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Summer Travels

I love exploring: trying foods, seeing buildings, experiencing different cultures.  Summers allow our family time to travel. This summer we went to Germany for a round birthday!  Once there we travelled too. This time we explored the Bohemian Paradise in the Check Republic. We hiked every day, ate lots of delicious foods, enjoyed each others company, and explored. Pictures taken for holiday memories as well as future reference photos abound.  Here are a few. 

A Birthday Quilt for Oma Rita

Working since January

In January I started designing the birthday quilt for Oma. I made a king sized quilt. The pattern is an oversized double wedding ring in the center and edged it with an applique scallop. She loved it!  


Contour Lines

Drawing Slowly

I love contour drawings. It is a wonderful exercise in seeing. Here are a couple tips on making your own contours.  This project can take 15 minutes or as many hours as you have patience to create. It is a great sketchbook entry!

1. Pick an object that you an enjoy looking at.  Make it a simple object like scissors, a jar, or paint.  As you continue practicing, make it more complicated: flowers, people, self portrait. 

2. Gather your materials

Use a permanent marker or a pencil without an eraser and paper.  I like using a non erasable tool because it forces you to slow down and make each mark count.

3. Draw slowly.

Look, look, look, draw. You want to make sure you are looking more than you are drawing. Redraw a line if you realize it is incorrect. Take your time and try for accuracy. The goal of contour drawings are to make pieces that are as realistic as possible.

4. Try a more complicated shape!

Now that your simple project is finished, try something more complicated. 

Muskegon Museum of Art 87th Regional

June 4th - August 5th

The Muskegon Museum of Art is a favorite local museum.  Activities for artists, collectors, art lovers, children are always available.  I enjoy the the Regional Exhibit every year.  

This year, two of my pieces are included.  If you are in the area, stop by and check out the show- it is incredible to see what type of art is being made in Michigan! 

Working with Art Club

Art Club at Oakwood Intermediate

Periodically, I have the opportunity to work with schools on long term art projects. Recently, I spent Tuesday mornings before school at Oakwood Intermediate with a dedicated group of students interested in art. I taught the students my own technique for creating sewn paintings. They painted patterns, rooms, people and school objects. They cut the pieces out and arranged them. Then, I brought it home, sewed it together and returned it to the school. The piece found a permanent home in the office at Oakwood Intermediate.     

Frida and Diego

"Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit"

Last week, I spent the day at The Detroit Institute of Art.  The show "Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit" is on exhibit and well worth the visit.  

I enjoyed seeing the work of both artists. Seeing work in person is candy to my eyes. One piece resonated more than the rest, a pencil study for her painting Henry Ford Hospital (the flying bed).  Looking at the piece, so emotional, I cried. Many other works were incredible as well. I loved the intimacy of her work, the scale too.

Frida is one of the women in my series, the Book of Ours created in 2008. 

Frida, Tlazoteotal, and Me.

Cathartic Art Making

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April, I never quite know how I will feel each April. Four years ago our family welcomed a beautiful little boy into our lives.  He died a few short hours later. We named him Gabriel.  

I created an entire body of work in his memory, Gabriel's Garden.  I continue to make work about him, about me, about motherhood, life and death.  

"Fragile" 2012

The Portable Studio

Creative Space

Finding space to be creative can be tough.  Especially when it is unable to be permanent.  In 2013 my family moved to Germany for 7 months.  My husband had sabbatical and I had a project with Lebenshilfe-Werk Weimar/Apolda in which I would work with the art studio in Trobsdorf culminating in an art show.  (Project information about Grenzenlos can be found here.

Although lots of work was created in the Trobsdorf Studio, I needed to work on multiple projects in my apartment.  This was not ideal considering I had a 1 year old, 9 and 11 year old sharing my space.  Plus, there was only one table in the apartment in which I could work and that was in the main space.

To make the best of the situation, all my supplies went on the top shelves out of the way of the littlest one.  The floor was usable when no one was around- usually nights! The sewing machine, paints, and other materials needed put away daily. Although not ideal, it worked and I did too, regularly. 

A New Shelf

After using the space for a while, my sinks need more space to store things. I built a shelf and painted it to match the trim in the studio. In black I added a painted backsplash, a doodle.  

I love it!