While searching for materials to create this project I found it difficult at first. After much searching what I found was actually my youth. During our lectures I became fascinated with Guerra de la Paz and his sculpture Indradhanush, 2008. His use of color took my breath away. My husband who is also an artist is like a small child when he sees collections of Sharpie pens or colored pencils so I went on a hunt. What could I find to create the spectacular colors I saw in Paz’s work.Just when I thought all was lost I found my stash of cross stitching floss arranged in all the beautiful colors. Along with the floss in my cupboard of art supplies and other assorted items that I just cannot throw away knowing someday a project just like this will be there waiting, there they were, puffy self stick letters in colors to match my floss. Then the idea came to me – Woodstock – fringe – rainbows – I had found my youth.You see in 1970 my best friend and I were 13. Woodstock the movie had just come out and Yolanda and I were on our way. She and I were well ahead of our ages in body and were able to get in to see the movie even though it was rated R (new system of rating movies that was hardly enforced). She and I saw the movie, bought the soundtrack and the memories began.
Mapping out my life was somewhat of an undertaking. These feet have done some traveling and not the exotic type. You see I moved nine times before I reached the 9th grade. My parents divorced when I was three and I traveled from one family to another starting with my grandparents. Then it was on to my godparents until they wanted to adopt me. This was just about the time my mother married for the second time. Did I mention she was a serious alcoholic? Well she was. In fact, at the very young age of 62 she died of complications from her addiction. Oddly, as much drama as there was in my young life, now that she is gone I find myself missing her often. She was an extremely talented artist. She could create the most amazing things from dolls to cross stitching to Christmas ornaments. These things were not crafty – they were amazing works of art.Detroit is where my story began. When Mom remarried we moved as a family to Cleveland and then Akron with our last days together in Mansfield. Two children, three marriages, a stint in the U.S. Air Force, a business of my own and my discovery of God and I find myself here in Tallahassee. Here I plan to stay. It has been 12 years since my daughter and I came to the rolling hills of Leon County. She has since graduated from college, married and has a family of her own now.It was difficulty to put these tracks on one piece of art.
I always had this dream of one day experiencing a Normal Rockwell like family with everyone gathered around the Thanksgiving dinner table enjoying each other ‘s company. Instead we had tension each and every holiday while we waited to see when Carol (my mother) would have just enough to drink that she would make a scene. She was not a nice drunk. Once she started Mom would set off her brother, Uncle Ron. He has since found God when his son was killed in a motorcycle accident several years ago and is somewhat nice to be around.Unfortunately Mom is gone now, my children are spread across the country in California and Chicago making holidays like the ones in my dreams just that – a dream.
4. Where do we come from where do we land? All eyes are on us…..
As a woman I have found it hard to live up to the images both men and our society expect of us. I am not a small woman. Dieting was never something I felt I needed to do but I want to know why men don’t look into our eyes? Instead they stare at all the other parts of our bodies first. Magazines portray us as sex objects in men’s magazines and thin, perfect skinned women in those geared toward women.The art world has always been a breath of fresh air when it comes to the woman’s body. Artist paint what they see often. In the days of Rembrandt and Michelangelo women were portrayed with robust figures. When we left the canvas behind and took up the advertising world women lost weight and suddenly were expected to be perfect.
My art and my life intertwine everyday. My friends and family tell me my art lies in my sense of style and decorating. This is a secret passion of mine, one which I thrive on. Many have said I am most happy when I am picking out a new color to paint the wall or shopping for a piece of new furniture.Blue is my favorite color. The color of the seashore makes me feel alive. I try to surround myself with it and everything beach (not kitschy beach – real beach).
These very small projects were more fun than I anticipated. Before I began these I had found that I really like BIG. I am much better when I have a large scale area to work with, even larger than the 12x12 pages in my artist book are. So when I tackled these tiny 3x3 inch pieces I was not sure but alas I was able to create these without too much difficulty.Waves was once again inspired by the idea of how much I love color especially blue. I had a stack of color squares left from a previous art class so I used them to layer in the waves and gills and was very pleased with the results.gee gee actually came about in two ways. First, this is my nickname given to me by my grandson. He has many grandparents so I wanted to be a little different. It just so happens to be our first initial of our last name so I have a few things around with the initial “g” on it. Tah dah.Bubbles was a bit more interesting. I first thought of this idea of using bubble wrap as a base and then different colors of tissue paper layered in using a watered down glue. When I was done with that step something was missing. Once again I went on a hunt in my treasure trove of stuff and found the three little blue bubbles!
At first I was terrified to take on this project – not being much of a personwho can actually draw. Then I stopped and thought about the fact that Ihave always been good at using both of my hands. Story has it I wasoriginally left handed but my mother or my grandmother (not sure) decided itwas not good to be left handed. Unfortunately this was a misguided notionback in the 50’s. My mother stressed and pressed until I was used toalways using my right hand. Because of all this most of my life I was able tonot only perform many tasks with my left hand but also write although notreally always legible.I found a fish I made in one of my first art classes carved out of wood anddecided that was a good piece to try to capture with both hands and a pencilat the same time. Fortunately it came out recognizable but somewhatboring. This is when I decided to add some color. At first I had thoughts of aswash of color here and there but ended up filling in the entire piece. Nowthat it is done I wish I had stayed with the single stroke of color here andthere.
Here I go again, digging and shifting through my closet of stuff! I found twopeel n stick floor tiles (one white and one black) and several tiles of stick upcork that I used to have on my office wall. The floor tiles were a thought Ihad for my previous home’s kitchen floor. I also discovered a card myhusband once slipped in my luggage while I was not looking before I left ona business trip. The photo was of a performer in the original Woodstockfestival.All these things I put together for the cover of my artist book. I stuck the tilesto the opposite side of the cork for the front and back, added the card andphoto and then tied it all together with some dashes of paint. Once all thiswas done I drilled a hole in the side to tie all the pages together.
How do I resolve a perceptual cramp – I GO SHOPPING!!! Whether it is aproject for my home, a jewelry project or an art project I take myself to thestore. I wander the isles looking at inspirations of color, texture and items Icould possibly use. Sometimes it is a store like Home Depot and their paintisle other times it is Michael’s and the bead section. One of my favoritehaunts is Marshall’s or T.J.Maxx and their home furnishings.I will also scour beading or home improvement magazines to get ideas forpossible projects or just inspiration. My husband and I are big fans ofHGTV which is where a good deal of my home decorating ideas come from.The end results – our newest project – a complete kitchen redo. Before After
Whether it is my Christmas collections of snowmen, Santas or trees (yestrees) or if it is my many other collections of antiques, pottery, artwork, shellsand all things beach, I love collecting. My mother was the mentor for thisaddiction. She saved everything and anything displaying most of it in such abeautiful and fashionable way.Collecting is important to my life. I love to have things around me thatremind me of trips I have taken, friends and their art, my children and theirlives. Collections make a home or even an office feel more personal, morewelcoming.
A self portrait of me is represented by my family and the things we love to dotogether. As I have mentioned several times, we love the beach. When I goto the beach I come alive again. My husband says it rejuvenates me and itdoes. I always come home with a fresh look at my life. Having grown up ina northern state I appreciate what we have here in Florida.A great deal of me is also our life at FSU. We tailgate at every football gamealong with our daughter who has just recently had one of the joys in my life,our 1st grandchild - Graham.My artwork is another large part of me. My art is shown not only in mypersonal self portrait but in my home decorating, my jewelry creations butalso in my family. I like to think I have been a good mother and am veryproud of my children. My daughter received her business degree fromFSU, found a wonderful husband and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.My son has a career in the U.S. Air Force and has been awarded severalcommendations for his service.
As kids14. Graffiti growing up in the 60’s the Vietnam War was a major part of our everyday lives. We saw the peace symbol everywhere we went. Of course, the bubble letter graffiti was something we doodled absolutely everywhere.
What in my life has helped shape my identity…….both my mother and myNana. Unfortunately both have passed now but I am left with such arichness that I can only hope I am passing on to my children.Yes I know I spoke about my mother as if she was the worst thing thathappened in my life but this is not true. Was she a force to be reckoned with– yes. Was she one of the most creative people I have ever known –absolutely yes. Because of her constant creative influence in my life I trulybelieve I either inherited or was taught a small portion of her genius.My Nana who just recently passed in March was consistently a majorinfluence in my life. She was there when I was born, there when my motherwent off on her binges, there when I myself went through difficulty times.She taught me to sew, how to bake and how to care and love a family.Through the years art teachers and other artists have all given meinspiration and guidance. There is no single moment but when I think ofwho I am and what brought me here I think of all the times I watched bothmy mother and my Nana creating things of beauty many of which are still inmy home today.
16. My interpretation of the beach……..While I was digging around I found my bag of materials I used during a recent painting/color class. In this bag were some really wonderful textural things. Suddenly I had this idea to create my interpretation of the beach in abstract!I used large bubble wrap for the sky, carpet pad for the water and shelf paper for the sandy beach.
17. Continuing on with the beach idea……..This was simply a mixture ofgouache with a piece ofbubble wrap to apply the sunand a dog brush to add thetextural overlay of blue onblue.
As I said before – during this project I was rummagingthrough all my things and came across all the found itemsI had saved to make texture and collages in anotherproject. When I really looked at the doily soaked in richpurple and the pieces of rug padding, shelf liner , bubblewrap and starfish all coated in different colors of paint Ihad a sudden brain storm. I put them all together andglued them down to create this very textural and colorfulpiece.
19. ExperimentationThis was a completeexperiment in Chinesealphabet which I havenever beforeattempted. If you arenot familiar or even ifyou are you may needa clue. The larger is aG (last name) and theone on the left is a J(my husband’s firstinitial) and the one onthe right is a C for me!
20. More experimentationUsing a piece of jute rope soaked in a glue/water solution I wasable to give a simple color on color piece some much neededtexture.
Given my love for seashells and all things beach it onlymade sense that when I needed to create a few morepieces I turned to my collection of shells. Out in thegarage I have several boxes of shells, driftwood and seaglass that I have been collecting for years. Every timemy husband and I go to the beach we look for and try torecover unique things. Some of our favorite things arepieces of driftwood. Eventually I hope to have enough tocreate a wreath for our front porch.This piece was created using some white shells Ihappened upon during a trip to the beach after a storm.Oddly there were hundreds of scallop shells and many ofthem were white. When I laid them all out I noticed likehumans, no two are alike!
I went all around the house looking again for something to use to make apiece of art. I started to work with anything circle or somewhat round. Ifound things like the top to the cat food can, a roll of packing tape, a spoon,a pair of scissors and a wrought iron letter opener. Each one made theirown distinct shape when traced onto a piece of tracing paper. I found theletter opener especially interesting. The shape of it compared to the shapeit made was remarkably different.Once the project was nearing the end I felt it needed some juxtaposition. Itneeded a rectangle, a rectangle of color.
My favorite color is BLUE – any color of blue. Cobalt blue makes my heartrace. Beautiful shades of sea blue give me a sense of calmness. Sky bluehas a felling of freshness especially when it is combined with the softness ofhuge white clouds.Mixing any of them with their respective colors on opposite sides of the colorwheel gives us the favorites we are used to seeing everyday.Blue does a lot of things for me but the one thing it does not do is make mefeel BLUE!