Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love Tree

This is one of the largest collages I have ever made - it's 30" x 48" on gallery wrapped canvas made using paper (primarily an old map of the US), acrylic paint, and ink. It's titled "Love Tree."

xo Abby

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Favorite Materials

My stash of paper organized by color

I suppose every artist a favorite medium or two to work with. As a collage artist, by far, my favorite is paper. I had been collecting paper for years, even before I had any inkling I would become a collage artist myself! I guess a tiny unspoken part of me knew deep down I would need it some day - funny how our truth calls to us in ways we don't understand at the time.

So I thought I would share some photos of my paper collection, in addition to some other materials I've collected more recently that I love to work with. I'm amazed sometimes I have any room to create anything at all with all this stuff!

Bins full or more paper sources - old calendars and maps

More paper - rolls that are to large to fit anywhere else,
so I have them in a gift wrap organizer

And of course the scraps I could never throw away!
I keep them organized by color in Ziploc bags!

Honorary Mentions

My collages wouldn't be collages without the glue - here is my favorite Liquitex fluid matte medium. Holds most light to medium weight paper, dries clear, and makes a great top coat/sealant. Love it!

In the past year or two I have really begun to
incorporate acrylic paint into my work

And finally, my Ranger Distress Ink.
I love to use this ink (applied with my finger) for shading and definition.
It can really make a piece come to life!

If anyone would like to share their favorite materials, I'd love to hear!

xo Abby

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Visit to the the Art Institute of Chicago

Last month during my trip to Chicago I was lucky enough to spend some time at the Art Institute. Since realizing I was an artist myself, about 5 years ago (you can read my story here), going to museums has become a much more intense experience for me. I've enjoyed art my whole life, but now am just awed by the impact art has had over the centuries, the age of certain pieces I've seen, and the idea that people have simply been making art since the beginning of time.

The Art Institute of Chicago is definitely one of the best museums I have ever been to. Their collection of Ancient Indian/Eastern art was amazing as well as a huge Impressionistic Wing and Modern Art areas.

Here are some photos I wanted to share:

This statue was right in the entrance foyer - I found it very striking!

Ancient statue of Hindu deity Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles

A famous Van Gogh painting The Bedroom
I have a print of this in my art studio! So cool to see in person

Seated Buddha statue from the 12 th century

xo Abby

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Work Monday

So, after spending most of this past year working on large scale collages (30" x 40" !) for my solo art show this past May (see here), I am having fun making art on a smaller scale.

I found this old Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia Volume X from 1931 about 7 years ago at a garage sale, and it has just been sitting in my art room, lost, until I finally decided to put it to use. One of the things I love about mixed media collage is that you can turn old into new, and breathe new life into things. Oh, in case you are wondering, I did check to see if it was worth anything before I started ripping it up!

With fall coming, I decided to focus on trees and leaves cut from the book pages over a layered background of hand painted tissue or textured paper with a bubble wrap imprint. I have 2 done so far, but am working on several more! These little collages are 4" x 5" on stretched canvas. I plan to sell them at the upcoming craft show I am doing The Clover Market September 18th in Ardmore, Pa.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Ferris Wheel

Last month during a trip to Chicago I had the chance to ride a Ferris wheel, which I haven't done in a long time. A really long time! As a 42 year old woman with no children, the opportunity just doesn't come up that much. But visiting Navy Pier with my 4 nieces and nephews, I didn't have much choice in the matter.

There is something so joyful the image of a Ferris wheel evokes for me. I guess it reminds me of my own childhood summers and adventures at amusement parks. So I thought I'd share this photo I took.

As an adult, I am pretty afraid of heights. But even I know to always ride the Ferris wheel when given the chance. Always. And as long as everyone kept their fingers and toes inside and didn't stand up, I was fine :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What I've Been Up To...

Well, I recently made a resolution to post twice a week, but life got in the way a bit. Oh well, it's time to begin again....

So, I have a few things in my creative life going on that I'm excited to share. Firstly, I have started an e-course this week called Flying Lessons presented by Kelley Rae Roberts. The subtitle is Tips and Tricks to Make Your Creative Business Soar. I have had a very exciting year creatively (my very first solo art show in May!) and am ready to continue to grow my creative business :)

Secondly, I will be participating in my very first craft show this Fall at the Clover Market in Ardmore, PA. I feel this market is a very good fit for me, and I have been delving into the world of craft show preparation! There are lots of things to consider - I have already purchased my tent, but I am still ruminating over how to best display my art. It's all fun stuff though :) I will definitely be posting more updates about the show as it gets closer!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Story Behind the Art

Today I am going to tackle question #3 in my ongoing series "5 Blog Posts Every Artist Should Write" suggested by this article on the website Imaginative Bloom:

The Story Behind A Piece of Art

I was going to choose a different collage actually, but a moment ago, a starling landed outside my window, so I think I will discuss this bird collage featuring a starling called Etiquette Lessons ( I am a firm believer in signs and messages!)

I made this collage about 2 1/2 years ago. It was one of the first collages I made after learning how to include other mediums besides paper in my art. It was originally made on an 9" x 12" canvas. The background was made from tissue paper I painted (using acrylic paint,) and the flowers are actually from a dinner napkin! The body of the bird was made using a Xerox of my husbands sweater. A fun tip: Color copying fabric is a great way to create interesting papers to use for collage. And amazingly, I have found no one even gives you funny looks if you go to Kinkos and Xerox a bunch of clothing!

The title Etiquette Lessons comes from the description of the starling in my animal totem book Animal Speak by Ted Andrews:
The starling is a very socialble bird, and when not nesting, they gather together to form immense flocks. They almost always travel together a feed in flocks. Because of this , Starlings reveal lessons associated with group behavior and etiquette ...
The original of this collage has sold, but giclee (fine art) prints are still available in my etsy shop here !

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Artwork - The Sing Series

I had fun making these little 4 " x 4 " collages! They were made on canvas using hand painted tissue paper as the background to add texture.

I had originally created these paisley birdies to use in a larger collage called "Always Remember to Sing," but decided to expand the idea to smaller collages I have named the "Sing" series.

These paisley birdies sitting on musical note branches are here to remind you to always remember to sing your own song, and are currently available for sale in my etsy shop!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What I did last Sunday...

Maybe other readers are familiar with this phenomena. When going on vacation, I always make sure to take full advantage of all the sights and opportunities available. But living near a major metropolis - Philadelphia, I am definitely delinquent in taking advantage of all the cultural opportunities in my area.

Philadelphia Museum of Art (sorry no Rocky steps, we went in the back!)

So, yesterday afternoon I suggested my husband and I take a trip to The Philadelphia Museum of Art (about a 15 - 20 minute drive away.) I hadn't been to the museum in years. And guess what - it was great! Some of the exhibits I remembered well. Others I found a new appreciation for since becoming an "artist" myself. I left feeling inspired and rejuvenated.

One of the many outdoor sculptures

Monet's The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny- always amazing to see famous art in person!

early 20th century Japanese Tea Garden (yes, that is *inside* the museum!)

If you visit with a member of the male species, you *will* have to see the armour exhibit!

Now my husband and I are planning which local museums to visit next!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Childhood Art Influences

It's always fun to look back at early artistic influences from childhood. For me, it was the illustrations of some of my favorite childhood storybooks that had the biggest impact.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Miffy at the Seaside by Dick Bruna, and Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson are the books that stand out in my memory the most...How about you?

Monday, June 27, 2011

5 Blog Posts Every Artist Should Write Part 2

So today I am going to tackle question #2 in my ongoing series "5 Blog Posts Every Artist Should Write" suggested by this article on the website Imaginative Bloom: Your specialty and why you choose it. To see my first response in this series, click here

I consider myself a mixed media collage artist, but the mixed media part came later. Initially, I found myself drawn to paper collage. The collage part was easy and natural: I've always loved cutting things from paper, and even though nobody believes me, I really don't feel I can draw well. Paper alone was my first medium of choice and many of my early collages were 100% paper and glue.
Red Bird Listening Paper Collage

Eventually, I felt myself wanting to add more depth and texture to my work. Creating what was in my minds eye with only paper was just not happening! The only problem was I was terrified of paint! I am self taught, and paint seemed very daunting and permanent. I mean, didn't you have to go to art school to use paint?! Slowly, I began teaching myself techniques using acrylic paint, and now I prefer to incorporate it into my work rather than not!

A New Day paper, acrylic, and ink on canvas

I also learned to use ink for shading and texture, making my work truly mixed media!

Nothing Happens Alone Paper, acrylic, and ink on canvas

Monday, June 6, 2011

Always Remember to Sing!

These paisley birdies would like to remind you to always remember to sing!

This original 8" x 10" mixed media collage is now available in my etsy shop. Chirp!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Look What I Saw!

A few weekends ago visiting my hometown area of Princeton, NJ, I came across this bus. How cool is this?! Since seeing it, I have made an effort to consciously be kinder in my day to day life.

Big gestures are great, but even little things like being patient waiting in a line, really listening when someone is speaking to you, or even a smile can have a huge impact on someone's day. In turn, that person might be a little kinder to those they encounter. Also, I've noticed it actually is fun to make a conscious effort to be kind to others. Just sayin'.....

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Mystery of It All

I'm not sure where I found this to be honest, but this picture has been hanging on my bulletin board for quite some time. I love this quote, so I thought I'd share it today!

I know my art is definitely inspired by the mysterious - how about you?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Solo Art Exhibit Opening Reception

My Art Show Opening on May 1st at the Pebble Hill Gallery in Doylestown, PA was a great success! Thanks to all who supported me from afar and to those who were able to make it in person!

The exhibit will run through May 29th, please check the gallery website here for hours. More information about the exhibit can be found here