Sunday, January 25, 2009

Art and Life...and the Big Doll...2

You're getting an extra bonus make up for my recent lack of posts. I've been busy sending out the new book, planning my classes for the Fiber Arts Festival in Sequim in October, walking and taking photos as the seasons change--by the moment. Winter makes me want to cook...and EAT! Great Italian meal at Bella Italia (mentioned in the Vampire books set in Forks) on Friday, my brother, David's treat. Last night I cooked my first pork tenderloin with shallots, bacon, prunes, balsamic vinegar, and red wine--YUM! I love the good smells filling the house. Here are pictures of frost outlining the weeds (probably a version of Horsetail) and some of the collection of sedum and turquoise quartz in my back yard. Playing with PhotoBooth--I like the way it made me look younger.

The kiss of snow from this morning is almost melted, it's up to 40 degrees. We had a week of fog and an air inversion, the fog picture is from January 17th looking northeast from my front porch.

The frost outlines are from some time in between. What a constant fascinating Nature show!

Now back to the studio, with books on tape for company, I'll try to post again soon, to show you the dolls using Found Objects I'll be working on.

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Art and Life...and the Big Doll

I received the 10 boxes of the new edition of DESIGNING A DOLL AND MAKING FACES INSPIRATION BOOK on Inauguration Day…what a Wonderful day of Celebration and Hope! Now if we can just make it last and each do a little bit more to help each other and the world for the next four years—then it could become a habit. Little Port Angeles over here on the other end of the country from DC had it’s own Inaugural Ball…Democrats, Republicans, Independents…lots of dancing and cheering, some in tuxes and ball gowns, all united in optimism.

But, back to my newest book—I love to see a shiny new one arrive, and this is the longest and most colorful to date! There’s one week…til the end of January…for the Deal: $25 and free shipping in the US. $5 off on shipping to Canada and the rest of the world. I hope when you see the new book, you’ll be as excited as I am, with lots of patterns and step-by-step projects as well as pictures of dolls I’ve made in the last over 50 years (I started young).

Now I’m working on dolls using Found Objects to submit to another one of Lark’s “500” books. Did you see my dolls in 500 HANDMADE DOLLS?

Check out the Figurative Artists Consortium June 11-14, 2009, with help from members of All Dolled Up. The site is

After an e-conversation with my friend, Roberta Russell, in Ottawa I wrote: you’re right, artists need to learn to take care of ourselves. I need a business manager! I am technically qualified to go on Social Security on my 62nd birthday in a little over a month, but would not be able to afford to eat if I did that. Luckily, I like my job and health care seems to be a relatively safe profession in ongoing financial crisis

As I have time, I'm working on trying to figure out the parts of my art business that I like best and can do most naturally, so I can go back to making a profit. My brother, David, has a very successful graphic design business and I try to learn from him. He says the way of the future is more presence on social networking sites, so I joined Linkedin last night, although now I have to put up pictures and of course update my blog. I'd like to do more teaching online...and always more books, although I see that I can't afford to wholesale them. Lots to work on in my "spare" time in the next 5-8 years before I can afford to retire (I hope). Today it's taxes, two local class proposals, and pieces for the Lark Found Objects book...I guess all the projects will continue to keep my brain exercised.

Of course then there are always the goals in the back of my mind of participating in changing health care delivery in the US and writing a novel...

Last weekend I took some time out (Also Very Important!) to explore our beautiful Olympic Peninsula with David and Brian…the hike to Marymer Falls that I’d been hearing about and never done. On the way to Lake Crescent, every individual twig and needle was sparkling with frost…I never even knew this gem of a glacial lake existed before I moved here…one of the many pleasant surprises of moving to the Northwest. In the midst of all our busy-ness, it’s SO important to take time out and spend it with the people we love and enjoying the sights and experiences where we live. I’m looking forward to seeing more of WA this summer, and Corvallis, OR, when I go to teach there in May.

It’s just starting to get light as I write this at 7:19 on a
Sunday morning. I see that it snowed during the night, just a light coating here at 500 feet. In a country of mini climates, tide tables and height above sea level are important. One last thing before I go to start breakfast: DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS starts 2/3/09 on, and there is still time to register at joggles. It’s always a wonderful experience with participants from all over the world…we talk about Everything in the chat room and post pictures as we go along. Five lessons with paper and cloth projects, progressing from Transforming Ourselves to Transforming the World…and just playing with the varied forms and materials will spark lots more creative ideas….I hope you’ll join me!


Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I got a question about how I did the collage posted a week ago, so here's the answer:
The collage that I last posted on my blog started with a 30" x 30"
square canvas that I painted bright yellow with acrylics and then
divided into a nine-patch (traditional quilt form) with a turquoise
soft colored pencil. The rest is art papers, tracings of drawings
from my sketch book, more paint, and now the cut-up experiments from
the class on Faux Encaustics using Golden paints and products, so
there's some glass bead gel, modeling paste, glaze, and maybe crackle
glaze, too. My brother introduced
me to some very thin but strong Japanese paper that I can sew on my
sewing machine and then apply to the collage with clear acrylic gel
and then more acrylic paint and marks made with crayon and chalk. I'm
trying to create depth without getting too busy and without totally
covering up the images, and without getting toooo attached to any one
phase, because I don't want to be afraid to keep working on it until
it's done...a tough call.

I did some painting and glazing on it on Tuesday, and will post a progress report picture maybe after the weekend. I like painting in daylight when possible, so I can see the colors better.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

HOT FLASH, Transformative Doll Making, Etc.

OH, I am getting chatty these days! The New Year (even though it's a supremely artificial construct) and getting the doll book to the printer (I got the proof Friday, and it's Gorgeous!) and the winter Rains now, instead of Snow, have given me the time to contemplate new projects.

I started the HOT FLASH book, soliciting contributions back in 2003 and 2004. I kept promising to come through with an actual book, but the process was interrupted by my move to the West Coast in 2005 and just not being able to get a handle on how I wanted to present the project. I spent my 60th birthday retreat playing with the "look" and now that I have America's Press doing color for me, and I'm almost 62 the book is becoming more of a reality.

I'm ready for yet more contributions: Works of art based (loosely, perhaps) on your interpretation of the phrase Hot Flash and stories about life changes, experiences, successes based on being older and wiser--or bolder. All contributors will receive 2 free copies of the book.

If you sent me something previously, please be sure I have current contact information for you. Those of you who have been procrastinating--(you know who you are)--get something FABULOUS completed and send me good 300dpi tifs one at a time by email or on a disc.

I will be running the class DOLLMAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS online at starting Tuesday February 3rd. It's still only $60, five lessons from Transforming Oneself to Transforming the World, with a quick paper and a quick fabric project for each lesson, so at the very least, you'll get lots of ideas for things to make and at best...change the world, or at least yourself in some small way.
The ongoing chat with other students from all over the world and me is worth the price of admission. Go to Joggles and SIGN UP NOW!!! You won't regret it...and what better way to make the end of winter (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) fly by.

One More Opportunity:
I'll be teaching Three Dimensional Doll Design and Construction the first weekend in May for a Doll Group in Corvallis, OR. There are some spaces in the class (five) still open for students not officially in the doll group. Contact: Terry Weiss to sign up. The cost is Very Reasonable for a two-day class, and you will come out with patterns, a finished doll, and TONS of Inspiration!

Winter is a Perfect Time for Art Projects!


Friday, January 02, 2009

We're Melting.....

In the week since Christmas, our unaccustomed snow has been melting, and See--there was green grass underneath!

I've been reading through my journals from the last three and a half years since I've lived here and have been single again, and my resolutions continue to be: to make more and better ART, take better care of my body--hence the walks, appreciate all the people who are important to me--including all of you out there, and savor all the many and varied moments of life.

Today's images are from walks on 12/28/08 and on 1/1/09. It's great going out with my digital camera, because I can take as many pictures as I want to, including some images of melting snow that might be useful at some point, seeing shapes and shadows and textures...good for layering in Photoshop or reminding myself of what happened this winter. After 18" of snow right after Thanksgiving of 2006 and no shovellable snow at all last year, I've learned to expect anything.

Looking south
to the Olympic Mountains on my walk yesterday. Our drinking water comes from the snow on these mountains, so we are always happy to see lots of snow up there. I've gotten so spoiled already living in this normally-temperate climate, that a few days of snow on my yard now hold me for the whole year, and I like looking at the snow from a distance. These views are within a few blocks of my house. The skies are high and huge, the weather ever-changing.

Looking north on the same walk. The lighter gray at the bottom of the hill is the Strait, then Canada, then clouds, then lots more sky.

It doesn't look like it, but south, above, is uphill.

Last night it snowed again, so my driveway and yard are back to all white. Where I work, just above sea level, it was a grand sunny day, and all the ice and snow melted...except for black ice in the shadows. When I got home tonight, just barely before dark, my yard was still all white...At 500 feet where I live, it was cold enough to stay winter.

, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day to start 2009 out right. This is a collage I started last winter that has been languishing on my easel ever since, so yesterday I cut up some of the experiments I did in Barbara DiPirro's Golden Faux Encaustics class last March and just stuck them to the surface with light modeling paste. Sometimes I get WAY too precioius with my art work and just have to do something dramatic to shake myself up and undo the stuck attitude....after all Art is Work, and this is just one of MANY different experiments I will do, so must forge ahead. I'll see if I can get myself to work on it some more tomorrow.

I frequently feel Overwhelmed by Artistic Possibilities, and have to just make myself pick one thing and get going on it, without getting too uptight about the conclusion. I am lucky that I make a good enough living at my job to support my art habit, but it's still sometimes a challenge to just get going, instead of frittering away my time like a top spinning from thing to thing.

This was another recent project and a series to which I'm returning: a baby doll from the Dollar Store that I collaged and painted and to which I attached eye beads and the funnel with Apoxie Sculpt...I'm working on a new piece with a driftwood body and one of the clay faces that I showed you. Found objects are a great jumping-off point for stimulating ideas.

AND, I'm back to working on the BiG Doll...progress pictures soon, AND the HOT FLASH book will be my next. I'm soliciting more contributions. Not only Hot Flash Dolls, but stories from YOU about how you have made breakthroughs and turned life up-side-down in your glowing years.

AND...Tonight I got the proof of the new Doll Book--I LOVE IT!!! So MUCH COLOR and lots of new patterns and inspiration for your doll making pleasure. You can order from my gallery now, and I'll be shipping before the end of January. I believe I said that the price will be just $25 until the end of January, 2009, so order your copy NOW!