Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Got My List and Checkin' It Twice

Makin' sure we are READY for tonight's Halloween FUN!

1. Pumpkins lining the stairs to lead all Trick or Treater's to our front door. - CHECK

2. Fun little garden witch and pumpkin door mat to greet Halloween visitors. -

3. Sweet treats so that we don't have to smell any stinky feet -
BIG CHECK!!!!!!!

4. A CUTE pumpkin pillow to decorate the couch. -

5. After all the candy is gone, "It's the GREAT PUMPKIN Charlie Brown" for hubby and I to watch. -

6. AND, OH SO DELICIOUS CUPCAKES for hubby and I to eat while we watch Charlie Brown. -

May your Halloween be GHOULISHLY GREAT!!!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Faith and Renewed Hope

It has been a little over a month since our precious dashchund left our loving arms. My husband and I have both experienced great sorrow over her absence. And, these past few weeks have already felt like an eternity.

I recently ran across a poem while searching through some vintage books. The poetry was so beautiful that it simply took my breath away. My eyes immediately started welling up with tears. I knew after reading and re-reading this verse I had to incorporate it in a special remembrance work of art.

" It is faith that bridges the land of breath
To the realms of the souls departed,
That comforts the living in days of death,
And strengthens the heavy-hearted.
It is faith in his dream that keeps a man
Face front to the odds about him,
And he shall conquer who thinks he can.
In spite of the throngs who doubt him.

Each must stand in the court of life
And pass through the hours of trial;
He shall tested be by the rules of strife,
And tried for his self-denial.
Time shall bruise his soul with loss of friends,
And frighten him with disaster,
But he shall find when the anguish ends
That of all things faith is master.

So keep your faith in God above,
And faith in the righteous truth,
It shall bring you back to the absent love,
And the joys of a vanished youth.
You shall smile once more when your tears are dried,
Meet trouble and swiftly rout it,
For faith is the strength of the soul inside
And lost is the man without it."

Nothing could ever take
the place of our sweet Ally,
but we have been given a gift.
Darling little Annabel has come
into our lives very unexpectedly.
And once again, I find my
heart full of joy, and a
renewed feeling of hope.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Coming to a Lowe's Hardware Near YOU!

There are so many things I love about being a full-time artist. As you may or may not know, from the hours of 8 to 5, Monday thru Friday, I work as a retail product designer/illustrator.

If you don't work with product production then you might be unaware of this fact, there are lots and Lots and LOTS of steps that happen before you see a piece of merchandise on your local retailer's shelf. Many companies work on product requests, ideas, designs, changes, changes,.....and MORE changes, then finally production anywhere from six months to years before you have the opportunity to buy.

I would love to share with you three winter retail products I illustrated in January of 2006 that are currently on the shelves of Lowe's Hardware stores nationwide.

The image at the top of the post along with the two images below are my design illustrations. These particular concepts are a collaboration between the Lowe's design team, and the company where I work.

Often large retailers are looking for a particular look or style, and they share those ideas with manufacturers. It is then up to the vendor to interpret the retailer's product needs with a unique and eye-catching product design.

So... after ten months from start to finish, the following pictures are the actual statuary sitting on the shelf at the Lowe's near my home.

Actually SEEING your design sitting on the shelf is the most exhilarating experience! And, I truly cherish the fleeting moments when I am standing in a crowded aisle looking at the final product.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Twas the Night before Christmas...

I bet some of you are wondering if I have bothered to check my calendar lately. Let me put your mind at ease. I do, in fact, realize that it is only October 12th. However, I am already playing my favorite Christmas music, and working away in my studio creating holiday treasures in preparation for the first weekend of November.

What is so SPECIAL about the first of November..you might ask? WELL....Silver Bella....OF COURSE! This holiday extravaganza is being hosted by the talented Teresa McFayden.

And, I am very THRILLED to tell everyone. I have been invited to be part of the magical Silver Bella event. Teresa is kicking off the weekend in style with a Friday night Bella Boutique.

So, without further adieu....I want to give you a sneak preview of some of the goodies I will have for this Bellafied Sale.

First, I will be bringing some WONDERFUL Vintage ephemera.....GORGEOUS ledger papers, authentic French handwritten letters, rusty keys, old coins, paper collage packs, antique door hardware, old button cards, phrases card, and more.

Then...a few... OH... SO GLITTERY Treat Cups... PERFECT for your holiday table, as a special little gift, or even a decoration for the Christmas tree.

And finally, some very Beautiful and Endearing Vintage Ornaments, Gift Tags, Collage Artwork and Vintage Album Page Garlands. These pieces are all handmade treasures that will be part of your holiday decorating tradition for years to come.

So... BE SURE!.. to stop by The Red Door Studio table, introduce yourself because I am excited to meet everyone, and take a few of these goodies home for friends, family, and ESPECIALLY yourself!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Art In The Park

I thought I might post a few photos taken of my booth at the art show in Winfield, Kansas.

The large artwork, shown in the images below, is also new. I had not had an opportunity to share it with you earlier because it had been away being framed.

This work is an ode to the decisions we all make. The lady pictured is reflecting upon life. In the background, are faded sentences scattered across the sky. These words are quotes from my journal writings and have been tea stained making them difficult to read. The printed text is a message from the gentle woman depicted in this piece.

"As it fell upon the day, I am standing on the far edge of life. And, looking back to see what I've done with the years and the days that were mine, and all that has happened to me. But, I've loved the great sky and its spaces of blue; I've lived with the birds and the trees; I've turned from the splendor of silver and gold to share in such pleasures as these."

I was so incredibly moved by the overwhelming response I received on this particular piece. The conversations and stories I shared with so many people, truly touched my heart. I even had a number of inquiries regarding commission work using vintage items from a specific relative or loved one.

So now...dear friends....I am excited to tell you that I am seriously considering the idea of creating commissioned hertiage artworks. Many details would have to be ironed out before I could start, but what an exciting possibility!

Friday, October 06, 2006

New Works...continued

If you have ever traveled by airplane, I am sure you have, at some time during the trip, taken a peek out the window. After seeing the earth below, the thought might have crossed your mind that the ground looks like a patchwork quilt. The image above is an aerial photograph of one such patchwork panorama.

During my last plane trip, I became entranced by the scenery outside my window. After several minutes, I started sketching some ideas in the little notebook I carry around with me. It was these illustrations that were the beginnings of a series of artwork.

From my lofty perspective, I made several oberservations. First, there was a simplicity to this picturesque view. Second, the colors were very soft even in the brightest sunlight. These two characteristic caused a feeling of calm to wash over me.

From the very beginning, I wanted this art to have the same calming effect I felt that day in the plane. And, my new works had to be devoid of an abundance of detail. Fabric was a perfect medium to create the texture I desired. I chose loosely woven vintage fibers to convey a sense of the earth's terrain. As the first art piece began to take shape, it also became very important to add a natural element as part of the work. Finally, in each picture a simple house shape became a focal element. The surrounding landscape draws us back to our feelings of Hearth and Home.

These pieces like the the artwork in the last post will all be for sale at Art In The Park in Winfield Kansas this coming Saturday. It is my first time participating in the event and I am excited, yet nervous.

I was recently reading Teresa McFayden's blog. Her words were so very interesting and inspirational. As she recalled the road she has traveled as an artist, a few comments at the end of her post seemed to express my exact feelings on the eve of my artshow. As an artist when you pour your heart and soul into your work you always wonder....."Will anyone see what I see?"

dear friends.... wish me luck!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

New Works

In my last post, I promised to share with you some of my recent artworks. This is a picture of one of the new pieces I will be showing at "Art in the Park" in Winfield, Kansas.

I am quite enamored with this particular work because it is a step out in a slightly different direction. It not only focuses on Home as the primary subject, but also highlights its surrounding landscape.

Several months ago, I became very inspired by the work of ceramic artist, Karen Newgard. Karen creates beautiful pottery using mostly nature inspired silhouettes. Her black silhouettes reminded me of vintage paper-cuts, like these pictures on the right.

Her natural subjects started me on a path of exploration regarding the areas outside of our house. These outdoor places and creatures also contribute to our feelings about Home.

Inside the mat opening, the artwork is primarily constructed with fabric elements. However, a real tree branch, a broken piece from a wooden ruler, and a black silhouetted song bird are located outside this opening add to the feeling of distance and depth. The inclusion of a bird figure is reminscent of their sweet melodies just outside our door. And, this piece of ruler asks the viewer to measure the treasures of their heart.

dear friends...I invite you to share details about your house and its surrounding landscape that make you feel at Home?