Monthly Archives

December 2013

Jolly Man’s Trusty Krewe

By | Holidaze

We all know Santa wouldn’t get anywhere without his trusty reindeer and so it goes without saying my Jolly Man has his own Krewe as well….

There’s Orangina:
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and Frida:
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Carl Jung:
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and Brownie:
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King Tut:
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and Camille, who always has a bit of a cough:
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Here’s hoping your Holiday Spirit has as happy a lift off!

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Art you glad it’s December!

By | Holidaze

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I am a visual learner and I’m an artist. I see things in my mind first and then “create” them in the material world — that’s what we artists do. But I also see things in the world around me which I haven’t created or seen in my mind first and those things bring out emotions or ideas which lead to new “creations.”

All of which is a very convoluted, philosophical way of saying that the absolutely quickest way for me to get into the holiday spirit is to bring on the visuals: trees, ornaments, lights…ACTION!

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Being in the holiday spirit is in itself a convoluted and philosophical topic. One which I will leave to others, and will instead touch on only in regard to making fun stuff to decorate with during the Winter Hoo-rahs.

You know “I Paint Everything!” — so when I find something which is actually supposed to be painted my inclination is to do it differently from the standard expectation. Make it mine.

This papier mache Santa is right at home with all my painted patterns, and he looks quite a bit like a much taller jolly man who lives here year round. I’d say I made him mine.

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Now he’s a regular part of my Winter decorating and every December he helps me get into the holiday spirit so I can make more fun stuff and enjoy the season. More of my “creations” in the days ahead, but for now…HOO-RAH!

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Second Helpings: Gee’s Bend Jewelry Box

By | Second Helpings

Jewelry boxes and chests in all variations of delicacy and heft can be found crammed in with the mismatched sets of salad bowls and oddly shaped cutting boards from well intentioned children’s shop class Christmas projects at your favorite secondhand store. My personal favorites are the jewelry boxes which never saw the mass market. Like this one.

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This is a wooden box with metal hardware, which I painted with acrylic paint. The kind of acrylic paint you can buy at any art supply or craft store for less than a dollar, in a hundred different colors with names like Tuscan Red or Bluegrass Green.

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When the box was completely painted I sealed it with Minwax Polycrylic water based acrylic sealer. I go through gallons of this stuff. It comes in satin and gloss finishes, washes up with water, and forms a clear, hard, protective surface that you can literally walk on — it’s the same sealer I use on the rugs I paint on the floor, like the one I just finished in my dining room.

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What made this project special was my inspiration. Ever since I saw a traveling exhibition of the Quilts of Gee’s Bend at the Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI in 2004 I have been over the moon for their patterns. I have a book of 30 postcards from that show which I refer to over and over.

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I referred to at least six of the quilts for this jewelry box like this one called “Medallion” by Loretta Pettway for the top:

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and “Strips” by Annie Mae Young for the inside front:

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The inside of the doors was inspired by “Pig in a Pen” by Minnie Sue Coleman:

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“Housetop” four-block “Half Log Cabin” variation by Lottie Mooney inspired the right side of the jewelry box:

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A quilt by Martha Jane Pettway described as only a center medallion with multiple borders and cornerstones is on the left side:

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And on the back, one of my absolute favorites, “Bars and String-pieced Columns” by Jessie T. Pettway:

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So much of my surface pattern design is inspired or informed by patterns from other cultures, or as I’ve mentioned before from the traditional or domestic arts. My intention is never to copy exactly — though the element of “flattery” in this piece is obvious — rather to use the patterns together to form something new. The inspiration for this piece came from quilts but the end result would barely cover your lap, much less look good spread on your bed. The end result in my opinion is, nevertheless, a treasure.

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