New Art to Wear Pendants!

I've just added six new alcohol ink pendants to my Square Market Store.  Each is 1.5" round or oval domed glass, with vibrant colors and patterns.  Leather cords with lobster clasps and chains which adjust to between 7" and 9" drops complete the pendants. 

I love working with alcohol ink; I never know exactly how the designs will appear, and adding brushwork with 91% alcohol makes them even more unusual. The landscapes, seascapes, and random, luscious colors are a joy for me to create, and I hope they will bring joy to those who wear them.

Take a look at the complete collection here

One of my favorites is below:

Pendant #1533 |Waves of Nirvana series


Art-to-Wear Pendants now in my Square Market Store!

I'm pleased to announce that my alcohol ink and glass pendants are now available in my Square Market Store.  From the "Waves of Nirvana" series (thanks again, Sharon for that cool title), they are colorful, varied, and beautiful, if I say so myself (which I do!). 

Each pendant is strung on a black leather cord, with a lobster clasp, and chain which allows you to adjust the drop from 9" to 11". 

Pendants are $30.00 each, plus shipping.  But, if you're local to Raleigh, drop me an email, and we can arrange to meet--why pay shipping if you don't have to? 

Here's a 'sneak peek' at one, but do go look at the others.  I hope you'll find one you love. 

Pendant #1522


Of "ohh, I love your colors," Bee Butt, and the $400 Display Tag

The title sums up our 11th appearance at the Festival for the Eno last weekend. 

Some of my apparently swoon-worthy colorful items
As always, the weather was hot and humid, but that didn't prevent music-lovers and supporters of the Eno River from coming out.  Art lovers?  Not so much.  It was not my worst outing in terms of sales here, but very close.

"Ohhh, I love your colors":  I had the usual number of compliments about my work, and this phrase was almost a constant refrain. The fact that I sold very little, and mostly my very lowest priced items reflects what I've seen as a change in the festival over the last 3 to 4 years.  People come to enjoy the music, eat the festival food, play in the river, and glance at art.  The art is an afterthought, if it's thought of at all.  This will probably be my last Eno; it's time to move on to where art is the main event.

Bee Butt:  a photographer was in the tent to my right, displaying a canvas print on a tripod outside. 
"Bee Butt"
©Stan Lewis Photography
It was titled "Bee Butt," and because of how close it was to my tent opening, we were able to observe countless people stopping to see it and repeating the title (I say countless, but at one point, we did count 38 people in about a 90-minute span saying it!).  I don't think "Bee Butt" sold, or actually brought anyone into his tent, but it was certainly a source of amusement/annoyance for us.

The $400 Display Tag: Late on Sunday afternoon, an older gentlemen came in, looked around briefly, then stared for quite awhile near one of my wall hangings.  He appeared to be fixated on the display tag, under which was the price, as you can see at left.  He looked confused, and a bit upset.  Just as I was about to ask him if he had a question, he asked "What makes this worth $400?"  Normally, I would use this as an opportunity to talk about my process and techniques, but something about his peering intently at the display tag rather than the piece itself stopped me.  I replied:  "The price is for the large piece to the right, not the tag!"  He seemed relieved.  I went on to say, "I'm good, but I'm not THAT good, I can't paint that small."  I guess the answer satisfied his curiosity, because he left quickly afterward. 
Wow, really?!  A $400 display tag?!  We got a good, if incredulous laugh out of that one. 

And so, my sojourn as an Eno artist concluded.  It was a good run of 11 years, I met many new collectors, made some good friends, and now it's time to find another show which will provide me the same.  Stay tuned to see what that will be!


Show Report: Columbia Festival of the Arts 2015

Our first show of the season has come and gone, and it was a fairly good one.  This was our 4th consecutive year, and I was honored to have one of my "Leaf Dance" pieces included in the pre-show publicity, which was very cool (thanks, Maria Satyshur!). 

I always create something new each year, and this year's addition to my collection was my alcohol ink paintings, cards, and pendants.  They were received very well, and people seemed fascinated by the processes I use to create them.  I often forget that what I take for granted in terms of art supplies and techniques can be extremely interesting to people who aren't familiar with them.  Happily, there are many women, as well as a young man of about 8 years old, who are now proud owners of my art-to-wear alcohol ink pendants.  The young man insisted to his parents that he wanted it, despite their assurances that he would "probably see something else here that you'll want more".  Clearly, he didn't, and I congratulated him on getting what he said he wanted.  

Also new this year are my 4'x 6"x3" wall hangings.  Stan custom made the three box panels from MDF.  I love this new size; it allows me to either paint directly upon the surface, or add another MDF panel onto the box.  I chose the theme of "Duara," the Swahili word for circle for each, and created them as separate entities (unlike "Three Part Harmony," the commissioned piece of similar size and shape).  I'm pleased that "Duara, Copper and Ultramarine" (see right) has found a new home, with a Wellesley classmate who lives in Maryland.  We reconnected on Facebook, and she came to the show, and fell in love with the piece.  Thanks, so much, Leigh and J.P.! 

Here are some late afternoon booth shots from the show, with the two other Duaras; on the outside front panel of the booth, and on the left wall.

Next up:  our 11th appearance at Festival for the Eno, on July 4th weekend.  Stay tuned.



Tribal Pods

What do I get when I mix doodling with the very cool Strathmore Toned Gray greeting cards? 
My new, Tribal Pods card line! 
Like many artists, I've always drawn "aimlessly" while talking on the phone, or listening to music, or in class, and sometimes, that drawing is not aimless at all.  In the past, I've used this as a way to work out design problems, and to test out new motifs for my "Inspiration:  Wax-Print Fabric"work.  Recently, while waiting for a customer service representative on the telephone (and you know how long that can take!), I began drawing on a circle template I'd cut from a piece of card stock.  The wait was long enough for me to complete it, add color and details (and yes, I finally did get to speak to someone who was able to help me), and when I looked at it, I realized it had interesting design possibilities. 

the first "doodle"
I created my first card on the Strathmore Toned Gray paper, using Sharpie ultra fine and fine markers and colored pencils for detail.  And, because of course the card had to have its own special envelope, I did a variation of the design on the front side.  That was the beginning; I've done several sets of cards and envelopes, and created a large envelope to hold them, and given them the name:  Tribal Pods. 

When I posted my first set of four cards on Facebook, the response was great, and I got an order (thanks, Sharon)!  So, I'm planning to produce more and debut them at my first show of the season, the Columbia Festival of the Arts in June. 

Tribal Pod card set:  4 cards, 4 envelopes


Art Talk with: Me!

Friend and fellow artist Larry "Poncho" Brown invited me to be on his internet radio show, which is part of the "Marketing Pulpit".  Previous guests have included many accomplished African American artists, so I was honored to have been asked.  Larry and I have known each other for years, and I admire both his work and his marketing knowhow.  Here is our conversation, which ranges from when I was 7 years old with that now famous box of 64 Crayola crayons to my current Square Marketplace store.  Enjoy!

Marketing Pulpit - Baltimore (MPI-BALT) 03/18 by Marketing Pulpit International | Marketing Podcasts


Creation of a Commission: "Three Part Harmony"

My dear friends Sherrie and Ian are also collectors of my work. Recently, they commissioned me to create a piece of art for their spectacular new home, directing me to "do whatever you want" (Sherrie), and "do something you've never done before (Ian).  Those were the only parameters.  At first, it seemed an easy task, with free rein to create.  As I began to think about it though, that free rein seemed dauntingly limitless (although I knew there were size considerations, given where the piece would hang).  The instruction to do something I'd never done before was even more potentially intimidating--what would that be?

Fairly quickly, I settled upon creating three separate columnar forms which would relate to each other.  And, because I knew they would be hung in a stairway, I used two sizes:  the central column is 48"x 6"x 3" and the two side columns are 36"x 6"x3".  Stan built them, I gessoed each, then added two layers of tissue paper to provide a varied, textured surface.  So far, so good!  Next, I had to decide upon the color palette and what I call THE IDEA (all caps, because it was to be the unifying element of the piece; its raison d'etre).  The color palette decision was relatively easy.  THE IDEA was not. 

My usual practice of envisioning at least the general concept of a piece before beginning it didn't work this time; I was well into its structural realities before the complete visual concept dawned--I was putting the proverbial cart before the horse.  I struggled with the (to me) backward nature of this process, and many weeks went by with this facing me on the studio wall: 

center column painted...now what?
As I was coming up with ideas and rejecting them in my mind's eye, I explored the work of fiber, ceramic, and mixed media artists for a bit of inspiration (thanks, Pinterest and Sharon DiGiulio!).  Slowly, but surely, THE IDEA took shape (after a couple of wrong turns, elements of which could work for other projects, so I've saved them). Once I decided to add separate, flat MDF panels containing their own mixed media compositions to each column: voilĂ ! I was off and running.  It's such an invigorating moment when THE IDEA finally dawns, and it's right! 
The result is "Three Part Harmony," which combines MDF, paper, wood, acrylic paint and inks, iron oxide, gelatin prints and polymer: mixed media for sure!  I am so pleased with the way it turned out.  Ian and Sherrie were thrilled, which also makes me happy. 
As with each piece, there are lessons learned.  This one showed me that "backwards" isn't always wrong (!), and eventually, with enough work, trial and error, and belief, THE IDEA will indeed present itself. 
Thanks, Sherrie and Ian; I hope you'll love it as much as I loved creating it for you. 
on studio wall

in situ, looking across second floor balcony

Three Part Harmony and Red 11 (by my husband, Stan Petelinz)

my favorite shot, looking up from the first floor