04 August 2015

One of the things that is hard to balance for me is my art life and my science life (day job, which I very much enjoy.)  I am a contract worker with two research firms so, I have to make hay when the sun shines; i.e. take the work when it is offered. 

I went to a psychic gallery reading a few months ago; I don't have much drama in my life and I have sort of made friends with confusion.  I wasn't sure if I had much for the two psychics to work with.  Towards the end of everyone else's readings,  when it was my turn, one of the two readers just looked at me and said, "Manifest."  

I wasn't sure what that all meant but I thought it was cool!  Fast forward to now, a few months later, and I think this is it: start an art business.  I have made myself an LLC, sought out a specific artist to be my mentor, started a Facebook page just for art, and bought a canopy for art fests.  I have dropped the pretense of perfection because it is too stressful and quite frankly, I try to reserve that part of me for the pieces I create.  Consequently, my booth, business acumen, etc. is an awkward work in progress.

I did have one question for the psychics; where is my beloved dog, Cleo?  I had to put down my 14 year old little girl last fall and it broke my heart.  To heal, I began to make this shrine.  My intention was to have her dog tag and picture in it but, like most of my ideas, they turn into what they are supposed to be and not necessarily what I had intended.

Copper Shrine

I guess she is still around me and she loves messing with her protoge , Henry the Jack Russell.

25 June 2015

Awww....Forever memorialized.  'Lots of marigolds to honor this beloved little sock monkey.

Polymer clay, acrylic paint, Altoid tin.

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na.....BATMAN!




Polymer Clay sugar skull and frame, acrylic paint, Altoid tin.

24 June 2015

This Bud's for You

It has been awhile since I have posted; enough time has passed that I need to re-orient myself to the blog updates that are supposed to make it easier for me--ha!  This is a preview pic that my friend Mitch took a few days ago, of an approximately 10" tall shrine; Budweiser beer caps and mirrored tile, on a wood substrate,  with a polymer clay crown.  Tea light and votive added along with a little  bud vase.  Black grout.  

Just a reminder, I will be at the Twin Cities Gay Pride Fest this weekend, June 27-28, 10 - 6 pm.  

I will be in booth # Ru85.

25 November 2014

A Cartridge in a Pear Tree (#1)
Hello Everyone!  I am in the process of loading up my resurrected Etsy site.  Are you interested in any Holiday gifts?  Check me out!
(Click the "Etsy" word in the last sentence.)

16 September 2014

A few little things...

This was taken with my iPhone.  It is an Altoid shrine; with polymer clay and a Loteria card.   It is a little tough to read the text so, here is what it says.

I shall be thy lover
And if by chance to know my face
My hold shall be
Your last embrace.

Deviled Eggs.
  I am quite good at making deviled eggs out of polymer clay. (This photo is a little too bright and unedited.)
This is also an Altoid tin shrine, with a Loteria card and a polymer clay frame.

This was taken by my friend, Mitch so it is a much better picture!  It is at the Lanesboro Gallery and it is approx 10" high and illuminated with an haunting, violet LED..  Wood, polymer clay and beads.

I had mentioned before that I would add some pics from France.  Here is one of me in one of the carpets of sunflowers in the Languedoc region of France.  This is shortly before I climbed a very steep hill to visit a Cathar castle in Montseguer.  I wouldn't have been smiling if I had known what the climb was like.
Towards the end of our trip, we visited Omaha Beach in Normandy, France; near Colleville-sur-Mer.  This is where my father-in-law landed on June 6, 1944, as part of the Army's 1st Division.  He was in the first wave, and we believe most likely the only survivor from the Landing Craft that took him in.  It affected him profoundly and left a legacy of reverence in his family for the humble troop.  Here is my husband, Jeff, gathering sand for his family to take back to the states.  He wrote a lovely tribute in the sand to his father.  A young girl saw him do this and she came and wrote her own message in the sand.

02 September 2014

Tramp Art

I like using found things to create projects around.  I do not know how to paint.  I suppose I could learn.  I was just rejected by a gallery because they focus on painting and my art is more "folk art," which I love by the way.  I get it though, galleries have a certain clientele and direction they want to go.  

Tramp Art is something that I discovered surfing the net and I think these fish would qualify. 

Bud Walleye, Approx 3' in length.
Available at Stone's Throw.
insert pic
I don't drink much beer but, I have a lot of people taking it for the team for me.  A couple of establishments have collected bottle caps for me as well and, a bistro in France gave me quite a few (once we breeched the language barrier.)

Leona Walleye. She still needed her bud lite scales at the time this picture was taken.
Available at Stone's Throw.

Leona was not finished at the time this picture was taken.  She now has all her bottle cap fish scales.  She and Bud are 3' long and each have close to 265 + beer caps on them .  Their face and fins are mosaiced with glass tiles. Leona has eyelashes!

About France, Wow! What a trip!  'Paris the first few days, where we saw the Tour de France.  Followed by an art and cooking workshop in Dufort, France.  Dayle Doroshow and Nese Pelt provided the most fantastic experience for  us.  I have been on a cooking fervor since because Nese, (pronounced "Nisha,") took the mystery and fear out of it.  I was inspired by both Dayle and Nese. 

The trip wrapped up in Brittany where we stayed at Maison de Granit.  Some of you who are local may recognize the owner in the website; it is Lucia, of Lucia's Wine Bar.  Brittany was such a treasure, as was the Languadoc region where Dufort is located.  More to follow...

26 August 2014

It is late August and where did the summer go?  For me, it has been an exciting season; I am writing now from Lake Siskiwit, near the South Shore of Lake Superior in Wisconsin.  We bought a little red cabin here in June.  Pinch me.  And two weeks ago, I returned from three weeks in France.  

I am also selling a few things; a few little art pieces, one or two more expensive pieces.  Since I haven’t updated this blog lately, I will catch you up.



This piece is called Diary of a Firefly.  In Spring/Summer of 2013, Diary was at  Flow Space Gallery, St. Paul, MN, for the
Polymer Clay Exhibition.   I took second place in the Emerging Artist category, something I did not expect and, I was in between two artists I find inspiring in the Polymer Clay world, Laurie Mika and Kathleen Dustin.  A small tea light illuminates the Diary’s entry, Burn.  Shortly after the show, it sold.

In May of this year, I participated in Northeast Minneapolis’ Art-a-Whirl in Claudia Poser’s gallery at the Northrup King Building.  It was a great show and Summer Vacation, one of the Johnson Family Photo Album pieces sold.  That piece still cracks me up (See my last entry for an image.)  I got cleaned out of a lot of work and that is a good thing because I was considering this show to be my Swan Song.  So, I will keep creating and trying to get my work “out there.”

One of the pieces at Art-a-Whirl, and it will be at the Northeast Minneapolis (NEMAA) Fine Arts show at the Solar Arts building in October, is Pearl Corset.

Let me tell you about this piece.  A few summer’s ago my husband, Jeff,  went bow hunting in Oklahoma and came back with several animal skulls.  Fast forward a few weeks and looking for inspiration, I bought a Burlesque magazine.  Mesmerized by a pearl corset on the cover, I began to think it would look stunning on a buffalo skull.  I studied the image, magnified it on the printer, designed patterns and tried to do the math...ordering a gazillion glass and fresh water pearls.  And then I sat on the project for a year.  I was afraid I’d blow it.  

Last winter I took it on.  I repaired the skull, cleaned the teeth, blew the sinuses out with an air hose, ordered more pearls, found the blend of paint I wanted, studied the beading pattern,  ordered more pearls, researched the adhesive, strung pearls at night in front of the TV (I love Orange is the New Black) glued pearls, glued more pearls, ordered more pearls...yeah.  Voila, here she is.

I had to create new horns to fit over the little horn nubs.  I used polymer clay and added red fish net (an orange bag) to up its' provocativeness.  

She is for sale and she is a good girl!  Kind of.

She is a tough act to follow, but I'll try anyhow. This is a picture of me in Carcasonne, France two years ago.

More about my most recent trip will follow. 

Speaking of following, thanks to all my 22 followers!  Pass me around; I may not be as provocative as Pearl Corset, but I'm still a lot of fun!

16 May 2014

Art A Whirl this weekend!  I will be in studio 394 at the Northrup King Building.  I was down there yesterday and I could feel the excitement as signs were going up in the neighborhood and artists were hanging their art, pounding nails, adjusting lights...

Here are two (iPhone) images of part of the Johnson Family Photo Album.  $135 each, or all four for $500.

And yes, they really are Johnson's (polymer clay ones.)   You notice with family vacations there is always one pouter? 

It's hard to tell in this photo but, Francis has a heater in his hand, and an arm around his old man.   He is back at the farm he grew up on.  The neighborhood has changed a bit and folks from down the road stopped by.

04 May 2014

This little lamb is making an unedited appearance (honestly, I probably will never post if I have to be really perfect and edit photos taken by me.  It has almost been a year since I have posted!)  The title of this piece is Love Letters and it was part of the Minneapolis Love Stories show in February at Chowgirls in Northeast Minneapolis.  Currently, it is in a gallery in Lanesboro, Mn.  It is approximately 12" tall and backlit by a little orange LED.  It is hard to appreciate the LED in this photo. 
Also, below is another piece that I created for Minneapolis Love Stories, Heart is Where the Home is.   Some of you know that my career has been in health care as a sonographer.  I have a few specific disciplines (Ob/Gyn, Vascular and Adult Cardiac.)  I worked in patient care for many years and now I work in preclinical research, doing some very cool things!  I do miss patients though...I just had to say that and now I will get back on the rail.  There is an artist, Frank Netter, a physician/artist who illustrated anatomical volumes, that for some reason I connected with through his drawings.  So, what you see is a hybrid between two vocations in my life, inspired by Frank Netter.  Maybe three vocations, if you count the dearness of my family to me.

I have sweet, loveable friends who give me their junk.  The star looking things on top and bottom were given to me by Melinda, and I sawed it in half.  The tiles and the heart and birds are polymer clay.  The sides are bead heads embedded in black grout and the whole thing, the substrate, is a little wooden box I built.  The heart is illuminated with a pink LED and, here is another fine example of my photography skills (Mitch! Where are you???)  It is in the Laneboro Art Gallery also.  Below is a fuzzy little close up of the heart.

My last post, a year ago, announced that I would have a piece at the Polymer Clay Exhibit at the Flow Space Gallery in St. Paul, Mn.   My piece, Diary of a Firefly, was displayed next to artists I have admired and wanted to emulate for a long time, Kathleen Dustin and Laurie Mika.  I couldn't believe it!  And, I took second place in the Emerging Artist category.  Woohoo!   A really cool cowgirl bought it, the funky and intrepid Sarah B.
This piece incorporates part of an old stained glass window my sister Bobby gave me, with a little flickering tea light behind it.  It is approx. 10" high and 3" deep.  I made a ton of polymer clay blades of grass, some using the Skinner technique to add gradations of color.  There is also commercial tile from an old, broken pseudo-Tiffany lamp that the owners of Your Art's Desire gave me.  I had so much fun making this.
So, here is what is going on now...Art-a-Whirl takes place May 16, 17 and 18 is the largest open studio art crawl in the United States (Yeah!  Right here in Northeast Minneapolis!)  30,000 people attend this each year and I will be at the Northrup King Building in Studio 394.  I am joining up with some other great artists and I have been working on my Magnus Opum; a buffalo skull my husband brought back from Oklahoma that I have glued a bazillion glass and fresh water pearls on.  It has a Burlesquish-theme and I am inviting you to come and see it!

30 May 2013

If you get a chance, head over to St. Paul (Minnesota, USA) and see this show.  Polymer Clay is slowly getting the Fine Art recognition it should, right here, at Flow Space.   (click on Flow Space.)

I am so honored to be part of this show, in with many of the polymer clay artists that I have admired and followed for years. 

11 May 2013

Sarah's Mirror
This was made for my artist friend, Sarah.  Sarah makes beautiful jewelry and this mirror doubles as home decor and a working mirror, as she can remove the banner held by the birds that will contain her business name.  It is (approx.) 14 inches high, and I created a few different planes of wood to give the facade some depth.  And then a whole lot of beads, glass and black grout.
Sarah's Mirror
 A few years ago, I was at Pike's Market in Seattle with my daughter.  We went into a crystal shop and I bought a peice of flourite.  It was so beautiful, with it's purple, green and crystaline planes.  I took a train to Portland and I just studied it in the sunlit window, as we passed the sea.  Fast forward a few years and I find the notes I had taken from the shop owner, about flourite's characteristics. I am reminded of the reasons I bought it; restoring one to their highest good, and making Order out of Chaos.  That is what this peice is called.  It is a shrine with a little tea light candle.  The base of the votive repeats, Order out of Chaos, Order out of Chaos..

It is 14 inches high and next week will be available at the Lanesboro Arts Center juried gallery shop.  Road Trip for me!  There will be other peices of mine available also.

Order out of Chaos

Don't forget to visit me at Art-a-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis next weekend, May 17-19, 2013.  It is so much fun.  I will be at the Sheridan School. 


07 February 2013

Hello everyone!  I am so flattered; a peice of my work has been accepted at 33 Contempo Gallery  in Chicago.  The show is called Copyright?.  It will open this month.
Here are a couple of other things I have been up to.  This image is The Petulant Magdalene, by El Greco.  I bought it in Sitges, Spain last summer.  I researched it and found it was in the public domain and then began beading and tiling around it.  It is a little over 11" tall.
  A view of the side, with handmade polymer clay tiles.  Tapestry tile inside the niche space.
A work in progress...this little shrine has a little crown that I purchased at a flea market in France.  I an not sure how old it is; you can get really old things over there.  Red mirrored tile and polymer clay shutters added to the foam and wood substrate; then a little piece of translucent glass that will house a votive candle.  There are lots of little flowers, beads and upholstery tacks embelishing the glass.  I still need to grout it and finish the inside of the niche space.  It is...10" tall, approximately. 
Okay, remember per my last blog entry, I am teaching a polymer clay class in Delano, MN,Feb 16.  Follow the link (scroll down) for more information.

21 January 2013

Brrrrrrr....it is below zero degrees in Minnesota and very windy.  It is a good time to stay in and create, which is what I have been doing for the last five days.  I thought I would show some more pics of what I have been up to over the winter (so far.)

This is a mirror I am making for a friend and is still a work in progress.  Lots and lots of beads, some tile and millefiore.  I will be grouting it in black soon.  I took an 8 x 10" frame and sculpted the extra "curls" with wood and apoxie.


Here is a buffalo skull Jeff brought back to me last year, after hunting in Arkansas.  I had just bought these beads and I was playing around, seeing what they would look like on the skull.  I hope to be showing some progress images soon on the buffalo skull; it will have none of these beads on it.  Instead, I am reinforcing the weak areas of the skull and priming it; preparing to put something totally different on it.  This is a very old skull and the sinuses keep flaking off and falling out.  Parts of it have cracked and, I have brushed the teeth several times.  Did you know that the horns are actually keratin, over bone, and this one's horns probably fell off a long time ago.  Stay tuned....

This is my fancy water holder. 
This is my studio.  It is painted "Provencial Lemon;" a color my son and Jeff helped me paint on shortly before I went to France last year.  This used to be the room the kids would hang out in and watch TV.  I would tell my son and his girlfriend, "I need to see some air between you two!"  Lots of gaming,movie watching, and when we were gone, the little angels "entertained" down here.  We knew it because the windows were left open (why?) 
One of my little angels is in Washington D.C. going to school now.  She was at the Presidential Inauguration today.  I heard many years ago that your kids will take you to new places; mine sure have.  I digress...back to art and a little announcement.
I am teaching a cute, little polymer clay tile class at the local library February 16, 2013.  The State of Minnesota has bequeathed monies to support the arts, The Legacy Fund.  So, I was asked to do this class and would love it if you attended.  It is a lot of fun for kids, as well as adults.
Delano Library (follow this link and it will take you right to the registration page.)
Aggghhhhh!  I have to go outside now.  Stay warm everybody!

13 January 2013

Hey! Here are a little bit better images of Dream Maker. I had mentioned before that I am trying to take my own photos and, I just got my editing program loaded.




 I am including an almost finished shrine, Order Out of Chaos. In the upcoming posts, I will include some more things I have been up too.


I created the substrate out of foam and wood; then began the mosaicing process.  The flowers are embellishments I purchased and painted; then gilded (when I grouted, the abrasive grout took the gilding off.  I will have to redo that.)  There is a battery-lit tea light inside the little balcony, which I also sculpted and cut glass for.  Polymer clay lines the inside of the niche.  When I finish it, there will be some text around the balcony that says Order out of Chaos, Order out of Chaos...or, something like that.  This is approximately 14" in height.

I wanted a little shrine to remind me that clarity comes with time and patience.