Well, look what the paper boy threw on my porch....

What's important about the cover of this past week's Lamron, student paper of Geneseo? Is it that garbage plates are now available at the newly opened University Hots? Is it that the sweet abandoned Riviera theater is for sale? No...it's Buenahelena's booth printed as the photo teaser for the Art Stroll review!

Another close-up of my Madonna/Thou Shalt Vogue piece and beaded Ouija board used for the article photo on page 11. Thanks to writer Maggie Morris-Knower for giving me a quick shout out and an explanation of upcycling. Spread the word!

She writes, "There were also several newcomers to the Art Stroll this year. Carol Traynor, an art teacher in Dansville, brought an environmental twist to the event with "upcycled" art that included earrings made from vintage buttons and decorative wall art made from matchsticks and spools of thread. According to Traynor, upcycling is an increasingly popular art form that takes old objects and gives them new life by turning them into something totally different."

I would add, not just something different, but something better. Make waste into awesome! Thanks for the love SUNY Geneseo :)


The Importance of Place

Location has been on my mind a lot lately. No, really it's been on my mind for years. Location has been a huge factor in my college and career choices. And this year, with major school budget cuts and the take-what-you-can-get mentality in art education positions I relocated where I had to. This has taken me from Cleveland OH, to the smaller Rochester NY and now to the even smaller Geneseo NY. All along I have questioned what effect these moves would have on my artwork, from how I create it to how I share it.

Rings and earrings almost gone! And both large matchstick canvases gone!

Upstate NY is no art mecca in relation to NYC and other cities across the states like Austin and Portland, but I was pleasantly surprised at the Geneseo Art Stroll this past Friday. I'm not looking to be big, but just to bring some happiness with my art while earning extra cash. I had no idea that I would do better in the 3 hour stroll in Geneseo than I did in the 3 day Boulderfest show in Rochester and the other bigger markets I participated in last year.

New button maker fun with vintage mag ads

It seems like a combination of two things helped:
  1. Demographics: Geneseo is full of young, liberally educated men and women attending SUNY Geneseo. My work caters to that group in style, content and in the pocket. It is also a small town full of charm and art savvy locals who have the funds and desire to enjoy aesthetic luxuries.
  2. Fresh Ideas: There weren't any other 'upcyclers', 'repurposers', or altered object makers to be seen. Among mostly fine art and fiber work I stood out and had a green message beyond the items as beautiful objects.
These same factors are so important to Etsy as well and stick out now as goals I want to stress. How do I get out to that specific audience on Etsy? And how do I make my art stand out in a virtual world where upcycled work is already saturating?


September Work in Progress

Happy Monday! I am busy at work, getting ready for the Geneseo Art Stroll this Friday night. Here's a peak at my process:

I'm making a lot more of my matchstick and thread spool paintings. Trying a new canvas color and staining the matches for a wider variety of color combos. Also doing a little larger canvas.

I'm also experimenting with the button maker I found in my new classroom and the stacks of vintage magazines left in the room as well. So many sweet ads, hairstyles and expressions. Still figuring out how to arrange the text to fit. This should say "Gossip: The worst kind of dirt". I plan on selling some fun pins and button magnets at the stroll.

Stop by between 4-7 and say hello!


New in Shop for Fall

Fall is the real start of the new year to me. School starts. Etsy perks up. I can finally wear all of those cute sweaters I have missed all summer. So I decided to bring something fresh into my shop.

Artists sometimes divide themselves into product first or process first types. I definitely get inspired by materials and process first, without necessarily having a product in mind. Several months ago I acquired these great vintage thread spools. More recently I have been left with piles of colorful matches in the process of making matchbook notepads. This summer I began work on some new, repurposed wall art using these materials. They start going up this week in my Etsy shop. Enjoy!