On the Verge of Collapse (Collage Art)

I made this collage last year, but it’s not a permanent piece. I just photographed it and dismantled it so I could use the pieces again elsewhere.

You Want That Recipe? Here…


A friend of mine was raving about my pound cake and asked for the recipe. “It’s online,” I said. “Oh, but I want YOU to write it out,” she said. So, I did. Now her son wants one, too. We’ll see how far this goes. The next one will, I hope, be better. It’s been years since I laid out any text, but the process came back to me.

Catching Up with WordPress

I decided to come back and show some of the creative things I’ve made lately, but WP has changed so much, I’m not sure how to sort it out and make it look the way I want.
Here’s a collage for you while I try to figure it out. 14364797_10155267898825031_1420926236290933739_n

Best house I’ve seen in a while

A friend and I were on KS Hwy 7 north of Atchison a couple of weeks ago on the way to a flea market in Sparks, KS (population 9, except for flea market weekends!)
On our way we spotted a few really fantastic farm homes in the middle of nowhere, but this one really caught our attention:

IMG_6136I really wanted to get out and explore, but there were actually cars parked around and it looked like someone was living in it.

IMG_6135I didn’t think it would be nice to say, “Hi, your house is really decrepit, is it okay if I explore and take photos?” So I just took some from the road.


It’s probably going to be there for a few years yet, but if someone were to restore it, where would you start?

IMG_6138Maybe they put on a big show at Halloween. It’s pretty far from everything else, though. They might not get the traffic out there.

IMG_6139I just hope a tornado doesn’t get it. I’d like to see it again someday.


Drawing Self-Taught

Some of you might be wondering whether I’ve done any new art work lately. The answer is a bit complex.

IMG_6095I found a book on its way to the trash called Drawing Self-Taught. I believe it was from the 50’s. One of those cheaply made paperbacks that might have cost .50 when it was new. Now, it’s  falling to bits.

IMG_6096So I thought it would be fun to play around with the rough guides on each page and see what I could do with the “zentangle” techniques I’ve been seeing lately.IMG_6099I can’t wait to tackle the pages with the entire female figure. I think the author got a little carried away with those, they are nearly all lying down in various seductive poses. IMG_6100I sent one of these off to a mail artist in Belgium, but I haven’t figured out how to convert the scan I made to a .jpg yet, so you can’t see that one yet. It was all legs. IMG_6102So in spite of not having made any of the other “mandala” style drawings, I do draw some. I suspect this new stuff will alter my style if I go back to the other free-hand work, but it’s too soon to know that. In the meantime, these little things are going out to my mail art friends.  There’s no shortage of material to play with when you look in the trash. I hope you enjoy them!


Postal Souvenirs from the Grand Tour of Europe

I know some of you have had the task of going through the house when your parents have died, or moved, and the responsibility of what happens to all their stuff is on your shoulders.

Sometimes it’s kind of fun. I have fond memories of when my brothers came to town after my folks died and we were all going through the stacks of miscellaneous in the basement. Most of it was easily recognized, but this item was not familiar to any of us:

The only clues I got were from some labels inside and a few addresses that indicated the owner lived in Topeka, KS.

She evidently took the Grand Tour of Europe trip in 1913, and she got even more postcards and photos than I would have collected.

These photos aren’t shown here in any particular order. The one below is the first page of the book, showing the New York Bible Teacher’s Training School and the ship “Neckar.”
(Wikipedia: SS Neckar (1901), in service 1901–1917; seized by United States; served as troopship USS Antigone (ID-3007); served as SS Potomac for United States Lines, 1921–1922; scrapped at Baltimore, 1927)

The collection is a combination of postcards, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

IMG_5924Some of the cards are addressed and stamped, some are blank.

IMG_5925 I’ve held on to this for 12 years now, knowing that it was probably not important to my dad (otherwise, why would he have risked it getting moldy in the basement?) but also attracted to it because I have a postcard collection myself. IMG_5926There are some cards of Dresden, which might be of special interest, since the photos were taken so long before WWII.
IMG_5932And here we are in Italy.

IMG_5928I thought about just incorporating these into my pile of cards that I mail out, but I’m not sure if my mailing them now would reduce their value, if they have any.


So I decided to list the entire book (more than 270 items!) on eBay. I put an awfully high price on it, but sold individually, I know these would all go for more than $1 each. They are mixed up, but they also tell the story of someone’s trip, which I think makes it special.


So far, lots of lookers and no bidders. But it’s early yet. It would be hard to decide what to do with them all, unless you have a flea market booth with postcards from all over the place and want to sell them individually, or are into sending really cool postcards to your pen pals. “Here, I’m sending you a postcard over a hundred years old. Beat that!” Nah, I’m more into home made cards of my own photos or art work.
In any case, thank you, Miss Sweet. I’ve had lots of fun seeing the photos and mementos of your trip.


Re-working the Renaissance

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.
Jim Jarmusch
[MovieMaker Magazine #53 – Winter, January 22, 2004 ]

Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted witty, even surreal portraits composed of fruits, vegetables, fish and trees.

769684575_bb9ddbcb7c Arcimboldo-Rudolf-II-631.jpg__800x600_q85_crop

Philip Haas, a contemporary artist and filmmaker, has created four monumental portrait busts titled The Four Seasons. Haas’ 15-foot-tall sculptures are 3-dimensional interpretations of the Italian Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s portrait series of the same name.

These are on display at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art here in Kansas City, MO until the middle of October. They’re weird and worth a look.

I had a day off last week, and took myself out for a few hours. I wasn’t sure what I felt like doing that day, but I ended up at the Nelson because that’s where I hang out whenever I can. The weather was perfect. I was feeling a lot of stress from the two jobs, so my mind wasn’t clear and I didn’t feel like going inside.

So first I laid down in the grass on the lawn and fell asleep for a while. There weren’t many people out on a Friday afternoon, and it was easy to avoid being disturbed.


When I woke up, I felt completely different. Looking towards the museum, I saw that the installation of these works was in progress right around The Thinker, so I wandered over there and took pictures. They had built a ramp up the side steps to roll these pieces into place. I wish I’d gotten pictures of that process, it must have been entertaining.

IMG_5989aThere was a crew of people touching up the fiberglass with paint and putting up signs saying “Do Not Touch the Art.”
“Good luck with that,” I wanted to say.

IMG_5991It did make me want to get in there and help. I felt like I’d missed my vocation, which ideally would have been something to do with curating exhibits, archival work, or restoration. Shelving books is getting a little old.

IMG_5990I had a hard time getting photos without a lot of bystanders included.

I think I liked “Winter” the best, as it reminds me of The Green Man (even though it wasn’t all that green.)

I’m not sure how these fit in with Rodin’s The Thinker. I don’t think I would have placed these pieces so close to him. Maybe they were trying to keep them close to the building (and the guards who are going to ask the viewers not to touch the Art.)

I’m glad I saw them, but I’m also glad it’s not a permanent installation. In six months, a view of the crew trundling those pieces back down the steps should be something worth watching.