Monday, August 22, 2016

My New Website and Fine Art America (with link)

art for sale

The link above is from Fine Art America.

I started a new website HERE (only a few art works are available from my Bouquet Series, but more are being entered every day), and became a part of another website, Fine Art America, a kind of giant warehouse of fine art with all kinds of artists and all kinds of art.

More about both soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

a dragon confides in a fairy

digital art
© Lise Winne 2016

new! Prints available in any size, from 6" x 8" up to 30" x 40". Available on 
canvas, acrylic, giclee, etc. Through the same link, products are also for sale with this item (cell phone cover, apparel, etc). Go HERE for both prints and products).

For a home printed giclee print which is hand signed, I will be putting that up for sale soon (check back on this page)

For the rest of this post, I describe a little of how I made this piece by showing "work in progress" details.

This is how it all started, by spotting these two figures having a tete a tete at a Renaissance faire:

(raw photo)

Naturally I hated the background, so I took the figures out of their environment.

Why did I do that?

Does a sidewalk that mere mortals walk on belong here? No, of course not. Do fairies enjoy gravel? No way. Though I did save a touch of gravel here and there in the final piece. 

Fairies are small creatures, and they do best in an environment where plants are bigger in size than they are. Dragons tend to be huge, but since this one has sneakers, he could be a dragon at the toddler stage.

This is the basic environment I gave them (I decided to save the basket and chair too from the original photo):

(preliminary I)

Better. They seem to fit in naturally in an environment of weeds, brambles and small flowers.

You may not be able to tell, but I also gave the fairy more of a complexion; she was looking awfully pale.

There was still something missing. 

The dragon's suit, though cute, resembles a workman's coverall a little too much. So, I gave him more reptilian skin. The scales on his tale also needed some texture, so I took care of that. Then his wings were a little too drab, so I brightened them up and put a few sparks in them.

The fairy still wasn't magical enough (for me). So I made her wings glow and put some luminaries around her. 

If you look closely at the next enhanced photo, you'll notice that the fairy's basket has some sparkles too.  

The background and foreground needed a lot more flowers. So I grabbed flowers from a photo shoot I did in Maine awhile back at this magical little garden with exotic flowers. Not that you can tell they are exotic. What mattered was that I could incorporate them.

Also, when a dragon talks, he has to have fire coming out of his mouth. A dragon would not be a dragon without that element, so the fire was a necessity. So I took a photo of a flame on a light background and put it on its side. The fire part of this piece was the most difficult to master. Fire is not a solid object. There are places where you can see through it and places where you can't. It also does not shoot straight out, which is what it looked like when I first started. So making it curve toward the sky was another challenge.

Also, around the dragons face, it needed to be brighter, since fire would light it up. 

The dragon also seemed to need smoke around it. After all, its innards are full of fire (right?), so it has to be smokin' from head to toe in some manner!

This was what I thought would be the final piece:

(preliminary II)

And I was happy with it for awhile. 

Then I wasn't happy. For days I couldn't tell what it needed. It just seemed to be missing something! 

Then it dawned on me: the chair had nothing on it. A fairy wouldn't just use it to sit on, would she? She would place something on it while she went to talk to the dragon. Fairies are very busy, so they have to multi-task.

What would be the perfect thing for the chair? A flower, of course:

(preliminary II)

That is a real flower, just in case you wanted to know. But here it looked like a pom-pom.

No, no, no, that wouldn't do. 

It took an entire evening to put that flower in there too, but it just wasn't the right kind of flower.

So, out it went. 

So I searched my files and came up with this one instead:


Better. And I did put some shadowing under the flower and its stem to make it sit and belong in its environment. But if you check the final piece (first picture above), I made the flower a little more purple so that it wouldn't detract from the fairy and her companion. Here it seems to be shouting out; it is just so neon -- and the dragon does not need to be distracted by the fairy's bright flower. 

Next time, I'll be attempting to do something with this photograph: 

(preliminary I)

Until next time ...


Thursday, August 11, 2016

illustration about C-PTSD gets into Whitney book

This is Your Brain on C-PTSD
art image is © Lise Winne, 2015
(will be for sale soon, come back if interested)

This cartoon drawing of mine is part of a Whitney Museum of Art book that was part of and coincided with a performance/exhibition headed by Jill Kroesen called "Collecting Injustices, Unnecessary Suffering", and part of a larger exhibition at the museum called "Human Interest".

Here are some snapshots of the inside of the book (my name appears right before the lecturers):

This is part of Jill Kroesen's speech, who set the mood for the performance and exhibit:

By the way, this is a typical feeling when going through PTSD and C-PTSD: the need to nurse injuries, and dealing with flashbacks. 

PTSD and C-PTSD never go away entirely, but the symptoms diminish over time, especially if traumatic experiences diminish.

As you can imagine, I am honored to have been part of this.

I am also thankful that the Whitney Museum of Art is one of the first museums to recognize child abuse and domestic abuse (and the outcome of PTSD) as worthy of covering in its exhibits, performances and lectures.  

This is not the usual kind of art that I am known for on this particular blog. But it is my other half, the half of me that has something to say besides pretty pictures like fairies, unicorns and flower bouquets. It is art that is taking up more and more of my time, though for the sake of consistency, I won't talk about it much on this particular blog. I like to keep my two styles separate, but this bit of news was too sweet not to announce here. If other events pop up that are newsworthy, I'll post here too about it. 

More about it all later ...

Monday, June 27, 2016

super mini works of art circa 2016, plus news


If you have been reading along, you know that I did a side-line called the bouquet series. I was trying to get them all uploaded to my on-line store during a time when I was involved with a bunch of local gallery shows, and then tourist season hit. Needless to say, I haven't uploaded them all yet, and will in due time, but tourist season has to take precedence. 

One of the things I make for galleries are these small mini original works of art. This is just a sample of some bunny pieces I made. The largest one here is 5 inches by 5 inches, and the smallest is about an inch. 

Bunnies are popular for kid's bedrooms, and because they are so tiny, super affordable.

I tend to sell these in more tourist-type galleries.

The next ones are more typical for galleries with a family-oriented clientele (includes museum gift shops which have local art in them, and such). In this sample are two monsters, which, again, are popular for kid's bedrooms, particularly a boy's bedroom:

couple with kissing hats (l)
monsters (r)

The next ones are black and white india ink drawings (experiments). They tend to go in more fine art-oriented galleries:

If you are interested in any of these, and they haven't sold, and I can easily retrieve one, just send me an e-mail at sales (att) lisewinne (dot) com. 

On the bouquet series:
I actually haven't stopped making new designs for the bouquet series like I thought I would. When something is successful, it is hard to stop, even though I feel stretched very thin these days. I work on this series late at night sometimes, when I'm feeling a little brain-dead, as it doesn't take as much thought as a painting or drawing. I will show you my newest designs when I have a significant number of them. If you are new to my blog, the bouquet series is HERE if you want to know what I am talking about.

Here is just one piece to whet your appetite. This one cannot be a print like so many others could. It is only meant to be a greeting card. The actual card has writing on it:

birthday bouquet

New series of paintings:
I also have a new series of paintings that I have been submitting and showing at galleries. I finally feel like I hit on a style that I can live with for the long haul and that most galleries will show. I hope to show them to you soon because, wow, have I been inspired and working hard! 

In some of last year's posts, I felt like there were too many painters in my area, so I embarked on a series of altered photographs. My hope was to bring something new to the local area shows, and have a different medium so that I wasn't competing with other artists, but the photos were thought to be a little too quirky (upstate is a conservative area, art-wise, in that they don't seem as open to "the new").

So, one day, I was painting on a canvas I had around for ages, and viola! A new series was born! And the other thing that happened was that it seemed like a genuine style for me. It wasn't forced. 

And I got accepted so much easier into the local art scene than with the altered photos. However, that brings me to my next subject:

Continued series of altered photographs:
I am still interested in altered photos. I'm just not ready to throw in the towel yet on this series and the ideas I have for the series. I'll just have to wait for the right kind of gallery or show, and the right opportunity. It might mean going to New York City or Boston if necessary. 

If you are new to my blog, you can find some of the series by scrolling around on these posts for the titles I have listed here: Followers as ZombiesBacchanalian Freak Show with Hieronymus Bosch Treatment, Sunglasses, The Dance II (final), Sippy Cup.

I haven't been able to find the kind of time I need to finish a lot of these pieces, but I work on them every now and then. 

I certainly go to a lot of events where I like to shoot photos which include Renaissance Faires, Beltane events, parades, Victorian streetwalks and costume events. 

I did an all-day photo shoot at a Renaissance faire already this year. I usually go alone, and I always go in costume, and I always have fun, and meet a lot of interesting creative people, and sometimes buy too much too. Who can resist a new corset, or a long hand made leather belt with a buckle with a unicorn on it? 

The last Renfaire I went to was cold and extremely windy. But ...  I got to wear my red velvet cape, something I made, and haven't been able to wear since 2007 because it has always been too warm.

This photo probably won't be part of the series, but I liked the movement and framing of the figures, and this little girl was so exuberant, pretty, full of joy, dancing, interested in everything, my muse for the day. It is interesting how you can appreciate the spirit of someone just by focusing in on someone through a lense. 

little girl worshiping a bird

Statement oriented art series:
This is more of what I live for than anything else, but it is sometimes hard to find the time with a greeting card business in full swing. I try to do one piece a month. 

At this point, the designs are mostly illustrations, not fine art oriented. I hope to work more and more in the direction of fine art oriented pieces as time goes on, in the spirit of Eric Fischl, but with different subject matter entirely. 

Here is a piece you may have seen on this blog before of a scapegoat (painting HERE) except I have altered it for another version to make it more tapestry-like:

Scapegoat Healing

Actually, this isn't a typical piece in the series, but it goes with the art style of this blog. 

Illustrations for a book:
I know, I know ... looks like too many irons in the fire already! But this has been a couple of years in the making, and the book carries an important message. During "the big reveal", I will finally get to show you!

'Til next time!! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

photo bouquet series

a few pieces from the bouquet series
(scroll down for more of the series, and details)
2011 - 2016

Please note: this blog will constantly be edited in the next few weeks to include places to buy (greeting cards and archival prints are some of the products) ... there is also one more design I have yet to include that I have not finished yet (a heart design: new note: now finished, but I haven't listed it for sale yet; others are being listed every day).

This is a blog post about a side-line I have been working on. I call them my "bouquet series". Most of these pieces incorporate photography and were made into note cards and small prints to commemorate a season or holiday. Some were just made because I love making bouquets and getting outside to enjoy nature.

I have to say that I appreciate nature more when I look at all of the things the trees have thrown on the ground, or fall in love with clippings from my yard (particularly cedar clippings, dandelions and tiny delicate violets).

Finding natural things to put in these bouquet series also puts my mind into a different state too. With my other art, ideas race through my mind at lightening speed. There isn't even a chance of creating everything that goes rushing through my mind, so on some level I usually always feel I am in a rush against time, and inadequate. I would say anywhere from a handful of artworks to hundreds of artworks go through my head on a daily basis, with the "lightening fast" images going through my head just before I go to sleep or just as I wake. Sometimes I latch onto one image as it is going by, and start the creative process.

The bouquet series are as far from "ideas" as anything I make; they are more spontaneous and wild than anything I create, and I respect the untamed qualities. For me they are "enjoyments" of found objects.

Many of the objects are commonplace and are my version of something Albrecht Durer started in 1503 with The Large Piece of Turf (his artwork here):

The Large Piece of Turf by Albrecht Durer

As with Albrecht Durer, the main focus of my work is drawings and paintings, and they are primarily figurative (i.e. not plant oriented). Durer also enjoyed making statements with his art work. My work these days is also primarily statement-oriented too (more on that later). But as with Durer, I always like to experiment and try new things. And so I tried photographing plants in 2011 and it grew from there, turning into digital art pieces.

For me, making these kinds of bouquets (or wild art) is as calming as knitting, crocheting and weaving, but perhaps even more so. My mind is disengaged, much more calm than usual. I am in the moment, not pestered with ideas, simply enjoying my mornings of solitary walks, looking at birds, the trees swaying around in the breeze, taking in all the shapes of different plants, wondering what shapes of clouds will move in, all with my overalls on and my white trash bag of nature goodies.

The cards have been popular "sellers" in my area, a rural scenic area which spans into southern and mid-state Vermont and the Adirondacks, full of tourist towns, autumn tour buses, small family farms and olde New England houses from the 1700s - 1800s. 

These designs have been more popular in this area than the art I have been known for on this blog (primarily Celtic and Renaissance influenced art). I think it is because they incorporate nature, and nature is often what is missing in the big cities where the tour buses come from.  

I have been working away at these designs off and on since 2011. I am listing a lot of them here now, because I believe I might be at the end of the series unless they are popular on-line (we'll see -- inspiration cannot be calculated or given a time-frame).

I do think I am primarily made for art that is more statement oriented, for causes. While "cause art" can be beautiful, it can also be ugly, depending on what issue you are trying to cover.

I believe that all of these explorations into Renaissance and Celtic style art, and the bouquet series, and even my music, were primarily just learning experiences in how to effectively use materials and understand how mediums work in depth, so that I would never feel stymied when trying to make effective statement oriented art. In my explorations, I found myself drawn to Celtic and Renaissance art the most, perhaps because a lot of my ancestry goes back to the British Isles. Those kinds of art styles just "feel like home."

I realize that there are a lot of pieces I have made over the years which are on someone's wall, or in someone's stash of greeting cards, or cupboard or hutch (pottery), or in someone's CD player. And although I have been trying to straddle both the "cause world", and "home decorating world" for awhile, I know which one is winning out.

At the beginning of my career in art, it was the artist William Morris who I related to the most. He created in so many styles and mediums (and even created songs like "Masters in the Hall", a Renaissance-style tune with Christmas lyrics, so I can "relate" when it comes to my own music). He believed in the artful home with a lot of patterns and textures, something I always aspire to.

But, now I am more inspired to be a Kathe Kollwitz type of artist. I have a different style and different message than she does, but I am making statements that come from female sensibilities, just as she did.

These bouquets were pleasant enough to make however, and often made during times of high stress or trauma (my life has been far from easy since this series began in 2011 and doing these pieces gave me something beautiful to focus on). They are probably done with the same motivation that Van Gogh had when he got out among the sunflowers to paint when he was not feeling well. 

The first one is a Valentine card. The big flowers are from a rhododendron bush. All of the flowers are from from walks where there are flowers and weeds, or from our land.

All of the cards are blank, without words, except as noted on the front of the card.

Heart Magic
note card for sale here
hand signed 8" x 8" archival giclee print here
posters, giclee and canvas prints, plus other merchandise here

This one is also the same kind of idea, using the cedar as a background, but the flowers and framing are different:

Growing Heart
package of note cards for sale here
hand signed 8" x 10" archival giclee print here
posters, giclee and canvas prints, plus other merchandise here

The next is also a Valentine card. It was the first design I made in this style. It was, as they say, a crap shoot as far as putting the design out in stores to sell. I was surprised when people bought them as I thought the design might be just a little too quirky, maybe even hard to read as a Valentine, but being out of the ordinary is maybe why people liked this as a Valentine? I was in the presence of one woman who was buying one and she was laughing as though the card was a joke.

I also made some gift tags in this design:

Heart with Flowers and Snow Cherries
note card for sale here
hand signed 8" x 8" archival giclee print here

Next ones up are Easter. They are similar, and I couldn't figure out which I liked best, so I used them all (although once they were all printed, I tended to like the Flower Nest most since nature looks best when it is a bit wild and untamed without too much design):

Flower Nest
© 2015
note card for sale here
hand signed 8" x 8" archival giclee print here

Eggs in a Bowl
© 2016
note card for sale here

Eggs in Dandelions, Lilacs, Violets and Tulips
© 2016
note card for sale here
hand signed 8" x 10" archival giclee print here

Eggs in Fuchsia Flowers
© 2016
package of small note cards for sale here

Some of these others are just Springtime ones. Sometimes I like to make figures out of the flowers:

Flower Head
© 2015
package of note cards for sale here
hand signed 8.5" x 11" archival giclee print here

Tulip Head
© 2016
package of note cards for sale here

This is the print version:

(archival print version)
hand signed 8.5" x 11" archival giclee print here

The next one is probably the most radical one I've made yet. It is called "Flower Baby":

© 2015
note card for sale here
hand signed 8" x 10" archival giclee print here

This is one of my favorites (a tree):

Dandelion Violet Tree
© 2015
package of note cards for sale here
hand signed 8" x 10" archival giclee print here
posters, giclee and canvas prints, plus other merchandise here

For this next one I used a turquoise vase I threw on the potters wheel. I liked the effect of this giant bouquet of flowers coming out of this tiny vessel. It gave me an excuse to use some of the pots I threw on the potters wheel long ago, that were sitting around the house gathering dust. I also used a couple of the elements of the bouquet and vase for the border:

Turquoise Vase with Spring Bouquet
© 2016
(design dedicated to my cousin Carrie who has a sunny disposition)
package of note cards for sale here
hand signed 8.5" x 11" archival giclee print here
posters, giclee and canvas prints, plus other merchandise here

The following one uses some of the same ideas. I used one of the angel vases (I have made quite a few of them in this style). It could be construed as an Easter card, but it also stands on its own as a bouquet. I used the star vase because the dandelions were looking like stars to me, and the white fluffy lilac was looking like an angel:

Star Vase with a Bouquet from Heaven
© 2016
package of note cards for sale here
hand signed 8.5" x 11" archival giclee print here
posters, giclee and canvas prints, plus other merchandise here

This next one I would describe as a Spring-time bouquet (in other words, no statement, just the beauty of the flowers):

Tulip, Lilac and Dandelion Bouquet
© 2015

There is usually a big chasm during the summer: no holidays. This is the only design of its kind that I produced for summer. It has a drawn border. I originally made this design for round gift tags, but the note cards have done just as well:

© 2012

Most of my summer outside time is not spent making bouquets for art. It is spent gardening for food and bouquets for the table, weeding and picking blueberries and raspberries. 

Sometimes I think berries will look beautiful in a bouquet, especially raspberries. The raspberry seems to be endowed with magic: magic almost luminescent color (the red-est of reds), magic flower-like shape, a taste that is addictive and otherworldly. I enjoy looking at the lush bushes and the abundant bees buzzing around them as much as picking them.

I will say that I think berries have the "fountain of youth" in them. I believe organic berries are essential in the human diet, and I have a floor freezer full of berries I have picked myself. It may be one reason to use them in art: to promote them. I'll see if I get inspired next summer. 

The place I pick raspberries is along a horse fence. The horses on the other side are some of the most willful bratty horses I have ever known. They like to startle people, and whinny when no one is paying attention to them, and they are constantly running away from their owners, or charging the fence. Mostly they make an abrupt stop at the fence, then gallop at break-neck speed in another direction. It is unusual to see horses so spirited, especially ones that live on a farm. So many of the horses I have gotten to know in the past do not act much different than cows, head in the grass, placid, watchful. So being around these raspberries can be like having a front row seat to a wild animal comedy. There is also my relationship to the horses, and accepting them on their own terms. These horses are the opposite of the usual broken spirited beasts of burden who must always "behave" in certain ways for humans, and for our acceptance. In other words, I love these horses in their natural state, just as much as admiring the raspberries twinkling in the sun atop thorny plants.

Then when autumn comes back around again, I become interested in working up a few more designs. Here was the first I ever made in the autumn bouquet series, followed by some others I got inspired to make:

Autumn Harvest
© 2011
Acorn Squash Bouquet
© 2013
Squash with Pumpkin Head
© 2015

Like many here, this next design has two versions, one for note cards and the other for prints. The print version does not have the small brown border on the outside:

Food Bouquet
© 2016
posters, giclee and canvas prints, plus other merchandise here

This one has drawing in it with leaves overlaying the drawing:

Oak Leaf in a Heart
© 2011

This next one takes more or less the same approach, except the design is for a gift tag (the reason for the shape):

Maple leaves (tag design)
© 2011

These next witches were designed around their respective leaves (with drawing):

Oak Witch
© 2011 
Maple Witch
© 2011 

Then Thanksgiving comes around. I made these out of honor for the vegetarian (I was a vegetarian from age 14 - 28, with stints of being a vegan). 

I often felt that the focus on the turkey as dinner was not terribly creative, and made the holiday so one-dimensional. Yes, it is a tradition, but the few times I ate Thanksgiving with vegetarians it was a potpourri of so many tastes that it was enlightening (the best Thanksgivings I had experienced up to that time). They were also non-traditional in terms of guests: many friends gathered together, playing music, performing skits and impromptu comedies and belly laughing. 

Anyway, these cards are jokes for vegetarians. The small mini tag-size ones sell well (used as favors at the table I suspect):

Sweet Potato Bird
© 2013
Sweet Potato Bird with Wild Plumage
© 2014
I usually have this design out too, for both Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. I'm not sure what people use them for (probably favors too):

Acorns with Cedar
 © 2015 

This next one isn't an autumn card or a Christmas card, but it seems to have elements of both. The leaves have turned brown and gotten a bit torn up, and the pine is in there with the red, so maybe it is a design fitting for something inbetween autumn and Christmas, when the trees are bare, the sky is dark, and the leaves are getting a bit threadbare from all of the pounding rain and wind. At any rate, this one was one of my favorites in terms of composition:

Pine and Leaf Bouquet
© 2012

This one doesn't fit in with a holiday either. The plants were picked at the end of November. I just loved the browns, the dried up seeds and heather colored Geranium flowers, and most of all the fluffy cattails. November can be so monochromatic with its tans, grays and browns. It especially looks great up against a stormy sky with shades of purple in it. This is the greeting card version:
Cattails and November Flowers
© 2014
posters, giclee and canvas prints, plus other merchandise here

This is the print version:

(archival print version)

The next ones are all Christmas cards.

I used a hand thrown cylinder I had made and designed myself, with the snowflake motifs. I copied the snowflake pattern for the border too. Since the snowflake was on a curve in the photograph, the pattern got truncated on one side. But who pays attention to that in a border, especially when it is repeated and intentional all the way around?

  Snowflake Vase with Christmas Regalia
  © 2015

I got the idea for the next one by laying out some pine cones. The pine cones seemed to be whispering: "I am wings". So I decided to make an angel with some mini stockings I hand sewed for the feet, and a Christmas ornament I had laying around for the head. It was okay, but the head needed a face. 

I tried to make the face pleasant, but in fact, this angel looks a little spooky! 

But some people like it spooky for Christmas as it is one of my best-sellers (as far as the bouquet series goes). Perhaps Christmas can be as spooky as Halloween if you have a dysfunctional family. 
Pine Cone Angel
© 2013
These next ones use some more stockings I machine sewed at one point in my life. I am not one for stockings being red all of the time, though I recognize that red and white are Scandinavian traditions.

The idea of nature gifts comes from my highschool friends. So many of them were either hippies or die hard artists who would fall in love with something that had no monetary value at all: like a rock, or a weed with an interesting shape, or a dried leaf, or the look of a word in a certain kind of artsy font on old weathered paper. Anyway, they tended to give nature gifts. I remember opening a pretty box and finding a feather. Believe it or not, this made me smile and my heart well up with love. I treasured that feather! 

A gift can be very simple. 

I remember another friend polished a rock and gave it to me, another friend gave me a pine cone that looked rather exotic, occasionally something handmade would be put in with the nature gift like a small carving, a linoleum block print of something they designed, a handmade potholder, or a poem they had written with a quill pen, or a small drawing. 

I haven't seen any of these traditions being passed to the youngest generations, but sometimes they make a whole lot more sense than buying something:   

Christmas Stocking with Nature Gifts
© 2013
Christmas Stocking with Hearts
© 2014
Christmas Stocking with Heart and Rose
© 2014 
Patterned Christmas Stocking with Flowers
© 2015

The multicolored stocking (above) is the most popular one of the Christmas series. 

But, I wasn't content with just the previous four ... so, I embarked on another one with a border and this was the result:

Christmas Stocking with Lights and Nature Gifts
© 2016

These next Christmas ones are more consistent with the bouquet experience:

Lace Christmas Stocking Bouquet
© 2013
Pine Cone Bouquet
© 2014
Wreath with Bow
© 2015
Wreath with Rose
© 2015