Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Deconstructing to build another day

Last summer, I was hell bent on creating a series of "bombs." Some of the collages turned out well. Others? Not so much. While working in the studio, I've been staring at two - "Water Bomb" and "Smoke Bomb"- that never really appealed to me. Bingo! Why not pop them out of their frames, and strip them down to the original backgrounds.

Why? I wanted to keep the backgrounds for another use. They are complex pieces created during a workshop a few years lead by mixed-media artist Jacqueline Sullivan. She had plenty of tricks up her sleeves. I learned a lot, but never seem to set aside the time to work on a new series of backgrounds. So, reclamation work seemed in order.

Luckily, two things made this easy: 1) the backgrounds were sealed before the paper was glued on; 2) PVA was the adhesive, and it is water soluble. Here's how things went on the smokey one ...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Gone fishin'

Whew! I just returned home after a road trip to points East that took me from Long Island to Schenectady, then, back south into Manhattan, and further south into Jersey, then, over to Philly. I managed to cram in a bit of paper hunting between visits with aunts and uncles, cousins, high school friends, and my dad, brothers and sister.

One of my finds: eight gorgeous color book plates of fish by artist Norman Erickson. That sentence makes it sound like I knew who he was. I didn't, and I didn't know where the images came from. Both were easy to find out via a quick internet search. Turns out that the plates were in a guide to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium that was published in 1933. The year before, the fish graced a series of postcards for the aquarium.

I'd love to get a look at the original watercolors, but for now, these will do. As always, how they will be used remains to be seen.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This is how we role

While working on new collage tags when I came across this pattern envelope, featuring bridal caps and veils. First reaction: they are soooooo '60s. And they are, the pattern was published in 1967. Second reaction: they look like Barbie dolls. Perky noses. Perfect pink lips. Doe eyes. Glossy, straight hair. Long necks. All white.

I was far from that '60s role. Both in terms of my physical appearance, especially with my wild mound of frizzy hair, and my indifference to fashion and cosmetics. Blue eye shadow? Give me a break. I barely used moisturizer.

These beautiful women may have been brainy, but that's not how they were portrayed in the advertising, television and movies of the time. At this point, getting married was expected to be a woman's top priority. Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" was published a few years before this pattern, but it took a while for it's finding that women were not happy in their restrictive roles to seep into the national consciousness.

Maybe all of this is why I like to subvert these images so much. It's unclear what will happen to the pattern above, but I'm sure something will pop into my head.

Meanwhile, here are two of the tags ... they make me wonder what the women are thinking, it could be marriage, then again ...

Monday, July 1, 2013

A page of their own

© If You're Goin'
to San Francisco ...
All the Sweet Petite collages have been posted on a single page on the blog. Click this link or the one in the header at the top of the page to view them. The page is set up to allow online buying via PayPal. I'll update it as pieces sell, and when I make new ones. Of course, all are available at my Cincinnati studio (first floor, across from the gallery at Brazee Street Studios).