Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Under the big top of life.

under the big top 2009 6"x 6" mixed media

I spent the weekend with Heather, and she so sweetly surprised me with 3 vintage children's books, which immediately inspired me and I couldn't wait to get home to begin incorporating some of the pages from the books into pieces of art. I featured the piece above as tribute to mi mejor amiga, because she is a little obsessed with the circus theme. *If you follow our blog or know us at all, this may not be a surprising bit of trivia.
Beside the new books, and Heather's grandmother's artwork (as mentioned in the last blog post), was an equally inspiring trip to the Folklife Festival this weekend. Heather's family and mine spent an afternoon enjoying sunshine, good food, music, people, and the Seattle Center International Fountain. We also discovered some cool art/artists, two of which being Sean Wilkinson (http://www.wilkyart.blogspot.com/) and Don De Leva (http://www.dollhedz.com/). We met them (and their supportive wives) in the booth they shared--they and their art seem to be good friends, reminding me a little of my art friend that I show with periodically [Heather]. I bought myself two little pieces, a mini canvas magnet by Sean Wilkinson, and a print by Don De Leva entitled Loco. Heather was particularly taken by a small painting by Don De Leva entitled Blue Skull, that can be seen on his website.
After our weekend of dinners, the beach, the park, Folklife, painting, and lots of laughter, we came together again today to visit Heather's grandmother at her retirement community in support of the opening day of her art show. I wish I had brought my camera, because after visiting Kathleen today, I have a new favorite by her, featuring two swans. *If you missed it, a few of her pieces are shown in our last blog post.

I think that's that for today. I just wanted to make note of a couple of cool links (the art friends) before I lost the thought, and to give appreciation to my friend Heather for picking up the vintage books for me, and also to pay a little tribute to Kathleen for showing her art, when it couldn't have been easy to gather it all up and put it out there for everyone to see--inspiring.


*The piece below is a paper pillow created from vintage paper and hand stitched together, featuring a bird fashioned out of paper from one of my new vintage books. It's meant as a little 3D art piece, paying tribute to pillows (i love naps) and art.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It runs in the family.

by Kathleen Johnson 1945

So I'm hanging with Heather this weekend, and she showed me some art created by her grandmother that she is helping to frame for her. I had the opportunity to talk art with Kathleen (Heather's grandma) at out February art show, and she shared with me that she too is an artist that had created some "bird" art in the past. I've seen some of Kathleen's work over the years and admired it without even realizing she was the creator--one of my favorites being a still life featuring colorful fruit.
I just found out that Kathleen is going to have a show, beginning Tuesday, and I look forward to seeing more of her work in person. I snapped a few shots of some of the pieces that Heather is helping to frame, and as you can see, her work is very cool and relevant today, although most was created long ago.

*On a personal note, Heather bought me some cool children's vintage books to incorporate into my art [thanks Heather].

And now we are off to take our kids to the Folklife Festival.

by Kathleen Johnson 1944

by Kathleen Johnson 1984

by Kathleen Johnson 1987

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where it's at--love.

My kids and I went on a walk Saturday morning. The sun was shining (rare), and I knew I would be busy painting, so I thought I should take the opportunity to go on a walk before I became too wrapped up in my work. My kids--with their keen eyes always looking for treasures--found this little heart. Not to be a cornball, but it seems like this little bit of nature is a reminder that love is everywhere. We were so lucky to find this treasure, and even more particularly special to our family is the fact that this heart is made out of "parties". Later in the season, my kids and I like to pull these very treasures off the trees once they've dried out and crush them between our fingers over each other's heads. They crumble into a shimmer and fall like confetti--hence the name "parties".
Nice little story. Hard to believe it was a yell fest in our house about 5 minutes ago (that's love for you).


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Little house.

untitled by jen 2009

I just now finished this little commission piece. It has sentimental value to the patron (my friend) who asked me to bring it to life. It is meant to idealize, with a bit of a child's perspective. It turned out cute--now I want to live there.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sister Eugena, my new treasure.

I'm totally diggin using vintage and tacky frames for new little art pieces I've been selling in my etsy shop lately. I buy them at the thriftstore, disassemble them, clean them, spruce them up, add my art, and put them back together.
I recently took apart a vintage frame that had some charming mini art in it. It looked to be some sort of ethnic collage, out of grass (?), featuring a bird on a branch [sounds familiar]. When I pulled the art out of the frame, behind it was a hidden photograph (the one featured above). I feel so lucky. This picture is exactly something I would purchase at an antique store, although I don't ever recall coming across a photo like this before. My friend Jodi suggested I should name her Sister Eugena, so now Sister Eugena is among family photos and other visual treasures in a collage in my living room.
I'm so lucky.


*oh, and if you want to see the finished little mixed media art piece I created from Sister E's original frame, check: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24731490.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Finally here.

a bird made from brown wrapping paper, painted green with leftover paint from a mural project Heather and I did

Finally, here I am. I've wanted to blog, but life keeps me so busy, I can't do half of the things I need to do, let alone half the things I want to do. Same for Heather. In fact, I know she's done some great creative and artistic work for her daughter's school auction, but along with everything she juggles, she missed the opportunity to take photos of her projects.
*On that note, she and I are kind of notorious for that--not taking photos of our work, in fact, I think it's safe to say we both forgot to take photos of some of the work that is now featured at Naked City Brewery/Taphouse for our most recent show together, and we were told that several of our pieces have sold (which is good, but A. it means we may have no visual record of the work we failed to photograph, and B. there is less to choose from if you haven't already checked out our show).

Anyway, I did manage to capture a few photos of a project I completed for my day job. I work at a children's boutique/store called Kibbn. We are currently emphasising a "green for Spring" theme, featuring many of the green products we carry. Jonathan Lo of j3 productions created an awesome look to accompany our theme and can be seen on Kibbn's opening web page [www.kibbn.com]. All of the pieces below were created by me, with either upcycled or recycled materials from my studio. When I first heard about this project, I was so excited, because anyone who is familiar with my art will understand that incorporating old/used/vintage/recyclables is what I'm all about. Jonathan's ideas are so inspirational, and my boss Justin is cool enough to trust I'll make something nice that will keep to the integrity of Jonathan's designs--it makes for a nice environment of creativity.

a large store sign that hangs behind the cash wrap, made from recycled cardboard, the same green paint, and recycled newspaper from the hotel down the street--oh and Justin helped with the tracing, and dang, he has the hooked up projector that Heather and I can only dream of owning for our mural projects

potted flowers created from upcycled pots, brown wrapping paper, recycled floral foam, shredded paper, recycled plastic flower stems (that I knew would one day come in handy) wrapped in vintage paper, with grocery mailer leaves, and plastic bag pom pom flowers--and I keep noticing window shoppers slowing down to check these babies out

a butterfly created from the grocery store mailer

*on another design note, I have a new creation I'm excited to reveal soon. I'll give a hint...it has to do with undersmacks (which is my term for underwear). The prototype undersmacks are being tested in the lab called life currently, and as soon as I get the feedback, I'll give a shout.