Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Original Art at Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener Gala

Was this your lucky night?

If you were lucky enough to be invited to the gala dinner that was attached to this year's Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener in Waconia, you may have snagged one of the tabletop centerpieces as a prize. Forty tabletops had original "Sculpted Shores" made by Minneapolis artist Russ Dittmar and his merry band of ten artists, crafters, and logicians during the days leading up to the event.

Creating A Shoreline  

Each sculpted shore began with a carved base which was first painted and then painstakingly covered with rocks in three sizes, wood, leaves, organic elements (moss in many colors, dried flowers, shrubs, pine cones and more), and a host of whimsical elements including aluminum waves, individually hand-painted lily pads, and carefully crafted benches.

Finishing Touches

Finishing touches included painstaking wiring to attach fishing lures, trimming out dogwood twigs for the center of each shore, and bending and filling crystal tubes with beads and colored water. The tubes are not in these pictures, which were taken just before each shore was boxed for transport to Waconia.

Hard work but lots of fun 

All of us in the merry band had a great time. I painted lots of the bases, and crafted my share of shorelines. Although I am a huge fan of glue guns, Russ had us all use permanent indoor caulk. I am now an Official Caulking Gunner who only dreamed about white glue and caulk for two nights during this project.

Want a  shoreline for your very own?

If you are interested in having a shoreline sculpted for you and your family that recollects or recreates a lake shore  that is dear to your family, contact Russ Dittmar at 612.721.6849, or visit his website at

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Brayer: a new tool for paper mosaics

A new tool
Now that I have finished four paper mosaics (horse, pig, hippo, and cat) and have decided that I like making them, today I added a new tool to my toolbox: a brayer. It will transform the sometimes awkward act of tamping down each piece tiny piece of recycled watercolor paintings into an elegant rolling glide.

Helena Paper Mosaic Horse
(Helena Equus Papyrus)
appears on a number of cool products

Fredricka Paper Mosaic Cat
(Fredricka Filidae Papyrus)
Herbert Paper Mosaic Hippo
(Herbert Hippopotamidae Papyrus)

Pablo Purple Paper Mosaic Pig
(Pablo Sus Papyrus)

Each of these tiny small friends is part the genus Papyrus, a heretofore unidentified subclass of Mammalia. The Small Friends Research Institute is working very hard to identify and classify more of these whimsical creatures and to create environments that will ensure their safety and security.

The Genus Papyrus will make its first public appearance at the Northstar Watercolor Society's 10th Annual Art-On-A-Line Show and Sale at the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Building on May 18-20. They will be with dozens of other small friends hanging next to the nanoscapes

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Sail #1 is a winner

The Sail #1
May 9, 2012.
is a nanoscape from 2011 with a brand new story. It 
 was named a winner in Manhattan Arts International's "Celebrate the Healing Power of Art: Positive Art That Lifts The Spirit" online juried exhibition.
WHAT THE JURORS LOOKED FOR  According to the press release, the jurors “…looked for those images that impacted us viscerally in a positive manner as well as exemplifying technical prowess and originality.”  The online exhibition runs from May 14- June 30, 2012. 

This 27-1/2 x 9 inch geometric abstract image was inspired by an African textile called "Ikat," which I love because of their bright colors and intricate weaving. When finished, though, a friend suggested that it might be a sail. Then, I wished for a ride on a very big boat (ship) which might attach this to its mast.
The original is framed in black and is available through this site at $350. Signed and matted prints are available at the nanoscapes site for $125/each. Look for a skateboard with this design in my zazzle store.