Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Crowgirl 2016 Calendar

The 2016 Crowgirl Studio calendar is just about ready to fly! This is a spiral-bound wall calendar on heavy, glossy paper; 11" wide. Prepayment is greatly appreciated.

If you're interested in placing a pre-order, it's $20 per calendar*, which will include shipping for those pre-ordering. I'll be placing the order sometime between now and early December, with delivery in time for Christmas. Please drop an email to crowgirlstudio (at) gmail (d o t) com for payment info. And my thanks to everyone who has asked about it!

* I may or may not have extras. Extras will show up in my Etsy shop, but shipping will not be included. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Show Goes On

My work is up at the Azure Gallery in Corvallis, Oregon! Come see it through October 10, 2015.

Deb, the amazing gallery owner, suggested that we arrange one wall as a collage of images, which I think turned out wonderfully. I got locked into a design viewpoint where I wanted to make (and break) a grid and that made me rather freeze up, but Deb just started placing things at random. She created this amazing arrangement, which suits the nature of my work so very well.

The other wall has a more formal arrangement. I added the soft netting drape to help to capture the ethereal nature of my collage work. Sometimes I picture all of it hanging in a mist of clouds and starlight.

I added a few things throughout the gallery's lounge as artifacts from the world where my artwork lives and comes from. As I ramble through the world, I tend to pick up rocks and feathers. Sometimes, I find it so comforting to cradle a good river rock in my hands, with its smoothness and solidness.

Visible Light, one of my favorite pieces and a highlight of the show.

Her Journey, another favorite, my love-letter to the new year.

The Painter Dreams of Spring, in print for the first time! I reworked the piece a bit to show more of his wings, which is why I love working digitally – that ability to go back and make the piece grow or change without fear of destroying the work. 

Me! With Visible Light. It was such a great event. I must have spoken with at least a hundred people. As a natural introvert, it was a bit of a challenge, but everyone was so kind, and so fun to chat with. Barret (my other half), Deb, and the artist with whom I'm sharing the space, Rinnee Merritt (a really nifty glass artist and graphic designer, so you can imagine we had a lot to talk about!), made the evening so pleasant that I almost wish I could do it again next month.  Ah, but in the next months, there will be other things coming up, and I'm looking forward to them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Just Two More Sleeps

Alone With Her Egrets on the cover of The Corvallis Advocate!

What an eventful summer it's been! Camping, bike rides, Worldcon (which I'll talk more about later). And as it draws to a close, I have one more big event coming up: my first ever art gallery show! That's my artwork on the cover of a local newspaper!!!

A collection of some of my best collages will be featured at the Azure Fine Art Gallery in Corvallis, Oregon, with the opening on Thursday, September 17 from 4-8:00pm. I'll be there with bells on! Ok, not literally bells, but my heart is ringing for sure. I'll be ready to chat about my artwork, influences, and to answer any question people have. The show will be up through mid-October, so if you have the chance, please stop by to take a look.

The Lighthouse, a piece made in collaboration with Jessica Smith-Carlock's stunning photography.
Also, I finally decided to join the 21st century and created a Facebook page, where I'm going to share both artwork and inspiration, as well as the work of other artists who inspire me. Please follow me!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Before June Ends

Our display at the Purple Cow Winery
Where on earth is this month going? June is one of my favorite months and it's already more than half gone. Among the nifty things I've been meaning to blog about, my friend Vandy and I are the featured artists this month at the Purple Cow Winery in Newberg, Oregon.

Vandy's glorious mixed-media
Vandy is so multi-talented, I can't even begin to tell you all the wonderful things she does. Glasswork and mixed media are way up there, though. I should have gotten a closer shot of the two Mongolian eagle hunter pieces on the upper right – they are encaustics and pictures just don't do them justice. 

My mixed-media and digital collages
For this show, I wanted to mix my digital collages with my paper collages, something I haven't done before. I was really pleased with how well they go together – how clearly my creative voice comes through whether I'm working with ephemera, original artwork and paint, or on a digital canvas.

If you happen to be in Newberg before their next First Friday event in July, drop by and enjoy the art with a glass of wine. I particularly enjoyed the muscat.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Blues And Purples Are The Colors Of My Spring

Blue and purple, kind of like a bruise. I've been having a hard time getting through the cloudy, rainy days of spring this year, when all I really want is sun and warm and bright, dewy mornings. Depression isn't this big, romantically tragic artistic thing for me – it's a set of weights on my ankles, a fog standing between me and my drive to create. But it's almost summer, the sun is coming more regularly, and I'm working on finding inspiration, refilling my creative well, and then BLOOMING.

I am loving blue and purples flowers like never before. Sweet rosemary blossoms with their vivid blues, flowering sage with its dusky purple, against ten thousand shades of green. I'll go for a walk and stop every few blocks to capture something of the colors of the season. It's like a compulsion. But what a glorious compulsion! I try to get a ladybug's eye view, and the results are so rewarding. Looking at these photos warms me like sunshine.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Secret Architecture of Hearts

The Secret Architecture Of Her Heart
Original mixed media collage by Crowgirl.
It's been a busy spring! I've been making art, working on decluttering, beginning the spring cleaning, riding my bike, making various things, sewing, and more. Lately I've found the acts and arts of various handcrafts to be particularly satisfying. Nalbinding a pair of socks, hand-stitching a leather journal, making wee felt pincushions – all are wonderfully fun.

Hand-stitched journal made with scrap leather from Oregon Leather,
linen thread, Strathmore drawing paper from Oregon Art Supply.
Both Barret and I are working on various projects, and so our living room is something of a glorious mess at the moment. A variety of yarns, wool felt, wool fleece, leather scraps and related tools, stacks of paper, jars of pens, my sewing box, my knitting basket, cookbooks stacked everywhere promiscuously! It's not the serene space I aspire to, but so much making-in-progress is satisfying in its own way.

My sense of domesticity comes and goes. For me, there's all kinds of gender baggage around the various domestic arts. But there is something about a mindfully organized home, well-cared for, filled with thoughtfully chosen things, stocked with books and tea, that creates a sense of refuge – a haven from the outside world, a world we create from the secret architecture of our hearts. We live in a busy world where a lot of us struggle with making a living though, and there isn't always time to cook from scratch or do a perfect job of tidying.

In my most recent struggles with decluttering and spring cleaning, this bit from "Always Coming Home" by Ursula K. LeGuin has been inspiring me:

"A bright imagination, a clear intellect, warmth, readiness, magnanimity, grace, and ease are wanted in the practices of gardening, farming, sharing food, caring for animals, cure, care, healing, and comforting, the arts of making order and cleanliness where people live and work, all dancing and delightful exercises, and all the arts and practices of making music, of speaking, of writing, and of reading aloud or socially."

Aww yeah. That certainly seems like part of the blueprint for being a wise and purposeful adult to me.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Springtime Thinkings

Spring is very, very definitely here in the Pacific Northwest. We've had more sunny days in the valley than I can ever remember for February/March. Oh, I do love the sunshine! But at the same time, we're likely to have a rough water year if things don't change soon. The snowpack in the Cascades is being described as "historically low", and that's where our water comes from. I'm torn between celebrating every glorious warm bright day and worrying for August.

I haven't been making a lot of formal art lately. I've been doing freelance design/web work, decluttering and trying to get myself back in the habit of riding every day. I've been thinking about how we shape our world and our cultures, and how few of us are living in a world over which we feel like we have control. How little of our surroundings are shaped by our own hands. I think we're missing out on something essential to being human.

Not too long ago, I was reading a short story in which the author mentioned being a "wise and purposeful adult." I keep coming back to those words, and trying to figure out what they mean to me. I'll try to let you know what I figure out. Do the words resonate for you?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Contemplating the Stars

Sarah Contemplates The Stars
I love starry skies. I love those rare times when we're in so dark a landscape, the milky way appears arching across a sky scattered with more stars than we can count. It's one of those things we tend to miss as modern humans. We talk about the stars "appearing" at night as if they were absent during the day, but they're always with us; it's just that the daylight draws a veil over them. I love that.

I think that's why I put stars in so many of my collages, that and nature is the best artist, which is why I borrow from her so often. Sarah Contemplates The Stars involved Hubble photography (altered quite a bit), multiple hand-painted grunge layers, a vintage photo of the great Sarah Bernhardt, flower photography, and one of my own landscape photographs.

When we gaze into the night sky or across a landscape in quiet contemplation, I think we become more a part of them and they become a part of us. That's what I wanted to convey in this piece.

Monday, February 2, 2015

When We First Think Of Spring

When We First Think Of Spring
January flew by. Seriously, I have no idea where the month went. Probably to bike rides and cups of tea; to knitting and cuddles with the kitties, to walks to the coffee shop with my Bear. A good way to pass a cold, dark month.

When I created this collage, I was thinking about the first signs of spring that we find in the depths of winter. I pictured a woman standing in the snow with the coming season growing from her footsteps. I wanted to include a sheep because very often the first indicator that spring is on the way are the baby lambs. It's still winter –and we have a ways to go still– but the light and warmth are coming back.

And now this is when we start thinking of spring. The first snowdrops and crocuses (croci?) are bursting out of the ground, the days are definitely longer, the birds are busy with the seeds we've put out for them. The cats are busy staring through the glass at the birds (and one very fat and sassy squirrel who apparently likes to taunt them), with murder in their little furry hearts.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Calling Out Winter

Calling Out Winter
Sometimes I have to remember to make art just for the joy of it. This one will never be a commercial piece. It's an illustration for one of my favorite songs lately, Joshua Radin's Winter.

Sometimes, when I get so bogged down in other things that I can't make myself create, it helps to do it just for the sake of creation, without any other agenda besides the doing of it.

Other stuff I'm doing lately? Decluttering. Riding my bike. Learning Swedish. Learning linen stitch. Good general winter things.

PS. Look for the ghosts.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Her Journey - Happy 2015!

First collage of the year! Oh, so many things I love about this piece.

I love the starry background and the rich texture. I love the bird and egg and nests for their beautiful symbolism – hope and rebirth and new beginnings and flight and home all at once. I love the sweet pops of color in the flowers against the serene background.

One of the things I thought about as I made this collage is our journey through conscious life. First, we are eggs, precious, fragile, unformed – waiting to be born into our real lives. Then, we are people, with all our hopes and fears and uncertainties. Finally, we are spirit, ready to launch into the unknown, to reach for the stars. From egg to wing, in one lifetime – we are all on a journey.