Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I have recently purchased a new stash of vintage embellishments and today was drawn to three metal stars. 

I decided to build the entire artwork around these small element, something that I find myself often doing. In thinking about stars, my thoughts drifted in both spiritual and celestial directions and I wanted to reflect both of these concepts in my artwork.

I started with a blank 4x4 inch cradled wood panel and added a layer of green paint.

Using black gesso, I dry brushed a second layer to add more depth and to cut the brightness of the green.

The next step was embossing using a grungy background rubber stamp, a watermark stamp pad, and aged copper embossing powder.

Happy with the background and well aware that this was an abstract rather than a literal interpretation of the night sky, I moved on to create the foreground components. My focus was on circles, with respect to both celestial (orbiting planets) and spiritual (the circle of life)

Wanting to add a bit of copper to connect with the copper embossing powder I had used on the surface of the panel, I dug into my stash and found the perfect copper disc to use as one layer.

This ring was created using two dies, one from Spellbinders Standard Circles Small and one from Spellbinders Standard Circles Large, and hand painted paper layered with metallic acrylic paint.

This circular disc was cut and embossed with Spellbinders Standard Circles Large and red foil from Spellbinders Media Mixage Foil Pack.

I chose to use black card stock for my next element, to ground the work and to add contrast to the brighter green, red and metallic elements. I cut it using Spellbinders Sprightly Sprockets die cut set.

I backed the four open holes of this piece with red foil.

The central focus of this piece was made next using a die from Spellbinders Gold Facet die set coupled with a die from Spellbinders Standard Circles Large. I cut a piece of gold foil and used a sanding block to tone done the brightness and bring up the silver metal under the gold surface.

This piece was also backed with red foil.

Because the three gold stars were not solid, I decided to back them as well - two with red foil and one with black card stock.

I also grabbed a metal hitch fastener to eventually place in the center of the Gold Facet die cut.

My favorite part...putting it all together.

Available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.
Sold. Thank You!

Supply List

Spellbinders Paper Art Supplies:

GC-001 SpellbindersTM Grand Caibur® Machine
GC-015 SpellbindersTM Grand Calibur® Junior Magnetic Placement Mat
F-012 SpellbindersTM  Precious Metals Premium Craft Foils Assortment 
S5-203 SpellbindersTM Imperial Gold Shapeabilities®  Gold Facets
S5-048 SpellbindersTM Shapeabilities® Sprightly Sprockets 
S4-114 SpellbindersTM Nestabilities® Standard Circles Large
S4-116 SpellbindersTM Nestabilities® Standard Circles Small

Preferred Promotional Partners: Tsukineko VersaMark watermark stamp pad

Other: cradled wood panel, acrylic paint, gesso, embossing powder, paint brush, rubber stamp, card stock, metal embellishments, sanding block, scissors, heat gun, adhesive

Monday, August 26, 2013

Contemporary Art Fair NYC

I am excited to be exhibiting at the Contemporary Art Fair NYC

This will take place on October 25th through October 27th at the Jacob Javits Center. In its 4th year, CAF is held in conjunction with both the American Fine Craft Show NYC and Art Off the Main, which highlights artists from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. All three shows are artist, rather than gallery, driven. As a result, you will have a chance to meet all the exhibiting artists, including myself. You can have a look at the list of participating artists here.

If you are able to attend, please contact me as it gets closer to the exhibition. I will likely have discounted cards for entry that I can provide.


Sending out congratulations to Barbara Israel and Gina Sismilich, each of whom won a copy of the book "Too Much Glue"from my recent giveaway.

Friday, August 23, 2013

'Too Much Glue' Giveaway

I am often contacted by companies who offer me the opportunity to review their products on my blog.  99% of the time I say no. But 1% of the time I am presented with something that I think might really appeal to my readers and I say yes. The book Too Much Glue was one of those instances.

Written by Jason Lefebvre
Illustrated by Zac Retz

While this book seems at first glance to be primarily aimed at kids...I think it also connects to the kid in all of us no matter what age. From the press release: Although his teacher has warned him that too much glue never dries, Matty loves glue...So one day during art, he searches for the fullest glue bottles in the classroom and the fun begins...

And fun is what this book is all about. From the story that cannot help but make you laugh and smile to the colorful and exuberant illustrations, Too Much Glue will resonate with the artist in everyone. You cannot help but like this book. Take a peek inside here.

The people at Flashlight Press have provided me with two copies of this book to give away. To be eligible, please leave a comment on this post by end of day Sunday, August 25th. And please make sure I have a way to contact you should you be the winner. Good luck! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Western Red

Red is such a strong and powerful color. I often use it as an accent in my work. I have been holding on to hoarding a found, red metal washer for the longest time. Today was the day to actually use it!

I started with a piece of hand painted watercolor paper with subtle shades of reds and greens, plus hints of blacks and blues. I cut it into a rectangle and then die cut (using Spellbinders Standard Circles) out a circle in the center. I edged the rectangle with black ink.

I created a base for this piece by cutting a vintage book cover into a larger rectangle. I chose an army green color, as it picked up the accents of green in the hand painted paper. In order to add some character, I distressed the book cover with sandpaper and ran both a brown and a black ink pad around the outside edge.

Always wanting to add texture to my work, I found a piece of corrugated cardboard, cut it to size to fit under the hand painted paper rectangle, and dry brushed gesso over the ridges for contrast.

Using a die cut (Spellbinders Sprightly Sprockets) that matched the size of the cut-out circle, I cut some red/maroon color card stock into a shape that I thought would draw the eye toward the center of the piece.

I chose to die cut (Spellbinders Labels Thirty-Two) a lighter shade of decorative paper for more contrast and cut it into a shape that echoed the red sprocket. I edged it with black ink to make it pop.

Again, wanting to add more texture and interest I used a die cut (Spellbinders Gold Facets) to add a circular design to the paper.

I knew that I wanted to highlight my found red washer in the center of it all, but I didn't just want it to sit there alone. It was time to draw from my bezel collection. I chose a circular bezel (Spellbinders Circles Three), edged in hobnails for even more complexity.

I decided not to use the attached jump rings and for a more finished look, I snipped off the prongs from two brads and glued them into the rings.

I took out my red washer and looked through my stash of other found metal objects until the perfect combination to fit inside my bezel and to fit with the look of my artwork appeared.

A perfect fit!

Time to layer and glue. My favorite time for sure.

Available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Supply List

Spellbinders Paper Art Supplies:

GC-001 Spellbinders® Grand Calibur® Machine
GC-015 Spellbinders® Grand Calibur® Junior Magnetic Placement Mat
S4-114 Spellbinders®  Nestabilities® Standard Circles Large
S5-048 Spellbinders® Shapeabilities® Sprightly Sprockets
S5-203 Spellbinders® Imperial Gold Shapeabilities® Gold Facets
S4-407 Spellbinders®  Nestabilities® Labels Thirty-Two
MB1-007 Spellbinders® Media MixageTM Bezels Circles Three 

Preferred Promotional Partners: Tsukineko StazOn Ink Pad 

Cross Promotional Partners: 7 Gypsies Paper

Other: card stock, corrugated cardboard, vintage book cover, decorative paper, hand painted paper (watercolor paper, gesso, acrylic paint, acrylic medium, ink), gesso, found metal hardware, brads, adhesive, sandpaper, guillotine cutter, scissor, tin snips

Monday, August 19, 2013

Real or Fake? The Results

Real or Fake? Ten abstract images that I have photographed. Eight of them are found photos, randomly shot in NYC. Two of them are details from gallery artwork. Can you tell the difference?

Did you play? If you haven't yet and still want to, click here to be taken to the original post before you read any further.

42 people did play. Of these, nobody guessed the correct two images. Here are the guesses, in order of frequency:

#Eight: 20 votes

#Nine: 14 votes

#Two: 12 votes

#Three: 11 votes

#One: 9 votes

#Six: 9 votes

#Seven: 3 votes

#Four: 2 votes

#Ten: 2 votes

#Five: 0 votes

The correct answers are: 

Number 3 - a detail of one of Richard Serra's monumental metal sculptures taken at the Museum of Modern Art. 

Number 6 - a detail of a piece by Pier Paolo Calzolari at his exhibition entitled When the dreamer dies, what happens to the dream which took place at both Pace Gallery and Marianne Boesky Gallery in NYC in 2012. This was an extraordinary and rare exhibit from a reclusive artist. You can see highlights from it in this video and in the following pictures: