"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Splashes of Color...

...at the beach.
Crescent Beach and Fort Williams Park
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

I mentioned that I got a new computer a few weeks ago.  And with a new computer comes changes and updates to programs. I am starting to get a handle on the new iphoto....but I've been very frustrated with the new Pages program.  I knew how to maneuver around the old one...but the new format was puzzling....even to the folks at my first one to one session at the Apple Store.  I had a free couple of hours on my hands today and I decided to try and figure some of it out.   So what you are seeing here is a screenshot of my first, somewhat successful attempt at manipulating photos in a document. There's a lot to learn...but I'll get there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Art of Rex Ray

Have you heard of Rex Ray?  His collage art inspired this spread in my Pinterest journal.

I came across a video of Rex Ray on Pinterest that really struck me...he talked about being frustrated as a graphic designer for a big company. One night he cut up one of his barely recognizable ads and reworked it.  That started a routine of coming home every night and making simple collages from magazine pictures using just scissors, paper and glue. Doing this exercise helped him find his creative voice.  
Here are some examples of his collages...I love the colors and retro shapes.  His website can be found here.

My friend Connie offered me a garden calendar that came free in the mail.  At the time I was working on the Pinterst journal with Ellen and knew I was going to do a Rex Ray inspired collage...I thought the colors and textures in the calendar were just right.

Scissors, paper, and glue....pretty simple!

Thanks Rex!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Splash of Color

"Legal" graffiti wall in Portland, ME showing support for my son Nate when he started cancer treatment.  Almost 2 years since diagnosis and he is healthy and cancer free.


Nate in July of 2013...just when he just started treatment.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Iris...in Glass

Can you spot the small crack in the green glass?  I can't remember if it happened while I was making it...or while transporting it.  It's a huge deal to fix (for me, anyway)...so once it's there, it's there.

I made this piece for Paul's sister Liz. Her bedroom is decorated with soft blues and purples....inspired by her favorite flower...the iris. I wish I had a better photo of the whole room...it has such a nice vibe.  You get a glimpse of a periwinkle accent wall in this photo.

I designed the piece based on this poster from Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, TN where I got my Masters of Education.

This is NOT my work....but the inspiration for a piece I am starting to work on for my friend Jane's bathroom in her new beach house in Maine. It has been a while since I have worked with glass so we'll see how it goes.  I will photograph the process....right now I am tweaking the pattern.

I found the window on Pinterest and will use lots of textured clear glass...green leaves and a hint of blue.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Mountain View...

....in glass.

My husband Paul grew up in Colorado.  During his high school years his family lived in a home with a fabulous view of the Rocky Mountains including Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak. Margie and Dave loved their mountain view...but when they downsized into a smaller home they had to give it up.

This photo of Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak was found on line...they weren't quite this close.

They enlisted me to make a stained glass piece for their new home of a mountain view...so that's what I did. The piece sits high above the front door in the foyer with a vaulted ceiling. When the sun is just right it casts a nice glow on the hallway wall.

I found this picture from Margie's 80th birthday party a few years ago with the glass piece in the background. Here's what she was so surprised to see......

The President joined us and Margie is a big Obama fan! It was a fun birthday party!

At the party was Liz (sister), Margie (mom), Barack (Mr. President), Paul, Chuck (brother in law) MaryAnn, North (nephew), Alyson (sister) and Clarke (niece)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lean on Me!

Paul and I stumbled upon this amazing rock sculpture at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth this afternoon.  There was something about the gray backdrop that made it seem somewhat etherial. Right in the center on the horizon is The Ram Island Lighthouse...no longer in service.

This particular beach is steep and almost all rocks.  At low tide there is some sand and it gets deep very fast.  If you sit here long enough you can catch a big ship or two going by...the channel into Portland Harbor is just to the left.  We have lots of fond memories of the boys playing on this beach during their
growing up years.

What a perfect way to spend a  little time this afternoon.

Smaller than you
thought...isn't it?
Fort Williams Park is home to Portland Headlight, one of the most famous lighthouses in Maine.  It is just a couple of miles from our house in South Portland. The photos below were taken another year....it's not that green here in Maine yet.

 The classic rocky coast of Maine....almost at our doorstep.  How lucky are we?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Paper Cuts

Pinterest inspired paper cuts.

There will be a day when there are no more pages to share from my Pinterest and art journals I traded with Ellen....but that's not the case yet.

And I've been thinking about starting another one.  It's nice to have a place to put that one time experiment....and I do a lot of experimenting.  

These paper cuts caught my eye on Pinterest so I checked out the website.  They were done by Marnie Karger from Minneapolis.  I was drawn to the gradation of colors...and the simple retro shapes.    

I especially love her topographical maps....like the one below of Lake Superior. Paul and I vacationed in Bayfield, WI on Superior last summer and toured The Apostle Islands...the little white dots in the lower left of the map.  It was awesome!

I thought I would give her simple shapes a try.  I've not done much with an x-acto knife...but it was kind of fun and not as hard as I thought and I was pretty pleased with the result. I thought my little personal touch of the machine stitching was a nice addition.  It would be fun to make some cards.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Backyard Trees...

...with Fairy Lights.

Several days ago I mentioned being inspired by Loretta Grayson's trees for my Pinterest journal. I have one of her "Backyard with Fairy lights" prints from her Etsy site hanging in my bathroom.  The colors are just incredible and I love the little string of lights through the trees....I'm quite fond of lights.

Here is where the "Backyard Trees" live. And like said I am fond of lights....the nightlight in the bathroom changes colors. Why not?  

But this post is about Loretta.....

Loretta's uses such and interesting process and there are great photos of the steps of "how a tree grows" that can be found here. She uses a combination of oil pastels, watercolor and acrylic paints. It's worth checking out!

   And I love what she does with maps!
From her Etsy site.
"I am inspired by colour, pattern, music, literature, map imagery & the book illustrations of my childhood. Each artwork is an attempt to distill one of the big ideas and half-remembered things of my messy inner world into a small, neat world on paper."  A Quote from her blog

Every time I visit her Etsy or Flckr pages....or browse her blog I find something new.  I just love her work!  Thanks Loretta for being such an inspiration!

Here is a grouping of notecards from her Etsy site....showing some of her other beautiful work.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

One Person's Trash.....

.....is another's treasure.  The title of this really should be....
"I've got dedicated friends!"

Janet, Anita and I went for a walk this morning and it was a perfect spring day.  We are always on the lookout for great stuff at the curb on trash days....and today did not disappoint. We came home with a table for me, an adding machine for Anita and a couple of plant pots for Janet.

We had already walked about 2 miles before we found the table....and there was discussion whether we would carry it or go get a car.  Well, we decided to carry it....we had a mile to go. We didn't go over the river....but we went through the woods...ha ha.


Just for the record....I did take my turn....but I also was the photographer.

You can see here we carried the adding machine right on top...but we hand carried the plant pots...luckily we found them near the end.

What am I going to do with my table?  I'm not sure yet....but if I don't use it one of my boys will.  It seems pretty sturdy and it might work as bench at the end of a bed with a cushion...or I might mosaic the top and make it a coffee table....or maybe use it for plants.  It's nothing but potential!
Thanks Janet and Anita!  That was quite an adventure!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Splash of Color

Subtitle: Splash of Spring!

Caught my eye on a walk this afternoon....
that's a lot of color in a few square inches.
Lexington, MA

Monday, April 20, 2015

Laurie Frick

I am completely fascinated by the work of Laurie Frick. She's a data artist who explores "self tracking." She takes extensive data on everything from sleep patterns to the walking or travel you do in a day to how you spend your time, and translates it into art. It seems a bit complicated and I don't fully understand how she does it...but there is something about these graphic collages with the mix of papers and colors that intrigues me.

Since I discovered her on Pinterest....she inspired me to do these couple of pages in my Pinterst Journal.  Rather than "self tracking" I called mine "junk mail tracking."

This collage was made from junk mail and catalogs that came on one particular day.  I wished I would have mixed up the words a bit more so the letters weren't in the right order...but it was my first attempt.  
Except for the bird, this second attempt was made entirely from an Ethan Allen Flyer.  I did mix up some of the words on this page...and it makes it much more interesting.  There were so many great shapes and patterns in the flyer...and the color scheme was very pleasing...mostly yellow, gray, black, gold and silver....and the fun little pop of pink.   
The frame for this page was made from....you probably recognize it...a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon. I shaded in the background with pan pastels.  For the journal...I did some writing and reflection in the middle.
A new Ethan Allen flyer just came the other day and the spring colors are beautiful and there are lots if interesting lines and patterns.  I'm going to try another collage. 

I have to mention that I got a new computer a few days ago...and there are a lot of new features to learn on the "pages" program.  I took these photos of the flyer and did this this layout very quickly...love the new gradient background.  I've got a lot to learn but I know I'm going to have fun with it.  I love digital art! 

While I was on Laurie's website I discovered she has a free app called "FRICKbits"...so I just downloaded it onto my phone. It will track my travels and turn it into an art piece.  Below is a screenshot from her website and it can be found here.  Let's see what happens!

It's ironic that the first day I had the tracking app....I didn't leave the house....so no data yet.  It may take a little while for me to go enough places to create something. I am kind of a homebody.

So stay tuned for my own "data tracking" art and my "junk mail tracking" art courtesy of Ethan Allen.