Thursday, November 08, 2012

Azalea's Paper Dolls

Look how cute these paper dolls are! My girl likes to do whatever I'm doing, so while I was painting away on a witch paper doll ( with a jointed cat that looks like Frick) she made these ladies. I love how detailed they are, with movable tails and whatnot.

The smaller girl is named Coraline and she is a cat person that enjoys sushi and mice. The mermaid is named Ani and she likes clams, oysters and fried eels.

I like listening to the stories she comes up with while she's coloring. It reminds me of when I was kid and how much fun it was to fall into a world completely.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

San Francisco and Montara

I just returned from my trip to SF for the Wondrous Creatures show and some plein aire painting in Montara. It was a refreshing break to focus on painting. I packed my kit and scrambled around rocks and tidepools, looking for interesting subjects. I painted for as long as the light allowed and then returned to the beach house, tired, yet happy. I love the landscape, so majestic and timeless. I had such an amazing time and can't wait to return.
Sea anenome's in the tidepools.
Painting of view from the backyard of the beach house.
Lunch at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.
Watercolor and egg tempera painting of some tasty oysters we enjoyed.
Charming curiosity shop called Paxton's Gate in San Francisco.
Chris, Kate and Kateja enjoying oysters and cocktails on the porch.
Posing in front of the view I painted.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

newest obsession

video
Here's my tank of fancy goldfish. I've become obsessed after watching that Japanese artist paint goldfish on resinI'm trying out this technique of painting on resin (which I just scratched the surface on with my little bezels - but nothing as large as this!) 

I was so inspired, I researched the heck out of the goldfish and watched loads of videos on youtube. I have a collector's nature, thorough and obsessive, which can be good, or really weird. Of course, I'm obsessed with so many things, its hard to pick a favorite, my top three would be dolls, goldfish and maybe gemstone beads, or books. Shoes and bags would make the list, but its hard to say. I am really into chocolate too. And super into art supplies. Ok, forget top three's, because I can't decide. 

Oh! The super cute fuzzy green moss balls are alive! They are called Marimo balls and they are from Nano Lake, in Japan. They are popular 'pets' and kept on desks for good luck. They are propagated by splitting up larger balls. Kind of like the fuzzy creatures on my favorite Star Trek episode. I like to imagine them rolling in huge herds on the bottom of the lake, getting as big as Volkswagon Beetles. Anyway, its become the meditation station in the house. 



making things

 The last month has passed so fast, I feel like I've skipped forward weeks. This happens when I'm in 'work' mode. The stuff I make is fun, but its work when I have to manage my time so carefully. I finished these wings a couple days (I mean weeks) ago to fill my little etsy shop. Eventually they will make it into the shop. 
 These are the latest batch of bezels, some of which are already spoken for (the owls, the bluebird and the big octopus is for me). I used Susan Lenart Kazmer brand of resin and I have to say, I flippin' love it. Its super clear, self doming, low odor and bubbles barely form at all. I highly recommend it.


I set up a little studio area between the living and dining room, so it would be easier to watch Max and get some things done at the same time. My upstairs studio that I love with all my heart is a death trap for my boy, who is very experimental and likes to test things by taste. The paintings on the bench are a different technique for me, layers of resin and paint, to form dimensional images that appear sculptural. Its pretty time consuming, so hopefully I can finish a few before I fly out for the opening and a painting vacation.

I started getting into aquariums and have two bettas on my desk. They are like flowers, they are so colorful and graceful. I also set up a tank for goldfish, but I'll have more on that later. 
This is a painting for my upcoming show with Jessica Wiesel, called Wondrous Creatures. It will be held throughout October at Hotel Biron, in San Francisco. The paintings are done on birch wood panels, in gemstone watercolors from Daniel Smith. Its hard to see from this picture, but the pigments have a luminous, sparkly quality that I love to work with.
To see more of the work and Jessica's sculptures, go to our facebook page.

last remnants of summer




It's getting cooler here in Asheville, the days tinged with a coolness that both delights and brings dread. We hang onto summer around here as hard as we can, cooking out, taking walks and going on as many adventures as possible. As soon as it gets cold, I hunker down and don't emerge until spring, if I can help it. 

The first three pictures were taken a week or two ago when we rented a pontoon boat on Lake Lure. That place is magical. There's a mysterious quality about the lake, like it wouldn't be surprising at all if a giant trout peeked its face up at you. My brother Dwayne is keeping watch for any unusual activity, while Max helps Greg drive. My sister (the girl in the third picture) and I thought it would be an amazing place to bring our painting supplies and try to capture some of that mystery in oils or watercolors. Ah well, maybe next summer.

The last picture is of Max, wearing his daddy's boots, since he's not allowed outside without shoes on. I like how serious he is.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Animal Kingdom

Last weekend we took a quick trip down to Florida to take the kids to Disney and decided to go the Animal Kingdom. I really loved it. We went early in the morning, so the animals were really active. This beautiful tiger was taking a nice swim in its ruined temple pool.
Here's another view of the tiger area. The attention to detail was really amazing! Walking through many of the ruined temples felt as though one was transported to a forest hidden very far away. Of course, the other people sort of eliminated the mood, but that's o.k.
This was in the Himalayan area. I liked how there were little markets and food stalls with items from the region.
There was also a dinosaur park, with a carnival and vintage looking rides. Max loved this huge dinosaur and didn't want to leave it.
Another little temple along the path. I couldn't help but admire all the gorgeous and carefully designed landscaping. One day, I'll have a huge yard with hidden ruins and tiny little spirit houses.
Look at this frescoe! I think I was supposed to be looking at hippos or something, but became totally bewitched by all the paintings.
This is a view overlooking a pond filled with an astonishing number of fish. I loved the colors and patterns the water made around the lily pads. I think I'll turn this image into a fabric design for spoonflower!
Now this is really cool, a hand carved tree! If you look closely, you can see animals sculpted into the bark and throughout the branches. I used to work in 3-d illustration, and this piece had to be a huge amount of work. The sheer volume of silicone needed to mold it....!
Our favorite thing of the whole day was the safari trip through the park. We got onto the truck/bus and the driver takes you through Africa. It was cool how it didn't feel like a theme park ride, since you were in a real truck on roads, looking at the animals without fences. I liked how expansive it felt, without all the usual bars and bland landscaping. The kids really enjoyed trying to find all the animals on the list and found it exhilarating driving through flooded roads and over rickety bridges with crocodiles floating beneath.
These ibex's were on the side of road, looking content. The park is so well designed, to have so many kinds of animals together, without any visible fencing. There were lots of huge rocks and moat type arrangements to keep the animals safe.

I love going to zoos and botanical gardens, so this was especially appealing to me. We spent the early part of the day at this park, but could have easily stayed all day long. Next time, I hope we do!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

rest





The pace around Green Girl Studios is rather relaxed these days. For us, its a time of drawing, painting, making this and that, visiting family and aquariums. I love aquariums and could sit in them for hours. I find them restful and enchanting. I like to imagine cities far below the oceans surface, sparkling and twinkling star-like. Sometimes we bring our sketchbooks and draw the creatures, or the beautiful patterns in the coral. I always think about how I'd like to live somewhere close to the sea, even though I love the mountains so much. The aquarium we visited was in Gatlinburg, TN, a thriving tourist town, with gorgeous forests and loads of rides and games. The kids loved just driving through, although it was torture for them to pick just a few things out of all the choices.

I've enjoyed this summer so much. For our family it has been a turning point, magical almost, how different we are, or seem to be. I feel lucky. Sometimes no matter what is happening in the world around us, its good to appreciate how fortunate we really are.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

family





These photographs were taken early in the spring, by the talented Meg Reilley. Although they were taken only a few months ago, when I look at them, they feel like years have past. This post had been sitting in my drafts folder, nearly finished, just needing a few words about the brisk day, or how beautiful the light looked filtering through the branches. I found myself staring at the title of the post again, thinking how the word 'family' had altered for me, how it had come to mean much more than it had when I was younger. I remember when I left home at eighteen, I couldn't wait to discover the world, bursting to get away from my family and to be independent.

I look at these photographs and think that while I've created a new family, my first position as a sister and daughter has gained a new importance. Perhaps I'm finally content with who I am and am no longer interested in proving I can stand on my own. Or maybe its simpler, I just want to be near my family and miss their wacky ways.

Friday, June 22, 2012

treasures from bead and button 2012

I look forward to the Bead and Button Show every year mostly to see my friends that live far away, but also for the amazing variety of artist beads available. Above are my all time favorite beads to collect by the inimitable Anne Choi. Check out how gorgeous that bronze looks. I am so happy.
I thought of my mama when I saw these. She loves technicolor accessories so I picked these up at Jane's Bead's and Fiber's. They are made from actual orchid blossoms dipped in resin. I don't know how they made them, its some witchy process that keeps them from wilting or fading. I pinned the bluish one in my hair.
This collection of graphic and lustrous ceramic pieces come from Earthenwood. I particularly love the white heart and the root baby faces. The rustic little faces are so sweet. I think they would look neat wire wrapped with bright blue beads. And maybe some bronze. The heart is destined for a sample to go with a couple of heart links from my site, maybe a chain of them, since they are pretty light.
Nowadays I only buy a few lampwork beads here and there, because I've amassed a healthy sized collection from my favorite artists. I picked up these pieces for their ancient and velvety feel. They are textured somehow and have a lovely matte quality, like stones. Its hard to see in the pictures, but the topmost bead has loads of swirling colors through the striped design. It reminds me of old trade beads and woven carpets. They are from Joanne Zekowski's workbench, from Georgia. To order her beads, email her at zdesigns@hotmail.com .
The weird dragon eye was purchased for my daughter Azalea who loves monsters and fairies. It was made by the talented Wayne Robbins who specializes in luminous looking frogs with sparkly eyes or hand carved bronze clay jewelry which can be found in their etsy shop Judie Mountain.
The lovely bezel pendant comes from Erin Prais-Hintz and her beautiful etsy shop Tesori Trevati. I love the finish on this piece, its so tactile! When Erin gifted this piece to me, I was so pleased and delighted! I went back to my booth and put it on a silk ribbon and wasn't at all surprised at how well it went with my outfit. The colors are are very rich and the piece feels very sturdy. I love it.

I picked up other bits throughout the show, some ribbon for doll clothes, some sparkly faceted glass and two amonites from Gary Wilson. I forgot to take the picture, but they are super opalized, with loads of rainbow sparkle. His booth space encompasses four spaces now. Its very hard not to go crazy with Gary's selection of carved stones. I also found a slab of whitish beige fossilized coral that is destined to be a photo prop for my pieces. I like the subtle firework pattern on the surface, which has cloth-like appearance. It'll turn up in my next batch of pictures for my etsy shop.

Bead and Button 2012

The show is long over and I'm just now sitting down to look back at all the good times we enjoyed. Look how pleased Andrew is! I'm standing on a chair, attempting to capture the scale of the show, but we are just the first couple of booths on the right wall, a tiny portion of this huge bead paradise!
Andrew is really good about taking pictures, I, on the hand, tend to forget my camera is in my pocket. Here he is taking a picture of our amazingly fun friend Elisa Jennings Sullivan working the Beadin Path booth. We had such a good time with Elisa in the evenings! We went to a ping pong bar, a painting bar, played pool in a hip hop dance bar and enjoyed some tasty beverages at spy friendly Safe House. That girl is fun.
You might recognize the rowdy bunch at the Earthenwoods booth, Erin Siegel and Lorelei Eurto and of course Melanie Brooks. I love Melanie's amazing ceramic work. It has such a lovely feel.
Look how pretty Heather Wynn looks. I love her stuff. I picked up a stamped copper charm that reads 'forever' and put it on a chain with some of my wings. We enjoyed spending quality time with Heather, Lorelei and Katie Wall at some frenchy bar I can't think the name of, while making Greg draw pictures of everyone. It was fun.

The 2012 show felt like it went by in a flash. The lead up to the show was pretty intense, staying up late and carving wax with the remarkable Bob Burkett, pressing bronze coins and making resin and wire wings all day. When we finally got to the show after an all day drive, the weather was amazing and energizing. It felt weird to be away from the studio, like I was in a different dimension or something. It was nice to get away from constantly working, although it was a lot of work standing at the show all day. The best part of the show is visiting my buddies of course.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Resin Angel Egg Dolls!


A couple of months ago, I posted about my bottomless love for Angel Egg Dolls and all their virtues. I couldn't imagine loving them more, but now there's even more to covet! Marmite Sue is now offering her girls in resin! I was so happy, I made this paper doll. I set her onto a watercolored background near my desk so I could stare at her lovingly.
The resin version of this beautiful art doll is so intriguing because she's more affordable than her porcelain sister. This is nice, since folks like me will want more than one! Plus, I think people tend to think of porcelain as more of a display type material and would be less inclined to handle the doll, whereas resin has that weighty, sturdy feel that is really nice to touch. High quality resins are blended with various powders (like calcium, talc, mica, stone, clay) which lends texture and strength to the finished product.
The most beautiful aspect of resin in regard to Angel Egg Dolls, is the way the dyes infuse so much color into the skin of the doll. I think this saturation of color is so lifelike! The pale pink and deep tan are particularly luminous, reflecting color and light, which is amazing for photography.

The thing I love most about these wondrous girls is their ability to pose into so many natural positions. I think they would make lovely figure models for artists to draw from! I would have loved drawing one of these girls, rather than the stiff wooden mannequins I had in art school. This ability to pose is due to the thoughtful and well designed jointing system, which is fluid and very human. The elbows are particularly well done ( most dolls can't put their hand over their heart!).
I really love these little feet! They are the high heeled version one can choose for the doll, which is the trademark of Marmite Sue's dolls. They are so unusual and instantly recognizable! I love high heels and how long they make ones legs look, especially on this girl. Even though they struck me as strange looking at first, I really like how they look on this doll, like its totally natural. Good sculpting has that effect.
I decided that the jointing was my favorite thing about this doll, now I think its the face sculpts! Ok, I like a lot of things about this doll, but the faces really are wonderful! The blank face shows how sensitively the eyes and mouth are rendered, so much so, that the entire face can look completely different with a touch of paint. I've carved hundreds of faces and one of the most difficult things to capture in a sculpt is a serene expression, or the Mona Lisa smile. Artists are forever drawing folks while they are absorbed in books, or daydreaming on the train; there is a mystery to that expression that is so captivating. I think this artist has got it right, one looks at these girls and wonders what they are thinking about, what dreams are in those sad and thoughtful eyes.

To see more amazing dolls go to Marmite Sue's website: http://pickled.free.fr/index_en.html She also posts pictures on her blog: http://marmite-sue.tumblr.com/ I found loads of photos on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marmite-sue/ She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter under Marmite Sue.