Monday, January 30, 2012

Art from the Past

I thought I would share a few more artworks with you that I rediscovered when pulling out my old portfolio.  They are very different from what I do now.  My concentration for my art degree was in drawing.  Now, my drawing is done with the sewing machine.  Back then, my work was more realistic. Now, I work more abstractly and minimally.

These are two pieces that I did in college which I still find somewhat amusing because the inanimate objects were given just a little bit of personality.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paper Cuts

A week or so ago, my daughter needed to carry some of her artwork to school to create a portfolio. She needed something to transport the artwork safely because a backpack just wouldn't do (especially when you have seen the papers that come out of her backpack!).  

So I crawled around in our storage space under the stairs and dragged out some of my old portfolios. They are filled with my old art from high school, college and beyond.  It's always interesting going through old art.  There are some pieces that remind me of how I felt at the time when I look at them. Other pieces make me wonder why I saved them and I am thinking they need to be recycled.  There are some pieces that I think aren't too bad.  And some that could inspire new ideas.  

There are also a few artworks I had forgotten about.  One of them is this paper cut.

Since I had just made my Valentine for Aids using paper cut, it was serendipitous to find this one. I have done a few paper cuts over the years, but not very many.

This piece is dated 1995 and was done after I had graduated from college.  It's a picture of a ceramic piece I had made in pottery class in college.  At the time, I was not very patient with throwing on a wheel (or maybe I was just too perfectionistic then).  I was not happy with the pot and smashed in one side.

Frank, my husband (boyfriend at the time),  must have been visiting me because he said he would take the pot.  So I went ahead with glazing and firing.  He kept it in his dorm room (several states away) with a little plant in it.  It is now long gone, but the paper cut is a reminder of the story.

I wonder why I haven't done more paper cuts, because I really do like them a lot.  And that is why I am excited to go see a new local exhibition at Boise State University:

Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper
(Gallery 2- Hemingway Western Studies Center)
Curated by Kirsten Furlong and Janice Neri
Exhibition: January 31st - March 23rd, 2012
Opening Reception: February 3rd, 2012 6-8pm
Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper features the work of ten contemporary visual artists that utilize cut paper as a primary medium to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks.

My friend and organizer of the Leftovers print exchanges, Amy Nack, will have some work in the show along with artists from other states. One of those is Nikki McClure, whose work I also enjoy seeing.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Text Messages

Friday night was the opening for the Treasure Valley Artists Alliance's Text Messages show.  For those of you who couldn't make it, I took a few pictures (without flash).  But you'll want to see it in person.  It is kind of like a "word search" to find the text in some of the pieces.

 In the picture below, you can see how I framed my piece Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood.  I'm not sure how many people really "got" the piece if they were not familiar with Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken.

Shirley and Anne always do a wonderful job with the food table. This time Shirley made flowers from newspaper.  Anne had also decoupaged some branches with newspaper and had them in a vase that looked very nice.  (I didn't get a picture of it.)  Then, they had spelled out messages all around the table.

I donated Scrabble Cheez-its to the cause and others had made cookies with messages on them.   There were also fortune cookies among other yummy items.

The show will be at the BSU Public Radio Offices through April 5th (open weekdays).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's About Time

Snow has finally arrived in Idaho.  It seems like we will be getting our entire winter's share in one day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Valentine for Aids

It's not too early to start thinking about Valentine's day.  You might want to get your sweetie some artwork and support a good cause in the process.  Below is the piece I made to donate to the silent auction for Valentine for Aids, which will be held at the downtown Boise Flying M Coffeehouse from Feb. 2-12.

paper cut
12 x 18" framed
©2012 Lisa Flowers Ross

Monday, January 16, 2012


"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Something to think about in this election year.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One Word

Here we are at the 11th day of the new year.  These eleven days have consisted of a lot of thinking about goals, trying to get organized and put deadlines on my calendar - some of which will be coming up quickly.  My calendar seems to be filling up fast and there is a lot to do, as usual.

The thought of a fresh start to a new year is great, and I have gotten some things done.  But it has been a bit serious with all the thoughts of goals.  I have been reading about other people's goals and resolutions.  Some people like to have a word to guide their year, instead of a resolution.

I was thinking, "What kind of word would I pick?"  Some words that came up were balance, simplify and compassion.  Then I thought of "enjoy".  And decided that would be a great word for me to have for the year.  Already it has helped me lighten up on some of the tasks I need to do and approach things with a different attitude.  I think I will create a fancy doodle of the word and hang it up in front of my desk.

I hope you enjoy your day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Three Trees

I have finished my first artwork of the year.  O.k. I actually started it last year, but now it is finished.  It has a lot of hand stitching.

Three Trees
hand dyed fabrics and threads, machine pieced, fused appliqué, hand stitching
©2012 Lisa Flowers Ross

I am planning to frame this, but I went ahead and zigzag stitched the edges to finish them, as you can see below.  You can also see my little sketch to which the final piece ended up being very close.  Now, I need to decide if I want to "float" the piece in the frame so you can still see the edges or have the mat on top covering the edge (so it would look more like the first picture).  What do you think?

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Yesterday, I started to work on my piece for the Valentine for Aids auction.  I'm switching things up a bit and using paper instead of fabric.  Here's the start.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Create Daily

For the month of January I decided to sign up for Alisa Burke's online class called Create Daily.  It's not that I really need any more inspiration for creating artwork.  What I thought would be interesting would be the suggestions for doing something creative in a little amount of time and fitting it into a busy day.

Yesterday, we doodled with ball point pens.  Here is mine:

And here is a doodle I found the other day from 2008 that I did while I was sitting in an airport.

Today we played with our food.  These were clementines that I also played with in Photoshop.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year . . .

and a new hair color for Anna.  She used some of her Christmas money to have her hair dyed (by a professional).

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Goals?

I reviewed my goals for last year and saw where I ended up.  Yesterday and today, I have been trying to write down new goals for 2012.  It's looking like a long to-do list.  I always have lots of to-do lists!

Then my friend, Kathleen Probst, wrote on her blog about not having any goals for the year.  I went to The Minimalists site that was linked in her post and continued to the article this guy wrote about not having goals and why.  He makes some good points.  And I like how Kathleen writes about working on habits instead (which are what some of my goals are working on).

Now, my Gemini twins have been struggling all day with the goal issue.  It sounds so freeing to be able to say I don't have any goals or to-do lists; I don't need to "accomplish" anything.  My type A personality is having trouble even contemplating how you could live without goals or to-do lists.

On the other hand,  the goals I have set for my art career in the last few years have really helped me move my art forward in many ways, especially with making sure I create for a certain amount of time every week.

I fear if I didn't have goals, it would be too easy for me to not get things done, to do nothing because I'm too tired, or let something else take priority (I did that for many years before I decided I needed to take myself seriously as an artist before anybody else could).

For me, I think it helps to have some realistic goals, but I know it's o.k. if I can't get them all accomplished.  I probably get more stressed out with the to-do lists (that are always there), than with the goals.  The goals are something to help keep me focused and heading in the right direction, whereas, the to-do lists are just something that needs to be done and that is always weighing on the back of my mind.

Maybe I need to get rid of to-do lists altogether.  But then I could see that I wouldn't have a reference for what I need to do.  Sounds like a big circle.  I'm not sure I know how to step outside the circle.  I think I need to draw that curvy line in the middle to make the yin-yang sign and work on balancing the whole thing.

What do you think about goal setting?