Saturday, June 26, 2010


I used to love color.

I always will, but my new love is....texture. Is it a midlife thing, maybe? Gaining an appreciation for subtleties and nuances after rioting with saturated color as far back as I can remember. Whatever the reason, I'm always finding new surfaces to make me marvel.

What about you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Nest

It's Nature Week here at Collage Whirl! We are overrun by adorable little animals (baby bunnies, baby squirrels) and sweet birds like mourning doves and blue birds. The nest above is in a hanging plant basket that I have to water at least every other day or else the plant wilts. A couple days ago I began pouring the water when I realized that there was a nest where I usually water. That bird was quite a fast worker--she even laid four little pink speckled eggs, in one of those beautifully engineered nests with the opening on the side. It's sooo hot out there today, and I wonder how the poor bird is faring.

Heron Carter

This little fellow was wandering forlornly around our house and garden last weekend. He had apparently been booted out of the noisy nest of herons across the creek. Since he seemed to be unable to make a sound, we joked that he was mute and had left home to escape his boisterous pterodactyl relatives. He was a gawky little baby who walked really slowly and could only fly a few feet at a time. He kept looking up into the trees to figure out where to roost for the night. My husband even had to herd him away from the road as he drifted aimlessly.

A couple days later when this picture was taken, he had taken refuge on the deck. It's a pretty amazing sight when a wild bird is sitting docilely right outside your back door. We didn't see him again for several days, until one morning, he was there-- in the marsh, striding along (sort of) with a fish in his beak! We knew it was him because he was so radiantly light colored and small compared to the usual herons who frequent our little bay. And he was having trouble swallowing the fish, just something our boy would do. We were lucky enough to witness his first attempts at learning how to do heron things--and the story has a happy ending.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What to Do with Driftwood

Surf's Up, encaustic and acrylic on driftwood, 19"x27", 2008

Paint on it, of course! After a trip to British Columbia where I loaded up on driftwood, I wanted to make a piece reminiscent of an old fence in a surfer's backyard.

Hook, 19"x4", 2008

More of the Canadian driftwood I found, along with a few other objects from various collectings-- fashioned into something more utilitarian--a hook. Just sayin'...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rosalie Gascoigne

Southerly Buster, 1995, retro-reflective roadsign on craftboard

Rosalie Gascoigne--an Australian sculptor who created assemblages from materials found in the outback.

watch her interview
more work here

image courtesy of

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weed In, Weed Out

There's something calming about eliminating the invaders in a flower bed--weeding as meditation. I'll take serenity where I can get it. One caveat however. This is effective only where the weeds are few and surrounded by thriving plants, as you don't want this to seem like work. I couldn't do this for a living! And there's only one bed in my garden that provides me with the meditation high, akin to walking on a beach and collecting shells and interesting detritus to assemble for assemblage.

If only decision making in real life were as cut and dried as this. You know which one is the weed and you throw it on to the burn pile, never to intrude again.

What are your favorite delta wave inducing activities?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Openings are Fun?

Aziletos #1 and #6, Terry Bachman

Landscape 2, Don Weaver

Landscape 1, Don Weaver

Boro Tree, 12 x 3 x3" and Woman,11 x 3 x 3".
© 2010 Deborah Jaouen

I finally made it down to Norfolk to see how my 2 assemblages were getting along in their group show. The opening was back in April, but I wasn't braving that bridge tunnel bottleneck on a Friday evening. Worst traffic situation I've ever seen and I'm a native Angeleno (that's L.A). Anyway, does inconvenience justify not attending an opening?

As for my sculptures, they were tastefully installed with works hanging nearby. I really liked these two mixed media pieces by Don Weaver and thought they were a good choice to install next to my work. Two assembled woodwork pieces by Terry Bachman also caught my eye.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Art as Battle

Well, there's not much in the way of excuses as to why I've been so "lazy" about posting. Unless it's my usual condition--working full time running 3 other businesses besides my art one. Big confession-- I can't stand to hear art referred to as a hobby. I'm a lifer (so far) in the wannabe full-time artist arena. I don't want to be someone who can only make her art once she's safely retired. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not for me. I'd rather struggle with too many spinning plates until I can quit my day job.

On the sculpture side of life, I've been fighting the organizing battle again and this time I'm determined to win it. A harmonious studio is huge for getting on track, I've found, although my studio is currently completely out of sync with that ideal. This cute and freshly painted etagere is meant for sorting all the little parts I've been collecting for assemblage making. I will post a new pic when it's filled with the recycled phone packaging boxes I turn into mini-storage units. I'm pretty sure I don't have 24 though! My kids haven't gone through that many phones...yet.