New Year, New work

 *Please allow me to do double duty with this post – and count it as my “Focus on Life” post. I have been in the studio all week finishing new work! Also – there are additional images tagged on Instagram. Thanks!*

As January draws to a close, I wanted to share with you the latest. I have been in a flurry (pun intended) of activity in the studio, preparing for a new show. Betsy Mortenson and I are showing at the Palette and the Page in Elkton, Md. The opening will be Friday February 1st, and the show will be up for the month. Betsy and I have done collaborative work in the past, sharing ideas, and sparking creative thoughts one off the other. This year we discussed animals/totems. While the work isn’t paired as directly as Oceana/Detritus of Dreams from last year, we are happy with what is happening…

I am particularly excited to show collages and mixed media necklaces together. Many venues don’t allow for such diverse offerings in one show. Let me give you a sample…

Raven collage

As of yet untitled Raven themed collage. Inspired by Celtic goddesses – The Morrigan…

Thought and Memory

“Thought and Memory” – labradorite, polymer, copper, silver, silk. Inspired by Odin’s ravens – Huginn & Muninn ( Thought and Memory).

Raven's Token

“Raven’s Token” – polymer, copper, hematite, lapis, pearls, onyx, blue goldstone. 

Snake collage

Untitled snake collage. Inspired by the Creatan snake goddess/priestess, the Delphic Oracle, and Eve. 

Athena's owl

“Athena’s Owl” – brass, polymer, enamel on copper, gems. 

Lunar Hare

“Lunar Hare” – polymer, enamel on copper, stamped copper, labradorite, pearls, iolite, hematite, blue goldstone. 

Not every necklace has a collage partner, and I will be exhibiting ceramic shrines as well. Should be a truly mixed media showing. PLease do stop by if you are in the area. I will post pictures of the opening at a later date! 

 

Cerrridwen, Taliesin…and a Blue Hen?

Blue Hen plywood

It all started with the hen, the blue hen to be exact. The City of Newark, DE is having a fundraiser – in the style of the decorated animal sculptures you have seen – I am sure – in many cities across the country. As the state bird is the Blue Hen… artists have been given a plywood silhouette, app. 30″ tall. Out birds will be auctioned off in September, and will be displayed (inside) at various businesses in town, and on Main St. The previous picture shows the earliest stages, after carving up my bird, to create a niche inside. Then she was covered in paper – from the Encyclopedia Britannica, or course. And yes, I used the article on “Poultry farming”. 

Blue Hen paper

I knew right away I wanted to create a shrine in the body of the hen. Shrines are my most personal, expressive medium. Although the chicken is not a totem animal I use symbolically in my work, I wanted to challenge myself to make a “real” piece, not just a fundraiser donation. I had committed my name, my time, and energy to this venture, and I wanted it to be true to my body of work… So the only mythic reference to a chicken in Western myth that came to my mind – was the myth of Cerridwen. She is the Keeper of the Cauldron – in which She brews inspiration. She is the Goddess of rebirth, transformation, inspiration. She is a creatrix, a mother, a wise woman… In the classic myth regarding her: She brews an elixir for her son, hiring the boy Gwion to stir the cauldron. After a year and a day – the mythic measure of time for an arduous task – the potion splashes Gwion’s thumb. He sucks it, to cool the burn and receives all the wisdom, knowledge therein. Greatly displeased – Cerridwen pursues Gwion to punish him. The chase takes on epic proportions as they shape shift through many animal forms, each pair representing an element. These animal pairings will be shown on the hen itself…

sawing animals

hound and hare

otter and salmon

songbird and raptor

The greyhound and the hare. The otter and the salmon. The hawk and the songbird. But where does the hen come in? After three transformations, as the chase continues, Gwion turns himself into a grain of wheat. Cerridwen as a hen, simply eats the grain. In nine months, She gives birth to Taliesin – who is to become the greatest bard of all time. Rebirth, inspiration, transformation… 

Hen nearly complete

The niche will hold a small clay tile of Taliesin – whose name translates as “Radiant Brow” referencing the ‘fire in the head’ of divine inspiration and enlightenment. It seemed fitting to have him incubating there. I plan to include the text of the myth with the piece. I know that many will find it more in depth than they prefer. But I feel that keeping the inspiration pure and not simplifying the concept of the work is honest, and a homage to Cerridwen herself. The overall color palette is natural and harmonious, very earthy. I hope it finds an appreciative audience when it goes out into the world in September, and does its part to raise funds for the Newark Arts Alliance.   Please feel free to comment and tell me your thoughts!

( I will add new pix as the work progresses!)

Respite

1re·spite

Pronunciation: ?res-p?t also ri-?sp?t, British usually ?res-?p?t
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English respit, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin respectus, from Latin, act of looking back
Date: 13th century

1 : a period of temporary delay
2 : an interval of rest or relief

koala

My trip to San Diego was great. There will be pictures soon, of class, and what I was working on. But the whole time was indeed a respite. A break from the routine of groceries, laundry, the day to day. Had a chance to visit with really good friends, and even a few furry ones.

elephantHave a little snack…

zebraposed for the camera..

meerkatand soaked up some sun! Wonderful trip! (uhh – then my camera battery died. So the rest of my zoo day was devoid of documentation… Oops!)