Warm Up

 
 

Like an athlete, I do warm-up (or practice) sheets in the marbling tank, stretching memory muscle and calibrating hand-eye coordination, before diving into "real" tank work.

 
 

I'm also testing my bath and paints to see how they are behaving. Like us, a new day means a new personality for both of them and things that worked well yesterday may not today. Warming up is about getting into the groove.

 
SkoogWarmUp3.jpg
 

Many times, these practice pieces turn out to be some of my favorite pieces, partly because I have no expectations of them and partly because I don't think too hard about things and just let my creative instinct (and eight years of marbling experience!) take the lead.

Magnus Colo: Opening Saturday at Dab Art Gallery

 
 Rogue Thought, 2015 Marbled Wood Panel 24" x 24" x 1.5"

Rogue Thought, 2015
Marbled Wood Panel
24" x 24" x 1.5"

 

I am so excited to finally give you a peek into one of my favorite series to have worked on in the past few years. I've been keeping this work under the radar, not sharing it publicly on any social media, but now it is making its great debut at Dab Art Gallery this Saturday as part of the group exhibition Magnus Colo

From the press release:

Dab Art is pleased to present MAGNUS COLO. An exhibition featuring the colorful and intriguing works of Franscesa Saveri, Rebecca Woodhouse, Huntz Liu, Janet Milhomme, John Swartout, Lisa Daniels, Kirk McCoy, Barbara Skoog and Perfecto Baloloy Jr. 

Using the strategies of accumulation, saturation, and the repetitive mark, these artists explore their fascination with color saturated space and form. From the delicately controlled hand cut lines of Huntz Liu’s layered paper piece Spilt 1(2016) to the jostling interaction of Perfecto Baloloy’s Food Trip (2016) and Barbara Skoog’s Rogue Thought (2015), where contrast controlled surroundings and fluid lines are layered in between heavy color.
 
 Inside Underneath, 2015 Marbled Wood Panel 20" x 20" x 1.5"

Inside Underneath, 2015
Marbled Wood Panel
20" x 20" x 1.5"

 

I started creating this series last summer, during the two-week residency with my New Ground collaborator Liz Kalloch. There were moments in between working together on our collaborative pieces where I needed to bust out on my own and exercise different creative muscles (partly because of my ADD-like personality and partly because I was stuck or tired or inspiration struck or I was waiting for something to dry before working on it more). What started out as a simple exploration of bold color blocks eventually led to adding overmarbled "windows" that were in response to the interesting shapes that emerged from the color-block background. 

 
 Happening, 2015 Marbled Wood Panel 24" x 24" x 1.5"

Happening, 2015
Marbled Wood Panel
24" x 24" x 1.5"

 

After returning home from the residency, I continued work on the series. both on wood panel and on paper. I'm thrilled that six of the wood panel pieces will be at Dab Art ~ one in the group show and the rest in a second gallery. 

Also part of the show are several pieces from another series I started work on earlier this year. In these pieces, I created distressed marbled backgrounds and then overmarbled both geometric and organic shapes using masks. 

  To Be Seen, 2016 Marbled Wood Panel 8" x 8" x 1.5"

To Be Seen, 2016
Marbled Wood Panel
8" x 8" x 1.5"

  Mindset, 2016 Marbled Wood Panel 8" x 8" x 2"

Mindset, 2016
Marbled Wood Panel
8" x 8" x 2"

Three pieces from this series will be a part of the group exhibition and five will be included in the second gallery as well.

Curator Yessica Torres has pulled together a strong show ~ you can check out some of the featured work here and the list of invited artists here.

I'm so looking forward to seeing the instillation and meeting the other artists at the Opening Reception this Saturday. I invite you to join me and experience the show in person, meet the artists, and share in an evening of color and intrigue.

GROUP EXHIBIT || MAGNUS COLO
Opening Reception || Saturday, April 16, 2016 || 7-10PM || RSVP

Dab Art Gallery || 1793 East Main || Ventura, CA 93001

 

Just Now, Come

 
 

In the latest issue of Mabel Magazine, my favorite written piece is that by textile artist Amy Meissner where she talks about how living in Alaska influences her creative work. It’s a moving, honest, intimate piece that, even though I’ve never been to Alaska, I connected to instantly. Amy says that Alaskans have a word for newcomers: Cheechako which is derived from the Chinook word “chee,” meaning “just now,” and “chako,” meaning “come.”

 

Just now, come.

 

I emailed Amy to let her know how much I enjoyed reading her piece and that Cheekchako, “just now, come” perfectly describes the marbling process. You need to be very present when marbling because it is at the mercy of Mother Nature and slave to randomness. It happens and it happens now. But it is also a very welcoming and forgiving art form. You cannot really fail at it. Show up and it will show up with you.

 

Just now, come.

 

This is my new mantra for when I marble. And I will be sharing it with participants in my upcoming Clouds on Water: A Journey into the World of Marbling eCourse.

Early bird registration specials run through December 31:

  • $179 for Introduction to Paper Marbling
  • $79 for Advanced Marbling Techniques
  • $110 for Marbling on Fabric
  • $259 for ALL THREE eCourses!
 



Creating Language

 
 

I've been really, really busy in the studio these past few months and have been negligent in keeping my blog (and other social media sites) updated with news. This is not an apology. In fact, I'm very proud of the fact! I'm very protective of my time these days and when my energy feels at its best in the studio, that's where I stay.

 
 
 
 

But I'm emerging now to share in some of the goodness that has been happening in my world. Over the next few days, I'll share some of the exciting directions I've been exploring.

Today's images are from a little experimenting I was doing with creating backgrounds that I would then marble on. This idea emerged from the mini-residency my friend Liz Kalloch (check out her new website!!) and I did back in August.

 
 
 
 

She is a BILLION TRILLION times better than I am at making the backgrounds beautiful and interesting ~ but part of collaborating is being able to understand what your partner can and can not do...or needs to be pushed to do. By attempting to make backgrounds myself, I learned so much about the process (and how I can contribute to that process) and can communicate with her in a whole different way. Because that's what collaboration is all about: creating a new artistic language.

 
 

Thank you!

 
 Nothing makes me happier than a REAL paper map, a guide book, and an electrical adapter for a country I've never been to before!

Nothing makes me happier than a REAL paper map, a guide book, and an electrical adapter for a country I've never been to before!

 

I can't even begin to express my sincere gratitude for everyone's enthusiasm and support for the Bangladesh adventure I'm about to embark upon. Even though I'll be with an amazing group of people (Annika of Di Milo Design and Bobby and Mycah of Redmond Digital Media), there are so many unknowns and variables involved in this trip for MY part of the program that it's making my head spin and my stomach fill with butterflies. I know everything will be fine and once I get there all my concerns will melt away ~ but right now I'm wrapping myself up in your kind words and earnest encouragement as I make my way through the process of figuring out how to make it all work out!

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
~ Helen Keller