I've been experimenting with making "faux" handmade paper lately. I'm suing a lot of different substrates from copy paper, card stock, tea dyed and cool-aid dyed paper but the one I like best so far is parchment paper.
I like the translucent look of the paper after it dries and it seems strong enough to use as a book cover. But what I really love is the texture! I'm using lots of different things to put on the surface: cheese cloth, tea bag papers, thread, cut up yarns, dried flowers, fake flowers, and tea leaves, to name a few. But with all experiments, differing materials get different results.
I was using a very thin layer of napkin at first but it kept ripping so I tried some white tissue paper which is stronger but more opaque.
Tomorrow, I will review the tissue piece to see if I like it. If I don't, it will be recycled into something else and I will have learned something.
Having fun creating "Exploding Boxes" I feel it's like a junk journal in a different form. Lots of pockets for lots of secret inserts. Making some distressed playing cards for more personal inserts since I grew up playing bridge with my mom and dad.
I was happy to see that Ann Wilson's "Moby Dick" was part of the Whitney collection. This was her first abstract "quilt paintings". Fiber art can take many forms and using someone else's work as a substrate and then adding your own layer of creativity, makes an entirely new statement.
Six years ago, I got an email from Cayce Goldberg asking me if we could get together and talk. He was thinking about opening an art gallery in RiNo, where my gallery was located.
I was delighted and met a young man with lots of smarts as well as being an accomplished artist himself. A year later, he opened Helikon — a combination of artist studios and a beautiful art gallery.
Today, I visited him for his closing day and we had a chance to share our stories of being gallery owners and then closing our galleries because of gentrification. When I opened my gallery (aBuzz) there were 7 other art galleries within the radius of a block. That made our area a "destination" for First Fridays where 200-300 people would be attending our openings. When I closed my gallery, there was only 1 gallery left. We were no longer a "destination".
Cayce's story was different since he owned the building and when the city increased his taxes and he couldn't pass it on to the artists, he decided it was time to take a new path.
He talked with me about his joy at helping launch so many talented artists in the Denver community and how, one day in the future, he might try this again.
I'm sad today but happy I had the chance to know Cayce. He is a special person and makes my life that much richer.
Goodbye Helikon. Hello Cayce — here's to your next adventure!
The best way to transport a Christmas tree? On a bike, of course.
New York is my home town and I was excited to spend some time there over Thanksgiving. Walking the streets, riding the subway, and talking to people are always my favorite things to do (not mentioning going to museums, broadway shows, and other cultural events — did I mention shopping???)
But seeing this Dad and daughter transporting their tree on bikes made me once again, realize that being creative means solving problems.
I do this every day in my studio when things are not turning out as expected. Instead of getting frustrated and throwing things into the trash, I really work at figuring out what went wrong and how I can fix it.
It's my favorite part of living the life of an artist!
People often ask me "How long did it take you to create that piece?" I always answer "A long time but I enjoyed every minute"
So when I looked t this installation at the Whitney Museum in NYC, the first thing I wanted to know is "How long did it take you to create this piece"
Every surface of this fabricated, actual size kitchen, was covered with beads. Of course, it sparkles but also comes with a political message of women spending a lot of time in this room. There is a poem by Emily Dickerson, speaking of the subjugation of women in marriage, a box showing Aunt Jemima as a smiling domestic servant and the bottle of dish washing soap labeled "Joy" which is what women should feel, washing dishes.
The artistry, patience, talent, creativity, and problem-solving that artist Liza Lou exhibits in this amazing work makes me want to see what she's working on now so I will be following her creative adventures. Oh, BTW, it took her only 5 years!
'm lucky to be in NYC for the Thanksgiving holidays and went to the Center for Book Arts with my friend Judy. She was there taking a class on book binding and after seeing her work, I was sad I didn't take it with her.
But, there was a wonderful exhibit of travel journals at the center and this one was my favorite.
This book is called "Atlas of Columbia" and the artist is Lydia Rubio. She combines text with maps and watercolor paintings. I loved every page.
Worth a visit!
I'm in NYC for the holidays and visited Gagosian Gallery to see Richard Serra's exhibit.
Wow is all I have to say. I've seen his work in magazines and on the internet but experiencing it in person is totally different. These massive, textured shapes are really amazing.
If you find yourself in NYC, just go.
I spent the weekend taking a workshop from Amity Parks. A wonderful, sharing instructor that teaches all her tricks without reservation. She gave everyone lots of personal instruction, wonderful handouts, a palette and inks we needed so we could continue working with her alphabet when we got back to our studios. Sponsored by the Colorado Calligrapher's Guild, this workshop as affordable and a great value.
Over the past several years, I have been interested in incorporating text into my work — first with fabric and now with books. But there is a big difference between the kind of hand lettering I've been doing and calligraphy.
I'm not a person who likes "rules" or following specific instructions so I didn't know if I was going to like learning this precise art. Turns out, I was in a class with 10 "Calligraphy Experts" — some who are known world-wide. Intimidating! But I confessed to my beginner status and then just had fun experimenting with pens, inks, and letters.
The hardest part was coming up with a quote. I don't use other people's words in my work and my husband suggested "Impeach the SOB!" but I thought that might be a little harsh. So I settled on something supportive of women, a cause I have been working for all my life.
I have often taken workshops that are a reach for me and every time I do it, I am happy with how it expands my thinking and art-making. I highly recommend you do the same if you want to get re-energized, look at your work from a new perspective, or just have fun being a beginner again!
They say we learn more by failing than succeeding.
I tried to layer more than 20 layers of paint, paper, marks, sprays, anything I could find in my studio, onto a 12" wooden panel. My idea was to use a scraper to peel off some of the areas to create something that looked like old, faded, distressed graffiti. I should have stopped at this layer but didn't. After all the layers were dry, I tried to remove some of the surface with a scrapper but it was much too hard to dig through.
I ended up trashing it all together but it's still on my mind. I just have to think differently about how to achieve the texture I'm creating in my mind. Problem solving is the essence of being an artist!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a fiber artist and love color and texture!