Wednesday, May 23

Hola Monkeys! 

It has been a while since I posted here. Quiet Monkeys, my last solo art show was a great success. I have more images of the art from the show, that I will share with you soon. Sharing the artists process is a major mission of this blog. The seeds of ideas that come from the most unexpected and mundane places. The ebb and flow of creative energy. Navigating studio time and balancing it with everyday life. plucking a single thread of an idea and following it to a logical conclusion. After a major body of work has been completed, what is next? Where and how do you start the process again? I can tell you that some artists just keep on doing the same thing. The same idea, the same process the same work of art over and over. This is not the way of the Monkey! That is not how we roll. We Monkeys, strive to climb high and find ever greater vantage points. To seek new perspectives. Weaving new ideas into our quilt, into our overall body of work.

 I have been compiling a list of links to subject matter and images that are inspiring me, right now. These are possible directions for exploration. After searching for inspiring visuals, I am sure I want to continue the process of making paper mache sculpture, covered in encaustic wax. I am also considering a quilt and more encaustic paintings. To kick myself in the butt, I ordered crates of beeswax and paperclay. Let the process begin! Here is a selection of my current list of links, for inspiration:

 this is just a sampling of the list of sources for inspiration so far. I will keep seeking these seedlings of ideas and sharing them with you. ONWARD!


Tuesday, November 8

Last chance to walk thought the Monkey Garden

The Monkeys will be leaving the gallery November 15th. This Saturday there will be a gallery benefit and closing reception at the Eric Schindler Gallery. If you haven't been to the show yet this would be a great time to visit. I am looking forward to a final viewing myself.
Once the work enters the gallery it is all grown up, on its own, I am just the parent clumsily visiting with clean laundry and completely embarrassing. I feel very proud of my monkeys. I will be at the closing reception on Saturday, but don't come to see me, come for the happiness the monkeys bring. I am just a proud mum, er, artist, beaming with delight at how great they turned out, in spite of me.

Check out the cool write up in Style Weekly by Julie Geen. She, Kirsten and I had a lovely talk and she captured it nicely.

Onward Monkeys!!!

Wednesday, October 5

16 days till Quiet Monkeys comes to RVA!

Hey Monkeys! I have been working very hard getting all the monkeys together for their big art show. The totem is done. I finished it on the 10th anniversary of 9.11. Those of you who have been long time followers of the blog know my story. Those of you who would like to read more about it, can, here.

The shells in the piece were all collected from a beach on the Golf coast of Florida during a family vacation. The snakes teeth are porcelain from a special tea cup I loved and broke. All the Monkeys are made from paper mache, (flour, salt, water and paper). Paperclay was used to get more refined shapes (a non toxic clay mostly made of vocalic ash). Homemade encaustic wax was used to cover the pieces, (Beeswax Damar crystals and Milk Paint). Every ingredient has some personal significance, and is non toxic.

Here is the show info:
Quiet Monkeys
Opening reception, October 21st
7 to 9
Eric Schindler Gallery RVA

Monkey friends if you would like a postcard and to get on my mailing list, send me your address.

I will post more photos leading up to the opening. But for now I have to get back to work, there is still plenty of Monkey business for me to do till then.

Onward Monkeys!

Monday, August 8

Big announcement Monkeys

My dear friend Cami sent me these images of the announcements for my MFA Theses exhibition at Ford Hall at Eastern Michigan University--way back in the day, 1992. It truly feels like 100 years ago.

In 92, I was a worker bee working on my art night and day. It made perfect sense to send out time cards as invitations. I was working 3 jobs, teaching a few classes as well as working on art in my studio.

My current work deals with relics and looking backward and forward yet always reaching upward. Here I am confronted with these time cards as relics. How ancient the use of White-out seems to us now, or hand typing on a real old fashioned typewriter every single invite. The ribbon that ties this in is Cami found these invites in the bottom of her memory box. While she herself was cleaning out her art studio gearing up to create work. True relics. True friends.

The reason I bring this up is there is a new date for the show I have been working towards these many months.

The show has a name: Quiet Monkeys
It will open on October 21st and close on November 15th.
At he Eric Schindler Gallery RVA
save those dates monkeys!


Thursday, June 9

Monkey Fruit Snake

Progress report: This one started way back in Oct. as you can see they were just tape monkeys back in the beginning. I added the stripes and filled them out at the end of last year. Then they sat in the studio where I played with them, studied them and mapped out a general plan of attack. This week I felt I had a handle on this encaustic waxing business enough to start back on the monkey wheel. I figure I put in about 60 hours waxing them so far. Hot work even in the AC, during a heat wave. I am not complaining. I am quite encouraged by the progress so far. They look more like Cheese Monkeys in photo (a really great book by Chip Kidd by the way) or cheese art. But look less like cheese in real life. When the wax is all smooth and a bit transparent the sculpture sings, that is what I am striving for. That is what keeps me hunched over a hot plate shaving wax with a razor.

Onward Monkeys!

Wednesday, May 25

what's up Wednesday

We do these things because they are hard! For the last week and a half I have been smoothing the wax on the Monkey Ball. In my head I kept hearing a mash up of JFK saying, "We do these things because they are hard" and Tina Turners intro to Proud Mary, "We never do things nice and easy we do things ruff". It is hard to explain how I find myself immersed in these long slow processes, they don't seem to be my nature. But I guess it is my nature. I never do things the easy way, always the long slow hard way.

The weekend before last Mr. Eleven and I met our dear friend Jeff in DC to see the Gauguin show. It was a great treat and I got to see Gauguin's sculptures. In my mind his sculptures were brightly colored but in reality the colors were all the same value and really could have been one color. In some they were. This is important. As a painter doing sculptor you think like a painter. But as a sculptor there are different concerns. I finally got it! Once back home I knew I needed to scrap all the colored wax off the Monkey ball and unify the forms. Make him whole and rediscover the subtlety in the sculpture.

This is the hard part. Taking the wax off is easy, just heat it up and the wax peels off. But adding it is hard. Hard and slow. Adding wax requires using a brush dipped in hot wax, covering the surface one stroke at a time. Using a knife blade heated on a hot plate, the wax is melted and smoothed one tiny section at a time. Breaking down the planes from blob to smooth Day after day, heat smooth and repeat.

The Reaching Up Monkey, (Celebrating Monkey) has a ways to go too. I have been taking him in the yard to sand, adding more clay and repeating this process over an over. Again who would make a life sized sculptuer out of paper and volcanic ash?...This girl! I love what I am doing I crave it. But I find myself asking, How did I get here, a lot.

Only the Monkeys know, Onward Monkeys!

Wednesday, May 11

studio helpers at rest....

The dogs enjoying our new wall color and notice no more holes in the wall!

mmmmm good salad!

Ms.Bella sunning after a good meal.

...thought I would provide a better view of this: Monkey cutting the head off the snake.

Onward Monkeys!