Friday, December 24, 2010

Fir Klimt

If this doesn't prove that design colors each and every part of your life, I really can't imagine stronger evidence.
I think I may have to come up with a graphic designers Christmas carol... hmmm...
...I'm dreaming of a ...foam core Christmas...

I made this tree a few years ago to cure the broken ornament problem. I have a cat heavy household and Christmas trees are just a compulsory (if you are a cat) invitation- they just can't help themselves. So, to keep from making them into purses, I made a cat-proof tree. It's lasted for three years and it's getting a little ragged- but so far no cat purses.

Hope you all have a happy holiday and a happy healthy new year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

At least once before the new year.....

How did it get to be December? I feel like I have been underwater.
I have been working really hard but not making much visible progress anywhere.
I'm in the refinement stage of several things and since I am not quite sure what I am doing... I move very slowly.
I'm hoping for a tipping point soon, one way or another, otherwise I'll have no alternative but to make a mess.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I couldn't have been less permeable, when I'd hear my mother say to my father...."Well, that's fine, but you GO to work..... I wake up and my work surrounds me..."
I get it now.

Mornings when I am still and quiet, my work surrounds me. It's partly by chance. My current work, in it's various stages, sits on the mantel directly in my line of vision. I put it there to keep it away from curious noses and paws, but the unintended prize is the realization that it's constant presence keeps the conversation alive, even when I am distracted.
It is always there.

"My arms are wrong."
"You didn't make me very interesting"
"This is what my head needs to look like"
"This is a great dress, but it doesn't fit."
"What was your intention, when you gave me two heads?"
"How come I only have one head?"
"You did a good job on these wire thingies"

"Fix me"
"Fix me"
"Fix me"

Friday, October 8, 2010

Is this a face....?

Introducing Habit, she goes by her middle name (first name bad), the newest member of our country family. She had been living next door and D took her in to get her spayed to keep the population in the neighborhood somewhere near manageable (and of course she was in heat). Sooooo.... she has been living in our playroom to rest, recover and quit arousing all the boys in the area.

What can I say... we grew accustomed to her face.
And what a face...

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's what's on the inside....

Isn't that the accepted view of first impressions? I have strayed from the original plan and gotten so involved in the structure of my figures that I'm thinking that at least one of them needs to be naked. Paula had the great idea to have one of them holding a dress- and I love that idea for a lot of reasons not the least being, that it addresses the all important and all encompassing question:
"What AM I going to wear today?"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home is where you make it

Yes. I have pet envy.
Wouldn't it be nice, at that after-lunch crash time, to just unroll the paper towels and take a nap on the counter?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Evidence of Slackery

I just had to give it a rest this weekend, I've been spending pretty much any and all of my free time working on my doll figures- and I did do the final sanding on the seated figure. But Sunday found me worn out and uninspired.
So, I sat, I watched movies and I doodled.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dress on Dress off

Sometimes breaking your own rules is a good idea. I don't know why I even make rules while I'm working, and even more to the point, why I find it so difficult to give myself permission to break them when I am the one who made them in the first place.
Anyway, jumping past the other projects to work on this one paid off this time. I managed to work through some support problems with all the rest of the doll/figure projects and find some sorely needed direction.
This is the very rough form for the body I put up a couple of posts ago- her feet obviously need some love, and of course she needs a head-
but she has a marvelous dress ala Paula and I can't wait to get my hands on her.

Friday, September 3, 2010


This is a doodle from the archives, since I don't intend to labor over Labor day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Doodle of the week

I finally scanned a couple of doodles I've had in my sketchbook for a while. They both seemed to need something, which is why they've been untouched and unfinished for so long. I'm thinking they just needed to perk, because as soon as I opened both files- I knew they needed each other.

Above is their consummation, with a little help from Photoshop and their mother, looking on with affection.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Everybody wants a great body

Here are a couple of views of the next body, one of the first batch of magic that Paula quilted and designed. It is already as full of personality and attitude, as it is headless and limbless. All the wonderful little fussy details are perfect, so deciding who she will be is the easy part. Waiting to get my hands on her has been the tough part. I've had her for quite awhile, she's been sitting on my mantle amongest all the extra and unassembled body parts.
So, I've decided to break my own rules and jump ahead. I should be pushing on to finish: "One day there will be a port into our heads or navels so that we can download the latest update to sanity."

But I just need to start something new.
It's either that or buy another pair of cowboy boots.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm of Two Minds...

Finishing is as terrible as it is rewarding. It's tedious, stressful, and very, very satisfying all at the same time.

These girls are a milestone and a collective voice that says "Here we are and this what it is like to be half of an inspired pair. Aren't we just amazingly cool and beautiful in our not so subtle confusion?"

Monday, August 23, 2010

The dog who fell to earth

Yesterday afternoon I stepped out onto my porch to see if I could survive for more than a couple of minutes without catching fire. We all have our ways of keeping cool. Apparently, Gator thinks that China is cooler and that if she digs long enough and deep enough, she'll get there.
It just looked like she just rocketed in but did not burn up on reentry.

We are calling this.... wait for it....
The Gator Crater.

Monday, August 16, 2010

She lives

Well, the image is a little soft but the mood is right. It's been a long time coming but there is finally light. No name yet, because she has not definitively told either Paula or I what that might be, but she lives- And short of a few more tweaks and a final and formal permanent assembly she is finished.

"Two minds" which you might remember from former posts, is permanently assembled, but also lacks the final
touches. We are close to having these two new friends stand on their own and speak for themselves.

Paula and I took a hiatus to rest, recover and renew after the plan for a group show blew up and took with them some unexpected pieces of us. We have been busy polishing them to their former luster and look forward to blowing up and blowing away the rest of the obstacles and challenges.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I still love robots

Nothing really edges out the first loves, visually, verbally or literally. I love robots, puns and my first grade teacher.

I've been working on this off and on for a few years, sometimes for a creative stretch and a little fun to break up my day job.

It's almost a growth chart. I swear I still learn something everyday about Photoshop and Illustrator. It's like my brain, I only know how to use about ten percent.


As I half listened to my daily portion of "Morning edition" on my drive in last week, a name caught my attention, then a voice. The name was Ted Rust. The voice, Veda Reed's.

I had read Ted Rust's obituary on that Sunday morning with a mixture of lost opportunity and hero worship. I rubbed shoulders with him briefly a few years ago, and will miss his influence and fingerprints.

As for Veda, still a heroine, still a great influence from my graduate study years and present way of seeing, some of which I am still processing and probably will be for a long, long time.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A new head

The heads are always a response to Paula's most excellent bodies- (I'll shoot the body and include it soon. It is somewhere between attitude, attitude, attitude and a great height glance) this one is no exception, she's still pretty rough but I'm still figuring out this new black clay.

It's easier and harder to work with, I like the finger marks that are still in the shoulder and bosom, but I want her head to be smooth and polished. So, it will be a challenge finishing her to match the image I have in my head, of course I can't remember a time when that image did not change daily or even hourly- so I'm guessing it will be a surprise to all of us.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

If you put a dress on a sculpture, does that make it a doll?

After having spent ten days that I'm calling the "Doll Days of Summer"
I've finally made progress enough that I'm not completely freaking out at the notion of having the girls ready for the show in August.

My fireplace mantle is completely covered with little hands, little feet, little heads and the internal structures that they all hang on, respectively, in order to become the statement that finally defines them.

I think Paula and I are both almost tempted to show this one without her skin- but I can't wait to see what she looks like after I hand her off to Paula for the final futzing and assembly.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Swim in the pond that you're given

Habitat is where you find it, I guess. This was my gift from the universe this morning for schlepping to Lowe's.
This mama duck seemed absolutely unruffled that her pond was only a half inch deep, that she was being gawked at by a
group of unruly hardware store addicted humans and towered over by giant roasting machines.

Wish I could be that hopeful and that focused and fearless.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Feet of clay

What you've been seeing as support for this figure is the modeling stand that I use for all the figures. This particular one asked me for feet and in fulfilling her request I think that she may need to be suspended for presentation-

Now that she has feet, she's become part of the dance, which I am pretty sure was her intention all along.

I'm of two minds (unsurprisingly) on the position of her feet. I like seeing her heels pointed at each other, but once she is suspended, I'm thinking that it might be better for them to arc out behind her as if she were in flight, or caught just before leaping.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One more step in the journey

While Paula is busily configuring a body for the bonticool head, I am finishing the two minds figure (see its virgin appearance a couple of posts ago) I am chronicling its progress here. I've managed to tack on a collar around the neckline of the body and put a coat of primer on the body parts. My initial thought was to stain the primer and warm it up a bit, but I have to admit to being really seduced by the white velvety surface as it stands.

After getting the collar on and dry fitting the heads to the body, it needed some kind of interaction between body and heads. I love the thread trailers on the body, it speaks to both of our attractions to simple line and adds another dimension of scale without being fussy. So, I added some Paula magic (as supplied to me in a bag of stuff and bodies) and affixed some crazy curly wire- it helped but was still a little too unrelated-

I added the tiny green leaves this morning-
It's getting magical.

Friday, May 14, 2010


In an effort to maintain my title of collaborator with Paula, my hero- I had to grow another head.

Our plan, as it has unfolded, has been to supply each other with heads and bodies, respectively, (heads/ me and fabric bodies/Paula) and see what happens- I've been playing catch up ever since.

I have several bodies, one that has all its parts (but not finished) as seen in an earlier post, and more that have clearly spoken to me that I have not yet translated. So, this heavily Lee Bonticou inspired head, will be the first head that Paula will be translating. In true Paula/Jean style we have already emailed back and forth with the pretty much the same ideas for her finishing.

I think we are taking "making friends" to a new level.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Stop and sniff the thistles

As some of my friends recently reminded me, the time to do things is now. I have been looking at these thistles on the side of road for a week and thinking that I really need to stop and photograph them. So, I did.
The light was not exactly right, the conditions were not optimum -but here it is and I'm celebrating.

Now, for the rest of that list...

I wish the impetus for this destruction of fear and procrastination was not so jarring or that it would not require such personal drastic rewiring on my part. From the outside it would not seem to be such a big deal to do what is in front of you, to exercise your passions or to say how you feel. But I am out of practice.

The biggest reason for this sudden attack of vulnerability and mortality was that one of those reminding friends recently suffered a stroke. So, I am feeling small in the face of that enormity and trying to deal with the fact that this personal rewiring job of mine, that I let overwhelm me most of the time, is so very, very minor.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Gardening has its own rewards, but none better than the beauty of the tools at the end of the season.

Friday, April 30, 2010

April Foolishness

I found this while I was hunting around on my hard drive and I thought I'd take advantage of these last few days of April to be officially foolish.

This is an April Fools card from all of us at Patterson Graham Design Group that I did few years ago- I always liked it and as one who always laughs the loudest at my own jokes, I thought it was hilarious... as for everyone else, I'm pretty sure they were just humoring me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sowing seeds of content

A particular page in the graphic novel that I am working on, calls for a crow to help a woman plant her garden- He is described as flying over the garden (crop dusting style) with a sack of seed open to the wind.
Of course, I obsessed about the seeds- Now.... how to fit everything else in that is needed to advance the story... Maybe the seeds need skirts...

Monday, April 19, 2010

The beginnings of a wonderful journey

Well, the seeds for this were planted a few months ago- as I was introduced to and connected with a fellow artblogger and graphic designer. After many emails and too many uncanny artistic and personal connections to be anything but a long lost sister, Paula and I are collaborating on a body of work, tentatively named, "of two minds".
The body and quilting of the fabric are Paula's, the heads and hands are mine- we are visually finishing each others sentences and I think this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
This the first and not yet complete figure, it is echoed, underlined and inspired by Paula's fabulous quilts-

Monday, April 12, 2010

Carried away again

Or maybe I should just say, I love Photoshop- this is what happens when you play I wonder what would happen if i took that doodle and combined with that other one and then added that backgound that I didn't know what to with and overlayed with that ..... well you get the idea.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Carried Away

Here are a couple of crows that were supposed to be characters in the graphic novel I've been working on (way too sporadically)- I always have every intention of actually working on the project, but something happens and it makes a left turn. I think I would probably be through with it if every page could be a different style to reflect the personality that wakes up and drives my creation for the day-

Monday, March 1, 2010

As usual

So, it has morphed into something a little less testosterone infused and with more heart, bound to happen considering the source- And just so you know the Circus presentation won a silver ADDY (I was a quarter of a second behind) - But it was very nice to have my  strange passions validated and have Patterson Graham given a wink , a nod and attagirl-

Monday, February 22, 2010

goodbye Columbus?

I think I'm proving my case.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I never know...

Doodles have a way of just telling me what they are going to be, this one, I think is going to be a beautiful tumor . . . or maybe it's that set of balls I've been threatening to grow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow day!

We and the dogs had a marvelous time!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

after only thirty years...

Well, I may not have worked up the gumption to send the Circus presentation to Tom Waits (yet), but I persuaded my working home and family (Patterson Graham Design Group) to enter it in the ADDYs- It's fitting, it's been a family project.
So, we received word last week that it made it into the show.
Hurray for us-
Hurray for me too, after only about thirty years of entering-
I finally made it in.