Tag Archives: questions

Carving out your Space

collage desk

I remember when I lived in a tiny studio apt and I made all my art sitting on my bed/couch because I didn’t have a table or even enough room on the floor. All my supplies were in bags and shoe boxes. I am glad for real tables now. But it was still a fun time of art making. When I was finally able to afford a one bedroom apt, I kept the same bed/couch in order to sleep in the living room and made the bedroom my art studio. This allowed me to work much larger.

I was reminded of these small work spaces where I made it work, despite it all, when I read today’s episode of The Pulse. Artist Kelly Kilmer, talked about working on the floor and shared a pictures of baggies filled with supplies. It almost makes me nostalgic for the past.

Usually, I am envious of the art studios I see when people share pictures of their spaces. Wood floors, super organized shelves and drawers, clean walls with good lighting. But when I think of the spaces I used to have and the space I have now I need to consider myself fortunate.

If you would like to see the studios of some great artists then check out the Pulse!

TopFlight Websites: Checking in on The Pulse

More great news from The Pulse (This collaborative project aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals.) 

 NYC2007_2 133

Today’s question: At least for today, your can’t-live-without blog or website is…

It seems like so many artists have difficulty picking just one website. Although, so many artists pick Flickr as a daily top pick, must-see, website. Always the perfect site for the eye candy junkie. And though it will take hours of webtime, I am determined to check out all the suggestions in this four day long quest for the best websites. Needing some new eye candy in your life? Then check this out!

Marilyn Gallas loves to visit Kelly Rae. As soon as I clicked the link, I realized that I have stumbled across Kelly Rae before. I have seen her book cover, seen photos of pictures of people taking classes from her or being inspired by her work. Her backgrounds are a rich tapestry of luscious color and texture (my two favorite elements of art.) Why she wasn’t already in my google reader is a mystery that was quickly fixed. Then when I went to go add her to my flickr favorites, I saw she was already there! No wonder her art was wonderfully familiar. Now where can I order that book…

Michelle Ward is an artist I have followed on and off but didn’t know she had numerous blogs these days, including one that has some great challenges and tutorials.

Stephanie Hilvitz (BTW…who’s aprons and tablecloths are flirty and wonderfully colorful!) is inspired by Elizabeth’s site Be…Dream…Play… I can see why Stephanie likes to visit Elizabeth’s site. It is filled with a color and vibrancy of life that is infectious.

When I followed Canadian Artist Kate Strickland’s favorite link to an Austrailian based blog by printmaker Jo Horswill, only to I find my friend Bridgette (who just moved from my neck of the woods in Seattle, back to her home in Chicago) It made me realize first how easy it is to get lost in a string of links AND how small and strange the internet world can be.

After looking at a growing list of art websites that are filled with colorful photographs, smiling kids and artists, along with proud displays of creativity, I just had to chuckle to see that James Michael Starr’s favorite site is http://weather.com.

On the whole, I am more visual than verbal. But I was very intrigued to see that Shona Cole’s pick was a Poetry site that hosts podcasts of and about poetry. As a teacher, this is a site I will have to find a use for with my students. I will also have to return to Shona’s sites. I am so impressed with her publication resume.

It is also interesting how many artists listed their own blog or site as a go-to link. I do check on my blog regularly, sadly mostly to delete spam comments, but I wouldn’t have thought to list it as an answer to this question. I am curious as to why they did list it. It makes me think that I put some extra meaning into the question. But with over 80 participants in the survey, the questions are bound to be interpreted in many different ways.

If you haven’t made it over to the Altered Page to check the Pulse… I highly recommend it, as this month it is MY daily go-to site.

Medium Well: Checking in on the Pulse

Seth at The Altered Page continues his mass undertaking of sharing the thoughts of over 80 artists, on such topics of favorite art media, favorite links, and methods for getting into the mood for creating. Medium Well is a series of 4 posts on the question, “If you could work in one medium or format that you haven’t yet tried, tell us what it would be and why.”


Courtney making a stain glass state ornament, originally uploaded by justgrimes. Flickr licensed under the Creative Commons.

For many years I have wanted to create art in the medium of Stained Glass. My glass window collage series was aiming to have the transparency and feeling of stained glass. Many of the pieces look wonderful with light shinning behind them. I like the compartmentalized look of stained glass and have even tried to translate that idea into fabric.

What medium would you experiment with, if you had unlimited time and resources? What fears are holding you back?

Style File 2


I love how Seth names these entries in The Pulse. Here is my entry from today’s segment.

Cynthia Gaub I would say that my fine art work always delves into the questions of being a woman. It has been called “Abstract Figurative”, it has also been seen as feminist, is that a style? I like the female form, but on the whole I am not necessarily trying to make a feminist statement. Overall, when you include my collage, fiber work, dolls and mixed media sculpture, I would consider my style Eclectic Gemini.”

Now, Go see what other artists are saying about their artistic style.

Playing Favorites: trade show

Seth of the Altered Page put together a great group of artwork in his Pulse #2, “Playing Favorites”. I continue to gather MY favorites as I go through his past challenge. Meanwhile the current round of questions is starting over at the Altered Page. Over 80 artists talk about their favorite tools, websites and mediums. Why they make art and what they collect.

For “trade show” Seth had artists share their favorite collaborative, swap or trade type project. Over the years I have particiapted and hosted many, many swaps, trades and round robins. Here is a little trip down MY trading memory lane…


Back in the early 1990’s it was mail art and Artistamp calls. I hosted several years worth of special group anniversaries, holidays (Halloween and Valentine’s were my favorite) and celebrations of Chinese New Years, as well as a special 9/11 swap. When hosting one of these swaps it was most common for the host to simply collect and send out the address list and then everyone would mail out their contribution on a specific date. Then I (the host) would collect all the entries sent to me and document them on a web page or in a zine. The most fun was the mail that would fill your mailbox a few days after the mail date, and continue for weeks afterwards.


Then I discovered ATCs and Altered Book Round Robins and Tip-in Swaps.

All about color“, “Good as Gold“Monochromatic” and “Shakespere” were Tip-in swaps that I hosted and participated in over the past few summers with other Art teachers that want to do altered books with their middle school and high school students. The main altered book round robin that I did was a beginners one with different techniques to be accomplished each month as the books swapped. However, my book was held up by the first person that it went to, who then dropped off the face of the earth. She never sent it on, never responded to anyone’s emails and I never saw my book again. I even offered to send her money to mail it back. Alas. After months of playing in other people’s books and waiting for mine to resurface, I made a new version of the book and sent it off to the remaining participants. They were so wonderful to complete the challenges in my book and pass it on outside of the original calendar. But then, that is one of the risks and challenges with a swap.

In 2003, the year I got my first dog, Charger, I hosted a A Dog Diary, visual journal round robin. I loved nervousness.org where I traded zines and music for years before they changed format.

In June 2004, I helped to start a great collaborative community in the form of a challenge. An Art A Day was a yahoo group and LJ community. We challenged each other to make one NEW piece of art everyday. The LJ and Yahoo groups provided a place to post pictures, the opportunity to participate in continued monthly challenges, get daily quotes and motivations tips, participate in contests, share ebay sales of your work as you have them and get the general encouragement and motivation. I even created a website (which only the wayback machine now sees) for links, pictures, contests and challenges. We kept the challenge going for a several months.  The culmination of this was a collaborative group calendar that we made. Every participant made 20 handmade pages that would be spiral bound along with weekly calendar pages. WOW that was a big project (since I was the one printing calendars, collating art and spiral binding) but they came out so wonderful! I still have mine and have added to it in visual journal style, since the calendar pages no longer apply. I got to know some wonderful artists during this challenge including Angie, Cheryl, Bridgette, and Stacey to name just a few.

When I joined EBSQ I did it in the hopes of increasing my eBay sales. But I stayed for the collaboration. Each year there are themed shows to create work for, but several of them are set up as swaps. My nice collection of art is primarily made up of work I have received in these and other swaps.


But I think my favorite swap, thus far, has been the Fabric Art Journal Swap. As much as I loved the pieces I made and sent off to the other participants, I really enjoyed the work I received in return. This can be tricky with swaps, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and apparently quality is also.

Playing Favorites: Picture Perfect

Seth at The Altered Page will be going LIVE with his next round of questions with The PULSE this coming Monday. As he prepares for a month of Q & A with 80-plus artists (and counting) I am taking a walk down memory lane. Next on the list is Picture Perfect.

I have been taking photos since my early days as a kid travelling though Europe. Dad was a dark room enthusiast and shared his passion. Before college I often found his passion to be a burden, when he forced us to stand in front of every statue, windmill and geyser in the world!


(Photo by my dad of the Family at Yellowstone park circa 1970’s)

But then I took photography, learned darkroom processing and the joys of taking pictures. Later I finally got my hands on a digital camera so the cost and time of taking/ processing pictures went down dramatically. I love taking pictures… admittedly most of them of my dog or my art.

Ever since I bought my first digital camera, I have taken many opportunities to go on Photo Walks. Sometimes by myself, but more often with my dog and occassionally with friends. I prefer to look at things close to the ground, often setting my camera on the ground to take the shot. I love to look for patterns and textures.

Up Close and Personal This one recieved an award at EBSQ


This photo has not been altered nor cropped.

Playing Favorites: Mixed Media

When haven’t I created something that was mixed media? Paint, paper, fabric and embellished with stuff… would probably describe anything I have made. So to pick a mixed media favorite is going to be very, very difficult. I don’t even think I could pick a favorite of the ones displayed in Seth’s blog for Playing Favorites: mixed media 1, because I love to look at other people’s mixed media art as much as I like to create my own. It is obviously a well loved art form, since he had to break it into two seperate posts to contain all the wonderfulness.

Art Lives Here Doll

This is a wonderful mixed media doll sculpture that I made at ArtFiberFest a few years back. She is my favorite because it was really my first time really embellishing the heck out of something and I LOVED it!

Where does art live? When does the muse come to visit? Will she arrive in her fancy frocks or grungy jeans ready to get down and dirty? This doll represents my muse when she is dressed to go to the gallery and make an enterance. See larger detail images here  This doll is created with a base body of a men’s tie. It is embellished with buttons, beads, feathers, ribbons, tulle, coins, sequins, paper, wire and many different types of fabric. Her stamped face is sewn in and painted on paper with watercolors. Little pockets are sewn onto the front in sheer ribbon and each pocket is stuffed with yarn, beads, gold powder, other fabrics, sequin waste and even tinsel. Inspired by Kate Lyons and her dolls.

Playing Favorites: fields of dreams

Creating a gallery of my favorites has been quite fun. Looking through my own work over the years and fitting these themes has really shown me the diversity of my own work. Next up is Playing Favorites: fields of dreams, which I think can be translated to work that shows nature or landscapes of some type. Of course when he put together this series of posts, I think he gathered a lot of art from a lot of different people then put them into these catagories. I don’t think he expected to have an individual artist find art to fit each theme. But I like the challenge, so I plug along here.

Earthfin Rip July 2006

Media:  Fabric Collage Dimensions:  14″ x 14″ Date of Work:  07/2006

Night Sky Wanderer is a RIP for the EBSQ 2006 Ripped Off Show. It is inspired by a pyrography called Workin’ On Wings to Fly by Lisa J. Rough. I was really drawn to the powerful woman and the birch trees. It has a sense of strength and peace. I tried to capture that same feeling in my version of it. This piece is all fabric collage using applique’ and quilting techniques. It is embellished with buttons, ribbon, trim, beads and handmade yarn.

Art/Not Terminal and Art Communities

(photo from my first solo show at A/NT in 1994…
girl in red dress in the center is me.)

This funky artist run gallery gave me my start in the art world. It was the first place I showed my work and the first place I sold work, even my first solo show. It continues to amaze me that it is still running. I know if I lived closer I would still participate. I was treasurer and even president of the board for a few years. I was also the gallery zine editor and publisher for a few years. It was and is still a great community that is eclectic and supportive of newcomers. It rarely gets any press so I was excited to hear that it got some nice props from the Seattle PI this week.. even if it is just in their blog. (after all blogs really are where the real news is these days.)

Artist communities are a great way to get support. These days there are many online communities (like EBSQ) but they can never completely take the place of face to face communities. My friend Amy participates in one closer to me… one in which I keep telling myself that I need to get involved.

In what artist communities do you participate? Online or face to face, which do you prefer?