Saturday, December 15, 2007

Back of green deco page

A few posts ago I showed the front of a green deco page I worked on. Here's what the back looks like. I think the recipient will really like it,because I incorporated several local references. Up in the left top corner is a metal badge from The Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis. The dark green stripe running from bottom to top and under the square in the middle is part of the pickle from the Gedney's Pickle Hat we got at the State Fair this year (also used in my holiday collage postcards). The "Arc's Value Village" tag on the right is from one of our fave thrift stores in the cities, and "3's a Charm" is from a MN Lottery ticket that I found on a walk.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Secret Agent Man Stories

I just watched Breach and really enjoyed it. It's from a true story, about the most recent notorious FBI turncoat, Robert Hanssen, and how they caught him. Chris Cooper plays Hanssen and he's quite good at being creepy and mysterious and sympathetic at the same time. I really liked the way the story was told, because they didn't try to explain away Hanssen's reasons for selling secrets to the Soviets (as if it were a simple decision), they just focused more on his character and tried to show how complicated and confusing a person he was. Eric O'Neill, the operative who was assigned to spy on Hanssen and help catch him red-handed, actually quit the FBI not long after this case, even though he was young and relatively new to the FBI and was obviously going to be promoted to agent after the Hanssen case. Turns out he didn't like the life of lying to everyone around him, including his wife. The real O'Neill consulted on the movie and it shows in the consistent viewpoint of O'Neill in the film. There's no sudden jumping into Hanssen's head and suddenly knowing what makes him tick. O'Neill likes Hanssen, respects him, and finds it hard to swallow that Hanssen is betraying the company (the government) that he seems so adamant to protect.

I wasn't sure I would like this movie because I tried to watch The Good Shepherd recently and could not get through it. Too depressing. It's about one of the founding members of the CIA, and it just never lets up, how disconnected he becomes from his family, everyday life, and any personal happiness. I mean, maybe I'm a big baby and want happy endings, but I don't know, Breach didn't have a happy ending. It was sad, and yet it was a more well-crafted story and more compelling than Good Shepherd. Breach had interesting, complex characters, and Good Shepherd was just this relentlessly expressionless Matt Damon as agent Edward Wilson. Relentlessly expressionless doesn't look good on Matt Damon, I gotta see those teeth. He has too great a smile to waste.

This also reminds me of the TV series MI-5, which I loved at first, but then the whole premise of how hard it was for secret agents to have personal lives just killed it. Literally. At the end of one season (when I quit watching), the main agent in charge walks into the sea to drown himself, a la Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin's The Awakening. Uh, okay, buh bye.

I miss Mrs. Peal and The Avengers. Camp, that's what we need, more camp.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Swap Bot Holiday Colors Collage Postcards

These are postcards I made for a swap I just hosted. I wanted to use holiday colors in a collage, but not use (necessarily) holiday images. I just thought it would be a fun experiment, and it was. I had fun making mine and I got some great ones in return. So I mostly did red and green for traditional Christmas colors, but then I did the one white and blue, which I thought of as icy wintry colors. The image on that one is from a really beautiful illuminated Bible that we saw an exhibit of at the MIA and it was just gorgeous. My favorite is the top one, with what looks like half a watermelon. Actually it's a pickle from the Gedney's pickle hat we got at the MN State Fair this year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Ornaments

I made these over Thanksgiving for the name drawing one side of the family does for Christmas. I thought it would be more fun to have a sort of keepsake instead of a boring tag with someone's name on it. So on the back of each one I have rubber stamped "You play Santa 4 Joe Shmo," only the Santa is an image, so it's like a rebus (and Joe Shmo is not really anyone's names--the names have been changed to protect the innocent). And yet, this family of puzzlers didn't get it, I had to explain it to them! Duh! Anyhow, I hope people liked the ornamensts, I thought they were cool. I really wanted to draw that one with Santa in the big red car, but I didn't want to cheat, so I had to be happy with what I got. Anyway, I finally did something with my stash of Christmas postage stamps!

Another Deco Page: Green

This page is for someone in my local art group who's doing a green book. I think it looks really snazzy. The dark green scribbly-looking bits are actually floral wire that I twisted into interesting shapes.

Color Chunky pages: Eggplant & Pale Green

Here's the next color combo in the series I'm participating in. It's kind of more random than the red and yellow I did. The Lemon slices on the left are cut from a Burt's Bees box. The body of the figure on the right is from a Carter's baby clothes tag that says "3 months." And I played with paint and a lot of my punches.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Red and Yellow Color Combo Chunky

The top pic is the front of the page, and I did all those pretty much the same: the individual letters spell out red and yellow and I glued a red Monopoly hotel on one of the red squares.
The bottom pic is of the backs, which I did all different. All of them have a sort of beaded charm hanging off the side, made from seed beads and a poker chip and a checker.

ATC'S: Japanese cute =kawaii

I have just discovered kawaii, and it's not a Hawaiian island where I spent my honeymoon. It's a japanese phenomenon of super cute things. It seems most popular in stationery and school supplies, and it's not meant exclusively for kids. In fact, some of it seems just for adults, not that it's risque, but just because so many adults are into cute Japanese culture. And I guess I'm one of them. I always liked Hello Kitty growing up, and still do, and now there's all these other Sanrio characters, plus several other brands besides Sanrio that have their own cute characters, and it's all getting exported now to the United States. So I joined this Swapbot swap to make ATC's where you draw some of the Kawaii characters from the brand Decole. They're mostly little food or food-related characters, such as cupcakes, mushrooms, and condiment bottles. Weird, huh? But they are cute, you gotta admit.
If you want to see some examples of kawaii, look at Phoophie, where I just bought some stationery.

New Postcards

For these, I just felt like playing with dry painting in several layers with just a few colors, and these are what I came up with: Rugged, with one of my carved James Dean stamps, and Autumn Birds, with my carved Walter Anderson bird stamp.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Falling Water

This was taken at Minnehaha Falls in September when we had record rainfall. Earlier in the summer it was all dried up, if you can imagine that. Here it is gushing. I love it when it's like this, there's just something so mesmerizing about rushing water, especially over falls. It's so graceful and powerful at the same time.

Monster Drawing Postcard Swap

These are the postcards I made for the swap I hosted. You had to draw a monster for the postcard and color the postcard in whatever way you wanted. I drew with pens, then colored with markers and did the backgrounds in watercolors and the edges in ink. On the top, we have Nedley, the sort of spider-beast, and Dorcula, Dracula's dorky brother with clown hair and freckles. Next up is a beast, and I can't remember what I named him. It ended in Fred. Like Schmedleyfred or something. And then there's the Pumpkinhead Twins. And last are the Skellies. This was really fun to do, I like drawing like this, and coloring, I still love to sit and color.

Scary Halloween Postcard

This is a postcard I made for a Swap-Bot swap, and the recipient loved it. It's done with three of my stamps that I carved, paint, ink, and a white gel pen to color the skulls.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Photography Magic

Check out this really fun series of photos of kids called "Dreams of Flying." Photographer Jan von Holleben created these scenes by having lie on the ground and pose as if the ground were the up dimension. Look and you'll see what I mean. There are tiny arrows underneath the photo to go to the next photo in the series. My fave is #8, the two kids flying from one building to another. And Superman is cool.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Becoming a Snow Kitty

The final product: Meow! This was really fun. Cindy, the artist who did this, does parties as well. Find her at Cindy's Creative Celebrations.

I think for the first or maybe second time ever, I got my face painted. This woman did a great job, she's a real artist. So here's the first stage.

Stage 2: Ears have been added on my forehead.

Stage 3: Nearly done, got the fur.

And the fnal stage: snowflakes--all painted by hand, no stencils or stickers--and the glitter.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Halloween Approacheth

Aw, heck. This is my favorite holiday, almost more fun than Xmas. But I just know we're going to be too busy to decorate the house cuz of takin' care of the baby. Darn. But we can dress up the baby, that will be fun. Meanwhile, to get my Halloween jones, I'm doing a swap-bot swap (see link to right) on postcards with monsters drawn on them. Notice "What I'm Reading" consists of books about drawing monsters. And yes, they're all kids' books. Because they are more fun.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Altered Torso: The Glories of Breastfeeding

I made this for an art show we're having at Anodyne coffee shop throught the month of October. I call it "The Glories of Breastfeeding." Those are really bottle nipples on the front, painted bronze. It was very fun to make, although somewhat tricky to wire the nipples on.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Swap Bot Hand-Drawn Postcards

Robots and Totoro

more robots (I love drawing robots) and some kids playing a game

my fertility symbol design that I was going to make into a quilt square but haven't yet done so.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bead Art


Looks like it should even smell good.

Elvis and others

Crocheted suit? Is that Ken with a haircut?

This was fascinating. Six different artist did their personal interpretations of a section of familiar art, then pieced it all back together. This one is Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss."

an old diner sign.

This one is a litle more abstract, and I love "The Scream" up in the top corner.

More Sock Monkey Madness

Shirts, hats, dolls, 2 and 3-headed sock monkeys

And the piece-de-resistance, the Sock Monkey upholstered chair!

Other Crafts in the Creative Activities Bldg

My kind of fashion--weird--this is a kewpie doll skirt.

Check out the fringe.

This tray is stained glass, isn't it gorgeous?

Sock Monkey bride

Sock Monkey groom

More Seed Art

Cheney: the Root of All Evil, or the "Vice[s]"

Now, remember, it's from Hormel pronounced like "normal."

Seed Art at the Fair

Um, seed theme?

Warner Bros. Cartoons theme

This looks like a brighter version of the Addams Family house, but I think it's just one of those Victorian Ladies.

Gnome dude!