Friday, December 31, 2010

Countdown to 2011

You've probably seen this image several times lately. Well, I was one of the first--here it is on my Tumblr page. Obviously I was a little off, posting it before even Christmas had passed. So enjoy it once more, in a more timely fashion!

It's almost celebration time so I'm not feeling especially eloquent. But I am feeling grateful for all the experiences of 2010. Lots of them were online--making new friendships and finding inspiration in many of the wonderful blogs out there. Thank you for visiting, reading, following and leaving comments--blogging is such fun. It was something I had been putting off for ages, then in 2010 I finally took the plunge. Personally, I'm not going to set any more goals for the coming year. I'm just going to go with whatever comes my way and see where it leads me. I like a little spontaneity with my art!

Happy New Year--I wish us all exciting new insights, discoveries of new art and brilliant new creations in 2011!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Beauty I Won

So many thanks to Cynthia of BeatnHeart for her wonderful giveaway that I won a couple weeks ago!! I love this necklace. It's hard to do it justice in a photo--the crystal is a smoky gray, almost violet in reality. I love wearing it, so go out check out her other necklaces here. They're 50% off til December 31, so hurry!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happiness to All

Image via MSN

Let the spirit of love gently fill our hearts and homes.
In this loveliest of seasons may you find many reasons for happiness.

It's Christmas night here and we have an inch of snow and are expecting 3 to 7 more inches. My first white Christmas ever! I hope everyone had a wonderfully peaceful and joyous day today.

Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts and insights. Looking forward to a creative 2011 with you!

xoxo, Deborah

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

My favorite little branch that gets decorated for many holidays

Well well, I'm finally feeling caught up enough to actually write a blog post. The house is relatively organized, the tree is decked out and my favorite part of decorating--creating tablescapes (with found objects of course)-- is done. Both kids are safely home from college, gifts are about to be wrapped and there are a whole five days left before Christmas, hopefully just enough to savor the season and process whatever last minute work comes our way this week.

Tarnished silver (another of my favorites) and sea glass

I'm reflecting on the past year and anticipating the coming year. Although I didn't make as much artwork as I might have liked in 2010, I feel that I worked through some blockages stemming mostly from what happens to my work once it has been created. I intend to keep focusing on making my art--if people don't "get" it, so be it. There are enough people who do, and let's be honest, if you're not doing illustration work, many non art oriented people won't.

Pink and gold, so I'm girly!

January is the month I'm going to finish getting organized (yes, I've been de-cluttering pretty seriously for the past couple months). February is the month I'm going to get uber-organized--that sounds sort of scary! I hope this organizational effort is going to apply to getting some serious marketing going too, but the I'm going to wait for clarity on that one as I see where my work goes at the beginning of 2011. I have several new projects in mind...

Wishing a wonderful, serene, happy and bright holiday season to all,
xoxo Deborah

Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blog Giveaway--A Lovely Necklace!!

There's a wonderful giveaway at BeatnHeart, just to let you know! All you have to do is visit Cynthia's boutique where there is a big 50% off sale going on, then leave a comment on her BeatnHeart blog. Good luck!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stormy Weather

"Nor'easter", 30" x 40", oil on canvas with found objects.
© Deborah Jaouen

Only fitting that objects that got washed around in the North Atlantic should end up as part of a piece called "Nor'easter", just a nautical sounding name for a storm driven by a northeast wind. We get them too in Virginia, but for me the name evokes New England, which is where I found all these now attached pieces.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Intriguing and Incongruous Property

We spent the morning tromping around an estate that was up for auction. It's a former horse farm on a lot of land.

We live in an area with lots of waterfront estates, however this is the first time I've ever visted one with Roman statuary attached to the roof.

As we got closer, we were treated to the Full Blown Glory that was Rome! However, the exterior of the house resembled an 80's tract home in California, right before the McMansion period.

This is the entrance to the property, it looks more like the traditional fare you usually see around here on the rivers off the Chesapeake Bay.

Inside the house, over-the-top'ism prevailed. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera so all the photos here came from the auction site, and they didn't take many of the house's interior. This mural is from the powder room--seemed like a great house for parties.

One of several living room murals complete with tromp l'oeil columns.

This was actually my favorite room, it felt almost classic with its crown moldings and arched windows. It was empty when I saw it and you could really appreciate the M.C. Escher-esque feel of the parquet, which fascinated us with its visible (on purpose?) nail holes. We couldn't figure out if the owners had done the murals and woodwork themselves. There is a boat load of work to be done, but someone with flair and lotsa money could make a great retreat here. Oh and the place is still for sale.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Art I Like

Jason Rohlf, Pliable, Acrylic/Collage on Linen 40x30 in

Jason Rohlf, Ask Again, Acrylic/Collage on Linen 30x72 in

Jason Rohlf, Shifted, Acrylic/Collage on Linen 24x72 in

Jason Rohlf, Hold, Acrylic/Collage on Linen 16x34 in

These distressed textures are so enticing! And I never could resist a random bird... More works by San Francisco artist Jason Rohlf here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Art You Might Like (I Do)

JAMES PITT, The Holder, acrylic on wood, 5" x 5", 2009

JAMES PITT, Object to Capture the Sun, acrylic on cardboard and wood, 5" x 4", 2009

James Pitt, The Shaker (Pink and Blue) acrylic, plaster and zip ties on cardboard, 8" x 5", 2009

JAMES PITT, Canary, acrylic and plaster on cardboard, 5" x 4", 2009

See more here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where Am I Going?

Finally--a little reflective time for blogging. Getting photos together today just seemed like too much effort after doing that constantly for other sites, like etsy and facebook (we won't count tumblr, because that's fun), so I might go with a little rant about my art goals (hopefully this advance notice won't be your signal to click out of here!).

I've been noticing that my attitude towards art has been changing over the past months--I've really become conscious that my output has slowed pretty radically. When I say slowed, I mean it often takes me weeks to advance to the next phase of the piece I'm working on because I'm searching for exactly what I'm trying to say or even why express it, which is an even thornier issue.

Four or five years ago when I was pretty much painting full time, I was very productive and the images felt like they were already finished in my head, that I just had to get them down on canvas. That's probably normal as they were part of an autobiographical series. Next I started making a series of canvas collages, which demanded a lot of thought about placement and just what they needed next. After that came assemblages and sculptural paper pieces. It's the collaged works that seem to stymie me, but they're also the ones I keep coming back to, even as I try to break with 2D and move completely on to 3D. So what I'm going to do for the next few weeks is finish up what's already started in my studio then re-evaluate the direction I want to take my work in 2011.

I'm not sure if this is a creative block, I've had those before of course but they don't usually last this long! I've managed to keep creating through this but it's not going away. So now I'm thinking it's got to be a turning point and hoping to gain some clarity on what's coming next by stepping away from it all for a time. This might mean blogging more, or working on the house, or (gasp) writing. There, I've set my intention-- that's step one. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tumblr (again)

Here's an image from my tumblr page. See how they did it here.

Blog Roll Call

New in my Etsy shop, "Pannier du Jardin" papier maché mixed media jewelry box

I've been taking stock of my blog, after seven or so months of writing it. I'm enjoying blogging and have met some great blog friends. People have told me they enjoy reading Collage Whirl, which is obviously so gratifying to me. I also know I have a certain number of readers and followers which inspires me to continue--that being said, I would really love more readers which would also bring a lot of new energy to this whole enterprise!

If you like this blog (and --my secret fear--aren't ashamed for other people to know you read it! ), please add me to your blog roll. If you already have (thank you Paula) could you please let me know about your blog so I can glory in my unbeknownst popularity?

And while you're at it, a comment from time to time wouldn't kill ya!! jk, jk

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tumblr /Etsy Update, Zen and the Art of Not Expecting

I am now enjoying Tumblr, which is pretty easy after all. No need to be intimidated, just make an account and have fun with it. I'm finding it great just as a place to keep images and quotes that I like, nothing too ambitious so far.

In Etsy news, I'm now on the Vast Team--only for art that hangs on the wall, but I have a lot of that! I have kicked off a "Holiday Gifting" sale on all giclee prints, laser prints and original mixed media collages in my shop.

And I have more papier maché boxes and bowls, for keeping one's go-to jewelry safe and cosy on your dresser or shelf. For those pieces of jewelry that you wear all the time--or, for special pieces you just want to pamper! They are made from kozo paper from Thailand, 1900's glossy newpapers from France and modern maps. They also get drawn on, and glazed with various light washes of color. They're enjoyable to make and always turn out a little differently than I think they will. This is good, as it keeps me from getting attached to a result. Layering the paper is not unlike hand building a pot or ceramics piece. I remember my frustration in college when my pieces would come out of the kiln unrecognizable due to the glaze yielding unpredictible results. If only I'd adjusted my expectations! I should probably try ceramics now and see if my midlife wisdom protects me from disappointment. Ha ha!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekend Finds Continued

I saved the best for last--a very old typewriter from the local pharmacy used
to type the labels for prescriptions...

This isn't from a garage sale, it was one of my favorite beach finds in Martha's Vineyard! I think it came from a private island west of MV belonging to the Forbes family.

Not especially exciting, but these wooden things will certainly come in handy at some point--isn't that the whole reason we do this, besides the thrill of the chase? Finding a pair of old gilt frames is unusual, though. And old yardsticks are always cool.

This is a hot plate from a chemistry lab that goes up to 600 degrees F.
Ready for some mad science?

Weekend Finds

Already at home in their new place, the 70's globe bookends.

Various useful and not so useful things. The brush on the right is like a great one I already have that I absolutely adore for painting trim! The black thing in the middle is a portable music notebook full of music on paper. Old cards are always handy, one must polish one's jewelry, metal bits and bobs are indispensable. Oh, and shouldn't everyone own red and white mushrooms on a twist tie from the 70's?

An old milk crate with some various metal delights. The ancient license plates were dug up on the guy's land which used to be a dump for old cars. They found lots of old bottles too. I don't understand why our land didn't have (m)any treasures as we have definitely dug around everywhere.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rust Reconsidered

The deafening silence greeting a certain recent post as well as the convenient appearance of some really interesting rust (not shown here, don't worry) in my life started me to thinking.

(Notice my pictures of rust all seem to be nautical-comes from our sailing days
when an unkept boat was a "rustbucket"--but I'm over it!)

I may well be recanting my beliefs about rust. Say I found a few deliciously rusty pieces I want to cobble together to make something, and I want to put some kind of finish coat on them so they don't get dust (remember, that's the part I don't like) on people's lovely furnishings. What would you rust lovers use to keep the rust beautifully matte but still un-dusty? I've used rust primer on outdoor stuff that was getting painted and it makes a horribly shiny finish. Anyone who works with rusty textures, please leave me a comment with your suggestions!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Walk Around Lower Manhattan

I went on this stroll a month ago, on a perfect late September day.

Please admire the way they've fit the buildings together.

No idea what this is, there was not a sign in sight but isn't it cool?

The required dose of texture.

Not really how I had pictured the bull...

Wall Street is a good location for this store.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Beach Goodness

We spent a few days last week in Martha's Vineyard, working hard. So--I finally have some new raw material to play with!

At one beach, I decided to make a collection of fishing net and ropes--pretty amazing, all the colors that exist.

I even salvaged the seams from a ratty life jacket that I found.

We cleaned up the beaches and brought home pieces of lobster trap, lots of interesting wood, a bit of shells and other flotsam and jetsam (just love saying that).

On our way back to the parking lot, we passed some fishermen who asked us if we had left anything on the beach. Good little scavengers...

This is wampum in its natural state. The tribes who still live in the area make their beautiful beads and jewelry from it. It's absolutely gorgeous when it's all polished up.

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Bicycles Please

Provincetown MA

I know I've been a bad blogger lately, running off without a word, but I promise you, there will be posts aplenty in the future. After a much needed ten days away, I’m ready to start afresh and show you some things I saw in the rainy Northeast, mainly New York City and Martha’s Vineyard. But that will be for another post, so please come back soon...