2D & 3D

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy…!

When my kids were little the three of us spent a lot of time watching Sesame Street together. One of the Bert and Ernie sketches had the two of them in a rowboat, fishing — without any luck, until Ernie had the bright idea to just call the fish. “Here fishy, fishy, fishy!” And suddenly fish were flying out of the water and into their boat.

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There was another little “mini documentary” about an Eskimo child and her day to day life which had one line in it that Lina and I still quote pretty much any time there’s salmon for dinner: “I realllly, realllly like feeesh!”

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Well. I DO really, really like fish, so I am having a great time creating a series of 10 small tarps which will be hung on the framework of the patio railing at Reel Foods on Capitol Blvd. starting in July, and running through September into October, depending on the weather.

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I’ve completed the first layer on all 10 — they are cut and taped — and will start in soon on the second layer of Sharpie and paint pen “grafitti.”

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Meanwhile, I am getting everything ready for our Open House this Saturday. (You can see my announcement about it on the TVAA website Community Post here.) My plan is to hang some of the tarps on our fence out front, in the hope of catching the eyes of passing house-hunters.

House-fishermen?

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Here fishy, fishy, fishy…!

Art Journal Preview #2 – Painted Rugs

An idea I’ve found intriguing ever since I saw it done in Leo Adams house in the book Renovate, is the painting of rugs directly on large 8′ x 4′ pieces of masonite.

In my own home I just paint the rugs directly on the floor. Which is great until you decide to move to a new house.

The second art journal I’m previewing, before our panel discussion on Art Journaling, is one in which I painted acrylic paintings of painted rugs in 8″ x 4″ sections to give me an idea of what they might look like 12 times that size…

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Tomorrow I’ll have a third art journal preview for you — of my “Inspiration Book”. It’s kind of a “bucket” for the visual lists of things I want, or want to do, or want to make. I liked filling it so much I’ve started a second one which I will bring with me to the “show and tell,” but you’ll have to come to the panel discussion on Monday to see that one in person!

We Ink it Up & Pull it Off…

Our background prints had two orbits of the sun to dry, so first thing this Monday morning, Terry, Marilyn, Shirley — my mom, and I were back at Wingtip Press to ink up our second blocks and pull our final prints.

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Terry would have to do the math to tell you the number of variables we had with 4 artists, 10 blocks (I had 4 not 2), 5 colors, and any number of fractions of inches of difference between river connections twixt the blocks.

But, even I can tell you this…registration is very tricky!

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Each of our prints is slightly different, but each is also beautiful in its own way.

Here you can see the variation between two of them:

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and…

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I even think the blocks themselves are beautiful after we’ve pulled the prints:

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Now all that remains to be done is to select the print we will show in the TVAA exhibition of collaborative works which will be hung in the offices of Boise State Public Radio.

That exhibition will be called “Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion” and opens June 6, 2014, so go ahead and mark your calendar.

In ink.

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Laying the Groundwork

Dang. I was really hoping to have a nice tidy post with a whole “start to finish” story laid out for you about the wood cut collaborative print I’m working on. But things are never tidy that way are they?

And there’s the rub.

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Well, actually there’s the rubbing of our four blocks after we carved them, and before we printed them. My feathers are at the top.

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Today we met at Wingtip Press and set up to begin printing the background layer of our prints.

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Luckily Terry Burkes is one of the artists collaborating on this project and she is good with numbers and geometry and quadratic equations and how long it takes to orbit the Earth, and other important things you need to know when you are printing more than one color with more than one block and making more than one print. If you know what I mean. (And good on you if you do, because I have no idea what I’m talking about.)

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We made 9 prints with our background colors of Crimson and Yellow Ochre. You can see the blocks above which are inked and ready for the paper to be placed, pressed, and the print pulled.

Next week we’ll be back in the studio doing the second layer, with the detailed images in the rubbing above, using darker cool colors. They are going to be beautiful — and in this case, I know exactly what I’m talking about.

WORN…Lula

To be perfectly honest, this is the way Lula prefers to spend her days — au naturel — just the way DOG made her.

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But, it’s too cold and snowy lately, and Lula tends to tip over a bit more than most pups, so “clothing” is generally a good idea this time of year.

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Besides, Lula is a girly-girl, which means she likes to dress-up and she tends to follow the same blogs I do. That’s how she knows that bloggers like to post about what they are wearing. One of the blogs we read regularly calls that segment “Worn.”

I’m going to tell you right now, other than painting my boots, I don’t plan to share my wardrobe with you. Lula, however, is her own dog. And this is Lula’s wardrobe:

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And this is Lula’s wardrobe after I “painted” it with a few different filters:

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Up to now I’ve only painted a portrait of Lula in an imaginary spotted coat, but I look forward to creating some artsy wearables for her soon.

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2D or 3D, I know she will wear it well!

Plans for Treefort Public Art

I finally made it to Whew!

You may remember the tiniest amount of whining and self pity emitting from this blog as I struggled with my first big important project for 2014 — designing a public art piece for the Treefort Music Fest, March 20 – 23. Oh come on, I wasn’t that bad!

My plan is to create giant “papel picado” similar to the banners we string up on our patios to make it festive. All with a nod to tree forts and music.

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I plan to make up to seven of these using 10 ft. square vinyl tarps, which happen to come in an amazing array of colors: blue, green, red, orange, silver, brown, black…

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then string them together just like the papel picado banners they are modeled on, and hang them the length of a building in downtown Boise. Not just any building. My bright eyed friends will recognize this immediately as the back wall of the Record Exhange.

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There are two other terrific artists, Mike Landa and Bobby Gaytan who are designing projects as well. All three of us have gotten approval up to this point — actually we were told our concepts were “wildly positively approved” — and let me tell you, that feels great!

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Now I am waiting for final approval from the building owners to hang my piece at this site. I hope to hear this week, and the minute I do I will be buying a rainbow assortment of vinyl tarps.

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Gotta tell you, I have lived in Boise off and on for 23 years, have never claimed to be anything but a city girl (Why do we camp?), and frankly I’m relieved to finally find a purpose for these tarps that makes perfect sense to me.

Now get ready to listen to me whine about how much work it is to cut out 700 sq. ft. of vinyl.

Just keep those triple shot breve lattes coming!

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Eye of the Beholder

I could have saved this for a Second Helpings post, but it’s actually a multipurpose post because it’s subject is also Christmas themed, and it shows how I work in both 2D and 3D and sometimes the two approaches inform each other.

Meet my multifaceted friends:

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If the Chambers were tiny wooden reindeer cut out of some 1960’s hobbyshop kit we would look just like this: Ma, Pa, Sissy, and Lil Smack.

You don’t even have to ask. You already know that I found them in a secondhand shop, unpainted, unloved. Missing a googley eye here and there. $1.99 for the ziplock bagful. There were more than just the first four…

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Lil Smack had a friend. (Both of them have issues making eye contact.) And then there were a couple more that found their way to me as well. Herding instinct is a powerful thing.

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It should also come as no surprise that I saw through their plain brown exteriors to their true, technicolor personalities waiting to burst out. Acrylic paint and tiny brush to the rescue once again.

I bring these guys out every Christmas and finagle them into the decorations some place different every time. This year they’re in the new cozy dining room:

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I had so much fun painting these reindeer that in turn they inspired a 2D painting which hung in TVAA’s first Foray exhibit two years ago. The painting was done in a combination of watercolor and acrylic. It’s one of my pieces which is available as an archival giclee print. The title of the painting is “Democrats in Idaho.”

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You might have to actually live here to understand why that’s funny, but you don’t have to live here to look at these guys and have them make you smile. Nevermind their inability to return the eye contact!

Le Boi-cycle

Having the book signing this week for Local Color – Boise 150 at Rediscovered Books reminded me what a big job it was, of all the time and effort we invested this year producing the catalog and putting on the exhibition. But more importantly it reminded me that the whole point of the project was our wish to show our affection for Boise through our artwork.

Every piece in this show was a little love letter to Boise and mine addressed two of Boise’s best loved features: her four seasons, and the Greenbelt which literally runs through the heart of town. The way I enjoy the Greenbelt most is cruising it on my bike, and so for “Le Boi-cycle” my bike became the Greenbelt.

I had a metal toy bicycle which I painted with acrylic paint meant for painting on metal, and I glued on tiny people from the hobby store — the ones that live in tiny railroad towns.

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And then I painted a watercolor painting of the little 3D model and THAT is the piece which was in the Local Color exhibition and catalog.

Le Boi-cycle

Around the runners, around the puddles, around and around go the wheels of my bike. It’s spring. Past the blackbirds trilling on cattails, dodging squirrels and commuter ducks, around the green tailored grounds where small white balls ruin perfectly good walks. It’s summer. Spinning past students, and the stadium cheering in blue and orange, geese honking overhead. It’s fall. Crunching through snow and sli-i-iding on ice, rounding the bend…and there are deer. It’s winter. Around and around go the wheels of my bike. Around and around the seasons cycle.

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This one’s for you Boise. SWAK

Evolution of a Theme

Yesterday I mentioned that quilts show up all the time in my work. As I sit here running through the house in my head taking an inventory of my art, I would venture a guess that were you to remove all the pieces that were inspired by, featured, or actually were quilts, you would assume that Mike lived here by himself, or at the very least that we only hung his art.

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Quilts started showing up with my art and domesticity mashup which occurred with the introduction of one Carolina Lorraine Chambers…

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followed seventeen months later by Logan Blackburn Chambers….

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I did say “mashup” right? I think that about covers it. Logan was born on Christmas Day (Surprise! He was due on the 29th.) and so I painted his first portrait with Christmas quilt patterns: Star of Bethlehem and Fir Trees.

I don’t spend a lot of time analyzing what I do, I just do it. Action Girl, ON IT! But it has always been clear to me that what is considered to be “woman’s work” is an art, Domestic Art if you will, and should be celebrated. Quilts show up in my artwork all the time because to me quilts are a “signifier” (damn that Art Criticism class) of home, family, connection, story and tribe.

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My tribe is made up of those who make art, who make home, and who make the two inseparable.

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Lina is all grown up now and organizing her own Big Ass closet in Chicago. Logan is getting ready to move into his new house next week. And still the theme goes on: I am starting a new painting of hot air balloons each with a different quilt pattern…Up, up and away? (Oh, you sly subconscious.) My guess is quilts will always be present in my home and in my art.

Besides, a quilt works great as a superhero cape in a pinch!

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