I love historic downtowns! And when my friend, Justine Wollaston, invited me to display art in historic downtown Pilot Point, Texas, I jumped at the chance.
Justine mentioned she wanted colorful art, which as it turns out, is not my area of expertise. Haha! But I do enjoy a challenge!
Here’s a look at my art on display at the Pilot Point Coffee House:
Title: Finding Love
Medium: Mixed Media (acrylic, spray paint, machine embroidery)
Size with frame: 26” x 22”
Artist’s Statement: Making this piece was a process of trial, error and frustration but when I let my heart guide me everything fell in to place. I suspect that’s often the case when finding love.
I decided to make a new piece for this exhibit and to embrace the concept of colorful. But every iteration of color was a disaster. I’d cover each disaster and start over, sometimes waiting for the paint to dry…. other times not waiting and making things worse. I started scraping paint off to reveal texture, create interest and to relieve my frustrations.
I went through all the stages – from “I can do this, no problem” to “I’m a hack”, “this is stupid”, “I’m not an artist and definitely NOT a painter” to “this is going to work”, “I think this looks good?”, “I can go to bed now in peace.”
My final attempt was more subdued, with pink acrylic, white spray paint and a stencil effect. You can still see the texture where I used tools to scrape the paint. This made me happy.
Machine Embroidered Hands:
This was a concept I explored years ago but never had the right opportunity to use until now. The hands are based on a tracing of my hand. I digitized my tracing, shrunk it down and machine embroidered the design. The hands have wire in the fingers so the fingers can bend and hold their shape. I made a billion of them recently, so it was just a matter of selecting the correct color combination for this art piece. I was especially pleased I had a hand with a spiral pattern embroidered on it. The spiral motif matches the spray painted background.
I tied a delightful black/white twine that I had squirreled away to the ring fingers of both hands. I did not glue or sew the twine to the fingers. I thought it would be fun to make that element interactive. Perhaps by tying it on different fingers it would suggest “don’t forget” or “remember me” or “remember us”.
I spelled the word “Love” using chipboard tiles that look very much like Scrabble pieces. (PS, if you need a home for your old Scrabble pieces, send them my way!)
Medium: Mixed Media (acrylic, spray paint, machine embroidery, hand sewing, wood, tile, decoupage)
Size with frame 23 ½ x 19 ¾”
Artist’s Statement: Life’s journey is full of discovery and wonder. Spread your wings and try!
This piece has been patiently waiting for a year or more to be completed. It had gone through several iterations and I finally got it to a point where I liked it. But I like my art to have a story, a purpose. And it wasn’t until I needed it for Justine’s art show that the story was complete.
Machine Embroidered Butterfly
I have a collection of machine embroidered butterflies that I have made over the years that wait for the opportunity to be used. This butterfly matched perfectly and is a key element in the art piece.
Hand Sewn Spiral (aka: Rondell)
My mom recently taught me how to make these spirals that I had seen on Instagram. Although the technique has been around for years, Tore Bellis decided to name them “rondells.” The more he says the word, the more I accept they are indeed “rondells.” (I have not decided on the official spelling yet, “rondell,” “rondelle,” “roundell,” “roundelle”. Perhaps we can vote on it. Haha)
Once I learned how to make rondells, making them became an addiction for 2 straight weeks. I found it relaxing and productive. I used different thicknesses of twine and thread colors. I also made some experimental versions by combining two different twine colors into one spiral. This turquoise/black variation matches my art piece perfectly, so it was an easy decision to include one of these elements. Note the white thread matches the white hash marks on the painted canvas! Serendipity at its finest!
The center of the art piece has a piece of wood that I decoupaged on the sides with sewing patterns. The top surface has a piece of painted cardstock.
The tile was purchased from an estate sale in Dallas during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The owner had recently passed away (way too young) and I imagine the family needed to clear the contents of the home and likely put it up for sale.
I hinged the tile to the wood so it opens and closes to reveal the word “discover”.
There are spiral motifs throughout the piece. I have spray painted spirals on the canvas plus the “rondell” is a spiral shape. The shape represents movement, progress, the circle of life. It is also the same spiral stencil I used in my other art piece, “Finding Love.”
While the piece was hanging at the Pilot Point Coffee House, we observed there are colorful birds in the “blotches” of paint. I’d like to say it was planned but as with many of my pieces, hidden elements and meaning seem to find their way in to my pieces without me knowing it.
Decorative Yarn: Tying it all together
The decorative yarn is attached to the spiral/rondell, as if the butterfly unwound it and flew across the art piece. While flying across the art piece, the butterfly opened the door to reveal the word “discover.”
Hence the artist’s statement: Life’s journey is full of discovery and wonder. Spread your wings and try!
As with all art, it is open to interpretation. You might observe other elements and/or make your own connection.
Title: Falling in to Place
Medium: Mixed Media (paper, acrylic, thread)
Size with frame: 26” x 22”
Artist’s Statement The raw materials for this art piece sat without purpose for over a year. Then one day they came together effortlessly, like they were always meant to be.
Rolls of Paper
The main elements in this piece are rolled up pieces of paper! I used the gelli printing technique on Japanese paper then rolled it. I dipped the ends of the paper in silver paint for sparkle. Then I stacked the paper precariously on itself. The effect mimics Pick Up Sticks if you are old enough to remember that childhood game!
For sparkle, I attached silver thread throughout the rolls of paper.
The paper and thread are attached to a textured and sparkly base that features fake snow. I am fond of the piece because like my others pieces, the components come together at just the right time.
My art, along with the art by other creative artists (including Justine!) are on display now through May 28th at the Pilot Point Coffee House (PPCH). Stop by for some coffee, tea or lemonade and admire (and even purchase) the art on display.
Thank you, Justine Wollaston, for the opportunity to display at the Pilot Point Coffee House!
The next blog post in this series is about an unexpected RED DOT!
Additional Information: (aka: Justine Fan Club Section)
Learn more about Justine Wollaston, who is a Board Member of the Chamber of Commerce for Pilot Point.
Listen to a recent interview featuring “The Notorious Justine Wollaston” in the Pilot Point Podcast.
Need a hand painted portrait of your pet? Check out House of Justine!
Check out The Garage Door Theater schedule to watch Justine perform in a play.
Like murals? Justine has painted murals throughout historic downtown Pilot Point.
Want to watch a quirky movie about Pilot Point? Justine has a comedy on Amazon Prime, “lowbrows: an arthaus comedy“.