Biography of Blade Back Girl wins Award

Our images at Gender in the Balance Show in Poughkeepsie, NY

Our images at Gender in the Balance Show in Poughkeepsie, NY

We were thrilled to be invited to the Gender in the Balance Juried Exhibition at Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. The show features incredible art that reflects and challenges how gender is seen in contemporary culture. Pieces in the show are provoking, funny, thoughtful, and all exemplify levels of quality that inspired us.

We were over the moon to discover that we received a second place award by esteemed juror Judith K. Brodsky, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Visual Arts, Rutgers University and Founding Director, The Brodsky Center, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

From its singular poetic inception to its collaborative finish, Biography of the Blade Back Girl has been a true project. It has taken on numerous media formations and we could not be more happy to see it find so many comfortable homes.

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Collaging in the Studio

Although November is upon us, some leaves still hold the blush of September. This is particularly true of the young dogwood tree that sits in a place of honor in our backyard. Her red leaves remain a powerful scarlet. Yesterday, we foraged some as inspiration for our fall almanac, an homage to autumnal foliage.

First, we arranged the leaves in the shape of an E. Then, we made a photo model for Sara’s collage work.

First, we arranged the leaves in the shape of an E. Then, we made a photo model for Sara’s collage work.

The photo model served as inspiration for a felt collage.

The photo model served as inspiration for a felt collage.

A few snips of the scissors and swipes of the modge podge later, and our own leaf letter is on display.

Here’s a side by side view of the photo and the collage.

Here’s a side by side view of the photo and the collage.

Michael marked the areas for shadow on the photo model so that Sara could use collage materials to place the E in space.

Artistic materials, both natural and unnatural, meet on the art table.

Time to apply felt to canvas with modge podge and brush.

Time to apply felt to canvas with modge podge and brush.

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The E contributes to a larger whole— an almanac that can be read as a poem and experienced as a visual image, simultaneously.

A background completes the collage.

A background completes the collage.

Several photos equal nearly two hours in the studio. Of course, there are other measures of time and value at work in all of this making, and, wile some of those measures belong to the bronzed world of falling leaves, still others belong entirely with you.

Almanc #2 Details Featured in TYPO Magazine

Michael and I were delighted to have some of our details from Almanac #2 featured in TYPO's 29th issue this week. And we're so very proud to be listed as co-creators with so many accomplished writers!

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We created Almanac #2 in December, so many of the images and poems have a distinctively festive spirit.

Below, you'll see a poem about the oldest tree in the world, written in the shape of a Christmas tree cookie. Next to it, a collage orchestrates an ensemble of old newspaper and wrapping paper to sing a carol about broken ornaments.

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Perhaps our favorite is this tribute to our daughter and her love of jellicle cats.

On the left, you see Michael's painting of her in full jellicle costume, and on the right, Sara's remix of T.S. Eliot's "The Naming Of Cats." Altogether, it is a girl power anthem!

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Almanac #2 is a window into our winter memories.

We are  thrilled

to share these views with TYPO's readers and you.

Let Birch Inspire

Creativity is hard work. It's all worth it when the well of ideas flows. But it's no walk in the park when the ideas won't come. Well, there might be more wisdom in that phrase than we know. Whenever we feel the lulls (that are really essential to creative work!), we look to the trees in our backyard for inspiration.

We search for inspiration in the birch trees. They linger by our cottage, a cape nestled in a clutch of woods at the base of Gillette and Jericho Hills in Windsor County, Vermont. Pine, maples, and birch are everywhere. They may be common, but you will remember meeting one in a thicket, if you happen to notice it on your walk.

We search for inspiration in the birch trees. They linger by our cottage, a cape nestled in a clutch of woods at the base of Gillette and Jericho Hills in Windsor County, Vermont. Pine, maples, and birch are everywhere. They may be common, but you will remember meeting one in a thicket, if you happen to notice it on your walk.

Contrast is not just a principle in art making. Contrast is essential to human vision. We really can't see what doesn't stand out well to our eyes. The birch tree is a highlight that calls attention to its own bark and makes us suddenly aware of the intricate splendor of the typically more muted natural surfaces all around us.

Contrast is not just a principle in art making. Contrast is essential to human vision. We really can't see what doesn't stand out well to our eyes. The birch tree is a highlight that calls attention to its own bark and makes us suddenly aware of the intricate splendor of the typically more muted natural surfaces all around us.

In our Almanac mixed media paintings, we use birch bark to signify all the things it reminds us of--history, writing, parchment, paper. Although it is best never to remove birch bark from a living tree, when peeled from fallen branches or dead trees, the bark can be used as paper. For us, it is more importantly used as a source of inspiration.

In our Almanac mixed media paintings, we use birch bark to signify all the things it reminds us of--history, writing, parchment, paper. Although it is best never to remove birch bark from a living tree, when peeled from fallen branches or dead trees, the bark can be used as paper. For us, it is more importantly used as a source of inspiration.

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A big, beautiful curl of birch bark hangs proudly atop our February Almanac, shown above while still in progress. We salvaged this piece during one of our walks on Gillette Hill.

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A close-up on the tiny forest of birch shavings inside our natural embellishment. We later decided to convert this one into a tiny mailbox. It even has an actual letter inside (written on birch bark, of course). The natural asymmetries of a birch curl often challenges us to think in unexpected and whimsical directions.

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The birch tree is known for its beauty and resilience. Resistant to water and disease, the bark has been used for centuries to make everything from canoes to writing paper. Here, it graces our canvas in homage to nature's flawless engineering.