Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coming Soon! April 28TH

Here is a sneak peek of my Show Card. I'll have Eight puppets in a grand theater, built form Salvaged Wood. And many other old Circus fun surprises.
Here is a work in progress, "Scarlett" she'll be suspended in the front window of the gallery, she's an acrobatic and can sit in many poses.
She measures 58 inches long. You can read more about her Here, on my blog.
This is Dolly, she'll be in the puppet theater. I have 23 pieces I'll be introducing in the coming weeks, stay tuned. More to follow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Question of the Month--Keeping Track of Ideas

Our question this month is "How do you keep track of ideas for new projects? How do you decide what to work on next?"


I keep track of future project ideas in my art notebook, especially as I am thinking of things I want to consider making for the PAC sale. Almost as soon as one sale is over, I start getting ideas for other things I would like to create for the next year. I may not get to all my projects in one year, and sometimes I carry ideas over from one year to the next. I check this list frequently.


In 2001, I started to keep what I call my idea books. Each one includes quotes, photos, sketches, writings that inspire me plus a compilation of all the art workshop handouts and instructions that I've attended. Twenty-one books make up my collection and I'm working in two more now. I refer to them all the time. Recently, I tagged each one with a list of the year and its contents to easily find the idea that I want to pursue. To decide what to work on next, I review my goals for the year or what new technique or media that I want to explore and start a new project.

Paula's tagged Idea Books:


1. I love to capture ideas and write them down in my little notebooks and journals. I get ideas from other artists, from magazine articles and from visiting galleries. I always feel a moment's thrill when I jot down a cool technique or groovy idea that I am sure I will want to try later on.

2. The truth is that I feel an incredible amount of resistance to just the idea of rereading and revisiting those ideas that I had jotted down so excitedly. I don't think that I have ever tried any of the "great art ideas" that I have been collecting for years... What's up with that? (And that is why I posed the question in the first place because I definitely need help and encouragement to actually put those ideas into action. Why the resistance? Why not dive back into the pool of inspiration and swim around with all those nifty ideas? Help!)


So many ideas, so little time! To keep track of ideas as they pop into my head or when I'm inspired by something I see, I keep notes tucked in a clipboard right on my studio workbench. I also keep a little composition book of ideas. Occasionally I get the images glued into the journal, but as you can see from this jumbled mess, sometimes I just tuck them in the book so I know where to find them.

Dayna's jumble of ideas:


I keep track of my ideas in a number of ways. I mostly catalog them in my mind. I call it "percolating." Since I have often experienced the loss of ideas, I also use a more formal method. I have kept a personal book for the past 11 years. I always decorate the covers to make them arty. Inside I keep a list of ideas along with drawings of things or design elements I like. In addition, there are lists of things to do, quotations, PAC meeting notes, and anything else I might write down. I usually carry it with me most of the time. Once a book is full I usually keep them. The books are all different and reflect a different style of decoration each year. Sometimes I go back through them and rehash ideas. I hate leaving a good idea on the table...


Most often I make something in reaction to a need or holiday. A PAC item for the picnic for example or Christmas or Valentines or in the case of my recent (and current) incarceration (broken ankle). I have done a strictly fun project pertaining to the ankle.

Sometimes I just get an inspiration out of the blue and set off to make something for the sheer fun of it. This doesn't happen often because I have spent most of my life doing things in response to a need, ie: samples for classes. I'm in the process of training myself to do art just for the heck of it. Hard to do!


I keep track of ideas for new projects in an art journal. That journal gets packed full of those little bits of inspiration especially after a treasure hunt during one of my artist dates with myself.

As far as what I decide to do next - it could be something as wonderful as a sunny 60* day in the springtime that lures me out to my studio to play. More likely it’s a looming deadline for an upcoming art show or gallery opening.

Jennifer's completed watch part jewelry pieces for her upcoming art opening at Schafer Studios in Beaverton, OR:


I actually have a small white board in my studio. I list my projects and ideas there and prioritize them, usually based on a due date for a commission or a fair deadline. Sometimes, of course, things not on the board that I just want to do jump to the top of the list. I think that’s what “art” is all about – spending time where your creativity takes you.


Many of my ideas come when I'm writing my morning pages (from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way). I doodle and make notes in the margins, then transfer good ideas to pages in the back of my notebook for keeping. When my spiral notebook is filled with morning pages, I pull the idea pages out and keep them all in an envelope to peruse later.

I also keep a more formal "idea" book. In it I put clippings from magazines, newspapers, show cards, etc. along with my own sketches and notes. Mainly these are just things I like, not necessarily projects I will make. I have pages of color palettes, shapes, or themes that appeal to me.

I don't seem to decide on my next project, it picks me. When something nags me enough, I know that's the one I need to do next.

Pages from Robin's Idea Book:


I not only have new projects, but old ones waiting in the cue for someone to give them attention! I finally went through all my old half-done projects spread around the studio, put them in their separate little piles, and put each project in a two gallon Ziploc bag. I then put them in a big plastic bin that fits under my desk, but still visible. When ever I need to do a project for fun, or for a retreat etc, I just go to the box, and select one to do. It is ready, with all the supplies in tact, and that works out wonderful for me.

I find that seeing stuff through the clear plastic is much better then in drawers, or in paper envelopes. Once they are out of sight in paper or drawers, they may as well be on a cruise to "forgotten art island"!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blog Giveaway!

Tammy Vail has offerred up a lovely giveaway for our blog...a lovely Victorian tassel doll. She is 12 inches tall and her body is made of muslin. Her clothing is made of white rayon fringe and rayon lace pieces that Tammy hand-dyed herself. Ribbons for her hat and neck piece are also hand dyed.

Post a message here to have your name in the drawn in early April! Good luck!

Monday, March 7, 2011

We have a winner!

It is giveaway time! We have a winner for the fabulous hand-carved flaming heart made by Stephanie Brockway! Louise B, this is your lucky day, congratulations! I will forward your contact info to Steph...I hear she is ready to put your package in the mail. Enjoy.

To see more of Stephanie's art, including carved puppets and delightful figures, please visit her blog here.

Stay tuned for another blog giveaway announcement...soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Artist Profile--Judi Stack

Our featured artist this month is Judi Stack. We always enjoy Judi's dry sense of humor, something that often carries over into her artwork. Many of her pieces have a story behind them, often one that leaves us laughing.

1. What are the main mediums you use? What do you find satisfying about them?

When I paint, I like to use acrylic. It not only dries fast, but the clean up is less toxic than

turpentine products used with oil paints.

“Repurpose, reuse, recycle” is the theme of most of my other work. I will use anything I can find to

make shadow boxes, jewelry or collages. I collect all kinds of junk and some of it finds its way into my

work. It’s really “play,” not work.

2. If someone were going to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give?

The more art I see in books, shows, museums and galleries the more I realize that all people can make art. My advice is to pick up what’s at hand and paint it, glue it, carve it, write about it or dance with it. Just do what makes you happy and forget about anyone else. There are no rules.

3. A perfect art day would look like_________

On a perfect art day I usually visit about 9 art galleries in a row and then fall into bed thinking about all of the

ideas I have and wondering how I can live long enough to try them all.

4. Do you have dedicated studio space?

I have a basement room that is crammed full of work tables and boxes of junk, paper, paints, glues, fabric and tools, I have some stuff in the storeroom and I seem to have expanded into the basement family room which doubles as a guest room. I keep the guest bed made up and a big sheet of plastic over it so I can lay projects on it to dry. Because I am a very messy person I need lots of flat surfaces. My husband once told me that 6 tables of unfinished work were too many.

I have all of that room, but my favorite place to work is my big dining table. The light is lots better there and when I see a project constantly, I sometimes finally get it finished.

We don’t invite company for dinner very often, it’s just too much work to carry all my stuff back downstairs.

5. Favorite place you've visited or lived?

I have traveled in China , Japan , England , Ireland and Europe . I loved it all, but my most difficult time was when I studied Chinese in Northern China in 1994. I was almost the oldest student in my group and the living situation and high humidity almost drove me bonkers. I lived through it and achieved my goals so it was all worth it, even the $56 it cost my husband to send me a jar of peanut butter and some toilet paper. I’m sure things have improved a lot since then. I’d really like to go back to see.

6. What inspires you (or are there recurring themes in your work?

I am fascinated with the Hubble picture from space and reading about modern advances in physics. I am also a student of comparative religions and spirituality. I am a Christian who left the church after forty-five years in the same congregation to seek my own spiritual path. I am always looking for the place where science and religion come together.

7. I still struggle with:

Throwing out junk, (otherwise known as treasures) is extremely difficult. As soon as I send something to a charity, I see someone else who has made art with just such an object.

8. I'd be lost without:

I would be lost without glue and double sided tape. When someone asks me what kind of glue I use, I reply, “All of them.”

9. Favorite dessert?

I am pre-diabetic and have given up sugary desserts. Sometimes I will have a little piece of bitter chocolate with my cup of coffee. Coffee with cream is my main treat.

10. What's on the horizon?

I'm wondering what I can make out of this stuff I just bought at Goodwill.

I am much happier since I stopped sending my stuff out to try to jury into shows and just participate in the annual PAC sale only. I am deliriously happy when someone actually buys something I have done. It is SO much fun. And it is so much fun just to be in a room full of PAC friends and their art.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Issue of CPS with Tory Brokenshire Article

Check out the newly released March/April issue of Cloth, Paper Scissors for an article by Tory Brokenshire. Tory demonstrates how she makes her wire and clay sculptures. See page 64
for all the details.
You can see more of her artwork on her Copper Crow Studio blog Here.