Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Jenny, the LaLaLand Art Lair assistant

Here is a photo of my new Art Lair assistant, 7 month-old Jenny Puss (a.k.a. Poopsy Lou). Lately, I have been working on a few collages, and she has been very helpful. She rearranges my cut-out magazine images when she feels they are not properly placed. In keeping with the vintage theme, she also makes sure that my pristine white collage backgrounds look a little more vintagey. She chews on my pens. She talks to me when I am silent for a stretch. She plops my son's Nerf gun darts on my art desk and wants to play fetch with me. And she loves to play fetch. She usually takes many naps on my work-in-progress.

Her distractions aside, I love having her hang out with me in the Art Lair.

Sleeping inside a collage frame



Michael's Craft store is a very dangerous place to be this time of year. There are so many things that an artist can buy to make wonderful little Christmas gifties. And this year in particular, I am seeing a lot more of the type of decorations I love. I love glitter and glam, but in a Tim Burton/Dr. Seuss palette. Lime green glitter, hot pink glitter.... bring it.

So I was wandering through Michael's last week, thinking that I might use my 50% off coupon and apply it toward a cool Christmas arrangement. I wanted one with lots of baubles and bows and bling. The more I looked, however, the more I convinced myself that I could make an arrangement that was far more interesting than the ones on offer. The arrangement I wanted at Michael's was over $100, and even with my coupon, I thought the price was a little steep.

As an assemblage artist, I have lots of supplies in my lair, including lots of skulls. I have been wanting to use a cat skull for the longest time, but was waiting for the right moment. I found the right moment.  

There you have it- my cat skull Christmas arrangement: Cat*as*trophy. The shiny vintage tin circles above the cat skull (with the Santa hat on) are adorned with mice skulls, and the mice skulls are blinged out with Swarovski crystals.  The majority of the greenery was of vintage stock that I collected from thrift stores, except for the green glitter swirls.  I DID buy the green glitter swirls from Michael's with my 50% off coupon. They were so cool that I just had to have them. But everything else, including the vase, was scrounged from various thrift stores.

It turned out better than I expected. I LOVE it! I posted the photo to Facebook, and instantly had a buyer. So now I would like to make another Christmas arrangement. I'm thinking of using pink and turquoise as the colour palette.  And I have a deer skull I've been wanting to use for the longest time......

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Square Foot

Butterflies of the World series
Satyrium californica (California Hairstreak)- North America
12" x 12" x 3"

Butterflies of the World series
Delias mysis (Red-banded Jezebel)- Australia
12" x 12" x 3"

collage- Mother Load
12" x 12"

I was recently accepted to my first group show at a commercial gallery, and I am very excited! The Square Foot show is taking place at the Paula White Diamond gallery in Waterloo, Ontario, and I have submitted the above three pieces.

Two of the submitted pieces are shadowboxes from my new series, Butterflies of the World.  I liked the success and challenges I had with the shadowbox Saints Series (2011), where I interpreted names of actual saints. I knew that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of names of butterflies that I could use in the same way. And there were. (Yes, those are Barbie arms and legs.) I think the next one in the Butterfly series will be the Boloria euphrosyne (Pearl-bordered Fritillary)-United Kingdom. I'd like to incorporate some of the oyster shells I collected on the beach during my recent trip to Prince Edward Island.

The collage, Mother Load, was fun to make.  The gallery stipulated that work had to be 12" x 12", and I was intrigued because I haven't worked on a collage that small before.  The last collage I did, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (2013), measured 80"w by 26" h.  I used images from 1950's Good Housekeeping magazines for Mother Load. Vintage Good Housekeeping mags are always good for beautiful images, as well as a laugh.  It seems that women were very enamoured with Jello salads in the 1950's.

The 6th annual Square Foot show opens at the Paula White Diamond Gallery on November 20, 2014.