Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sea of Zippers

Posted for Traci Donahue

Art and images copyright 2009 by Traci Donahue

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This File Cabinet...

Of all themes, this is most challenging one. From seeing them in medieval and modern illustrations as well as in museums and nature centers, I knew what a typical naturalist's cabinet looked like. But I did not have anything that would closely resemble one, and I was trying to figure out what to do. I did have a bunch of specimens that I collected from nature walks - but they're in many boxes and different places.

One day, a thought came to my mind: I could use my file cabinet as a "cabinet of curiosities"! After all, it did have a lot of folders containing images from nature. So, I gathered together various natural forms, microscope, large pine cone, and specimens, and placed them near the file drawer to create this unusual composition.

Art and images copyright 2009 by Andrew Borloz

An Asian Cabinet of Curiosity

Art and images copyright 2009 Cynthia Mooney

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I call this "Beauty on the Reef".

It is a multi-layered mixed media creation using fabric, yarns, feathers, paper and seashells. I love working with fibers and creating "paintings" by fusing them together in unusual ways.

Art and images copyright 2009 Marylin Huskamp

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lost Coral Reef

Ever since I saw The Institute for Figuring hyperbolic crocheted coral reefs, I've wanted to create one. Here is my mini-8x8 inch recreation of a bleached reef for our sea theme. When a coral reef dies it loses all of its color. This project started to make others aware of the danger of losing coral reefs around the globe. Women from all over the world have crocheted coral reefs and exhibited their creations at major art museums in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Australia and other countries. Here's a close up fo the reef from a side view.

Art and images copyright 2009 Paula McNamee

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gifts of the Sea

I have always enjoyed the act of reading...
curling up in a cozy chair or on the bed,
snuggling beneath a blanket with a good
book in hand, finding myself lost among
the pages, transported to another time or
place through the carefully woven words
of a story.

So you can see how easy it might be,
that a familiar manuscript began as the
foundation for my February Nature
Gathered artwork. A classic piece of
literature filled with wisdom that is still
as meaningful, maybe even more so today,
as it was the very first time I opened the cover.

Gifts from the Sea was merely a passing fancy
or impulse purchase, something that I
had bought off of the discount shelves
of a local bookstore over ten years ago.
I don't know what I really expected from
Mrs. Lindbergh's prose, but I definitely
got more than I bargained for. What the
thin paperback was lacking in girth, it
made up for in content.

I have never been much of one to read and
re-read the same tale twice. And honestly,
I had absolutely no intentions of re-reading
this book when I decided to pull it down from
the shelf, at the end of January. I was just
hoping to maybe, find a passage or two that
might spark in me, a starting point from which
to base this latest piece of art.

But it only took a few sentences to find myself
mesmerized once again by the thoughtful
observations emanating from its pages.

All of a sudden, I had not only re-read the entire
book but I had actually read it twice. It was
inspiration magnified.

Carefully I stitched quotes from the book onto the
canvas, to represent the ocean waves washing
their wisdom upon the sandy shores of my being.

Art and images copyright 2009 Tracie Lyn Huskamp

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cabinet of Curiosities

This project got a little out of control. I started the "cabinet" in foam core, but didn't like how it looked. So I went to Michaels to get some ideas and decided to make my own cabinet out of wood. Of course, I don't have a clue about cabinet making, but I figured, how hard could it be? Hard.....very hard. There must be a trick to measuring and cutting out wood that I am unaware of because several parts had to be cut out more than once after I found that they were too short. And then there is the concept of mitering....I definitely need some practice at that.
After the cabinet was done, I needed a backing (an 8 X 8 canvas covered with an old map)......and doors....and hinges....and a latch.... The screening on the doors is nature printed with flowers per the technique in LK Ludwig's Mixed Media Nature Journal book.

And as long as I was at it, why not some dummied up microscope slides....using real bits of bugs and plants and a little Diamond Glaze. The cabinet is finished with two coats of orange shellac. And, even though it's substantially late, I did finish what I started. What's life without a few good adventures in art?

Art and images copyright 2009 Jan Harris

Monday, February 9, 2009

A little bit of sea in the mountains

My father-in-law left the family a whole lot of STUFF to clean up, trash or give away. I got the shells, so this month's theme was a breeze to create. Sort of...I don't know how may designs I set out on the canvas board before I was satisfied. However, I was missing one thing and it just didn't look right with it. Sand.

I was not going to go buy any or run off to the beach for a handful of it. I did the next best thing. I walked into Harlan's shop and commandeered a sheet of sandpaper. I glued it down, after fabricating a hanging "system", and then hot glued all the shells. This final design was NOT the one I was happy with. Oh no, I had to change it all as I was gluing. My Muse is being fickle this month.

Art and images copyright 2009 Z'anne Bakke

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Extinction Cabinet of Curiosities

I enjoyed seeing Andrew at Teesha's PLAY retreat in Port Townsend last weekend. He made some incredible journals. I finally finished by Cabinet of Curiosities. I don't really know why I thought of extinction as a theme for this. It makes me think of life cycles and what survives or not. I drew and water colored the images and used a shadow box that Z'anne gave to me for the cabinet structure.

Art and images copywrite 2009 by Paula McNamee

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Inside my Cabinet of Curiosity

Most of he items in my Cabinet of Curiosity came from my stash of junk acquired
from the Goodwill "bins." Oops, I seem to have cut off the top part in my photo.
If I had thought things out a bit better I would have loaded this picture onto
the blog after I loaded the picture of the front of the cigar box. It might make
more sense to the viewers.

Art and images copywrite 2009 by Judi Stack

Keys to Cabinet of Curiosity

My cabinet of curiosity is a cigar box in which I drilled small holes and wired on old keys. Two
of the keys function as a door latch. I added a painted board behind the box to extend the dimensions to 8"X8" and to attach a hanging device.

Art and images copywrite 2009 by Judi Stack

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Life and Death, A Cabinet of Curiosity

Instead of translating January's theme in a literal way, I decided to tackle the matter metaphorically. I thought it might be interesting to choose a concept that we, as human beings, find very curious. A topic containing a well spring of unanswered questions.

As I sifted and sorted through different possibilities, the idea of life and death was something that kept presenting itself, over and over again. And although there is plenty of medical information regarding both of these occurrences, they are still, in many ways, quite a mystery.

The idea of pattern or patterning is very subtle in this piece. Life and death is actually repeated several times throughout the art in both images and words.

This particular work even inspired a bit of poetic prose which I used for a separate collaborative or challenge, a Winter Poetry Postcard Exchange, that I am participating in.

"How do we bridge the gap,
these minutes between life and death,
beginning and ending.

The expanse of our days carefully ordered,
writhing in the beautiful ecstasy of fate and indecision
for tis not the start and stop of it that truly matters,
but each occurring middle moment to become
the absolute curiosity of all things belonging
to heaven and earth"

Art and images copywrite 2009 by Tracie Lyn Huskamp

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Curious Kitty's Cabinet

Here is my interpretation of the Cabinet of Curiosity. This curious little calico is causing havoc. The treasured canary is missing. Wonder what happened to it.

This is painted on canvas board with a fiberfused kitty and a small ball of thread.

Art and images copywrite 2009 by Marylin Huskamp