Saturday, December 29, 2007

Finally, some new art!

Well, Christmas is well and truly over, and it's time to get back to making art. I hung out with my man last night, watching I Claudius and making collages. Here's one of them. I splurged on some fabulous Japanese papers earlier in the month when I was Christmas shopping, and that forms the principal background. The is the first time I've worked with this paper and I adore it -- just stunning stuff.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Front page of

My third Trunkt Showcase made the front page of yesterday -- Blue and Gold. Thanks, Trunkt, for picking this collection and thanks to all the wonderful, wonderful artisans on Trunkt who make such delicious things!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My pinback buttons arrived today!

I ordered 50 pinback buttons from Etsy seller warhorse earlier this month, and they arrived today! I love them! I chose five of my overpainted portrait collages and I'm really happy with them, and with warhorse's work.

On the front page!

A beautiful Treasury by brookemarton made the front page of Etsy this morning, and one of my pieces is on it! I'm so happy -- thank you, brooke and Etsy!

By the way, if you use Firefox do get the Screen Grab addon -- it lets you take a instant screen shot (or, rather, browser shot) without opening another application. You can find it at the Mozilla website:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dangerous Mezzo featured on Indie/Pretty/Perfect

I'm so honoured! An artist interview with me has been posted by pepperinapress on her great blog Indie/Pretty/Perfect.

Thanks, pepperina, for featuring me! I really enjoyed doing the interview -- the act of describing one's artistic journey and goals is certainly a catalyst for reevaluation and reflection.

And don't forget to check out pepperinapress's Etsy store.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New earrings

I made these the other day. These little beaded assemblies dangle at the end of brass kidney wires. The focal, antiqued pinky beads were a gift with another purchase at Etsy, and I really, really like them!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Front page of

My second showcase, "White", has made the front page of, and I'm thrilled. These artisans are incredibly talented and their work is just stunning. I can't believe the incredible artists and craftspeople I've found on this site, and I am so proud to have been included in their number!

Great Designer -- Paraphernalia

Red Heart Necklace by ParaphernaliaRed Heart Necklace

Here's a brilliant piece by English jewellry designer Paraphernalia: the Red Heart Necklace. I covet any number of pieces by this artist, who has a portfolio on and who sells through Paraphernalia's Etsy Store

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Daily Art ... day 20

I started this one last night -- and it was just a mess. Boring beyond belief, in spite of some cute handmade paper. I started overpainting it, and it got worse! This morning I looked at it and threw on some more scraps of paper and a raw umber glaze -- suddenly, it's okay. Who knew?

I love collage.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Daily Art ... day 19

I've wanted to do some larger collages for some time now -- I've done nothing but miniatures (ACEOs) and 5 x 7 pieces for months now, and I was feeling a little stale. So last night I started this piece.

It went through a few iterations. One of the nice things about collage is its flexibility -- if one incarnation doesn't work, well, one can just keep pasting things on until something emerges.

In its first incarnation, the overpainted photo of Maria Callas (my muse, in many different ways) was surrounded by some very pretty modern papers interspersed with vintage text.

It was ... pretty. And boring.

I showed it to my guy, David, who spotted the problem right away. "The edges need more intensity", he said, wisely.

So. back to the worktable I went. In my quest for darker and more intense border material, I started tearing up some reproductions of great artworks: landscapes to begin with, but then I tore up my first Madonna and Child, and it all came together.

The background was originally red -- after using the art snippets for the border, I overpainted the red with umbers, burnt and raw.

Maria Callas is a Madonna without Child. She created herself (there's a little snippet in the lower left hand corner from a painting of a woman painting ...) in her own image.

In fact, she's an icon.

Which is the title of the piece.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

More jewellery supplies!

I was in Toronto last week, and picked up tons of great supplies for jewellery making, including strings and strings of semi precious stones. Man, they weigh a ton! (As one saleswoman said of my heavy package, "Well, after all, it's just a bag of rocks!")

Pretty rocks, though ...

These little earrings are made of very nice wooden beads, also bought in Toronto on my last trip. I love the combination of warm wood with shiny silver ... just looks so yummy to me!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Daily Art ... day 18, sort of!

Another miniature artwork which started with one of my Moo cards ...

Friday, December 7, 2007

My showcase made it to the front page of!

Members of Trunkt can curate "Showcases": collections of other people's work, usually unified by a theme. My first Showcase "Circular" just got picked for the front page of Trunkt -- and I'm thrilled!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Daily Art ... day 17

This collage on stretched canvas began with a photo of dancer and movie star Eleanor Powell -- I love the directness of her gaze.

Bonus Eleanor Powell quote: “What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I've been accepted for Trunkt!

What is Trunkt, you may ask?

"Trunkt is a curated buyer's guide to the best of independent art and design.

We support independent artists and designers by giving them portfolio space to present their work. We celebrate their talent in multimedia features. brings the best of independent art and design to a global audience hungry for fresh creative talent. Trunkt now features the amazing portfolios of over 1000 talented entrepreneurs from around the world."

And I'm now one of those entrepreneurs!

I applied on a whim last night and heard that I was accepted about an hour ago. It actually made me teary-eyed -- this means so much to me, I'm at a loss for words to express how I feel.

Here's my portfolio. And thank you, Trunkt. Thank you so much!

Daily Art ... day 17

I was overpainting a photo of gorgeous film star Hedy Lamarr last night, when I had an epiphany of sort. Or a personal "Eureka" moment, rather. You see, I really hated the bodice of the dress Miss Lamarr was wearing in the photo -- kind of fussy and patterned and not really to my taste. So I started pasting bits of torn up paper over it, and, gosh darn it, it looks okay! In fact, I really like the contrast between the more three dimensional treatment of her face and the frankly two dimensional, decorative treatment of her clothes.

Now, of course I know this isn't exactly new, but it opened up a little door for me, personally. Woo hoo!

Bonus Hedy Lamarr quote: “Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.”

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ahem ...

cash advance

Apparently the reading level for understanding this blog is "Genius". I was, of course, hoping for "SUPAH GENIUS", but there you go ... :)

Click on the brain to test your own blog ...

Daily Art ... day 16

So I'm looking at my Moo cards and suddenly I think, "Hey, I'm a collagiste! If it's paper, I can cut it up and glue it to something" So I whip out my scissors and work one of my own images (from the Moo card) into an ACEO for today's artwork.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Daily Art ... day 15

Lightly overpainted paper with music, bird and found text.

Favourite Artists on Etsy - Nonna Illustration and Design

How cute is this? This print is by Nonna Illustration and Design, user name shawnanonna at Etsy. Her shop is here. I've just bought a copy of the print pictured above and can't wait to get it -- it's possibly one of the sweetest things I've ever seen, and normally I'm not so into sweet. But this is irresistable, as is the rest of her work. (Smiling brownies, anyone?)

Love, love, love it. Thanks shawnanonna!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Daily Art ... day 14

I'm really enjoying combining all sorts of papers, as I do in the piece above. Yeah, it's pretty sentimental, I know, but I love the warm colours. We could do with a little more warmth around here right now ...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Daily Art ... day 13

Another butterfly collage -- Les Papillons 3.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Daily Art ... day 12

Okay, I've missed a few!

I started working on this last night -- it's going to be a series of four paintings. I really, really like this one ... I love the textures of the heavily overpainted background.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Daily Art ... day 11

This little collage grew from from some handmade paper (not handmade by me, I hasten to add) combined with a photo of a rose, a little bird and some text from various old sources. I like the surreal, three dimensional effect of this one!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pomegranate earrings

Okay, I'm really pleased with these -- this combination of coral and bone and brass really seems yummy to me. I got the beads from a new bead store in Bridgewater -- Java Bead. Some really gorgeous things in there ...

These earrings are for sale in my second Etsy shop, operatic .... :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Daily Art ... day 10?

Okay, so I've fallen a little behind! It's because I've just spent the last three days with my local opera company's production of An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan, and I just didn't have time or energy to post!

But here we go, today's art: this is a miniature collage entitled "Make-Believe Woman", and uses all sorts of papers from my mid-century women's magazine collection. I very lightly overpainted the central image, from an ad, to make it pop a bit more.

Dedicated to all the women we can't be ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

EtsyMini -- a blog for all things handmade

Some sellers at Etsy have started an EtsyMini blog -- to showcase all kinds of handmade work by Etsy sellers. Check it out!

Daily Art ... day 9

Today's piece is a sweet little collage called Acme of Beauty. Sometimes I like to take a break from painting and just assemble a collage from papers. That's how this one came about. I used various papers, modern (these are often scrapbooking papers) and old (pages from books, periodicals, etc.), a little bird, and some found text from a precious copy of FOLIO, an 1875 music periodical printed on very thin paper. I just love the slight irregularities of the old type-setting and fonts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Daily Art ... day 8

Today's piece is an overpainted portrait, assembled on canvas, of movie star Carole Lombard. Such a beautiful woman ...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Daily Art ... day 8

Started working on a few more overpainted portraits of golden-age movie stars. This is the immortal silent film star, Theda Bara, dressed as Cleopatra. She was one of the original vamps!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Daily Art ... day 7

This 5 x 7 collage is on stretched canvas -- the first collage on canvas I've done for a while. It's rather sweet piece with two friendly birds and a butterfly, all on an overpainted background of random text and music snippets.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Daily Art ... day 6

This piece takes its title, "Indoor Games are more exciting" from the caption of a mid-century ping pong table advertisement. I just liked the mild double entrendre, combined with the slightly vapid, white toothed smile of a lady from a toothpaste ad ...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Daily Art ... day 5

I love this one. I generally at least LIKE all the pieces that get as far as being posted in my shop, but this one tickles me.

This piece started out rather sweet and soft and romantic and all that stuff, but the instant I added the caption (found text from a 1950's ad) the whole thing got a bit more twisted.

At various points in the genesis of this piece, there were magazine covers and televisons in the lower left hand corner. I had to find a really BIG rose to cover them, when I decided to soften it a bit! But what really sold it was the bird ... because the Gainsborough woman and the Gainsborough dog really needed someone to envy them ...

Okay, it's not great art, but what the hell. It's my piece for today!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Daily Art ... day 4

Today's piece is another tiny collage, Knowledge, made from antique paper and sheet music with a caption pieced together from a mid-century magazine. A little bird flies across it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Daily Art ... day 3

I am having so much fun with my stash of 1930s to 1950s women's and decorating magazines! This piece is called "Are you still the girl he married?" -- a found piece of text I've combined with a mid-century girdle ad and part of a page from a 1930's novel.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Daily Art ... day 2

Today's piece is another collage, this one with a birdy theme. I have a small section of my shop on Etsy devoted to animal charities, and this piece is destined for that section. All the proceeds from sales in that section will be donated to my local animal shelter, SHAID, in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Daily Art ... new beginning

One of the leaders of VAST, dmriceart, has started a painting a day challenge for herself, and I think I'll join in.

She also suggests setting some art-related goals for November, so here goes:

1. make some larger pieces (at least 8 x 10)
2. organize my collage ephemera
3. paint at least one painting

I'll post some of the items here as I go along, starting with this piece, made from midcentury advertising elements.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Atlantic Provinces Street Team -- reborn!

We've just started up the Atlantic Provinces Street Team for Etsy: a chance for all the sellers on the East Coast of Canada to hang out together, work, share and network.

You can find our new blog here: APST Blog

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I've just been reviewed ...

.... by cherryblossomsdesign on We Love Etsy, and I'm just so thrilled. Most importantly, it means a lot to me that my customer enjoyed her artwork and continues to get pleasure from it, but I'm just tickled pink to have been reviewed ... This is the piece she and her husband bought: one of my personal favourites, and the artwork I chose for my business card.

Thanks again, cherryblossomsdesign -- I really appreciate it!

Favourite Artists on Etsy - Ginger Cat Press

This Toronto-born artist and illustrator brings a child-like joy to her work, which is available both as original paintings and as simply wonderful greeting cards. I love the exuberance and energy of her illustrations -- they just seem to burst out and they never fail to make me smile.
She's also a big supporter of animal charities, which makes her pretty wonderful, too.

You can find her Etsy store at

Monday, October 29, 2007

Etsy for Animals

One of my favourite Street Teams at Etsy is Etsy for Animals (EFA). This group donates a portion of their sales to animal charities and also runs a shop on Etsy, where all proceeds are donated to the charity of the month. What a great group and a great cause.

I've just joined, and am really proud to be a part of this. My first offering is a work combining nostalgic image and text from an actual 1946 edition of Fun with Dick and Jane, and features the character Little Rabbit. It's for sale in the EFA section of my store.

All proceeds from the sale of this work will go to my own favourite animal charity, S.H.A.I.D. Tree Animal Shelter in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. David and I have volunteered here, and we adopted our two younger cats from here -- it's doing such good work, and on a real shoestring budget.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I sold my first pair of earrings!

I've been making stage jewellery for a while now, and I started a shop on Etsy to see if anyone else might be interested in it. Well, I've sold my first piece -- a pair of dangly earrings, and I'm just thrilled!

Here they are:

I've been a little shy about the whole "selling my jewellery" thing, partly because it's not what I've trained as, and partly because there are just so many AMAZING jewellery makers on Etsy, that I feel rather diffident about hanging out my shingle in the midst of so much incredible talent. But I really like some of the things I'm making in spite of the fact that they are frankly assembled costume pieces rather than extraordinary works of art.

But I think these sure are pretty ... :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Photography by David Mosey (my guy)

I love this photograph by my partner, David Mosey, of the staircase of the old building he was living in in St John, New Brunswick. I love the light and I love the exit sign centre left.

I've got a number of his pieces, in versions he developed himself, to use in my collage, and I've started with this one:

It's called "View" and combines overpainted papers with a fragment of one of David's original enlargements.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Studio photo day

Here's my workspace, exactly as it looks today (no sneaky cleaning up or tidying).

Various collage materials in drifts, funky lamps, shipping stuff, artwork by me and others (there are collages by stilettoheights and heathermurray art, among others), my olive can of water, my purple box o' birds, and lots and lots of .... crap. I really need to hang those paintings. And organize my ephemera.

Here's my gorgeous new iMac, my funky lamp, a photo of my horse, a postcard from magicjelly ... and lots of crap.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Very bad art.

There was a discussion that almost got started a couple of months ago on the VAST thread at Etsy about failed art. This is the piece I mentioned -- hideous and ill-conceived. I'm just so sorry about it all, but I thought it might be interesting for us to share failed artwork and discuss what it is we're trying for when we create, and how we know when we've arrived. If we do ...

The thread is here:

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I started with a photo of a woman from an advertisement in The American Home magazine for January 1947, and began overpainting it. I overpainted more thickly than usual, because there was advertising text on her face and the paper was very thin and the text from the other side was bleeding through (when I do this again with paper from that issue, I may let the bleed-through happen -- it was an interesting effect).

It got to a point when I thought I'd ruined it, and then I just kept going and, wham! It was a tiny bit Gauguinish so I stopped. The paper is from the April 1933 issue of Hobbies magazine -- I just love the warm colour of it, and the tidiness of the rows as contrasting with the mystery in her face.

It just goes to show that I never really knows what's going to happen when I start to assemble my bits and pieces ...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jamie Ribisi -- great Etsy artist

One of my favourite artists on Etsy is Jamie Ribisi, one of the friendliest members of Etsy's VAST (Visual Arts Street Team) and a great painter. She lives and works in New York State, and her oil paintings of landscapes and cloudscapes are luscious constructions of colour and light. I really admire what she's able to do with colour, and she's also a terribly nice person who is currently having a Gallery sale at her Etsy store. Check it out!