Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hanging Collages

Avoid methodology. If what you're doing is about technique, that's not art. 

canvas on fabric with mixed media, D. Jaouen

 This quote caught my attention--I think you need to know technique so you can forget about it. My temperamental sewing machine is actually giving me what I need these days. I'm wanting a tentative, random feel for the decorative stitching on these two pieces and my difficult machine is perfect for that. It is also managing the construction seams that need to be sturdy and provide strength.

©D. Jaouen

Did I mention I feel like I can sew however I want now, since I've been sewing for many years? Kind of like drawing however I please, scribbling if I want (so there). I'm sure you agree.

Next up, I'm going to start a new painting series soon. I'm excited! What are you up to these days?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Buried and Scrawled Treasure

Welcome to everybody who arrived by way of Seth's blog! I'm reposting a post about an arcane subject--

 Antique Graffiti

Here in our Virginia hotbed of Revolutionary and Civil War vestiges we often read about new archaeological finds. One restoration that caught my eye in view of my fascination with graffiti turns out to be called "Graffiti House" near Culpeper Virginia.

Someone's home was used as a field hospital for the Confederacy, later becoming a headquarters for Federal forces. Soldiers from both sides wrote and drew on the walls, creating a collection of over 200 individual pieces that covers the upstairs rooms from floor to ceiling.

Restorers are attempting to remove the paint and whitewash that subsequent owners used to try to cover up the markings. They also need to stabilize fragile plaster on the walls to preserve the installation of caricatures, messages, autographs and inside jokes.

More antique graffiti: did you know that 18th and 19th century boors messed up the Temple of Dendur?  You can visit it at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. photo via Thiago Santos
Gladiator graffiti from the Colosseum in Rome. Sorry about the photo quality, it was very difficult to capture these images due to the low light in this area. Taken by my husband, as I was most probably overwhelmed with the energy lingering within the Colosseum walls, where so many humans and exotic animals lost their lives, all in the name of entertainment. At least the masses were fed with the spoils--rhinoceros, elephant and giraffe steaks were the order of the day.
To see more Roman graffiti, go here

Seal petroglyph near Sooke on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Daily Collage

Well, not quite a daily collage--my second in three days--because the air conditioning in my studio has decided to not get any cooler than 94 degrees every afternoon. So, I'm working on something else in the coolness downstairs. I hope I'll let you know about my new project in the coming months.

I'm having fun with my new inks, nibs and sumi brushes! And using the paper from this old book we got at an estate sale last year.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth!

Deborah Jaouen, acrylic ink and collage on antique paper ©2012
So far, it's been a great Fourth of July, with an early morning swim, freshly picked blackberries for breakfast, and collage and mark making in the studio. I was inspired to make something with a vaguely patriotic flavor and here it is!

Today's the day for potato salad. So it's off to lunch, with barbecued chicken, potato salad and watermelon granita. Hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating or just hanging out with family and friends.

Monday, July 2, 2012

it just has to be you

you can draw whatever you want. you can draw however you want. it doesn't have to make sense. it doesn't even have to be good. it just has to be you.  -- Jean-Michel Basquiat

This isn't a post about drawing. It's about inspiration and being authentic.

Entrance to Chelsea Highline
 Travel has a way of coaxing out your true self and helping you see the way ahead more clearly.

Up on the highline 
Chelsea Highline
  A trip to New York is one of the best gifts of inspiration. 

NYPL lion, New York Public Library lion
Iconic lion at the New York Public Library
Plenty of cool marble for a bookish retreat on a sweltering day.

artist's bookstore NYC
Makes me want to join the 15,000 and create an artist's book of my own.

Matt Wedel
I love imagining the beautiful, modern home where I would put this sculpture by Matt Wedel.


Having missed the Keats House when I was in Rome last fall, I was pleased to visit Shelley's Ghost at the New York Public Library. It was amazing to see the original manuscript of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein along with several of Shelley's manuscripts (complete with accomplished drawings),  and to be able to picture the extraordinary lives led by this circle of young friends. They must have been considered wildly scandalous in their day! And unbelievably tragic. Throughout it all, they continued to create. You can't get much more inspiring than that.