Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's a start!

This morning, I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed up to my studio/office to make a work related phone call.  I don't usually work on the weekends, but I'd fallen behind with  appointments and decided to play catch up today.  As I went upstairs, I grabbed the May/June 2012 Cloth Paper Scissors magazine that had just arrived in the mail on Friday, sat down, put it on my desk and proceeded to dial the number on the phone.

The "short story version" of my job is completing three  psychiatric standardized assessments/inventories   consisting of 71 questions on patients prior to their clinical visits with the psychiatrist I work for.  It's a way of charting progress and collecting data in a quantifiable/measurable way.    I've been doing this for over two years now and although each interview is always unique and different, the questions I ask are very standardized and I  am quite confident when I say I could recite them backwards in my sleep. 

So I often gaze around my art studio as I am waiting for the patient to consider and answer the question I've just posed.   Today, I was looking down at my desk,  pen in hand, ear to the phone and looking at the cover of the CPS magazine when I realized a piece of my art was on the cover!  Way up in the top right corner, about 1.5 x 1 inches there it was - a postcard I'd submitted for one of their challenges.  A big thank you to Jenn Mason (Editor - Cloth Paper Scissors) for the start of helping me realize a bigger goal!

Let's just say - thinking with my glass half full - it's a start!   Here it is - (you may want to grab a pair of 3.50 reading glasses to view it)  OK, I's a start.

 Cloth Paper Scissors - May-June 2012

 And here it is larger inside the magazine - 

 Cloth Paper Scissors May June 2012 - Page 83

and my photograph of it before it went postal -

Postcard for Cloth Paper Scissors Postcard Challenge
4 x 6 inches Mixed Media Collage 
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved

Image Credits with thanks to
Tumble Fish Studio and Holliewood Studio
 Figure of the little boy - from my collection of vintage photographs - 

original photograph

-  extracted figure from above photograph. with shadow added and contrast adjusted - 

Now, on the other hand, Seth Apter from The Altered Page really did strike it big recently as his art work graced the cover of the most recent edition of Somerset Studio! !  When I grow up I want to be just like you!

 Somerset Studio - June 2012

Congratulations Seth!

Thanks for reading, I hope you had a little giggle at my expense  and have a great weekend!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Charade

Can art express the inexpressible?   Is the language of art able to overcome deficits in our vocabulary?  

Schadenfreude is a German word to express the emotion of feeling joy for another's  misfortune.  There isn't an English word to express this emotion. 

Do you think artists experience an impotence in emotional descriptors  in language that their visual communication attempts to fill?   Do you think a poet's focus is to  overcome this same deficit?  And if that is true - are literary artists and visual artists approaching the same goal, or are they  at opposite ends?  

What do you think?

The Charade - digital illustration
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits - public domain art, raven and fire - Holliewood Studios

Friday, April 20, 2012

An occasional self-portrait....or 'two'

 8 x 10 Digital Collage
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image credits with thanks to Holliewood Studios and Tumble Fish Studio (figure)

 The Birder
Digital Illustration
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits - Holliewood Studios - bacvkground/hand/string
 Mask - my own creation, bird - to follow

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I am so far behind....I think I am first!

But, I really want to thank everyone who has cast their vote for their top five moo cards for a chance at receiving a selection of the final cards and as well a copy of Seth Apter's new book -  and signed up to my newsletter, as well as spread the word via a blog link!  It's always nice to feel loved isn't it?

Also, there is still plenty of time to join in!  Just press on the poster below and you'll be magically transported to the appropriate post to leave your selections.

I've been busy multi-tasking on a variety of things, above and beyond my normal busy life.  One of these things is volunteering to help create a book fo each of the  upcoming exhibitions at the Jubilee Auditoriums in both Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta sponsored by the Alberta Society of Artists.  These exhibitions consist  of approximately 45 works of art created by supporting and full members of the Alberta Society of Artists and were  all created reflecting one of any of the hundreds of lyrics and music by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.  The curtains are set to go up during May 2012 when Alberta Ballet will perform "Love Lies Bleeding."  More information is available by clicking on the poster below:

Here is a brief  33 second trailer on ballet/musical performance -

I look forward to enjoying  both performances and also have more news to share regarding this particular event once I am caught up on the task at hand!

In the meantime, and while we are on the subject, here's a digital composition I completed this week, combining four separate mid-renaissance paintings along with  stars from Holliewood Studios  arms and legs from Tumble Fish StudioI can't help but seeing a tutu anytime I see a 'ruff'. 

Digital Illustration 8 x 10 inches
"Ruff Pirouette"
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image credits:  see above

Friday, April 13, 2012

Probably a little damp....and dark,

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------, I don't think I would choose to build my studio inside a mushroom, although I bet the walls provide great insulation.  Quiet, ya know...peaceful.  Not sure how I would deal with the lack of sunshine. It'd be handy to have  my pet deer truck art supplies from the city though.  Save on gas.  It's a thought.   Happy Weekend all!

Digital Illustration
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits with thanks to Holliewood Studios (deer, saddle, room,  grasses, suspension bridge,
Tumble Fish Studio - legs and clouds, Finecrafted Designs - figure, easel.  Mushroom

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's been a little smokey here this week :0)

"When a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in yours eyes"
 10 x 10 inch Digital Illustration
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image credits with thanks to:  Holliewood Studios Light My Fire and Totally Wild Dezinez, 
figure from the public domain Lyrics:  Otto Harbach 1933 for the operatta - Roberta (source:Wikipedia)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Blog Hop, Help Me Choose a Moo, and Enter to Win a Copy of Seth Apter's New Book!


Today it's my pleasure  to introduce you to a new art book that recently  hit the bookshelves titled The Pulse of Mixed Media.   Authored by Seth Apter, a mixed media artist, and now published author,    I was first introduced to Seth  four years ago by another artist, Debbie Mihalick, a fellow Western Canadian. 

As Seth 'hops' around the countryside, promoting his new book "The Pulse of Mixed Media"  he invited  us to hop around a few blogs within the community of mixed media and altered art enthusiasts as well as answer a few questions  also answered by artists  featured in his book.  

My responses - 

Is creativity built-in, learned, or both? Without an ounce of doubt, I believe we are all born with creative abilities and it is our individual experiences as we grow and develop that determine   how often  and in what genre we seek creative expression. 
How has the Internet changed your artistic practice?  The internet has given me an unlimited  free admission pass to travel world wide through this century and several recorded before it, to access material I could never have  hoped to  enjoyed in dozens of lifetimes otherwise. My life is enriched by it daily and my creative processes continually influenced in ways too lengthy to list.
Do you enjoy working more intuitively or by carefully thinking through your process? Although I  enjoy working both intuitively and cognitively, I prefer the little surprises that are often tucked away within my subconscious.  I think when anyone manages to escape the 'shoulds' and the 'musts' in any exercise, what transpires is the unique essence of one's soul.

I invite you to 'hop' around some of the blogs featured in Seth's mini-tour.  "Hop" links provided below by clicking on each name -
April 3 - Stephanie Lee 
April 4 - Ali Edwards
April 5 - Ro Bruhn
April 7 - Nancy Lefko
April 8 - Kelly Kilmer
April 9 - Trudi Sissons
April 10 - Melody Nunez
April 11 - Dina Wakley
April 12 - Stephanie Hilvitz

 And if you missed my post yesterday, it's not too late to Help Me Choose My Moos, and sign up to my newsletter to enter a chance to win your own copy of Seth's new book!   Details here

Will you help me choose my MOOS ? Vote for your top five choices and in turn

you will be entered to win, not once, but potentially four times!

Here's the scoop: 

Last week, Marsha (Tumble Fish Studio) created an amazing little invention called "The Moo Finder".  It's an easy to use,  digital PNG device that allows you to frame  vignettes within your own pieces of art, sized precisely to fit the dimensions of a Moo Card! And the best part, is that it's free in the April 2012  free zine "The Deviant Muse" available  here. 

Lucky for me, Marsha's timing was perfect and I immediately began to use "The Tumble Fish Moo Finder' to create a new set of business  cards since I only a handful left from my last order.  Time flew, and before I knew it I had created 24 moos....!    The only problem  now is the challenge of paring them down to perhaps an even dozen.

And, that's why I need your help, because I can't decide!  Please?

Will  you help me by spending a few moments to  cast  your vote for your top five choices  in order of preference?  I've numbered each card  above in my  blog header hopefully making  the choices easy to see and read.  I hope you find it "a-moo-sing." 
 In turn,   I've tried to create some hopefully enticing  incentives  - three sets of the final twelve moo cards, along with a chance to win a copy of Seth Apter's new book "The Pulse of Mixed Media."

There are  several  ways to enter a chance to win -

1.  Vote for your top five by leaving a comment on this blog post, or to increase your chances of winning, 

2.  Grab the poster above, (right click>Save As) and  post it on your blog with a link back to this post and your name will be entered three more times for a chance to win, or complete 1 and 2 above, and then

3.  Sign up to my newsletter (where I plan to keep readers abreast of upcoming contests, and giveaways)  by leaving your email address in the above right sidebar of my blog and your name will  also be entered to win a copy of Seth Apter's new art book "The Pulse of Mixed Media."

Winners will be announced May 12th, 2012

Thanks for your help and Good Luck~!
(ps - as always, I'll add in a few other surprises)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A new take on old stories and a twist on a new story

I doubt I'll ever really know why my brain seems hardwired to recall storytales, songs, and rhymes from my childhood, nor do I  have the ability to willfully end these thoughts from surfacing.    They seem to happily pop out of my consciousness, evoked by images (like a red hood) or a pig....  Suffice is to say, I'm grateful these recollections are never anything but pleasant and indicative of my magical childhood, rich with love and laughter, thanks to my dear parents.  

Ah yes, I could decide to supress their expression in my artwork, but why would I?  Instead, I enjoy the smiles they elicit personally  combined with the hope you may find a way to curve the corners of your lips or of others who may stop for a glance!

Volume Two - Little Red Riding Hood
( oh, the chase continues, but Red is always triumphant of course)
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits:  Finecrafted Designs, Hidden Vintage Studios, Holliewood Studios MizzD Stock

New Ending
 And this little piggy cried "Hee Hee Hee", all the way home
(never much cared for the original ending, much less, the piggy who had none - found it quite distressing)
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits:  Tumble Fish Studio (Pig), Holliewood Studios and Art by January


Over the last week I've had the honor of  daily visits from a  male ring-necked pheasant. The first few sightings I chalked up to coincidence.  But, these aren't binocular dependent sightings - he has been precocious enough so as to walk right up to the backdoor of the house, less than 4 feet away.   After four days of this,  I started to research pheasant habitats and nesting habits, fingers crossed I may shed new light on  the possible  motivations behind my daily visitors' behavior.  Much to my delight, I am now optimistic (but guardedly so) we have pheasants nesting in the back of our yard under a Russian Olive tree. 

 After showing up for the sixth straight day over the past weekend,  I ventured out the back door,  hoping to gather more clues.  As I approached the area at the back of our yard, between the coulees and a row of poplar trees, I inadvertently flushed out the male pheasant and his mate from the grassland area below the Russian Olive tree.  They took to the air  in a series of loud flutters and flaps.  I confess, this was the most exciting part of my weekend, and even today, I remain fascinated and fixated on keeping one eye focused on the tree, hoping for another sighting.   And that, is my preamble to 'explain' this new work

Pheasant Under Grass - The Mystery Continues
(stay tuned)
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits:  Holliewood Studios, Tumble Fish Studio, SJD Designs, Art by January

Monday, April 02, 2012

Beasts of Burden

Good Monday Morning again!

Time flies having the weekend alone to play with this incredibly rich new collection of images from Holliewood Studios titled Beasts of Burden - (get it here)  If you enjoy creating digital illustrations, then I guarantee for $5.60, you'll have hours of entertainment.  I did!

These still need a bit of tweaking, but I thought I'd get the word out!  Enjoy! (See credits below)

The Big Apple

The Cherry Picker Fashionista

Bed Head

Twilight Mirage

Note:  All images from the Beasts of Burden - Holliewood Studios
(Exceptions: 1,3,4 - figures- Cranach, 2 - figure - magazine cut out)
Copyright 2012 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved