Saturday, April 13, 2024

Frida with Billie and Tom is in the neighborhood

It's always a bit of fun for me when I am drawn to include known figures in my work.  People who inspire and intrigue me. They bring such a pop of energy.  Sometimes they are anchor of the piece and other times they are just the perfect flourish, the perfect fit.

I came across the Frida Kahlo and Billie Holiday images the same day. They sat there on my desktop and eventually leapt into this collage. I find them most compatible.  The golden dress woman is Louise Brooks, a silent screen star who also had a strong presence.  I especially like Frida in her suited attire. The women with her were her sisters.

Frida and Billie collage

Waynesboro, Virginia, my town, has a great collection of muraled walls. I came across this one recently.  Tom Waits seemed to hold and echo the mural energy just right.

The artist is  Nils Westergard, a well known muralist and we in Waynesboro are fortunate to have other murals by him as well. He calls the mural Commerce Street mural  'After'.

Tom Waits on Commerce Street collage
Waynesboro, Virginia  Series

As always, thanks for looking!

Till next time.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Crow Girl Tarot!

I was in a 'Crow' mood and decided to make a contemporary Crow girl.  I was drawn to heavy boots and a dark dress, a little bit Goth,  and after a bit our Crow girl here emerged.  The moody, somewhat mysterious background reminded me of a Tarot card and here we are.

Crow Girl Tarot collage

For our upcoming Member Show at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center - SVAC - I decided to  embellish the collage and mat. I was delighted to find among my bits and pieces the black crow pin which perfectly echoed the two crows in the collage and the perfect sparkly fabric to make the amplified skirt. 

Crow Girl Tarot collage embellished
11x14 frame

Till another time.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Spring! and Crow Woman With Daffodils

Happy Spring!  Happy Equinox! Welcome the change! The Emergence!

I created this Fairy archetype a couple years ago.  I call her Nix and she embodies my totems of Crow and Hare. Since then she's become my symbol of the seasons.  At another time in my life, I had a large plastic goose lamp that sat in the living room window.  I used to dress it for the seasons with hats and things I made. Alas, no pictures of the goose, but here I am, still dressing things for the season.

Spring Fairy Nix collage

It's my birthday this month and not surprisingly, I do a birthday collage each year and yes, usually including Crows.  Daffodils are my favorite flower and the yellow chair is a homage to Frida Kahlo, who sits on a yellow chair in one of my favorite paintings, 'Self Portrait with Cropped Hair'.

Crow Woman With Daffodils collage

Self Portrait With Cropped Hair
Frida Kahlo 1940

Till next time!

Monday, February 26, 2024

Savannah 2024 Last call. Flowered 'Girls' and their houses

This is my final post from my Winter in Savannah.  I took the photos of both the lovely homes featured in these two collages on different days.  One phots was in my 'possible' folder and the other caught my attention and I went to work on it soon after I got the photo. When I looked in my 'Blog- Collages To Post' folder, I discovered they carried a similar vibe, even though they were not done at the same time.  The houses knew who and what they wanted. 

Yesterday, I walked on the street where the houses are and discovered they were neighbors - almost next door to each other! - one house between them.  I love life's little synchronicities. 

Twin Porches Savannah collage

Flowered Girls at Round House collage
Savannah Series

This is a photo of the houses on Whitaker Street, facing Forsyth Park.

Thank you
for sharing my travels with me.  

Till next time.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Car Guys and the Elegant Lady - Savannah

 These two collages have very different feels, but they are both inspired by the buildings of Savannah and have characters from another era.

Not sure if the Car Spa is still an operating business, but it did have a couple cars parked in the side lot, including the old 'Beamer' featured here. 

CarSpa Savannah collage

The golden yellow doors of this building caught my eye again and again. But our elegant lady claims all the focus. 

Madame Hyacinth in Yellow collage
Savannah series

Till another time.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Anonymous Content Savannah and Emeline

As you may know. I like to take photos of architecture, signage and all sorts of oddments and oddlings.  This collage is a collection of my recent finds in Savannah, including the frisbee player in a tutu and the running little girl in yellow, which while not actually together, were indeed together at the same scene.  I love such serendipities.

Anonymous Content Savannah Collage

I wanted a background from Savannah which would tie all the elements together.  I created it with elements from my photo of the entrance to the Matadora apartment complex.

The Green House stands alone on its block with nothing similar to it; other Victorians, but none quite like this. Pride of place was once the phrase.  I found an actual photo of the Boston Terrier in its delightful crocheted cap, wearing it quite regally, I would say.

Emeline of Green House collage
Savannah series

March will be here too soon, but am glad more wanderings are upcoming.

Till next time.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Yellow and Cherries! Savannah

Our girl in yellow came from a poster I saw in our favorite coffee shop.  I took a photo and waited to find the perfect pairing. Yellow house is totally that pop of color on the street; no need to amplify. Blue house next door is just as bright, but for another time. Yellow makes me happy. As it turns out our Ella here is Ella Rodgers, a young singer who loves songs from other eras. 

Ella At the Yellow House collage
Savannah series

Every day there's a bit of a wander and here, a sit in Forsyth Park, people and dog watching.  The park is well used for strolling, sports - Frisbee, Soccer, Basketball, Tennis and Hacky Sack, art and the weekly Farmer's Market.  This year we've seen a group of people offering to write poems for you. Last year, just two guys. It's part of what draws us back to this home away from home.

Sunday Frisbees in Forsyth Park
Love the blow-up sofa!

The River Walk here is a major place to visit; strolling along the Savannah River, hoping to see a large cargo ship pass by.  There are numerous shops and restaurants, and recently the Plant Riverside District,  once housing an old electric plan, extended the area, with more shops, hotels and a concert venue.  I came across these chairs set up for an afternoon outdoor concert. Our Lady of the Red Shoes was being photographed by a friend. Perfect moment for my photo.

Chairs and Cherries collage
Plant Riverside District - Savannah

Georgia Queen Meets Cargo Ship
Riverside Walk - Savannah

Till  next time!

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Bradley's Lock and Key ~ 'We Fix Anything But A Broken Heart' Savannah

I love the old store front of Bradley's Lock and Key and it's motto, 'We fix anything but a broken heart.'  I was inspired several years ago by their parking lot sign to do a collage.

This year we went inside and I discovered the true wonders of Bradley Lock and Key - collections of all manner of things everywhere.  This lovely lady was sitting next to the giant bronze frog waiting for her key.  All the colors came together so strongly that, atypical of me, I asked if I could take her photo. I told her it was a perfect collage and she laughed and said yes.   Of course, I've amplified and altered and added elements, but the main image is as I first saw it.

Bradley Lock and Key was founded in 1883 and is the oldest continuous business in Savannah, as well as one of the oldest locksmith shops in the country. I discovered that the location is included in some of the Savannah ghost tours. The family had a connection to Houdini, and naturally people reported the site is haunted by Houdini, as well as many poltergeists and other visitations. It even has it's own Wiki page.

The Princess and the Frog at Bradley Lock and Key collage
Savannah series

We Fix Anything But A Broken Heart collage
Savannah series

Bradley Lock and Key vintage photo

Till next time.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Savannah 2024!

 We commented that Cedar Key, Florida feels like being on vacation, but our place in Savannah feels like our second home. The first floor of a Victorian with a wrap-around porch at the North end of Forsythe park, our perfect location. We like to go to our familiar places and then wander and find new. Perfect for our walk-about nature.

The house here is now empty and being renovated. I was attracted to that white emptiness and liked the pop of color in the sidewalk closed sign. Some interesting characters stopped by.

Dear White House collage
Savannah Series

Who wouldn't take a photo of a building decorated with flowers?  Turns out Gillian Trask is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD, and her jewelry is well known.  But it's the flowers that spoke to me.

Gillian's Jewelry Collage
Savannah Series

The wanderings continue!  

Till next time.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Cedar Key Finale - Tall House on 1st Street and A Girl and Her Dad Fishing

It's been a great time here in Cedar Key, even as it's been unseasonably cold most days.  Warmer temps are arriving, but we'll be on our way. January is very off-season here, which allows you to become 'regulars' at our favorite restaurants and wander the mostly empty streets and always find a bench by the Gulf to rest in our travels. Exactly why we choose this time of year for our visit.

I came across the vintage photo of the gentleman in flowered hats some time ago and knew it was a treasure.  The Tall House on 1st Street seemed the perfect backdrop for the pair. The Peonies are from vintage illustrations and the lettuces are from vintage seed packs; of course, all with a little alteration.

Tall House on 1st Street
Cedar Key series

I came across this retro photo of Cedar Key in the 1950's and was really drawn to use it.  The father and daughter here are based on my favorite photo of my own father and I.  It is also one of my dearest memories of doing things with Dad - deep-sea fishing on a 'big' boat 'way out' in the ocean, as I remember it. I'm not sure I actually fished on that occasion, but we did a bit of fishing in the same era in a small boat in the bay at Wildwood, NJ.  Later in life, I often joked that I was fortunate to not have a brother, because my Dad did all the 'boy' things with me and, perhaps, might not have otherwise.

A Girl and Her Dad Fishing
Cedar Key Series

A Girl and Her Dad
Wildwood, NJ

If you'd like to see all the Cedar Key collages from over the years, just type Cedar Key in the search box.

Next time - hellos from Savannah

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Blue and Gray in Cedar Key

The contrasting architecture in Cedar Key adds to it's charm and always catches my eye.  The island is one walk-about and it's always interesting which building you'll find next to another.

Gray House appealed because of it's simplicity nestled within its trees, with a bit of quirk in its potted plants  The grays of photographer  Imogen Cunningham in her later years, seemed the perfect accent. And she too, embodies a bit of quirk.

Gray House with Imogen collage
Cedar Key series

Blue House is in the grand Victorian style and I believe the building is of an age.  Our retro friends, The Gardiner Accordian Band, are bringing their talents to the fore.

Blue House with Accordians collage
Cedar Key series

Only a short while left here.  Then on to Savannah.

Till next time.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Once Again in Cedar Key...

For many years now, we've been spending some Winter time in Cedar Key, Florida. If you follow my blog, you've been with me before.  Cedar Key's great charm is that it is a small, 'Old Florida' town with lots of great houses and cottages and charming storefront and restaurant facades. It has the 'old timey' feel that truly appeals to me; all with a Florida on the Gulf  color palette - and that's before I get around to my alterings and amplifications! lol.

After our typical morning meanderings, afternoons are a perfect time to review my photos and see what speaks to me and do some 'collage-ing'. 

2nd Street Cafe is our go-to place for breakfast. And Miss Betty is one of our favorite servers. She's 80+ and is indeed the friendly face you see right here. 

2nd Street Cafe and Betty collage
Cedar Key series


Amongst the colorful cottages and lovely Victorians, there are also some vintage wooden buildings that catch my eye.  Cedar Key is known for its many cats and although there are indeed armadillos in the area, I didn't actually meet one at Wells Wood.

Wells Wood collage
Cedar Key series

Kiss Coffee House & Grill, food-truck style,  offers specialty roast coffee, as well as BBQ and great things such as Brisket Chili. 

BBQ with Patti collage
Cedar Key series

Here for awhile longer. Fortunate me.

Till next time.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Not Radioactive! Radiation Therapy collage

This is the 3rd collage in my 'breast cancer cycle' of 2023;  the last collage.  I'm hoping now to file that in my 'Past Health Events' folder and as the radiologist said,  in my rear-view mirror.  I ended three+ weeks of daily treatments on 12/28, just in time for the new year and the beginning of my annual Winter Trip. I was fortunate to have little side effects from the treatment and am confident any random cancer cells were eliminated by the radiation therapy.  Life may bring me something else but probably not a repeat of this specific situation.

I titled her 'Not Radioactive' as I noted that the booklet I was given about radiation therapy used that phrase three times.  I mentioned it to the techs and they said people do still carry a connection to radiation and radioactive.  My Crow totem was with me throughout the treatments; embraced by Crow wings.

Not Radioactive-Radiation Therapy collage

The 1st collage after the mammogram that discovered the tumor, 7 millimeter biopsy

7 Millimeters collage

The 2nd collage post-surgery to remove the 5 centimeter tumor

5 Centimeters collage

The collages in an embellished frame, with flowers sent by my friend, Donna.

Fini!! Series Complete.

Till next time.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Remembering Michael Anthony Gritz - my DearHeart friend, Brother of Spirit

 As some of you may know, my dearest friend Michael left us on December 25th, 2023. My brother of spirit is now my brother in spirit.  We shared a unique closeness for over forty years. The friend who becomes family; at times a house mate, Godfather to my child, Alexander, partner in work and many endeavors. The person you always trusted and was always at ease with.

We shared many things, interests and sensibilities and the collages here are some cards I made for various celebrations of Michael; including our totems of Bat and Crow.  I share them with you in celebration of his  being.  Now, he's in the stars.

Solstice Sister and Brother

Masked Ball for Michael

Dragon for Michael

Bats At Tea for Michael

Billy Porter and the Guys for Michael

All Hallows for Michael

Steampunk Bat Man & Magical Grandmother for Michael

Wings and Roses for Michael

Thank You for Michael

Archangel for Michael

This is the last card I made for Michael.  It's a portrait of him dressed as Yule Man. I made two versions and this is him with bat energy. I hope he liked this rather elegant look. I never heard from him about it or my last Yule gift to him.

Yule Man Michael

Ever in my heart. Ever with me. 

Till another time.