Friday, November 19, 2010

Breast Cancer Series: "Early Bird"

"Early Bird"

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to attend a day-long, local breast cancer symposium, wherein we pampered registrants were treated to speakers and presenters, plus a nice lunch. Also part of the day's events was a small, themed art show, for which I felt very privileged to be asked to participate. Exploring my personal experience with breast cancer through art has been something I've wanted to do for some time now, and I was glad and grateful for the opportunity and invitation to put something together.

The above piece (one of four), entitled 'Early Bird', addresses the conundrum typically faced when diagnosed with breast cancer (or any cancer) -- that being just how early our malignancies may, or may not, have been detected. It's a clear and simple fact in cancer prognosis that earlier is better. But how early is 'early' enough...? We all understand being diagnosed at Stage 0 is preferable to Stage 1, and Stage 1 preferable to Stage 2, and so on. In my own case, my lump was discovered before it had spread too terribly far (thankfully) -- yet not before its pesky malignant cells had indeed invaded, if only microscopically, one sole sentinel lymph node, automatically pushing me into the Stage 2 category, and catapulting me upon the medical path of aggressive chemotherapy protocol.

Now with it all behind me, and my current status what's known in the biz as 'NED' (No Evidence of Disease), I do believe and trust that the many decisions made regarding my treatment and care were the right ones. And yet, I will still probably always be questioning, in the back of my mind, whether my 'early' was 'early enough'....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dali's Mustache


ACEO: Mustache of Salvadore Dali
(click for auction)

One of three ACEO entries by me for this week's ACEO Enthusiasts Challenge on ebay, the theme for the week being 'Mustache'.....

When reflecting upon the concept of 'Mustache' for this challenge, three particularly famous mustaches of three particularly famous creatives immediately sprang to mind. This particular ACEO features the mustache of the indomitable surrealist Salvador Dali.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nibblefest Art Contest: "Owl Moon"


ACEO: 'Owl Moon'
(click for auction linky)

Yes, it's that time of the month again -- for the Nibblefest Art Contest on Ebay that is. This month's theme was, suitably, 'Owls'.....

Having always been rather partial to owls (and our feathered friends in general), with their appealing features and mysterious nocturnal habits, I was looking forward to participating this month, and was pleased when these wee entries just sort of painted themselves. Here I tried to channel the owl I think I occasionally hear in my neighborhood somewhere nearby in the evenings (this despite living in an urban area smack in the middle of town)....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

ACEO SEHA October Theme: 'Witch Girl'


ACEO: 'Witch Girl'
(click for auction link)

Another of my three entries into this month's SEHA (Society of Eclectic Halloween Artists) Monthly Theme, the theme being 'Trick-or-Treat'. Growing up, without a doubt my favorite costume of all was 'witch'. I remember the chewed up old black and flowing choir robe we'd somehow acquired that made the most wonderful 'witch dress' -- that, combined with a hopelessly ratty and ancient long-haired wig, a broom, and a green rubber mask that I'd picked at the dime store up along the way (a little nod to that green mask with the skin tone here -- never mind it was seriously hot and sweaty under there and difficult to breath), I felt perfectly and fabulously Witchy-Poo, and ready to Trick-or-Treat with the best of 'em. Ah, the memories!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Little Halloween Cheer....

ACEO: "Black Cat"
(click for auction link)

I have always adored this time of year. The month of October with its crisp weather and seasonal transitions never fails to perk me up. Never mind that it also means frosty mornings and shorter days and that old man Winter is right around the corner -- nah, never mind that! Instead, I prefer to focus on the apples, the pumpkins, the leaves, the colors, the cider, the glittery, blue-sky sunlight PLUS that indescribable Autumny 'feeling' in the air that makes this season so special....

Not to mention the annual festive fun that is Halloween to look forward to (and in already less than two weeks!). It's often easy, amid the general busy-ness that is Fall around here, for it to sneak up on me, Halloween -- happily there are groups like SEHA (Society of Eclectic Halloween Artists) to add to the inspiration. The SEHA Theme Challenge this month (the most fitting month of all of course) was 'Trick or Treat', and as such I was able to come up with and list several ACEO entries, the above included. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So it's Been Awhile....

...but I'm still here...!

In any case, as usual, much going on Chez Patience -- still however I did manage to find the chance to squeeze in a little painting for the ACEO Group's monthly Theme Week contest on Ebay, the theme for October being 'Autumn Leaves'. Well, what with Autumn being my favorite season and all I could hardly let this one pass me by -- so the following is my contest entry:

"Autumn Sprite ACEO"
(click here for auction link)

For those not in the know: Aceo's (or Art Cards, Editions and Originals) are small works of art that always come 2.5" x 3.5" (the same size as standard sports trading cards). Aceo's are fun to gather and trade and make lovely gifts. They allow for the collecting of original artwork to be accessible and affordable to anyone......

It's suppose it is kind of funny that my art lately seems to be running the gamut anywhere from 10 foot tall sculptures, to wee paintings a mere few inches by a few inches -- but there you go. Can't say I don't care for variety at any rate...! ;-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Meet Miss Liberty....


She nearly hijacked my life there for a bit, but, I am happy to report she's done! All I have left to do is to gesso and varnish her according to her future owner's request (he wants to actually paint her himself) -- but soon she will make her merry way to her new home a thousand+ miles away. In any case, she is exactly 10 feet to the top of her torch flames, though note that, for easier shipping and storage (plus my 8 foot ceilings), she has been made with a detachable right arm (seen in front posing next to her)... Practical, no?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Latest WIP Update...

'Statue of Liberty'

As demonstrated in this photo, my big 'Statute of Liberty' recreation commission is coming right along (if taking up most of my free time right at the moment). She's fully fleshed-out now, sturdy and strong, with her 'dressing' of four complete, all-over paper mache layers. And yes, she WILL have a head (not to mention an arm and torch) -- working on it....!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Big WIP...

Large-Scale Paper Mache Commission (top half still wet from today's paper layering)

My Mystery Project in progress -- been quite busy with it lately, and, as you can compare from the last progress photo I posted a few weeks ago, it's coming right along.....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

ACEO May TW Nomination

ACEO Theme Week: "Jack-in-the-Pulpit"

Another of my entries into this month's Ebay ACEO Group's Theme Week art contest, that began back on May 1st, the theme being 'Wildflowers'. Jack in the Pulpit are among my most favorite of the woodland wildflowers, and here we see the supercilious 'Jack' as he assembles his forest congregation, and they all give him their full attention while he addresses them from his lofty 'bully-pulpit'...

I was most delighted to have found out this morning that 'Jack-in-the-Pulpit' has been nominated for this month's "People's Choice" Award (linked here for any who may be members) -- fun times indeed, and many thanks to any and all who may have nominated me...!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Art Chicago

Sculpture (in paper) by Kirstin Hassenfeld

Mixed Media on Cigar Boxes by Ed Masante

I'm a little late in reporting this, but last Sunday found me back again in Chicago for the day -- this time to take in the big annual international art fair hosted there, Art Chicago . It was my second time attending, and what a fabulous show -- it must be one of the most extensive and comprehensive gatherings featuring contemporary paintings and sculpture around. It seemed especially good this year to me -- such variety and diversity in the collections. I went with two friends, and we saw and learned so much. I took the above two photos during the show -- working with paper as I do myself, I was attracted to the paper sculpture of Kirsten Hassenfeld. And being recycling-minded as I am, I also appreciated the alternative canvas used by Ed Masante -- clever use of cigar boxes I thought (not to mention I love the bird paintings rendered upon them)...

In any case, attending the show was so much fun -- I'd recommend it to anyone. And here's looking very much forward to going again next year...

Monday, May 3, 2010

ACEO May 'Theme Week': "Wildflowers"

"A Trio of Trillium"
(click for auction)

It's been busy around here, but I managed to squeeze in a few entries into this month's ACEO Theme Week (starting on May 1). Well, with a theme like "Wildflowers", how could I possibly resist....?

I've always adored all flowers, but have a particular soft spot for the wild and native ones. I've planted a number of native varieties in my yard, both sun and shade loving -- including Prairie Trillium, which I have nurtured in my shaded, 'woodland' style garden for many years. A real Beauty, it's blooming for me finally -- a true achievement, for as I understand, it takes a full seven years of maturity before setting it's first blossom!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

EBSQ's 'Blogger of the Week'

I am thrilled and feel very privileged indeed to have been invited to participate in the EBSQ blog's 'Blogger of the Week' interview. Thanks so much, EBSQ...!

Mystery Project Continues....

I've been trying to create and shape folds. Lots and lots of long, draping, rippling folds. With chicken wire, metal hardware cloth, and wire screening. Not easy...!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Mystery Project Taking Shape

After working on it most of the weekend, it's coming along (this photo was snapped last week or so)...


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mystery Project of the Now....

Well, that title isn't so accurate perhaps -- this photo was actually taken a little while ago now, and it's currently all a bit farther along than this picture suggests (will catch up here soon!). But, as one can still (sort of) see...:

(1) the whole shebang has been moved indoors,
(2) is getting the dread chicken wire treatment,
(3) has tin foil boobs, AND...
(4) is taking up ALL kinds of room in my house...(!)

I regret the photo is not the best, but it has been a little tricky trying to step back and get a good angle for documentation purposes, what with size and clutter, etc. Still hopefully this will lend at least some idea of its continuing state, The Project, with more photos forthcoming as I go along.

So today, my agenda on this rainy overcast Saturday (thank goodness no sunny/warm temptations) is simply to work on it, throughout the day....

Friday, April 23, 2010

My New Banner for (clicky)

After reading around and about the Internets recently some buzz regarding the new(ish?), and checking it all out, I thought I would go ahead and set up a wee little shop there myself....

As I understand, it's all free with the Basic Account option (premium Zibbet accounts, with more bells/whistles and custom features, are available for a monthly charge) -- indeed, all free to list (up to 25 items) plus no additional seller's fees. Okay then -- kind of hard to beat that..! So this afternoon I spent some time creating a new banner, and setting up the beginnings of a little shop....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

'People's Choice'

Hooray! I just found out my little ACEO, 'Foretold' (image below), that I entered into the ACEO Art group's monthly Theme Week contest for April (April's theme being 'Cards'), was voted by my peers as the "People's Choice" winner! As my especial prize, I get to use my fancy little jpeg award above in future contest entry/auction descriptions. What a lovely surprise -- I am thrilled!

ACEO: "Foretold" (for 'Cards' Theme Week)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April's Nibblefest Art Contest: "Cat Nap"

NFAC: 'Cat Nap"
A slothful, table-top lounging cat glares in annoyance at the hapless human who has innocently entered the room and dared interrupt his nap time....

(auction link here)

Whew. It was a close call -- but still, I managed it, to pull together a little entry this afternoon JUST under the wire for the start of the monthly Nibblefest Art Contest ("Fabulous Felines"), which begins today on Ebay (for more fun, themed art, all starting at just .99 cents, simply search "NFAC" on ebay)....

So happily I was able to set all that up in a timely manner -- but not only for NFAC... as it happens, this little item can actually do 'double-duty' for me, since for fun I was able to also enter it into EBSQ's 'Flower of the Month' show, the flower theme for April being... what else? Tulips! (clicky)

What's that old adage -- 'kill two birds with one stone'...? (though note as a the owner/mom of a much-beloved pet bird, I'm not particularly partial to that saying!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Windy City

I've been quite busy lately with my ongoing Project (with some progress made), but it hasn't been ALL work. No indeed -- yesterday I took my two kids and two friends to Chicago, where we all had a fine time galavanting around the big city for the day, and from whence I snapped the above photograph ( Crown Fountain at Millennium Park, in downtown Chi-Town)....

I do love public fountains, both large and small, traditional and contemporary, with the Crown Fountain installation by far unlike any I've ever experienced (note that the 1,000 various faces intermittently projected on the glass brick wall (which constantly cascades with splashing water) occasionally and randomly 'spit' every now and then ;-) -- a really fun example of interactive, urban art. And I think perhaps we may have been quite lucky to catch it running and spewing this early in the season -- I suppose we have our pleasant Midwestern Spring weather of the last few weeks to thank for that...

However now that I'm back home, and it is yet another Monday, I realize I have some catching up to do. Back to The Project (pictures coming soon) for one thing -- but also it's dawning on me that today is the 19th of the month. Which means tomorrow is the 20th (yes I can count!), which means.... the start of Nibblefest, the monthly ebay art contest that I like to partake in so much (and which begins the 20th of every month). The date totally sneaked (snuck?) up on me this time around, and as of yet I haven't started anything for it -- but perhaps it's not too late. April's theme is to be "Fabulous Felines"-- so, 'cats' essentially. Ought not be too hard, really. And I do so like entering the NFAC -- it's just plain fun after all, and if I miss this round, it will be another long month until the next (with May's theme being "Monochromatic"). So, I'll see what I manage to come up between now and then (and of course I'm hoping mentioning it here In Print for all to see will provide a little extra incentive too)....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Project of Mystery

Whatever could it be?

'Mystery Project' of the Now....: a large-scale (9.5 feet to the top of the metal projection sticking up) 3D commission in progress (currently a bit further along than the beginning armature demonstrated in this pic), of which I will reveal more details as I go along (and no, it's not a fancy-schmancy, high-falutin' dog bed, as my nosy poodle in the photo might potentially suggest)....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ebay ACEO April Theme Week: "Cards"

ACEO: "Foretold"
Adorned in her most colorful, bejeweled silk finery, and holding the tools of her trade, her cherished Tarot, she sizes up her next customer. Will it be YOU...?
(click for auction link)

Today marks the final one for this month's Ebay ACEO Group "Theme Week" contest, with most auctions ending throughout the course of the day. April's theme was "Cards" -- a particularly open-ended subject, as can be demonstrated by the wide diversity of entries this month and all the many interpretations and conceptualizations of the 'Cards' theme, as can be seen here ( --though note, many of the entries/auctions have already ended). I confess I had to think on it for awhile myself -- I mean just what does the word 'Cards' conjure up for folks? Children's games...greetings...fortune telling...gambling...? Whatever the case it's all fascinating, and a lot of fun to participate this month...

The theme for next month's ebay ACEO 'Theme Week' (beginning May 1st) is to be 'Wildflowers'. And with all the many gorgeous and very much welcomed spring blossoms popping up in my yard at the moment (a goodly portion of which are native to our local area), inspiration certainly ought not be lacking....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy April Fool's

Here we are, at the 1st of April. The day finds me with several creative irons in the fire (and hopefully not too Foolish for doing so) -- one of them a large (literally!) commission I recently received, which has been taking up much of my time and thought and energy recently (and which I will discuss here in more detail at a later juncture). In contrast, I've also created three very small pieces, ACEOs, in time for ebay's ACEO Theme Week, a monthly themed art contest that begins on the 1st of every month (as in, Today!)....

I do so enjoy participating in these little challenges, Nibblefest and ACEO Theme Week -- I appreciate that there is already a format all in place in which to dabble and 'play', and it's always a hoot coming up with concepts relating to the various themes. Decent brain exercise. And while I'm still relatively new to the whole ACEO scene, I think I'm catching on....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm a Winner...!

Hooray! So very excited -- I've been privileged to win, by random selection, a prize in the new Ehag's Emporium recent blog giveaway....!

I will be sent a little Halloween Box, in the shape of a sculpted black cat, by the artist Candy, of Howling Moon Designs. It can be seen here.

Thanks so much, Candy...!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nutcracker '09 Projects

Nutcracker Ballet 'Soldier' and 'Rat' Stick Masks

I did still manage to take on a few fun commissions during the course of my treatments -- here we have my completed projects for this past year's local Nutcracker Ballet production: 5 papier mache Stick Masks (2 Solider and 3 Rat) ...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Cancer Year.....

So..., a long overdue update....

It's been over a year since I've last posted in this, my lonely, near-abandoned art journal. And indeed, what a year it's been too. It was almost just about this time last year when I first received my personally startling diagnosis of Stage II Breast Cancer.

Well, suffice it to say, while I can't exactly claim it's necessarily been the easiest thing in the world to deal with, I haven't been devastated by it either, not by a long stretch -- willing as I've been to simply take each and every day and its challenges as they come, one at a time. And always along with the love and encouragement of my super network of ever-supportive family and friends, plus a wonderful team of health care professionals, backing me up. I may have had Cancer, but it never had me....

Still, a lot of my typical activities, pursuits and interests were put aside these last many months, simmering on the back burner as it were, as I focused on my health. However now with several surgeries and aggressive chemotherapy under my belt, plus the nearing of the end of a few months of radiation treatments, I'm happy to report my overall prognosis is quite good and I am at peace -- here as I find myself ready and willing to soon kiss my Cancer Year goodbye, and get back to my regularly scheduled Life* and good health....

(*...which naturally includes my artistic life as well -- Huzzah...! :-)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jumping on the Bandwagon.....

Just for fun... a new 'Art of Patience' Facebook page: