Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Madhatter & An Elephant...

I finished this whimsical mixed media piece today. Just in time for my darling sister's birthday. I had fun with the bird, outside of the nest looking in, only to find the Madhatter taking her place. Life turned upside down.I used cigar bands for the bracelets on the elephants eggs.
Pure fun and kind of crazy. Happy Birthday, Sister!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Studio...

I have set up a large and sunny Art Studio. What a divine pleasure to have a space devoted purely to creativity. I am loving it. , I still am doing work at my studio in North Carolina, the new studio is in Maine. The space is south facing with many windows, terrific light and plenty of space to spread out and create Art.

Paintings and JOCO Boxes, are my main interest at the moment.
I love working in this new space, a bit more of the sea seems to be sneaking into my newest pieces.

Scroll down to view the slide show of the KDB Art Studio.

Click on Arrow to View!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Newest "JOCO" Box...

I have been so excited about the "JOCO Box" series I have been working on. This Box features a Buddhist/Mystical theme however the humor of Buddha riding on the back of a bronze elephant from the 1800's makes me smile. I also integrated paper painted fortunes, fortune sticks, shells, eggs (always sneaking in there),

a butterfly and a hand. Note the egg with the golden wing. Maybe that signifies the promise of all that is new and unknown taking hold and maybe even flight. Just a thought.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eiffel Tower 10x10's

I have a fondness for most anything French. I had so much fun taking this image of my favorite Parisian icon, breaking it apart and making three separate mixed media pieces. I used the paint like watercolors with a Maxfield Parrish end of a magical day color palette. I took a leap and added a 3D element, an antique clock face totally painted and aged which is a departure from my usual pieces. Ahhhh, when I look at these pieces it is reminiscent of a late Autumn day when the light is thin but colorful. These pieces are available at the Green Rice Gallery in the NODA Arts District in Charlotte. If you haven't stopped by yet I also have some of my Birdstacks, Eggs and an Elephant Series hanging there. Christmas is coming, BUY ART!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Little Art Altars...

Joseph Cornell has been my muse all week. I have been thinking, dreaming and designing JOCO boxes. My most recent piece is this "Spirit Box". I have incorporating things that are special and spiritual to me. I have incorporated painted fortunes from Chinese meals shared with friends and family, Chinese fortune sticks, my favorite Buddah holding a heart rock and a time worn heart shaped clamshell I found at the seashore. The scientific moment is the presentation itself and the round canisters housing a shell, compass and of course some eggs (they always sneak into my work). The box itself is covered with handmade paper and topped with 5 egg rocks found on a sojourn with my niece to Campobello Island on the Bay of Fundy many years ago. I like the way this box evokes a sense of mystery, mystical and eastern philosophy and a bit of magic as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Joseph Cornell, Master of Assemblage...

Joseph Cornell is known for his small wooden boxes (from 10-12 inches to 20 or more inches in size), artfully filled with various objects. These boxes were usually covered with a pane of glass. Some of the elements were kinetic. These works of art are referred to as assemblages. The objects were chosen carefully, although many held no intrinsic value alone; when combined these objects reveal a deeper meaning. Birds were a common image, (a personal favorite) as were constellations and other heavenly bodies, either as two-dimensional images or merely evoked by a round sphere. Juxtapositions were always poetic, evoking associations often explored by Surrealists, of mystery, fantasy, the subconscious, dreams, etc. However his work differed from the Surrealists in that he was more interested in finding poetic connections of meaning between disparate objects. The miniature world in itself always has a unique charm and when these few objects are isolated in such a way they force us to really look at them and to think about their possible intended meanings. The spareness of the compositions also contributes to the expressiveness, with their geometry, curves and two- and three-dimensional spaces.Cornell's work brings some of this sense of wonder and mystery back to us.
Here is a bit of history that formed the foundation for Cornell's Assemblage Boxes. Duchamp, the Dada artist, developed the idea of the 'readymade' as an art object, early in the 20th century. Basically as an intellectual questioning of what the nature of art truly is, as well as a Dada shock tactic, Duchamp placed a urinal in a New York exhibition in 1915 (an object is art if the artist says it is). From this point on, the 'found' object could also be art, alone or with other objects. Cornell had already been collecting bits and pieces and putting them together into collages when he met Marcel Duchamp in the early 1930's.(Ah true inspiration!) His acquaintance with Duchamp and the Surrealists influenced his thinking and his work, as well as the box constructions of Kurt Schwitters, another Dada artist. Schwitters' abstract collages and constructions were composed of materials which had already been thrown away and 'useless,' however, rather than precious items chosen carefully for their meanings. Cornell had no formal art training, and didn't draw or paint or sculpt in the traditional sense. However he was the very definition of artistic and creative, as an artist who takes materials and/or elements, and combines them in inventive and/or expressive ways.
Click on Arrow to View Slide-Show.

Cornell worked in the textile industry as a designer until 1940, and continued to make his boxes and collages, as well as a number of films. Until his death in 1972 he continued to be honored as an artist and to live his quiet life.

Are you interested in taking a workshop that is inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell? It is a Saturday Sisters Art Workshop event and will be held the second Saturday in December.I created this sample to illustrate my interpretation of a Joseph Cornell Holiday Box. Click for more info.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Something is "Fishy" in My Studio...

I have officially started my next series of paintings, I am calling it "FishLines". It is an underwater series of Fish and their environment. I love the texture of the different papers and paint on the canvas. The light in this first painting " Trout Fishing in America" is liquid and somewhat murky, streams tend to be that way.
I am now working on a bright calypso/tropical piece. It is 4 canvases equaling 8 ft of underwater magic. This sea scene will be bright, cheerful and energetic.
Excited is a good way to describe how I feel about this new series of paintings.Exploring light, color and how it interacts with water is a good way to spend the day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Arty House and Assembled Art...

Sheila Carpenter is inspired and delighted by many things. She draws her inspiration mostly from old/antique objects and incorporates them in many clever ways. Currently she is working on a series of dress forms, using different materials to explore texture and movement. She is always adding new techniques for her different assemblages and is a fan of attending artist's workshops. She was recently inspired by a Michael De Meng workshop, he is an assemblage artist with a flair for making magnificent altered creations that are shrine-like but look rusty and careworn. Sheila has applied this technique to her work in a fresh and different way.

I have so much fun photographing at her house/studio. Her work is very personal and she often uses photos of her family, some from many generations ago for the base of her creative endeavors.

She has an interesting home, filled with magic and artistic moments.
Sheila's home sings with light

at the beginning or the end of the day, that is when the natural light reaches deep into the rooms. This is when I like to pop by and take a few shots of whatever she has been up to, artistically.

Sometimes I can find a cool still-life on a book shelf, sideboard or an antique cabinet.

Her bookshelves are an interesting mix of curiosities, and lovely objects, as well as thought provoking reading material and of course her art is scattered throughout.

In her real life she has a big job, and I am never sure where she finds the time to be so prolific in her creative and artistic works.

She is one cool cat. Oh that sister of mine!

Click on Arrow to view movie

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

KDB Featured at Gallery...

Since June of this year I have been painting and creating a fanciful series I call "Birdstacks, Eggs and and Elephant". I have created 11 pieces to date. They are pieces of Art that until recently have graced my walls and entertained me and my special friends who happened to drop by my Home/Studio.

This past week I was accepted into the Green Rice Gallery and six pieces are hung and Gulp for sale! I did not intend to let go of my private world but maybe it will be a good thing. The Green Rice Gallery of Charlotte, N.C. is in the NODA Art District.

Click on Arrow to View Slide-Show.
The music/soundtrack is Lynn Wedekind's "On the Wing"

The Baroness of ART Revisited...

Nancy Barron is an artist who works in many mediums. Whether she is painting a still life devoted to nature or the human figure she does it with energy and panache. Nancy is the Assistant Director for the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, Maine. She revels in the daily challenges of working with other Artist's and people who buy the Art. She has a sunny can do personality and enough energy at the end of the day to come home and nurture her school age twins, teenage daughter and darling husband. She makes her home on the shores of the Kennebec River. Nancy is an Artist who embraces the seasons and interjects her art with the colors of the natural world that surround her home. This time of year her Hydrangeas are in full regalia I wonder when she will start creating her Autumn series. Hmmmm.
Nancy can be seen in person at the Harlow Gallery most any day and her work can be viewed in three different adjacent towns.Keep up the inspired work Nancy.You can drop her an email for more info,
or to

Click on arrow to view.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Home Is Where The ART Is- Pam Fawcett...

Pam Fawcett is a very talented artist who now lives in Charlotte N.C. I met her through an "Arty Group" of women. She is fun, delightful and so well versed in many different mediums. I was treated to a tour of her home and studio and was absolutely inspired by her fearless artistic approach. She attends many workshops and applies the knowledge she has picked

up along the way to create magical mixed media canvases and "found object" sculptural pieces.
Her home is filled with her own Art as well as a few other well placed pieces by other Artist's who are her friends or whom she admires. The actual style of her home is eclectic and lovely. The colors are bold and neutral and the furnishings are comfy and inviting. The overall atmosphere is a truly creative and inspiring one. Pam is an artist who loves actually doing all kinds of Art following whatever her inspiration may be on any given day.
Pam I look forward to hanging out in your studio again, soon. You inspire me.

Click on arrow to view the slideshow.
This article originally appeared on

Birdstacks, Eggs & an Elephant...

I have been on a painting tear. I have created 8 pieces since June.
I think living in the clouds is having an interesting effect on what I am choosing to do with my time.
I am loving the idea of stacking birds, incorporating eggs, and I just finished a piece that is 5 ft square in three sections.

I used an Indian Elephant as the anchor, Butterflies for light and air and the Birds are stacked way up into the starry heavens with a hanging moon.

It is fun to create fanciful images and explore texture, mixed media and image transfers.

Click on the arrow to view the slide show of
Birdstacks, Eggs & an Elephant!

This article originally appeared on

Painting, Oh What Fun...

I have had a relationship with art since I was a child and I have been a painter and a photographer for as long as I can remember. I have always enjoyed the creative process and have delighted in exploring all of the different mediums and the possibilities they present. The newest series of paintings I have been working on involve canvas, acrylic paint, transferred images and the tools needed to manipulate the paint ( brushes, palette knife, sponges and paper towels). I use a wide variety of paint products. Golden Paints has a wonderful selection of colors with various transparencies and the best gel medium which is great for transferring and applying the images to the canvas. Golden also has a wide and varied selection of molding paste and various gels and finishes. Liquitex, and even a generic store brand paint works very well. Try to stay away from the cheapest canvas' as they may not be primed and can be made in an inferior way. The best bet is to explore all of the choices at your favorite Art Store. A few here in the southeast are Cheap Joe's Art Supply and Binders Art Supply, both have websites and both have quality products at a price that is easy on the pocketbook. Log on and check it out. If you have questions you can also give them a call.

Some Artist friends and I have been exploring the world of image transfers in a scientific way. We have studied many different methods and our findings (which are still being discovered and calculated) are all over the place! The goal is to transfer the ink and not the paper, then apply, in this case to canvas. Many Artists use watercolor paper, and I have in the past, however canvas gives you the ability to add texture behind the image. This can be achieved by applying handmade paper, and various other paper based products which can be painted over and onto. I am still working on my quest for perfect transferred images. It is fun to have friends as curious about the process as I am. So we will try, try again!

Art is fun, art is personal and no matter what you say, everyone has an ability to create. So give it a try, go to a book store and hang out in the art and technique section, check out Somerset Studio Magazine, join an Art group or take a workshop but most importantly explore and let your creative self take over. You will be happy you did.

This article originally appeared on

Janice Miceck, Creative Spirit, Talented Artist...

Today I am going to write about the creative muse that lives within us all. My friend Janice Micek is an incredibly talented artist. Her specialty of the moment is assemblage art. She lives her life in an artful manner. I went to a workshop in her home and asked if I could come back and photograph her "Arty Still Life's".

I was inspired by her love of nature and her ability to tell a story with objects.
Tables filled with silver from a bygone era, shells and other treasures from the sea, a bowl of pieces and corners of old frames, not to mention the charming natural whimsy that was the underlying foundation to her display work. Janice also had a fair amount of nests and all were displayed in a cozy and nesty fashion.
Oh yes, this is a woman I could and will be very good friends with.

She loves art and the natural world and she understands how to integrate them into pieces that are clearly personal and pure magic. You go girl!
Click on Arrow to View Slide-Show.

Art Clubs and Groups...

I had so much fun at my sister Sheila's, Art Club. It is a cool trend that is sweeping the nation. Basically it is Artists, and people, mostly women who are interested in socializing and doing some kind of interesting "Art Project" while catching up on news and kids. Friendships are forged and a good time is had by all. Oh and you get to take some sweet artful gem home that you created with your arty pals. No downside there!

The gals who hosted this Arty Afternoon were a delight. These events are usually held in someones home. The interesting thing are the levels of creativity and actual talent vary, however the Art at my Sister's club in Charlotte is mostly different variations on the current craze of "Assembledge".

Joseph Cornell is one of my favorite Assembledge Artists. His work is inspired by nature, mostly. Cool boxes and/or frames with items truly taken from nature. It is a cross between a mad scientist and a naturalist with the creative mind of an artist displaying the many items that surround us in the natural world. I am inspired by his work.

So if you are
in an
Arty Club
in your area, consult Google or your local newspapers for events close to home.

This article originally appeared on