Friday, December 30, 2011

On the cusp of a new year.

I figured a disco ball in the woods would be more than appropriate for the occasion, especially since I'll be ringing in the new year with a friend from the Appalachian trail, and while we haven't decided where yet, it's definitely happening in the woods on a mountain! Here's to a year filled with adventure and friendship (and wilderness disco). Hurray! I'll be taking the weekend off but will see you on Monday. (Art by photographer Adam Ekberg.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

100% guaranteed happiness.

My two favorite things combined! Books AND landscapes... by not one, but two incredible artists.

Top three images by Su Blackwell, lower three by Guy Laramee via Demilked.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

All-time, hands-down favorite.

Andy Goldsworthy. "Each work grows, stays, decays – integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its heights, marking the moment when the work is most alive." Learn more here. See more (incredible work) here

I'll be posting more of my own artwork (and adventures!) with this coming new year. Looking forward to sharing with you soon!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

File under: things I wish I'd thought of.

An artist that documents performance hikes and creates patches that are also rad miniature paintings... as well as creating paintings of patches. I'd sew one of those patches to my pack in a heartbeat. And I want to do performance hikes! I've secretly had a few ideas for art installations I'd do at specific sites in the White Mountains (and then dismantle, of course) for a while, now. I think "envious" sums up my state of mind concerning Regin Igloria's work pretty accurately.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wonder and mystery...

always a good way to start off a Monday. 2011 is winding to a close... I hope 2012 is full of both of these things.

Via: the weird the wonderful, Breathe Olympian Air, Jonathan Harris, and a screenshot I've saved for a long time but of course, without any due credit or proper filing. I'm terrible, I know. Just one more thing to add to an interminably long list of earnest resolutions for self-improvement.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 12: the final day of packaged with love.

Day 12... a day late, but not a dollar short. At least, I think not. The holidays thus far have been busy: snow shoveling, last-minute packing, hours of driving, and a Festivus celebration that culminated in a Yankee Swap at a strip club... you know, the usual. I hope I can be forgiven the erratic posting. It's been lovely sharing gifts with you.
 There's no grand finale with elaborate over-the-top decoration here, just two last gifts decorated with things I had at hand.

Old botanical illustration that I cut out and attempted to make 3d, plants from my backyard and hemp from my junior high school hemp necklace making days.


Spiderwebs of doilies on Baltic driftwood. See more here. Found via Free People.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

File under: things I covet.

Art by Lauren Dicioccio.

Day 11

I'm feeling kind of fancy today so let's go with satin ribbon and a scrap from one of my mom's dresses that I used to play dress-up with in the attic when I was small (it KILLS me that I didn't save the whole dress, which is long gone by now). This is a really easy and fun way to make a fancy package... you could go to a thrift store, find a skirt or dress for really cheap and butcher it to wrap all of your gifts! Just promise me you'll make a decent bow if you do this. There's nothing worse than a sad bow.

I also decided to play around with the gold leaf that I purchased off ebay a few years ago when I was feeling flush and full of big plans to use it in my art. Let me tell you: gold leaf is a PAIN. But relatively easy if you can get over the fussy flimsy factor and exercise a small amount of patience. All you need is spray glue, a brush and painters tape to create golden initials on your gifts.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bruised knees and brisk weather.

Yesterday I went for a walk, picked up sticks, gathered wintergreen to make tea, and admired waterfalls running through miniature canyons of ice. It was a good day. At least, it was good until I slammed my knee against a rock, bloodying it through a layer of clothing. Ouch. But even that couldn't really put a damper on the bright sun, frosty air, and crisp frozen leaves littering the ground. 

I haven't been spending too much time outdoors lately, using the two fairly valid excuses of illness and attempting to be productive artistically. But if I'm going to be honest, I tend to avoid being active outside when loneliness turns sour on me. Loneliness has been an occupational hazard of mine for over a year now. It's usually something I enjoy; some of my best moments outdoors have been times where I felt completely alone and reveled in it. But every now and then it turns on you; slowly but surely the solitude starts to hurt and it becomes harder and harder to motivate yourself to do the activities you love, just because you're so caught up in wishing someone else was there to participate alongside you. There's a way to defeat these feelings of inertia and misery though, and it's actually quite simple. You just start walking. So yesterday, I walked. And it was good (aside from the bloody knee).

Day 10

The top gifts were easy: butcher paper and grocery bag, glue stick and sequins. The bottom gift was wrapped with embroidery thread that was horrendously tangled... I don't even want to know how much time I spent last night unraveling it. Too much time. And after I triumphantly finished wrapping, I realized that the remainder of the thread had become tangled yet again. Some things just aren't meant to be orderly, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 9

Good morning! Two more freshly wrapped gifts... better late than never, right? The top one is my new favorite. It's wrapped with the tissue-thin end paper from an old book about geology that was in an unlocked house with a sign that said "Free. Take anything." topped with one of my favorite things, an ammonite fossil. The second is wrapped in tissue paper and decorated with a metal tree that I found back when I used to volunteer at a children's art studio - we always had neat found objects to create with and I couldn't resist this one. Finished with leftover ribbon scraps. Ps: the secret to beautiful wrap jobs lies with the use of glue. Yes, you heard me... glue. Heavy duty glue like Gorilla Glue or a glue gun for securing objects. When wrapping with tissue or butcher paper, use a glue stick to seal edges and ends rather than tape. (Sometimes weighting things down while it dries or using painter's tape is necessary. It's worth the fuss though. I don't know if glue sticks work with regular gift wrap but I assume it would, as long as you weighted it down to dry.)

Perfect pattern.

This really should be a wallpaper hung in my imaginary home. Just one wall. That's all I want, I'm not greedy! (It's from album art designed by Santtu Mustonen - via Carly Hall.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 8

Oh, hey there. Some more gift wrapping ideas for your viewing pleasure: strange crocheted object that was too small to be a place mat and too thick and lumpy to be a doily, cut and glue-gunned into a pocket. Maple leaf with layer upon layer of acrylic paint, attached with fine gauge wire.

Owl overload.

Yes, all things feathered and woodland have been a trend for just a liiiittle too long now. I DON'T CARE. It doesn't stop me from loving owls. Always have, always will. I like to think that these artists feel similarly.

(I want a pet owl so badly. Alas, owning a native owl as a pet is illegal in this country. Which means that clearly, I'll have to figure out how to smuggle a non-native owl in. Because that would be less illegal, right?)

There were more owls... but I'll spare you.

From top to bottom: Ashley Percival (who is a veritable fount of owl art), CATS I KNOW, gypsy and twink, United Thread, Sasha Prood

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Days 6 & 7

I'm very on the fence about weekend posts. But the gift-wrapping show must go on! See you again on Monday morning, my friends.

More wrapping with grocery bags and cheap colored paper I had laying around. (I crumpled the blue paper to get a wrinkled look.) Decorated with: stones from a beach in Maine and silk ribbon, an enameled vintage beetle pin found in my mother's closet, a shell I saved from a long-forgotten location, satin and glitter ribbon scraps from my former place of employment.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 5

Feather found while hiking the Appalachian Trail. (It was a sweltering hot day and the trail meandered along the borders of fields and swampy bits of woodland. Three feathers lay in the middle of the trail, almost as if by magic. I remember clutching them in my sweaty hand, afraid they'd get crushed in my pack. Eventually, they did. I reached the road and lost the trail for a few seconds and wandered blindly, guessing it went further down, waving to 5 young Amish girls of staggered ages wearing pristine pale colored dresses, long braids and bonnets, wishing I could ask them where the heck the trail went. They politely waved back while staring at the strange woman wearing purple zebra striped spandex and a backpack. The wind was whipping wildly and I seem to recall bits of cottonwood sailing through the air like snow. I mailed the feathers to myself from the next post office and never bothered to figure out what they are. I like to guess woodpecker. But that's just a guess.) Plants are dead Indian Pipe (also known as Corpse plant!) White satin ribbon saved from a previous holiday and reused. Brown satin from a drawstring that fell out of the band of my sweatpants.

Some more texture love...

from Haiti, to you. These photos are details from flags made by one of the last traditional vodou flag makers left in Haiti. I visited his workshop in Port Au Prince in April. Lately color and texture have really been inspiring me.