Inside a Crooked House

There was a crooked artist who every crooked day,

Walked a crooked path to a crooked room to play.

To awake a crooked brain (4 am’s a crooked time)

A crooked cuppa coffee helped these crooked words to rhyme!

Enter, and on your left is a place to spread out and play, look out the window and make art.

The eastern exposure is my favorite. So lovely to sit and daydream, read, or make art.

On the south wall is a place to snack, make a beverage, cut flowers or make art here too.

When you come back, you get start where you left off.  So go out and make art.

If you stand in the middle and spin around.

If you come upon a crooked house…….go on in and play.

Watercolor Mice Inspired by 100 Year Old Flowers

If you have Multiple Muse Disorder, you know how easy it is to fall down a Rabbit Hole, or in this case a Mouse Hole.  My work illustrating Rascal, by Sterling North, sends me on a lot of research journeys, which I love.  When Sterling is mandated to get a collar and leash for his little pet, he goes to see Mr. Shadwick the harness maker.  The narrative of the story tells of Mr. Shadwick engraving Rascal’s name in the finest Spencerian script.

Well, I know a little about these scripts, but not a lot.  I have many wonderful calligraphy books and a really old book called Hill’s Manual of Business Forms and Guide to Correct Writing,1877.   The fun of getting really old books are the treasures that former owner’s leave in the pages.  Old stamps, news clippings, money (not yet, but someday) and in this case pressed flowers.  The name Emily is written over the name Lester Sullivan, so I’m assuming Emily owned this book at one time.  In the leaves of the book are a few clippings of poems, an ad for an Elmo treadle sewing machine from a Lyon Brothers formerly H. Wolf & Co. catalogue and pressed flowers.  Given the age of the book, the age of the ad and the assumption Emily wanted this sewing machine and she pressed the flowers, I’m guessing the flowers are over 100 years old.  So down the mouse-hole I go.

I figure I better brush up on Spencerian lettering to get my Rascal illustration authentic.  So I get out a Hunt pointed pen, oblique pen holder, guide lines from IAMPETH, Noodlers Black Ink, Bond practice paper and away I go.  But those flowers, what about those flowers?  Emily pressed them for something she wanted to make.  Cards, art, bookmarks are all possibilities.  That’s it, bookmarks.  And I’ll practice lettering on the back.  But I started practicing Engrosser’s Script (Copperplate), which I love, and still need to look at Spencerian, which is where this short story made long started and where I tripped and fell. 

What fun tumbling down the mouse-hole.  Thank you to Emily, this week’s muse.

Why mice?  I dreamed they used the flowers as parasols.

A Brand New Wolf

Worked on a new White Wolf.  He is the new banner, avatar and alter ego for White Wolf Studio.  New website launching July 1st!!

Micron Pen, Watercolor on Cold Press Watercolor Paper

Relaxing on a grassy ledge under a full desert moon.  The view is spectacular, all is mysterious and everything is possible.

2007 Familiar Subjects in Pencil

Our Nevada Museum of Art offers a variety of classes and when I saw a Fantasy Creature Drawing class, I had to check it out.  Taught by a full-time fantasy artist living in Reno (whose name I will fill in later) I was enthusiastic.  He left me with a great process of testing out elements to use for creatures not of our world and I use those techniques in much of my work.

The fun thing is that characters from my twenty-something imagination were still living in my fifty-something mind waiting for their turn to be recognized.  I love these guys.

Garden Dragon 100309

Garden Dragon

Mermaid 100309

Mermaid’s Daughter

Dwarf 100309

Dwarf and Thief

I think it’s true.  We never escape our imagination and all who live there.

2004 Art Journals

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron has an exercise called Morning Pages.  She advises to write three stream of consciousness pages each morning upon waking.  The idea is to get all the junk out of your mind for the day.  So about 2002 I started the exercises and went for a long time.  But eventually I got tired of the whiny sessions.  About 2004, I started adding snippets off memorabilia and my books eventually evolved into art journals.  Many pages are still whiny, but it is a very safe place to play, practice and pretend.  I fill a journal about once a year.  I’ve used many different books from cheap composition notebooks to watercolor paper journals, hardbound to spiral bound.  They all have their characteristics and my mission is to just fill them with musings, memories and meanderings.

Art Journal 2004

A place to ponder.

Art Journal 2006

A place to pretend.

Art Journal 2006a

A place to pour out.

Art Journal 2009

A place to practice.

2000 Collage on Canvas

My father came from New York City to Reno, Nevada in the 1930’s.  I don’t remember what drew him here, but he loved Nevada, the desert and all things antique.  He taught me the value of handcrafted items, was probably my biggest fan and also the biggest contributor to my Multiple Muse Disorder.  He encouraged any and all artistic or crafty journeys I decided on. 

I remember him here, because I believe his love of antiques transferred to my obsession with old books, oddities, curios and photos.  I haunt antique and thrift stores looking for ephemera that speaks to me.  Just this week I joined a friend at Art Walk downtown and I just had to pop in to an antique store (the old Parkers Western Wear) just to burn some time.  But, I found cabinet photos to inspire future work. 

I began mixing these elements with calligraphy and continue today.

My Hometown 080109

Nothing like old casino shows with their crazy themed costumes.  I love this place.

Goals 080109

Sorting out the meaning of “Goals”.  When Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she should walk from here and he asks where she wants to go, she replies that it doesn’t matter just so long as she gets somewhere.  His remark speaks to me.  He says that it doesn’t matter then which way you go, you will get somewhere if you walk long enough.  Hmmmm……he’s right.  Should probably have a goal.

Red Thread 080109

I ran across this Chinese proverb in one of Lynn Perrella’s books and again I connected with the words as it relates to a relationship I formed with my best art pal, D.  We literally met in thin air.

Multple Muse Disorder 080109

This piece put the name to the disease, Multiple Muse Disorder.  This old photo of Tonopah’s 1932 women’s basketball team had just the right amount of muses, nine.  Glass, Calligraphy, Design, Paint, Collage, Draw, Jewelry, Golf and Textile are the muses here.  They toss me around like a ball, all in accordance with Art Mother’s plan for me.  Do I enjoy the ride?  Yes.

Dilettante: one who pursues the fine arts, literature, or science, only for amusement: an amateur.  Perhaps, but I like Tolkien’s “Not all who wander are lost.”

New Millenium Art

I remember writing in a library book once and boy did I get in trouble.  I was taught to respect books and highlighting in text books was about as comfortable as I would get.  To tear up a book was unheard of.  Enter the age of altered books.  A craft I’ve dabbled in, but tearing up text for collage and cutting out unique images for my calligraphy work is keeping my muses amused.

Rose of the Desert sm 072909

Just the Two of Us sm 072909

Always Because sm 072909