Thursday, August 14, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

July...Seasons of the Heart.....

Wow, nearing the finish line. Of course, anything having to do with hearts is right up my alley. This piece again was influenced by recent events. Also, I am still totally under the spell of Illuminated Manuscripts, so I used that border and then added the rubber stamped woman, who is heart-broken, with a crystal tear falling from her eye. This piece just sort of intuitively came to the surface....and I left it simple, barely touched.

Lay Me Down...too!

Since the recent diagnosis of my husband's prostate cancer, everything has taken on a new significance or atleast my perspective has been altered. Stephanie's theme had me stumped for awhile, nothing was coming. (plus we have been in the midst of surgery, etc) Then all of the pieces came together as I created this little shrine using the back side of the canvas, like a box. In the center is a metal box or coffin, containing a small skeleton. On either side are images that represent the sun and the moon, man and woman, husband and wife....I guess the duality of nature, life and death. The phrase which comes from wedding vows seemed like the appropriate title.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lay Me Down

I saw this one in my head long before I made it. Then I still had to make the elements, one of which is a linoleum carving I made of a woman who looks like me. I wrote a little song/note called "Song by me to get buried". It was fun and light hearted, not the heavy and somber attitude I used to associate with death. I applied it as a transfer under the pattern I created on acetate on the left.

All of these have been a stretch because I was not used to making a picture. Whether on canvas or board or paper, I just tried to do something different to experience a new thing. I am very happy to be part of this talented group. Now, what to do for the last two themes? I don't know yet...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lay Me Down

Most of my art is in my journals.  But recently several pages were published in a book and now I'm part of this group.  I'm coming out with my art just a little bit.  At first I was nervous, but it has been fun and a stretch, especially when I heard there were themes involved!  Project Eight is about 8 artists, 8 months, eight 8x8 pieces of art, all made 2008.  My birthday this year?

Seasons of the Heart

I will admit that this is the second time I painted this--the first was in my journal with big words, "I see pregnant people."  My son is about to be a daddy and my heart is full.  My favorite part is the belly!  

Animal Dreams

This theme was a real challenge.  I put off doing it until one day I just sat down with a 'what the heck' attitude and this emerged.  I like that once finished I had no idea what it was about.  A friend saw it and exclaimed, "Sheep counting people!"


This is Aunt Evelyn, my dad's mother's sister who died before I was born.  All I know about Evelyn is she drank a lot and never married! And that she was pretty and looked a bit like a flapper girl.  I have a pic of the family farm she lived in as a girl but it was too deteriorated to use in the background so I took the liberty of putting the picture of the lakeside resort that my great-grandparents on my maternal side of the family began in 1908 and was, sadly, sold last year. It isn't my thing to paint with the intention of a realistic rendering, but I've wanted to paint her for a while.  It does look like her a bit, huh!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One To Go

My 8x8 of "Seasons of the Heart". Whew! Only one to go.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Almost Done!

A Season In My Heart

Lay Me Down

When Animals Dream

Ancestors (eek)

Sorry I haven't been more active on this blog lately. Between travels, I've had a hell of a time w/ my computer overheating, so I've only been using it when absolutely necessary.

I just love all of the new work on here, you've all done amazing work!

I spent a week up in the mountains above Santa Fe recently & cranked these last 4 canvases up there. I really love working with a theme, it throws in a nice little challenge that, once I work through it, it's really wonderful to get to the other side & to see what comes from it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'm Caught Up

Yay for me. The first one is "Ancestors" and shows my mom and dad, aunt, sister, great-grandma and grandpa. His class picture was taken in 1906 and that is him in the back row with the hat on.

The second picture is "Animal Dreams". I cast a frozen Charlotte Doll that Judy gave me in plaster and painted the rest.

This third canvas is "Lay Me Down" and the head, hand and baby were each cast in plaster from doll parts and then worked into the painting. It might seem ominous to some but to me when we die we return to 'mother' from whence we came and all is perfect peace. I thought the Jesus baby was perfect to symbolize this.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

April - Ancestors

Here is my piece for the theme called "Ancestors".

In it I used a picture of two af my grandparents on the top of the canvas. I used a paint over technique I had heard of recently to alter their faces a little so it looks like they could almost be anyone. A bit illusory because I never actually knew them. They look pretty formal, which is something I do associate with another country and another time. Between them are three people I stencilled in, "ghosts", people from the past. Underneath in the photo are a few people with my mother on the left studying to become Canadian citizens. I had fun altering their faces and messing with their eyes. All these people may be gone now. Sort of spooky, don't you think?

I attached an old fraying piece of my family's lace to the center dividing it almost in half. With some of the remaining netting from the lace, I painted and then pressed on the pattern to make a slight vignette feeling.

My second one is for the theme called "Animal Dreams".

For this one I used the interactive program called "the scribbler" from zefrank to make a number of surreal looking animals. From the bottom left are: a horse, dreaming of a dog and a snake - what it is comfortable with and what it fears, the dog, dreaming of a cat and a rabbit - things dogs chase and react to, the cat, dreaming of wings, a bird and a mouse, and whatever the others are dreaming of is a mystery for this piece. They each have their own comfortable pillow because since I am human, I usually project my own motivations onto animals and it also makes them all look cozy. This is fantasy after all!

I used a little bit of glass glitter in three colors to give it a twinkly party atmosphere. Go ahead, you can laugh but I think the animals look pretty good.

Good things come to those who complete their projects.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

May Project

HI guys,
It has been awfully quiet here at Project Eight....anyway, this is my May contribution! Pretty dang bright, but heck, that's what happens when animals dream! Hope to see some of you back here soon. I know life gets busy.....mine sure has.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

April- Albie Smith

May- Albie Smith

This one is mixed media. I was attracted to some photos in a magazine and liked the idea of the zebra physically close to the person. I collaged from various photos and painted over most of them. On my trip to Africa we saw many zebra and they were very wary, a male leader keeping the herd behind him, staying on the alert so that the others could feed while he watched for danger. The zebra in my painting seems to be taking some time off and just being, strolling along with his eyes closed and the human is alert, focused. It all came together in a very dreamy state which is the way I enjoy painting.

Monday, May 12, 2008

May Theme

Man, here we are halfway into May and I haven't posted the May theme yet.

So here it is: "Animal Dreams".

Interpret it any way you choose.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Here is my April piece. It is my family tree with photos of us as the leaves on the tree. Represented are my great grandmother (at the top) and then my grandmother and parents and siblings! I used spackle as a base coat to build up layers which I stamped into......and have been having fun playing with that. It makes a great ground. I also used my new white Uniball marker which I kind of got carried away with.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Well, just a little late but here is my piece from March.
It's been sitting on my desk forever & I hated it, but I finally tweaked it enough to call it done.
The dress is made of springs from an old typewriter & fibers, hence the "spring" part of the theme.
OK, onward to my ancestors!

Monday, March 31, 2008

March - Heralding Spring

I created this encaustic in January but today the sun is almost out so I will post this now hoping that spring is finally here. It's sure been a dreary month in Portland.

Herald Spring, then Summer

Herald Spring? It has snowed each of the last three days! But the sun is out today and I have a bit of spring fever. Tomorrow is April already. Love seeing all of your artworks, dear Project Eight ladies!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mad as a March Hare!

I went with the first title and I got kind of carried away and made two. I love the idea of the whole mad thing and trying to evoke it in a piece of art. So here are two hares and each one has a mad streak.

They are both made of ceramic and then glazed with iron oxide on the bodies and a little black, pink and clear where needed and fired in my ceramic kiln. I used small brass pins to tack some quilted red satin to a piece of wood, a "padded room" for my characters.

I made the conventional one first and then I made the second one using a knife to cut small slabs off my block of clay and attached them as is to give it a particularly crazy look. You all can vote and help me decide which one to send in when the time comes.

I feel kind of mad myself right now as I contemplate packing for Artfest. I know it will get done. I just have to start.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hi all, I have been immersed in travel, recovering from travel and prepping for classes and building up stock and alas, the project- eight pieces have had a hard time being born. However, I am getting in gear, sort of. Well, first gear anyway. The red piece is, well, my red offering. The other is my mandala which is a piece of my handmade paper mounted on an Ampersand cradled board. Happy Spring, Albie

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Spring has Sprung!

Hi Gang of Eight, This is my March piece, "Herald Spring". I thought about doing a March Hare collage but I am currently so hung up on illuminated manuscripts, esp. after a recent trip to London where we visited the British Library. The British Library was one of the highlights of the trip. It has the most amazing collection of original source documents like the Magna Carta, The Guttenburg Bible, the original Alice in Wonderland, Beatles songs written on napkins, Wagner operas, Da Vinci's drawings and of course, the Lindisfarne Gospels and many other fantastic Illuminated Manuscripts and documents. The other incredible thing were the computers that were scattered around the library that gave you access into the inside of any of the books which were behind glass. If you clicked on a book, you could go through it page by page and they had both a text translator and a magnifying glass to look at all of the details of these books. Just amazing! So that is more than you probably wanted to know...but if you are planning a trip to London, it is not to be missed.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Here is RED. Okay, there isn't much red, but I'm trying not to try here. That said, I want to work on her a bit more, but time's up and so it goes. It is a glorious day here in Oregon today. Spring is definitely in the air.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

April's Theme

For those of you who wish to do a theme in April, it is "ancestor." I could just leave it at that, but my online dictionary inquiry broadens the subject considerably:
1. a person from whom one is descended; forebear; progenitor.
2. Biology. the actual or hypothetical form or stock from which an organism has developed or descended.
3. an object, idea, style, or occurrence serving as a prototype, forerunner, or inspiration to a later one: The balloon is an ancestor of the modern dirigible.
4. a person who serves as an influence or model for another; one from whom mental, artistic, spiritual, etc., descent is claimed: a philosophical ancestor.
5. Law. a person from whom an heir derives an inheritance.

Have fun!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hado Mandala

Hado: The intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level in all matter. The smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness.

Better late than never, right? :) Here is my mandala (variation on a theme, of course). :) In truth, it is the fourth incarnation and my final attempt at bringing into form the idea I'd had in my head for weeks around this theme. I have settled with this in a way, and have surrendered to the idea that I cannot, with my own two hands and paint, create the same natural beauty which inspired it.
The uncharacteristic snow here for days brought the first spark - idea. Snowflakes are certainly mandalas...but I wasn't really in a "aw, sweet. A snowflake" kind a mood. :) I was instantly reminded of a work I had read about years ago (which incidentally was also mentioned in the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know") about the work of Dr. Masuru Emoto. His work gave "proof" to something I had intuitively known on some level for years. We all know it. Prophets, intellects and mystics have known this in some way for eons. But finally...FINALLY, we have scientific if I needed it. (I admit, I have a little inner child who becomes giddy when science and spirituality intersect and don't seems to contradict each other.) :)
I won't attempt to explain Dr. Emoto's work - the study of prayer on water crystals. Prayer, words of kindness, even a thought of love have incredible power on the structure of the water. Our earth - primarily water. Our bodies - primarily water. The effect a little prayer
If you are interested to know more about this and to see heartbreakingly beautiful pictures of prayed over water (yes, they really are amazing) here is a wonderful link about his work and an excerp:

"He undertook extensive research of water around the planet not so much as a scientific researcher but more from the perspective of an original thinker. At length he realized that it was in the frozen crystal form that water showed us its true nature through. He has gained worldwide acclaim through his groundbreaking research and discovery that water is deeply connected to our individual and collective consciousness"

So....I send prayers to all of all the water in you and around you. :)

Red - I was in the mood to layer

Layer 1 - black gesso
Layer 2 - 4 different acrylic reds in varying thicknesses
Layer 3 - painted collage scrap elements and 2 small ink drawings
Layer 5 - plastic netting
Layer 6 - Shiva paint colors, red, black, white and silver
Layer 7 - small silver balls made of wire threaded through

I've never made anything like it before. I was just playing.

True confessions of a Dufus....

Yes, that would be me. I was feeling pleased myself, not only had i completed January on time but yesterday I completed February's Red piece. Or so I thought. As I looked at two pieces, it occurred to me that I should have been able to fit them in the scanner bed, if they were 8" x 8", but instead I took photos each time because they were a bit too big. Ding. No, the fact didn't register until last night and I literally ran to find a ruler and remeasured the matching pieces. Surprise, surprise....they aren't 8" x 8" at all, but 9" x 9"!! Auuuuukkkk!!! I did measure, each time I measured, but apparently each time my eyes deceived me and I saw what I wanted to see (or else my ruler is wrong, and I don't think that's the case). I was feeling so bummed last night, trying to figure out if I could somehow save them. If I knew how to saw carefully, and had the right kind of saw (which we don't) I could possibly cut 1/2" off each side and refinish the edges. The only other option is to start over, which is probably the best solution. Jeeze....I'm going to go to Dick Blick online now, and order some 8" x 8" canvases and boards, no more winging it for this project. If you want to see what I did for Red, it's on my blog - I won't post it here since I'm going to be redoing it and it won't be anything like again, i'm sure....

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

February-Red Valentine!

So this is my Mexican folk art inspired "red" piece....of course, I had to put a heart in it! The heart came from an article in the LA Times about the Latin American show at LACMA this past year and I had been hanging onto it for just the right moment and I guess this was it! I may monkey around with it a bit more....
Does everyone know what the March theme is? In case you didn't read the post awhile is a combo theme of "Mad as a March Hare" and "Herald Spring".
This has been such fun seeing all of the beautiful pieces of art appear here. I look so forward to checking to see what has been posted!