Thursday, October 8, 2015

The images above? Designs for 15 new seed packets in the Hudson Valley Seed Library's annual Art Pack Program for which it commissions artists country wide to create package covers. I'm one of the artists, chosen from a field of 400 or so, to design one of the 2016 Art Packs.

Mine is No. 14, and tells the story of how archeologists discovered that snow peas were planted in prehistoric times. The variety: Giant Swiss Snow Peas.

For the collage, I used an antique map of Switzerland to create the mountains, layered vintage wrapping papers with cut-out snowflakes for the sky, dug up an antique engraving of an archeological expedition for the bottom, as well as snow pea "fossils" created from antique engravings, and - finally - vintage images for the vivid flowers of the pea vine, and I ended up designing the peas using a vintage illustration as my inspiration (yes, I try to use original paper only in my work, but had to improvise
for this because I could not find enough snow peas in different sizes to use).

It's exciting to be selected, because years ago I wrote about the program on the old blog. Love the idea of the company continuing the tradition of great seed catalog/packet art that thrived in the Victorian/Edwardian eras, the heyday of chromolithographed catalogs now coveted by collectors.

The packets and catalog will be available Nov. 1, 2015. There's a vote on through Friday Oct. 9 to pick one of the designs for the 2016 catalog cover. Just sayin.'

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Same place, but new studio

So, the last post reported that I was back in the studio after a five-month absence while undergoing chemo. Six weeks later and I'm in a new studio, but still at Cincinnati's Brazee Street Studios.

It's a much larger space in what's nicknamed the "Brazee Barn," a pole barn behind the main building that was converted into a space for four studios. It's a light-filled studio with five windows (including a trio that open), super-high ceilings, and enough room to work on some of the larger pieces I have in mind for "Remnants," my solo show next summer at Colorado's Loveland Museum.

Here's a glimpse of the big move …
Piling up boxes in anticipation, along with a moving dolly
lent by my studio neighbor, mosaic artist Joyce Kaufman.
The dolly proved indispensable for moving furniture. 
Chaos after the work tables were moved.

Work table top ready to be moved,
along with everything around it,
so that the huge flat file could be tackled.

The start of rolling up all the maps, prints, etc.
from the flat file, which took 2.5 hours to empty.

Two views of the new studio with just the work tables,
and smaller shelves. They were moved first, so we could
pile stuff on them as the move progressed.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ah, back in the studio, finally

The studio's been a mess, with all manner of goodies piling up as I've recovered from the final round of heavy-metal chemo. Now, I'm back to the regular, not-so-toxic infusions (though with an additional drug whose side effects are still manifesting themselves). No matter. I spent last week in the studio working on collages for the Carnegie's 2015 Community Supported Art project, and have been on a tear. But before getting to all the cutting, tearing, and pasting, there was stuff to sort, and put away, including …

an assortment of odd/cool chemistry lab beakers and test tubes (a donation to Brazee from a high school teacher) that will be used as part of the "Miracles" series, when I return to it …

… a selection of museum-quality frames (thanks to my friend Nick Paddock) that also are earmarked for the "Miracles" series …

… engravings, and more engravings that had to be scanned before being used, and which are destined for the Carnegie collages … you can see the start of one of the collages above, and a closer view of it below ...

I'll be posting plenty more images since there will be, gulp, 50 collages in the series!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day back when it was Decoration Day

Postmarked May 28, 1913.
At 31, future president James Garfield
became a brigadier general in the
Union Army, then, a major general
of volunteers at age 33.
I thought I had posted Memorial Day postcards from the archive in the past. And had planned to link to them, but a search through the blog did not turn up a single one. Odd.

So, I scanned in a batch. As the headline notes, Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, a public tribute to those who had fought in America's Civil War. My holiday postcard collection contains images from before 1919, so it reflects this initial celebration, which later morphed into a day to acknowledge all those who fought in our country's wars.

I'd like to think that I do not believe in war. I've marched against war on many occasions, and been arrested during a few of them. But even I know that there are times when war has been necessary, and that whether I back a war or not, I do respect those who have served … including two of my brothers, my father, quite a few of my uncles, and others in the past.

Postmarked Wooster, OH, May 29, 1909. Publisher unknown.


Two postcards by artist Ellen Clapsaddle (above) that were published by the International Art Publishing Co. of New York and Berlin. Both were printed in Germany. The one on the left was never mailed; the one on the right is postmarked Cleveland, May 27, 1912.

Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons, Decoration Day series No. 107. 
Published by Cincinnati's Gibson Art Co.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Open studio! Friday May 8

I'm flying high!
So, I reached the end of the heavy-metal round of chemo, and am celebrating by throwing open the doors to the studio for the second Open Studios of the year at Brazee Street Studios.

Yes, I may be a bit wobbly, and more than a bit bald, and bruised. BUT the weather is fabulous, there are some new greeting cards in the studio, plus copies of "Harper Ever After", the Charley and Edie Harper book I penned the essay for, for sale ($5 off the list price), and the studio is freshly painted, and cleaned (thanks to the loving Mr. P and  The Kid).

On top of all that, a cool exhibit is opening in the C-Link Gallery, and there will be lots more happening throughout the Brazee campus from glass blowing demos to ballroom dancing (not kidding).

Look for me on the first floor, right across from the gallery!

Note: image above is from a recent find: Vol. 3 of the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana or Universal Dictionary of Knowledge, London, 1845.