what was I thinking?

photo by Jennifer Schlick

photo by Jennifer Schlick

This time last year I kept peeking around the corner of the intro to animation class taught by Jeremy Galante. I have never taken an animation or film class. It looked like it could be fun. I decided to sign up this semester. I think it will be fun – but I am so out of my depth! The first assignment is to make a flip book using the principle of metamorphosis. What was I thinking?

I have been approaching it the same way as I would any other art problem – with research. First I found this great site – with all kinds of examples, and a history of the genre. It has amazing video of flip books – I also enjoyed this you tube video of student animation (its about 7 minutes long if you are interested). I have been looking at loads of examples trying to figure out what style of drawing I like –  boy have I bitten off more than I can chew!!

And then I started looking at images and found this (click the picture to go to the original site), which made me feel queasy and really intimidated – the idea is so clever.

flip book style street art

Now I am trying to come up with an idea for a flip book. My first idea was to actually animate my wallpaper design – but I really have no idea how to begin doing that… guess I had better stop blogging and go do some work… wish me luck!

revisiting utopia

I know you are tired of hearing about it, but my friend Ryan (I am linking you to his flickr site, fab headshots of my baby Ashley!) from Clarion Productions (he of movie making fame) kindly spent a morning taking some proper pictures of my work at the gallery, so here are some GOOD pictures of the work. Thanks for putting up with my excitement for how this project turned out!

room for utopia

it is finished and waiting in the Weeks Gallery for you to dream in.

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“All my writing is about the recognition that there is no single reality. But the beauty of it is that you nevertheless go on, walking towards utopia, which may not exist, on a bridge which might end before you reach the other side.” ~ Marguerite Young

room for utopia

A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.

OSCAR WILDE, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

All paradises, all utopias are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in.

TONI MORRISON, Online NewsHour interview, Mar. 9, 1998

But this is our utopia, enter all who dare!

Sorry the work is beyond my skills as a photographer, hopefully I can convince some friends to get much better pictures!

why blog? or I make art so I won’t cry

everyone is being very existential this week – deep thoughts abound in the world of blog.

Paula of self taught artist is blogging about the very real realities of life as an artist and asking some probing questions that have her readers puzzling. Paula is my art hero, she has thrown herself with no holds barred into a creative life and writes with compelling honesty about the costs and rewards of her choices. I wish I had her courage. My favorite quote from this weeks posts over there is from the artist Paul Klee on the subject of making art – “I make art so I won’t cry”. I like this very much, I am adopting it as my mantra, since everything else about art making is so up in the air for me right now. I am just going to keep making, because the alternative is too grim to contemplate even without direction.

On a slightly less serious note Seth over at The Altered Page is starting a series of posts about art blogging. I admire Seth a great deal, he is generous and honest and his work is stunning. I am also in complete awe of the number of projects he can juggle seemingly with ease. I think he will have much useful and thought-provoking information, so I will be staying tuned. and maybe I will know the answer to why I blog at least – any answers would feel good right now

which brings me to where I find myself, rudderless and adrift, I am sure some of you have been there. and wondering why? Life in the studio is full of ideas that will require hours of execution, and I am feeling drained of energy and enthusiasm and thinking about just laying down and letting the waves wash over me.

I am thinking about installations again, and about Charlotte’s wallpaper and utopia, about how I have no idea what that would look like, and about this: written by Edith Wharton (the fulness of life)

“But I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.”

and thinking if she couldn’t have it all, I am delusional.

OK going back to the studio to execute a tedious repetitive idea and ask myself why? I know one day far from now it will be gloriously finished but who will care but me and is that enough? today I just don’t know.

wallpaper & news

So first the news, my friend Jen and I are cover girls, you can see what I mean here! OK now you’ve stopped laughing… (wow I look grumpy in that picture…) here is the real news. Ready for its first reveal, new wallpaper work, called awake it takes off from this large piece, (sorry the image is sideways) continuing the incorporation of tree branches which have somehow come to stand in for me for the persecution of women healers and the denial of women’s knowledge at the beginning of the scientific age. Obviously in my new utopia beyond the wallpaper women will not stand for such nonsense, and the branches are breaking free, or at least I think that is what is going on… you of course can think whatever you like. Also in this piece is a new book meditation I have been playing around with, inside the egg shells are words cut out from a book page in much the same way as this work, only now the new meditative meaning is revealed inside the egg. I have been playing with cocoons and eggs for a while, thinking about new beginnings, so here are new thoughts for my utopia.

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work in progress…

I am still trying to find my rhythm for how working in the studio will happen now summer has loosened all my ties to the world of work and I am free to create whenever. I have been busy making lots of books, largely because I am teaching two bookbinding classes and so that is where my head is at right now. Here are some little buttonhole bindings I finished early this morning. I don’t usually work like this, making lots of one thing at a time, but of course as far as making books to sell at upcoming art festivals, this is a much quicker and more efficient way of working…

buttonhole bindings are one of my favorites, I love exposed spines!!

this is my personal favorite of this bunch, the cover is the bag from the small press book fair I went to earlier in the year, the interior pages are recycled from an old encyclopedia… you know me, i LOVE recycled paper pages, the text inside is partially obscured by this old typing paper that is semi translucent!

I have also been hard at work on some bigger projects, none of which are finished, but here’s a sneak peek at two of them

this is a very large mixed media canvas, about 3×4. I started it years ago, then put it aside because I couldn’t figure it out, now I am back at work on it…

this is smaller, but dear to my heart, notice the yellow wallpaper is BAAAACK! More to come on both of these…

On the home front tonight is my son’s baccalaureate and tomorrow is his graduation! Another one all “growed up”!! Teaching tonight, so back to work… happy Thursday everyone!


An enterprising group of girls/young women from Fredonia State are revisiting the womanhouse concept with an installation of their own work at the Adams Gallery in Dunkirk, NY. Earlier this week I was asked if I had a piece of work they could add to the mix, there was a barren wall, so today I went down and installed one of the wallpapering utopia pieces and the corset installation from transcending madness. I appreciate the opportunity they have given me to reach a new audience with my work! Thank You!! Special thanks to Caitlin for helping me out today, I can’t wait to see everything all polished up tomorrow at the opening! Of course it didn’t occur to me to take pictures until I was driving home…. so you will have to make do with an old image of transcending madness in a past life.

My kids are not coming home between school and the opening night, preferring instead to hang out with their friends and eat at the theatre before the curtain goes up, so I find myself unexpectedly free between classes and I am off to the studio to sit with a cup of coffee and maybe sift through some things, caress some paper and moodle a little…


So it never rains but it pours, the local paper wrote an article about my visit to the high school you can read it here if you are not already fed up with reading about how fab I am!! Meanwhile, back in the studio I am working on cards for my paper exchange, I hope they will be finished by tomorrow and on their way, so maybe a picture then! OK time to fade back into obscurity people will be expecting things….

how do they do it?

Today I spent the school day in the library of my local high school talking about my work to english students who are reading Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Yellow Wallpaper, I am hoarse and exhausted! I don’t know how K-12 teachers do that everyday!!! The students were very curious and at least pretended to be pretty interested in what I had to share with them. The local paper was there too, so I am feeling quite the celebrity this week! And strangely for me, not apprehensive at all, have I finally made peace with the idea that I am an artist after all?? Hmmmm.