Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Special Commission

Sometimes commission work is the bane of the working artist’s existence, But this time I got to make a dream mixed media assemblage as a commission.  I remember the days of being a functional potter and doing commission or custom pieces.  Every pot in the kiln would look beautiful except for the one commission piece which enviably would warp or run or just look like shit! 

This piece was made for a two people that I have never met, but through the process of creating this piece and working with their stories and personal object I became deeply close to them.  Jess and Heather discovered my work at Burning Man and were touched and and intrigued by my large mural piece “What do you Believe” and then contacted me after we all returned to the “normal” world post Burning Man.




This piece was a surprise present for Jess. Heather sent me objects that were special to Jess and her, each one bundled carefully with a story about the significance of each object.  As you know if you follow my work one of the reasons I work with found objects is because of the history and energy behind them. The unknown stories and symbolism that more often than not I have to imagine and create in my head. So this was a dream come true to actually work with objects that I knew the stories behind. I was so honored to be entrusted with these precious symbols.



The Unicorn Virgin Mary was born out of precious and quintessential story about an experience of meeting a special soul at Burning Man.  I got to take that story and interrupt and expand upon it to create a shrine about love and the strange magic that is created in “that week in the desert” called Burning Man


The email received from Heather after opening the piece made me cry and feel  like THIS IS THE WORK I AM SUPPOSE TO BE DOING IN THIS LIFE.  I have permission to share it with you…

Clarissa!! Wow! I cannot even begin to express the feelings we felt when opening Our Lady Me! Our minds were totally blown! Still completely in awe! You are exceptionally gifted. You truly captured our hearts with your work. We cried and cried and examined every little detail of it. She's absolutely perfect! Again, wow! We are so honored to have her. It's hard to express, because she is so powerful! Breathtaking. We spent countless hours in front of her, adoring her on New Years Day! And you!! You are brilliant! We can't wrap our heads around it. What you wrote too! Thank you!! It couldn't have been more special. Jess is going to frame it and put it up next to "Me". That piece is beyond a piece to us. It represents our love... our past, present, and future journeys. Our Lady Me will never go a day without appreciation and love. We "believe" there is a life to your art. It is flawless! What you did with my things!??? How!? The details, the clean lines, placement, the symmetry, and the coloring! Where do I begin? We can never thank you enough! Hopefully, someday, we will have an opportunity to meet you and express our gratitude in person. Thank you thank you thank you. I will write you again soon. Jess too, because I know she wants to. We love and respect you so much and would like to continue to support you for many years to come!
Wishing you joy and happiness in 2014!!
Love, Heather :)

I look forward to putting more of this kind of work out there into our world… Do you have special items and stories you want to honor? Contact me lets create magic together…

Friday, April 25, 2014

Grey Sky and Colorful Tulips

A grey cold day in the Pacific NW brightened by the unbelievable colors of the tulips in full bloom.  I have lived in this area for a long time and seeing the Skagit valley tulips is a very touristy thing to do.  There for I had never done it. Somehow thinking it wouldn’t be “worth it” I mean I have seen hundreds of photos of them.  Isn’t that the same thing?   uuummmm   NO!



This is probably my favorite picture because of the contrast between the grey cloudy sky and the brilliant red of the tulips.  As we were driving along and everything was kind of grey and drab looking and then we turned a corner and it was if someone had painted the fields with the most vivid colors.  I was reminded of The Wizard of Oz or Pleasantville where things start out in black and white and then suddenly start to change to full color.



This photo reminds me of an abstract painting…


I enjoy taking pictures as an artist but without someplace to share them, without someone to see them they get lost among the hundreds of files on my computer.  Thank you for taking the time to look.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Do You Believe? Burning Man Art Project

My adventure in creating a giant art journal page the size of a mural in the inhospitable environment of Burning Man.  One of my art goals in this last year has been to start to work larger. I have been dreaming about working in larger formats and even envisioning creating huge installations.  I adore the intimacy of small artwork and rich tiny details but I craved the visual impact of SIZE.
I think I have done fairly well at challenging my self to work larger this year.  The pieces I created for my featured show at Tasty were all much larger than my norm with  Survivor Moth being almost 4ft by 4ft.
I also worked on creating an environment for my pieces with  hundreds of soft sculpted shapes strung on cords.  That ended up looking a bit more like popcorn or snow from a distance. I was going for surreal alien polyps.   (It was super hard to photograph. I wish I had better photos)
If you follow my blog you know I am a lover and participant in the social artistic experiment that is Burning Man.  I started my working larger project with a “small” (aprox 5ft sq.) project in Center camp in 2011.
This was the year I turned 40  and this piece was called “Looking back and Looking Forward”  It had pieces of my prom dress, old lovers letters, and the flag from my father’s funeral.  It truly was the first “large piece” I have done. It was very personal and looking back I still love parts of it and hate others.
When I painted the red and white stripes in the background I was thinking circus but they ended up reading as patriotic American symbolism. Not what I was planning!
Nor did I set out to include a VERY large American flag in this years piece. (The same flag from my father’s funeral which came with lots of complicated emotions)  I don’t consciously resonate with the symbolism of the American flag.  But both pieces are about me and my experiences. I grew up a girl and woman in the American culture embedded with symbolism of the American flag for better and for worse.  This subject is worthy of a college dissertation which I am not qualified for or motivated to do.   I am going to leave this part of the story at the fact that the symbol  of the flag is embedded in my existence as an American artist even when I try to avoid it.
It is interesting how creating has a way of taking you down a different path than you planned, bringing up symbols and concept you weren’t planning on exploring.
What Do You Believe? is the largest piece of work I have created to date ( 8ft x 16ft)  I wanted to approach it as a giant art journal page with images, text, and exploration. 
  • I discovered drafting size photocopies and fell in love.
  • Used a gallon and half of wallpaper paste much of which had dust from the playa mixed in to it.
  • Used at least a hundred staples to secure the vintage wedding gown from blowing away in the intense wind on the playa.
  • And had the opportunity to show my work to 40,000 people and to build long term meaningful connections with some. 
This project was a HUGE undertaking that I took on in a very short period of time. I had two weeks to layout the design in my studio and two days to install it at Burning Man.  Next time I do this I want 6 months. When I look at the picture of this piece it still feels unfinished to me but I could have spent my entire time at Burning Man fussing with the details and still not felt like it was finished.  Thank God for my partners order to “put your brush down and come enjoy Burning Man!!!”.

In process



Follow Me on Pinterest
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...