You’re not doing art wrong.

A couple of years ago I joined an art organization and went to a monthly meeting with about 20 people. I was excited to be part of a group and to talk about art related things. On the agenda for the meeting was to have a discussion and show-and-tell about our sketchbooks. It sounded like it could be interesting hearing about other people’s process (and it was) but I don’t keep a sketchbook. That’s not a part of my process; I’m not a sketcher. So we went around the room and people talked about how they organize ideas for pieces or make lists of tasks to do. Some made more journal type books with beautiful complex works of art on each page. Some used theirs as a mood board or inspiration source where they created a collage for pieces they were thinking about. All cool ideas and interesting to hear them talk about each version. But when my turn came around the circle, I didn’t have anything to show and it was at that point where, unfortunately, I stopped enjoying the meeting.

I do sketch things. Like that little dog up above. I printed out the circle on a piece of card stock and made a sketch and then I scanned it and used it as a guide to draw the version on the right in Illustrator. I am a lot looser when I draw things on paper, so I often do a little rough sketch of characters especially and use that to help me with proportions and placement when I get into the computer. It’s a process that works well for me. But this little sketch is […]

You are invited: Unexpected Art Workshops

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Registration is now open. These workshops are FREE with museum admission.

I was fortunate to get a MN State Arts Board grant this year and it’s time for the public projects part of that grant. I have partnered with The Bakken, The Museum of Russian Art and Hennepin History Museum to host 3 evenings of workshops making art inspired by each of their collections. You can read all about the background of this project on my Unexpected Art page. I want to invite all of you to please come to a workshop. A big part of this grant is having a public component and that means I need you to participate. Each museum will be doing something a little special the evening of the workshop: staying open later hours, pulling special things from their collections, and including all of the workshop fee in with regular museum admission. That means you get to visit an awesome museum, get to see something that few people get to see, take a mini workshop and take home a piece of art. It will be awesome!

You do need to pre-register because I have limited computer space. My grant also funded a mobile computer lab, which I will have set up for the workshops. You will be making art inspired by special pieces from the museum collections. I will help you transform your art into an awesome fabric design. You will get to keep a swatch of your fabric (mailed to you after it is printed) and I will include everyone’s swatches in an exhibition of art hosted at the Hennepin History museum in January 2017. […]

2016-10-17T17:25:44+00:00An Artist's Life|Comments Off on You are invited: Unexpected Art Workshops

Public art in Minneapolis. The boxes are here!

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My utility boxes have all been installed! Andy and I took a field trip this morning to walk the neighborhood and see what they look like. I am so happy with how they turned out! I have created a whole new page for the project here on my website: I Spy Utility Boxes

IMG_3667I will add more behind-the-scenes posts, photos from the walkthrough and more to that page in the next few weeks. I also wrote a book to accompany this project! You can see the details of that there too.

Here is a press release about the project that went out today.

If you’d like to join us for the walking tour, we will be meeting at the corner of 29th and University Ave at 6:00 pm on Thursday July 14th. We will walk around to see all 3 boxes and then go over to Surly for a drink. I’d love to see you there!

 

2016-07-06T13:46:33+00:00Gallery Exhibitions, ProspectPark|Comments Off on Public art in Minneapolis. The boxes are here!

I Spy Utility Boxes Project: Collecting

everydayWhen last I posted about the utility box wraps project I am working on, I was on my way to the meeting of the neighborhood advisory group for their approval on my designs.  They loved them! (Thank goodness!)  So I can share a little more about them now that we have made it past that step.

I spent several afternoons walking around the neighborhood taking photos of things in the neighborhood: manhole covers, address numbers, bricks, peeling paint, leaves and plants.  Then I spent a couple of afternoons at home photographing everyday objects.  My idea for this project is that the designs on those utility boxes should be made up of things you might see every day and not notice them.  They might be things you have in your house or business.  They might be things laying on the sidewalk.

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I also looked for texture, like peeling paint and weathered styrofoam, that I could layer on top of designs.  I really like to work in layers.  And these are some textures from some pretty definitive buildings in the neighborhood: Pratt School, Tierney Bros, the Witch’s Hat Tower, Cupcake.  So I wanted to include those as well.  I had about 450 photos collected when I got done.

Once I had collected all of these images, I started to make designs.  These were the first two I came up with.

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The first is made from leaves that I picked up and scanned in patterns, combined with all of […]

2016-02-23T10:09:00+00:00ProspectPark|Comments Off on I Spy Utility Boxes Project: Collecting

I Spy, Public Art & Everyday Objects

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I have been working quietly behind the scenes on a new project for a couple of months.  The neighborhood that is home to Textile Center, Weavers Guild and where I spent a large part of my life during the last 15 years has a really enthusiastic neighborhood association.  And they decided to do a call for artists to make wraps for six (3 pairs) of the utility boxes in the neighborhood.  The City of Minneapolis has a program which allows artists to design these wraps and I was selected as the artist for Prospect Park.  Here are what some of the finished ones (by other artists) look like from the cover of their instruction booklet.  The idea is to bring some art into the community and to help discourage graffiti.

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I usually work in fabric and garments, as you all know, but the design skills for these utility box wraps are basically just the same.  I am making a 2-D design and shaping it around a 3-d object.  My first public art!

So, what to put on them?  My proposal to the neighborhood association was to create patterns from everyday objects.  Specifically, I spent several afternoons walking around the neighborhood surrounding these boxes taking photos of objects: flowers, bricks, signs, textures. I collected photos with a theme like circles or numbers and things that are iconic to the neighborhood. I tried to think of things that reminded me of the neighborhood, like the pink roses around the Prospect Park sign that are always buzzing full of bees in the summertime.  I also shot images […]

2015-12-14T11:16:45+00:00ProspectPark|Comments Off on I Spy, Public Art & Everyday Objects