Saturday, May 31, 2008

Return from Vacation

My husband and I took an anniversary cruise - alone. The boys are four and a half and this was the first time both of us have been away from them over night. We all did fine and enjoyed ourselves. We love the Carribean. I never get used to the water. We went to Cozumel and rented a jeep to drive to the ocean side. The water, waves, and sand are beautiful. It's windy and the waves are vigorous- very different from the side next to coastline.

I'm rested and eager to get to some art projects. I have a couple of paintings on my mind and want to start working with my new encaustic medium. Also ready to get my hands in the mud again - it has been too long!

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Acorn to Oaks- Feed the Hungry - Boost Awareness

I've included in my favorite causes on this page. If you are an artist, they could be both a market and a cause for you. Acorn will open a gallery when the funds are raised (Houston) and sell donated art to support the nonprofit organization, raise community awareness, and provide funds to established assistance charities. When it is established it will be a venue in a large metropolitan area that one might not otherwise have access to.

Bigger, though, is the chance to do something about raging world hunger. Hungry children, families in camps, on the run, barely getting by. My heart aches.

Deborah, who is a founder and artist, makes beautiful earthenware an donates all her work to Acorn to Oaks. Please take a look at her pottery. They sell via Etsy ( ).

Please leave comments as to how you like it and any other sites that are art charities I should see. Thanks! Debra

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'm hung!

I got my photos hung in the coffee shop - Espressions in Aurora Nebraska. It was an exciting time, choosing spots, guaging height, and getting them up. I'm happy with them and will be happy to hang them at home when the month is over. I did, though, have momentary panic as I left after hanging them. "Oh, what if they're awful and everyone laughs or talks about how silly of me to hang them?". I soon calmed down and realized that they aren't matted as well as I'd like and the paper isn't just what I wanted, but I am happy with the images and happy to share them.

It feels so complete to actually mat, frame, and hang my photos. I ususally just review, tweak, and admire them and put them away. These are really done.

Now I want to turn to papers for my new printer. I'm very happy with the print and ink, just not satisfied with the papers I've found locally. I want to try art papers and some finishes that aren't glossy. I tried matte presentation paper and hated the result.

Now that the green is back in Nebraska, I'm ready for another big round of shooting. I have from now to November to capture this part of the state and our experience and scenery here.

I'd like to hear from others about inkjet papers for archival chrome inks.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Holy Cow - Mat cutting

Oh, my! I decided to cut my own mats. I think I've got it now, but I cut 5 mats before I got one photo framed tonite. It was a double mat, so not too bad; but I thought I had all the technique and measurements right. When I got the blade down far enough, I had calculated the inner mat wrong. Well, I'm glad to have it done and know I can do it. I'm using Logan equipment - free standing cutters and ruler. Precision is good - the cutter's that is!


I'm preparing for my first show. It is small, in a great coffee house. I'm excited. I'll have about 8 pieces, all photographs except one small mixed media collage that started with a photo.

The largest piece is a 4 panel window I found in the barn under hay and worse. The glass is intact and I'm putting 4 photos bordered in black behind the glass, unpainted wood side out. It is very rustic and the images are all farming related.

The smallest is about 3 by 9, a triptic of the photo on my website ( banner.

Wish me luck! I just hope someone gets something from my work.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Are these just cans in the grass?

When I find a site where I want to shoot, I don't always know why or what meaning or feeling it evokes. I am just drawn to it or see light and shadow or color I like. Sometimes, after the picture is taken, sometimes weeks after, I really look at it and see reasons for it.

This is one of those pictures. I was shooting a barn and as I walked to another side, I saw these old cans in the field. I liked the look of them and took several shots. Now I've taken time to really look at this one, my favorite. First, I like the rust on top and the rich color of it, especially with the silver/blue of the can and sky. Then I notice the shape of the rust as it meets the silver on the front can. What an intricate and sharp edge, just from elements working on metal.

The cans are practical and solid. Around them the weeds and grasses are like lace, so fragile, so tangled. I like the crispness of the grass against the smooth solid side of the can. So what could the rust against silver, grass against metal represent or suggest?

Could be
  • survival - both the metal and the grass have survived winter cold, snow, and ice; the cans have survived years in the elements

  • usefulness discarded, hard work in days gone by

  • refusal to give up - both cans are damaged as well as aged and yet they are present and to me, at least, artful

  • beauty in the ordinary

  • aged beauty

  • history, stories of lives past

  • what else?

This image suggests coolness and calm to me. Of course, I was there and it was cold; but I think it is the coolness of the colors and the starkness of the shapes. Do I see myself or my life there? Practicality, certainly -I could always be washing clothes and dishes, sweeping, picking up, cooking and shopping - everyday practical tasks. Calmness, these days, no, not with two four year olds! :-)

What about internally, less concretely? Boy, I would like to think I am the sturdy, practical, surviving being that has its own beauty. Well, I guess, actually, I am. I am not, however, discarded! I still have lots of life to do.

I hope this image evokes something for you and that you will take time to look at it, at life images, and at other art in this way. It can be quite interesting and revealing.