Sneak Peeks at Sept shows’ work


A sculpted giblet of some kind, drying before being put on a larger more detailed sculpture.

The gross little meat characters are parts of a larger sculpture for Fatal Farm, a show about my view of animals, that is slated to open Sept. 16, 2016, at {9} The Gallery in Phoenix.


Looks like torture, but it’s a sculpted tiny hot dog which will be part of a larger sculpture.

All the giblets shown and this hot dot are made of an air dry clay called Paperclay. Sometimes I use paper mache powder, strips of cloth soaked in acrylic medium, and of course armatures if necessary, (like empty containers etc). There seems to be two products called “paperclay” or “paper clay.” The one pictured is the only one of the two I have used. I buy it at craft or art stores. It’s entirely air dry and supposedly non toxic. You can mix things into it like paint, acrylic medium, inclusions, etc. It feels a lot like ceramic clay with no grit, to work it.


Paperclay, a product I always like to have on hand! The feet of a sculpture are drying here, waiting for more work. The base of the sculpture is vintage booklets and cookbooks about things like ‘sweetbreads’ and lard. Yum.


Another giblet, being shaped so it can ride the big creature I made earlier this year. This sculpture has a lot of detail going on on the base, little sicko meat sculptures, mostly.

The section of a larger painting below hasn’t got a for-sure title yet but I’ve been calling it Chicken Pajama Party in my head, so far. This is a small detail area. The whole painting is 48 x 36 wide, and there’s a lot going on in it. For reference I drew heavily on my own memories as a teenager in the 60’s-70’s. Never really did a lot of slumber parties as a girl, but apparently those I did left a lasting impression. Now, chickens are reenacting it all. I pixelated the book so you can’t see yet what they’re looking at. If you babysat or went to slumber parties as a teen, and the parents weren’t home, you can probably guess at least the genre of the book if not the title. Chicken Slumber Party, or whatever I decide to call it by September, will be in the Fatal Farm show, too.


Can you guess what book these chickens are absorbed in?

The detail shot below is from a piece for Olney Gallery, in Phoenix, which opens September 2.

One of the largest paintings I’ve done in a long time is 60 x 30 inches on a panel my husband built for me. We figured out pretty much the largest panel that would fit in the car and that’s what he made. Here’s a detail shot from it. Even with satin varnish I’m having a hard time getting non glare shots. Getting a decent shot of the whole thing is proving even more challenging. If I was still doing reprints I might spring for a professional scan like I have done with some big paintings in the past.


Wheelbug detail of large forest painting.

The wheelbug holds special fascination for me. We lived in Oklahoma for a few years, and that first year I discovered many critters I wasn’t familiar with either from Arizona or other states we’ve lived in. One day in my garden I discovered this steampunk looking insect that was about 2 inches long. It had a distinctive half-wheel appendage on it’s back with what looked like teeth of a gear. It didn’t take long to find it online just using that description! (Arilus cristatus):

They’re related to assassin bugs, and they can deliver a painful sting. Before I knew they had venom, I gently played with it. I was lucky. After I read that they ate other bugs I presented it with one of the fat caterpillars that was eating our garden. Gross! But fascinating! Anyway, I’ve sketched them as a mindless doodle almost like I do chickens, ever since. It was time one showed up in a painting. There are mostly birds in the rest of this painting. This piece is also untitled so far. At first the title was Signs of Life. But the birds are kind of giants so I was thinking of working the word Giant in the title somehow.

Thank you to the folks at who generously allowed me to title my animal art show at 9 Gallery with the same phrase!


3 thoughts on “Sneak Peeks at Sept shows’ work

  1. Oh, wow. Powerful, powerful, powerful. Whimsy – in your hands – packs a ferocious punch. The giblets make me shiver. Sweetbreads…lard…all these things are brutally barbaric when you show them to us this way. The large sculpture with the vintage cookbooks is going to be a show-stopper.
    “Chicken Pajama Party” – terrific! I was never one for them, attended only one and never hosted any but your painting rings true. I don’t know the genre of the book – horror, maybe? LOL – I never babysat, either, so it’s a mystery to me.
    60×30! Wonderfully large, perfect for your vision. Eeeee…that amazing bug!!!
    Paper Clay, Paperclay – what wonder. An old friend told me recently about a class she’s taking in sculpture. They’re using clay that needs to be baked in an oven (not a kiln) and is super-fussy about how it’s treated, what gets into it before baking. The Paperclay one you’re using sounds a lot more user-friendly! Saves on electric, too.

    • Thank you! It’s good to hear. A delicate balance sometimes to address issues like factory farming when my usual M.O. is humor.

      I didn’t go to a lot of PJ parties but the ones I did must have been etched into my brain forever. Key elements were loud music, junk food, teen magazines, TV, and no sleeping. I don’t remember anyone sleeping at slumber parties. One was held on a farm and was more like camping. We never went indoors. Parents would not want to know what had gone on at THAT one, but I was still pretty innocent and a wallflower at age 12.

      Babysitting was about the only way a GIRL could earn money when I was young. I and many of my peers babysat but I didn’t do it a lot, I hated it, LOL! One perk though, was most of the parents had a bookshelf, and I liked to read, and it was an especial joy to find a book about sex or a nudist colony magazine!

      Yeah, the clays you have to bake in the oven are not for me. It’d drive the AC thru the roof to run the oven that much, plus the potential fumes. So many things that are labeled “non toxic” really are toxic especially if you heat them, and especially to birds which we have. I can strengthen the water based clays and paper mache powder by adding some acrylic medium, not just water, so they’re not as fragile. Also armatures where needed.

      • You had a more exciting childhood than I did! The only PJ party I recall going to was in 9th grade, I think, maybe 10th, and although we did stay up all night we were inside the house the entire night (eating potato chips, mostly) and spent most of that time preparing for the PSATs — LOL!! A few girls did make prank phone calls but I don’t think that lasted more than a few minutes. I sat in a little corner of the living room on my own, with a book. Dull, dull, dull.

        Wow! Such a good idea, to add medium to strengthen the clay!


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