Lost and Found, then Lost and Found

Lost and Found, then Lost and Found

Last week I told you the story about how I became fully involved in making art and painting. If you look at my portfolio of paintings though, you can see that my work is all over the map. For years, I’ve been painting landscapes, house portraits, pet portraits, acrylic, pen and ink, abstracts, realism, and on and on. I could not settle on a genre, a medium or even a cohesive color palette. Though I had found my studio, found my passion, I was...

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A Gripping Tale

A Gripping Tale

In the class I’m taking right now, we were asked to write our stories—the story of our art. This has been an unusually challenging task for me. But here goes… In the mid-90s, I started dabbling in painting and art. No matter how much I painted, art continued to be a free time activity. It generally took a back seat to whatever else—everything else—that was going on in life. Then in 2011, I received an unexpected email that set a huge chain of...

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Who is the Master of Words?

Who is the Master of Words?

Every January, The Artists Gallery holds an exhibition called Fabulous Forgeries.  It is my favorite!  Our task is to copy a master’s work, create a new work in the style of the master, or add some sort of twist when we copy the original. When your medium is altered book art, which is a relatively new art form, there are no old masters to copy!  What is a person like me to do? I turned to the book world and pondered the great masters of...

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Copying van Gogh

Copying van Gogh

The 2017 Fabulous Forgeries challenge was to find a painting by one of the Masters, and either copy it, re-create it with a “twist” or paint my own original composition using the style of the master. I was determined to find a master’s work that had a book in it—you know, being a book artist and all.   The best masterwork I found was Vincent van Gogh’s Still Life with Bible. Like Vincent, I painted it in one day. Also like Vincent, the...

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A Life of Giving

A Life of Giving

Mom has been bugging me all year, wanting to buy a piece of altered book art from me, but I wanted to make something special for her as a Christmas surprise.  It was such a labor of love to create this book. Ever since I was little, I can remember my mother going to her sorority meetings.  Not just meetings, but events, parties, and state conventions.  This was a big deal that included the whole family, and it’s been a thread of her being...

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Understanding Contemporary Art

Understanding Contemporary Art

It was a bit audacious to think I could lead tours at a museum where I typically walked around shaking my head, totally unable to understand the art.  Regardless, in 2010, I filled out an application to become a Gallery Teacher at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia (now the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, or Va MOCA). At least I was up-front about it.  At the orientation and training I admitted that my reason for being there was...

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The Making of “Original Sin” (a carved book)

The Making of “Original Sin” (a carved book)

The Challenge: Create a second work of art in response to the current exhibition, “Turn the Page: The First 10 Years of Hi-Fructose” at The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Caveat–make this piece in 5 days! The Opportunity: From the moment I found the second copy of The Book of Virtues I was excited about the idea of carving it.  (I almost abandoned my other concept because this book was begging to be carved.)  So imagine my...

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The Making of an Altered Book

The Making of an Altered Book

Challenge: Create a new original work of art in response to the current exhibition, “Turn the Page: The First 10 Years of Hi-Fructose” at The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). After a private viewing of the exhibition, a small group of artists were tasked with creating a new work of art in response to a particular work or the exhibition as a whole. Main Inspiration: A large bronze sculpture called Molecule #1 by artist Mario Martinez....

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The Making of “White Shark”

The Making of “White Shark”

Just for fun this week, I’m sharing the process of my most recent piece, “White Shark.”  It’s for a show theme: Below the Surface.  Imagine the luck of finding a book at the thrift store called “Great White.” I immediately had the vision for this piece. To make the 3-D shark, I started with a wire frame and then slowly applied strips of book paper over the frame using Ph-neutral glue.  There were several...

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