Archive for the ‘Just Thinking’ Category

A couple months ago, I made a big collage; the focal image was a muscular black woman artist whose reputation is currently on the rise. It was a pretty good collage, but I felt uncomfortable. I felt that I was using something that wasn’t mine. She’s not a public domain celebrity (yet!) or a model paid to put herself on display. And though I have seen some glamor photos of this artist, this was a fierce, un-glamorous one.

So I did what you do with unsatisfactory work – I cut it up. This 4 x 6 card features a fragment that was sufficiently anonymous that I was comfortable using it. The original image was robust, showing an artist as a strong figure. Hence the title “Art Strong.”

Originally the title was to be just “Strong.” The font I copied for the word strong  created a more playful effect than I wanted, so I added the bolder san-serif lettering above it. I hadn’t used the color yellow anywhere else, so I added a couple little golden flickers, and I was done. A lot of head work went into this one!



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I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting.

I’ve gotten swept away by embroidery … but I haven’t posted any of it. And I got a smartphone and have been seduced by Instagram. And a new PC and updated version of Paint Shop Pro (from 1 or 2 to 8) have been hard to adjust to. An addiction to streaming  Grey’s Anatomy is only now loosening its grip.

With the passing of the solstice, perhaps the tilt of my imagination will change back? We’ll see what happens in the next few months.

This week I got a little paper-art-fever again. I woke up one morning with the thought “I wonder what’s inside the egg.” To make my mystery egg, I used a number of media — charcoal, felt tip pens, paint pen, oil pastels, wax crayons, and a satisfying drizzle of India ink. Granted, the shape is more like an avocado than an egg.

Rae Missigman, maker of art marks, is one of my new inspirations or distractions. Since I love brush pens, I used very little else in this card except some fine-line marker and a little wax crayon. The style is not like Rae Missigman’s; it’s more that her work reminded me of something I like to do.

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If your library has “Drawing from the City” by Tejubehan, you may find this slim book intriguing. Only 3,000 copies were printed (and you might also want to read about the publisher, Tara Books.)

Tejubehan is intrigued by the idea of women moving freely through the world, and so her work is full of women driving, taking trains, flying…even parachuting, as on the cover. In her own life, she largely moved on foot, traveling through India with her husband, a singer. They made their living by singing in the villages and towns.

Caste rules discouraged women from singing with their men, so she began to draw instead.

I’ve made several drawings copying bits of hers, and it’s harder than I thought it would be.

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Barca Negrero

Manuel Mendive (born 1944) is one of the leading Afro-Cuban artists to emerge from the revolutionary period, and is considered by many to be the most important Cuban artist living today, says Wikipedia.

This work is so beautiful that I did not immediately recognize the painful subject matter.


The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana should be on your itinerary if you go to Cuba. From the outside, a great, gray pile; but full of beautifully displayed art from the colonial period through last week.

Also full of interesting art is The Cuban Art Factory, which also looks like a great grey pile … but not in the same sense!

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I’m going to postpone buying another color printer and just add a scanner to our technology arsenal. We’ll see how satisfactory that is. Maybe I don’t need a color printer.

While I await the scanner, I’ll share an image from the kaleidoscope function of an app I discovered on my iPad, Photobooth. I think you can see the appeal.


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A piece that starts out as a way to use up the off cuts on your desk often takes on a life of its own. Often, one scrap is the catalyst, in this case, the fragment in the upper right [make that “left”] that is just barely legible as the word “each.”

Seen up close (yes, click on it!), the perky word “other” in rub-on transfer type is full of little cracks and other flaws. It’s a very old set of rub-ons.

Not every card that uses text has a meaning to me beyond the momentarily whimsical, but this one does: “Pay attention to each Other as you encounter him or her.” And “don’t expect perfection from each other.”

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Still life


The storms are not affecting my packing-up-house in any way, and I have reached the point where I can say “almost finished” without crossing my fingers behind my back. Son and husband have a plan to watch football together then take down the TV, computer, and cable connections. I’ve gotten OK with the idea of discarding perfectly good condiments, so ….

Time for an uplifting still life. The background comes from a liquor carton insert, and the dried rose was a gift from a friend a summer ago. It still retains its lovely scent.

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