This found art turned up when I put things away after the Mystery of Cats Art Festival. I hadn’t seen it in two years, and its simplicity was striking. After having spent seven months creating intense and dense patterns for new cats, the plain shapes in this piece have an appeal. I painted in some blanks and now call it “possibly finished.”
With luck, I may create a really big (22×33) painting with solid shapes, one with a combination of patterned and solid shapes, and a few small pieces. I’d also like to make something like this in three dimensions. Creating a new dimension expands the meaning of “found art” and circles back to one of the goals that I set years ago as a protege in the WARM (Women’s Art Resource of Minnesota) mentor program: Work in 3D. (Note: WARM is going strong; the mentor program is on hiatus.)
Having been making paintings since 2009 and having limited ability to dispose of anything — I suspect that a serious sort-and-organize project will unearth plenty of found art possibilities.
Six WARM members welcome you to a Hot Pop-Up today and tomorrow at #155 Northrup King Building (free parking!) We are Mary Alterman, Susan Gainen, Linda Seebauer Hansen, Vanessa Merry, Catherine A. Palmer, and Heather Tinkham.
In addition to seeing our art, one more reason to visit the WARM Hot Pop-up with 6 Artists is the Judith Olney Joy of Chocolate Pound Cake on the snacks table. This is the chocolate pound cake that every other pound cake wants to be. I have made two cakes, one for each day (Friday November 20, noon – 6 and Saturday November 21, 10-5).
I have two copies (at least two copies) of this book. My first (for reading only, no baking) copy has the chocolate cabbage on the front. Yes, this book has the recipe and directions for making the chocolate cabbage. There was a when I might have tried this. Now, I’d rather be painting.
Join us for art, great conversation & chocolate cake!
In 1996, a now-shuttered lumber yard in Saint Paul cut the flamingo from a piece of plywood, made a dozen sets of bookends, a random kidney-ish shaped piece, and 24 8-inch rounds. I painted and beaded the flamingo, and the rounds have aged like fine wine in a stack under my stairs.
It is now a pink gesso-covered Cave Flamingo which was part of my Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul installation at the WARM (Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota) Mentor-Protegee final show, Beyond the Surface, in late 2014.
New life for the wooden rounds
Two years ago I bought a dozen 12-inch round sheets of a fine artist paper whose brand is lost in the mists of time. They sat comfortably in the package until I decided to use gesso, the key ingredient in Cave Paintings, to attach the round papers to the wooden rounds.
Wooden rounds meet tiny Flamingos
How this piece was made:
I used gesso to attach the paper to the wooden round, and trimmed the excess.
With a spatula, I splodged gesso onto the paper, and then pressed it with the Ax-Man Gizmo #2, a tube with wire mesh that makes a scaly-sort of pattern. I let it dry overnight.
I sponged color onto the now-patterned gesso. I recommend acrylic paint (as opposed to watercolor), which won’t move an inch when you cover it with acrylic medium. I learned this lesson the very very hard way (subject of another post when I’m over my disappointment.)
Having made dozens of tiny flamingos as ornaments, bookmarks, and gift tags, I am surrounded by them. Three volunteered to be encased on gloss varnish for this project. I glued them onto the round, and waited patiently while the glue dried. (Really? Why are you telling me this? Because I have a life-long history of being too quick to move on to the next step, and I want to save you from the abject misery that will follow a string of bad words.)
Inspired by Dar Bunde, an amazing artist-member of the Northstar Watermedia Society, I used Liquitex Gloss Medium because I want this piece to be SHINY!!!!! I poured it on and set to to dry overnight.
I painted the sides with acrylic paint and covered the sides with gloss medium
I attached a hanger on the back so that this can hang on the wall.
Although I’ve had a sample on my shelf for decades, in my mind, knitting with metal wire exists somewhere between magic and impossible. Look at this. Made by hand in a no-longer-known land from far away.
How lucky am I to know two very talented women who knit with metal? I met Carolyn Halliday and Karen Searle through WARM (Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota) before my two-year stint as a protegée in the 2013-2014 Mentor-Protegee cycle. They knit and crochet with metal and other materials in breathtaking, beautiful, thought-provoking, and sometimes challenging ways. Here are some tiny samples. Make haste to check out their websites.
Painted Knitted Metal
I wanted to take a tiny two-step away from the creatures I’ve painted for the past few months, and I’ve worked on this piece for a couple of days. The design jumped out of my pencil. It is called Knitted Metal #1, and it is connected in spirit to both Friendship (Complicated. Messy. Beautiful if You’re Lucky) and Conversations Connections. While painting each of the tiny spaces at the intersections, I realized that I was mimicking knitted metal. Thank you Carolyn and Karen, and to the knitter of my Tiny Magic Egg for the inspiration.
WARM Juried Member Exhibition: Portals and Passages
109 Locust Street, Hudson, WI
February 27 to April 4
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday March 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Conversations Connections: it started as a doodle
Some years ago a friend asked me to serve on an advisory committee that was set up to position her to be appointed to a judgeship. I was honored and delighted. Because her advisors were all over Minnesota, we spent time on the phone. I thought a lot, spoke a little, and doodled a bit. This design speaks to the the connections identified and cemented throughout the process. Every element is connected, and every element is valued. Although that particular judgeship went to someone else, my friend remains on the bench and the citizens of her district are lucky to have her. She is a truly dedicated public servant.
As I doodled, the design spread over a page. I was fascinated by the little squares and rectangles and how they were made in the intersections of the tiny lines. I began the paintings with Painstaking Exuberance, starting with a pencil drawing, painting over the lines with Winsor & Newton Davy’s Gray watercolor, following by filling in the spaces with color, and painting over the gray lines with black. After making a few small paintings, and posting some digitized designs at zazzle, I made this one — a 22×30-inch celebration of connections.