibly heavy!) work table, my sewing machine and its cabinet, my flat files of papers, an impressive stack of boxes, and more stuff are sitting in their new home now.

Besides the sheer volume of art supplies I've accumulated, there are folders and boxes full of drawings, watercolors, prints, and doodles resulting from years of studying and experimenting with a huge range of mediums and techniques. And there are a surprising number of journals from my days in graduate school when I was studying the reproduction ecology of native orchids, with loads of handwritten notes and sketches. I'm going to take some pages to make into some "history" collage work. I see that this stage of my adventure must include a long look back and a refining of the images and techniques that speak strongly to me now. There's not much time for going through all of this detritus. I have to get my personal stuff moved in this week, along with my Self. But it's worth spending some time to pull out the gems that still grab me and to toss them into this fermentation vessel I've been tending.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chaos Reigns!

This space is the only tidy spot in my new studio right now. The movers made me promise I would never move this huge wooden cabinet again! But it's from my mom, it holds tons of stuff, and it's beautiful. Not sure I can keep that promise but it will be parked here for quite a while.

The rest of my studio looks more like this. Do you remember that game in which you had to move several squares in the plastic frame to move the one key square into its place? That's what my whole life feels like right now!

One of these days ...
I'm getting used to it. Certainty and control are WAY over rated, right?!

In the meantime, I'm working on my blog posts for "... And Then We Set It on Fire" as Resident Artist for the whole month of June, on the topic of Fabric Collage. I am so honored to be part of this stellar group of artists!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My Big Adventure

Since early last autumn, I have been on a very personal journey to find a new home and a new life. My marriage came to an end, by mutual and amicable agreement. And I saw that I had a huge opportunity to find my ideal life. Not a small undertaking.

Then I found this little Pink House. Once I found it, it was clear that it was mine. All that journaling, thinking, talking I had done for months told me it was the obvious choice. So I leaped.

It took awhile for it to become truly (and legally) mine. While I waited, I made this fabric collage. The peeling paint, old carpets, and scary basement don't show here. Only the magic and the dream.

Now I'm spending my days with helpful contractors, cans of beautiful paint, and wonderful friends who are helping make it all come true. In a few weeks, I'll be living and working there.

In the meantime, lovely things are showing up!
Thanks so much, Dear Friend!

Monday, April 27, 2015

She Asked! I Told!

This fabric collage was in a local juried exhibition recently and won an Honorable Mention. A friend who saw the show asked me about my process for the construction and this is my reply:

The piece Arc of the Day is indeed very abstract. For this one, I was itching to use some of my hand printed (deconstructed screen printing) fabric that I have been making for the past several months. Two printed small pieces were joined and I added the yellow commercial fabric for the upper half. I needed two things from the yellow: 1) contrast with the lower section and 2) a way to make a piece of the size for which I already had the perfect frame. (A lame way to design, but I am always driven at least in part by necessity.) The several yellow squares were needed to unify the top and bottom sections visually, as was the tall purple column in the middle (which also covers the seam that joined the two small pieces on the bottom). The placement of the squares also provides movement across the piece, as the sun moves across the sky each day. They looked too plain, so I added the hand stitches on those nice bright little boxes. And I really can't help adding some embroidery on nearly everything I make lately.

That's my story! Probably not as complicated or esoteric as you might think. Thanks for the opportunity to be a bit analytical :-)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thinking of Susan

One of the finished pieces
 Using only the rug pad and
the tail end of the paint.
Yesterday I worked on a small fabric collage that called for a unifying layer of paint. (More about that one soon.) The leftover paint got me thinking about the fun I had with Susan Andrews printing in her outdoor studio. Not quite the abundance of plant material to play with while the snow was flying outdoors, but here are my results. More of this!!!

Basic tools, 3 paint colors, rubber rug pad as stencil and printer
Fabric pinned to my wonderful print board made of foam insulation board, thin foam padding, and clear vinyl.
The twig was used under the fabric for texture with the roller
... and on top of the fabric as stencil and for printing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mixed Media en Plein Air

These two looked on while Susan and I did more printing at Oiseaux Studios South yesterday. Susan was sprucing them up for a doll exhibit. Gorgeous dolls that she made many years ago.
View of Oiseaux Studio
Putting acrylic paint on the plastic palette sheet.
Rolling paint on cotton sheeting over grids, raised letters, plant material, etc.
Leaf placed over previously rolled fabric, using a red roller with the leaf as a mask.
Our friend Angela focusing as she learns a new technique.
Fabric monoprinted with Golden acrylics mixed with art paste for more body. The color is much more subtle than with the straight acrylics.
Back to the rollers and straight acrylics, with ferns and beach debris for texture, under the fabric then on top as masks and monoprints. We didn't care that the fabric got a bit more stiff. In fact, Susan likes the way the paint lends longevity to the pieces when they're hung outside. Some of these will become flags on my new porch.

I learned so much from playing with these techniques, and we didn't even get to print with the styrofoam plates! But Susan and I made a commitment to make more flag-like work in our far-apart studios as a joint project. Loving the warm and sunshine but my studio is calling me ...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Imagination or Reality?

Yesterday at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, many of the plants seemed as fanciful as the Chihuly pieces. Maybe some work is coming soon based on these photos and way too many others.