Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas One and All!
Last night I opened a gift that was sent from a dear friend and I got ELF SHOES! YIPPEE!

We haven't had much snow here. It has mainly been very cold and very icy which hasn't been fun at all. So, I am wishing I was back here. This is a photo from when I lived in Greece. This was taken on a gorgeous beach in Crete. I could cry!

Monday, December 22, 2008

More in Etsy!

Just added more paintings in Etsy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

New in my Etsy Shop

I have put a few more new paintings in my Etsy shop
So check them out if you have a chance!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New in my Etsy Shop

I have put some of my original paintings in my Etsy shop at
I plan on adding more of my original works!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Paintings

I have finished some new paintings. I did these super fast and it kind of shows. I am not so happy about how these turned out. I think I need a little break from art, but my break from art is doing art! I am hoping a friend who is the "Organization Fairy" can come and help me get my studio back together. I just went through a doll and shadowbox/collage/photography frenzy so I need to get everything back together!

The Holidays have been hard. This is the first year for me being single after several years of marriage. It is hard to figure out where I fit in. I was looking back on my yearly family portraits(that I always do around this time) and it is odd how things have changed. I look a little sad this year or maybe just different(ok, I am older-my face is sinking! As my mom said at my age, 'Wow! I have cheek bones!').

I am so happy to have all my Little cats(I call them 'The Littles') still with me-that is a huge gift as they are just such joyful creatures and so funny and loving. Here are some portraits from Christmas and Holidays past which mark my singleness, 2 cats, 3 cats and more, married and then back to single, but always with my little cats-grateful for my "Cat Children"!

And, here is this year's(with all 4 black cats-I started out with 1 and kept finding them as orphaned kittens. I guess I should introduce them in the order they showed up: 1)Pascal Pace Pascal Jean Paul Jean Paul, 2)Tobias Greenmoss, 3)Sister Blackberry Bijou-our only little girl! and 3)Glastonbury Suki Ribina-and, only 1 of them was black as a kitten-one was a bald kitten(!), one was gray and one was brown and cream striped so who knew!).

I am not so happy with it-I look mean! I want to somehow fix my face and I might as well add a "doo-dah" or fun headpiece or tiara on my head because if I can't wear one in a painting, when and where else can I? I suppose I should just wear one everyday and celebrate like the Fae Folk do!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Recent Show and Other News in "Merle World"

My Pixie Dust Vial Necklaces In the Indianapolis Art Center's Calender~

"Merle Art" for the Holidays in the Indianapolis Business Journal~

A few of my Dolls at the Ashland Gallery Winter Show including 1)Sleeping Beauty, 2)Nantock(named after George Sand's country home) and 3)Cafe Ole Tomme(named after my friend Ole Tomme who is a Massai Warrior from Massailand, Kenya-to him, the thought of mixing hot milk and coffee together was just disgusting so I jokingly called him 'Cafe Ole'. He loved my art and asked me to make a 'Big Pink Dancing Doll' that he would like so here she is-with a coffe cup on her head!) next to a woodcut print of a flying TV!

I have been sick again with migraine/sinus stuff-not fun and it sure slows down everything. I can't believe Christmas is so soon-I'm not ready!

Last weekend I went to the opening of a new show of my dolls. There were 2 other artists at this show as well- a printmaker who did all these great etchings and woodcuts of flying TV's and a photographer who takes the most gorgeous photographs of old tractors(circa 1940s and 1950s-just like the one I drove growing up which is still working!). So, it was a crazy sounding mix, but it all worked well together. I took my camera, but only took a few photos. I am always too busy gabbing away. I know someone was taking photos so I hope to see those.

I have 10 dolls in the show but managed to take photos of 3 of of them and really wanted to get photos of all the great folks there and of the gallery itself. It has just opened and was an house that was built in around 1920. They did a great job of remodeling it for a gallery while keeping all the charm of the original home. The little girl who grew up there came back as an old woman and gave it her approval which is great!

I was also lucky enough to get some of my art written up in some IN magazines and journals as gift ideas for the Holidays and my recent shows have been written up. I have some photos from one of the articles. This has been good because it has lead to new opportunities(I get to built my own version of 'My Pretty Pony' for a charity event in Feb! That will be fun! I plan on making a big one!).

So, I am kind of plugging along. I don't feel like I am doing much. I guess I make a bunch of stuff and then it all goes away and I forget about it. I have new drawings inked and ready for monotypes and paintings so I need to get those started(so hard to get started!). First, I have to finish making holiday gifts-everyone is getting my art whether they are sick of it or not! My 4 little cats will be getting balls of wrapping paper and they can't wait!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Love from Turkey!

My dear friend and sister, Firuzan, has made me an amazing gift which I received in the mail today! It is a gorgeous "paper doll" of me! It is made from paper mache and found objects and painted in rich jewel tones. I absolutely love it!

I met Firuzan through Flickr-we connected over the artist dolls that we both make and found that we have a lot in common. Over the last year, we have bonded and she truly feels like a sister to me. I treasure our friendship. It is truly a gift. It is amazing how people come into our lives.

Firuzan also makes gorgeous paper mache jewelry and life size sculptures that are beyond amazing. A dream of mine would be to visit her studio on the coast of Turkey and to meet her and her 2 lovely daughters!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Show and Unmotivated

I just dropped off more of my artist dolls at a new art gallery today for a show that opens this friday, 5 December. The gallery director seemed really excited, but I am kind of burnt out. Making art by myself, in my own studio, was supposed to be a dream come true, but it can be really lonely. I thought I would never miss the crazy businesses of the museum conservation lab, but I do! There were always different characters running in with different emergencies, all of which sound crazy now(the mannequin couple in evening clothes dining on the "Titanic" need adjusting! One of the heads fell off the mannequins of African children playing in the Level 5 case, can you help drill a big hole to fit this comment in?, can you mount this prehistoric alligator tooth now!?, we are bringing the big polar bear-he has a bald patch on top of his head-can you fix it?). Now, it is just me and my 4 cats and I am constantly shooing them away to keep them out of what I am doing. I miss my funny friends who found the 3,000 year old cat mummy as interesting as I do!

Anyway, I am feeling very unmotivated to do any Holiday art though I should. I have been doing some sketching, but can't seem to make the jump back to paintings and printmaking. So, I have been fiddling around more with photography via my computer-something I never thought I would be doing. I have to admit that it is much easier than the dark room and there is much less mess! I have been working with self portaits with has been very odd. Being an identical twin, I really never thought about what I looked like. I never thought I looked like my twin, but I never really cared or knew what I looked like if that makes sense. It was like we just were this set and it didn't matter. Now, I am wondering who the heck I am and what the heck I look like-it is weird! Who IS that person I am photographing-is that me? That is really weird. Huh. I can't explain it. I definitely see the signs of age-my face is sinking in! Youth-you are so very fickle. I finally pick up a mirror and you go *poof*

Anyway, I need to get to taking some new photographs as well-hopefully of other people before I freak myself out with my face. My days fill up with nothing somehow. It has been a long week and it is only Tuesday! I need to get going! What I would really love is a change of scenery and to just hang out and chat with friends without the pressure of making anything!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I am trying to work on some new paintings but I can't concentrate-ugh! Instead, I cannot stop thinking about the famous painter, inventor, fashion designer, textile designer,photographer, theatre set designer and all around amazing Mariano Fortuny(1871-1949)who lived in Venice, Italy and had an amazing studio/warehouse/workshop there.

His dress designs were influenced by the ancient Greek pleated shifts as well as the Medieval European flowing velvet gowns. His designs were copied by his contempories and you can see his influence in the fashions of today as well.

I first saw some of his pieces when I went to work at the Indianapolis Children's Museum ages ago. I went there to work the artifacts in the Collections department. I built mannequins to fit the gorgeous textiles so that they would not be damaged. One of my first assignments was an actual Fortuny Gown! Fortuny is known for amazing pleated silks and silk screened velvet-this gown had both. It was love at first sight. Here is the famous "Gryphon Gown" dressed with the mannequin I made.

It is a crazy story as to how the museum came to have it. It happens that a teacher at a local high school found 2 amazing gowns in the costume closet of the theatre department. She thought they were interesting and donated them to the museum. On closer inspection, the curators at the museum realized that they were geniune FORTUNYS! They have his labels inside and everything. Since then, we have lent them out other museums in the area-what a find! The museum also has several other Fortunys that I have been lucky enough to work with-what a dream!

Fortuny also invented the dimmer switch to be used in theatre but most people now have dimmers in their homes. To me, this just means that a creative mind goes all over the place and why shouldn't it? He also invented one of the first artist's taberates-a simple device to hold your art supplies as well as a lamp-of course he did! One of the most hilarious photographs I ever saw of Fortuny shows him in his office surrounded by books with his head on his desk and his eye closed-he is either passed out or napping. I would be tired too. He was also one of the first portrait photographers-again, why not?

A dear friend also has the "Fortuny Madness" and gave me the gift of lifetime for my birthday a few years back. I opened a huge box to find a teal silk gown that she had made for me! It is in a Medieval style, but has a lighter aqua pleated fabric underskirt and she used the same fabric to line the sleeves because she knew I would LOVE it! It is so FORTUNY! She even made a matching drawstring bag! She trimmed the sleeves of the dress and made a belt for it out of vintage sari trim that just glitters and shimmers. This gown is a dream come true. She also kept in mind the gown in Waterhouse's "Miranda" as I just love this painting too. I give her an A+++++++++!

All hail that crazy creative Fortuny! His fashions live on in modern designers like Mary McFadden and more. More recently, I have become infatuated with this Anna Sui dress I saw online at the Anthropologie website-love the Fortuny-like pleating, the soft silk velvet, the gorgeous beaded detail at the hem. Ah Fortuny, I love everything you ever did! Here are some more images of his great works and works influences by his greatness.
This is the dress I am MAD for!

And again-

And, more Fortuny goodness-

Back to drawing and painting!