How Now Brown Cow?

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The latest in my Home on the Range series celebrating Kansas.  Of course it has to be titled “How Now Brown Cow”!  This particular piece is a tribute to the Kansas farm.

On a 12 x 12 stretched canvas with 1 1/2 inch deep sides. Created with Citra Solv altered National Geographic pages and acrylic paint.

Eldred the Rooster

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I asked my Facebook followers for help naming this fellow, and received many great suggestions..most of which will be saved for future roosters!  The winner for this particular one though is solely based on the fact that it came with a great story!  Read on….

“We used to raise chickens, as did my Grandma. As a kid I remember wwatching her help my mom butcher many roosters & I remember being slightly horrified at watching my Grandma sit & wring the necks of all the roosters…(although, we weren’t too sad to see one particularly mean rooster go!). Her name was Eldred, which was actually a male name, meaning “Wise Advisor” (maybe derived from “Elder”?). Grandma Eldred was a feisty, old bird & she was given her last rights twice, but bounced back & shocked her nurses & doctors each time. Grandma passed away this May, just over a month shy of turning 94. What do you think? I think he looks like an “Eldred”.

Thank you, Dari, Eldred it is, and a tribute paid to your grandma!

To make Eldred, the background was prepared with a rather difficult and time consuming process of piecing and weaving National Geographic magazine pages and then treating with Citra Solv.  The rooster was pieced and painted separately so that I could run it through the sewing machine adding all kinds of crazy stitches to the feathers made from Citra Solv papers, and batik fabrics.  Once the rooster and canvas were joined, I did lots of fun drippy stuff to give a kind of aged look to the piece.  Finally I added painted branches, and paper and paint leaves.

Eldred is a nice big 24 x 30 thick canvas and is currently available at Tessera Fine Art Gallery for $295.  Call (316) 262-2435 if interested.

Mr. Fancy Feathers

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This is a very fun dimensional piece on an 18 x 24 wood cradle board panel. I first created the rooster separately and did a bit of machine stitching on the mix of batik fabrics, papers, and cheesecloth that make up the body.

I mounted the pieced, glued, and stitched rooster onto the chicken wire background created with Citra Solv on strips of National Geographic through a hand cut chicken wire stencil.

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The face and comb is a mix of papers and paint.

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The barnyard “ground” made use of my own mesh stencil.

stencil work

Some leaves finished off the piece.

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This piece will go with me to The Red Barn Studio next week.  After that he will hang at Tessera Fine Art Gallery in Wichita.

Lil’ Chicks and Mama

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Today’s piece “Lil’ Chicks and Mama” is a self portrait of sorts.  My three “little girls”, the youngest of my eight,  are all moving out within 6 months of each other.  This is Mama hen sending off her babies into the wide, wide world. Now she joins the ranks of empty nesters.  I think she just might be a little puffed up with pride over her little chicks….

For the background of this 12 x 12 mixed media piece,  I used National Geographic pages, Citra Solv and my own hand cut chicken wire stencil. On top of that I used collage and paint to construct my hen, using book pages, washi tape, tissue paper, and some scraps of gelli printed paper.

Lil' chicks closeup

The feathers on front of her were stamped on with a hand cut leaf stamp.

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If you are interested in this piece, it will be part of Gallery XII’s Crazy 8s exhibit through Aug. 22.

Hope you have a blessed week!

Market Day

Farmer selling organic veg at market on a sunny day

Every Thursday evening, a nearby small town has the Arlington Farm and Art Market.  It is chock full of local flavor and small town fun.  It is much more laid back than any other show I do, actually being kind of relaxing with folks visiting with each other, bubbles being blown, and everyone helping each other out.  I always shop for produce and tasty fresh baked goods while I am there.  I also pick up old books and vintage goodies from time to time.  This week I got two matching little wooden step ladders!

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The final Thursday of the month is extra special with a pork burger feed, live music and special activities for all!

pork burgers June people Jim French community canvas June

Wherever you live, summer is the perfect time to find a market in a nearby small town and join the fun!

Happy Birthday Kansas!

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Kansas entered the Union as the 34th state on January 29, 1861, 100 years and some months before I was born.  It is celebrating its 154th birthday today.

I love my state.  It often gets kind of a bum rap as a boring place.  I will grant you that it does not have the dramatic scenery of say, Colorado’s rugged mountains, or the sweeping beaches of Florida, or the majestic forests of California, but give me Kansas any day.  The others are great places to visit, but Kansas is a great place to LIVE. I love the prairie colors, the majestic sunrises and sunsets, the deep green and then golden fields, and the truly spectacular night skies.  And of course, there are also the people.  Farmers, entrepreneurs, small town business owners and workers.  A stable, hearty sort of people who would give you an arm if you needed it.

Here are some of my favorite images, in no particular order. Just enjoy the sampling of beauty Kansas style!

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