16 May 2014

Art A Whirl this weekend!  I will be in studio 394 at the Northrup King Building.  I was down there yesterday and I could feel the excitement as signs were going up in the neighborhood and artists were hanging their art, pounding nails, adjusting lights...

Here are two (iPhone) images of part of the Johnson Family Photo Album.  $135 each, or all four for $500.

And yes, they really are Johnson's (polymer clay ones.)   You notice with family vacations there is always one pouter? 

It's hard to tell in this photo but, Francis has a heater in his hand, and an arm around his old man.   He is back at the farm he grew up on.  The neighborhood has changed a bit and folks from down the road stopped by.

04 May 2014

This little lamb is making an unedited appearance (honestly, I probably will never post if I have to be really perfect and edit photos taken by me.  It has almost been a year since I have posted!)  The title of this piece is Love Letters and it was part of the Minneapolis Love Stories show in February at Chowgirls in Northeast Minneapolis.  Currently, it is in a gallery in Lanesboro, Mn.  It is approximately 12" tall and backlit by a little orange LED.  It is hard to appreciate the LED in this photo. 
Also, below is another piece that I created for Minneapolis Love Stories, Heart is Where the Home is.   Some of you know that my career has been in health care as a sonographer.  I have a few specific disciplines (Ob/Gyn, Vascular and Adult Cardiac.)  I worked in patient care for many years and now I work in preclinical research, doing some very cool things!  I do miss patients though...I just had to say that and now I will get back on the rail.  There is an artist, Frank Netter, a physician/artist who illustrated anatomical volumes, that for some reason I connected with through his drawings.  So, what you see is a hybrid between two vocations in my life, inspired by Frank Netter.  Maybe three vocations, if you count the dearness of my family to me.

I have sweet, loveable friends who give me their junk.  The star looking things on top and bottom were given to me by Melinda, and I sawed it in half.  The tiles and the heart and birds are polymer clay.  The sides are bead heads embedded in black grout and the whole thing, the substrate, is a little wooden box I built.  The heart is illuminated with a pink LED and, here is another fine example of my photography skills (Mitch! Where are you???)  It is in the Laneboro Art Gallery also.  Below is a fuzzy little close up of the heart.

My last post, a year ago, announced that I would have a piece at the Polymer Clay Exhibit at the Flow Space Gallery in St. Paul, Mn.   My piece, Diary of a Firefly, was displayed next to artists I have admired and wanted to emulate for a long time, Kathleen Dustin and Laurie Mika.  I couldn't believe it!  And, I took second place in the Emerging Artist category.  Woohoo!   A really cool cowgirl bought it, the funky and intrepid Sarah B.
This piece incorporates part of an old stained glass window my sister Bobby gave me, with a little flickering tea light behind it.  It is approx. 10" high and 3" deep.  I made a ton of polymer clay blades of grass, some using the Skinner technique to add gradations of color.  There is also commercial tile from an old, broken pseudo-Tiffany lamp that the owners of Your Art's Desire gave me.  I had so much fun making this.
So, here is what is going on now...Art-a-Whirl takes place May 16, 17 and 18 is the largest open studio art crawl in the United States (Yeah!  Right here in Northeast Minneapolis!)  30,000 people attend this each year and I will be at the Northrup King Building in Studio 394.  I am joining up with some other great artists and I have been working on my Magnus Opum; a buffalo skull my husband brought back from Oklahoma that I have glued a bazillion glass and fresh water pearls on.  It has a Burlesquish-theme and I am inviting you to come and see it!

30 May 2013

If you get a chance, head over to St. Paul (Minnesota, USA) and see this show.  Polymer Clay is slowly getting the Fine Art recognition it should, right here, at Flow Space.   (click on Flow Space.)

I am so honored to be part of this show, in with many of the polymer clay artists that I have admired and followed for years. 

11 May 2013

Sarah's Mirror
This was made for my artist friend, Sarah.  Sarah makes beautiful jewelry and this mirror doubles as home decor and a working mirror, as she can remove the banner held by the birds that will contain her business name.  It is (approx.) 14 inches high, and I created a few different planes of wood to give the facade some depth.  And then a whole lot of beads, glass and black grout.
Sarah's Mirror
 A few years ago, I was at Pike's Market in Seattle with my daughter.  We went into a crystal shop and I bought a peice of flourite.  It was so beautiful, with it's purple, green and crystaline planes.  I took a train to Portland and I just studied it in the sunlit window, as we passed the sea.  Fast forward a few years and I find the notes I had taken from the shop owner, about flourite's characteristics. I am reminded of the reasons I bought it; restoring one to their highest good, and making Order out of Chaos.  That is what this peice is called.  It is a shrine with a little tea light candle.  The base of the votive repeats, Order out of Chaos, Order out of Chaos..

It is 14 inches high and next week will be available at the Lanesboro Arts Center juried gallery shop.  Road Trip for me!  There will be other peices of mine available also.

Order out of Chaos

Don't forget to visit me at Art-a-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis next weekend, May 17-19, 2013.  It is so much fun.  I will be at the Sheridan School. 


07 February 2013

Hello everyone!  I am so flattered; a peice of my work has been accepted at 33 Contempo Gallery  in Chicago.  The show is called Copyright?.  It will open this month.
Here are a couple of other things I have been up to.  This image is The Petulant Magdalene, by El Greco.  I bought it in Sitges, Spain last summer.  I researched it and found it was in the public domain and then began beading and tiling around it.  It is a little over 11" tall.
  A view of the side, with handmade polymer clay tiles.  Tapestry tile inside the niche space.
A work in progress...this little shrine has a little crown that I purchased at a flea market in France.  I an not sure how old it is; you can get really old things over there.  Red mirrored tile and polymer clay shutters added to the foam and wood substrate; then a little piece of translucent glass that will house a votive candle.  There are lots of little flowers, beads and upholstery tacks embelishing the glass.  I still need to grout it and finish the inside of the niche space.  It is...10" tall, approximately. 
Okay, remember per my last blog entry, I am teaching a polymer clay class in Delano, MN,Feb 16.  Follow the link (scroll down) for more information.

21 January 2013

Brrrrrrr....it is below zero degrees in Minnesota and very windy.  It is a good time to stay in and create, which is what I have been doing for the last five days.  I thought I would show some more pics of what I have been up to over the winter (so far.)

This is a mirror I am making for a friend and is still a work in progress.  Lots and lots of beads, some tile and millefiore.  I will be grouting it in black soon.  I took an 8 x 10" frame and sculpted the extra "curls" with wood and apoxie.


Here is a buffalo skull Jeff brought back to me last year, after hunting in Arkansas.  I had just bought these beads and I was playing around, seeing what they would look like on the skull.  I hope to be showing some progress images soon on the buffalo skull; it will have none of these beads on it.  Instead, I am reinforcing the weak areas of the skull and priming it; preparing to put something totally different on it.  This is a very old skull and the sinuses keep flaking off and falling out.  Parts of it have cracked and, I have brushed the teeth several times.  Did you know that the horns are actually keratin, over bone, and this one's horns probably fell off a long time ago.  Stay tuned....

This is my fancy water holder. 
This is my studio.  It is painted "Provencial Lemon;" a color my son and Jeff helped me paint on shortly before I went to France last year.  This used to be the room the kids would hang out in and watch TV.  I would tell my son and his girlfriend, "I need to see some air between you two!"  Lots of gaming,movie watching, and when we were gone, the little angels "entertained" down here.  We knew it because the windows were left open (why?) 
One of my little angels is in Washington D.C. going to school now.  She was at the Presidential Inauguration today.  I heard many years ago that your kids will take you to new places; mine sure have.  I digress...back to art and a little announcement.
I am teaching a cute, little polymer clay tile class at the local library February 16, 2013.  The State of Minnesota has bequeathed monies to support the arts, The Legacy Fund.  So, I was asked to do this class and would love it if you attended.  It is a lot of fun for kids, as well as adults.
Delano Library (follow this link and it will take you right to the registration page.)
Aggghhhhh!  I have to go outside now.  Stay warm everybody!

13 January 2013

Hey! Here are a little bit better images of Dream Maker. I had mentioned before that I am trying to take my own photos and, I just got my editing program loaded.




 I am including an almost finished shrine, Order Out of Chaos. In the upcoming posts, I will include some more things I have been up too.


I created the substrate out of foam and wood; then began the mosaicing process.  The flowers are embellishments I purchased and painted; then gilded (when I grouted, the abrasive grout took the gilding off.  I will have to redo that.)  There is a battery-lit tea light inside the little balcony, which I also sculpted and cut glass for.  Polymer clay lines the inside of the niche.  When I finish it, there will be some text around the balcony that says Order out of Chaos, Order out of Chaos...or, something like that.  This is approximately 14" in height.

I wanted a little shrine to remind me that clarity comes with time and patience.

06 January 2013

Dream Maker
My Christmas present to Jeff; I backlit a paperweight with a craft light. (Factory Direct Crafts)   The paper weight and frame I found at thrift shops and, I raided Jeff's workbench for motorcycle parts and tools to add/ make clay imprints with.  A few of the stamps I used in the polymer clay, I ordered off  Etsy.  We have a Jack Russell Terrier whom Jeff loves so, I included that too.  It is approximately 10 x 14 ".

The last post was May, 2012.  My intention was to post more frequently but, I started a new job, had a kid move back in, had a kid get married, went to France and Spain for 3 weeks, (some of which was to attend a wonderful art retreat in Dufort, France.  My instructor was Dayle Doroshow. I highly recommend her course!)  And just recently, helped another kid transfer colleges from the West to the East Coast.  It was distracting but, it was all good distractions as I am really enjoying my job and, loving the company of the kids.  I have had enough of Santa now and, after wondering what the heck I am doing with my art, (why do I do this, I just love to create, I don't know nothing 'bout marketing, who wants this stuff anyways...ad nauseum...)  I guess we will see where 2013 takes me. 
More to come; more frequently too.  I am learning a new camera and I hope to have rockin' images to follow.   Happy New Year everyone!  I hope 2013 takes you to some fascinating places too.


17 May 2012

SKETZEL: For Francisco- a little movie

SKETZEL: For Francisco- a little movie: This piece will exhibited at Art-a-Whirl, this Friday through Sunday, May 18-20, 2012.  There is a little flickering candle illumi...

For Francisco- a little movie

This piece will be exhibited at Art-a-Whirl, this Friday through Sunday, May 18-20, 2012.  There is a little flickering candle illuminating The Madonna, a Saint card my sister brought me back from Spain.  The substrate is foam and I sculpted a little balcony to place the candle in.  Then I went nuts with embellishment.  More photos follow with detail of my hand made polymer clay tiles and lots of bling and grout.  The piece is about 15 inches in length.

Clay Squared to Infinity
34 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

View Declines
Just a reminder I will be at the Keg House; same as Clay squared to Infintiy ( a fabulous handmade tile store.)

13 May 2012

HI everybody!  I have wanted to post sooner but what a busy couple of months I have had.  I have a new job and I just finished a Philosophy course and some other "stuff" that has kept me super busy.  Here is what I wanted to tell you though; I will be at Northeast Minneapolis' Art-a-Whirl this Friday through Sunday, May 18-10, 2012.  I will be at the Keg House, in the Sip coffee shop.  I overheard another artist telling someone that Art-a-Whirl is the largest art crawl in the nation.  There is alot of fun stuff going on all over.  Hello Kitty will be there and available for purchase.  She measures about 13 inches across and is about 3 inches deep (sorry for the vague dimensions.)  Below are some photos from a post over a year ago, where I beaded a real cat skull and began tiling a piece of foam I got out of the dumpster.  Cobalt blue tile, mostly and a sculpted pink kitty head.  She is not your daughter's hello kitty, heehee. 

It is unlikely that you will recall my one year ago post but, I dropped kitty and chipped her teeth.  I had to resculpt and file them with Apoxie Sculpt.  Oh, and while we are still on the subject of Art-a-Whirl, I will have a couple of new pieces and I will be taking....ta dah.....credit cards!

Oh, one more thing...the Minnesota Mosiac Guild's Spring show is in St. Paul, MN at Mosiac on a stick.  It ends this Saturday, May 19, 2012.  I have a piece there and, I will also be with the Guild at a gallery in Stillwater, MN this July.

28 February 2012

My First Rodeo

My First Rodeo

I read Georgia O'Keeffe biography a long time ago.  At a garage sale, I sold a nice big picture book of hers, along with a big book on her husband's (Alfred Stieglitz) photos.  I regret that now.  Like O'Keeffe, I am attracted to bleached bones, horns and skulls.  I purchased the cow horns a few years ago at a thrift shop and I spent last winter beading and gluing millefiori on them (More detailed photos to follow on next post.)  I wasn't sure what I would do with them but, last fall things came together.  With an old conch belt I had bought in a California thrift shop, a little plastic horse from a flea market, and a frame on sale at Michael's, the piece started to pull together.  I spray painted the frame green, mounted another boxed frame on back, and beaded a bunch more.  Awhile back in the mail , I had received an advertisement with pictures of drapes one could purchase at JC Penney's.  Perfect schematics for making polymer clay drapes!  The background is mosaic white tile and grout.  It is for sale (most of my posts on this blog are.) A little metallic plaque below the horse says, "My First Rodeo."  What you don't see, mounted behind the drapes, is an orange light that makes this little pony look pissed off!  16 x 18 x 6 inches.

Okay, more news...I am teaching a class at The Studio at Rush Creek (Maple Grove, MN.)  You will learn how to make polymer clay tiles and embellish them.  6:30 to 8:30 pm March 7, 2012.  See you there, ok?

p.s. I really have to give credit to this artist, Laurie Mika, for inspiring me.  I have not been able to take one of her classes (yet) but, I have watched her art on line for years.  Then one day she wrote a book and I was all over that!

20 January 2012

The Circus

The Circus

Last February  my husband Jeff and I visited our daughter in Portland , Oregon.  I love that town and it has a familiarity to it since my mom had lived there also.  I found a chain belt with coins in a thrift shop and things started to collect in my house around this chain belt.  Then I found a picture of a snake charmer (Big thanks to Muffet on Flicker.)  I started making shades of pink polymer clay tiles and stamping them with India images.  I deviated from my conventional blingy-ness; I wanted a matte look and I  discovered Doc O'Brien's weathering powders From the library, I checked out kids books on India to get inspired by some images.  I used Apoxie Sculpt to create cow horns and painted them to look like Henna.

I learned that snake charming is illegal in India now, yet what a profession!   There are some wonderful, authentic snake charming images from the University of Washington but, too many hoops to jump through to get permission to use.  I try to be very careful about that public domain slippery slope.  I actually contacted the estate of Man Ray whom his images are entrusted too.  I asked if I could use some of his images in my art. They told me, "...Absolutely not,"  and signed the correspondence, "Remaining at your service..."

The piece measures 26 x 21 x 4 inches.  The substrate is Wedi-board (concrete-foam-concrete sandwich used to frame in showers.)   There are pink jasper beads, millefiore, smalti, old jewelry; oh-and a little toy elephant I painted blue and sculpted India-elephant looking garb on it (illuminated magnifying glass for that one.)  The little tent is created out of polymer clay.
A river runs through it.  I was trying to convey a sensory overload of exotic sights, sounds and smells moving through town, just for that one night, leaving stunned inhabitants in its' wake who later would recall, "Remember the night the circus came into town?"

Here are some detailed images.  Blessings Everyone!

p.s.  I'm kind of a big deal.  I have 14 followers on Google and 8 on Twitter, 3 real people and 5 perverts.

13 January 2012

Polymer Clay class at the Studio at Rush Creek

I am teaching a class on Polymer Clay Tile Mirrors at the Studio at Rush Creek in Maple Grove, MN.  Click on my post title and it will take you to the class schedule.  Scroll down to Jan 21 and the class is from 1-4 pm.  Kids are welcome too if they can handle a sharp knife by themselves.  Here is the class description link:


I hope to see you there!


14 December 2011

Merry Chrismas from the Johnson's

I thought it would be fun to create a diorama that looked like an old photo; the ones with the white deckled edges that usually had cursive pencil written on the border; (thankfully) indicating who the subjects were.  The project started to be a study in black and white.  I found a foam box in the dumpster, covered it with celluclay, then thinset so it could give tooth to the mosaic polymer clay tiles.  After that, lots of beads, smalti, old jewelry and of course, my fave, Apoxie Sculpt.  'Used acrylic paints and Gilder's Paste also.  It measures approximately 11 inches square.  But, It likes to think it is bigger.

I should warn you that as I write this, I am coming down from a bad Nyquil jag.   I have lost my censors being ill. I picture myself being carried off by white coats and yelling, "it's not me, it's the cold medicine!"  But, I think it is me.  So, I hope it is not too offensive when I say that all these kitchy frames you can buy with loving family adjectives on them make me nauseous.  They are targeted at those who learned communication skills from watching old re-runs of Bonanza.
  I sound so arrogant! 'Must be the Nyquil.  I have become a creature I don't know.  And, after lying in bed for too long, I realized how much I think in metaphors.  Everything is a metaphor. I look at something and I am sure I see it's higher purpose; to show me in symbols.  It drives me nuts and I started to pull on my hair and inside I was screaming, "Stop seeing Metaphors!
 Turning it around, in a kind of Byron Katie approach, I thought that a bumper sticker that said, "START SEEING METPAHORS" would be funny.  'Yellow background to it, similar to "START SEEING MOTORCYCLES."

 This is Laura Marling, from the CD a Creature I don't know.   The name of the song is Sophia and I love it.  It starts out slow at first but, it turns into a totally different tempo half way through Tempo changes are good, metaphorically speaking.

Okay, there is one of these frames in my house with warm, fuzzy adjectives.  I think all that stuff on the frames is there in my family.  But I would be lying if I said that like any family, we do not have our share of growing pains and drama.  Not the least of which included me ordering my son the other night to get me some fucking gelato. Yeah, the effenheimer is cheap and easy; a readily available profanity whore.  And I gotta lot of ornery currency to use right now.  ( He was in the USMC so he can take it.)  And what is wrong with learning communication skills from the set of Bonanza?  

Okay, study the Johnson's.  There is more to this piece than your first gland glance. 

As disconnected as this blog is right now, perhaps you will see a thread running somewhere through it; I much prefer the broad spectrum of adjectives, including the difficult ones.  I like a Patina on my people.  I am going to leave you with a "new-oldschool-Christmas Carol."  Really, what's so funny about peace, love and understanding?  And I am going to blame the blabbering on Nyquil.  Happy Holidays Everyone!!  (p.s. My husband and son just got back from the store with the gelato.)