Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Merry Merry Happy Happy to everyone! Thanks so much for all your support, great comments and inspiration this year. More artwork and ideas to come in 2011--stay tuned for some new and different things!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inspiring and Practical Advice for Artists

Last night I heard this incredible speaker and I wrote down some notes from that in hope that what inspired me will inspire you also. I hope I haven't misrepresented anything that he has said. I thought it was very valuable for artists in any discipline. Take a moment and see if it speaks to you.

(And I know this may seem ironic that I'm posting this after my previous post about a holiday sale of my art, but I like to think that some of my pieces are made purely for self-expression. If the piece speaks to someone and is purchased by them, that's icing on the cake.)


Andrew is co-director of Headling Dance Company, Philadelphia, PA

Thanks for doing what you do. This culture needs you. 99% of what is out there today visually in the form of imagery is there to sell something. You are putting out the 1% that is not. The general opinion

out there is that there is the top layer of artists/performers who make scads of money and enjoy great acclaim, to the rest it’s just a hobby. Just because you don’t achieve that overwhelming acclaim or notoriety you wanted doesn’t mean that you failed. You can’t always say what has been accomplished. Andrew thinks his real mission is telling this message, speading these words to other artists.

Artists’ lives can be burdensome and relentless. Your goal should be to build a life that is balanced, sustainable and productive.

Things that stop artists are 1) workaholism 2)perfectionism/competitiveness and 3)poverty.

1) Workaholism-Plan downtime. You need it. All artists work too hard and are too hard on themselves (i.e. I’d be more successful if I only worked harder.)

2) Perfectionism/Competitiveness-Get used to “good enough”. Why are other things in our lives good enough, but not our work? On competing with other artists, repeat this mantra-“The success of other artists is good for me.” Repeat as necessary until you mean it.

3) Poverty-Figure out the amount of money you need to live on for one year without financial panic. Figure in time/money for vacation, insurance, savings.

Mission- Be rooted in why you’re doing it-people love to connect to your mission. Some may envy that you have a mission as they’re still trying to figure it out or don’t feel connected to theirs. The world really wants you to stay close to that mission.

Represent yourself well. We need to be able to talk about and write about our work well.

Don’t shortchange your skills. Conceiving, planning, putting together and delivering a project on time takes skills that are considered management level skills in the outside world.

Partner with people who get your work. Talk to them, have coffee with them, they can move your work forward.

Placemaking-People need a HERE. Be where you are locally and share, be interested and open to other artistic work outside of your discipline. It’s important to have a local presence as well as getting out globally with your work---what you do globally brings others back to your locality, and what you do locally opens others’ minds to what can be done globally.

Community is important. It’s a loop—give---get---give---get. Figure out something that connects people.

Keep making work that is visionary, dangerous, and interesting.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Pieces And a Holiday Thank You Sale!

11"x14"version of The Moving Target w/6v motor

Escape Artist Dog- 6"h x 8"w-customized for your dog

Tattoo Artist Cat- 8"h x 6"w-available as is or customized for your cat

example of custom Circus Dog piece

The holiday season is just around the corner and as a big thank you for your support throughout the year I am offering 10% off (plus free shipping on anything below $600.00) on any pieces on the "Available" page of my website until Dec.19th. As you can see above, I've made a smaller limited edition version of my large "Moving Target" piece plus I'm taking orders for custom "Circus Animal" pieces made to look like your dog or cat.
The Details:
Find something you would like to purchase on my site by clicking on this link- Artwork-Available. Send me an email with the title of the piece and I will send you a revised invoice via Paypal.
Pieces must be purchased by Dec.19th to ensure delivery by Dec.24th. Custom pieces must be ordered by Dec.11. I will also give 10% of the sale price of each piece to a local charity for anything collected up to Dec.22nd.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Cyclone completed plus 4 new pieces

Here is the completed Cyclone piece from my previous post plus 4 of my new pieces that I'll be showing this starting this Friday, Nov. 5-Nov.30 at the Hilliard Gallery-1820 McGee-KCMO.

The Juggler-She was trying to keep all the balls in the air. This piece is about trying to juggle it all in life. It is a working dexterity game. It contains 5 metal balls which fit into the round holes over the woman's head. This piece is constructed of wood, tissue paper, handprinted fabric, painted metal, and wax encaustic. It measures 8"w x 10"h.

Conundrum-Sometimes I can't keep my mind from wandering. I wanted to make a piece that depicted a person's thoughts shooting around their head and pinging off of one thing or another, winding around Wonder and Imagination, occasionally getting stalled on Doubt or Skepticism but ultimately landing somewhere between a Bad or a Brilliant idea. This piece is a working pinball game with a ball shooter, faucet handles as spinners and curved metal scoops that provide ball stops. It's 16"w x 20"h.

Bed of Nails-He was on pins and needles.This piece is constructed of clay, found wood, nails, handprinted fabric, and acrylic paint. It measures 12"w x 6"h.

World's Tallest Man-He was above it all. This piece is constructed of clay, acrylic paint, found wood, wire, and handprinted fabric. It's 6"w x 12"h.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Evolution of a "Cyclone"

I'm getting ready for another gallery show--this time I'm really excited to be doing a duo show around the theme of amusement park rides and games with an amazing oil painter named Peter Cole. I would link here to his blog or site but I don't think he has one so I'll post photos later. I thought I'd try something new and show a bit of the process of making my pieces. This piece is a bit different from some of my previous ones--(as most of them are I guess). This one is a large clay sculpt of a woman who is literally a wreck and I named her The Cyclone after the famous roller coaster at Coney Island. Here she is in transition-the first step of sculpting her took about 2 hours total. The background is on the back of an old plywood and formica tabletop that has been in my basement for years. I drew rough outlines of carnival rides and tents on the background with oil pastels, then melted wax encaustic over the entire thing (the woman included.) I have colored her face with acrylic paints and soft pastel crayons. The roller coaster in her hair is made of wire and she sits on a found wood base. The pics here show the beginning mound of clay to her semi-finished state but I'll have some better photos of the finished piece in the next few days.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You can do anything

If you haven't seen this video yet, take a minute and watch.
It'll make you feel like a million!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Leaping To Conclusions vs. Reigning In Your Thoughts-a redux

This is a redux of the carousel pictured below in the August 2 post. I didn't like the feel of the glass dome (too cake platey) over the carousel so I lost that and tried to build more meaning into the piece. The blue horse has "Leaping To Conclusions" written on his side. He's suspended from a tattered circus tent that is supported by wire trees. The carousel below moves via a 6v motor hidden underneath the round base. The horses in the carousel represent thoughts that have been reigned in and keep churning around and around. Click on the video below to see it in action.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Big ol Chunk of new Work2-The Animals

More new pieces, continuing on the circus freak train.This time though the freaks are domestic animals-dogs and cats. They are 6 "x 8" in size and are limited editions, signed and numbered. I am thinking of doing more of these later in the year so let me know if you like them! They are made from clay, wire and painted metal on the sides of the frame. They will be priced at $175.00 each.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

BOCONW-(big ol chunk of new work)

Well I'm almost done with a whole new group of work and I have all the photos on facebook (link to the right) but I'll post a bunch here also since I know everyone doesn't subscribe. I've been doing a series of "circus freaks" except these have their own individual twists. In The Transparent Man and Woman shown below, their tattoos appear from the inside out, revealing their deepest thoughts and feelings (can you imagine?) I've also included The Disappearing Lady, who "always feels as if something is missing" and The Escapologist, who "lives in a prison of his own making." They will be for sale at the upcoming Plaza Art Fair on Sept. 24-26 here in KC or afterwards on my website.

Monday, August 2, 2010

More Pics of New Pieces

Here are 2 more of my newest pieces, now all packed and ready for Uptown Art Fair next weekend in Minneapolis. Ashley's Gallopers (shown at the top) is another electric piece that contains a moving carousel under a glass cloche. Then there's the Firecracker, a rework of an older roller coaster piece of mine that I've added a 12v light to along with some graphics and a stage. The carousel piece is approx. 10"h x 12"w. The Firecracker piece is approx. 14"h x 10"w.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rat Race

This is my first turn crank piece. This piece is constructed of metal with handprinted canvas over it, clay, wood and rubber sheeting. It is called "Rat Race" and it's a take off on old rocket rides that you see at carnivals only this time the rocketships are filled with adults who are racing racing racing in circles to get to their jobs and make more money. Many many thanks to my husband Mike for working out alot of the technical details of the crank on this while I worked on the other pieces. This piece will also be for sale at the Uptown Art Fair Aug.6-8.

Friday, July 30, 2010

more new moving pieces

Haven't posted in quite awhile but for good reason--have been working on more pieces with motors, lights and turn cranks and now I have 3 new pieces that I'm really excited to show.
Here's the first-it's entitled "Her Dream House". It's constructed of clay, wire, cloth, and wood and is built in an old box that I carved on the outside. It runs on a 6v motor and has a 12v light in the center. It's approx. 13"h x 10"square. This piece is about a little girl who goes to a carnival during the day and that night when she goes to sleep, dreams her house has become the carousel she was riding on. I painted a scene of the outside landscape on cloth that lines the walls. The light in the center of the carousel casts the reflection of the carousel horses onto the walls, making them look like they're galloping around the countryside. Around the door are the words "That night she dreamt her house became the carousel." I'm planning on taking this piece with me to the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis next week.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Recent Work 1:Train of Thought

It's been awhile since I've been home and not hurrying to get ready for a show so I thought I'd start posting some of my newest work. This is one of my two-dimensional mixed media pieces. It consists of handpainted clay tiles over painted metal train cars. The words are made from handprinted fabric. The wheels and chain are made from wire. It's entitled Train of Thought and it's about the thought process that I go through almost every time I start a new project. As you can see, I sometimes start with Fear: even though I know better and I read self-help books, sometimes I can't tame my thoughts that say my ideas aren't good enough. The next step if I start with Fear is Doubt: this is where I edit and cross out many of my sketches before I even give them a chance. Then what I usually do is take a break at this point and either call an artist friend or do something else completely like go for a run to clear my head. When I return to my work after this break, things don't seem so bleak. New ideas have usually popped into my head while I'm running, or my friends and I brainstorm another way of approaching my discarded ideas. Enter Hope: the clouds part, the sun shines and the process seems fun again. And with Hope, I finally approach Courage: I realize that I do this to myself and also realize that it's just a part of the creative process. The finished piece may never have happened if the initial "wrong" ideas didn't come to me first. This piece is 16"h x 42"w. The price is $595.00. Please email me if you have any questions or are interested in purchasing this piece.(Click on the photo to see larger version.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Orleans Jazz Fest 2010

I just got back from doing the New Orleans Jazz Fest art fair. Here's some photos of my son Murphy and I in my demo booth. I demonstrated my wire work for 4 days of the fest and it was a blast. I even won the Best of Show award! The people there are so supportive of the arts. I had a great time, ate some AMAZING food and it's wonderful to know that I'll be back next year.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The MOVING Target

I'm so excited to have my first kinetic piece finally complete and ready to show. It will be a part of my first solo show at the Hilliard Gallery at 1820 McGee in KCMO. Stop by if you can between 6-10pm on April 2, 2010. The show will run until April 26. This piece is about trying to avoid being hurt in relationships. She literally keeps moving to avoid the pain she's experienced in the past although her heart is still a target, showing how vulnerable she really is. On her skirt is the word HOPE but it's shrouded as she keeps that part of herself hidden away. This piece is constructed of papier mache, old sheet music, wood, metal, fabric, and a 12v electric motor. It's 30" h x 40" w. Please contact me for more info on this piece if interested in purchasing. Even though the screen may look blank, just click on the arrow below to play the video.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Somerset Studios Article!

I was so thrilled to get to write an article featuring my circus lamps in the current March-April issue of Somerset Studios magazine. They did an amazing job with the photography and I can't thank Jenny Doh and Pam Garrison for finding and contacting me. I'm extremely grateful to them both! Also be sure to check out Jenny's newest project site here-

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lee Lou from harem6

Take a look at this amazing creation. This doll was created by a duo called harem6 from Romania. I just found them tonight and am so glad I did. Each of their pieces is so unique and original! If you have a chance, click here to see more of their incredible work on their blog and in their Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Notes from the BMAC show

Well I'm almost back home from the Philadelphia Buyer's Market of American Craft show that ran from Feb. 12-15. Right now I'm stuck in the Milwaukee airport due to a de-icing delay so thought I'd check in to give an update on how it all went. Despite weather delays getting to the show (I had to move my flight from Wed. to Thurs. afternoon), I was able to get to Philly by 5:30 Thurs. night and work til around 11:30 that night to get my booth set up. Alot of the other artists and buyers weren't so lucky and ended up getting to the show on Friday or Saturday. Anyhow we all persevered and the show ended up going really well. One of my dream goals was to get my work in the American Folk Art Museum shop in NYC and I'm happy to say I met that goal as they ordered some of my pieces for their store! All in all, I met some wonderful buyers and artists and got several new gallery accounts as well as maintaining the ones I already had so I'm really glad I didn't cancel when the weather reports were sketchy. Travel is hardly ever without hitches but all in all it's pretty fun to get to hang out for a few days with people who create what they love for a living.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Circus Apron by Dirty Laundry

My cute friend Jeanee Duval and I did a trade recently--take a look at this awesome reversible apron she made for me to wear at shows! Jeanee not only makes aprons, she makes cupcakes--the kind you drop in warm bath water and they fizz and smell wonderful. Check out her blog here:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Balance, Equilibrium and Juggling

As I've mentioned previously, it seems I've become even busier than when I had a full-time job and at times I have trouble juggling it all. Thinking about how to balance everything-work, family, time with friends, and time for myself-has been on my mind alot. Part of the issue with being self-employed is that you're always at work and having an unfinished project or order in the next room is hard for me to ignore. I just can't shut it off at 5 or 6:00 in the evening and so spend alot of evenings with wire in my hands while I hang out with the fam. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who does this! When my lovely friend Wendi suggested that I include the word "balance" in one of my trapeze artist pieces because so many of us struggle to find it, I realized that she was right--I've been working on trapeze artists and jugglers without realizing how they were an illustration of my own life. Here are the new pieces-they'll be at the BMAC show in Feb. and at the wonderful Lizzie Lou's in Roundtop, TX in March.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

uncommon goods!

My crate is packed and on it's way to Philadelphia again for the Buyer's Market show....can't believe we have to get it there several weeks in advance. Maybe it's a good thing that it's done though because I've begun to get busy with orders from uncommon goods. They are carrying 3 of my pieces in their current catalog and on their website, and so far it's going really well! Above is a photo of the three pieces plus a link to them here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lovebirds On The Wall

True Lovebirds in Heart Shaped Perch-8x10
In the background are the words "love-adore-devotion-admire"
Lovebirds Under Circus Tent-4x6
On the sheet music are the words "You're the little birds that sing, darling you're my everything"
Bluebirds in Heart-5x5
In the background are the words "angel-darling-sweetheart-sugarplum-honeypie"
Lovebirds in Heart #2-5x5

Lovebirds in Large Heart-8x10

Here are the new 2D mixed media versions of my lovebird cages that I mentioned in the last post. They are constructed with wire, fabric, painted metal, and wax encaustic. They're for sale in my Etsy shop now-just click on this link to take you there!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year--and New Work

I hope everyone had a wonderful time at the holidays...I did and it was great with my family at home but also a challenge to get any work done. With that in mind I did a few pieces around the theme of "balance". These women all have different words beneath them such as "equilibrium, poise and grace". Although you can't see it well here, in the background is a repeat of all those words. The trapeze couple piece is entitled "Faith and Trust". To me, trapeze artists encompass these qualities. In the background are similar words-faith, trust, love. Some will go into my Etsy shop soon and some are destined for the BMAC show in Philadelphia in February. In the next few days I'll have some 2D lovebird pieces to show too.

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