14 Apr 2014

psst ...

... come closer (I think it might be Spring!)

As we headed out for our walk this morning, I was hatless and mittenless for the first time in months. As we walked up the hill, I unbuttoned my farm jacket and by the time we'd crossed the stream I'd tied it around my waist.

It's breezy. But warm. Flies buzz in my face ... happily drunk on being woken up out of their winter stupor. Any standing water has a ring of green surrounding it ... moss, algae, tender grass shoots. Stella was playing cow nibbling at any grass big enough to get her teeth on.

The garden soil is still cold but is completely thawed. Buds are full to bursting. With a few pussy willows waving in the wind. The lake is empty (of ice!) and we saw a loon circling. Tom said he heard one calling late afternoon yesterday. The crocus are out and the tulips push through the leaves and winter debris, inches at a time.

Windows are open and I have an overwhelming desire to put up the screens and haul out the porch chairs. And it feels like this is the first time, the very first time I've felt Spring. Every. Single. Year!

2 Apr 2014


  1. Overwhelmed by the response to my pondering post, my heartfelt thanks to all who stopped by and took the time to read and respond. I'm truly glad people think blogging isn't dead and that it's worth taking the time to read, ponder and connect. Maybe, just maybe there IS hope and I am not blogging in the wilderness.
  2. I have postponed my Intro to Assemblage Workshop at The Biscuit Eater. Possibly indefinitely. Tom asked if I was okay with that, fearing my devastation perhaps.That whole not being loved thing, I guess. Truth be told, I'm MORE than okay with it. Teaching really isn't my thing. I don't think I'd be very good at that whole teaching-touring thing ... waaaay too much of an introvert for that. I need my downtime. But sharing? playing? yah. LOVE that. which got me thinking...
  3. I'm contemplating an art-play-time-get-together-workshop thingie. how's that for completely ambiguous? my ideal pie-in-the-sky would be to invite 2 or 3 or 4 artists whose work I admire to come and stay here. where each person might give a half-day class/show and tell with the remainder of the time hanging out creating  and playing, learning from each other. Interested?
  4. I've also been thinking of Art Challenges. (have yet to receive anything from this one folks. just sayin'!) I know I've mentioned this before wherein I used to do weekly/monthly art challenges. Something about the "we're all in this together" mindset that makes for such lovely shared connections and I miss it. I have a number of mail art type things on my plate and while I love these one doesn't really get to know the participants very well unless it's a Round Robin. Right now I'm at that in-betweeny stage of having just finished a giant push of work and nothing has quite gelled for  the "what's next". PERFECT time for an art challenge. So. if you're reading this. and you'd either like to participate in and/or have an idea for one, PLEASE comment okay?
  5. I've been inspired by natural dyeing and slow stitching and paper and cloth. I have yet to DO anything about it however. And I know I want these things to be incorporated into mixed media and/or assemblage. The exact formulation however remains elusive. Come ON brain. Keep up!
Patched up . Ines Seidel
Geoffrey Gorman . Alipinus In Action

28 Mar 2014

this may end up being a rant

... or blogging in the wilderness.

My friend Amy has just returned to blogging after a some time away and  posed the question to FB friends, "... is there a fancy trick to getting more people to follow your blog these days?" The answers varied from you need to crosspost everything, everywhere to my grumpy observation "blogging is dead".

Most mornings Tom and I chat about life over coffee for an hour or so before heading out on a walk through our woods. I know. We do live a charmed life. And this morning I mentioned Amy's dilemma as well as my pessimistic view. We discussed how the internet has changed from when we first started our webdesign/marketing company back in the mid-90s.  In our defense we did fall short of, "well in MY (our) day...!!" But we toed that line. Closely.

What was the catalyst?
When did we move from (beyond??) making solid personal connections to clicking that ubiquitous "Like" button as our sole means of affirmation?

We mused whether Facebook was at fault, as so many seem to think, shortening the collective consciousness to nanoseconds or 144 characters. Or that mobile technology has made it virtually impossible to do much beyond read, nod, click Like and move on. Pretty hard to write a thoughtful response on that teensy-weensy keyboard. Harder still if you have to pay by the letter!

And I felt sad. Because I have made so very many authentic, strong, meaningful connections "out here".  Ones I never could have made in Real Life. Or over 144 characters. And so many people won't have that opportunity. Or think that blogging is synonymous with making money or branding yourself or creating hype ... self-promotional marketing. And it can be so much more than that, dare I say IS more than that.

I'll leave you with this very poignant, very hopeful quote from Hugh MacLeod of Gapingvoid.com.
And if it isn't obvious by this point, I'd love for you to comment below ... about this ... about that ... about anything. Just. Say. Hi. I'm here. :)

19 Mar 2014

Opening on Friday...

Angels at The Biscuit Eater

... and a little bit more about the Introduction to Assemblage Workshop.

This will be divided over 2 Wednesday afternoons (though you CAN sign up for just the first day only those who go to the first can register for the second class.

The first day we'll be focusing mostly on discussion ... with a little history of the art of assemblage, what tools you might need, what supplies you should consider and how to move toward actually creating a 3-dimensional piece of artwork using found objects. By the end of the afternoon I hope we will be moving toward the "making" part and asking second day participants to bring 3 to 5 items that will be incorporated into their first assemblage.

The second afternoon will see us identify structure, how we might assemble disparate objects and how to attach "this to that" with, hopefully, enough time to contemplate final decoration. There will be building in this class so come prepared to make something and start your journey in this obsessive, compulsive endeavor known as Assemblage!

12 Mar 2014

Finish line's in sight

Above, Wind Angel taxed me right to the end. Changing from "male" to "female" and back to male, he didn't like anything I was doing. Resolutely silent and ungiving, I struggled to figure out each and every component, trying a myriad of solutions before hitting on the right one.

I know. That sounds crazy. And I'm okay with that. But if you want the real story, each piece talks to me. Most are quite happy to let me know which direction to go in, vehemently letting me know when I take a wrong turn. But Wind Angel? Not so much. When I tried something ... I was met with silence. Cold, cold silence. Okay, I say, So you don't like that. Then what?!? Silence. arghhhhh!

Bit by bit as he hung over my head, I mulled over each component until... finally... silence still but quiet happy silence. Bliss. Score!

Above, Angel of Light was conceived over 7 years ago when I first came up with the Angel Of... series. Right down to every specific component. Ironic that she was the last to be completely finished. Soldering does that to me!
Angel of Mirth ... Ah! You Jester. You! The head-on-a-stick is removable from its base. All the better to clack the moveable jaw and hat bells! She started out as an overhaul of a Mexican marionette I have (was given?) But I just couldn't figure out how it would be held making for a ridiculously unwieldy structure. I thought some more about "mirth" ... physicality was definitely necessary meaning it needed to be funny and noisy and able to be held. That's when I happened upon the Jester Stick and it all kind of fell into place. And yes, my brain immediately glommed onto a skull with moveable jaw as "head". Why would you think otherwise?!?

Making some quick mixed media pieces and then I'm ready for the opening on Friday, March 21 (from 4 to 6pm). If you're in the area of The Biscuit Eater in Mahone Bay? Stop on by. I'd love to see you!

27 Feb 2014


The angels are taking up residence in my studio. Slowly. Surely.

I'm still waiting for temperatures to rise to finish off Angel of Light.
Angel of the North, now wanting to be called Wind Angel was hanging from my lights and now split in half while I detail her face. Funny but I truly thought it would be a "he". Seems not. Who am I to question? Just channel Jennifer. Just channel.

Angel of the Sea ... oh. my. but she is a dark and mysterious creature. I'll try and take a shot of her in the dark. All luminescence and sheen she is. And the first time I had a really legitimate use for my Interference Blue that I purchased some 10 years ago! There's a little spot on the topmost shell that just makes me swoon.

Are you like that?
Do your creations fall just short of expectation but for a little piece of pure excellence?
Or is that just me?

21 Feb 2014

sweat shop

I've had my nose to the grindstone since returning home which hasn't been easy what with colds and hockey games (Go Canada Go!). But I've managed to finish one assemblage for the Biscuit Eater show, with the other four in some form of progress.

This is Our Lady of Sorrow formerly known as Angel of Sorrow.
Elements include half a wooden top from the  crawl space in our basement (I have no idea how old it might be but likely was part of a barrel that was stored under there), porcelain angel figurine, polymer clay heart laced with wire, dollar store frame. The wooden "halo" is finished with wax and rusty nails. She is meant to be hung on a wall.

A glimpse into Angel of the Sea ... you can see how things jump from elegant to a little odd. Trust me when I say, the next step becomes even more ..erm.. dark! And yes, that is real kelp. I soaked it in water to get rid of some of the salt/sand and then let it dry. Then coated one side with gel medium. I hope that will preserve it but have done little research so she may not end up for sale. I'm particularly pleased with the "barnacles" simply gel medium pushed through sequin waste. Love it when a plan works out!

With Angel of the Sea all but complete, I'm moving on to the final three ... Angel of Light who should be done tomorrow, just waiting for it to be warm enough in the basement to solder! ... Angel of The North who is going through the design phase in my head right now ... Angel of Mirth who went through a massive change moving from a marionette base to a Punch & Judy concept. with a MAJOR twist. can't wait to get to that one!