Saturday, October 31, 2009

What do you plan for it? (a semi-regular series)

Such a good question! Someone posed this in response to my organic art pieces, and it got me thinking about what I plan to do with my artwork. I think many of us wonder about what to do with it. So, as a semi-regular series on my blog, I'm posting some answers.

Answer 1: Display it!
I love these two textured collage pieces I made in classes taught by Connie Andrews. Both feature my photography from our trip to Venice and various texture mediums. They've been sitting on my desk, but today I hammered some nails in the living room wall and hung them up. It was a little scary, but also empowering. I love leaning back in my chair, peeking through the doorway and seeing my creations. Anyone else put their artwork on display?

Also, thank you to everyone who has visited and commented. I love reading what you have to say. As a reminder, I'm having a weekend give-away. Simply comment on my post from Friday ("Is it finished?"), and I'll enter your name into a random drawing for a piece of original art created by me. What you plan for that piece of art is entirely up to you!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Is it Done? (my first blog give-away)

I have been working on this collage for a while. The background has gel medium, textured and painted to resemble wood, plus granular gel, painted in the middle. After starting with three images, I added the wooden heart, the key and the milagro eyes. I thought it needed something else - maybe a little more teal paint or something. But, as it's been sitting on my desk the last few days, I've begun to think that it might be done. What do you think? Leave me a comment, and let me know if you think it's done or not. If you think it feels incomplete, I welcome suggestions as to what else it needs.
As an added incentive, everyone who leaves a comment will have their name entered into a drawing for an original work of art done by me. If you're not a "registered" user, you should be able to post anonymously. Comments close 9 p.m. Sunday evening, California time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Class, New Teacher, New Ideas

It's been a while since I took an online class, and I had forgotten how wonderful it is to learn new things and explore new techniques. I'm currently taking "Graffiti of my Life," offered by Dina Wakley at Get it Scrapped. If you haven't heard of Dina, she's a fabulous art journalist who I got acquainted with when I used to frequent the Scrap Book Addict community, run by Kathy Mancini. Dina's blog and Kathy's blog are both in my blog list. Get it Scrapped offers a whole variety of online classes. You can see them here: So far, it's a pretty good site for taking classes.

The Graffiti of My Life class is an art journal class, and we start by making backgrounds using the technique of "color field washes." My two favorites are the ones pictured on my blog today. The technique of color field washes was invented by Helen Frankenthaler. You can read more about her on wikipedia, and here's the link to her images:
You can also read an interesting discussion off her as the "female Matisse" here:
I love learning new techniques, and I'm enjoying the class so far. It reminds me a little of a class I took at Big Picture Scrapbooking called "Got Paint" by Emily Falconbridge. Emily is another fabulous art journalist. Here's a link to her online art journal:
I've also put a link to her blog in my blog list.

I'll definitely post some completed pages when my new art journal is done.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October Class Review

October was a great month for taking classes! In reverse order,

1. Michael DeMeng's Demented Toys Class - in this class, we disassembled and then reassembled toys to create something new and meaningful. The picture of my creation is in a previous post. I enjoyed pushing myself to use power tools to disassemble things and the training on how to adhere things to each other. Michael focused on both traditional adhesives (E6000), mechanical connections (screws, nails) and apoxy clay. I learned a lot. Michael also gave some wonderful painting demonstrations. He's a wonderful teacher - accessible, funny, and a great problem solver. I've heard that he's become a better teacher over time and that this class contained more demonstration than prior classes. I had to leave early, so didn't get as much out of it as I could have (but that was my own fault).

2. Michael DeMeng's Holy Rolling Wheels - in this class, we altered hot wheels cars to create works of art. I loved this class!!! I appreciated how giving Michael was of his time and knowledge. It was a small class, and we all had lunch together. I feel like I really got a chance to get to know him as an artist and human being. it was wonderful to get some insight into how a real, living artist thinks & works. The hot wheels (first picture above) really worked for me because I was able to conceive of how to turn it into a shrine. At the end of the class, Michael gave a critique which really helped me improve my vehicle.

3. Nancy Young's Gesso Class - learned some nice techniques for making card fronts using gesso. Loved how we made a little sample book.

4. KJ's Card Class - Made cards using flower soft and glitter on acetate. Both are outside my regular box, but I had fun.

5. Connie Lutz's - Hot Water Bottle journal class. Yes, you read that right. The little red book is a journal made out of a hot water bottle. I love book binding, and I really enjoyed this class.

6. Connie Andrews Pumice Gel Class - okay, so technically this class was in September, but it was right at the end. Connie Andrews is a gifted teacher who has been offering a series of classes that focus on the use of texture mediums in collage. I created the abstract piece shown here, which is very different for me, but I really enjoyed it. Connie's blog is linked at the left. Check her out and definitely consider taking a class from her if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area. You won't be disappointed.

I'm taking two classes in November, and I'll review those at the end of next month.

The Courage to Finish a Piece

Some of my friends have trouble starting a piece of artwork. . . the blank page or canvas gives them trouble. That's not my problem. My problem is finishing a piece. When it's about half done (if things are going well), it has such potential for greatness, and I worry about screwing it up. This assemblage piece I started in Michael DeMeng's Demented Toys Class is a case in point. I disassembled a variety of toys and happily pieced them together. Added a variety of embellishments until I had a very cool creation. The vibe was somewhere between King of the Forest and Where the Wild Things are. Everyone in class loved it. But when it came time to begin painting it, that stage where you're supposed to pull everything together and unify it into its final form, I froze up. I kept looking & thinking, thinking & looking. Finally, yesterday I dove into it. I like the result pretty well, but mainly I'm happy to have found the courage to finish the piece!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Organic Art

Here's two painted panels I created that feature photos I took of shells and seaglass. I love the relationship between these elements.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A New Rooster

Greetings fellow Shimelle-ites, and thanks for the comments. As I build this blog, I appreciate your visits. So, in response, here's another rooster. I bought it in Venice during the summer, 2008. As you will hopefully discover on this blog, I love to travel and often incorporate travel photography into my art work.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My new blog

I'm taking a class with Shimelle on blogging for artists. I'm excited to get the process started. The title of my blog reflects my interest in the organic principles of Frank Lloyd Wright and the image of Gallo - Spanish for rooster - which influences, mainly in subtle ways, much of my art.

Here's the original Rooster, which I won at a school carnival when I was in grade school. I've carried it with me, through all my moves since then, and it lives in my kitchen.