and other mixed media passions of ours. here we're creating a place to explore jewelry making, mixed media dolls and dada, handmade and altered books, traditional collage and metal collage, assemblage, music, recipes, zentangle & zentangle inspired art, with a heavy emphasis on digital art, photography, drawing, sketching, watercolor, digitography and iPad-ography...
Please respect that all of the artwork, music, poetry and photography of burnt offerings studios, contained in this blog and on our website, are our original creations and may not be copied or used without our express written permission.
... well it's been one month since we closed on our place in Florida and we're loving it beyond words. and it's not just the weather (which is pretty perfect) - it's the lifestyle that goes with living in a climate like this.
for the first time in decades i'm in bed before midnight and up at 7 after a really good nights sleep.
we ride our bikes around 8am and then swim almost daily. sunshine is now my friend (not that i sit out in it) and i can feel myself healing and thriving.
afternoons when it warms up, i'm indoors working on my digitography. i have a small studio just for painting and digital art and bought an easel and a duplicate pen/tablet like the one i have in our loft in MA so i can still work on things when we're here. opie just finished putting a scaled down music/art studio together, so he too can do his thing. printmaking and larger mixed-media art will be done in MA because our studio is enormous there... but this dual location situation has a nice yin yang balance to it and i can't wait to see what we accomplish in both spaces.
there's also a really nice art scene here and we're getting involved in our local art league and have been going to art shows in neighboring cities every weekend. tomorrow it's Venice and in two weeks we're going on a day trip to the Dali Museum (happy happy joy joy!) i'll blog about it later this month.
on another note... yesterday was our 25th anniversary and we went out for an early dinner because we had tickets to a "sophisticated comedy" called 'to be continued' right here in Del Tura at 7. we really enjoyed it and afterwards we went to the billiards room (also here in Del Tura) and played some pool. they have 4 regulation tables and we haven't played since we lived in ohio. i'd like to say it was like riding a bike - but truthfully - i can see i'll need alot of practice! opie of course kicked my butt 4 to 1... but we'll still be in florida for another month and i can only improve.
well enough for now -- although i must confess it feels really good to be blogging again!
On this Halloween we thought you might enjoy this Dada we created for CPS a couple of years ago. Some things are just timeless!
Holidays are a time to gather together with friends and family, to enjoy life, and to create lasting memories. With so many to celebrate, how can you not have a favorite?
For Opie and me it has always been Halloween… from the time we were children putting on costumes to go trick or treating, to present-day adult costume parties, telling scary stories, and watching old classic horror movies. Not the blood and guts movies made today, but English Hammer Films, just about anything from Roger Corman, and movies that can raise the hair on the back of your neck, give you goosebumps, and make you afraid of the dark.
The movie Ghost Story comes immediately to mind, and even earlier than that was a black and white movie called Dead of Night, about a man’s recurring dream. I first came across it in the early 70’s and it chilled me to the bone. I was so frightened, I called a friend and we watched it together on the phone! I watched it again in the late 80’s with Opie and it was just as scary.
And speaking of bones and things that go bump in the night, we’d like to introduce you to our newest Dada, the Mistress of the Garden, created especially for the 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors and not for the faint of heart.
She came into being as Opie and I wondered what the Mistress of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights would be like… if one existed of course!
The original triptych is in the Prado in Madrid (c.1500) and we are fortunate to have a copy as a result of a friends visit there many years ago. It’s one of our favorites and seems to be simpatico with all that is Halloween.
As we were contemplating this newest Dada, images of Witches, Vampires, Skeletons and Bats immediately sprang to mind, but something was still lacking. While She was both… She was more… She was innocence transformed and transcended. The Mother of all nightmares who devours the souls of the wicked and the bones of the damned.
But why her and why here? Did she fall from grace or was this her destiny from the beginning. Some things are meant to remain a mystery.
What we can tell you is she started out an innocent doll that somehow came apart and was put back together with old bits and pieces that oddly enough seemed to fit like a glove. Broken toys, discarded doll parts... Frankenstein’s bride personified with the delicate wings of a bat. Eternal, nocturnal, and insatiable. Empty inside, she exists only too feed, but it’s never, never enough.
Many cultures believe that Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve is the most magical night of the year. A night of ghost stories, tricks or treats, costumes, jack-o’-lanterns and séances. A metaphysical night, when the veil that separates “our world” from the “other-world” is the thinnest, and the dead walk among us. A “spirit night” … when thoughts turn to the supernatural.
It is the one night that The Mistress of the Garden is free to roam our realm. If you are pure of heart, have no fear she will not harm you, but if you are not, then beware the slight movement in the shadows, or the faint almost inaudible whispers in the wind, or a sudden chill in the air that feels as if someone just walked across your grave. It is she and she is coming. In the dark. In the night. And she will feast on your bones and bring your soul back to her garden… for all Eternity.
being adopted - it was often difficult for me to feel connected with people, places, etc. until this year when Opie and I spent a month in Italy studying Printmaking and taking many many side trips. i was particularly moved by the colorful clotheslines everywhere - but especially in Burano which reminded me of my childhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. -- so in addition to the drypoint plates i made there -- i was very inspired to begin a new series of Mixed Media Paintings titled: From Brooklyn to Burano - and using actual dresses!
Since i've always considered myself the "fabric impaired" - i'd like to give a special thank you to the very talented Sue Pelletier, whose online workshop Loose Raw Paintings, has given me a new-found love of using it!
also i'd like to introduce you to a new book by a friend that's recently become available...
Maple Syrup and Fish Sauce…
the first fiction book from our friend Eric Rudd [the person responsible for converting the Mill we live in into Artist Loft’s]. It’s a romantic tale about a young writer, Bartholomew Stine, who was born and then cured of a rare genetic disorder, who experiences love, success, and tragedy while being watched over by his mentor, actor Dustin Hoffman. Bartholomew has much to face in life growing up, but scientific progress finally comes to his aid. As he deals with increased challenges after being medically cured through gene replacement, he has to confront life’s complexities and circumstances of his own making in the Berkshires, Los Angeles, Phu Quoc, Vietnam, and the small beach village of Sayulita, Mexico. Learning about love and adult responsibility from two Vietnamese sisters, tears and laughter are shared by the young writer, his sibling, and his parents in this modern-day family story. If you’re looking for a compelling new read – then check this book out. It’s available in hardcover and an electronic version.
what a magical month we had. it surpassed all of my expectations and i learned so very much. it began with our renting an apartment in Florence for the month right on the Ponte Vecchio, so we could walk to practically everything... and we did!
the first week we explored the charms of Florence, visited the Museums and enjoyed the food and desserts. the seafood pasta and panna cotta were among our very favorites...
our Printmaking Residency at Il Bisonte with Linda Goodman began the second week. It was a 19 day day intensive focusing on non-toxic Monoprint, Drypoint and Chine Colle - and one of the most memorable experiences of my life. i came away from it with the solid foundation i was seeking that would allow me to go off in the completely new direction i had been looking for. even Opie, who majored in Printmaking at SVA in N.Y.C. over 40 years ago, was amazed and impressed with the new techniques of todays printmaking. here are some pics of Il Bisonte...
one of my happiest moments with a completely successful transfer...oh joy!
we both accomplished a lot and left with portfolios we're proud of. more on that later as it's too much for just one post... here's a picture of our group -- a good time was had by all!
we also took several side trips on the train (which was a great way to get around) and went to Lucca, Pisa, Venice for the Biennale, and Burano for Opie's birthday. it was magical and pics will follow soon... but we're both happy to be back home!
Opie and I love adventure and veering off in new directions, and as a result, every so often throughout our creative lives we’ve re-invented ourselves - and this move to the Berkshires is turning out to be another of those magical times!
My new Etching Press has Arrived…
Over the last few weeks I’ve become obsessed with Printmaking both with and without a Press (although I must admit, I REALLY love using the Press) so much so that “Santa Opie” bought me this beauty for Christmas.
My new obsession started innocently enough with a 5 week series of workshops with Dean Nimmer, the author of Art from Intuition, who lives in a neighboring town. Truthfully, I simply wanted to jumpstart my creativity after the year from hell and this very intense out of state move. I never expected or imagined that this would ignite such a fire in me... but it did! I thought I was hooked at Monoprints and Collographs - but I’m quickly discovering that Printmaking offers myriad possibilities and I’m looking forward to getting lost in each new process. As you can see, I’m beyond excited and I invite you to come along as I begin this new phase of my creative life.
So stay tuned as I open the box both literally and metaphorically…
take that time to learn something new! i've had salmonella for a month and it completely kicked my butt - but the down time allowed me time to experiment with my iPad 2 and it's become my latest passion.
i love using the different photography, drawing, sketching and watercolor apps and go back and forth between them until i'm happy with the results. i'm still learning the many different brushes and tools so i'm taking baby steps - but i'm a quick study when i'm motivated! this began as an abstract sketch which i added subtle watercolor to.
this photo (which i did not retouch or alter in any way) was taken with the iPad 2 camera which almost everyone except me says is crap, because of its low resolution. i personally love it and wouldn't change a thing and even entered it in our village photography contest.
this was also taken with the iPad 2 camera and then i had a blast experimenting with different apps, filters, layers, effects, etc. i can't wait until i actually understand exactly what i'm doing - but i will say that my new favorite app is Sketch Club and i LOVE being part of that creative community.
happily, my salmonella is gone as of aug 8th (YAY), but my passion for iPad-ography is here to stay and i will be posting lots more about it and the progress i'm making.
btw: i recently started a new series called: flowers re-imagined -- and it's all done on my iPad -- which i'll share with you in future posts.
your comments -critiques and posts are most welcome...
i'm one of those people who believes that we each have a doppelganger - a look-a-like or double - who looks exactly like us ... and now i believe that concept could even include places and spaces as well!
does this look familiar...
this photo is one of the many work tables in our studio where we create all of our Dada dolls.
and this is not - although it sure could be....
this is a work table from wayne leal, a very talented artist who emailed this to us about a week ago. wayne, originally from the UK (South London to be exact) now lives here in the states and we're obviously kindred spirits and part of the same global tribe.
so if there are more of you who can relate to this concept (and we know you're out there and you know who you are) - then please send us a jpeg scan of your work table in an email res - and let's expand our very artistic and creative Dada tribe.
and in the meantime, opie and i wish you all a very merry christmas and a creative new year!