Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good Morning!  Good Morning ! 

Why am I so chipper this morning you ask?

Because this weekend is the wonderful CoCa( or Colony of Coastside Artists) Open Studios event here on the mid coast.    This year 21 artists in 12 different studios will be participating.  This is your chance to talk to the artists about their work and buy directly from each one. Maybe you will even find out why there is an eye in one of my spoons!   There will be painting, jewelry, glass, fiber arts, ceramics, photography and some very unique Mixed Media.

I will be selling my work at Laura McHugh’s studio at 285 Poplar St., Half Moon Bay with several other Mixed media Artists selling their wild and wonderful creations. Please open the attachment above for a map of all the studio locations.  You will also be able to pick up a map at any of the studios as well.

Oh did I mention treats?  Yes -each studio will have a variety of food and drink so you can spend the day eating, drinking and perusing the art in 12 different locations from Half Moon Bay to Montara.

It promises to be a wonderful weekend!

See you at Open Studios!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gathering of Woman Artists

Dear Friends,
You are invited to our event is this Saturday from 10-4...just look at the amazing list of beautiful women artists that will be here.
Bring a friend or two and come for tea and shopping for the holidays!
Would love to see you

Gathering  of Women Artists
                 Featuring works by:

Tracey Walsh   Stunning still photography & greeting cards
Chris Pritchard   Unique handcrafted jewelry & goddess adornments
Niki Pritchard~ Bell    Eccentric jewelry made to support her travels
Connie Mc Clintock    Creatively repurposed charm bracelets
Kathleen Smith   Fantasy enchanted art& hand painted pillows and bags
Karin Rankin  Lovingly handcrafted knit scarves, accessories, and jams
Wendy Rotchstein  Spectacularly detailed quilled ornaments and arts
Patt Sheldon  Knitted, felted & hand woven clothing and accoutrements
Deanna Adams   Shining coast- inspired sunlight catchers
Connie Andrews   Textural collage and found art assemblage pieces
Cyndi Burkey   Embellished glass hearts, plates, bowls, platters & more
Diane Centoni    Practical and sublime handmade pottery

Saturday, November 16 th , 2013
565  Fifth Street,  Montara   (at Le Conte)

Call 728-7848 or 728-3950 for more information

Tea and snacks will be served. Bring friends and shop for the holidays!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Time for the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival!

Welcome Everyone!
I am back from my Petaluma excursion and would like to take this moment to thank Sallyanne and Ellen for allowing outside artists like myself to participate in the Art-is-You Vendor night.  It was a fun and exciting event and it was so nice to be near an art retreat again.  I met many other artists from the area including one group from Benicia.  I also got requests for classes from many of the students that attended the retreat-sorry guys I'm gonna just be an artist for awhile.
If you have never attended an art retreat I highly recommend it. At an art retreat you experience a total immersion that pushes your art forward.  It gives you the opportunity to give yourself permission to create art that you would never have thought to create before.  You also meet tons of really nice people and get to experience art taught by nationally know instructors.  Plus its just a blast!
So why has it taken me so long to post?!   Because as soon as I got back I started making items for Pumpkin Festival.
Yes this weekend is the Pumpkin Festival in downtown Half Moon Bay.  This is a huge event and most of the coast participates in some fashion.  Most of the proceeds for the food and event booths go to benefit students and the many charitable organizations here on the coast .  Also on Sunday -don't miss the "Made on the Coast" portion of the  festival. "Made on the Coast "features only local art and artists and was a great success last year. 
If you intend to come to the festival this year, I suggest you come early and leave early otherwise you will be stuck in the massive amount of traffic on Highway 92.  Promptly at 7:00 am you can eat all the Pumpkin pancake breakfast(my favorite) you want at MacDutra Park- Yum!   The proceeds of this breakfast go to benefit the high school Basketball team.   Also if you are in the mood for Clam Chowder the Half Moon Bay Rotary Club serves a mean Clam Chowder bread bowl.  They are located in the main food court at the IDES Hall.
If you are looking for hand woven scarves, felted hats and unique jewelry my good friend Patt Sheldon will be selling her fabulous fiber art outside of Savvy Skirts just past the bridge at the north end of town. 
And Lastly Maureen Barton and I will be selling our art in front of her clinic both days from 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Maureen runs the Coastside Children's Pediatric Therapy clinic at the north end of town before the bridge.  Some of the proceeds will go to benefit the clinic. So come by and chat for awhile.  Maureen will be selling small gift sized textural collage items and jewelry and I of course will have my creepiest Halloween items for sale.
Come on-who doesn't love a nice skull?!

See you at the festival!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Art-Is-You preview #3

Welcome Everyone!
Its time for the third and last preview before I leave for Petaluma tomorrow morning.  As you can see above I will be offering just a little bit of Steampunk,


Hopes and Dreams

And don't forget the Kitchen implements!

See you at the Art Trunk!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Art-is-You preview #2

Welcome everyone!
Yesterday I promised to continue my preview of some of the items that I will be selling at the Petaluma Art retreat:  Art-Is-You.
First up are my Memento Mori book cover assemblages.  These two pieces started with an antique book I found at the Alemany Flea market.  The book was literally falling apart but the covers were so beautiful I just couldn't resist the purchase.  The cover immediately reminded me of Victorian Mourning pieces or Memento Mori.  I didn't want to cover up all the beautiful tooling so I created very simple assemblages and gave them a Patina look.   Here's a close up of the lovely wreathed skull.

But wait the best is yet to come! On the back of each cover I collaged a quote and added a pocket.

In the pocket you can add a photo or prayer card.  The assemblage then becomes a commemorative piece for a loved one that has passed or just a place to stash all those prayer cards you can't stand to get rid of.

And no show would be complete with Altoid tins.  Yes I will have a large altoid tin collection with me.

I will have some old favorites:
Some totally new ideas:

And some that have a new twist on an old idea:
Come back tomorrow for my last preview before the Art trunk!  There is some good stuff yet to come.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Art-is-You Preview #1

Welcome everyone,
In my last post I promised a preview of some of the items that I will be selling at the Petaluma Art retreat: Art-is-You. You'll remember how happy I was with the results of the large commissioned piece I created a couple of months ago. If not you can read my blog post below.  At that time I was determined to create some smaller pieces.  Well above you can see my first lovely skeletal gent.  I am calling this ongoing series:  Skeletal Excavations.
Here is a full image of the entire piece.


 And speaking of something totally different.  How about Miss Bubbles?
This is also part of an ongoing series designed to allow me to use my doll sculpting skills once again.  Miss Bubble's face is hand sculpted out of Creative Paperclay. She is an elemental creature-part of her surroundings which is actually an altered vintage silver plated bowel.    Here is a close up of her face.

Come back tomorrow for part 2 of my Art retreat preview!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Art-Is-You Petaluma!

Hey Everyone!  

I am very excited to announce that I will participating in the Vendor Night at the Art-is-You retreat in Petaluma on Saturday September 28th.  I will have new assemblage items, altoid tin shrines, collage and some misc. jewelry and decorative ornaments as well.  I am super excited about this opportunity as well as a little intimidated.  This will be my first time selling at a big Mixed Media retreat with many nationally known artists in attendance.  Yikes!   I could use some friendly faces so if you are
going to attend the retreat please come by and say hello or stay for awhile and gab. 

In the next three months I have four shows-so I will be monstrously busy inventing new items to tempt holiday shoppers.  Here is a list of my upcoming shows:

Art is You Petaluma
Vendor Art Trunk
Saturday September 28th
Sheraton Sonoma County
745 Baywood Drive
Petaluma, CA, 94954

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival
October 19th and 20th
Main street HMB

Gathering Of Women Artists
November 16th
565 Fifth St, Montara.
10:00am to 4:00pm

CoCa Open Studios
November 23rd and 24th
285 Popular st.
Half Moon Bay, Ca.

Stay tuned for a little preview coming in the next couple of days of some of the items I will be offering for your delight! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Larger assemblage and other logistical nightmares part 2

Welcome Everyone,
In my last blog post I left you on an artistic cliffhanger. Recall that the "Bowl of Skulls " commission was looking just a little moldy.  Too much green-way too much green.  I then concluded what might correct this was some rust.  At the end of the post I was trying to gather my courage because I was afraid that I would totally ruin 6 weeks worth of work.  You can see the finished work above.  I think my initial assessment was correct and the inclusion of rust was the best thing I could have done.  The rust color broke up all that moldy green and really made the skeletal parts the focus. It also helped the beautiful shape of this bowl and the decoration at the top stand out more.
A spoonful of skulls is a fun little statement but this much larger piece really stands out and is very intense.  For some it will be too intense.  To soften the intensity and because I love the contrast of the ugly and beautiful I decided to add some jewelry type elements in the form of beads.  I stated in the previous post that the wire was both functional and decorative.  I wove the wire in and around the skeletal parts for support and added beads on the wire for beauty. Kind of like life isn't it?  Amidst all the ugliness of life there is always beauty to be found.

I also decided to add a pendant in the shape of a bent and rusty spoon and added wire and beads around that too. Here is the pendant.
I liked adding as the pendant another kitchen implement and thought it brought just the right touch as a decorative element as well. 
To  finish the work I glued a bit of felt to the back of the bowl so that it won't mar my buyers paint job and added a clear sealer to the entire piece.  Note to anyone using these products: the clear sealer will change the finish and color of both the rust and patina just a little.  It makes the finish a little less rough and crumbly. 
I learned alot from this project. First: large assemblages can be a logistical nightmare.  But the nightmare can be overcome by patience and a little courage.  Second: trust my instincts-they are almost always correct.
In summation: I really love this piece.  Now to see what the buyer says: will this be the piece she thought she commissioned or will it be too intense to hang on her wall?
Your guess is as good as mine but wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The larger assemblage and other logistical nightmares

Welcome to my logistical nightmare.
And yes its a bowl full of skulls and bones. 
But let me digress just a little.  Some time ago an art buddy of mine purchased a spoon from me dripping with skulls.  You can see it below. 

This piece consists of a vintage silver spoon, with skulls and beads epoxied to it. Over this I used a two part metallic paint and green patina. I really like the way this piece came together and called it " Serving Death." My art buddy liked it so well that she commissioned a larger piece to go with it-a bowl in the same vein. A large bowl.
No problem-right? 
First finding just the right bowl was not that easy.  But I finally purchased the silver bowl above at the Alemany flea market.  For some reason it just screamed "bowl full of skulls!" to me.  I also really liked the shell shape and the ornament on top that turned the entire shape into a tear drop rather than a circle.
The next problem with the piece? Getting a skeleton and skulls large enough to fit the scale.  And yes I am missing one large articulated Halloween skeleton these days. That skeleton has sacrificed some of its parts for the greater good-art that is.
Now that I had all the parts and the bowl most of my time was spent just preparing the metal surface.
Yikes!  just creating the tooth by sanding took two days!   then there was the rustable metal primer and three coats of metallic surfacer. I also drilled some holes and inserted metal wire through the bowl. The wire serves two functions: to keep the epoxy and parts from succumbing to gravity and it would also add a decorative effect.
After all the prep I spent another week just composing and positioning the skeletal parts into a pleasing composition. This was not easy because I was determined to use that wonderful ribcage and I wanted the skull to "smile".  Since the bowl is rounded fitting everything in together was impossible so I resorted to hacking off skull and ribcage parts using a cutoff wheel and my dremel. Ladies with power tools baby!
After the hacking was completed it was now time to epoxy all the parts in the bowl. Note to self: Epoxy doesn't go very far and is expensive. I wanted this composition to look almost archaeological-
like the bones were being dug up. So needless to say I used alot of extra epoxy in and around the composition.  And I was pleased with the end result if not with the $50.00 I spent to get it.
After the epoxy was totally cured it was time to add two to three more coats of metallic surfacer and then the part that really made me nervous-the green patina. Since I had to match the original piece I was forced to use a green patina that is very tempermental and a color I would never use on a larger piece of art.  (the blue patina is much easier to use by the way)  
When the green patina was on and dried I was devastated.  True to its tempermental nature the green patina was mottled and the color uneven. As my panic increased all I could think of was that I just spent 6 weeks on this piece and now it was ruined!   Yikes!  I have no idea how to fix this moldy looking mess!  
But there must be a way!   Think!
Wait I just gave myself the key to maybe fixing this piece "moldy looking". That's it!  This piece is just too green.  Too much green!
Ok Connie-take a deep breath! Have some faith in your artistic vision. 
Find your courage.
Its time to add some rust! Keep your fingers crossed guys and say a little prayer for me-I think I need it.
Come back in a couple of days to see if my idea works and some rust can save this piece.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The unusual amoungst the usual

In my rambles around Montara I have found many items that you will not find anywhere else.
A nautical themed gate.

Home surfer crossings

Colorful floats in front yards

Whalebones on the porch

A surfboard fence
As artists it is our job to find the unusual amoungst the usual.  When you walk down the street-look around you.  What can you find?
Time for my walk!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

ABC swap-Printers trays-First hand off

Welcome Everyone,
Its time that I update you on the Altered Books Club's latest goings on.  Because so many of the group had vacations scheduled (except myself of course) we decided that a smaller round robin project was in order.  What we came up with was pseudo printers trays by Tim Holtz.  Each cubby in the tray was just a little bit bigger than an ATC so each hand off could be completed in a much faster time frame.
My theme this time around was " Steampunk".  And I will post a picture of it when the swap is completed. 
For the first hand off I received Cindy's tray.  She chose "Vintage Calendar" and placed vintage items in the cubbies that meant something to her personally.  She requested that I take October and she really wanted skeletons. I usually try to comply with a fellow artists request if I can but this time I just couldn't make the idea of dancing skeletons work. I have to say that Cindy's project had a great deal of the "cute factor" that normally I just don't do well with.  Most people will tell you "Connie doesn't do cute"  Ask me to do grungy, aged, crusty,edgy or bloody and I'm good.  But ask me to do cute and you might as well plunge a knife in my heart. Which would make a great Halloween cubby by the way!
I just couldn't make the "cute" skeleton thing work for me.  Sorry Cindy but I tried.  So what was I to do now? Search the web of course!
My search brought up a wonderfully creepy picture of two pumpkin head children in Victorian clothing. It was perfect-creepy pumpkin children was right up my alley.  Not only that but since we are close to Half Moon Bay a pumpkin theme was totally appropriate! That's cute right?!
Now I was in business!
Cindy's one rule is that we use tiny vintage postcards to sign our name on in each cubby.  So I did this but partially covered up the postcard with a retro vintage Halloween polka dot fabric.  And so that I put something really vintage and personal to myself I added some black rick rack that my mother added to a Halloween costume of mine about a hundred years ago.  On top of the fabric I collaged my creepy Pumpkin photo.  I then created some miniatures: a witches broom, some tiny jack o'lanterns and a witches hat.  I added some dead moss and a spider there you have it!  One Halloween cubby that combined creepy for me and cute for Cindy.  You can see my finished cubby below.

And please guys no more cute.

Friday, July 26, 2013

In memorandum-Dynamo

I guess I am writing this in an effort to find some calm.  About an hour ago I lost my sweet little Jack Russell Terrier-Dynamo.
For the past 6 months Dyna had been battling renal failure and about a week ago she started to lose that battle.  Today at the vet she went into acute renal distress with so much pain and confusion that we had no choice but to put her to sleep.  She died in my arms.
I knew when she was first diagnosed that the end was near and I must be ready for it.  But if there is any lesson to be learned from death its that you can never be ready. Loss of those you love is always painful and must be endured because that's what it means to be human.

I want to sincerely thank Dr. Laura McKinney for having the courage and care to try a new therapy.  So many these days wouldn't even bother. By doing do Dr. Mckinney gave us an extra month to be together.

Words are indeed paltry things and I cannot adequately express just how much my heart hurts.

Sleep in peace little one.  You are much loved and will be missed.

Sleep in peace Dynamo.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Final ABC Round Robin Swap

Welcome everyone,
For the final round robin swap I received Maureen's book of Mermaids.  This altered book was created  from a children's board book and so has a few limitations with the types of art that can be created inside. Maureen had hinted that I could finish the book if I wanted. I agreed to try but what to that was different from the other awesome collage work that had been created by the other ABC artists. After my visit to Sam's Castle in Pacifica I came up with the idea of creating a mermaid Reliquary inside the book.  Unfortunately the book was too thin to carve a niche inside.  But I found that I had the perfect replacement-a real seashell box that I picked up at a garage sale.  So what to do inside the actual board book?  I started to look up all the info I could find on mermaids.  From one of my own books I found some interesting information.  Did you know that the mirror the mermaid carried began as a symbol for the Greek idea "Know Thyself".  In other words a wise person knows their own strengths and limitations and being humble in the sight of the Gods.  By knowing oneself you could hope to avoid Hubris or pride.  To the ancient Greeks Pride was the ultimate sin and was always the cause of man's downfall.  If you look at any of the Greek myths-all the hero's ultimately end badly because they became arrogant and full of pride.  Christian theology later adopts pride as one of the deadly sins and you can still hear the echos of the idea of Greek Hubris in Christian phrases such as "Pride goeth before the fall." Adam of course had this fault in spades. The mermaid was often used in early Christian sermons as an example of the false attractions of sin. Unfortunately her mirror became the symbol of vanity instead of a symbol of wisdom.
Today the idea of "know thyself" is still an important one.  For it is only when we truly understand our strengths and limitations can we reach our full artistic potential.

The  full spread with text.

Here is a picture of part of the reliquary from Sam's castle that was the inspiration for my mermaid Reliquary.  Note the wire bullion or crinkle wire as it is know today.

Here is the shell box-a garage sale find.

First I made a mold of a tiny antique doll(front and back).  I used paperclay in the mold and then attached the two halves of the mold while still wet to make a little doll out of paperclay that will eventually be turned into a mermaid.
Paperclay mermaid next to original antique doll.

Painted base of paperclay inside the shell box.  The mirror is inset in the paperclay and the mermaid rests in the indentations made for it earlier.

almost finished reliquary with bullion wire, seashells and vintage  beads and pearls included.

close ups of the inside of the reliquary minus the ribbon around the mermaids body that reads "know thyself".

This was another really fun project.  I was proud of the way the reliquary came out as well as the collage spread in the book.  The good thing is that I have another shell box and tiny mermaid to create another reliquary!

Remember all artists out there:" Know thyself"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

ABC Swap #6

Welcome Everyone!
For the 6th Altered Books club swap I received Mary's book on Zombies. Since The Walking Dead is my absolute favorite TV show I really had a blast creating art for this book.  The most difficult part of this swap was that Mary gave me an impossible task to complete in just one spread.  Mary had hoped that everyone creating art for her book would not only create a character and tell that character's story but would also move the storyline alone.  Somewhere this got lost in translation.  We got characters but very little storyline and much to Mary's disappointment just not enough blood!  Since most people shy away from blood and gore the book really became "zombie light".  So with this swap I was tasked by Mary to not only pick a character and tell that character's story but to move the storyline along and inject a little more blood and gore along the way.  Prior to my receiving this swap I already had a comedic character in mind.  However with Mary's special requests I knew that what I originally had in mind just wouldn't fulfill what Mary asked of me. I also knew that her request would take more than one spread to achieve. I did something that is usually an absolute no no for me-I used another persons character.  I said earlier that The Walking Dead is my favorite show so I used two of my favorite characters from the show-the Dixon brothers.  They are not only fun characters but had incredible story arcs during the course of 3 seasons. And they fit into Mary's survivalist character category.
I won't give all the text here but if you would like to read the story as told by the younger brother Daryl just click on the spreads below to make them larger.
The Walking Dead really has incredible Zombies-here's a closer view of the lovely lady above.
To continue the story: Here are the two brothers.
I love this zombie grouping-Here's a closer pic of it-notice the enhanced blood and gore-Teehee!
Remember when shooting a zombie-always aim for the brain!
You know-ya gotta love blood spatter.
Yikes!   Zombies coming at ya!  Aim for the brain ya'll.

The compound in flames!
Zombie Merle
Poor Daryl.  This is truly a Sorrowful Life.

Close up of a beautiful Digital manipulation I found on the web.  Daryl the guardian angel and the avenging angel.  This image mirrors the first spread above showing Daryl's vest with wings.
8 spreads -yes I created 8 spreads! Mary you owe me big time.  And do I think my 8 spreads worked?
Yes I think I achieved what was asked of me. I picked characters and told their story, injected some much needed blood and gore-I'm sorry zombie "light" just doesn't work and I moved the story along.
I took the compound bound characters and put them back out on the road looking for someplace safe.  I like the edgy feel and the layout of the spreads.  And I had fun limiting my color palette to black,white and red. That actually was very freeing.
However I am still not all that happy about using characters from a popular TV show no matter how wonderful those characters are.
And for all of you that have not seen The Walking Dead-I strongly urge you to check it out.  Its not a show about zombies (they are just the icing on the cake).  This is about the survivors.  About the choices they make to survive and their struggle to keep their humanity. And in an ultra bad economy and an uncertain world that makes this show very relevant.
Remember to aim for the brain.