Friday, June 18, 2010

The Path to Hell-O Is Paved With Flip Flops

The recent mandates from the LDS leadership about Flip Flops has inspired me. I have been contemplating a new addition to my yard and I want to make a pathway to it but at the beginning of the path I'm going to make a sign that says, "The path to Hell-O is paved with Flip Flops" and it'll lead to a big sculpture I'm making from an old satelllite dish armiture.

On the eight steel arms will be a different resin or concrete sculpture of various gods, Vishnu, Jesus, Shiva, Buddah, etc. but in the middle will be the FSM, with his noodly appendages spread out to the various other Gods, welcoming them into his care.

On the armitures I'll hang some cables that will then have various scanty scandalous and obscene ladies underwear and the sculpture will be a tribute to the eternal Gods of Laundry.

So I know this is bizarre to request but if you have some old flip flops, some bizarre underwear that is too uncomfortable but entertaining to look at and you don't mind contributing them to my next freakish art project, please PM me and I'll give you my mailing address.

I calculated that I need about 200 pairs of flip flops to attach to the wire mesh that will then be embedded in the concrete and grouted to make the pathway.
I need approximately 30-40 bras, panties, girdles, and various oddities to hang on the clotheslines.

I can acquire at least six of the various Gods at my local Import and Swapmeets but I'm having a hard time finding the FSM. I think I'll have to manufacture him from my own mold or sculpture or assemblage.

When I get the FSM made and enough Flip Flops I'll purchase the other Gods and then put it together. I hope to offend most of my neighbors and all of my family but at least put a smile on someones face. It's the price I pay for art i guess.

I'm not kidding ladies and gentlemen. I need your old ratty flipflops. the more colorful the better. Don't worry if the straps are broken. That's where I'll wire them to the mesh base anyway.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

We Are One

This is a tribute to technology that I collaged together from various images off the Net. I had first seen this incredible image of all these blue tv screens in a lovely arc and thought how technology can bring us the world in a nanosecond. I can read about many places in the world that I may never get to see, learn of different cultures, different music, art, etc. and all from the comfort of my own living room. I may never get to be a world traveler, but I get to do the Google and it's brought me a lot of joy and fun.

I also think Monkeys are running everything.

Rain soaked float

About 20 years ago we were having a family reunion at my mother's place in Sanpete County Utah and we wanted to surprise her with a float in the annual Pioneer Parade. I lived in California at the time and knew that I couldn't make a float in the three short days of the reunion so I made a collapsable cardboard house that we folded up and tucked into a car top carrier. When we got to Utah we mounted this cardboard house onto a flatbed hay wagon and then my siblings helped paint it. Unfortunately July's in Utah are known for heavy afternoon thunderstorms that can soak things in a nanosecond, and then be clear the next. The little house got pummelled with rain and hail the day before the parade and it warped and looked pretty sad by the time we got to use it.

Our last name being Dahl, we made a Dahlhouse with seven windows, one for a child from each of my siblings and I. Mom rode on a rocking chair on the front porch holding one of the littlest ones and the rest of the grandkids ( a mere 20 some at that time, now grown to 45) rode on the rest of the float. It was a lot of fun and a good memory for our family.

Lewes Delaware Pen and Ink Drawings

These eight pictures are actually four that were scanned in in halves but I haven't put stitched them together yet. The story behind these pen and ink drawings is a sort of love story with a very dear friend, old towns and homes, and my affection with an artist named Charles Wysocki. He did these very frontal folk art pieces showing some of the most charming New England towns in America, often in a sort of late 1800s theme.

My dear friend and his partner of 15 years were getting married on Cape Cod last October and he was gracious enough to invite my husband and I, as well as our daughter. In anticipation of his wedding I collected various photos of historic homes and buildings in Lewes Delaware where he and his husband live and I arranged them into Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall themes, trying to incorporate about ten historic homes in each seasonal image. I went to Google Earth and all over the net as well as got pictures from my friend showing the homes and buildings.

Then using the frontal style of Charles Wysocki I cut and pasted the houses onto a computer scrapbooking program and scaled them to a size that gave a little depth and proportion to the compositions. I used various Wysocki themes throughout the sketches since Lewes Delaware is a coastal city and has a lot of the same sorts of landscape details.

When I finished the drawings I inked them with  waterproof pens on bristol board and my daughter cut the mats, and my husband made the nice crisp black poplar frames. They were a huge hit at the wedding and according to my friend, many folks from Lewes love to look at them to find their home or a treasured historical building.

The project took about 100 hours including research. Maybe more. Going to Cape Cod and watching my friend marry the love of his life, priceless.

First Baby Clown Bedroom

Twenty seven or so years ago when I was expecting my first baby I was so broke I didn't have any money to decorate a nursery or even buy a crib. Most of the stuff we had was hand-me-down stuff or culled from dumpsters or curbside leftovers. I painted these pieces with some scrounged leftover paint and then decorated them with a clown theme that reflected some knick knack clowns my husbands grandmother had given him. My son was tiny enough to fit in what I now use as a spice bin.

Painted Dressers

This is a poplar, maple and hdf dresser I made for my daughter many years ago. I was tired of having cheap dressers fall apart so one year when I was working for a cabinet company I had a co-worker help me make three of these large highboy dressers with heavy duty drawers and hardware. I hid them in my bedroom for two months while I painted them (before art school and while I was LDS). My other daughters has the Manti Utah temple on it, and my son's is painted like a big leather steamer trunk with old fashioned car stickers on it. They were not cheap even though we built them from scratch and so that year I bought some very small toys from the dollar stores and put them in the drawers with new pajamas and shoes and that's what my kids got for Christmas. They were initially a bit disappointed that there weren't too many toys under the tree but now 15 years later they're still using these heavy duty dressers. I think they've forgiven me for not buying too many toys that year.

Growth Charts For Grandkids

When my kids were born, many of my nieces and nephews, and now my grandkids I make them a themed growth chart from a 12" x 6' piece of pellon, (wallpaper liner). It accepts paint, crayon, marker, and glue well so is a great medium for a hardy piece of art for a kids room. These are two of my recent pieces for my granddaughters. I've done everything from Dinosaurs, robots, religious themes, alphabets and numbers, antique toys, and so many I no longer remember. It's a fun way to give them something they'll keep as a memento of their childhood and an artpiece from Grandma.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Honey and Emilia

When my first grandbaby was due I drove out to Missouri where my daughter and her husband were living while he went to Medical school. I took my dog Honey with me and when she saw her big sister she cried like a baby and was so happy to see her. My daughter was already in labor when I got there so in a couple of hrs. we went to the hospital and late that night on Oct 28 my first grandbaby was born. It was thrilling. When they brought her home three days later Honey was very attentive and concerned if she cried and kept bringing her a tennis ball to comfort her. At one point when she was just laying there on a new blanket Honey leaned up and sniffed her and she put her little hand on Honey's face and looked at her with a very tender sweet gaze. I had the camera ready and it was just so sweet.

Here's the photo image of the event.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vegas Yard

This was our Vegas yard when I first moved in with Bill. I tried growing various flowers, grass, trees and shrubs but everything but the mondell pine died within the first year. I have a few roses and some other small paltry pathetic shrubs but otherwise it's just become a fancy place for Honey to go do her doodles. Looking out the window at it breaks my heart because I have tried so many times to get stuff to grow and it always dies. It makes me feel defeated to look at my Vegas yard when I can drive to Utah and be considered a natural green thumb and expert on so many things. If they only knew.

Ferdinand and Imelda

I can't seem to line them up correctly but these cuties are my fall decoration buddies. I named them Ferdinand and Imelda after Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. I don't know why I've latched onto those names other than that they're fun to say... Fer-di-nand, and I-mel-da. I made them oggling each other because I wanted them to reflect the deep lust and carnal nature that all pumpkin headed folk should have when they have a plastic pvc pipe stuck up their rear end and are left to guard the front of a home in the fall.

I made them from those foam faux craft pumpkins that are hollow so I just carved a face in them and glued the funky floral gooblies to their faces for eyes and nose. I found the cowboy hat in the ditch one day and it just screamed out to be used in a sculpture someday. I made his hair from some straw and fake cattail thingies and her hair is from some artificial red leaves.
They're from Arkansas. You know how you can tell? Because anywhere else it would be called a "Teeth Brush".

For Some Must Push and Some Must Pull

This is my first attempt at oil pastels. I saw this old wheelbarrow next to an old pioneer handcart and it reminded me of the LDS primary song about the pioneers that starts off, "for some must push and some must pull as we go marching up the hill, so merrily, merrily on we go, until we reach the valley-o".
I like the orange and blue together and a sort of Van Gogh-ish vibrancy of the rocks and lighting. I was trying to emulate him but I think it's a long way off from "Starry Starry Night"

Insanad's Perfect Day

Dang, the glare really distorts and ruins this picture. I'll see if I can re-take it someday and make it better. This is an acrylic painting of my perfect day where I'm in my garden while my grandson is playing in my yard at the cabin in Utah, my dog Honey is a puppy again and all is bright, sunny, and wonderful in the world. My boobs are floating high and firm and I can bend down without my knees screaming in pain. It's a fantasy piece but we all have our dreams and illusions.

Red Hen Gardens

This is a piece I did with acrylics on Bristol Board as a sort of tribute to apple box graphic art and produce labels. I have a huge garden in S. Utah, with an herb garden, flower and iris gardens, rock and sculpture gardens and my really amazing vegetable garden where I spend the bulk of my time. I have taken on the animal personality of the Little Red Hen and so I made her a pair of overalls and set her to work happily hoeing in her garden. She's a happy hoe.
So am I.

Squash and Tomatos

this is a pen and ink drawing of some squash and tomatos that I had laid on a piece of newspaper. We were assigned to make a sort of odd graphic drawing with several sketches of these vegetables as they decayed, reflecting the stages of decay, the shadow and sheen, lighting, etc. I was looking at them with a magnifying glass when I decided to incorporate the glass into the drawing, as well as the newspaper. I was writing "Squash and tomatos, squash and tomatos" when I got bored and started writing other stuff. It's fun to read if you can get close enough. I put the red handled magnifying glass in it just because I like red and it's a little bit of a surprise in the midst of the black and white.  

The Goddess Shiva Conquering Ignorance

This is a marker and clip art collage of my version of a Religious piece. I chose the Goddess Shiva from Hindu lore because I liked her blue skin and that she's conquering ignorance (the green baby) by reading books which she acquires from a spritiual mandala behind her. Her headdress accumulates knowledge from the books and brings her news, information and enlightenment from the world. The piece was not shown in the student art show because some folks protested about the exposed breast, which has a round O reflecting a blue nipple. O's are evil and nipples cause campus date rape. It's a proven fact.

Lorenus Bobitus Peemessiac

This is a pencil sketch I did during the O.J. Simpson trials. I was so angry that he was getting acquitted for murder when it was so obvious he'd brutally killed two people. I decided to make at tribute to victimized women everywhere who are on their cycle.

This is the ugly hideous frightening vindictive five headed monstor that takes over our mind and bodies when we're pre-menstrual and suffering from bloating, hormones, cramps, and general pissiness. I morphed the various heads with knives to represent the bloodiness and rage that can be directed at some idiot like O.J. who is running off screen cowering from the wrath of a woman ready and willing to slit his throat and eat his liver.

The red X is a bit obvious, don't you think? Watch out men, we have our ways of revenge. You had better sleep with one eye open if you think you can get away with brutalizing or abusing some of us.

Private Eye

This is my first oil painting where the assignment was to make an abstract collage of different paper sheens, in one color tone of the color wheel and then to mix our own oil colors to the exact color of the magazine cutting. It was an excersize in color matching as well as abstract design. I chose the color tones shown in the eye, from an ad for a Benelton fall clothing line and then used a yellow manila envelope, the edge of a Time magazine, the torn cover of my art pad and a bright blue piece from an AT & T advertizement. I put them together into this abstract collage but the teacher didn't want us to make it into anything recognizable so I just turned the collage upside down when I presented it so that he thought it was just a collection of odd shapes.

I'm not very good at amorphous abstract and like more expressionist style art that has a message, even one as obvious as "Private Eye". For my first oil painting it was pretty cool and I sort of like how he's keeping an eye on the viewer.

The Walrus and the Little Devil

This is just a pen and ink drawing I did for an art class when I was learning to stipple and shade with pen and ink. I took an image of myself at 9 months pregnancy with my five yr. old son standing next to me and morphed a walrus with my head, and a devil horns and tail with him.

The story behind it is that when I was pregnant with my third child I was trying to get out of a banana chair and was worboling around, writhing and off balance from my ginormous belly and he looked at me and said quite convincingly,
"Mom, if you had tusks you'd look just like a Walrus!"
I felt like a walrus and he seemed like a devil for reminding me of my grotesque blubberyness so it's my tribute to motherhood, the miseries of pregnancy, and the delight of a five year old boy.

Rose Babies

This is a colored pencil (Prismacolor) piece I did in art school. It's inspiration was my three daughters, Heather, Holly, and Jasmine. Heather and Holly are the full bloomed roses and Jasmine who passed away at three months old is the bud. It's sentimental and a bit sappy/kitchy, but sweet and a good piece for my daughter Heather who seems to like it enough.

Hike To Kolob

This is an oil painting that I did fairly quickly one day when I was experimenting with landscape painting. I just squoze the color right out of the tube onto the canvass and then worked it together as I feathered it across. I wanted to paint a bold desert painting of our local Kolob mountains and so I went as bold and direct as I could to reflect the dramatic shadows and vivid colors of the canyon. It came together so quickly that I was surprised and pleased. It's my first real landscape so I know I have a lot of room for improvement but when I feel inspired I might try it again. it's not quirky enough for my taste but I knew my daughter in law would like it enough so I gave it to her in some odd attempt at a peace offering. I have no idea if it worked or not.

When my son (her husband) was a teenager we moved to New Harmony, Utah, just across this broad sloping valley from the Kolob side of Zion National Park. The ward there sung "If I could Hie To Kolob" in church so my son thought they were saying, "If I could Hike to Kolob", an activity we did often and enjoyed very much since it was so close.

There's a story to the whole Kolobian interplanetary travel idea but I won't go into it on an art blog. If you're interested let me know. It's funny as hell and very bizarre.


This is a mixed media piece I painted for my son Brian as a Christmas gift. He's a really smart techy guru kid and was always exceptional at math. He is my Brian-stein and I'm very proud of him.

The photo doesn't quite do justice to the piece because it's so reflective that it loses the color and depth from the light bouncing off the irridescent inlay. I made this from a really unique and difficult three dimensional puzzle of a wizard holding a glowing ball that sort of bounces through the window and out into the universe. The planet is seen in three different sizes which give it movement so I went to the dollar store and found some bouncy balls and cut them in half and glued them over the planet to give a three dimensional look.

The character on the bicycle is the head of my son when he was about six years old and at his most curious and fun, and I grafted it onto an image of Einstein riding a bicycle, then took the legs and folded them accordian style to make them look a little funky and give some movement to the image. I found a paper red bicycle in a craft shop and scaled the image of Brian to fit the bike and set him sort of off kilter riding the bike through the space time continuoum.

The image of Einstein was taken off the Internet from a wax model of Einstein and I then curved it so that his big nose was coming out at you, giving him some movement and a little three dimensional quality. I took his hair and adhered a silver glitter stickyback foam to the ends of the hair and then continued them out into the page so that he looks like his hair is electrified and becomes part of the background of movement and universe.

The funky little coatrack thingy was an afterthought but fit the theme. In the television series Twilight Zone there is this floating coatrack that seems out of place and odd and I thought an askew coatrack gave some texture and odd dimension to the piece.

Ultimately, it's a tribute to my son. He's odd, quirky, brilliant, clever, unique, and a lot of fun.

Caille's Dinosaur Diorama

My husband Bill helped make a poplar and maple wooden case for this diorama I made for my grandson Caille. I designed it so that it is about the size of a postor board on the main box and the two flanking pieces fold in on a hinge and close in the center, leaving about 5 inches of interior space to store the toy dinosaurs. I made the backdrops on foamcore postor board with velcro tabs so that they're removable and he can someday use the case as his science display or other project display when he goes to school.

The front base is made from the styrofoam packing from a large screen television that I covered with fabric and a piece of luan wood and then sprayed foam insulation into the little mountains you see. When they were dry I painted them with green, brown and blue and then hot glued various plastic and silk plants and some real stones to the surface to create a habitat for the dinosarus. It fits in front of the case at an angle so the sides become the back drop for the landscape piece.

Here is my grandson playing with his diorama at Christmas.

Couch Upholstery

This is me trying my hand at upholstery on a 50 yr. old couch I got at the thrift store. It was so well made that it took longer to take apart the old upholstery than it did to put the new stuff on. It was stuffed with horse hair, unmilled cotton batting, and burlap with very well made hardwood framing and straps. The cushions were really sloppy and sagging so I bought new foam for them and made new cushion covers. The inside corners were the hardest and don't quite look the way I intended. I made the mistake of putting the backing on before I'd pulled the upholstered buttons through and so I tried to glue them on to give it a tufted look. That was a bad idea. It looks good but you can feel these hard nobs when you lean back against the couch.
It's a short couch, only 5'-6" so fits well in the little cabin but is made for short legs and not great for laying down to watch tv. I call it a perfect guest couch because it helps them remember to not overstay their welcome.

Honey and Honey

My first attempt at painting animal fur and a portrait. It's definately not my forte but the eyes turned out well and I suspect after Honey finally passes away will still be there to remind me of her wonderful sweet soul and amazing friendship.


This is a collage piece that is a little three dimensional. I was making a collage as inspiration for a painting but I liked the layers and colors so well that I decided to just keep it as is and enhance it with a little paint.
I made this after thinking about what a strange journey it's been to try to fit in in the local LDS culture. I have never quite fit and living in Southern Utah places me right in the heart of a mindset that many find oppressive, dull, unenlightened and very rigid. I gave up trying to be like everyone else early in my youth and decided to just be the goat among sheep and do my own dance.

After being myself for years I don't think I'd know how to be anyone else and if that makes me an oddity or excentric, then that's almost a compliment in my book. I love Utah. I love the landscape, the varied weather, the gorgeous and amazing mountains and national parks. I love the lifestyle and good schools. I love my quirky backward neighbors in spite of some obvious inbreeding and general ignorance. I am in their world but not of their world. I don't plan to move away in the near future and so I will just have to go about doing my little goaty dance of joy on my little goaty legs and let them all wait with their heads down and suffer in silence till Jesus comes to rescue them from a life of duty and obligation.

Friday, June 11, 2010

This photo doesn't quite do justice to the painting because the light is bouncing off it but it's done in oils and is a tribute to the Renaissance artist Vermeer. I call it 'Leaving the Virginal" and the old fashioned piano behind me is called a Virginal because it has a little box that can be removed to play separately, thus, Mother and baby. This is a symbolic piece and celebrates the glory of trading virginity for my first child. A very good trade indeed.

This is just a collage of images I've manipulated a bit for the cover idea of my book, "Finding The Pony- A Tale of Light Mindedness and Loud Laughter"  I think I'll re-do the piles of poo because they look too nicely stacked and more like poo trees than pony poo. It's hard to find good images of horse crap that reflect the silliness I wanted to reflect. The pony was made by morphing about three different horse images and then exaggerating the eyes, nose and hair to give it a wild shetland pony look. The sheep are another story but I won't go into it on my art blog. 

This fireplace looking piece of furniture was actually the back of a big old fashioned waterbed but was so niecely done that I thought it made a good mantle for a faux fireplace. When I want romantic light I just light the bottled candles and they reflect a soft glow and warmth off of the beveled mirror behind and make the room feel like it's got a romantic fireplace built into the wall.
This dresser is a Thomasville piece I got at a thrift store for $50.00. It was beautifully made and very sturdy and the carved ribbon fronts were very unique and interesting. I have yet to find the perfect replacement hardward but it's got nine solid dovetailed drawers with good runners and two cabinet doors hiding three drawers behind. It's seven feet long so takes up a lot of space but is a real showpiece.  I made the mistake of finishing it with a bombay cherry stain that had the polyeurethane already in it but it was so thick it pooled up in the crevices and doesn't look as smooth as I anticipated. I suspect someday I'll sand it down and try again.
It's a piece I expect to pass down to someone because it's so beautiful and well made.

This is a couch and loveseat I got at a thrift store and then re-upholstered with a gold damask fabric and then glued the braid over the stapled edges. It was a very difficult project and I'm pretty proud of it. I know where all the flaws are but most folks seeing it don't notice them. There's a good reason the professionals get so much money for this kind of work. It's not for sissies.

This is an oil painting folk art sign I made for the front door of my little cabin. It is supposed to be sort of Grandma Moses-ish showing the cabin, mountains and Kolobs as well as my animal symbol, "the little red hen". I named my cabin Tara after Scarlett O'hara's Tara in Gone With The Wind. I bought the cabin in 1996 and it's been my symbol of freedom and independence ever since. In truth, it's a money sucking hole, but I love it anyway.

Ziggy snow sculpture made 30 years ago while at Snow College. I won $50.00 and had a party with my friends who helped me build him.

Pen and Ink on Bristol Board

Elephant - by Insanad
Pen on bristol board

Chameleon -By Insanad
Pen on Bristol Board

Condor - by Insanad
Pen on Bristol Board

Aligator - by Insanad
Pen and Ink on Bristol Board