Tuesday, November 17, 2015

From my visual design gig at a major department store

For the last 5 weeks I worked a temporary seasonal job putting up holiday displays.  This ranged from hanging balls from 12 foot ceilings to fashioning mannequins to making a bolster look like a birch tree.
Not as creative as I would have wanted, many corporate specifications and rules, but I did learn a thing or two about visual merchandizing.
Even though I tied 18 inches of string from each ball, hung them 24 inches apart by grinding pigglys into the ceiling I still wanted to pull the one on the end back as far as it would go and release!  The gray guy is one of 12 new mannequins we had to put together, not an easy task.

What we affectionately called the beaver damn.  Note my bolsters that look almost exactly like a birch tree trunk.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy National Dog Day! UPDATE!

I love my dog, more than wine.  Bless her heart, she is almost 14 years old and still keeping it real.  So to celebrate her, and the final days of summer and just because I'm feeling generous, I'm having a sale over at my etsy shop.  I close it down for a bit to get ready for other shows and some other projects I'm involved with through October.

So if you head over to etsy.com/shop/blage and find something you like just type in the code dogday20 and you get 20 percent off the cost of the piece.  For orders over $50 I throw in a bookmark.  Dog enthusiasts might like something like this.


But this summery bamboo, butterfly scene if still available!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Eyes Wide Shut

This assemblage piece, "swing on a star," is in the group show juried by Moe Brooker at Da Vinci Art Alliance.   Moe Brooker is a nationally known Philadelphia Artist, with work in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, Montgomery Museum of Art, and Musee des beaux arts D'Ontario.  He won a James Van Der Zee lifetime achievement award and has served as faculty at the Cleveland institute of Art,  Parsons school of Design, PAFA, and Moore college of art.  Brooker will attend the closing reception on August 30 from 3-5pm.   I am excited to meet him and hear how he made the selections for this show.

As with a number of my femme works this one is comprised of domestic objects, a small jewelry organizer, part of a napkin holder, the top a music box, buttons, fabric and drawer pulls. All are from different homes, different eras and belonged to women who never knew one another.  They are the things women are suppose to use and know about to make their homes more orderly, stylish, efficient.  So I combine these pieces, broken and discarded, painted them, rearranged and put them all together to become this woman, who swings on a star with a fancy letter opener at her feet.  Out of these house hold scraps emerges a feminine identity independent of the tastes, mores, and times of the indivduals who once choose and possessed them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Fruits of our labor"

The collograph below was created this past spring during the open print studio at the Community Art Center in Wallingford PA.  I created the plate on mat board using mostly fabric pieces coated with acrylic gel medium. The glove and grapes outline I stitched by hand with embroidery thread.  

Here is a photo of original plate I created, was a bit hard to ink at first as I liked this plate for its own sake.  After making several prints I cut out the hand/bowl so I could experiment with different sizes of paper.
I experimented with different paper sizes and ink colors, also adding other elements and washes to the finished print.  Many look decidedly mid-century modern which was the look I was going for.  At some point I cut the fruit bowl out of the plate for more printing options.

And lastly, this is the assemblage sculpture that I used for inspiration in front of the collograph print. The wooden objects that comprise the bowl are mostly fruits from wooden fruit bowl sets popular in the 1970s, as is the bowl.  There are varies dried pods in the mix, a wooden spoon and snake all are painted various shades of what we perceive as white.  The hand in the middle is an actual white glove stuffed and stiffened as if it were a gloved hand reaching out of the bowl.   Is the hand giving or receiving?


This version won 2nd Prize at the Wallingford a Community Art Center Member Show.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More Collagraphs from printmaking studio

Below is the first print and the ghost of the print I made at a printmaking class at Fleischer Memorial in 2013.  We used only water based inks for this class and the plates were primarily created with fabric glued with PVC onto matt board and then coated with an acrylic medium.  This was primarily different laces and string, also some netting.

This is another print from "Peaches" which was also done with water based inks and gauche. The blue area is tissue paper adhered with thin wheat paste, not in true chin colle.  The plate can be seen in the blog post just before this one.  It was purchased recently and is in a private collection in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Further experimenting with fabric on the plate and different blues.  This one I ran during a workshop at the print making studio at PAFA.
So below are some photographs taken from the workshop at PAFA.  The studio was freshly cleaned right after the students left for summer.

On the right is the instructor with a student. Such an amazing space to work in.

But really the view of city hall is so beautiful as is the roof of the Furness building.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Collagraph purchase award for Free Library of Philadelphia

This piece was purchased for the permenent collection by The Philadelphia Center for the Book.  I am really honored, and it is a first for me in a permenent public collection.  It was one of the pieces I had at Book, Paper, Scissors event held each November at the library.  The Print and Picture collection is on the second floor of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  http://www.friendsofpix.org/1.html
Above is the plate used to make the Peaches collograph as well as 6 others that are similar.
The plates from this type of print making often become works of art in their own right and become more beautiful the more the are used.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Thank You coupon for you, the reader

Thanks to those of you who stop by and read my blog from time to time and welcome to those folks who are new.  If you go to my etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/blage and see something that you fancy put in the coupon code FRIEND20 and you will receive 20 percent off the price.  Now, that's a pretty good deal and the code works through the month of December!  Here are a few things that are available.

Book marks!

An original collage of peaches..

A base relief assemblage.  I add new items every week and will be making limited edition prints of a few pieces soon as well.  So stop by often.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Re opening my Etsy Shop!

Shop is back up and running!  I am adding new pieces evey week and have pieces for everyone's budget.  Bookmarks, collage, collagraph, assemblage, small works...also maybe some vintage pieces from my shop.  So here are a few example of what is available.
Bookmark made from matt board samples, always a favorite!
An altered photo I took of a mourning dove with other wooden bird photos, and paper collage.

And some owls, I am way into owls and making all sorts of owl collages.  This one, however is SOLD!   But I have, some similar ones...

So stop by www.etsy.com/shop/blage and poke around.  Give me some feed back or favorite an item. I will send you a coupon code as reward!  Etsy Shop Blage

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Owls on Etsy

 Well, I already sold one owl on etsy so I suppose It is time to list another.  Really this one is one of my favorites and I am probably going have a limited addition print made of him.  However, no name for this piece yet.  Make a comment if you have a suggestion.  You can view and purchase work there, here is the address, www.etsy.com/shop/blage. Although I haven't listed this collage owl just yet.  But soon...

He is staring peacefully at the moon.  This piece is 9x12 on clay board.  

This is the piece hanging in a hallway in my friend Heidi's studio.  Hoot!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Gift tags from old Christmas Cards

One of my favorite things to do after the holiday season is to take the cards and left over gift paper and make gift tags for next year.  I love curling up on the coach in front of the fire and cutting and pasting and stamping away.  When I was a child, I remember my grandmother saving wrapping paper and bows from presents at Christmas to use for the next year.  That generation was ever mindful of not wasting, for sure.   A friend of mine told me that every year her grandmother and brother would wrap each other's presents in the paper used on the gift from the previous year.  The presents would get smaller and smaller and the paper more and more worn.  

These will be available at Book, Paper, Scissors at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Saturday November 22 10:00-4:00pm.  Also available will be my book marks as well as other up cycled paper products.  Other vendors will have handmade paper, origami, hand pulled prints, and handmade books as well.

Also available are my bookmarks from matt board samples, that are always a big hit.  I am even giving away a book when you buy one, pretty good deal.

Ram in Winter wins first place!

I was so delighted that this collage won first prize at The Plastic Club's "Small Worlds" show.  My work has received honorable mentions in some juried show, but this the first top prize I've ever received.  Not only did it receive the blue ribbon, first place also comes with a cash prize of 150 dollars, and I get to keep the piece.   The show had over 100 entries, including some very accomplished Philadelphia artists and members of the Plastic Club.  So I am pretty proud of my little ram, small but powerful.

Todd Keyser of the Synderman Gallery was the juror for this show.

Mostly likely I will make a limited edition print out of this one as well.  Here is a photo of it that I took for my etsy page to show what it looks like hanging in someone's home.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Do I dare to eat a peach...

Hmm, what is it about a basket full of fresh juicy, fuzzy, aromatic peaches.  Is it because they look like orange furry bums?  Is it the daring act of biting into one, knowing the juice will drip down the chin.  So the above piece is one I worked on in a mixed media workshop at Fleisher, in Philly.  It is made with an assortment of inventory papers made in class and pasted on green matt board.
It has a kind of Eric Carle feel, which I initially did not like because I felt like I stole his ideas... But now, I am ok with it.  Learned from him, went on to express peaches in other ways.

And this one is the peach in the photograph with other decorative papers as a collage on a cigar box top.   If you've ever driven on I 85 south you might recognize my subtle nod to the Gaffney Peach of South Carolina, see it? 

And here is a mixed media on clay board piece in progress.  All of the pieces were inspired from that same photograph I took in Ellijay, Georgia and a love for peaches, of course.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Cherry blossoms

Recently framed this mixed media collage and hung it in my studio. Found a few other paces in the house where it worked well also. Will have to do more of these as I am pleased with this one and working with red back grounds. Currently reading "An Artist of the Floating World" by Kazuo Ishiguro, a novel about a Japanese artist set in postwar Japan. Also experiencing cherry blossoms in real life... A chilly, but welcome spring.

I took a class at the Pennyslvania Academy of Fine Art in Japanese brush painting.  Keiko Miyamori was our instructor and I learned all the traditional strokes for bamboo, plum blossoms, orchids, rocks as well as learning about Japanese paper.   These blossoms I tore from practice paper that I made in class.  The paper for the branches is handmade paper that I purchased at the book, paper scissor event at Th Philadelphia Frre Library.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy year of the snake!

Here is a small collage I made of a joyful Chinese girl. This is part of a series of small "fortune" collages I've been working on each with its own original fortune from a Chinese fortune cookie. Yes, I keep them and have a a little glass house full of them, have been collecting these for years.  This one says, "You will be showered with good fortune."

So below she is hanging with a mask and Russian nesting dolls.  Looks like a happy place to me.

And here is a photo of my glass house of fortunes.  I keep it on a shelf in my studio.

Saturday, October 06, 2012


I built this water shrine during a hike in Ricketts Glenn State Park. There were a few already built in one area near a waterfall, so I started this one further down. Finding flat rocks and balance are the keys...also patience.