Friday, December 11, 2009

December News

As the year quickly draws to a close I often find myself with my sketchbook drawing all sorts of new creations. I am anxious to get started on the work but time is limited until the new year.

I have been getting very involved at the Charlotte Art League. It is a wonderful organization that offers artists with studios to create and a nice enviroment charged with artistic energy. They also host a new show on the first Friday of every month in addition to several outreach programs that support the community. If you have the chance to visit please stop by and see the show, take a class, watch artists at work in their studios or volunteer to support the outreach programs.

I rented a studio space at the art league and had the opportunity to create in my new studio yesterday. I created three new pieces that are inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

It was a wonderful day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Carpenter Workshop

This has been a very busy week in the Carpenter Workshop.

I have been creating small ornaments for the holiday season. I used small vintage square slides and rectangle slides. I made small collages and then soldered the slides together, added ribbons and placed them all on an old print box.

I also completed a series called A Thousand Words using old photographs as the center piece. The ornaments and pictures are on sale at the Green Rice Gallery in the Noda area of Charlotte.

Everyone was involved! My mom helped tie ribbons, Warren was busy with the framing and wiring of the pieces and Zach attended an event at the Art League to view more art and offer ideas. I am a very lucky girl!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charlotte Art League - Autumn Show

I entered my very first juried art show. The Charlotte Art League had a call for artists for the Autumn Show and I entered two scrolls that have the feel of autumn. I was so happy to learn that both of my scrolls were accepted into the show. I entered the Tree of Life and Alice's Autumn. On the night of the show I had dinner with very dear friends and family and then headed to the Art League for the reception and the announcement of the winners.
I was so thrilled to be accepted into the show that I didn't even think about the "contest" aspect. Much to my surprise I came in first place and a big blue ribbon was displayed by my Tree of Life scroll.
The scroll has special meaning to me because if you look closely you will see the initials of my family. At the very top is an old music page titled Life’s Weaving. Sandra Day O'Conner said, “We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone, and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” I love the idea of my life being a tapestry. I know that my tapestry is filled with the spectacular and brilliant threads of my friends and family.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tick-Tock an Altered Clock

Tick-tock, Tick-tock what can I do with an ordinary clock?
One day my friend and I were out "junking" and came across some wall clocks. There was a big pile of clocks to sort through. We each decided to purchase one for the grand amount of $1.98. I chose a round metal silver clock that I could alter. Yesterday I started to alter my clock. I pulled out my trusty old ledger paper, antique French book pages, a vintage children’s book, sari ribbon and an image of a little girl. I tore, folded and wrinkled my papers then glued them to the clock. I wrapped sari ribbon around the papers to hold them in place. I then pulled out my favorite Golden Paints and painted several layers over the top of my papers. The paint on top of the words added a very nice depth. As the frame was drying I worked on the clock face. I collaged, painted and then attached my very favorite little girl image. I added the words Looking Forward from the vintage children’s book. I am always looking forward to my next project so I was very pleased that I found those words. I now have a very less than ordinary clock hanging in my studio. Tick-tock, Tick-tock this is what I did with an ordinary clock.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Digital Collage

Today I spent the day putting together a digital collage. I was inspired by an article that I read in Color Magazine about the digital artist Maggie Taylor. I couldn't resist posting her work - Rather a Difficult Game Indeed. It is from her Alice and Wonderland series. She is amazing!
To get started I gathered all of the images that I wanted to use in my collage. I created a new picture using Corel Paint Shop Pro and placed all images in one place. I call this creation Collage Deconstructed. I then took those images and created a digital collage. Gathering the images, resizing, coloring and altering is the bulk of the work but very rewarding. I mixed all of the images together and made a new digital creation - The Good Boy.
It was a time consuming project but it gave me a good understanding of what goes into creating a Maggie Taylor Masterpiece.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Girl and the Shoe

There once was a girl who had so many shoes she didn't know what to do....

That is a problem I have when I cannot pass up a good old fashioned shoe form. The question comes up... how many shoes do you need?? The answer....Plenty! They are beautiful to display but even better to use in an assemblage. To create this piece I once again pulled out my trusty old 1861 ledger book and took some pages to use in the umbrella and the little girl dress. I picked out an old paintbrush and I was ready to go.
When I was finished I was inspired by the colors and built another assemblage using an old spice rack and some of my favorite antique treasures. I used an old school clock as the base and my creations were ready to be displayed in my entryway.

There once was a girl who had so many baby shoes she didn't know what to do...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All American Art

I am just back from the extremely large antique show in Brimfield, Massachusetts. If you like to collect antiques and vintage items Brimfield is the place for you! Fields and fields full of antique booths line the road. The atmosphere is filled with anticipation. Treasures and good deals are just waiting to be found.

Old clocks, tins, papers, books, kitchen utensils, fabrics and dolls are in abundance. As I sorted through all of the wonderful objects my mind was filling with future art projects.

What would you create with an old can, ledger paper, sari ribbon and a bust of Charles Lindberg?

I created an All American Explosion!

I will be asking myself similar questions all week as I look through my wonderful Brimfield treasures.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Emme - A Very Special Artist

I have a little friend in Portland, Oregon. Her name is Emme Ek. She is the daughter of Nicole, one of my good friends and the little sister of Austin, one of Zach's best friends.

Two years ago Emme participated in a Flat Stanley project at school and sent us her "Flat Emme". Our mission was to take pictures of Flat Emme in North Carolina. We took Flat Emme to Lowes Motor Speedway, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Uptown Charlotte and even to Duke University. It was a fun family project.

We have been fortunate to have Emme's brother Austin spend time with us in Charlotte. He was here this summer for two weeks and went to see all of the places Flat Emme ventured.

Today little Emme is sick. She is in the childrens hospital in Portland and has just had a brain tumor removed. We are praying for her and her family. She is a sweet little girl with a beautiful smile, wonderful heart and a terrific spirit. Please say a special prayer for Emme and for her family.
We love you Emme!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sweet September Surprise

A few weeks ago a friend and I each took one antique doll leg and committed to creating a piece of art using the leg. We agreed that we would send the completed projects to each other. Judy took the right leg to Massachusettes and I kept the left leg in Charlotte. I decided to alter an old heart box and attached the leg. I carefully filled the heart box with special treasures and shipped it off.

Today, I recieved a beautifully wrapped box from Judy. It was with much anticipation that I opened the package. What awaited me was a beautiful surprise. Judy attached the leg to a specially created altered box top. The colors are amazing and much to my delight she attached seven more legs. I call her creation All Legs. It is so sweet.

Her box also included several special items. A wonderful pink vintage angel,
antique lace, bronzed baby shoes, faithful pins and a beautiful rose. Our legs to each other grew like ocotopus legs. It was a sweet project and made completing the art so meaningful. I have found that when I create a card or a piece of art with someone special in mind it reminds me of whats makes them so dear to me.

Thank you dear Judy for this wonderful gift! We are seeing each other next week at the Brimfield antique show. I wonder what we will exchange next. An old necklace, cheese grater, doll head, spool of thread, vintage buttons.... oh the possibilities are endless.....

I am one happy girl!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Digitally Delightful

For years my husband has been taking beautiful pictures of sunsets and sunrises, rolling clouds, flowers with hints of dew and magestic Oregon vistas.
While my husband was snapping pictures I was busy roaming through antiques stores and flea markets finding bits and pieces of old papers, photos, newspapers and magazines.

This week I have been very busy collaging these items with Corel Paint Shop and creating altered images that a week ago only existed only in my imagination. Each completed collage is represented by at least six different images. The possibilities are endless!

Happy Birthday to Judy...

Zach plays sweet music in Charleston...

Garden Grow

What do you dream....

This new technique allows my husband to be a part of my art. Right now he is in search of the perfect cupcake. A new cupcake store opened in Charlotte so it is a great excuse for him to go find the ultimate treat. But before he eats the beauty he must take several pictures so that I can mix it it all together with a sweet picture of my niece holding a pan of perfectly baked cupcakes. I can already see the final collage. It will be delicious!

This artist is living quite a sweet life!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The First Sale

After creating assemblages for several years I finally worked up the courage to show my work to a local gallery owner. She accepted several of my pieces and asked me to attend the Friday evening Gallery event. It was thrilling to see my art being viewed by the public. But it was also very intimidating. My sweet husband stood near several of my pieces and casually made conversation to gauge customer reactions. I was not sure how dressforms with melted wax, shadow boxes with childrens books from the 1800's and altered old pin cushions would fare. Thankfully the reactions were all good.

A few weeks later I attended an art book swap and was introduced to a very nice lady named Judy. When Judy heard my name she got a big smile on her face and said, "You're Sheila! I just saw your work at the Green Rice Gallery. I love the "J" Box." What a wonderful way to meet a new friend! I had a smile on my face for a week.
I went in several times during the first few months to see if anything had sold or if the owner had any recommendations for actually selling a piece of art. She was very kind and encouraging and said there was plenty of interest but I needed to give it time.

And then it happened.... I sold a piece! After so many months of waiting it happened.

My advice for anyone that wants to follow your gallery dream - surround yourself with artists, friends and family that believe in you and your work. I would not have approached the gallery if one of my biggest fans (my lovely sister Karen) had not encouraged me with her love and support. I would not have had the courage to listen to what customers had to say about my art without standing beside my husband (my high school sweetheart and husband for 25 years) and letting him lead the way. I might have pulled my work if I wasn't so encouraged by Judy and her kind words.

Interestingly enough the very first sale has wonderful old newspaper from 1867 and if you look close enough you will be treated with a story about faith and the glory of god.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Interesting August Creations

August brings us to the end of summer and wonderful warm memories. Trips across the Southeast, antiquing in Tennessee, an art retreat with my dear friends, vacationing in Pigeon Forge and creating unique art and vignettes. I have been inspired from Baltimore to Birmingham. Art and creativity are everywhere!

I have the good fortune to live in an area where old books, tools, fabrics and ephemera are in abundance. I have taken these items and managed to create some unique art pieces this summer.

Some of my August creations have used a mixture of old tins, microscope slides, antique ledger papers and toys from the past.

Unique assemblage has definately become a passion!

What will September bring?