Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
(Had fourth adjustment in three days from Dr. H. He promises I'll be "back to normal" in a week or two.)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
This is a picture of my Great Grandma Calamia with Joan of Arc looking over her. My mom gave me GGC's prayer book filled with pictures (including this one of her) and prayer cards, including the one where I got Joan - printed in Italian. I never knew my mother's grandmother, but always felt a connection to her. Her birthday was Valentine's Day and though I was due that day, I was born on the 17th.
Like so many people of her generation, my Great Grandma Calamia had a hard life. She lived in an Italian convent where she was educated until she was almost thirty. She married Vito Calamia to get to the US and, hopefully, a better life. She buried several children during the cholera epidemic in Chicago in the 1920's. My Grandma Lena, one of her surviving children, used to take us by her siblings' graves at Mount Carmel. She talked about her sister Viola a lot. I think she remembered her best.
Grandma Lena told me that her mother, pictured here, would shell pistachios and get paid pennies on the pound to buy insurance on the children. She did this just to have enough money to bury them should they die. When I see her smiling in this picture I realize what hope and faith she must have had to smile and laugh and still find even a little happiness in this life.
Monday, January 22, 2007
For those of you who are wondering if I have fallen off my daily art wagon, I have not missed a day -- I just haven't posted until now. Today's tile shows the location of my ailment that has kept me from spending any additional time at the computer -- in my cervical vertebrae: C-4 I think. My x-ray looked much cuter than the skeleton here.
Couldn't lift my head off the pillow this morning, but the good Dr. H adjusted me once this morning and again this afternoon. I now have limited but improved mobility. (Note: It's hard to parallel park when you can't turn your head. And I was never that good at it anyway.)
Friday, January 19, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Thanks to the cover of Cloth Paper Scissors and my interview on Pokey's blog, I have been receiving email from people in foreign countries and exotic locales like Canada and Australia and New Zealand and Texas.
Thank you for your emails. So amazing. When I was making Sixtyopoly for Carol I never DREAMED that it would reach across the International Date Line! Which reminds me, Rebecca: it's already Friday where you are -- let me know if it's a g'day so I'll know what to expect tomorrow, all right?
I love getting your emails. And it's good to know that my parents are not the only ones who read my blog -- even if Mom looks at it last of all of her blog visits! ;) I would still do this even if no one was looking, but it's WAY more fun when I know that you are!
I'd like to take this opportunity to give a big, fat, Greek shout out to all of the Athanasios namesakes in my family: to my brother Tommy Karounos (sorry Tom, but you'll ALWAYS be Tommy -- it'll be cute when your 80, I hope you can wait) and to my cousins Arty Karoubas and Thanasi Karounos:
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I write big, I laugh loudly, the combination of my hair and shoes add several inches to my height. Working in this diminutive scale is an ongoing lesson in editing and self-restraint.
Are you surprised when seeing the size of the tile in relation to the quarter? I am and I made the thing.
Unfortunately, this tile, a transparency treated with metallic powders and mica, did not translate well on the scan. Maybe the light bounced around too much, distorting the image. It's actually one of my favorites. It reminds me of those little linticular pictures we used to pick out of Cracker-Jack boxes. You know, the ones where the images seemed to move when you wiggled it in your hand. In person, this tile has that kind of quality.
Of the many pieces of sage advice my quotable friend at Random Arts gives me, maybe "small is mighty" is finally sinking in.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
If you saw my interview on the CPS blog, you read that Sixtyopoly was spurred on by a shadow box I altered and designed for Carol's brother, Tony. This is the box: Remembering Bob Garey.
What made it particularly wonderful were all of the items that belonged to Pawpaw and the excerpts from the beautiful eulogy Cooky wrote adorning the frame.
Carol found a piece of fabric that reminded her of one of her dad's shirts so she sewed a "shirt pocket" out of it where we put some of his tools, tooth-marked pencils and the omni-present Mercurochrome.
Bob Garey drove Chryslers, drank Busch beer, loved fishing and could make or fix anything "out at work" where he worked on the Gemini Space Craft, among other things, and was a tool and die maker for McDonnell Douglas.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
At least I hope it looks like an egg, not something else. I painted the bird with my left (non-dominant) hand -- an exercise Katie Kendrick suggested in one of her CPS articles. I liked the way it turned out so I scanned and shrunk it to fit on a tile.
I am trying to do the painting lefty exercise a couple times a week followed immediately by painting righty as Ms. Kendrick suggests. Just for a couple of minutes each. It's supposed to trick my brain into being more creative....or ambivalent or ambidextrous, or something. In any event, I have not been able to recreate this bird with my right hand. It always looks too intentional. I added the egg to the shrunken image with a stamp. It's an egg, really.
Monday, January 8, 2007
Sunday, January 7, 2007
It's dark and rainy, a perfect day to play in my studio. Here are the Befores & Afters of two collages I did today. Both pieces were done by painting the back of an ink-jet transparency as well as adding decorative papers behind the images. Both images were scanned from the collection of treasures Carmen loaned me. I still can't believe she actually had a cabinet card where the girl is already a butterfly complete with wings (left). As you can see, the wings were sheer and barely visible in the original, I added the fern leaves. The little baby in the second piece looks so worried.If you don't have Transparent Art from Stampington in your library yet, but would like learn more about working with transparencies, it's a great resource with step-by-step instructions.
(Hat tip Jennifer Duncan for her technique pp. 26 - 32)
I have been on a book buying binge. I eat them up!
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Oh, and Trumpet thought y'all might like to see this: Gone with the Hounds.
It represents the three doxie coats: smooth, long and wire. Trumpet likes Miss Scarlet best, as he is partial to redheads.
Frankly my dear, I don't give a bone.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Carmen is one of the most generous, gracious and genuine (though perpetually cheerful) people you'll ever have the good fortune of knowing. She's the call-at-three-am-neighbor, the one in whose kitchen you cry, the great mom, the good wife, and the on-par with Martha Stewart hostess that I used to think only existed in 1950s TV shows.
This evening she called and asked me to come over and give her an opinion on the granite she's chosen for the counter tops. I set the stew meat to thaw in the microwave, grabbed what was left of the Tequila she "loaned" us and ran over through her garage. The granite is perfect, of course, but that was just a pleasant pretense. I asked, "Are you getting ready to put the house on the market?" and she simply said, "I am." And then I cried in her kitchen, as I have many times before.
"The Carmens" as Reese calls them, will be leaving in a few months when school is over. I didn't have an answer for Connor when he replied to the news -- "But what if we run out of vanilla?" I don't know. I don't know what we'll do. I suppose we'll just be without vanilla or tomato paste or half a dozen other staples mid-recipe because no matter who moves in next door, they won't be Carmen. I miss her already.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
The body is Paper Mache finished to resemble rusted metal. I made the armature from a decorative wire mannequin dress form with a cut up shirt box stapled around the waist in a cone to shape the skirt. The head was made separately over a ceramic egg and then attached to the body.
The doll’s main face image is scanned from a cabinet card my neighbor bought at an estate sale in the UK. (She let me scan a whole box of such treasures!) There are actually three faces: one in the lens in her hand, another in a wreath on the branch, and the main oval face on the head. If you look closely you will see that her hat says “Elpeezo” in Greek which translates to “I hope.” The hat-thingy is finished in an iridescent green to play off the same in the turkey feather wings and the egg. The epaulets on her shoulders are two pennies with crosses punched out of their centers.