Work In Progress



Palette Williamsburg Italian Yellow Ochre, Permanent Green, Sap Green, Payne’s Grey, Italian Black Roman Earth.  Gamblin, Naples Yellow Hue, Olive Green, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Titanium White and Burnt Umber.

Brushes used, Princeton 16, 6 Bright, 4000R 8,4,2 Round

Here is the first en plein air, above is the abstraction that I am experimenting with.  Easy to do on this piece because I am not emotionally attached to it at all.  But I love how much brighter it looks, and how cool it looks.  Below, it feels like it was painted by a hack (maybe.  :/)   Should we call this reastraction?  Abstract Realism?  Realistic Abstraction?

Caughdenoy Original 

Experiments with Micron Pen

Steampunk Woman
Experiments inspired by Megan Massacre
Experiments from the book Tattoo Sourcebook

Still working on this experimental stuff, playing with what I know how to do and breaking out of it too.  Taking the time to study other people’s work and style in order to improve on my own.  I have been really thinking alot about the kind of drawing I do with my students, all the pieces I toss out because I am just drawing with the kids, but then wanting to some how create work out of those drawings.  Make them more than the brief simple sketches they are, usually.  I know this work is unfinished and lacking any kind of sophistication, which ironically is a good description of me.  Still in need of sanding down the rough places, and without any guile whatsoever.

I really would welcome feedback.  Please!! Comment, Critique (did i say criticize?  No, a critique is feedback that attempts to guide, not roadblock or damage!) offer positive suggestions, seriously I am trying to grow here!!  Thank you!!

Inspired by Ed Hardy

I think I was inspired to get my first tattoo after watching several episodes of Miami Ink, this week while I road mile upon mile on the exercise bike, I started watching NY Ink I just love Megan Massacre’s deconstructed pin-ups.  Now on the tattoo kick, it lead me to watch the movie Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World.  I think becoming a tattoo artist would be very cool, I certainly have the hand for it, just maybe not the drawing skills.  I started to think of what I might like to do for my next tattoo, saving money begins today.  I wanted to get a Ganesh in the Mehndi style on my upper arm and shoulder, but I wanted him to be riding a deer and holding a cardinal in his hand.  Then I saw some Ganesh tattoos and they are all so unelegant, so I thought maybe a tree of life in the Indian style, with tiny deer, elephants and birds in the branches.  I couldn’t find anything I liked so I started sketching a tree of my own.  It was not great, not really worthy of posting here, but as I was drawing the tree of life, this idea popped into my head.  

For some reason her name had a very steam punk sound to it, even though the doll was kind of inspired by some lovely East African dolls I saw at a craft fair, and also inspired by my long running symbol of the Earth Goddess.

I believe she will be a doll too.  It just looks like a doll begging to be made.  I haven’t made any dolls since I made the pirate monkey zombie this summer for the Pirate, my awesome boyfriend.  I think this one will have to be next.  I have been exploring a bit with doll construction, and replaced the dead drill so now I can make stands and drill holes for the dowels.  Lets see what I can come up with.  New years resolution, make art every day!!

Artisans in Central New York

Here are a list of some of the artisans that I really enjoyed at the Salt City Urban Arts and Crafts Market.


Vicki Hartman a ceramic artist.  I love her subtle colorings, they look almost like faded watercolors on natural “white” (ecru) clay.  I really liked her work, but was not really in the market for anything ceramic.  But I did tell her that I loved her TV’s.  They are really cool, but then I somehow got into a conversation with her about how much I despise TV, and we went back and forth with the shifting use of TV for both of us, first averse and then obsessed.  Also how from not watching TV and then going back to it again how you find yourself looking at it critically and dubiously. Although this is a personal account of what I discussed with her, it only increased my interest in her work.

All opinions and observations are solely those of this writer and are not meant to reflect on the ability of the artist.  This sarcasm is meant for another but will be nicely added here I think.

Nancy Lenker Topolski Second Seed is the name of her company.  Her lovely little monsters, fingerless gloves and the only felting or more accurately fulling (the art of taking a knitted piece and intentionally shrinking it is often mislabeled felting but is truly fulling, felting is when you take the unspun fibers or roving  and mat them together to create a fabric) any way back to it, the ONLY fulling I have ever seen that did not look lumpy and misshapen mainly because she fulls them first then sews them into the object.  Beautiful work.  Love it!  On her etsy site I see more artwork that is intriguing, with a fine steampunk feel.

Krista DeJoseph of Queens Metal I love the quote by Ani DiFranco on her website. “I think pretty is nice, but I would rather see something new.”  HA! I was initially drawn to her work because of the very cool steampunk look of it.  Old fashioned metals juxtapozed in interesting ways.  I also found some ordinary (non steampunk) lovely little post earrings for my daughter for Christmas.  Although she told me last night she doesn’t want earrings now.  Oh well.  Cannot change your xmas list a month and a half away from the day.  But her metal work is not typical, which as Ani DiFranco says is what I would rather have.

Alice Muhlback of Spirit and Kitsch I loved her ravens.  Of course I love crows which are cousins to the raven in the Corvid family.  She also keeps a blog which also endears me to her.  Her work is cute and whimsical but somehow I think it has a dark side that all that cuteness hides a satirical wit.  I could be wrong of course, remember these are my opinions.

I just want people to see some new and great art.  Something that hasn’t been published a thousand times from a thousand different sources and isn’t marketed to death.  Real artists doing real work.  Not corporate conglomerations painting sheep and camoflage on our bodies, hearts, minds and souls to keep the world from knowing our true selves, to keep us from knowing our true selves.

Casey Wright of Peaches Products Because anything else is the pits.  I loved loved loved her little felt animals.  I bought a tiny little felted crow for Alistair my pet crow, who should not be called a doll but a Fabric-American.  Doll is an insulting term like puppet.  Horrible.  Seriously her animals are freaking adorable!

And last but surely not least Amanda Preske I loved her reuse of computer parts coated in resin.  She had some other lovely beaded jewelry but I really liked the computer items which you will see in her etsy shop.  I love that she is finding a use for something that would otherwise go to a landfill.  I also like that it is unusual and that is what caught my attention.  Thank you Amanda for pointing me in the direction of your bi-annual art shows, I surely hope I can actually have an opportunity to show my animals there in the future, and if not that I will be able to make the trip to Rochester in the spring to check out the next one.

Artisans are great.  They make it possible to be yourself unique, they are themselves expressively unique.  I hope you like their work as much as I did.


Key Chain Dolls

Here are some key chain dolls that I made this afternoon.  There is a prisoner, a zombie and two Steampunk brick wall ones.  I think of that song She’s a Brick House by the Commodores when I sew them. 

They are quick and fun to make.  I am using these great swivel clasps by Jim Holtz idea-ology, I am worried because I cannot find them on the craft store web site, I am almost out so I might have to stop by there some time this week.

Here they are:

Key chain monsters

Steampunk in Fall 2010 Fashion

My obsession with Steam punk has been well fed lately.  I have discovered that several science fiction series shows are very much Steampunk, from Torchwood to Warehouse 13 to Sanctuary; it is also prevalent in many movies.  The appearance of goggles and dirigibles is becoming nearly ubiquitous.  I am discovering also that the Steampunk movement is in this years fashions for fall.  I have lost some upper body weight through yoga I guess and most of my shirts are too big.  Yesterday while taking out my fall clothing I noticed that I had at least 6 long sleeved tshirts which were too large to wear to work.  So I took my first paycheck of the year and headed out to the store.  The longer length A-line skirts, the ruffle fronted blouses, the use of lace and subtle flower patterns, the military style pants and jackets and the little newsboy caps and clothing with zippers and grommets are all part of what one would find when setting up a steampunk outfit.

I have purchased a new simple black A-line skirt, a cute little military jacket, a newsboy cap, and a pair of lace up calf high boots.  My daughter teases me when I get home, nice steam punk jacket Mom, nice steam punk boots Mom.  I have to laugh, I really just wanted a skirt I could wear long underwear under in the winter, and a pair of boots that would hide the long underwear, I wanted a jacket that had good pockets for walking the dog, and well the cap was so cute and back before I had my daughter I was known for wearing cute hats.  But honestly yes, I love the fact that this years fashions echo my steampunk beating heart.

Here are a few images from the internet

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Aurora the stuffed bear and steampunk keychains

Another stuffed bear, this one is made of sparkling black felt. I was thinking that the sparkles are like aurora borealis so I named her Aurora.

Stuffed Bear

Last winter I made a few pins to sell at Plowshares but they did not sell.  So today I made some little Steam punk key chains to sell for probably around 5$ each.  They don’t take long to make at all.  And I think they really cute.

Keychain dolls