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recently i’ve found myself a bit tired of portrait paintings so i’ve been going back to my “roots” of books, nature art, abstract and assemblage. i’m loving it! it’s not that i don’t enjoy painting faces because i do… i just don’t feel the direction in was going was entirely true to myself. i originally took a class to learn faces “right” so i could do them “wrong”, better and intentionally. things were getting a little too rigid for me, so i had to step back from myself a minute.
which brings me to my newest piece, “the only way out is through”. it measures 12×12 and is on gallery wrapped canvas.
acrylic, ink and diamond glaze
this piece is very textural as you will see in the detail images below. you can click on them to view enlarged versions.
the title of this piece was inspired by the line “the best way out is is always through,” written by robert frost in 1914 a servant to servants.
this piece can also be found here: http://aliciacaudle.com/art/shop/the-only-way-out-is-through-alicia-caudle.php
i’ve never been very creative in my naming of things, but there is typically a story behind all that i create. there is emotion. passion. every single piece i make is a reflection of what i’m feeling at that particular moment in time… i’m moody — and i think it shows.
i started this piece several weeks ago and kinda fell in love. i wanted to hold onto it for awhile before posting it up for sale. do you ever do that? feel a connection with your art and along with it the need to hold onto it for a wee bit? it’s the heart — i am a deep lover of all things anatomy, particularly hearts, and this one is pretty fantastic in my opinion.
here is a detail shot of the heart:
i typically work fairly small, but this piece measures 16″x20″ — i’ve been doing larger things lately and i’m liking it!
a really wonder what an art therapist would say. i was looking at some photos of my most recently completed pieces and they all seem to have some line(s) of separation. divided color and texture. two totally different halves/portions.
and some up-close details of the texture/patterns:
this piece is currently available here (along with additional photos): http://alteredbits.com/alicia-caudle-art.php
next up: some movable, light-up pieces i’ve been working on the past couple of years. or that’s the plan. i always get distracted or discouraged with the “whoops, got the wrong kind of LED” and whatnot then put it off again for another few months. we shall see how it goes.
the husby, son, pup and i went down to lorane oregon last week to look at the cabins i mentioned in my last post. so in love!! i hadn’t been there in a couple of years and hadn’t walked out behind the property and in the surrounding area in about… twenty years!? even the boy, who said “we’re never moving from this house!” when we left said “ohmygawd, you have to buy it now! it’s so beautiful here!!”. he’s such a sweet boy.
it’s no wonder my fellas have fallen in such love with the area like me — look how beautiful it is!! these are all within a few moments drive from the property (which, by the way, is WAY more beautiful than the previous photos depicted — i was an arse and didn’t take any photos though!! wth!?):
in a nutshell, the property (despite being so very dear to me) may not be as perfect as we once thought. the surrounding area is owned by weyehauser (too lazy to look up my potentially-wrong spelling right now) and they to aerial herbicide spraying, or at least used to. fuckers. i refuse to live around that. the sole water source to the cabins is via a mountain spring which could easily be contaminated, for one. BUT, there is a stream through the property with a state protected salmon run so they may not be able to spray anymore. i’ve only found evidence that they have been doing regular spraying up until 2011 so either they stopped, or they didn’t. if they’ve stopped, i will make an offer on the property and live happily ever after. if they didn’t, we will find another property.
all of this has clearly effected my most recent art piece: cabin in the woods under the moon (shown above in my front garden). maybe i’ll create 7 of them for some universal magic. ❤ this piece is currently available in my online shop along with a couple of other new pieces i haven’t shared yet >>
here are some detail photos:
this piece measures 8×10″. ingredients: 1920s sheet music (the cabins are 1920s also so it felt befitting), acrylic and ink on clay board.
this week, my heart is in lorane, my mind is on the gorgeous seven cabins (i already picked out my future art studio which has ivy growing up the side and japanese maple outside the window), and i’m hoping to find out about the stupid spraying so i can see what our next step is. either way, there is now a fire under our arses to find that perfect property for us so we can branch out, have a larger farm, get goats and more chickens, and live off the land. i’m not going to let this get me down. we spent 9 months trying to find the perfect place in alaska after spending last summer there and when we discovered a school issue and that we couldn’t move there for ten years i got into a huge funk. not this time! whatever is meant to be will happen. i think. and i will be happy. i have to.
UPDATE (about an hour later):
apparently there has been no spraying for 2-4 years and will not be any more spraying for 50+ years, once the trees behind the property are old/tall enough to harvest again. in 50 years i’ll be 89!! 🙂
meeting with mortgage guy today. woohooo! (oh, and the seller told the realtor who is his son that he loves that i was born there and that we would sign 2 year lease agreements with all of the tenants!) it’s still hopeful after all! little straw bale house and cabin-art-studio and art retreats and organic farm, here we come! 🙂
first, the old.
the perimeter of my studio has been getting more and more cluttered over the past [VERY busy year] but now that we have a new pup and i want him to be a studio dog, i’m tackling the boxes and mini-piles. somehow, i managed to find a small cache of artwork that i never posted up for sale. this is round one of “the old”. since my walls are pretty much covered from ceiling to floor as it is, i’m having a “vintage alicia-art sale“.
charlotte in spring: i did do a blog post on this piece once many moons ago, but never ended up listing it. why? i’m ADD and am easily distracted by
shiny rusty objects (and i have plenty of those around here to catch my attention). otherwise, i have no excuse.
charlotte’s song #9: i did a 20 piece series called “charlotte’s song (late 1800s to early 1900s sheet music and frozen charlotte dolls, you see)… and this is the only one that remains. eighteen of the others sold, and one was given to my mum because she was in love. so sweet of her!
charlottle sometimes: i created this piece in late 2010, originally [i think] for kerin gale’s book “inspired remnants, curious dreams” but i ended up submitting a different piece instead… so she ended up in the “post this on your website when you have a spare hour box”… apparently it took a couple of years for me to remember to do what i had intended to do back then.
if you’re interested in any of these pieces, you can find them here >>
next, the new.
over the holidays i ran out of time to work on my “keepers” series of little assemblages, but now that my weeks and weeks of company are gone and craziness is over, i’m back at it. part of this was created awhile back, but i’ve just now finished it. i bought two pairs of these eyes that i used in the piece and lost one, so only have one left. if only i remembered where i bought them!! these were among my favorite taxidermy eyes ever! even worse, i had 6 of these little round metal bits that they fit perfectly in, and now at least three will go eyeless. about time for a taxidermy eye shopping spree again if i do say so myself. if you have a favorite taxidermy eye shopping place, please let me know. van dyke taxidermy is fantastic, but i can’t remember the other place i’ve gotten them.
the keeper of color. 5×5″, handmade box on collaged canvas.
click to enlarge if you’d like to check out the detail. my favorite part? the eye. i covered it with several layers of resin and crackled it around the edges. see:
this piece can be found in my regular shop, here: http://alteredbits.com/alicia-caudle-art.php, along with several additional detail photos.
holy cow. i was totally abducted by aliens and what felt like three days “up there” was actually, roughly, 3.33 months here on earth for the rest of you. funny how strange time is from dimension to dimension. upon my return, i had a bit of a mid-life crisis (that is mathematically accurate if i live to be precisely 76)…
i realized that i’ve not been 110% happy, and i do think everyone should be at least THAT happy in life. what’s to be unhappy about when you’re the mother of the best boy on earth and the wife of the hottest and kindest [younger] man in the world? it took a wee bit to realize that my problem is that i’ve wanted to have a farm for as long as i can remember. i want to be an artist farmer… or a farmer artist. over the past two decades i’ve outgrown web design. i LOVE design. but i HATE coding. i’m too old school for all the new school technologies. the fam and i have been looking for a new house with room for me to have a wee farm for over a year and a half but to no avail, which has been borderline crushing. it’s really sad to fall in love with, for example, a 1920s 7 bedroom farmhouse on 9 acres only to find out at the last minute that it’s on a flood plain and flooded the year previous. no thanks.
but…. i’m 98% happy now! we have decided to buy a parcel of land instead and build our own little farm house — that way the house will be perfect and not mediocre (we have picky tastes). we’re actually looking at 60 acres in douglas county, oregon (about 3 or 4 hours south of where we currently live in portland) and another 160 acre parcel a little ways farther down the road. yes! i have already morphed into a temporary architect and designed our house (a real architect said my designs were fantastic — apparently i have a knack for home design). we’re building a straw bale home, complete with solar and wind power, and hydro as well if we have a good water source, and recycled rain water system (perfect in oregon) for bathrooms and laundry, a well for drinking… totally not quite off the grid. we’ll have internet and cell phones, of course. heat: a huge masonry stove. passive solar. all the good green stuff i love. i totally should have been born in the pioneer days ’cause that’s really my cuppa tea for some reason.
to crank the happiness notch up a bit more, we’ve decided that since it will be a couple/few years before we can buy our land/sell this house, there is no reason we can’t have a mico-farm here. we already have a 1919 farm house… so now our entire yard is a huge garden, complete with greenhouse, cloche and all sorts of goodness. i’ll share more about this soon for my gardening friends (have several hundred veggie starts already inside, in the greenhouse and in the cloche). we got a little farm pup named modoc… a 10 week old lab/border collie mix and 6 chicks hatching in a couple weeks (huge chicken coop/run done and ready to go). i’m elated! i now get to play in the dirt (we have about 1500 square feet of garden beds which is no “farm” but it’s a fantastic start), grow things and paint every day, along with the whole home school adventure, dog potty training/stop chewing that/let’s go on a walk, etc. it all makes me so happy! so, for the moment, i’m an artist and an urban farm girl. woohooo! if you’re in the area and need some organic tomato starts let me know ’cause i have 72. i now realize that’s far too many.
despite my silence, i’ve been arting a lot as you can see above and below. some of the pieces are still available on my website: http://alteredbits.com/alicia-caudle-art.php. i’m working on some assemblages next which anyone who knows me knows i loveloveLOVE (1374% out of 100). due to limited space at the moment (gearing up to do lots of remodeling around here) i have to work cyclically: paint/collage for awhile, then put that away to do some assemblage for a wee bit, then put that away to work on books, etc..
i have some other new stuff but i’ll save that for another post. this is already so long!
now, to save the best for last, i got an email from seth apter this evening to inform me that i will be featured in his tell all portion of the pulse next sunday. cruise on over to the altered page and have a look and a read. you don’t have to wait until next sunday — go over there now. he always has such amazing posts… i could spend half my life there and would be elated to do so. (thank you so much, seth, for all that you do!!) i will post a reminder on sunday morning in case you forget.
p.s. here is a photo of our new baby. my second son, the canine:
there were an astounding 215 votes for the next altered bits zine themes and the top four are the winners.
the next altered bits zine will have four themes:
cabinet of curiosities (if you know me, you know this thrills me beyond belief!)
tattered and torn (this one actually surprised me)
an artful retelling of history (this was my choice, so of course i’m quite excited — love the merging of art and history!)
handmade & altered books and pages (you know i love this too!!)
i was a little sad that assemblage and dolls/doll parts didn’t win but then i realized that i could still do assemblage for any of the non-book themes, and of course include dolls or doll parts if i so desire… which i probably do!)
submissions are now open! deadlines for submissions is october 31, 2011 (that’s halloween so you may not want to wait until the last minute). limit three submissions per person, with one main shot and up to two detail photographs of each piece. you can read all of the submission guidelines on the altered bits website on the zine page. please read the submission guidelines VERY carefully as it is a huge amount of work to follow up with people if they’ve sent improper files or missing information (and i may not have the time to get back to you, thus you may not have the opportunity to be included, sorry). i am very open to helping if you have any questions prior to submitting so always feel free to email me if desired.
i am just giddy with bliss right now as i’m holding in my hot little hands the very first ever print version of the altered bits mixed media art zine. there are 46 pages of detectible
goodness greatness! twenty-one amazing artists have created the pieces in this zine and i am so proud to have been able to design it, despite all the glitches and delays (sorry!! that won’t happen again). i spent all of today doing one last iteration of the zine, uploaded it and have made it available for purchase from lulu.com at http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/altered-bits-mixed-media-art-zine-themed-notorious-letters-and-symbols/15982653
soon i will be issued an ISBN number so it will also be available on amazon, and at that time i will order up heaps of copies for the altered bits shop too.
just to give you a tiny peek at some of what’s in the zine, i will introduce you to two gentlemen. well, guys, at least. first, jesse james. i created this piece as a gift for my husband as he is a decedent of jesse james (which you can read about in the zine).
next, the storyteller. he’s a quirky dude made from a wonderful anatomical doll i received from my super friend tracey kraft (actually, i think she sent me about 20!). he’s the first in a series — wait until you seen the giraffe guy. 🙂
i did a girl too, but i shall share her with you another time. i was clearly in a comical state of mind with her (and the guy above).
also in the zine is a wonderful and personal artist interview…
if the revisions i did today look as good as what i got in the mail this morning, i think you will like this zine (they SHOULD — all i did was move one page and alter a name misspelling). i sure hope you all love it. thank you, thank you to all who helped to create this first print issue of the zine! i adore and appreciate each and every one of you! in alphabetical order by last name: Jay Anderson, Seth Apter, Joanne Archer, Alicia Caudle, Finn Caudle, Katie Cahill, Kym Decker, Patti Edmon, Kerin Gale, Tricia Gillispie Scott, David Hayes, Lisa Jurist, Tracey Kraft, Melissa Majchrzak Buckley, Debi Mattingly, Kim Palmer, Lisa Sarsfield, Renate Starke Krammer, Esther Verschoor, Rachel Whetzel and Jill Zaheer — you are the best!!
the zine is not only available in print, it’s available as a digital download. almost forgot that: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/altered-bits-mixed-media-art-zine-themed-notorious-letters-and-symbols/15982653
(i will be adding all participants to my sidebar soon, and send trackbacks for this post, but for now, i have to start getting the little one wound down and ready for bed.)
ohoh, i will also be doing a secret drawing this week — ALL participants names (except mine and finn’s) will be tossed into a hat and whomever i draw will receive a FREE issue of the zine from me. i wish i could afford to send ALL of you a zine… but i can’t. starving artist, and such. xx
i will share the big, exciting (and somewhat frustrating) story later, but i wanted to give you a mini-update on the zine.
i got the zine in the mail today!! i LOVE it! all of the issues i was having were a stupid screen issue and NOTHING was wrong with the print files (only took three point six weeks to figure that one out). i did have two tweaks: a misspelled name (omg!) and a black last page so literally JUST remedied that and look…
at this VERY second, i am uploading the tweaks to lulu and the zine will be available for purchase! i’ll post when it is, tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. woots! the file is over half a gig in size so it will be a long process to get it up there.
want a peek of the cover? i lovelove it!! well you get one whether you wanted it or not:
that’s the back, spine and the front, but i’m sure you could have figured that out. pretty, pretty!
more soon!! AND voting for the next zine themes too!
okay folks, the holidays are over and we’ve gotten passed OWOH and all the lovey valentine stuff so i thought i would put out one last reminder for the next altered bits zine. above you can see a few tiny peeks at some of the art that has been submitted so far (if you don’t see yours above, don’t fret — only so many could fit). **oh, i interrupt myself here** IF YOU SUBMITTED SOMETHING AND I HAVE NOT RESPONDED, PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP AND RESUBMIT AS I’VE HAD A FUNKY SPAM PROBLEM LATELY. i will be taking submissions though the end of the month for the following categories:
notorious: use your imagination and get creative. this was a fantastically cool topic suggestion by our lovely friend kerin gale of remnants of olde.
letters and symbols: this seems to be a popular topic indeed!
general gallery: if your piece doesn’t fit in the above categories, please feel free to submit to the general gallery in the middle of the zine. space here is limited and is filling up.
you will find more info and rules for submission on the altered bits website. limit three submissions per person, email to hi at altered bits dot com, include piece title(s), artist bio, location, url to blog or website (or both), super hi res, etc. — all the info is on the site under “submission guidelines”.
IF YOU HAVE NOT SUBMITTED A PIECE yet but plan to, please shoot me an email so i can try to save a spot for you as space is somewhat limited, but only if you’re for sure going to submit. or leave a comment here. that’s easier maybe.
the previous zines have been digital, but this one will be print. you can see past issues here if you have not yet seen them:
if you have any questions after reading through the site, please let me know. i’m so excited for this and can’t wait to see our very first art zine in print. woohooo! there is also going to be a super extra special artist spotlight in the zine (all zines to come, actually) as well as other fun stuff.
oh, and to answer a question that has been emailed to me a few times, the things i mostly accept for the zine are any mixed media art, altered art, handmade books, assemblages, some jewelry, collage, art dolls, paintings, fiber art — mostly anything mixed media. i’m not 100% opposed to it but i don’t typically do photography unless it’s quite unique.
potentially offensive off note (please skip if you’re easily bothered by… anything). i NEVER will publish porn, thank you very much, mister x. (got a submission saying “i’ll pay you to publish this” but, uh… nope, sorry. i love vintage erotica and such, no problem, but close-up modern day penetration shots aren’t going to work for me, sorry dude.)
(now i should really go work on my zine piece!! i always almost forget that part as i get SOOOO into the design aspect of things.)
i think i wasn’t totally clear (based upon a few emails i got last night/this morning). the deadline for submissions is next friday, february 25th, BUT if you can’t have it done and will let me know by the 25th, i can tentatively save a spot for you and give you a tiny extension to the following friday (3/4). layout and design takes forever and a half so there will still be a bit of time. then i’ll give myself a couple of weeks+ to get it all purdy and nice before it’s off to press. sorry i wasn’t more clear. i’m sleepy and brain dead a lot lately.
the amazing seth apter of the altered page has started an annual event entitled “buried treasure”. as busy artists and humans, we don’t always have the time to keep up with ever person’s blog and all of their posts, so this is a time to repost an oldie for those who may have missed it. (i’m a day late to post, sorry!!)
once upon a time…
…there was a lovely young couple who fell fast in love and were quickly married. he was a kind chap, though very forgetful, so just before their first anniversary he pre-purchased a lavish bouquet to be delivered to his lady every year on their special day for the following ten years. he spent hours hand-writing little love notes to accompany the bouquets, trying hard to make it sound recently written…
she adored the bouquet and his heart-felt words…
soon after their first wedding anniversary, he was tragically killed in a car accident, leaving behind his new wife. her heart broke and she felt she could not live without him.
every day she felt him near, and that was the only way she made it though the first year following his passing.
then one day, while already heart-broken that it would be their second anniversary that day, the doorbell rang. there, on her front steps, lay a bouquet a bit larger and more magnificent than the one she had received on her anniversary the year before. her heart stopped as she lifted the flowers to her chest, wondering who could be so cruel. then she saw her husband’s handwriting on the envelope of the accompanying card…
i will be posting this off to a poor, unsuspecting friend next week. hope she likes it!
i dried the rosebuds myself about 10 years ago and have been using them FOREVER. these were my last couple. the flower in the lower left is from my valentine bouquet from my husband last year. the wee crystal and bead on the right were given to me about twenty years ago from two of the children i used to nanny, the older saying “someday make something gorgeous with this”. the rose thorns are from my garden, harvested and dried last summer and all of the metal bits are rusted by me (though my camera is a jerk and generally removes rust hues — what’s up with that?)… except the mesh stuff which doesn’t rust. it just disolves.