Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Playing with Dolls - part 1


Artist Statement for Playing with Dolls project

In these images, I explore the ever-changing grey areas between the innocence of youth, the gaining of maturity, and the reality of ageing. These differences are often difficult to distinguish and can be just as confusing when crossing over the threshold from childhood into adulthood. Sometimes the lines and boundaries of right and wrong are blurred by inexperience and as we mature, we struggle with our choices and face the demons. Often, we don’t want to give up our dolls and playthings, so they are hidden away and they grow as old as we do. But the memories still haunt us and become like the skeletons that warn us of our own mortality.

Caress- Seduction
Caress - Control

For this project, I have created a series of digital images using a flatbed scanner. This achieves an ethereal effect that is much more provocative than could be reached with plain photography. I control the mood of my images by manipulating the placement and lighting of the objects. I have dusted off the playthings of my own youth and used them to revisit both the experiences and the emotions that we all sometimes face as we come of age.

Dance with Me Forever!
Dreaming of Him

What you just read is my artist statement that I included with a couple of exhibit submissions. (Was not accepted, but I only tried twice... will try again.) It all began in September 2011 when I was invited to include artwork in a “Creepy Doll exhibit/window display at a friend's shop Stone Buddha in Silverton, Oregon. I was playing around with images on my scanner and started getting some wild results. I didn't submit them, because I changed my mind and I designed and made doll-sized gas mask and plague doctor masks (with hat) which sold. I now have hundreds of scanned images on file and have used some of them as designs for other art projects. I had some of my favourites professionally printed and sell them in my Etsy shop.

Self Image 01

Self Image 02

The Prophecy
The Bargain

Thursday, August 21, 2014


It is so YELLOW... almost the colour of the envelope it arrived in.
A wonderful little package arrived today! When my neighbour Fred delivered it I was excited and told him it was dirt. He knows I am a little crazy, but he probably thought I was gone now for sure. So I explained... I had recommended Sandy Webster's book Earthen Pigments in a previous blog (see 'Mud Pies'). I found her Facebook page here and contacted her. I asked about the ideal conditions in which to find yellow ochre earth as it seems a little elusive here in Western Oregon. Ms. Webster responded that she would send me some. So...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gallery Cards

As an art student at university (and through my jobs in four galleries) I seem to have amassed a hefty collection of gallery exhibit cards. They come in various sizes and formats and some of them are impressive miniature artworks worthy of framing. I once put several on a wall in an artistic pattern but, sadly, the poster putty I used eventually failed. One by one, day by day, they fluttered to the floor until I gave up and removed them all. Someday I will try again with another method. Here are the cards I made for my exhibits and a few from my favourites by other artists.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Prince!

This last January, I participated in the Cascade Print Exchange VIII sponsored by Oregon State University's printmaking department. Print exchanges are fun because the artist submits a set of identical prints that adhere to a list of set parameters.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Best Recipe Book Ever

 I have some really cool art books in my studio but if I were facing calamity today and could save only one, it would be Recipes for Art and Craft Materials by Helen Roney Sattler (published 1973 by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company/NY – ISBN 0-688-52557-6) The summary says, “Instructions for making pastes, modeling compounds, papier-mâché, paints, inks, and numerous other materials for art and craft work.” There are recipes for unique materials such as adhesives for making stickers and envelopes, block-printing inks, guache paints, and more.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mud Pies


Last year, the field next to my house was ploughed and I was delighted! On walk-about I found all kinds of treasures such as pottery shards from nearby Buena Vista Pottery (long gone), broken terra-cotta irrigation pipes, small animal bones, an old yellow brick, and dirt clods with deep red streaks running through. It is nearly time for the plough to come again and I have brand new mud boots by the door waiting to be broken in.

Still Here!

I haven't posted here for two years. At times I even forgot this blog existed. My main excuse is that my access to Internet has been sporadic. But I recently got wireless, so here's to doing better. Looking at my past posts, I see I am pretty much picking up where I left off. I live in the same place and the trees are still here. Still eccentric and still reclusive. Still collect materials from the trees and the earth to make artwork. So maybe we could just ignore the last two years of neglect... I'm working on a new posting and will have it loaded today (I promise).