Current Exhibitions

I am/will be exhibiting at:

Northville Art House, West of Center, 9/7 - 9/29, "Body Language"
Starkweather Arts Center, Thumb Area Artists Exhibition, 8/30 - 9/28, "Randomly Impressed" & "Water is Life"
Starkweather Arts Center, Good Things Come in Small Packages, 10/5 - 26, "Read Between the Lines", "Reflections Unacquainted", & "PODerings"
Village Theater, Canton Fine Arts Exhibition, 10/2 - 27, "Squarely Transformed"
Romeo 4th Annual Art & Wine Walk, 10/12, 6-9PM

13 September 2018

Good Things at the Starkweather Arts Center

I am pleased to announce that I have three pieces accepted into the Good Things show at the Starkweather Arts Center in Romeo, MI. I have a monoprint "Read Between the Lines" which was created with a gelli plate and acrylic paints and a few strings of thread! Love the randomness created by the thread. The second piece is "Reflections Unacquainted." Read more about it here. And the final piece is a little book of woodblock prints of pods, called "PODerings". Some background about this little book is found here.

The opening night reception is Friday, October 5 from 7-9 PM and will be held in the Starkweather Arts Center at 219 N. Main, Romeo, MI 48065.

28 August 2018

Northville Art House } West of Center 2018

YAY! My mixed media book, Body Language, was accepted into this show. This is the same book that won 3rd prize in last year's Canton Fine Arts Exhibition at the Village Theater. This book utilized image transfers, ephemera, deli sheet prints, rubberstamping and gelli prints to create the pages. I also had an old book cover with intricate embossed detailing.

The show runs from 9/7 through 9/27 at the Northville Art House, 215 Cady Street, Northville, MI 48167. The gallery is closed Sundays and Mondays.

****UPDATE***** Exciting news! My artist book, "Body Language" has sold! So glad someone decided to give it new home. YAY!

22 August 2018

Water is Life

Although the title for this artbook was initially inspired by #NODAPL and the protests at Standing Rock, I ended up focusing on my interactions with water and the emotional connection we all have with the ocean. I've always been drawn to the water even though I do not consider myself a competent swimmer. There is just something comforting in the sound of lapping waves.

I repurposed an old photo album by covering all the pages with old maps cropped down to the world's oceans and put a coat of gesso over them to tone down the image. I found some interesting handmade papers with a watery feel to use on the covers. Rubberstamps, tissue paper prints, stenciling, image transfers and gel medium embossing were all used to help tell the story. On facing pages, I used paper with a printed wooden plank image to represent a seaside dock or boardwalk and left room to insert the found poetry I created to support the intention of the book.

Framing the top and bottom with actual shells, I found a way to use the photo openings in the pages to create windows to look through as the viewer dives into the book. I played around with Golden's Clear Tar Gel to give the final piece a watery wet look by dripping it down the front cover and onto some tulle mesh on the inside pages.

I've captioned some of the photos with the found poetry texts. I've always enjoyed rearranging words and phrases to create something entirely new.

Forces of wind and currents
swirl up an irrepressible joy
of strange turquiose sensations
and happy sapphire wanderings.

Thunderclaps rolling across the sky
heave deep sighs and
a glittering jewel falls
to finish the mystery
beneath the sea
connecting every shade of blue

The beach was strewn
with a miscellaneous collection
of abandoned shell homes
and bleached white bones,
fragments smoothed by
the sand and sea

The wind and the waves
awaken a sense of euphoria
found in the ever changing
variations of light glittering
on the surface of the sand.

The strange fascination
that everything is connected
by the emptiness of the ocean's heart
and the inexplicable memory
of whispered stories mingle
with salty tears.

Summer days on the wide beach
spent gathering up earth bones and
small stones marked with mysterious
etchings and held most sacred.

Listening to the sea
stretch into a deep breath,
the extraordinary peace of life
in full tide
illuminates the intersection
where washed by the waves,
emotions float into the heart
and tears overflow.

19 August 2018

Cover Story: Thread of Connection

Thread of Connection

*****UPDATE***** This little book about my Grandma placed first in the show:) Thanks Grandma!

When the call for entry for the theme of "Cover Story" was sent out by the Starkweather Arts Center a little book I had started in a Seth Apter workshop years ago immediately came to mind.

I found the book and started looking at the patchwork of mixed papers and it reminded me of a quilt. That led me to a stash of my Grandma Thrasher's craft supplies (crochet hooks, embroidery threads, tissue patterns, fabric strips and a collection of linen goods) that I had saved over the years. Grandma was always doing something creative...painting on the edge of pillow cases, embroidering a table runner or making clothes for me and my Mom, including Mom's wedding dress. She was also a very good baker.

I was only nine when she passed away at age 57. I was too young to learn much of her domestic skills, but I think being around her still rubbed off. Although I'm not a great seamstress, I am drawn to stitch work, handmade quilts, doilies and I love to bake. Also, I grew up to have a career as a graphic designer and now a mixed media artist. I wanted this little book to be a celebration of her creativity and an acknowlegement of her influence on my creative direction -- our thread of connection.

The inside covers are covered with vintage fabric strips that
I think my Grandma used to make rag rugs. I found a few
things of hers that had a butterfly motif so I included this
crocheted embellishment.

Grandma painted designs onto fabric using "Liquid Stitch"
paint tubes. A close-cut sample of a flower is attached to the
left page. Grandma was also a devout Christian and participated
in many church functions. I included some hymnal sheet music
on a foldout flap.

The flap also includes the spine off an old family Bible and
another hymn sheet attached as a gel medium transfer that
allows some of the patchwork background to show through.

Grandma loved growing flowers and her poppies were glorious.
I collaged a pressed poppy petal to the page and layered some
close-cut poppies from a printed handkerchief.

This spread has some embroidery stitch samples I tore off the
pattern instructions. I thought it would be fun to actually use
real thread to sew through the pattern to create the stitches.

Grandma was a great seamstress and made many of my baby
clothes as well as her own. The swatch of fabric behind the
measuring tape is the fabric used to make the dress that my
Mom is wearing in the adjacent photo.

Although I didn't have Grandma in my life for very long,
I credit her with instilling in me an interest for the handcrafts.

In addition to the quirky fabric swatch that has an elephant and
a giraffe, I collaged a few vintage embroidery thread wrappers
onto the adjacent page.

This spread includes actual samples of her embroidery work cut
from a table runner. Sample vintage fabric swatches are included
throughout the book. I first stitched them to pattern tissue and
then glued them to the pages with PVA glue. Many of the fabric
swatches are over 50 years old.

I always remembered doilies being a big part of Grandma's house
decor. I found a few doily crochet patterns as well as small crochet
hooks so I wanted to make sure to include one in the book.

The final spread includes a quilted heart bearing her name:
Leatha Thrasher.

Both covers were created with repurposed vintage book covers.
Image transfers of dress pattern envelope illustrations were
applied and sanded smooth to remove any leftover paper fibers.
The front cover (see first image above) includes some tatting
lace that created a border for the picture as well as another
sample of her embroidery stitching. The back cover has
more fabric swatches attached near the spine.

Starkweather Arts Center worked with the Friends of the Romeo Public Library to promote this community art show that centered around using old discarded book covers to tell a personal story. I was pleasantly surprised recently to learn that my little book ended up tying for first place:)[0]=68.ARCcE7TZcsjnYw8kkbfMclcLkIxGUSxwEf0j_PHaf0kmT_tIYr3V02tSO4rgJrAYHLDlqlpy3dZe1RdZBSd-s6Mj4X1MVkYxiDmJidz3hu-2spf-r5iisr1H1WFOTbdYGUz6U6vXNqti&__tn__=kC-R

The show will be up until August 23rd and then all of the prize winning pieces will be on display at the Graubner Library (65821 Van Dyke, Washington, MI 48095) after Starkweather show.