Color Me Crazy

It has been so long since I have been into the hotshop or had an exhibit. I recently purchased equipment with my MN State Arts Board grant so I can get back in the hotshop and this month I am part of an exhibit with pieces I already have made at Vandalia Glassworks in South St Paul.

The show is called Color Me Crazy! And I can’t think of a better title for an exhibit of my work. With my colorful patterned beadwork and brightly patterned blown bases, this show was made for me!

In the area? Stop by to see socially distanced glass blowing demos from several artists and a chance to chat in person, masked of course. Saturday April 24 Noon-5pm


I wanted to share that I was notified this week that I received a MN state arts board creative support grant.  It will provide me with funds to purchase hotshop rental time and glass blowing tools and equipment and I will be providing some virtual guest artist visits to schools, virtual mindfulness classes with some mental health groups helping women and adolescents and creating promotional videos for my work on social media, in addition to creating my glass sculptures and mixed media work.  I am excited and honored.

Stay at Home

In this piece I tried to capture the conflicting emotions of staying at home during Covid-19: Feelings of joy at spending more time with family, playing games, etc contrasted with feeling like you get no time to yourself; feeling happy to have so much time to create art or read and feeling bored at times; enjoying having time to cook delicious homemade meals yet being sick of all the dishes or even cooking some times; feeling safe at home but anxious, stressed or sad because of the pandemic. It is a rollercoaster!

My process: After having the idea/inspiration for this piece, I found a shallow box to paint and added a roof. I cut the silouette to fit into the box. Next I selected several colors of patterned scrap book paper that complimented the silouette. I thought about and typed words in colors to match the papers, cut strips of paper and words and glued them together, then curled the paper into ringlets. It was fun to arrange the curls thinking about the colors, patterns, words and placement around the face.

I have my students and teaching to thank for the piece, “Stay at Home.” I have been teaching elementary and adult art classes online and while I talked to them about their work, I would work on a piece myself to keep my hands busy (pictured above). One great thing about being both a practicing artist and a teacher is that both help you improve the other. When I teach I get inspired to do art myself or to try something new and when I create I gain new understandings and new ideas for art lessons. They go hand in hand, each helping me grow and improve at the other.

Behind the Scenes

During this time of Covid-19, I have not been able to blow glass, so I have been focusing on the multi-media 2-D pieces I am creating as part of a series of blown sculptures and 2-D work focused on teen girls and mental health. Yesterday as I was working on this piece, I was struck by how interesting it looked from the back with the light shining through it. I decided to create this post with photos of close ups and behind the art views, both literally as in the above photo and figuratively with some in progress shots.

I am creating the multi-media pieces using glass, collage, fabric, yarn, paint, lettering and other fibers.

In 1997 I spent a year living in Argentina. While there I painted nearly every day, exploring color theory in abstract and realistic paintings. More recently I have enjoy reading The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee and thinking about the ways things such as color and shape affect our mood because it relates so well to the ways I have described my whimsical glass sculptures. In these 2-D works I have been turning the aesthetics of joy around to use colors and shapes that evoke fear, anxiety, and sadnesses in the paintings.

It is my hope that through this series of artworks I will give insight into the inner feelings of those struggling with mental health and to bring attention to the mental health crisis of our teen girls. As many know this is a topic of great personal meaning and significance to me, so I am grateful for the opportunity to create this work. Stay tuned for the final picture when I complete this painting.

I want to thank Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council and the McKnight Foundation for the grant I received to purchase supplies and for expenses so that I will be able to create this series.