March 30, 2008

Sea Foam and Rust

An accidental exercise in d├ęcollage.

I had this collage hanging around that I just hated. It was one of the first things I ever tried to do. It was a bunch of crap stuck to a painted, gessoed masonite board. During my BIG CLEAN - 2008, which is ongoing - I decided I couldn't look at the damn thing anymore and I was about to trash it, when I thought I should try to salvage the masonite at least. So I began ripping, scraping, and tearing at the stuff, trying to get it off the board. It was hard work! I must say, I had a very keen grasp of the importance of good adhesive products early on in my work!

Well, the bigger the mess I made of this board, the more I started to really like it!!! Gone were the fake leaves, letter tiles, and the placed-just-so paper cut-outs - what remained was a wonderful mess of color and texture! I ran into the studio and immediately began dabbing on more paint here, a little crayon there until I had something I really could love!

I give you, Sea Foam and Rust. My first real foray into the world of d├ęcollage and abstract art.

"...the blackberry side of sleep"

Finally! Somebody who pays attention to lyrics!!! : )

Bev asked me last night (while we were all eating pizza after the Burning Peace anniversary show) - what is "the blackberry side of sleep"? I was so excited that someone actually asked about a line from a lyric I wrote, that I think I did a pretty poor job of explaining it. I always think much clearer in text - I guess the typing gives my brain time to think. The old mouth just moves WAY too fast.

So, here are the lyrics (and a link to the mp3: ) to the song in question:



Smiles at me without a face,
Leaves its mark without a trace,
Madly, violently; sweetly, silently;
I dance.

Slipping through the arms of the tree,
Lighting on the blackberry side of sleep,
Falling, flying, running, hiding;
In dance.

Light and dark, and all between,
Twisting, writhing, snaking free,
Then morning steals the memory;
Of dance.


It comes and goes, fades and shines,
Lives a life between the lines,
Spinning, leaping; screaming, weeping;
The dance.


Dark as the bruise and flavor so sweet,
Dancing on the blackberry side of sleep,
Bleeding, dying; laughing, crying;
Come dance.

Spinning, leaping; screaming, weeping;
The dance.
Madly, violently; sweetly, silently;
I dance.

So, to answer the question, I first need to explain that I'm using Dance as a symbol for that place we go when we dream - that other place, the other life we all live when we're asleep. I was taking a Psychology of Dreams class when I wrote this song, so we can blame my homework assignment of having to keep a dream journal for the birth of this one!

I woke up one night with the line "...blackberry side of sleep" running through my head. It seemed quite profound and important in my half-conscious state - so I wrote it down.

In the morning, I read the line and thought, what the hell? But then I remembered having a conversation with my friend the day before, and I remember him saying that they were experimenting with cut-up poetry in his class (where you take random words and make them into a poem) and he was able to use all the words they gave him except for one: blackberry. Aha! So this was how the random berry was planted in my brain!

But the more I thought about the line, the more I liked what it symbolized (to me) in relation to dreams - that's when "dark as the bruise, and flavor so sweet" popped up. I was having quite a few vivid, violent, sexual dreams at the time (Dr. Freud, your analysis please?) so my brain instantly latched onto the "sweet bruise" masochistic symbol - and then I was suddenly reminded of that scene from the movie, Legend, where Mia Sara does this awesome "waltz to the dark side" kind of thing - thus the whole DANCE = DREAM WORLD thing came crashing together in my mind.

The weirdest thing is, when I called Todd and gave him the lyrics - he called back with the first version of the song (a few hours/ the next day? later) and it was - you guessed it - a waltz! I had never even mentioned any of this Mia Sara stuff I was envisioning - he just knew it had to be a waltz. Incredible!

So finally, here's a bit of Burning Peace trivia for you here: the first version of this song was actually played on piano - a far cry from the guitared-up version it's turned into. It's come a long way, but I really love where it's ended up.

Here's a clip of Mia Sara dancing on the dark side:

First layout for the art journal

I created the three images on the page from a chopped up and rearranged photo I enlarged of my sister and I playing on a tricycle when we were kids. The rest of the page is just old text pages and crayon drawings on top of the mulberry paper background. I added some duct tape and the Dymo label for some punch. I like the stark, mechanical blacks against the softer, floaty quality of the oranges and blues.

This reminds me of trying to recall things from childhood - some things are sharp, bright pictures in my mind, but others are only shadows of half-remembered things.

Childs book altered to create a small art journal

I created this altered board book quite awhile ago, and finally got around to doing a spread in it this weekend. The embellishment going down the lefthand side is made from polyclay and rubber stamped. The cover itself was just painted and then stamped. The interior pages are all covered with mulberry papers.

March 29, 2008

Find Peace & Dream

This is a collage of torn and punched out painted/glazed papers on the backside of a small (8x10) cork board. Stamped with a bunch of my favorite rubberstamps and then colored here and there with water soluble oil crayons.

March 16, 2008

Bad Baby Earrings

I've had this idea in the back of my mind for awhile now, and this weekend I finally got around to making them. Bad Baby Earrings - complete with tattoos, red nails, and silver bangles - just what every well-accessorized Bad Baby is wearing this season. lol!

*Click on the pic with the lighter background for a close-up shot.

March 08, 2008

Background papers

I played around with some paints and a credit card to make these background papers. You just squeeze out a little paint along one side of the paper (one color) and then kind of squeegee it across the paper with a card of some kind. Follow immediately with another color. You could use a playing card, but those fake credit cards you get in the mail with all those credit offers work great! You just keep adding colors right over the top of each other until you are satisfied with your result. I used a number of colors on the first one, but only two colors on the other. They're both great looks I think. I love the grungy chaos. You can add to that grunge look by going back over your swipes of paint and "cutting" in with the edge of the card. It scratches down into the other layers of color.