Saturday, August 25, 2007

I'm just now getting to posting my four mixed media goddess art pieces that were accepted in a local gallery's juried show. The Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, IL has a current exhibition hung until September 11, 2007 entitled "She". "The “She” show displays artworks that explore the diversity of womanhood – earth mother, wise woman, mother/daughter, goddess, spirited souls."

It was such a thrill to have my artwork accepted for this show as it was the first time I entered work in a gallery. I've been working on a goddess art series to honor the heritage of my grandmothers whose families hail from Ireland and Slovenia. So when I happened into the gallery earlier this summer and saw that there was a woman's art show coming up, I thought this was a sign that I should finish the pieces and enter them!

There was a reception on Friday evening, August 17th to which several of my friends accompanied me, making it much more fun! I arrived there about 30 minutes after the opening, and as I made my way toward the back of the gallery where I saw Barb, Wally, Judy, and Colin mingling, I passed my work, noting red sticker dots on three of the four pieces. I thought it might mean "something", but didn't have much time to dwell on it when the gallery director, Bonnie Kime, came over to tell me she had a young woman who wanted to talk to me about the art. "Cool", I mused, and when Bonnie then added that Bridget had just purchased the pieces, I'm sure I broke out into a big smile! We had a lovely chat amid the din of the crowd and then I had a bit of time to view the other 60+ pieces before the winners were announced. I'm thinking about going back later today or next Saturday to have more time to appreciate them.

This first piece with the flames and goddess reaching to the blue sky is entitled, "Belisama". It's a 6" x 12" canvas of acrylic paint, handmade, and commerical papers collaged with gel medium. Belisama or "Summer Bright" was a goddess of the ancient Celts. She was a goddess of fire, forge, and crafts. There is evidence that she is related to the Roman goddess Minerva, which makes sense if you consider the interrelatedness of cultures during the expansion of the ancient Roman Empire into Gaul and Britain.

This next piece in greens with a dryad emerging from a tree is "Sidhe Draoi". The name refers to the Irish tree faery of Druid lore who lived among the trees in the sacred grove. Tissue papers were collaged as a background and then I cut a free-form tree from fabric paper I made from muslin and assorted brown papers. The leaves are snipped from assorted handmade and commercial papers and fabrics. The dryad, or wood nymph, is fashioned from a polymer clay face attached to a body made of vintage and new laces glued, sewn and painted on cotton flannel. The hair is strands of floss, ribbon, and fibers.

The piece on the far left of the weaving in a handmade frame is "Brigid's Loom". It is pasticcio of fibers, yarn, ribbon, and handmade papers woven through wires colored with alcohol inks and then twisted when taken off the loom. The frame is a foamcore piece gessoed, layered with molding paste, handmade paper, acrylic paints, and embellished with small beads. It is part of a series of about 20 pieces in a similar vein. There is a nice tutorial for the frame in Somerset Workshop by artist Diana Twedt. (Diana is very inspiring and has shared her tutorials and art in many of Stampington's publications.)

The last piece I've posted here previously is "Airmid", one of my favorites. Now that it's sold, I've begun a smaller version to keep for myself!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What a nice surprise I just received! My "Airmid" goddess piece was chosen to be the home page art on the Yahoo group "cloth paper studio" for this week!

I created Airmid in honor of one of my grandmothers. I used a vintage photo of my grandmother, taken when she was 18. The photo is of her sitting in bright sunlight, wearing a dark colored dress with a sailor collar. I loved the high contrast of her face and how she is looking down, so I cropped her head and printed it on paper we made from cornhusks.

Airmid is the Celtic goddess of herbal healing, and she stood guard over the Well of Slaine in Ireland. She is said to live in the mountains of Ireland yet today, healing faeries and humans who need her help. Water is her element.

Like so many other grandmothers, mine had a cure for whatever ailed you. I recall her favorite remedy to slather over us was "Mentholatum", a sticky menthol rub still sold today.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Two examples of using scrim (cheesecloth) in mixed media work. The first one is "Lost Love", a fabric and paper collage. The fabric on the right side covering the lower corner is purple scrim, purchased at a local Joann fabrics.

The piece on the right, "Pasticcio 2", has the same scrim along the top of the weaving. Displayed at an outdoor art show, it is the second in a series of collages exploring weaving over a variety of warps with an assortment of threads, fibers, paper, and ribbons. This piece is 12" x 8" on watercolor paper with a foamcore frame that I constructed with molding paste, embossed papers, and painted with acrylics.

I'll come back to edit this later today. I've got to run to a meeting!