Inspired By

Illumination

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We had Logan, and Lina’s best friend Emma, over for dinner last night. Emma wanted a photo of our new “Pixar” standing lamp so she asked Logan to take a picture of her next to the lamp using her iPhone. This is the photo. One click. No special filter. All I did was cut out his thumb from the lower left corner.

The world is an amazing place filtered through the lens of an Aspie.

HeARTy Birthday, Pat Oleszko!

In case you ever start to take yourself, or especially your art, too seriously you should spend a little time with New York’s inflatable art vamp, the Grande Dame of ribald performance art, Pat Oleszko.

She’s a complete loon.

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Pat has cut a sassy swath from burlesque dives to NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, with her unrepentant comic, and social critiques using film, performances, and installations.

She has even performed “Shakespeare in the Bark.”

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Here she is as “The Pasta Madonna” from the Roamin’ Holiday: A View From a Broad.

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And here as “The Glad-He-Ate-Her” from the Roamin’ Holiday: A View From a Broad.

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Go see lots more at her website and then, lean out a window wherever you are, and shout out “HeARTy Birthday, Pat Oleszko!” because today’s her happy day!!

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Confluence

I’ve been working on a woodcut for a collaborative print which I’ll be producing with three other artists at Wingtip Press. Our piece features a bird’s eye view of the Boise River which runs through each of our very differently patterned blocks and ties the four pieces together. Each of us chose a theme appropriate to the river — cottonwood fluff, a nest of goose eggs in the tall grass, trees along the river’s bank, and my block which has an overall pattern of feathers.

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The process of creating the block has been really satisfying as I had forgotten how much fun it is to carve one, and then be able to make multiple images. I literally had not carved a block since I was 9 years old!

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While all of this was going on, I got together with a new friend I met a year ago but had not been able to reconnect with until now, and who I’m sure I’ll be sharing more information about in future posts — Betsy Balch. Betsy designs scarves which she produces and sells, and I have one of her beautiful cashmere “bandana” designs (which is frankly awesome with my painted cowgirl boots!).

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Betsy loaned me one of her favorite inspiration books (which I will also be covering in a future post) called The Printed Square which is a picture book of vintage handkerchiefs like this one:

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Now, I don’t know about you, but my mind can’t help but make one of those “SET” combinations I’m so fond of out of all of these things. And then, throw in the Boise river too, and what have we got? We’ve got confluence!

Confluence: the coming together of 2 or more streams, people, or things; their place of junction; assemblage.

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I LOVE this kind of thing! Birds of a feather coming together my peeps. Birds of a feather!

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Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff

I’m sure you’re familiar with this sentiment, and maybe even with this poster by Fred Babb…

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which pretty much sums up the time that I have spent NOT working on this blog in the past few days, as well my excuse for what will probably amount to very spotty blog posting in the next couple of weeks.

I have a crapton of work to do for my public art piece for Treefort which needs to be done by the first week in March and I am simultaneously selecting, arranging, and hanging the TVAA exhibition “Metamorphosis” opening at the offices of Boise State Public Radio on March 7th. Plus I have a little project called “See Spot Walk” which needs my attention. Just sayin’.

So to inspire you to go to YOUR studio and make stuff in the hope that time will fly by for all of us, here are some photos from the studio of Marilyn Frazier.

We had Art Friday at her home last week and Marilyn let me take some pictures to share with you…

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These are some papers which have been painted and stenciled and which will be used as book covers or on boxes.

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You can always find a sharpened pencil in Marilyn’s studio!

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Each of these books is handmade by Marilyn. She paints the papers, and sews the bindings choosing the beads the way you would decide which necklace best complimented your dress.

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Lots of little boxes, some covered with painted papers.

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Work in progress.

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The view from Marilyn’s studio out to her garden and the chicken and duck run. The very happy chickens’ and ducks’ run. Marilyn is a vegetarian.

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More beautiful books completely handmade by Marilyn.

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Just in case you were wondering what you should make once you get to your studio.

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My plan is to continue dervishing (I just decided to make that the adjective, whirling is so tired) away in MY studio and I will blog visual updates as I’m able.

Meanwhile I’m trying to convince Lula to take over the blog for me — just until I can get through the next few weeks.

Does she look convinced?

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Well, we’ll see you when we see you!

Inspired By: Barbara Bowling

I love it when I can get out of my studio and into another artist’s. Especially if the other artist also has a really cool house and a sweet dog (who is very tolerant of Lula careening around in her space), and the artist makes me lunch, and we spend all afternoon yakking.

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I’ve mentioned Barbara here before. We’ve got that 1 degree of separation thang going on that runs rampant in Boise. I love Boise.

Anyway, Barbara’s studio is top notch. She has a separate space for metal smithing…

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where she makes covetable jewelry like this beautiful brooch…

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Barbara is on a mission to bring back the brooch. (Get them while you can, she may be moving on to tiaras next!)

She also has another room especially for enameling.

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There were several enamel pieces displayed throughout the studio, many of which featured images of beloved canine family members, both past and present.

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This is Lacey, canine family member, present. Such a sweetie.

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(Lacey found Barbara, like Snug and Lula found me — at the Idaho Humane Societythey should call themselves Best Friends R Us.)

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But I digress.

Barbara has a PhD. in Horticulture which means she can tell you’ve been cheatin’ if the leaves on the blackberry bush you painted wouldn’t leave teeth marks if they bit you — how’s that for esoteric botanical humor?

Actually it means many of the pieces she fabricates are botanically correct. Which isn’t nearly as dirty as it sounds. Dang it.

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She also fabricates enamel jewelry using the technique called cloisonne which she explains on her website.

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In fact, Barbara is teaching a sold out class on enameling for Community Education for the City of Boise right now. Another will be available in the Spring (3/31 – 5/19, 6:30PM – 9:30PM Mondays) and you can find out more by calling (208)608-7680.

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Thank you Barbara and Lacey for letting Lula and me spend the afternoon with you. We are inspired!

Inspired: Leise Dich Abrahamsen

I’ve been playing hooky today, surfing the web and reading my favorite blogs, and as I was thoroughly enjoying myself I kept thinking of people who would be inspired by many of these sites, might not be aware of their existence, and would appreciate an introduction to them. I’m only going to share one with you today — but she’s a good one!

Meet Leise Dich Abrahamsen:

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Leise is Danish, and she lives and creates wonderful accessories, objects, and pieces of art in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her label is fra leise and her blog address is fraleise.blogspot.com

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Leise turned her studio into a little shop and her inventory changes with the seasons and her inspiration. Her blog is filled with photos of things which inspire her, like the pattern of this knitted blanket:

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as well as photos of her finished work, like these framed prints and collages:

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She works in a variety of media including textiles, wood, and paper, and she’s also a painter and printmaker. She makes cloth cuff bracelets:

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and embroiders, (I think I read this is an iPhone case!):

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She makes toys:

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paintings, collages, and prints:

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One of the most charming things about Leise’s blog is that English is not her first language and so her posts are written in what amounts to phonetic English with a Danish accent. I guess their w’s sound like v’s and vice-versa because “sewn” is spelled “sevn” and when her friends helped her rearrange her studio they “mowed” things for her. So sveet!

Check Leise’s blog out. I’m sure you will be inspired.