Altered Book Take 2

I got back to work on my altered book today.  After looking at the photo’s from yesterday it seemed to need more.  It’s funny how looking at photo’s can sometimes tell me more than looking at the book close up.  I can see where colors are too prominent or where balance is lacking.  In any case, I went back at it today and I am more satisfied.  That’s not to say I might not take another shot at some point, but for now I’m going to move on.   I’ve included both pictures so it’s possible to see the change from yesterday to today.  Improved?

New Altered Book

Yay!  It’s Friday.  I have done a lot of art today which makes me VERY happy!  I did a collage demo yesterday and it got me all fired up to work.  I worked on my large canvas today as well as starting a new altered book.  I don’t think the canvas is ready for prime time yet, though maybe that’s not true.  Many people post their works of art as they progress.  I’m not sure – it is not a thing of beauty yet!  I thought I would post the first two page spread of my new altered book.  I started by gluing down magazine scraps and then pulling them off.  I like the rough surface and remnant that gets left behind.  I added some scraps of tissue paper, some glazing and some crayon.  It was a lot of fun to put together and a great release.  I should have maybe have done that before I worked on the canvas to get warmed up – but I did the opposite.  Once I got to a point on my canvas where I wanted to stop and give it more thought, I wasn’t ready to stop making art.  So, that’s when I grabbed a book I had gotten specifically to turn into an altered book.  I haven’t finished with this spread, but it was a good start.

It’s a gorgeous day here in New England and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Art From Detritus Photos

One of my fellow artists in the Art From Detritus exhibition, Peter Wilcox, took photos at the opening.  He agreed to let me share his photos so that you may get a feel for the art that is present in the exhibit.  I apologize that I do not have detailed information to go with the photo’s. Be sure to check back next week as Peter is gallery sitting this weekend and plans to take more.  Thanks Peter!!



Angst Unleashed

The Art From Detritus exhibition opened Saturday at the Williamsburgh Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn, NY.  This is an exciting exhibit of art made from upcycled materials.  Two of my pieces, Angst Unleashed and Waxwork 2, are a part of this exhibit and are shown below.  It is a great show if you have the chance to stop by and check it out.  For full details click on my current exhibits page.

Angst Unleashed – 2010 – 24″w x 30″ h

Paper, acrylic, ink and watercolor

Waxwork 2 – 2008 – 20″w x 16″h

Wax paper, acrylic, ink,  pencil and asst. papers

Wild Kingdom

As expected, I have not had a lot of time for art this week.  Or perhaps I should restate that.  I have not had a lot of time to pursue “my” art this week.  For the past couple of days I have been helping my daughter with a project for school.  She is doing the work and I am the assistant.  She is creating a hot air balloon out of tissue paper for her science class.  Not only must it conform to precise standards of construction, it will be judged for appearance as well.  Somehow that seems wrong to me.  It’s supposed to be about the science right – how it works not how “pretty” it is.  Oh well, she has had a good time with her concept.  She decided to use different colored panels with animals that match each one.  So far eveything has worked perfectly.  The last step for us today is to glue the panels together.  They are only supposed to overlap by 3 mm and they are quite large.  Wish us luck!


When I was young I grew up on Cape Cod.  Our house had a cellar as most Cape houses do.  Unfortunately, most of them are damp, dank affairs and ours was no exception.  Which makes you wonder why the previous owners had a bar set up down there.  With those tiny windows and the dampness it just doesn’t seem like a place you would want to hang out!  Especially since the cellar would flood in the spring and we had a permanent pump in the floor to deal with the incoming tide.  As you stood facing the back wall there were doorways off to both sides.  One went to the furnace.  The other was a small room where my father engaged in artistic and creative pursuits such as working with stained glass.  The creepy thing about that room is that the door had a set of painted eyes on it.  Today I was looking at a mask that I had made in a collage class.  I mounted it on the door in my studio that goes into the attic (perhaps another creepy place?).  Looking at it reminded my of that doorway long ago in the cape house.  I thought I would share it.  The day we made the masks we were talking about how you often do art in colors that you wear and like.  At the time I didn’t even realize that the mask I was making was in the exact colors I had on – it took another friend to point it out!

Thinking about that cellar brough back another funny memory.  My friends and I were into watching Dark Shadows at the time I was living in that house.  One afternoon, after watching Dark Shadows, a friend and I were roller skating in the cellar.  The kind of roller skates that had keys.  Yeah, yeah, I KNOW I’m old! While we were skating the furnace kicked off and made a loud boom.  It scared us to death and though I don’t know how we did it, we went up the cellar stairs with those roller skates on!!  We took them off and threw them back downstairs as we were too afraid to descend again.  Ha ha!  I hadn’t thought of that in years!  Have a great day everyone!

Art From Detritus

A new Art From Detritus exhibit, curated by Vernita Nemec, is opening in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, April 23rd.  My pieces, Angst Unleashed and Waxwork 2 will part of this exhibition.  I have attached excerpts from the press release below.  These exhibits showcase art made from recycled materials.  They are fascinating and worth checking out if you find the time or yourself in New York.

Update:  4/27/11  Check out my home page to see photos of Art From Detritus.

Williamsburgh Art & Historical Center (WAH)

135 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 486-7372 or (718) 486-6012                      

  for immediate release    please list


  Willamsburgh Brooklyn- The Williamsburgh Art & Historical Center (WAH Center) is pleased to present the most exciting and creative solution to too much trash- “Art from Detritus: Upcycling with Imagination”- an exhibition of the art of nearly 60 artists who use trash to make their art and convey the message of the importance of recycling & “upcycling”. The exhibition extends from April 23 to May 29, 2011 with an opening reception & fashion show Saturday April 23rd 4-6PM at their historic location just over the Williamsburgh Bridge in Brooklyn at 135 Broadway. 

 “Art From Detritus: Upcycling with Imagination is a group exhibit of art made from recycled materials and trash. This exhibit serves to “continue the dialogue between art and the lives of ordinary people” because we all have too much trash. By focusing on recycling as the method and source for creating their art, these artists have made their artmaking serve as both a message and inspiration to the general public and businesses often intimidated by or not interested in fine art. The primary goal of this exhibit is to exhibit art that through its materials and techniques helps our environment. Art made from trash serves to continue awakening an awareness of the importance of recycling and demonstrates how recycling can be done creatively.  

 “Art from Detritus” continues the dialogue between art and the lives of ordinary people. This exhibit serves as a creative reminder that trash can be not only recycled, but also reused, to create beautiful and unique objects of art. All these artists see beauty in the discarded that fills and eventually serves to destroy our environment and realize this is a satisfying and rewarding way to creatively deal with the problem of too much trash.

 Since 1994, the changing group of artists in this exhibit has opened dialogues with viewers about the importance and usefulness of art as something beyond decoration.   The current exhibit at the Williamsburgh Art and Historical Center is the 19th realization of the concept. This exhibition gives talented artists who are outside the mainstream and whose artwork does not fit the prevailing fashion, a much-needed opportunity to exhibit. By curatorial choice many of these artists are ”emerging” artists, and still unknown, who continue to make art in which they believe, despite fame & fortune, thus far, eluding them. These artists often cannot afford studio assistants or expensive materials and equipment for art making. All see beauty in the discarded that fills and eventually serves to destroy our environment and realize this is a satisfying and rewarding way to creatively deal with the problem of too much trash.

  “Art from Detritus”, or art from waste, is an exhibition project that was conceived by Nemec, an artist as well as director of Viridian Artists Inc, in 1994 at a National Recycling Coalition convention. Besides demonstrating concern for our environment and creative use of trash, the exhibit also demonstrates ways to use our abundant trash as a solution for the artist unable to afford expensive materials & equipment with which to create. Many of the artists in these exhibits initially began to work with discarded materials because of their easy availability.

That first exhibit happened in Portland Oregon in the lobby of the recycled Sears Roebuck building & corporate headquarters for municipal waste & recycling in Portland who sponsored the reception and donated the site, during the annual conference of the NRC. Since then, the exhibit has occurred every year throughout the US with funding from the Kauffman Foundation and the Puffin Foundation as well as sponsorship by the NRC. In Pittsburgh at five sites including Westinghouse headquarters, the Museum of Arts & Crafts and the ,  Kansas City MO at the Linda Hall Library of Science, Phoenix, Turners Falls MA and NYC have all been Detritus exhibition sites since and in NYC, detritus exhibits have occurred at galleries, colleges and non-profit spaces  including the Henry Street Abrams Arts Center, Gallery 450, Viridian Artists Inc, Synagogue for the Arts, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Farleigh Dickinson University and others.

 Vernita Nemec, a.k.a. Vernita N’Cognita, is known in New York City art circles as a visual & performance artist (“The Endless Junkmail Scroll” and “Dress” (of catfood can lids) performed at Dance Theater Workshop (DTW), curator (The Art from Detritus exhibits happening nearly annually since 1994), gallery director (Viridian Artists, NYC) & arts administrator (former Executive Director of Artists Talk on Art & Soho20 Board of Directors). 

 This exhibit reaches beyond the art world, serving as a message not only about art but also about recycling for the good of the environment. People who have seen past Detritus exhibits are impressed with both the art and its message but more people must know about it. Help us spread the word!

 For more information or images, please contact the curator, Vernita Nemec, at or 212 925 4419.

Project Prototypes

Hello all and happy Friday.  We made it through the week and now next week is school vacation.  Yay!  I hope to have some fun with my family.  I have an exciting idea for a new 3D piece that I am starting to plan out.  I am putting together some prototypes to try to work out the details before I get started in earnest.  I worked yesterday morning on the pieces below and now a friend has provided some input that may influence my direction.  Stay tuned for updates and to watch this piece evolve!


This is a piece I started some time ago and want to work on again.  I love the contrast of the washes of watercolor with the detail of the marker.  There are scraps of paper embedded within the design that give additional color and interest.  I put it together on a piece of canvas and I want to develop it more if I can decide where to start!  I called it Flight because I get the feeling of birds taking flight from some of the shapes.  They look like wings and necks – something you might see if a flock were suddenly to take flight.

Hidden and Exposed

Hello and happy Friday everyone!  My piece, Autumn Sentinels, has been juried into an online exhibition, called Hidden and Exposed, at Caladan Gallery.  The exhibit will be available for viewing starting Sunday, April 10th.  The gallery director, Marjorie Kaye, puts together beautiful and interesting online shows so stop by and check out this new one.  I have included excerpts from the press release below.  Have a great weekend!



PRESS CONTACT:  Marjorie Kaye@Caladan Gallery  (617) 838-8929

             CALADAN GALLERY presents a juried exhibition entitled “HIDDEN AND EXPOSED”.  Snow melts and underneath the surface is the face of flowers, plants and earth, making their way towards the inevitable and the ephemeral.  A thought is kept contained for reasons only known to the thinker.  A pulley in time executes the thought’s rapid delivery, thus creating a chain reaction of cause and effect.  The truth is found under festering lies.  The existence of more realms of outer space and the universe are revealed. 

            It is, perhaps, the perfect time of year to present this exhibition.  That which was previously hidden is coming to the surface, in the form of life and warmth.  Spring is a sign of renewal.  When this is transferred to the realms of emotion, memory, and identity, does the emergence of hidden complexity signify a return to innocence, a renewal of mind and soul?   Is there a parallel between the innocence of the blossoming in nature’s terms and the life of the soul?  The work chosen for this exhibition draws the line along and across the spectrum of emergence.  We are pleased to present the many faceted aspects of “Hidden and Exposed”.

            These exhibitions will be on-line at from April 10 – May 9, 2011.  For more information, please call 617-838-8929 or email us at


Kathleen Hendrick (Southborough, MA) writes:   “Trees and forests can be so mysterious. From a distance you can’t tell what is hiding within them or what will you find as you move through them. What is just beyond view? A napping owl quiet and beautiful? An abandoned tree fort nestled in the boughs overhead? Are those footsteps you hear or merely birds or squirrels going about their business? This piece constructed with many layers of paper, acrylic, crayon and watercolor on masonite.”