Wednesday, November 24, 2010

There They Go

On my way down through the mountains yesterday, I dropped off my five 8" x 8" collages at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts for the Big Small Holiday Show (a.k.a. Miniatures Show on the website but originally the show had the former title - much more descriptive, as I don't think of my pieces as miniatures at all). It always feels kind of like leaving your small children at school on the first day of classes - you know they are looking and behaving their best, but you can't help worrying a little and you hope people like them, understand them, and help launch them successfully into the larger world. And here they are for you to see:
In Using an Ax or Hachet - Girl Scout series
Warning for Windy Days - Girl Scout series

Hints for the Cook - Girl Scout series

Trust the Trail
 It is hard to see on the piece above the metal leaf that I applied to the trail going up the steep mountain among rocks and leading to the glowing disk. Maybe a photo would show the technique better - quite perfect for the effect I had in mind. I could not find locally the sizing that is prescribed for gluing down the delicate metal leaf, so I used double-sided adhesive. The fire tower on the left is a transfer from a newspaper using a Chartpak blender marker. The ravens are stenciled on, and the pressed leaf is a spring Tiarella.    
October Pond Lilies
The background on this one is a manipulated photograph printed on air mail paper ("oil paint" effect and faded back); the foreground image is a photo transfer using matte acrylic medium on hot pressed watercolor paper, enhanced with watercolor paint, and cut apart; and the image in the upper right is a scan from an antique print that was inkjet printed, along with the text, on gampi silk tissue and applied with more medium, allowing almost total transparency behind the printed image. I'm still working with the gampi to figure out the best way to print on this delicate paper. In this case, I sprayed the back of the gampi with the temporary bonding spray I use for fabric work and just stuck it firmly to a piece of regular printer paper. It went through my printer perfectly, after several earlier nerve-wracking and unsuccessful tries. (Many thanks to several friends on my inkjet transfer Yahoo group for their suggestions!) The downside to the temporary spray is that it leaves a sticky residue (of course) on the back of the tissue. Not a problem in this case, but not always what I want. 

Every piece is an experiment in one way or another.                            

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Calling All (Long Ago) Girl Scouts

Warning for Windy Days
I was a Girl Scout for a long time - age 8 to 18. Much of the time, I was jealous of my brothers, whose scouting experiences involved camping in the rain in leaky pup tents, learning to use jack knives, and tracking raccoons - great stuff! Meanwhile, I learned to make hospital corners, to dance the Hava Nagila and the Mexican Hat Dance, and to occasionally cook over an open fire, identify wild flowers, and learn to sail in my own little boat. So, taken as a whole, it was very worthwhile, even in high school when it was quite uncool. (That was when I learned to sail. That was also when I melted the toes of my vinyl boots while on a GS camping trip on a very cold rainy weekend by standing too close to the campfire. I think my tent fell down during that trip after becoming completely waterlogged.)

My fondness for so many of those experiences led me to collect a modest number of old Brownie and Girl Scout manuals, including two elderly versions of the Girl Scout Handbook, third (1936) and fourth (1938) editions. For quite awhile, I have thought about using those books in my art pieces to pay some kind of tribute to what I owe Juliette Gordon Low and all my troop leaders. The materials above are being made into a collage with the pages from one of my books, fabrics, embroidery thread, paint, and some of the buttons from my friend Joan's vast collection. Below is one of the pieces that is a bit further along.
Hints for the Cook
Tomorrow I will take three of these Girl Scout collages (with their metaphorical titles) and a couple of other collages to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts for their holiday exhibition of small works. I am looking forward to seeing the response to them. How many other white-haired Girl Scouts would like reminders...?