Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hard to believe that my last entry was over a week ago! The painting you see above is called You Never Know What You Might Find on the Other Side of the Fence. I created it for a show called Borders, Fences, & Gates, which is located at the Curley School in Ajo, Arizona, where I live. It is accompanying an exhibit from the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Series, and it's very exciting to have this beautiful show located in the beautiful auditorium of the old school.

The title of the painting has a couple meanings. Literally, you can find beauty anywhere, even on an old wooden fence, if you take the time to look. It also refers to neighbors. This fence separated us from our next door neighbors for 20 years. While we knew them as acquaintances, it was only in the last 3 years or so that I really began to know my neighbor, Jill. I came to cherish her friendship, and found it a wonderful comfort to have such a good person living right next door. Who knows whether we would have gotten to know each other sooner without the fence. At any rate, I'm grateful that I know her now and expect to remain lifetime friends with her despite the fact that we now live 2 hours apart.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Here is another big box. This one has 6 narrow drawers and one large drawer. I discovered that by rearranging the order of the drawers, the design changes. The big drawer can be on top, on the bottom or in the middle. The shapes in the little boxes join together differently when you switch their order. My paintings are realistic. The boxes are abstract. I've tried doing abstract paintings and find it frustrating. I'm thrilled that within the context of boxes, I can have fun playing with abstract art. I love painting these!

Monday, November 26, 2007

After recovering from all the driving to Tucson, I got right back to work. Then I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving week with my son home from college. We made a total of 4 trips back and forth to Phoenix! He flew back to school in Ohio yesterday, and I'm back to work in my studio again.

As you can see, I've done big boxes, too. Here are two slightly different views of one box. It has six small and one large drawer. It's great fun to paint these boxes, which are 10" tall, and 10" by 14" wide. I made one for myself and I use it as a jewelry box, but I think it would be a good place to keep all kinds of treasures.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I spent the weekend driving back and forth between Ajo and Tucson (a 2 1/2 hour drive), to participate in the annual Tucson Open Studio Tour. Roughly 134 artists open their studios to visitors during this weekend event. A group of us from the Curley School were invited to exhibit our work at the Dinnerware ArtSpace. My husband and I drove over on Friday to unload and set up my space (we each got about 10 feet of wall space). So I drove a total of 10 hours in three days. Lots of people came and looked at the work - more on Sunday than Saturday. Many were artists who were checking out ideas and prices.

The thing about doing something like this is that you are on display as well as your art. This is not the most comfortable feeling in the world, at least not for me. It's hard to know whether to just sit there or to be talkative when people come by. I would have preferred to spend the weekend under the table. Clearly, trying to sell my own work isn't going to be my sales method of choice. I did meet lots of nice and friendly people. And I got some appreciative comments about my work. But sales??? Well, let's just say that I went in the hole, what with gas and the entry fee. It was, however, a beautiful space to show in. And a good learning experience.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Here is another group of boxes. I wandered around the alleys in Ajo, while walking my dog. I noticed how beautiful the old corrugated tin sheds were, with their multiple layers of paint peeling away. Maybe most people wouldn’t categorize these as beautiful, but I did. Anyway, I took a series of digital photographs. What you see are transfers from the photos onto wooden boxes. I added painted edges and sides on some of the boxes. Are they beautiful? I think so. If you do, too, than I’ve succeeded at convincing you that there are lots of little slivers of beauty out there.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I got a new digital camera last summer. During a month of traveling, I took a few bug pictures. The dragonfly and butterfly on top of these boxes are transfer prints. You can see that I have several styles of boxes and I vary the sides depending on my mood. So these are my first bug boxes. Look for more in the future as I capture more buggy images.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Boxes, boxes and more boxes. I like boxes. Boxes can be useful. They can hold ordinary stuff or they have the potential for keeping magical and special items safe. The outside of a box can be plain or it can be a work of art. An especially beautiful box could be hung on the wall.

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of transferring images from one thing to another. This summer, I experimented with a way to print images onto a special transfer paper. The resulting print can be permanently transferred onto almost any object. Including boxes.

I went on the hunt for boxes. I bought a bunch. I played around with a lot of ideas. What you see here are a series of boxes with transfer images (vastly shrunk in size) of some of my paintings. The top edges and sides of the boxes are painted to complement the colors in the paintings. This was exciting! I lined the inside bottom of each box with felt. They can hold things. They can be hung on the wall. They make great gifts, they can hold great gifts.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Snapshots taken by my son, Mathew, were the inspiration for these paintings. He took the photos through the windshield of the car as we drove through a raging sandstorm while I concentrated on staying on the road. The storm was the first really big one I had to drive through on the way to Ajo. It was scary but also eerily beautiful.

This is a sequential series of small paintings. They show the sandstorm from beginning to end. These paintings are somewhat abstract, and can be appreciated even if the viewer doesn’t know the story behind their creation. They are 8 x 10 inch acrylic on panel. They are the first paintings that I created in my new studio in Ajo.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Life on Belmont Avenue was started during the summer of 2006 and completed in 2007. It’s a snapshot view of the street I lived on for 20 years. Both of my children grew up here. We fell in love with Belmont Avenue because of the beautiful view of Squaw Peak and were lucky enough to find the perfect home for our family just when we needed it. The clutter of cars shows that this was a Saturday or Sunday (during the week the street would be virtually deserted). It also reveals that this is a street of homes with one-car carports and families with at least two or three cars! The beautiful sunsets were always a special treat.

Our children have grown up and we recently moved to Ajo, in southern Arizona, where we now live at the Curley School, a wonderful old school newly renovated for artists to live and work in. It’s beautiful here and a wonderful opportunity for us to work full time as artists. I do miss our neighbors and our home on Belmont and am glad to have created this painting.

Life on Belmont Avenue will be on display at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library in downtown Tucson from October 24th to November 26th.