Recycled mixed media artwork….

I love doing mixed media artwork. I often feel confined if stuck using one form of media. Art like nature, in my mind, should be flowing, entrancing, organic in thought and in form. The inclusion of recycled elements in art not only helps the environment but gives a second life to pieces once forgotten. In my travels I am constantly looking for things to use in my artwork, such as dried plants, sticks, metal, stones, anything that might catch my fancy.

One of my favorite ancient Egyptian myths was how those long past and forgotten would live again if people would repeat their name and talk of their life.  When I make recycled art I try to pick ancient ideas and stories to replay with modern recycled goods. I feel I am giving people glimpses of stories and worlds long forgotten, whispering ideas of times past using the tools of unwanted items of today.

The Recycled Princess:

In her former life this was a rather badly damaged Barbie doll. The toy had a major amount of gouges, scratches and was apparently chewed on. While I know many other people have done mummy dolls before I often find them grotesque and not well made. I wanted this one to be as realistic as possible, just in miniature format. Her wrappings are muslin scraps dyed with used tea leaves. Her jewelry is made from old earrings and all her pendants and amulets are made from polymer clay. All of the acrylic pant is from old paint bottles I found at a yard sale; they were somewhat on the “chunky” side but when layered on the plastic of the Barbie it looked like mummified skin. Her hair was also dyed with the old acrylic paints. To bend the arms into new positions I put them in a boiling water bath to re-shape.

Now this once forgotten toy tells a story of a ancient princess, carefully mummified, silently resting throughout eternity.

Beautiful Crone Maiden:

Found poplar tree sticks laying on the ground in a circular pattern was my inspiration for this piece. I collected those sticks and tried to arrange them as I had found them, using old hemp twine. The addition of beads and shells from broken old necklaces, dried weeds and found raven feathers all helped to give meaning. It took me tinkering around with polymer scrap clay to create the center piece. I gave her a headdress of rabbit fur salvaged from a rotting fur coat. I only use old recycled leather and fur in my pieces.

A story of a medicine woman, ever seeing but sightless, dreaming of visions of the future build on the past.

What wonderful stories might you create out of found objects and scraps?

Until next time, safe travels!



Texture and shape…

Texture and shape in the natural world has always amazed and entranced me. The flux of colors over a bumpy surface, the shadows, tactile variables all add to the experience. I have always felt any good artist looks to nature for inspiration and by watching it in action, might catch a amazing moment not normally noticed.

Taking photos, doing quick sketches or even a pencil rubbing of a texture of an element in nature is a great way to capture it for future use in artwork. I had the lovely chance to go to San Diego for a short trip and was able to run away to the ocean side for a day. Here are just a few of the lovely textures, shapes and moments I was able to capture, but sadly photos do these no justice.

I love Bougainvillea, anywhere I find it growing I just have to take a picture.

The twists and bends to the limbs give it such a surreal quality.

I didn’t even realize I took this photo, I was trying to get a photo of the rocks. LOL

A tiny crab hopes you don’t see him.

The rocks worn by water reminded me of a Martian landscape.

Happened to see a California sea lion begging the local fishermen at one of the docks.

“Aww come on just one?”

“Fine then I will find another boat!”

All kidding aside it was good that they did not feed it since they can become too accustomed to people and handouts. California sea lions are very smart, fast and can be very quiet, lovely creatures to watch, from a distance.

Until next time Safe Travels!