Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Art appreciation and update on the mosaic project

On Saturday's field trip to Mississippi Ave. we stopped into a store called Land. It is a wonderful little shop and gallery and features prints and cards by artist, Nikki McClure. I have admired her work for several years. She lives north of us in Olympia, WA and her work is all paper cuts. Having done a few papercuts myself, I can appreciate how wonderful she is! (Last December I showed papercut trees and a Scrooge image I cut from paper)

I bought a card with this image, and two others. I will probably put them in little frames to hang somewhere.

There is something about Nikki McClure's work that reminds me of Mary Azarian, a woodcut artist from Vermont, that I have loved for many years. My friend Muriel had a print of Mary Azarian's in her house 25 years ago that I still love. Here is an example of one of her prints.

The thing I so admire in both these artists is the economy of the design—so much expressed in black and white—and the expressiveness of their lines. I borrow liberally from this aesthetic and keep working on keeping things as simple, graphic and clean as I can.
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Yesterday afternoon I grouted the mosaic. It was hard work for an old lady, as it all had to be done on my hands and knees. I was achey and pooped last night. Earlier in the day we went to Lowe's to get the grout and decided to look at paving stones in the garden department just for ideas. We found the ones I liked the best—small, square and a little bit textured. I think they will lay in a circle really well. They were closing them out and had them at a very good price. Then we found out they had just reduced the price, again, to .05 each! Holy cow, that's cheap! We bought the entire pallet. Should be plenty for our patio project.


  1. Niki is one of Mia's favorite artists and I often buy her prints and cards for her collection. Love her work.

  2. Great Score on the paving stones. Don't ya just love having the decision made and the materials purchased...now just time and inspiration and the project will just about complete itself. What do you want me to bring for the garden party? Mini cheesecakes, mini carrotcake cupcakes???? I can hardly wait!!

  3. Most excellent -- all of it!

  4. Send that domestic angel my way; I could use some miraculously tidy-as long as I can still find my art and sewing stuff!

  5. Great find on the pavers.

  6. Wonderful examples of graphic arts! This is high level art: You have to make decisions. Black or white. No blurring.

  7. Anonymous2:08 PM

    right time, right place and then right price. Love it!

    I, too, like a nice clean black and white image. And the domestic angel sounds like something I need today. Feeling down and all.

    Joanne S

  8. Anonymous7:49 PM

    Terry, I loved your paper cuts from last year! I hope we'll get to see more this year. I can't imagine how you can cut paper so exquisitely. In connection with the black & white, thank you for the introduction to Zentangle drawing...that's been my AED commitment to myself, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the practice.
    Can't wait to see what you reveal next!
    Lyn in CC

  9. Thanks so much for those two links and the reminder to keep things clean and simple. One of your earlier posts mentioned the ubiquitous "moosh"(is that the right spelling?)with regard to the crow piece background and other art in general. I have kept that in mind recently as I potter around with my stuff. Thanks again:)

  10. I like the clean lines and graphic quality of the cut paper and the woodblock cuts. I've been having an internal (and sometimes external) discussion about the sloppy messiness of nature and natural reality as opposed to the clarity of high design (this slides into a discussion of computer graphics and color, that I won't bore you with). There's a woodblock printer here in the desert who does magnificent things with the moosh of the desert. But as much as I love clarity, I paint moosh. Sigh

  11. I adore Nikki McClure's work. I think I'll treat myself to her 2010 calendar.

  12. Beautiful Card! I have several of Mary A's pieces - have always loved woodcuts. The one you bought reminds me of my grandmother's saying, "Sew the clothes upon your back, poverty you'll never lack."