Foiled Again


Another local juried show…

Image ThumbnailsUPDATE #2: the morning of day 2 of the show I get to the gallery before it opens, whip away my piece, and hightail it to PT Art & Frame to get museum glass: the glare & reflections where it hangs completely obscured the work! Looks way better now, after this infusion of effort and $$$’s!

UPDATE:  one (only one) accepted:  Galaxy of Bones is in the show Alchemy of the Abstract at Northwind Arts Center opening Friday, and for the month of June.

Yes, I am doing it again: submitting (3) art works to yet another local juried art show. Got to wonder why:  it makes me crazy!  I get stressed, indecisive, busy (preparing or procrastinating on other things) and it costs money!  Maybe it is the getting busy part that makes me do it:  sometimes I get quite a lot done on other art projects or cleaning my studio!

Still it is quite stressful and not very rewarding even when my work does get accepted. And it is only maybe 60% of the time that one of 3-4 submitted works is accepted. It is always hard when all the pieces are rejected for a show. Also I have never sold work in a juried show, although I have sold when I arrange my own solo exhibit.

So here goes nothing :-)


Working with small plates at the print shop

Flower Print Folio cover Flower Print Folio interior
My new mini-print mini folio: the folio is 6″x7.5″, & has the hand rubbed iris print on the front. Inside are two variations from a shellac matboard plate, mounted for easy removal. The plates are 3″x3″. The color on the 2nd fuschia print is watercolor painted added after the print was dry.

I was tired working in the print shop yesterday afternoon, especially after completing an edition of 16 for our current print exchange. To experiment & use up ink, I grabbed leftover paper and printed some more, using the Iris that is featured in the edition with other recently created plates. Select an image to see the folio and these other prints in the larger lightbox display.

If only I had managed to get them straight on the paper! Oh well…



Mixed media & the Start of an Exorcism Series

Rubens An Exorcism via the Drawing Board The finished work: after playing with some digital collages (prototypes for the design), I used my water soluble graphite stick & disk to paint in the dark ground and the tree & sky background.

I had scanned a some images in the Rubens’ book, and isolated the three figures I wanted to use from the black & white photos of his paintings.

I sized these for my work, printed them, then added these using matte medium to my graphite painting, making this mixed media collage. Then I went to work with watercolors to tint the figures. I have left the background only partially tinted: just a hint of color.

I am amused, at least for today, and that is satisfying! And now I have framed this piece as if still on the drawing board, with the title:  Rubens: An Exorcism via the Drawing Board. I have left in the paper clips, used acid free paper tape on the corners, etc. but all after carefully flattening out the paper, using framing spacers, etc.

Rodin Hand of God draft 2

The Rodin book with “Hand of God” drawing added (artistic license :-)


Select the image to see the rest of the story….

The photo now added is the start of a new work based on another 1939 era art book by the same British publisher, George Allen & Unwin, LTD London. These books are hardbound with plain cloth covers, just the artist’s name in large letters across the very top, and the full name along the spine. They include some biographical material, but are largely made up of black & white photographs of work, with a few color plates. These belonged to my maternal grandfather, Robert Sivell.


Painting drafts: The Burden

I am struggling with this surprising imagery and and with my use of paint.  I don’t usually start with paint, or even work so primarily in paint. Often I start with a drawing, or collage, or other … Here I started with paint and a plastic card & palette knife.  And there is only a bit of “drawing” with pastel & graphite, mostly “painted” over with a wet brush so more like painting.

The imagery I can hardly speak to :-) it is so iconic / religious. It may come from recent reading set in traditional Middle Eastern culture, but it has other symbolism as well. We all carry a burden, we try to persist, to accept, and to continue on as best we can.


Spirit Boxes

As usual, thinking about what I am doing/making comes after the fact! And usually with input from others.

The sentence from my friend Maureen, used in my current art box, has provided me with a much better name for these creations. In the past I have made assemblies of “artifacts”, “shrines”, “reliquaries”, and “treasure boxes”.

Now I have a new name for all of these art pieces:  spirit box. Tea box page 3

Here is quote from my own description of work made in about ten years ago:

I struggle to find the right words to describe the assemblies I make. Each piece houses a carefully selected collection of items that have a special meaning for me. And in a way that is outside any traditional religion, each work is somehow sacred to me. The terms shrine and reliquary come to mind, however I hope that my creations contain vigor and life, as well as natural and man-made remains.

All of the work I was trying to describe, and several other pieces made since, now seem to me best described as “spirit boxes”. The works are absolutely creations designed to feed, repair, revive, or soothe the spirit!


Playing with Light (again)

Sharons Box draft 1 pic 3Update:  I have a title for this piece now. It is “Hallelujah Spirit Box“.

This is a finely woven “silk” box given me by a friend for creative use. I have found a place for some resin pieces made several years ago & never incorporated into a finished work. I like having multiple surfaces: layers! I can attach things inside on two surfaces, and outside on both surfaces: there is no front & back (but there are sides…). And actually I can put this together in two ways: lid on, or lid behind.

It is all about playing with lights, translucency, weight/weightlessness. Sharons Box draft 1 pic 1

Don’t forget to click on the first photo to page through the larger lightbox view (much more impressive :-)

Not sure what this piece is about. The kneeling figure was cast in resing from a figure I carved in soap, while spending a winter in Mexico, surrounded by Catholic churches. It is about reverence, and perhaps there is some allusion to death/ascendence? And flight, and a “lightness of being” or perhaps “not being” (death).The lenses may be about trying to see more/further.