Wednesday, January 18, 2017



Last September, my life tipped over, and its contents spilled out.  I decided to return to Whitefish, the best community I know, to start fresh.  This show is a presentation of this year's healing process.  Recurring themes of shelter, protection, and emergence thread through the pieces.

The use of nontraditional materials is a favorite curiosity of mine.  I have been working with seaweed for some time now, and have recently added wasp nest paper, onion skins, birch bark, bone, eggs, horns, and palm fronds to the mix.

Many friends have contributed to this show, either with painted papers and found objects, or help with power tools and logistics.  My heart-felt thanks to them, to Stillwater Gallery for this wonderful opportunity, and to all who take the time to engage in this visual discussion.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

it's in the DOING

I have all but given up the making of art.  I don't remember last going into the studio with any sense of purpose.  I still think in terms of art...of course...that I think will never go away.  But the DOING has stopped.  I wrote down a quote by Erik Wahl last night...."creativity lies not in the done but in the doing".

The tiny farm I have my eyes on has an old garage...I already see it as a studio, insulated, with a new roof and large French doors, with that quote painted all around the walls, up close to the rafters, in huge letters.  I soooo hope I get this place.  It seems to be mine in spirit.  I think it will wake me up.  K

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Parcel

I have named the Japanese wrapping paper piece "The Parcel".   It is a collage of greens and blues, softened by a layer of tissue...the "arms" of which look a bit like a jacket with fringe attached...another ode to Project Runway...some B&W rows from old bills and some longer rows hand-cut from mags.

How feel that arch of my neck and back as I bend over the work table, intent on a connecting line or tiny air bubble.  The big world shrinks into 4 feet squared, and my mind expands. Step in. Pay attention. Try it.  Listen...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

delicate thoughts

All winter long, I have been estranged from my studio.  Now the late-season low sun comes in, and I find it a peaceful seat.  Cleaning, rearranging, touching, wondering....what will happen here?  It feels flat too often. But today, there is a delicate feel to this moment, and I gently unfold the Japanese wrapping paper, and lay it on the floor to peruse. Leslie Blair saved it for a long time, and then one day decided that it should be mine to create with.  I think in 3D more often, but have been seeing much in 2D lately.  I am thinking of delicate embellishments on this paper...stitiches, thin overlays, etc.  maybe some cut-outs would be good here....there is an existing fan shape already cut in the paper...but fans do little for me.  
I see I'll have to be careful with this special paper, but also fearless with what I might do to it.  If I approach this with trepidation, it will be too "safe" of a piece.  Makes me think of Project Runway.  Every time a designer worked a safe design, they were chastized for it.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Studier of Things

A friend was over the other night with her 7-year old daughter.  We connected in the same way I connect with most kids...the "wanna see my room?" connection.  My studio is full of remnants from nature, as anyone who has read my previous blogs would guess.  Bark, feathers, bones, nests...all the things I had in my Dutch Masters cigar box marked "cool stuff" when I was 7.
I don't have sparkles. I don't do pink.  I have no concept of what is on TV for kids. But I do know how to take a walk and look...really what Mother Nature drops for us to pick up. Kids get that..they always have.  My friend sent me a text later that night, telling me that her daughter had decided that, starting the next day, she was going to be a full-time artist, and a "studier of things".  How cool is that?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thoughts on small-scale work

Why is it that all my 3D work is bigger than a bread box?  (Wow, did I just date myself as a child of the 60's!)  I always prefer to think that it is because I have large hands, and I need to work on a larger scale.  But I realize that the art I BUY is also bigger than a bread box.  I suspect it has something to do with my hatred of dusting.  Or the fact that my body is big.  Or that I'm way into bread.  I love salon walls, but have a hard time creating one in my house because most of my 2D pieces are large, and seem to desire entire walls for themselves.
The Hockaday Museum of Art's current show/fundraiser, the annual Miniature Show snuck up on me again this year...why is it that, in all my years in the Flathead, I have only entered this show once?  I always go to see the show, but can't seem to make anything tiny enough to enter.  I noticed that several of the unframed pieces were "studies".  Well, there's a clue to my disconnect...I don't do studies...or maquettes for 3D pieces...why not?  Why not use this smaller scale for exploration...for play...for experimentation, and see what comes out of it?
Why not make a LOT of small pieces, and see which ones speak to each other, and connect them, or group them on a wall together, in easily-changable arragements.  The groupings, although made of small pieces, would be viewed as larger works when hung.  And the flexibility would allow the viewer so much freedom to interact with the work...Alicia Forestall-Boehm has a current show up that has such a grouping. I saved the photo to my wall because it captured this very so many pieces can be seen as one conversation, connecting several thoughts.  Of course, each piece in the grouping needs to stand alone as its own art work.  Is it like a tiny series?  I love to work in series...maybe I need to look at it that way. I really want to be able to do break my self of the large scale.  Get rid of the bread box..I need the counter space.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Jumping -0ff Points

I know a very talented sculptor who never goes to gallery shows.  Or museums.  Or any place where he might view art.  I was dumbfounded by this, and had to ask...he told me that he was afraid of inadvertantly stealing another artist's ideas or techniques or style.
A heated...HEATED discussion ensued (is it a discussion if only one person talks?).  All manner of arguement spewed out of me...don't we ALL take from other artists?  Didn't those artists take from those they viewed? And don't we all take from our surroundings?  From nature?  And did he actually think that he was coming up with original ideas in his isolated studio? Nothing is new under the sun...I found a thousand ways to phrase that.
Certainly there are some who set out to imitate...but the majority of us see other's work and things in nature as inspiration, breaking down what we see into art concepts of line, form, texture, movement, contrast, etc.  What we stop to look at on the trail will be a jumping-off point.  I don't know about other artists' processes so much (which is why I wanted an interactive blog), but I NEED jumping-off points.  My best work can be traced back to these objects, and rarely resemble them by the time the piece is fininshed. No need to worry about stealing.  Shawna Moore posted a great interview the other day with Robert Storr, as he spoke about the paintings of Gerhard Richter.  He spoke of the artist as having "a response to nature, but not the desire to represent it in any romantic or naturalistic way".  Yes.  That is it for me.  Response.  I am finally getting over the instant eye-roll reaction when asked, "what is it?"  I now have a new answer: "it is a response to..."   Abstract. Non-representational.  Responsive.  Another word to help in that ever-ellusive description of what I do.