Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Favourite Artists on Etsy #5 - Jennifer K. Mulcahy

Jennifer is a digital collage artist who sells prints of her work through Etsy. Her art is dreamy, drifting, and, often, quite unsettling. I find the surreal beauty of her images haunting and sometimes funny. Her work "Amnesia" (above) is one of the first pieces I bought from Etsy.

These and many other wonderful works are available at Jennifer's Etsy Store -- her username is jmulcahy.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Man, it's hot, Rosebud.

Nova Scotia has been going through a bit of a heat wave, lately. It's a little better today, but the past few days have seen our house decorated with cats lying around like melted puddles of fluff.

I know how they feel.

As I said, it's been a busy week, but I had a lovely day off today, and completed this work. It combines a Raphael madonna and child with some text (a song title) from one of my hundred-year-old issues of Etude magazine. It has extra resonance for me because when I was born my mother apparently called me Rosebud (!)

My husband thought it was a Citizen Kane reference, though.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Busy week ...

I'm embroiled with the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop which started on Monday, so I don't have a lot of time for updating the old blog. But I have a rare afternoon off today, so I'm just checking in.

Jaynee is a folk/pop artist on Etsy who writes the Something Simple Art blog. She's participating in the 2007 Blogathon, and one of her entries features my Etsy store. Thanks so much, Jaynee -- best of luck with the Blogathon, and I encourage people to check out the sites and get more information about the whole thing.

Jaynee's Etsy store

Monday, July 23, 2007

My sakura treasury made the front page of Etsy!

On Etsy, a Treasury is a short-lived miniature gallery of items, curated by a member. I've curated a few treasuries because I enjoy trying to arrange images in a pleasing or surprising picture, and I really admire other Etsians who have a real gift for this.

Every few hours, the Etsy admin staff choose a treasury to be featured on the front page of etsy.com, and when I got home from rehearsal tonight, I found a nice message from another seller telling me that my treasury had made the front page!

This is the first time this has happened for me, and even if it never happens again, I'm high as a kite right now! But it's easy to make a pretty treasury when there are so many beautiful objects on Etsy ...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Goodbye, far far away

Sometimes it's quite painful to part with a work. This is one case. She was bought today via my Etsy store, and, although I'm glad that someone likes her enough to buy (really very glad), I will miss her wistful face around my studio.

She was one of my earlier, successful altered photo portraits, (she started as a photo of opera singer Rosa Ponselle) and I have a very warm place in my heart for her.

Enjoy your new life across the ocean, Rosa: I'll never forget you.

Too rainy to work ...

It's pouring rain outside. I'm up early (well, early for me) to receive a fax from the music director of Magic Flute, so that I can get some copies of music to the three local girls who are singing small roles in the show.

I'm having non-stop anxiety dreams lately about this opera workshop, which starts up next week. It's my baby -- I started it two years ago, and it's now doubled in size and complexity. I'm excited but still waiting to see how it's all going to work out.

So the rain comes down, and I'm waiting by my phone, and all the time I'm looking at the really dreadful piece I started a few days, that just isn't getting any better. It makes me a little sad that I couldn't save it.

Maybe I should start a gallery of failed artwork? Actually, it might be interesting to see the range of pieces other artists have rejected as botched ...

You can check out the opera workshop at http://halifaxsummeroperaworkshop.com

Friday, July 20, 2007

What the well-dressed cell phone is wearing ...

So I got a new cellphone last week, which meant that I needed new accessories for it. Of course, I turned to Etsy, home of all good things. I found both a charm and a lanyard, and they both arrived today!

The lovely brown and pink ribbon lanyard is from gypsyy, who sells lanyards and wristlets. The pretty pink and brown bead cell phone charm is from LuckyBunnyLampwork who sells all sorts of lampwork beads, charms and keychains.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thank you, Marysusan!

I sold my collage "Past Perfect" exactly one week ago to a charming woman named Marysusan, who just let me know that it arrived today, and that she's framed it, and featured it in her blog, no less. Thanks so much, Marysusan --I'm terribly glad you like it, and I'm honoured to have been mentioned in your blog.

Her blog is here: http://allgoodgirlsaremarys.blogspot.com/

I've been working on a collage for the past day or so, and it's just not going very well, at all. I look at it and sometimes it looks okay, and sometimes it looks dreadful. (The ironic thing is that I've done all the basic collaging and I tempted fate by using a bit of found text that reads "inspiration"!)

I think I started with an iffy image -- one that didn't really grab me. Damn -- I should know enough not to start that way ...

Now I've gone too far with it, and it just gets less and less good. It stinks, actually.

So I'd better start something new!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The early bird (and one early pony) ...

I got up pretty early this morning (8 am, that's really early for me) and got to work on a batch of ACEOs. (That acryonym stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals, by the way, tiny works in any medium that measure 2.5" x 3.5").

Three of them are little birds, but the fourth one is the little black pony from "Fun with Dick and Jane". I have a very battered 1946 copy of the book, and I'm slowly cannibalizing it for art. I do remember reading these primers, although I must have read them at someone else's house because my Mum wasn't so into them. :)

Here are the finished works, on the desk that now serves as my collage worktop. I'm really happy with them, and will start listing them later today on Etsy ...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This is the question I keep asking myself ...

... as I buy more and more pieces of lovely stuff from Etsy jewelers. Is it possible to have too much jewelry? I ask myself. And the answer comes back: "Of course not, don't be silly."

Here's one of the jewelers whose work I love.

Adornyou is a Toronto-based jewelry artist who sells on Etsy. Her work is delicate and feminine with a vintage charm, and is all very well made. I own two of her pieces, and will go back for more, I'm sure! Below you can see her Beached Flowers earrings featuring bronze-coloured fresh-water pearls. Divine! Visit adornyou's Etsy shop.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Neatness is its own reward.

Yesterday my husband and I did some organizing work in our respective offices (we each have our own room in our big old house). They were a total mess, each in its own distinctive way: David's full to the brim with camera gear and mine, well, just full of everything -- props, clothes, and serious collage overspill.

So we worked on his room for a bit, until we could get one of his extra tables free, then took it to my room. I now have my collaging set up on it, and I can't tell you how lovely it is to work at! And my computer desk (which was covered in bits of paper, paint, glue) is now pretty much free! Hooray!

As a bonus, while clearing out David's room, we came across a 1953 television service manual, which he generously gave to me after I squealed and begged for it. It has wonderful black and white illustrations, including test patterns, circuit diagrams and schematics. Very graphic.

I've finished my first piece using this material: this art card. I felt that this pinup girl was just begging to be combined with mid-century television technical jargon ... :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New collage for Friday -- a little late!

I finished a few pieces yesterday, but didn't get a chance to write about them. I'm working on a series of altered portraits of screen legends. This is, I suppose, a spin off from my portraits of diva Maria Callas -- these ladies were all divas in their own fields, certainly. I find that 1930s-1950s glamour photography has created such strong images, that these women's faces have become icons of beauty, attitude and strength. They are so satisfying to work with!

Here's another altered photo of Gloria Swanson, one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Favourite Artists on Etsy #4 -- The Mincing Mockingbird

This Los Angelies artist paints birds -- all kinds of birds -- with attitude. Most of the items for sale in his shop are birdy magnets, each one an original, tiny, hand painted gem of expressive avian art, and each one with a caption. As good as the art is (and it's excellent), I love the item titles and descriptions almost as much as the finished pieces. For example, here's the title to the above magnet: When Your Pet Is Vocalizing, It Is Always Saying This.

The magnet below has the following title: "Hmmm, I Wonder What It Is You Would Like For Breakfast"

The description is as follows:

"Why don't you go back to bed, or wherever you beaked vermin live and quit flappin' your gums about flapjacks.
Give us a G$#damn break. It's 5:30 a.m.
"Oh, look, it's the sun! Ooooh, whoop de doo, let's wake up the entire neighborhood!" Enough! Wake me up at 10 and I'll make you some flapjacks. Until then, I'm closing the window.

I own two of them, and each one is unique, beautifully made and hilarious.

Want more? Check out mincingmockingbird's Etsy shop.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Past Perfect -- collage for Thursday

So I started this on the Mel Brooks night, and finished it this morning. It started as a photo of actress Gloria Swanson, but I'm not sure it's even recognizable as her, any more.

I really love overpainting photos. No, seriously. There's something about getting the balance just right -- it's a combination of reduction of the image to its essentials, coupled with trying to keep the layers of paint subtle. I fail at this, a lot (the failures gaze at me reproachfully until I cover them up with other collage stuff), but I'm really happy when it goes well.

I like this one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Memories -- new collage for Wednesday

I'm really trying to keep up the momentum of new work -- I'm coming up to a time (in a few weeks) when I will be embroiled in my other art, opera production, so I know I'd better make (artistic) hay now while the sun is shining.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. I can hear the fog horn in the distance, and everything looks most mysterious when I look out of my studio window ...

Here's the piece I finished today -- I started it in front of Mel Brooks the other night, and have been adding layers and overpainting things ever since ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Collage, Mel Brooks, little birds ...

I sat up with David in the Red Room last night, and worked on collage while watching (wait for it) Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Yes. It's very stupid, but has a couple of great lines ... "Trayf."

Anyway, here's one of the pieces I finished -- handmade (modern) paper, text from one of my 100+ year old issues of The Etude music periodical, and a little, copyright-free, bird.

Monday, July 9, 2007

VAST Treasury

I just snagged a Treasury for the VAST off the wall sale: you can see the Treasury itself at http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=2365

I sold one of my favourite pieces yesterday ...

And although I'm so happy that he's going to a good home, I can't help but experience a tiny pang of separation anxiety. You see, I fell in love with him the instant I saw his smiling, happy face. It's not usually easy for a bird to look so happy ... He's by Audubon, of course, placed by me against a background of overpainted old, antique and modern papers.

And now he's flying off to his new home, courtesy of a great buyer, and the Esty VAST off the wall sale ...

Bon voyage, little fellow!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I'm now a member of VAST!

That's the Visual Artist Street Team at Etsy, and I'm a proud, new member! I'm joining the group, and I'm also joining their current OFF THE WALL sale -- until the end of Thursday July 12, get %15 off any purchase from my Etsy store. Just buy the items as usual, put VAST OFF THE WALL SALE in the notes section of your purchase, and I'll send you a revised PayPal invoice.
My Etsy store
VAST is the VISUAL ARTISTS Street Team ! Multi-Media Artists... on Etsy! We are an eclectic group of artists who believe in Etsy, and are motivated to create Successful Artistic Shops.... on Etsy! Our goal as a street team is to promote the extraordinary talents of many artists selling on Etsy.

Favourite Artists on Etsy #3 -- Magic Jelly

Magic Jelly is one of my very favourite artists on Etsy. She's an Australian artist who works in a variety of media, but is perhaps best known for her vintage-style original graphics and her amazing photo collages.

This is the piece that first blew me away. I love it, but t's so scary, I can't even bring myself to buy it. If I did buy it, I'd have to put it behind a curtain or something, and I know that it would creep me out even more.

She does less-disturbing work, too, and it's all very professionally finished, packaged and shipped.

Visit her shop on Etsy

Saturday, July 7, 2007

My first SNS sale!

I just sold this ACEO of a rather confused woman and another ACEO of a little bird at my first Saturday Night Special sale on Etsy.

Thanks so much to my buyer for initiating me into the wonders of SNS!

And just to play fair, I bought this amazing handbag from Chic Boutique, as part of her SNS sales ...

Arent't I lucky? That print is simply divine. Why don't you check out Chic Boutique's store at Etsy?

I seem to have a thing for birds ...

Partly I think it has to do with the fact that I bought a great little 1950s English book on Caring for Caged Birds, and the illustrations are gorgeous. I've been cutting things apart, and the little creatures have just been hopping onto my art.

That and my recent Audubon fetish ... :)

So here's my latest little fellow -- an ACEO or ATC with handmade paper, old music and text.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

It was like Christmas in July!

I went to the post office to send off all my Etsy-related parcels this afternoon. Now, sending parcels is a lot of fun (at least for someone like me, who enjoys filling in forms, etc.), but receiving them is even better, and I've done a lot of shopping on Etsy lately. Today I received SIX ACEOs in the mail! (NB: ACEO stands for "Art Card Edition or Original" -- ACEOs are all 3.5" x 2.5") Now, not only did I get six miniature works of art, each package was wrapped in the most exquisite way, and most included some kind of little gifty or bonus object. Delightful! Thanks to all the sellers who brightened my day ... (and I have to improve my own packaging ... a heartfelt thank you note just doesn't seem enough, anymore!) Here are the treasures that greeted me, and links to the sellers' stores (and my lousy pictures do NOT do them justice ...)

Above, from left to right: budanART, budanART, bycole

Above, from left to right: ravenwolf, dadadreams, littlebuttons

Finished my first commission

Here it is, my first customized piece. I had so much fun working on this:

Just being on Etsy is tremendously stimulating for me, artistically. I have completed more work, and it's been of a more consistent quality, than I ever have before.

Thank you, Etsy!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Favourite Artists on Etsy -- #2 Heather Murray

Heather Murray is the reason I'm on Etsy, actually. I've followed her art for a while, from eBay to her own site, and thence to the wonderful world of Etsy. She's a Canadian multimedia artist from Chatsworth, Ontario, who makes collages with a keen awareness of negative space, gentle nostalgia and often quirky humour. I love her work, and hope you do too. Visit Heather's Etsy shop.

Favourite Artists on Etsy -- #1, Jennifer Gordon, aka Stiletto Heights

Jennifer Gordon is an extraordinary artist, originally from New Hampshire, whose Etsy shop is named after an idie comic she created. Her work currently for sale is mostly multimedia collages, and what beautiful creations they are. I proudly own two of them, and I'd buy the whole lot, if I could. Many other people feel the same way -- she's certainly attracted quite a following, and rightly so.

Continued success, Jennifer, and I look forward to buying more of your work!

Feel free to check out her blog and her Etsy shop.

Working on commission

I've spent a very happy weekend working on my first commissioned artwork. It's been very moving -- the commissioner wanted to include text from a book she and a friend have shared since they were young, and the quotes are so beautiful. It's really an amazing tribute to friendship, this book, and I hope I can make the piece special enough visually to marry with the words.