Apr 30, 2009

First Custom Work

A couple of days ago, a very nice man contacted me after seeing my work on flickr. He wanted to know if I did custom work. He wanted me to make a piece using his daughter-in-law's face for a Mother's Day present. He was so easy going and I thought it was so sweet that he wanted to give her such a gift. I gave it a shot. He liked Ta Dah so I kind of went with that without copying it exactly. I spend so much time on each piece by the time I'm done with it the last thing I want to do is make it again. So, I tweeked it a little to shake things up. The four hearts represent her four children.


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/30/09
This is a 5 x 6 3/4 collage using a face from a private photograph, body from lisasalteredart.etsy.com and legs from moonfaires.etsy.com, all printed in black and white, trimmed, and hand-colored. The wings come from LandofEnchantment.etsy.com. The heart stems and hat come from the public domain and were also hand-colored. Everything was arranged on a background made from pieces from AsunderEphemera.etsy.com.

Since the man sent a lovely picture of his son with his daughter-in-law, I couldn't resist and made a quick little 3 x 5 piece of the them both.

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/30/09

I got just about the coolest surprise ever in the mail today! Becky of Heart in my Hand sent me some of her GORGEOUS art work. I am so stunned that I don't even know what to say! I've been telling her how much I love her dolls and I got one and another beautiful collage piece! Becky recently purchased a piece of mine and I think she got the very short end of the stick! So, I think I need to send her some more lovin'. What a sweetheart. I will post pictures of what she sent in the next day or two so I can give her a proper little feature! Becky, I love you!

I am scattered, folks. Like really scattered. I am stressed. Not like life-is-over stressed. Just scattered and stressed and overwhelmed. I know I am forgetting somebody or something I'm supposed to do or make or . . . . I will get it all figured out over the next few days. Life's little details are bunching up again. I'm so sorry if I'm behind on visiting and emails and flickr. I will get all caught up soon.

Apr 29, 2009

I have no idea what to title this post!

I am truly losing my mind, I think. Want to post but don't have a word to say! How can that happen - want to post with nothing to say? We'll keep it simple. Here's what I finished today


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/29/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using a face and body from my own vintage postcard, scanned, altered in size in contrast, printed, trimmed and hand-colored. The legs, boots, and hair have all come from magazines and catalogs, and have gone through the same process. The butterflies and crown are from a flickr image sharing group. The blue wings are from greatmusings.com, the outside border is from moonfaires.etsy.com, and the background pieces are from AsunderEphemera.etsy.com.

Want to see my inspiration?

Really and truly! Something about the way the hands were clutched to the chest reminded me of this painting. It's my quirky interpretation.

Dad update. I am leaving May 24 for Missouri to be with my Dad. His aneurysm surgery is May 28. I will be gone about 3 weeks this time as this is a bit tougher surgery. This time, though, I hope I am not so traumatized by the flight and stress of it all that I can actually keep up with my blog visiting even if I can't make much art. I'm hoping to take more pictures and post those and send you on some cyber tours. So, I'm going to work, work, work over the next couple of weeks and get done what I can before I go. I'll be home about 2 weeks and then go back to my Dad's in July for our normal vacation. That scares me now that I write it all down! Hope you all don't leave me if I'm not making much art for a few weeks!

I was contacted about making a custom piece yesterday. I'm almost done. I may post it before the night is over or early tomorrow! I got caught up in things here and am way behind in my flickr and blog visits - hope to get to that tomorrow too! Love you all!

Which reminds me! I've been meaning to ask forever - how do you go directly from someone's comment to emailing them? I get emails from someone quoting my comment on their blog as if they just clicked something on my comment and got to email immediately? Do you get what I'm asking? I don't know how to word it. Right now, if someone comments my blog, I have to go to their blog, find their email, copy it, go to my email and paste the address, etc. After all of the funny laundry advice, I'm sure you can help me with this!

Apr 28, 2009

Work in progress

Can you believe it took me almost all day to figure out something to make and it's still not done? I am as slow as a terd of hurtles as my Dad would say. I spent a lot of time looking at art today, though, so I wasn't working on this particular piece all day. I'm going to do a bit more with her hair and fix one of her boots a bit and then we'll work on the background. Tonight, I am tired and going to be early. Tomorrow is hump day! (which I always think sounds a bit naughty)

Scam alert!

I just got an email from Creative Souls that said Becky Loyall's (Whymsical Musings) email has been hijacked and a scammer is sending out emails using her address looking for money. It is not Becky. In fact, I have received one of the scamming messages. Isn't it funny how criminals can't spell and sound totally ridiculous in their far fetched money grabbing stories? Anyway, I am told Becky is fine and trying to get things settled.

If this happens to you, someone hijacks your email, contact your email provider immediately as this is illegal and providers are becoming more and more anxious to prosecute.

I promise to never ever email any of you for money so don't be shy about telling me if you get such a message!

Apr 27, 2009

Beach adventure yesterday . . .

It was such a perfect day yesterday.

Here is one of my best friends, Jolene and I walking on the beach. Me in my rubber boots (that I remembered this time). She's an itty bitty little thing. She's not even 5' 4" and maybe 100 lbs. I am almost 5'9" and 160something pounds. I feel like a giant around her in size but then she is the most caring loving person I have ever met and I feel very small (in a good way) around her. She lives life big in her loving ways and I want to grow as big as she is.

This is another of my best friends, Oz and I walking. Actually Oz and Jolene are my kids godparents. They are part of the family. They are the most like us couple we have ever met and we so enjoy being around them. Look at Oz wearing a sweatshirt for my daughter's old soccer team. I love them both so much. We had fun leaving funny foot prints in the sand (I tried to hop on one foot so someone would think there was a one legged person and then tried walking on my heals with no toe prints and hubby walked in some twisted way forever so that his footprints looked backwards) and watched the dolphins jump and play in the distance.

So, we went to one of my best sea glass beaches first and found a little. Did I think to have hubby take a picture of that? No. I wasn't thinking of blog pictures. I was in my other world, relaxed, happy with friends that make me giggle and let go for awhile.

We left the first beach in search of another sea glass hot spot and ended up at Rincon beach near Carpenteria, not far from Santa Barbara. We saw so many interesting things here. First, we saw a lady with a parrot like bird on her shoulder which was particularly funny because Jolene just seems to attract people with parrots on their shoulders. It's a long story but we had to hold in the snickers as we passed by the unsuspecting lady. Then, we walked to an overlook to see if the beach would have the necessary little rock piles in which one finds sea glass. The tides change the beaches here day to day. One day there will be rocks and glass and another there isn't a speck of anything to find on the sand. As we surveyed the beach below (FAR below, it was at least 60 feet my hubby says - seemed like 300 to me) we saw the most wonderful joyous lady dancing down the beach. I mean dancing like you've never seen anyone dance before. You know that saying, dance like nobody's watching? She was. She did the moon walk, the running man, twirls and spins and pow wow rain dances and funky gruntal moves. It was quite a show. We couldn't help but laugh out loud but maybe out of "you go girl" more than anything else. As we stood over the empty beach watching the pelicans dive someone came up and asked if we had seen the seals and their babies and we couldn't see any from where we were. So, we walked a bit further along the cliff until we arrived at the birthing beach. And there they were! Seals galore!

On the walk back to the car, Ozzy spied a gopher snake meandering along. It just need a little pettin', so he caught it and we did. We let it go on its meandering in just a minute or two.

Right where we parked was this inticing hot dog stand. The dinner of champions. We ate THE best hot dogs ever - 6 of us for less than $15 drinks included. It was perfect.

In the picture below is my daughter's boyfriend, Travis, then my daughter, Lauren, me (with eyes closed I might add), Jolene and Oz.

From here we went to Oz and Jolene's and laughed at hilarious stuff on youtube and then watched Oz's skydiving video again and said our goodbyes. It was a great day and I needed it - so happy and relaxed. Kent took some pictures of the kids walking and skim boarding but for some reason they will not upload.

I said I would post a picture of Lauren before her dance. Here's the only picture I could get to work. Something about my husband's camera and trying to post its pictures makes everything go haywire - the pix come out all neon. So here's the only one I could get to work. (notice the old picture in the background, Susan of Broken Heart Art)

Yep. She's 5'4" and he's 6'4". He's 16 and she's 15, both soccer players. They're so funny and cute together, always fun to have around. Ah, youth.

Today was so-so. Got chores done around the house. Spent many hours catching up on everyone's flickr's and blogs - the highlight of the day with so many pretty things to look at! Left a lipstick tube in my jeans in the dryer and ruined a load of clothes (tried everything - Dawn worked the best and saved a few pieces, 4 shirts have to be trashed). By the way, loved the laundry advice you all left me - underwear inside out and spray febreeze on everybody. You're so funny! And all I have to say is . . . Okay, AFTER you've done that a few times you have to eventually wash SOMETHING! (preferrably with empty pockets) The stupid thing is, I hardly ever ever wear lipstick let alone leave it my jeans.

Apr 25, 2009

Nothing special

These are for a text inspired swap I'm participating in. I used Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream for my inspiration. I have always been enthralled by the fairy names he used and have visualized all kinds of fairies and imagined their fairy duties. I invented some fairies that might go with the other "attendants" in the play. As opposed to my usual-of-late long legged creatures, these are very short fairies. Short hooligan fairies even. Now that I see them uploaded, I wish I would have spent more time hunting images. I'm not really all that happy with these but there's too much effort involved to toss and start over. I promised that I would show my successes with my less-than-successes. I don't think I'm putting them on flickr. If I had more time, I would start over. I still might since these aren't due until June. But, I just don't know what the next few weeks hold so I wanted to get something done. Can you tell?

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/25/09
This is a set of four 3 1/2 x 5 collages using bodies from lisasalteredart.etsy.com, faces from the public domain, boots from a catalog, and wings from a CD I bought at a sale with no name for crediting. All of these pieces were altered slightly digitally before printing, then trimmed and hand-colored and arranged on a background made of pieces from AsundraEphemera.etsy.com that has been slightly colored and stamped with stars.

So here are the names we've been debating for these little fairies . . . Noot, Wink, Twig, Rye, Spug, Tilst, Nod, Nisk, and Toll. We are still working on that part. The inspiration for the names comes from Shakespeare's Snug, Cobweb, Quince, Bottom, Mustardseed, and others.

I have one other trade piece to get done and a little mailing to do on Monday and I'm all caught up. That will be the effort to maintain until I get my Dad taken care of. I did not do laundry today. Everyone is nearing the end of clean clothes which is scary. I did do some errands and mailing and have been busy all day but not happy with the remains. I'm taking tomorrow off to go to the beach. Maybe that will help.

I hope you are having a good weekend!

Apr 24, 2009

A good day

Ended with this . . .

Finding Love

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/24/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using body and legs from Lisa Kettell's moonfaires.etsy.com, a face from the public domain, wings from spiceitup.etsy.com, boots from a catalog, and flower stem from the public domain. All of the image pieces were slightly altered digitally then printed in black and white, carefully trimmed, and hand-colored with ink and pastel. The heart and crown were made from scrap pieces. Lastly, everything was arranged and attached to a background made of pieces from AsunderEphemera.etsy.com.

This is how the pieces started

This is the back of the attached pieces to form the main image (8 separate pieces)

I had a great phone call from a good art internet friend that touched my heart and made my day. It's so fun to hear someone's real voice instead of the voice you imagine! Well, it made my day! It was a GREAT talk and really lifted my spirits. And, I got some very cool and beautiful art from Tracey (Angellea on flickr) - gorgeous work! And, and, my daughter just left for a dance and she looked so lovely. I'll post pictures later. And, and, and, the house is clean and bills are paid. All that's left to do is laundry tomorrow and a couple of errands and then Terri (Pringle Hill) told me to go to the beach so that's the plan for Sunday. Enjoy your weekend!

Oh! New music on the side bar. My new favorite is the first song. And a slide show at the bottom of the page.

Apr 23, 2009

Blah day . . .

I'm a little blue today, a little blah. I don't feel like doing what I should do but don't feel like wallowing either. I'll just go with the flow. Here's something that came together rather quickly this morning for some reason (I usually take three times longer to make something). The main body comes from June at http://junesartyretreat.blogspot.com Actually, it came from one of her other blogs http://artfreebies.blogspot.com/ Thank you June!

Fish Stick

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/23/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using a face from an image sharing group, a body from http://artfreebies.blogspot.com
boots from a magazine, wings from an image sharing group, and fish from paperstreet.etsy.com. The socks and hat are handmade. The background pieces are from AsunderEphemera.etsy.com. The only parts hand-colored in this piece are the skin of the legs, arms, socks, and face. This piece will be available for purchase at http://tumblefishstudio.etsy.com

I'm still on hold with my dad. He met with the surgeon to discuss his failed stress test. I expected that they would do the test again but instead he wants my dad to come back in a month to schedule surgery. My dad wants to get it over with so he said he's gonna call and see if he can't just go ahead and schedule it for that week in May. This is not sitting well with me. I don't understand why they are not doing the stress test again and I think my dad is tired of this dragging out any longer (we've been trying to get this done since October - we've been on surgery and plan making hold since then). It seems they all can't explain the failed stress test and want to go ahead anyway. I just have to trust my dad and the doc and God but I am pretty anxious about this, more than last time. I'll keep you updated. And, thanks for the good wishes and prayers.

Apr 22, 2009

Did you see that soapbox fly by?

I kicked it back out on the street where it belongs. Cathy, my good friend, commented (very sweetly) about my soapbox and I was already thinking it. I just had to get that stuff off my chest about the pdf.s. Thank you for indulging me. I'm all better now. But DON'T get me started on the hot dogs and buns thing.

Oh! And if you don't turn the volume down on your computer, you'll hear Sweet Home Alabama first up on my playlist. I had used Lynyrd Skynyrd as and example last night illustrating how impossible it is to not want to sing along or dance, at least tap your foot. (or is it just me?) Here's just a shout out to my blurking best friends - yes, the pussy cat dance has been done in the last 24 hours. For the rest of you, the pussy cat dance is much more innocent than it sounds. In fact, a 5 year old taught it to me several years ago. It looks much like it might if a cat danced with a hunched back swinging it's tail about. How's that for a description? I'd love to see the interpretations. Anyway, it is a tradition among my close friends to do the dance when this song plays.

That song makes me happy. I needed it today. I've been waiting all day to hear from my dad who went to the surgeon again today to see what is finally going to happen with the aneurysm surgery. Ooo, I get a panicky stomach waiting to hear.

A little was accomplished today. Now, don't get all excited about the backgrounds thinking I made them cuz I didn't. Get excited because you can buy them too at AsunderEphemera.etsy.com. I did very little to them and soooooo feel like I am cheating, but making backgrounds is not the fun part for me and this should be fun, right? So, I'm a cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.

Ta Dah

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/22/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using a face from LandofEnchantment.etsy.com, a body from moonfaires.etsy.com, boots from a catalog, wings from jackandcatcurio.etsy.com, and handmade wand and hat. The background pieces are from AsunderEphemera.etsy.com. The only parts hand-colored in this piece is the skin of the legs, arms, face, star on wand, and hat.

I have to tell you how the red rubber boots came to be. You may have read that I went to watch my friend Oz jump out of a plane last weekend. It was quite a drive from where I live and I was very tempted to stay all night with Oz and Jolene. I told them that if I did, we HAD to go look for sea glass the next morning (they live very close to the beach). I COULDN'T be that close to the beach and not go. BUT, as they know full well, I like to wear rubber boots when I look for sea glass. YES! I look like a complete dork and idiot and they put up with it when we go together. I hate having sand on my feet and hate getting rocks in my water sandals and the boots let me search in complete comfort. Anyway, I had left my boots at home. So, Jolene says "How do you feel about borrowing Oz's waders?" I nearly crashed the car in a huge burst of laughter - the kind that would make you spit out a mouthfull of whatever you might be drinking. And that is why I love Jolene! She so would have gone to the beach with me in chest high waders, looking even more ridiculous than I usually do, there in Malibu where the beautiful bikini clad women live. I still laugh at the picture I see of myself skipping along the beach on a beautiful sunny day in chest high waders and Jolene just lettin' me be me. Those are the best kinda friends. The fairy above is just bein' her.

Blue Wings

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/22/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using a face from an image sharing group, a body and legs from lisasalteredart.etsy.com (the legs were altered quite a bit by me), wings used with a license agreement with Butterfly Utopia, and handmade crown and heart (from a 100 year old encyclopedia page). The background pieces are from AsunderEphemera.etsy.com and Graphic 45. The face, dress, legs, and heart were hand-colored. The background was stamped with stars.

Apr 21, 2009

Little things . . . .

Little Thing #1


This is a simple 3 1/2 x 5 collage using a face and sky background from LandofEnchantment.etsy.com (Elements No. 1), a body from lisasalteredart.etsy.com, crown from whymiscalmusings.etsy.com, and wings from greatmusings.com, legs and shoes were scanned from a catalog and also altered. All pieces were slightly altered digitally before printing, were then carefully trimmed and all but the sky were

Little thing #2 - The number one question I get asked is about the hand-coloring I do. I've had people suggest I teach classes or write a book. It would be a very short confusing class or a very short 1 page confusing "book". I did not invent hand-coloring, of course. In fact, my grandfather was a studio photographer and my grandmother hand-colored all of the portraits before color film was perfected. The first few portraits of me as a child were colored by her. She died long before I knew I would want to know more about it. People have been hand-coloring photographs for a very long time and many, many do it far better than I and I have no idea what they have used over the years. I use a combination of Pan Pastels, chalk pastels, colored pencils, chalk pencils and ink markers, sometimes even watercolor markers or pencils - dozens of brands and kinds and no one thing in particular. What I use depends on the image I want to use. Some face images are darker or have more pollution than the neck or arms or legs I want to use and I may have to use several different combinations to get the closest match I can. Ink markers are difficult to use - you need a steady hand and have to be careful not to overlap or it will create streaks. I use all kinds of markers, even sharpies sometimes. Micheal's sells a couple of sets of photo markers that work well if you are careful not to overlap. The fact is, I can't explain how to do it anymore than many of you could easily explain exactly how you make your backgrounds or do your lettering that I can't do! Learning that sometimes you have to use yellow when it seems so wrong to change the tint of the grayscale before you add a peach color over it so the face won't look so blue. Knowing that sometimes you have to add gray over peach to tone it down. One key thing for me is a good sharp image to start with. I have to hunt and hunt for clean sharp faces that I can lighten and darken or change the contrast digitally to make it easier to color.

Which brings me to a little controversial complaint in searching for images. Little Thing #3 - I do not undertstand images sold in PDF files only. Some of you know how I feel about this. I spent nearly $50 on digital images today alone. I have spent hundreds over the last several months. I spent a long time on Etsy and the internet looking for images today that came as jpg.s. I found some but over and over today I read seller's descriptions saying "to protect the integrity of our images, they will come in a pdf file that cannot be unlocked or manipulated in any other program". In other words, you can print them out and that's it. I just don't understand this. I don't understand why I end up with more hot dogs than buns or more buns than hot dogs either, but that's another post . So many things to say.
  • First, it kind of takes the fun out of ALTERED ART to be stuck with an image that can't be altered, interpreted in size or color in any way other than how the seller wants it to be used. I think they expect you to just print it, cut it out, slap some glue on the back and call it a day.
  • Usually they make images for ATC's , inchies, dominoes, and other small formats. Rarely do I work in any of these sizes, ATC's sometimes. I want to be able to use an image in an 8 x 10 piece or 9 x 12, certainly 5 x 7.
  • I want to be able to make the head larger and legs longer and the arms shorter. I want to be able to make it wider and skinnier. I want to be able to make it ghostly pale or mysteriously dark.
  • I also don't want to waste ink printing out hair or hats or clothes or body parts or backgrounds or the same image in a few repetitive sizes that I'm not gonna use.
  • And, are people really happy with the idea of using images that are going to look exactly like someone else's?
  • To me, it's kinda like me saying to customers when they buy my artwork . . . "To protect the integrity of my work, you may only hang this piece I've toiled over in a light oak frame with scroll work on the corners over your couch facing North IF you have orange carpet in your house because that is the only way I think it will be well displayed." And NOT to compare me or my artwork to them, but what if Lynyrd Skynyrd said "You can only listen to Sweet Home Alabama if you promise NOT to sing along or dance since we know you don't know how to do either one well"
Now, in their defense, I know many image sellers spend a great deal of time cleaning up and fixing vintage images for resale. I do appreciate and marvel at that work. I do not possess the skills or knowledge to do that. Maybe that is part of why this frustrates me so. I see these beautiful images that I can not use. I think they must simply be afraid people will alter the images and resell them.
  • If someone really wanted to do that, they could print the sheet, scan it and alter it anyway. Bad people will always find a way to be bad.
  • I don't understand the "protect the integrity of our images" part. Why make images for altered art artists that can't be altered?
  • How else is it hurting the seller if the image is altered?
  • Wouldn't it create more business if images could be altered so that artists could have a huge variety in their work and therefore return to buy more images they can alter? Or be inspired by another artist's work, purchase the same images and create something completely different using the same image? Who wants their work to look like someone else's?
Just a bit more on purchasing images. I have gotten so close to purchasing some and then read the fine print. Some image sellers do not allow you to use their images in anything other than original works of art. In other words, you cannot make an original piece using their image and then sell prints or postcards of that work. You can't use it in CafePress or Zazzle or any of those places without paying more money for the use of that image. Just be aware and read the fine print. If you've followed me at all you know I am reasonably careful about copyright and giving credit for images that I use so I just wanted to pass that along so you don't get in trouble. Okay, got all of that off my chest after many months of biting my tongue. I don't mean to stir a pot nor do I mean anyone any ill will, I just don't get it! Wishing I could wave my magic wand and make the world a little more perfect.

Little thing #4 - To show my EXTREME appreciation for the flexible, wonderful, reasonable sellers that I have purchased images from and that I love to use and have made money from, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite places to purchase images. No doubt you have seen them listed in my work descriptions . . . .

(they are linked if you want to click on them)
justlilies.etsy.com (first place I've found that sells png.s which can be transparent!)
(*I tried to make each listing a different color or all the same color and, as usual, my blog has a mind of its own and colored them how it wanted to. I really need to learn to write html)

Little thing #5 - and maybe my favorite thing to share tonight. I ran across this blog the other day looking for boat images. I didn't get any images here, but I did find a delightful project that I intend to get involved with. Paper Boats.

photo copyright Lynn Taylor

Be sure to read about this project! It is a very cool one to be involved with. I will be organizing a send off of boats in early June if you are interested! (details to follow soon)

Apr 20, 2009

The Wish Catcher

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/20/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using a face, body (2 separate images were used for the face and body), and sky background from LandofEnchantment.etsy.com (Elements No. 1), the message bottles are from justlilies.etsy.com, the wings were used with a license agreement with Butterfly Utopia, the boat and water are from the public domain. All pieces were slightly altered digitally before printing, were then carefully trimmed and all but the sky were hand-colored.

Many of you know I like looking for sea glass almost as much as making art. I don't get to go that often since we have moved further away and it is a 90 minute drive now. But, I still try to go every few weeks. I have always wanted to find a message in a bottle. I have never sent one and might one of these days. I have often told myself a little story that maybe funny little fairies were out and about in their funny little boats picking up the bottles full of wishes and messages and taking care of them. And maybe after they read the messages they break the bottles and give the pieces back to the ocean waves to be made into the pretty glass I find on the beach. So, this piece was made with a lady in mind that I have heard is having a bit of trouble right now, and I thought maybe if she sent her wishes off in a bottle a funny little fairy out there in the deep blue sea might just pick it up and take care of it.

Apr 19, 2009

It's just JUMPIN' around here!

I've been talking about people taking leaps, like my artist friend Leslie and my friend Oz jumping out of an airplane, both mentioned in the post below. I went to watch Oz jump out of the airplane yesterday and have posted pictures below.

The rest of my family went to watch my nephew, Trent Arrivey, high jump at the Mount SAC Invitational Relays here in SoCal yesterday. Trent is a junior at Washington State and was the Western Region NCAA champion last year and also reached All American status and was invited to the Olympic trials in which he came in 9th place (but keep in mind that these trials included professional athletes). Yesterday, Trent jumped an all time personal best 7'4 1/2" to tie for first place in the NCAA and improved the NCAA's qualifying height, not just the Western Region, but nationally. So he is tied for being the number one collegiate high jumper in the United States. Pretty exciting!

So, while my family was watching Trent jump, I was a few hours away near Lompoc, CA watching Oz skydive. It was an incredible day. Even though I am sorry I missed my nephew jump, Oz is family too and we felt we should divide and conquer so I was happy to be a part of Oz's amazing day. You all know how I've been afraid to fly, well, yesterday I came pretty darn close to thinking I might just try this sky diving thing. It was the coolest place to hang out. We had so much fun watching the instructors and parachute packers and the people coming back in after their first dives and they all seemed so happy, so alive, so cool and fun. I was just enthralled. The instructors were just the coolest folks I've come in contact with in a long time. Anyway, Oz was very impressive in that you could not tell he was one bit nervous if he was. It was a magical special day and I am so glad I was there!

(pretending to hide before the jump)

just about to take the big leap . . .

at 13000 feet . . .

doing his superman impersonation . . . .

safely on the ground . . .

I was there where he landed along with his girlfriend Jolene and it was just the neatest thing I've ever seen. Oz is booking his next dive this week. He loved it that much and is going to jump from 18000 feet next time . . . wow. Jolene is going with him . . . she thinks.

Apr 17, 2009

A catch all post . . .

I have been so distracted from art this week and so frustrated about it, I can't tell you! Aargh. Everything in the world has popped up to be taken care of this week. Time sped up and left me racing in circles I didn't want to run in. I have promised myself that I would participate every week in Nancy Baumiller's Collage Play with Crowabout challenges, so racing the clock, again, I got this in today . . .

You can read its description and image credits here http://www.flickr.com/photos/10516787@N06/3451633172/in/pool-collage_play_with_crowabout I look at this and I can tell I was rushing. I promise you that I don't look at everyone else's art with the same eyes I use to look at mine. I am far more critical with myself, but I think that is natural. We start with an idea and when we don't see it to fruition, we meet it with self criticism. I am going to rework it - there are some problem areas. But a long time ago, I promised I would post the pieces I didn't like along with the pieces that I did. Enough about that.

I need to be gone tomorrow and part of Sunday. One of my best friends in the world is jumping out of an airplane tomorrow for the first time (that seems funny to write) so I need to be there. Oh, we all need our friends and support when we take leaps, all of them, big and small. So, I won't be around for a day or two but then I am focusing on art (my Etsy is almost empty) and blog visiting and flickr commenting all week next week - FOR SURE! I need it. I need to do all of it for me - I'm thirsty and hungry for art, making it, seeing it, appreciating it, talking about it . . .

But, talking about taking leaps . . . You may have seen Leslie's name in the comments here on my blog. She has been one of my most constant and consistent customers and supporters and encouragers. I cannot tell you how much she has given me. I can never repay it. She doesn't have a blog for you to visit yet. She doesn't have a flickr for you. But I have seen her art and it is original and amazing and so begging to be seen by the world. And I've told her what I thought. This has been hard for Leslie to do, to share her art with the world. I totally get why. It's a scary thing. But, Leslie took a leap and she shared her art. She submitted work to the Mississippi University for Women's 125th Anniversary Alumni Art Exhibition. Here's part of the message I received tonight "There were 129 pieces and 70 artists. During the ceremony, I was floored when my name was called to receive one of four "group show awards". That means I and three other artists will be exhibited in a four-person group show in the University's Eugenia Summer Gallery in the spring of 2011. I was stunned." So, you can't move forward without the leaps. You can't be brave unless you do what you're afraid to do. And Leslie, you were brave and you took the leap and a whole new world is opening up for you right before our eyes. (now we just need a blog and flickr, woman, so we can support and harass you) I am so honored and thrilled to know you and be able to watch this dream unfold for you. The first song on my play list is for you and I, baby. Here are the lyrics . . .

If you feel like singing a song
And you want other people to sing along
Just sing what you feel
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong

And if you’re trying to paint a picture
But you’re not sure which colors belong
Just paint what you see
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong

(especially pointy hats and wings! hee hee)

And if you’re strung out like a kite
Or stung awake in the night
It’s alright to be frightened

When there’s a light (what light)
There’s a light (one light)
There’s a light (white light)
Inside of you

If you think you might need somebody
To pick you up when you drag
Don’t loose sight of yourself
Don’t let anyone change your bag

And if the whole world’s singing your songs
And all of your paintings have been hung
Just remember what was yours is everyone’s from now on

Apr 15, 2009

Kids . . . gotta love 'em

This is me . . . overjoyed by my children. Seriously. I rarely smile for pictures. I usually stick my tongue out. Ask my family. I hate having my picture taken. This one was taken after my kids had me all hyperhappy.

Here's a comment my daughter made on a post below tonight. It's for you. I put edits in [ ] and take note of how everything eventually revolves around her.

"Hey Mama!!!
I'm shouting out to your art peeps!
It's the daughter. idk [texting for I don't know] how to do all this blogg-edy stuff, but just saying I'm really not a depressed person lol I was just in a sad mood that day and was assigned a free verse poem for english class sooo enuff said! haha You should buy my mom's stuff, cuz that would be cool and if you're like a movie guy, like set designer you should put it in a really popular show, so like the whole world could be like "Omagod what is that exquisite piece of art on the wall, I would pay like a gazillion dollars for it." And then I can go to Notre Dame and my mom is happy and life is good. So yeh thats all i haf to say!
peace and love

Okay, so you think she'll get into Notre Dame with writing like that? Texting is ruining our kids - the spelling shortcuts they take, little punctuation, AND that thing you may have heard about young CA girls using the word "like" too much - it is so true. In her defense, she didn't comment knowing I would actually highlight it in a post and she is a straight A Honor student will all AP classes lined up for next year (very scary thought after reading that, humorous as it was). I was laughing so hard reading it aloud to my hubby and mom-in-law they couldn't understand what I was saying which made everyone laugh harder. Then, I made public note to my whole family that I don't think anyone believes I have an older son cuz I so infrequently mention him nor have I shown any pictures. This illustrates that my daughter HAS somehow made everything revolve around her. Poor Shawn. Here's some pix . . .

This is Shawn and I on a hike about 4 years ago. See, I didn't start at the beginning. It was so hot on this long hike that I had my husband cut my sleeves off of my long sleeved shirt (worn to protect against poison oak) with his Swiss army knife. Well, then what to do with the sleeves? Wear them on your head of course! Duh.

This is Shawn and I about 3 years ago - wearing our gaming sportswear. I used to be addicted to video games. Really. Then I found art. (Shawn is trying to look all serious here but if you look hard enough, you can see the smile that is about to explode with giggles just after the picture was taken). Notice how much he's grown in a year, now taller than me in this picture.

This pic shows us in my house I just moved from. The art on the right side is mine. A big fabric piece I made for an alumni exhibition and haven't made one since. It also shows that I am wearing my son's old shorts - my wardrobe of the last few years.

This is Lauren and I the same night, having more fun posing than Shawn would have, stinker that he is.

This is Shawn just about to start a fencing match a year or so ago.

This is Shawn also about a year or so ago on another hike. I love this picture of him.

He does exist, in the most wonderful fascinating way!

Do crooked pointy hats count?

Way down at the bottom of this post are the pieces I sent off to Somerset yesterday. It was a grueling day as when I woke up I was thinking I wouldn't send anything in at all as I just wasn't happy with the main piece and had my tax stuff to finish figuring out and had packages that had to be mailed so it took every ounce of focus to get through it all and not give into the panic of the tax situation itself. Your comments on the previous post convinced me to give it a whirl and finish the other pieces I had ready to work on - so thank you for the kick in the pants! It will be many months 'til we know if they made the mustard.

So, just so you get the full affect of ME. I am a big fat worry wart. Have you figured this out? I have a sense of humor and I'm not a sad or negative person. I have perfected ways of worrying (more than the word was ever intended to include after years of practice since I came out of the womb anxious) with a happy comical look-at-how-rotten-things-are-or-might-get-isn't-it-funny air about me. One of my biggest talents is worry. I can worry better than anyone. Well, I'm the third generation on my mother's side of severely worried women and my husband says I am better than they were and could win any worry contest hands down. I couldn't inherit their cooking skills, could I? So, yes, the tax surprise worries me. Our savings took a big hit from the writer's strike last year and then the thousands spent on the move. We were just getting smoothed out where I thought it looked like we were going to get back up where we are supposed to be and then BAM, taxes took the big hunk that they did. So, because of my superhero worry ability, surprises like that put me into hyperworry mode so that I can no longer just worry about the tax bill, now I have to predict what next big problem will get in the way. I went to bed the other night, after first hearing about our taxes, wondering "our son will be 18 next year, what will happen then, and what about health insurance, will he still be covered by our health insurance, and if being a student helps with those things, what if he can't get into school and what if he doesn't want to go, and when will he start getting out of bed on his own in the morning without me yelling at him 50 times in 10 minutes, and what if he always sleeps late in the morning and loses every job he ever gets, and then loses his wife and family, wait, will anyone marry him if he doesn't go to school and has no health insurance and can't get out of bed, and . . ." I seriously could go on and on. And why am I still here and happy and not locked up in a padded room or highly medicated? Because I have a husband. I have a husband that says "It's gonna be okay. I will make sure everything will be okay. It's only money and I can always make more of that. Our kids will be fine. It's okay." And as he looks in my eyes and kisses me I know he's also saying, "Don't even think about getting a job. I want you to do what you're doing." And then I am okay and know he's right and know we've always survived all we've been up against and I sigh with a split second of "all is right with the world" . . . . until I start thinking "What if something happens to him?" Now if you don't think my husband is a saint, I don't know what qualifies.

A big happy bright spot today . . . Go check out Alice in Paris Loves Art and Tea (already linked for you). I am featured on her blog as a part of her ongoing Artist Rainbow interview series. I have been a huge fan of Shelagh's (Alice's real name) paintings and photographs for a long time and I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be included in her series. She is such a talented writer as well as an extremely talented artist. I am pinching myself! It is the first time I've been truly written about in a bio kind of way (and by another artist, such a compliment) and it makes me feel like I might really be an artist, cuz, as you know, I'm not always sure (especially when mean people in flickr give me a bad time about my POINTY HATS!). Shelagh, thank you, thank you!

There are rumors and some evidence shared that I have been published in the May/June Somerset. I haven't gotten mine yet. When I do and see it myself, I will do the happy dance. Thanks for the nice notes about it though! I won't get overly obnoxious about it 'til I have it my hot little hands.

Instead of writing a separate description for each piece below, here is the information how these were made. The top three are 3 1/2 x 5 pieces and the one at the bottom, which you've already seen but without the mat, is 5 x 7. These collages were made using black and white images from the public domain. The images were manipulated digitally for contrast and brightness and some focus, and the faces were enlarged separately. The hats were found in a catalog and scanned, also manipulated for contrast and printed in black in white. After printing the images, they were trimmed and hand-colored using a variety of ink markers and powder pastels and then arranged, heads and hats attached to bodies, and all attached to papers from 7 Gypsies, Graphic 45, and Paper Pizazz.




Good Little Witches

Here are the images a bit closer up

Apr 13, 2009

Pressure, pressure, stress, pressure!

I was so wishy washy miss procrastinator over whether or not to send something into Somerset's Vintage Halloween challenge, I put it off to the last minute. So, I worked today knowing IF I got anything done, I would have to mail it overnight to them tomorrow as it is due Wednesday. I used to be the kind of girl, when given a research paper to do over the next 6 weeks would go home and start it and get it done 2 or 3 days after assigned. What on earth have I become? A procrastinator! I know very well some of you could just whip this out in a glorious few minutes. But you know me. Nope. I am slower than a turtle in molasses. I don't really like doing holiday art - seems so temporary to me and that's probably why I put it off. I spent half the day trying to figure out what to do, then the other half coloring it. It's a simple piece and may not get published for that reason but all the pictures were completely black and white, even the hats, and then hand colored by moi so it was intense work today . . .


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/13/09
5 x 7 collage using all black and white pictures reprinted from the public domain, trimmed and hand-colored.

I got so tired of making decisions on it that I took polls on the background, which I now think is too simple. But, I did the best I could do today. I have some bodies and faces and hats left over so I may send in some single portraits too if I get them done tonight. I definitely missed the luxury of not having a deadline or a deadline I could put off.

Also to the stress of the day, even though we turned our tax stuff in over a month ago, as is usually the case year after year, we didn't hear from the accountant until today. I've been sweating bullets since last week. I do this sweating bullets stuff year after year because our accountant is rrrreeeaaalllllyyy good and specializes in the movie industry (where hubby works), so I just drink heavily (not really) around this time of year and live in a fog until we get the results and I can go mail the papers off. This year, I'll be sending a check for over $4000 along with those papers! HOLY CARP! (much nicer to say than crap). HOLY CRAP, I mean CARP! I budgeted around $1000. So, needless to say, it was hard to focus on art at all today. There is some good news. I quit my job in 2008 so next year we should get money back. Did I say HOLY CRAP already? Just in case, HOLY CRAP! All of my art is now going to be priced at an even $100 a piece. (just kidding)

Better news. It's only money. As hubby says, that's what a savings account is for. (though I argue it should be going up not down!) We have a roof over our heads and food to eat and everyone is pretty healthy. So I'll leave you with a free verse poem my daughter wrote today for school. It is about us moving our kids from their home of 15 years to here last May leaving behind best friends and boy friends.

It doesn't make the same sound
Out here isn't the same ground
I'm supposed to be there but I'm here
Where life isn't so clean and clear
I smile to cover up the endless tears
It's not the same "me" I see in the mirrors
That your forever can be changed in one day
And when it changes, it takes your breath and leaves you with nothing to say
It's hard to find the old any more
And in the new living, life seems like such a chore
But I'll smile and laugh through it even if it wears me down to the core
Because, I refuse to let change win and close the door
I'll throw it open and live my life
and fight the pain, longing, and strife
So, I'm gonna keep smiling to crush the sadness and the sorrow
Because, today's the day . . . I might not have a tomorrow.

Apr 12, 2009

Change of plans . . .

. . . we ended up not going to the beach for a picnic since we are going next weekend too and we didn't want to fight the spring break traffic. Instead, we had a big unhealthy but yummy breakfast, vegged a bit, and I played with art today. I worked for about 12 hours and only got these done . . .

Just Play

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/12/09
This is an original 3 1/2 x 5 collage using a face from Spark Your Imagination's Elements No. 1, legs from lisasalteredart.etsy.com, torso and arms from moonfaires.etsy.com, and skirt from the public domain. All pieces were reprinted, carefully trimmed and hand-colored. Wings were made from a 100 year old encyclopedia page. The crown was also handmade and hand-colored. All pieces were arranged on a stamped background.
This piece is available for purchase at tumblefishstudio.etsy.com

Beach Goddess Party

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 4/12/09
This is a 3 1/2 x 5 original collage custom made for my friend Angellea. It uses faces from various places that have been left over from other projects, bodies and water from paperstreet.etsy.com, hair from the public domain, and starfish from takeabreak in an image sharing group, all reprinted, carefully trimmed and hand-colored.

Should I not be getting faster at making things? I seem to be getting slower and slower, whatever that means. I am having fun, slow fun, but fun.

Since I'm in the beach and ocean mood lately, you should check out this artist's amazing photography. I promise you haven't seen anything like it. http://www.clarklittlephotography.com/gallery/index/category/gallery|MainGallery/start/0/MainGallery.html

Hope you had a great weekend!

Apr 11, 2009

It's been far too serious around here . . .

. . . so don't waste your time here, go play and enjoy your weekend. I'm going to dabble tonight and take a day off from heavy thinking or art making tomorrow. I'm goin' to the beach for a picnic! Happy Easter everybody!