Back in 2007, I started a painting called Santiago. It was a playful piece inspired by the name my husband selected for his identity in our Spanish class, mine was Margarita. I put a lot of time into this painting, and even "finished" it, posting the completed work on my site...
While cleaning out my storage bins, Santiago called out to me from beneath the protective covering, so I removed him and shuttered at the monstrosity before me. Lifeless eyes, muted values, and what the *$%# did I do to the cat?
At some point, I had decided that the interior of a pirate ship would be darker and he needed to be more menacing. What I succeeded in doing was destroying the piece. So now he sits on my easel, begging the question, "Do I toss it or try to fix it?"
Normally I would say screw it, remove the soiled canvas and start fresh. Why does this one cause me to pause? Is it the perceived value in the time to which I have already committed? My guess would be the emotional connection to the piece, because it is representing my husband and our cat, Ti. A decision has been made and the piece will NOT return to storage. Pull the plug or resuscitate, matey!
For further reading on the subject, Ann Landi wrote and article for ARTnews that asks the question, When is an artwork finished?
Here are studio shots from the original painting process...
Much of my days are now spent transforming my artwork into functional accessories. These pouches, hand-sewn by me, are a labor of love. Here I am able to take recent artwork or paintings that found a home long ago, and create something new and exciting! I have so many designs that I want to make from existing paintings, as well as so many ideas for new paintings that can eventually become a Paranormals Pouch! After the painting has been photographed, I manipulate the digital files on the computer. Pixelmator has a filter called Kaleidoscope and it what I use to create the back panels. Here you can see the process in this video...
Once the digital files are finished, I assemble them in a 36"x58" (150dpi) file and upload it to Spoonflower.
Interested in picking up a Paranormals Pouch? Send me an email! Be sure to sign up for my Announcement List for updates on pouches and the new website!
The Mattress Factory Art Museum, located in Pittsburgh, PA, is currently offering 1/2 price admission, with the new exhibit opening September 13, 2014. My favorite part of the experience was not in the main portion of the museum, but rather a satallite location down the alley way. This installation of objects and yarn took up the entire three-story house and was completely captivating! It began as a simple line, beckoning you follow. That line multiplied into layers and layers of intersecting shapes, some of which engulfed objects that suggested transition or transformation. CHIHARU SHIOTA: TRACE OF MEMORY
When Universes Collide! The Ultimate Superhero Smackdown! An Exhibit of Original Artwork Spanning 70 Years!ToonSeum Pittsburgh, PA July 23 - September 20, 2014
When you enter the ToonSeum it looks like a small comic shop, but around every corner is a thoughtful and playful tribute to the comic arts.
LA COUR DES MIRACLES (THE COURT OF MIRACLES) by Joey Kennedy Wood Street Galleries Pittsburgh, PA JULY 11-SEPTEMBER 7, 2014
The Wood Street Galleries are an extreme art destination! They are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a wedge-shaped building and the only way to access them is via the old elevator. I began on the 3rd floor and winced at the volume emitted from these Terminator-gone-artsy forms. Intense is the best way I can describe this exhibit of motorized forms. They slither and scream and appear to follow your movement around the room (or do they?), and they activated every RUN part of my lizard brain. The gallery attendant asked if I had been to the 2nd floor? When I responded no, he said he had to activate them, so he would accompany me there. While in the elevator, I commented that the piece on the 3rd floor was really loud, to which he calmly replied, "Oh, this one is louder."
On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, I had the opportunity to explore the city by myself. SPACE was on the list of "must-sees" and their Cataloguing Pattern show held some true gems! I enjoyed the show in general, but my favorite work was a series of drawings by Kristin Kest. They were beautifully drawn and the images combined fair tales and fierce, adventurous women (and insect mothers)!
Some artists like expansive white studios with perfect natural lighting. Perhaps I would too, but I have always felt most at home in small, eclectic spaces. Until the beginning of this year, my studio space (9′x15′) was a bit chaotic (to put it nicely!). In addition to feeling overwhelmed by clutter I was now sharing my studio with a lovely stray cat that we took in, Tinsel. It became very clear to me that the time had come to purge and reorganize.
When we arrived the only remaining seats were three positioned by the front entrance, which we later realized were the best in the house! We got in line, grabbed beers and perched ourselves on the amazing vintage-style bar stools. From this location, you could view all of the patrons chatting and enjoying the three original brews; 10 Ton Oatmeal Stout (my fav!), Flyin' Rye IPA and Ermal's Belgian Style Cream Ale. Looking around you immediately register that the building is massive and you are only seeing a portion of it. The exposed brick walls and glass panels only hint at the history of this place. I originally visited the location when it was the Foundry Dance Club. At that time it was dark and dirty, but now the space is bright and inviting, with the impressive 10 ton box crane perched overhead. I sat there, enjoying my 10 Ton Stout, loving the twisted bird's wing logo, the environment and the experience as a whole.
Over the past few years, Mark and I have gone on several brewery tours. Some were to established favorites like Bell's Brewery and others were new discoveries, like Old Boys Brewhouse (Me at the dog themed "Old Boys Brewhouse" with my impressive flight and Mark's delicious sour!). Each location had a different personality with new tastes to enjoy. I would not call myself an expert, but definitely experienced when it comes to craft beer and breweries. That day convinced me of one thing, Warped Wing has all the components to be a successful business and a beloved brewery and I hoped to be a part of it.
I always tell young artists that it never hurts to ask. Whether it is another artist's technique, materials, or experiences, ask them! Maybe they won't respond, but perhaps you will learn something or better yet, connect with someone who inspires you. This also goes for businesses that speak to you. I sent Warped Wing a message saying I loved what they were doing and mentioned that I was a local artist who would love to work with them on a project if the occasion should ever arise. They quickly responded with a thank you and, much to my surprise, that they did indeed have a project in mind. They were getting ready to release their fourth brew, this one would be a Red IPA.
Indian art has always resonated with me, with it's lush details, symbolism and craftsmanship. I immediately began researching and taking notes.