Thursday, November 19, 2009

I came across these wonderful dotted suitcases quite a while ago. Here Mz. Vintage Dot dances with her 30’s ceramic cat and her classic T-bird. Her dancing shoes are filled with polka dots. To get just the right size ‘dot’ for the shoes, I hand-painted some berries from fabric flowers.

The diner box is decoupaged with images from vintage diners. The wonderful odd doll comes from a lot I purchased of old 5&10 store stock. A row of red-vinyl diner stool images are decoupaged to the interior wall of the box. The large white ball and smaller balls add a dissonant texture. I call this Diner Visitation because my friend Helen said the white balls and the odd figure looked like aliens that had been dropped down into the diner. That wasn’t in my conscious mind but I loved the association.

The lovely lady is Sybil. When we look closer we see her eyes are darked, empty – a darkness perhaps open to the unseen and unknown. Does she know the other side? Were her eyes opened to know more than can be seen in the usual way. What secrets do her night black lips hint at?

Her once beautiful dress suggests dark travels. It is embellished with faded flowers, mossy tendrils and earthy tints. Black crystal beads wind her neck and a large black faceted stone adorns her bodice. A black feather adorns her blonde locks.

My son saw this doll about to be thrown away because her eyes were missing. He asked if he could have it because his mother makes things with dolls and would love her. The people found it odd that I would want an eyeless doll, but of course, it was a perfect gift for me.

People often ask me about the meaning of my assemblage pieces. Unlike my more ‘aspect art’ pieces, these are free-flowing and seem to me to dance among images and found objects that hold some kind of archetypal energy for me but they 'why' of the image appeal it is often not clear to me. The dolls are always expressing potential and all the varied aspects of being human. Or so I think!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Murals of Ocean Beach

One of the great features of Ocean Beach was it’s fabulous murals. They were in great abundance. Thought I’d share a few.



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ocean Beach Travel Collage

Recently I was fortunate enough to spend 9 days at Ocean Beach, outside of San Diego. Ocean Beach is an ‘old school’ beach town – low-scale cottage architecture, surfing, heaps of restaurants and some very interesting and comfortable bars as well. We enjoyed going to the beach every day, catching the glorious sunset every evening and just wandering about the town. Ocean Beach also is know for it’s very special dog beach – a section of beach where dogs can run free. We enjoyed touching into unbridled dog joy watching them run and play with each other, with mad dashes into the ocean as well.

Whenever I travel I like to do collage work. I have a little ‘collage kit’ that I take with me which includes glue sticks, colored pencils, airplane-permitted round tip scissors, a popsicle stick for burnishing the images, stick-on letters and a stencil for letters.

I then buy an inexpensive journal for each trip.

As I travel, the hunt begins. I collect ‘memorabilia’ of the place - business cards, menus, bar coasters, printed restaurant napkins, maps, advertisements about from guide books and newspapers and so on. I use bits and pieces from newspapers, magazines and other printed matter for more general images, text and the colored scraps that I use as design elements. And it’s especially fun to add found object paper to the mix – such as this ‘Biker’s For Jesus’ flyer I found on the street.


I love to wind down the day working on my collage book. It’s a wonderful distillation of my experiences and I the remembrance quality of the books – capturing favorite moments and places, elements of the place I am spending time in and exploring.

These books are much more about the ‘doing’ for me than the final art of the project. I really get into the focus and transformation energy that occurs as you take elements from one aspect and capture them in another form. This is a free-form collage in the structure of the trip. I love it all.

I’ve got three pieces coming to completion in the studio and I look forward to sharing them soon.