going retro

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Anyone that has been in my studio or my classes, knows that I have been practicing art journaling for several years now.  It has gotten me through times when I just didn’t have any fresh new paintings in me.  Since I was in elementary school, I have loved collage.  I used to make calendars for my mom for Christmas, creating a different theme for each month and hand-drawing the calendar (this was way before Microsoft Word.  No PCs in my house).    I loved collecting images and then putting them together thematically, and the cutting and pasting is still as thrilling to me as it was in my childhood.

I have a growing collection of vintage magazines, including McCall’s, Good Housekeeping Life, Newsweek and National Geographic.  I am interested in the stories as well as the advertising.  I honestly don’t know how women made it in the 40’s – 70’s  (although many of those same ideals and expectations are still around for us today).  But I find the glamour mesmerizing, as well as the rationale that the softness of your hands after washing dishes will positively affect your husband’s desire for you.

In my new Retro Art Journaling class, I’m sharing my vintage magazines with you as we create some fun journals.  The base of these journals will be booklet cookbooks, so many of your backgrounds will already be in place.  We’ll use collage, paint, markers, gel pens and more to create one-of-a-kind art books. I personally have created a couple of these retro-themed books and have loved it.  I know you will, too.

Find out more about this new class by clicking HERE.

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art in the metroplex

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Last Friday I went to the opening of the Art in the Metroplex show at the Ft. Worth Creative Arts Center, where my piece “Anomaly” was included in the exhibit.

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A tradition in the area since 1983, the show was founded by a group of artists including Beth Lea Clardy, in collaboration with Texas Christian University Art Department faculty and staff. In 2014, the show was moved to the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. This year, over 200 artists entered the competition and Juror Peter Doroshenko of the Dallas Contemporary selected 34 pieces of the 600 submitted. (source:  fwcac.com).

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The Ft. Worth Creative Arts Center is located right in the museum district of Ft. Worth, right by the Amon Carter Museum and the Will Rogers Memorial Center, and just a half block from the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth.

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There’s my painting at the far left of the wall.

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Gallery Talk by Juror Peter Doroshenko of the Dallas Contemporary
Gallery Talk by Juror Peter Doroshenko of the Dallas Contemporary

The show is up through October 29, so stop by and see it if you’re near downtown Ft. Worth.  There are some fantastic exhibits in the nearby museums (including Kahinde Wiley at the Modern), so make a day of it!

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hot mess


Productivity is never pretty around here. Making art is like childbirth to me. I start out hopeful and full of promise.  At some point it makes me sick (I call it the “ugly phase”), but I keep going, knowing it’s worth the struggle. And toward the end, I will do anything – endure any torture – to get this thing finished and out of my space.


I have been finishing three new comissioned pieces – I just returned from installing one, and two more are awaiting delivery this week.

completed art for the offices of David Kesel, CPA

Meanwhile, my studio is ashambles. Unlike childbirth, there is no nesting going on here, just complete  violent, creative chaos.


As I came back into the studio this afternoon, the amount of stuff I have strewn everywhere is insane.  Paint, dirty brushes, bits of cut paper all over the table and floor, awaiting placement on some collage or journal.

 Project ideas, notes scribbled on lined paper that was torn out of some book.  Scissors, glazing medium, screwdrivers, nails, art supply catalogs, plastic bags, ideas for teaching art projects…

But it means I have been making art, and that is good. 

The A/C went out last week, just in time for summer’s last stand.   Fortunately, I am married to quite a handy man. He’s helping me out by installing a fan today.  Come on, cool weather, I need you.


And, athough I’m exhausted, I’m really thankful for this hot mess of a studio.

On to making more art.

the raven

  

If you’ve read many of my posts or been to my place, you’ll see that my garden is an extension of my studio, and a huge source of inspiration and reprieve for me.  The studio structure is a converted two-car garage, and when we moved in, there was no garden to speak of. So when we designed the interior space and added a window, the view wasn’t as big of a concern as it should have been.  (Hindsight). Fortunately, the garage also had a screened-in porch attached, and that has become one of my favorite places to think.  

  

 

This weekend, my hubby helped me out by making a little writing desk out of an old wooden palette.  It works perfectly in the space, allowing me to overlook the garden and stay mosquito-free at the same time (a huge task around here).  He lovingly named it “The Raven” a testament to his sense of humor, and a nod to his inner Mad Hatter.  

flashback to Halloween 2010

For some, rainy days and Mondays are big downers, but I happen to love both (However, I currently don’t report to “work” on most Mondays, so that most likely determines my affection). This morning brought spring rains, and I was able to clear my head while enjoying the vibrant beauty of the garden. The birds sang happily.  I even made a quirky little poem to memorialize the moment:

 

   

 

 

   And as I’m wrapping up this post, guess who perched outside my back door?   

The raven’s unglamorous Texas cousin, the grackle (as seen through the screen, from my new desk).

“Forevermore.” 

perfect 

Seems spring only lasts a couple of weeks here in north Texas. Soon the heat will be sweltering and the humidity high. So on perfect spring days like today, I have the windows and doors open, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and the paint is flowing. 

                 

look around

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Here are some photos of my current solo exhibit, “Look Around,”  which opened on Friday, January 9 at thegallery8680.  It was a bitterly cold night (by Texas standards), but we still had a great turnout.

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Robyn always has the most beautiful reception table — a work of art in itself.

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Works on paper in the front gallery.

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insightful

There will be a closing reception this Sunday, January 25 from 2-4pm.

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I’ll be sad to take it down – I liked each piece in my studio, but hanging my art in the gallery really transformed the work into a cohesive unit.  Here are some pieces that will have a new home after the show.

Perception
Perception
Bravely Done
Bravely Done
Tree of Life
Tree of Life