Wednesday, October 20, 2010

a cool distraction

It was nice to have a bit of a distraction last night. I made some prospective test boutonnieres; my daughter is going to homecoming, and rather than giving her date one of the many cookie cutter boutonnieres from the local market, we thought I'd try my hand at fashioning something more unusual.

Once upon a time, when I was about a year older than my daughter is now [yikes, what?], I studied floral design. It was one of the many career paths I strolled upon in hopes of figuring out what I want to be when I grow up--which by the way, I still haven't. It was a fun little stint and comes in handy now and then, although I couldn't tell you the scientific name to any flowers (I think I retained that for about a week--to get through test at the time).

Below are the samples I created for my daughter to picky and choosy from. Hard to make flowers manly, yes?

standard traditional carnation--corny/cool, can't go wrong

this one is created from vintage "silk" foliage

if you look closely, this one has guitar string embellishment

and this one is a bit girlie, but I couldn't resist a feather


Saturday, September 18, 2010

yes, we're busy, and here's why...

All photos courtesy of Nic Tucker Photo

Yes, our blog has been a bit neglected, and as everything else in life, it is evolving from how we originally intended. For the last year, I've been newly employed at an event production company, so my art has taken a back seat, and Heather has been busy with her new consulting position as party/event stylist.

Recently I was asked to throw together a surprise party for the managing director of the company I work for, and I was a bit intimidated, knowing she's pretty much the best production manager you'll ever encounter. On top of that, she--not knowing I was organizing her birthday party--had me working on a major production project. I needed help. Thankfully my partner in artistic crime, Heather, is a party stylist extraordinaire.

She basically coordinated the elements you see here, and thanks to Nic Tucker [photographer], you can see the beauty of the party--hat themed, by the way.

The birthday girl's box of mixed exotically flavored truffles, created by Suess Chocolates, and decorated by yours truly.

A box of Suess truffles as party favors for guests. One of Heather's duties as party stylist for this shindig was to go to Suess for a truffle taste test (must be rough).

Me in my hat.

The birthday girl was pleased, the party a success, and Heather saved yet another day for me.

Thank you Heather.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

and now for something different

bones I 2010 24"x 24" acrylic by jennifer culp

These are a couple of pieces from a group I'm currently working on, Bones & Tissue.

tissue I 2010 20"x 20" mixed media


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

hope she likes it better than elementary school ashtrays...

This is the product of the flower I made with Heather in our friend Syd's studio a while back. I was hesitant to post a picture, because my intent was to give it to my mom for her recent birthday.
I did, and I hope she likes it better than the ceramic elementary school ashtrays we used to make as gifts--which by the way, is a weird phenomenon. Why were we making ashtrays? May as well have been making shot glasses and poker chip holders.
Got to love the pre-'pc' days.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Earth Laughs in Flowers

'Earth Laughs in Flowers' --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heather and I had the privilege to visit the studio of Syd--Heather's artist friend, and now mine. She holds clay sculpting classes, and we were lucky enough to have Syd and her studio all to our selves last night.

It's always magical to be trusted enough to visit the inner workings of a functioning artist studio, and Syd's in particular, is brimming with treasures at every turn. Notes, sketches, sculptures, broken bits, mis-happen sculptures, student pieces, supplies, and inspiration are just a few of the bits scattered about the space. *One of my favorite parts of her studio are her the notes to herself; many artists keep these private, but Syd displays her ink scratched thoughts all about her space.

Here are some of Syd's tools and supplies, which by the way, she has endearing terms for, like the 'pokeholio'--a sculpting device that is round on one end and pencil-like on the other. The instruments in her studio are more like friendly productive conduits, rather than tools, and my thought is, because she respects her materials and gives them unique descriptive names, they give back to her.

One of my favorite areas in her studio--lots of notes and thoughts.

An architectural functional box, and probably my favorite piece of Syd's. She's even had requests for these pieces as urns.

One of her elephants, adorned with texture created from stamps from India. Syd actually has a shelved wall dedicated to rows of textile stamps from India.

This is one of her beautiful flower sculptures; she has more of these, along with other works, currently showing at Ombu Salon in Edmonds.
This is what we were creating last night--this type of sculpture--although ours will be dipped in white glaze [and I look forward to returning in a couple of weeks to dip].

This is my flower in progress...

...and here is Heather's.

This is the beginning of the center to my flower. Notice the holes at each intersection, and the 'pokeholio' that created said holes.

Here's Heather creating the center of her flower.

And here are our pieces as we left them [they're upside down, by the way]. Eventually they'll visit Syd's kiln room; Syd has 2 kilns (lucky).
I look forward to seeing these pieces complete, and I'm so appreciative to Syd for opening her studio to us and allowing us the therapeutic time we took in creating these beauties.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Turned the Mother Out

foxy funk disco cds created by jen for book club friends

So book club was a smashing success this past weekend. Our meetings are generally themed in food and whatever else according to the literary choice, and this time round' it was Tim's choice of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. Disco, costumes (good sports Mary, Jonas & Scooter [of course]), and fondue (and some fon-don't when Scooter thought the bread would turn out yummy/crispy after several minutes soaking in the broth???).
We also watched the first chapter of the mini-series, as well as danced the night away while the disco ball spun overhead.
As a special treat, I thought it fun to create cds of hand picked disco funk songs--in which I like to call foxy funk disco. It seems I was not the only book club member with the idea to bring a gift...Jason brought the chocolate bars pictured below. They feature my friend Van Gogh (and his art) and come from Amsterdam. They are a throw back to the book I chose for book club, Irving Stone's Lust for Life, which happens to be one of my top 5 books ever (so far)--and I know my friend Jason loves it too.
I'd like to give a special shout out to my friends: Keith--who does a mean sprinkler, Jodi--hoola hoopin with a bumb to it, Mary--mariposa of the disco, Jonas--a great swirly twirly leader, Tim-- the front car in our roller coaster [of love], Scooter--dj extraordinaire, Jason--with his John Travolta moves, and of course my friend Heather--dancing queen.

hand-made cd sleeves from 1970s Ice Capade program paper

the lovely chocolate bars Jason brought back for us


Sunday, April 25, 2010

like your mom always told you...

jerk 2010 4"x 4" mixed media

If you don't have anything nice to say, disguise it as adorable and say it anyway.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

catch of the day

mr. pickles 4 x 4 2010

It was a nice weekend filled with art. I finished a set of three snarky birds that I'll share on another day, and the above petite piece.

I spent all of Saturday painting set pieces for my daughter's high school musical production of No No Nanette. I must have been a slacker back in the day, because this youth worked impressively hard all day long. Everywhere I turned, everyone was doing something--a duet in a corner improvising a new dance routine, a gang of guys outside hammering & sawing bits of the set, groups of gals backstage harmonizing, still standing individuals with arms spread out while a parent helper altered costumes, passers-by tap dancing their counts as they walk [or tap] to and fro, kids spread out on the theatre audience floor with their SAT, chem, and math books studying as they wait for their routine to queue up for practice, and painters painting and repainting sets to get them 'just right' (which is where I was). I was extremely impressed with the set painter who directed me all day--a junior. She has high standards and runs a tight ship. I learned a few things from her, proving to me (and possibly her) you can teach an old dog new tricks.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back to life

pussy willows 2010 by jennifer culp

So I took a few days off to try and get some outstanding things accomplished...and well, I can at least say I finished the piece above. Today. On my last day of vacation.
It's meant to hang in a bedroom over the head board, and I'm hoping the recipients will be pleased.--Oh and by the way, it pains me to see the quality of photo I've posted here; crooked, bad lighting, far away, with another piece of art peeking out from behind the left piece, but I at least wanted to post it--proving I've done something.

Also, today marks a life changing day, the day I gave up TV. Yes, today I turned in my digital cable box, which means no TV. I have no profound reason for doing it, I just feel no TV will help facilitate living a creative life. BUT, I anticipate this to be a difficult change. You see, TV & me go way back. We're best friends. TV's always there for me, early in the morning, late at night, and never talks back. But, TV is a bit like the attractive bad boyfriend--looks good, but isn't necessarily good for you. So farewell TV.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine for my friend.

Hoppy Valentine's Day Heather.

It's fortunate that out of all of the people across the world, you and I were brought together as friends. With generosity, kindness, and love, you tolerate my crazy (entertain it even), yet you're also not afraid to let me know when I'm unreasonable (which rarely happens, if ever).

Thank you friend.
With much love and appreciation,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


painting by Matt Scheid

The painting featured above, is by a friend of my daughter Riana [drama friends]. I expressed how impressed I was with his work, assuming he was just a theatrical talent, but he briefly explained how he had created this piece just before my daughter's birthday party (that night), and that he had been dabbling in this type of painting for a couple of weeks!?--raw talent.

The party itself was a good time: shiny neon spandex pants, 1980's short shorts, and kitty cat sweatshirts--that was just the boys. As for the girls, I so badly wanted to join them and whip on my Madonna wanna-be garb and roller boogie the night away. For whatever reason [something to do with a childhood roller skating spill, resulting in a minor concussion] I could not convince Heather to strap on some skates. It's probably better that we didn't skate, reserving our energy for post party late night people watching and tolerating bad cover band music.

The following night was the auction for Heather's daughter's preschool. It went quite well, and our paintings, especially Heather's, were very popular. I failed to mention that Heather donated a personal pet portrait, which along with her "I will be good" piece, created some hovering and competition with the silent bidding. Nice.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Let's start the bidding at 1 piece...

mantra by heather jarvis

So tomorrow night is the annual party and auction of the Central Branch Preschool, where my good preschool friend attends. My preschool friend is Heather's wee-est one. I recently traded her 4 pieces of gum (1 orange, 3 mint) for a rogue binky that she came across during the unpacking of Heather's recent move. It wasn't long ago that she reluctantly gave up the bink, so when she found the stray, she knew she'd struck gold. She drives a hard bargain; I initiated the bidding with 1 piece of gum, and she upped my ante (after some back and forth) to 4 pieces and the ability to deposit the binky in the kitchen sink--which was in the other room and I think she assumed she could collect her gum from me and run to grab the binky from the sink...but aha! I've been around the binky block. I came back at her with a firm "4 pieces and binky in my hand". She wavered, but eventually agreed--some exciting bargaining, and I hope the auction benefiting her preschool tomorrow night is equally successful.

The above piece [by Heather] has been donated, and the two below [by me] have also been donated--the best of what we both currently have to offer.
If you would like to help support the Central Branch Preschool, details are as follows:
Saturday, February 6th
Mt. Baker Community Club

As for now, I've gotta run. Heather and I are meeting for dinner, then off to Skate King--to roller boogie the night away (no joke).

loosely separated by jennifer culp

hamsters on the mind by jennifer culp

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wear your Steve on your sleeve

they don't make them like this anymore... 2010 mixed media valentine

So I think I'm taking a little break from churning out art. It seems I can't get my act, space, or supplies together. I have some ideas, but am having a difficult time bringing them to life--mainly due to time constraints. I'm not giving up...I'm hopeful yet.

In the mean time, I am working on some Valentines, like the one above. It's Steve McQueen.