Sunday, December 26, 2010

My belated Christmas wishes for everyone!

Been another hectic holiday season for me and everyone, I'm sure! But I wanted to pop in here to wish you all a Happy Holiday Season. Here is the pressed flower card that I created for this year. I miss my beautiful cardinals that were so abundant where I grew up in North Carolina and in southern Missouri where I lived for 16 years. Sadly, we don't get these beautiful red birds here at my feeder in South Dakota. But I had a joyous time creating them from my summer petals and leaves! Wishing you all much peace and joy in the new year!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Made it into the South Dakota Magazine...second time...pinch me!!

What a year this has been!!! You might have seen the nice little article the South Dakota Magazine folks did about my 'Mt. Rushmore' pressed flower art in their May/June issue this year. Well, now I am in the November/December issue! I got a call from John Andrews, their Departments Editor, in September. He was working on an article about his travels along our SD Hwy 20. He remembered my art from the previous story they did and wanted to see the rest of them. I had all my art in Watertown getting scans for fine art prints made so I met him at Expressions Gallery, where I have two of my originals. I just received my issue in the mail the other day and I'm so pleased with the article! John did a wonderful job! '...but still speaks with a slight Southern twang'...nawwwww...not me!

Here is what John wrote in the above article:
Eight miles down the road lies Wallace, birthplace of US Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, though the sign announcing the town's claim to fame no longer stands along the highway. In Wallace we met Marie Ann Robinson, the state's only pressed flower artist. She gathers flowers, leaves, fruits and vegetables from her yard and creates award-winning pieces of art.
She showed us a sample of her work. In a Black Hills scene, a flowing waterfall is made from onion membrane, and the rocks are mushrooms. In another, the wooden walls and floor of a weathered building are day lilies. Robinson explained that after they die and are rehydrated, lilies develop a deep brown color and resembles wood grain when pressed. Her interpretation of Henri Matisse's Woman With a Hat uses peony petals, poinsettia and white poplar leaves. Robinson's popular South Dakota series includes pheasants, mallards, geese, buffalo and a work in progress featuring wild turkeys.
To prevent deterioration, the art is secured with aluminum tape and sealed beneath a layer of mylar and two pieces of glass. Oxygen absorbers and silica gel packets remove any moisture, so any changes in the botanical material won't be noticeable for decades.
In the early 1990's, Robinson was arranging wreaths and working with live flowers when she found a lily of the valley pressed in the pages of her grandmother's Bible. She learned about pressing flowers and began making small bookmarks and magnets (some are for sale at Watertown's Expressions Gallery, where you can also buy originals or prints of her larger pieces). Then a friend gave her a book on pressed flower art and she expanded into bigger pieces. She joined an international pressed flower art guild on the Internet, and learns many of her techniques from Russian and Ukrainian artists, including a new framing method that is similar to vacuum packing the art within the frame.
Robinson has lived in South Dakota since 2002, but still speaks with a slight Southern twang she developed growing up in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. She and her husband, a Webster native, lived on an acreage near Clark, where she tended 12 flower beds and a large vegetable garden. But a few years ago she decided to downsize. The flower patch at her Wallace home is considerably smaller, but she still finds what she needs around town and by exchanging materials with fellow artists.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunrise in South Dakota...awsome!!!

We were at our place on the lake this past weekend and up early, of course, so my husband could get out there and hide in the pre-dawn...waiting on the ducks to wake up. He didn't shoot any ducks but I got some nice shots of our beautiful sunrise. Love the sunsets, too, but the morning sun comes up over the lake and colors up the sky and the water. These will be my inspiration shots for some pressed flower pictures I hope to create this winter. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leaves are starting to fall...let's remember summer!

We have had a very cool September here on the Great Northern Plains! Leaves are turning lovely shades of yellow...little bits of red and orange...mostly in the sumac. This year we even got to wear our shorts for a week or two. And got to jump in the lake! The gardens did well. Just wish the tomatoes had a bit longer to ripen. I still have some cosmos and marigolds blooming...most everything else has finished up. Now time to put the garden 'to bed'. I will pull out the Queen Ann's Lace and the Ammi Majus that would self-seed the world if left to their own devices! But the perennials I pretty much leave as they are till spring. The top growth catches the snow (don't even want to think about this stuff too much just yet!) and helps protect the plants from our occasional temps of 30 below (and really don't want to think of this at all!). Here are some pictures of my summer garden on Nine Mile Lake and my garden here in Wallace. Enjoy! Think of winter another day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

SD Public Broadcasting show about my gardens and art!

Just like magic...I'm right there on TV!! What an exciting evening for us! And it turned out pretty well, I think, considering I was a nervous wreck throughout the 4 hours of taping and interview. Rina and Joel were very professional and did an outstanding job, first of all trying to calm me down. Rina's dialogue was perfectly accurate and Joel did a great job of filming and editing the piece. Thanks to both of these wonderful young people! Here's the link:

Monday, August 9, 2010

SD Public Broadcasting will air my interview on September 2 at 8pm!!

What a wonderful job these young folks did to make me feel comfortable during my interview! I was very impressed with their professionalism. Rina did the interview and Joel did the taping. Four hours and four tapes later I enjoyed their company for lunch.
I think it all went pretty well. I only had to stop them once, in the beginning, so I could catch my breath and get some water to help with extreme dry mouth...stress responses are noooooooo fun! The weather cooperated. No rain and no wind...a miracle in itself these days here on the Great Plains!
Now to wait for the airing of the segment on 'Dakota Life'. It is scheduled for Sept. 2 at 8pm and will run at other times during the entire month. And Rina will send me a copy of the segment on DVD...maybe they will let me post it here!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More news!!! Gonna be on TV!

Well, I was just thrilled to have an article in our own South Dakota Magazine...and now I just found out that South Dakota Public TV wants to do a segment on my gardens and art for their 'Dakota Life' show!! Blew me away!
This is what happened: about 5 years ago my husband, Loren (I call him my biggest 'cheerleader'!), emailed the show to tell them about my art. Well, we never heard anything and soon forgot about it. Then the other day I got an email from them saying they want to do an interview and taping. Thank goodness I just finished my spring cleaning! Now to hope that we don't get any bad storms to tear up my gardens. They will be coming out next Wednesday, Aug. 4th. Already losing sleep over this! But should be lots of fun, too!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gardens are a-bloomin'!

In spite of the wind (recently had 4 days and nights of 30-40 mph winds!) my gardens are full of blooms. Sorry to say that I did lose my entire first flush of bee balm. But I cut off all the ruined blooms and many crispy leaves and now a new flush has should get some nice ones to press soon.
The blue butterfly delphinium is an beautiful electric blue this year...these petals are essential for pressing and using for skies. And I add some of the white delphinium petals for clouds. I was a bit disappointed that the larkspur I let reseed (instead of using the fresh seed I bought!) has all turned out to be a single type flower. I can use these, but I really prefer the double larkspur for pressing. And I am once more having problems with powdery mildew on these plants. So far the delphinium is not affected...but just a matter of time now, I'm afraid.
I have gardens at two places, as you can see from the photos. My garden at the lake house is still in progress...but don't tell Loren, my husband!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My 'bud', Terica

One of my best 'buds' at the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild is Terica. She is an excellent gardener, presser and artistist! And in her spare time (right!) she keeps up a really good blog:
http://flowersbyter ica.blogspot. com
She has a contest going on right now that, should you decide to enter, might win you 50 of her pressed flowers! And if you have a nagging notion that you might like to get into this wonderful art, Terica has loads of information on pressing and designing with flowers. Check her out!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Watertown Arts Festival...soggy but what fun!

I showed my pressed flower art at the The Watertown Arts Festival that was held this past weekend! Even if the weather was drippy, cool and a bit windy there were many smiles on faces I saw. I think most of the artists were glad that they attended, as I sure was. From noon til the end of the show I offered folks a chance to make their own, free pressed flower bookmark. Who can resist flowers?! Young and old had a blast and went home with a new little treasure.
I would like to extend my heartfelt 'thank you' and also my congrats to the Watertown Business Association for a wonderful job in organizing this show. The committee, led up by Kay Solberg, did an excellent job with setting up this affair...the advertising was the best I have ever seen for events like these and everything went very smoothly in spite of the weather! We are all looking forward to next year's event and are encouraging all local artists to join us next year.
This year, as part of the Festival, all of the artists were invited to place one of their artworks in the Redlin Art Center in Watertown, SD. This is a hugely popular art center and features only the work of nationally know artist, Terry Redlin. To have our art hanging for the month of June in this prestigious art center is truly an honor and wonderful opportunity to share what we love to do with many more people. Julie, at the Center, organized a wonderful Artist's Reception on Friday night. Thanks so much, Julie! You made us all feel so special.
In addition to the wonderful opportunity at the Redlin Art Center the public was asked to vote for their favorite piece. There was an Award's Dinner on Saturday night at the Goss Opera House and we learned of the results of the voting! I am so pleased to say that the piece I entered, my window box piece titled 'The Front Porch of Life', was awarded First Place in the Mixed Media category! I received many kind remarks about it and was so thrilled that some were even able to tell that it was made of pressed plant material. It is my dream that one day there will be a specific category in all shows for 'Pressed Flower Art'!
One of the best parts of this show was getting to meet so many talented and passionate artists! I look forward to many new friendships.
Thanks again to all who helped to make this event a success for us all.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My art made it into the South Dakota Magazine!

Well, you can sure imagine how excited I was about getting my work in this magazine!! It is the most popular magazine in SoDak. You can find it in the May/June 2010 issue...and, of course, I bought several! All the folks at the magazine were so wonderful and helpful. I want to especially thank Katie Hunhoff for all her efforts...she was a delight to work with.
I also want to thank Brenda at Expressions Art Gallery and Frame Shop in Watertown, SD. Brenda volunteered to take the photos to send to Katie. I am still just clueless when it comes to this kind of technical stuff. She did a wonderful job with the photos. And I can't say enough about their excellent framing...all three pieces that I have entered in competitions were framed there. I have to think that the presentation these frames created added to my work...all three won ribbons! And now the best part...Dianna, at Expressions Gallery, asked me if I wanted to display this piece in the gallery! So I have finally reached my first get my work in a gallery. Dianna has it displayed with the magazine article. And it is right next to one of my favorite wildlife artists...Josh Spies!! This wonderful artist won the national duck stamp contest recently. He also has many of his pieces at the Goss Opera House in Watertown.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Philadelphia International Flower Show...other entry

This picture, titled 'Front Porch of Life', is my other entry to the show. This one took the first place ribbon in it's category. I spent about 3 weeks on this one and leaned a lot, also. The walls and porch are made of the fall leaves of the day lily. They are brown and brittle when I pick them. Then they were re-hydrated and ironed dry and flat. The flowers in the window box are oregano blooms, white alyssum, purple candytuft, thyme sprigs and bachelor button petals. The watering can is made of the gray backsides of the white poplar tree leaves and the gloves are of fall leaves. This one is now on display the the Redlin Art Center in Watertown, SD. It is in a competition that is sponsored by the Watertown Business Association in conjunction with their Arts and Crafts Festival on June 12, 2010. I will be displaying my art at the Health Food Store on Kemp St. during this show.

Philadelphia International Flower Show Entries

Last March I entered two pressed flower art pieces in the Philadelphia International Flower Show and was honored with awards on both! I was very pleased! Above is my Mt. Rushmore picture that took 3rd place in its category. This one was an extreme challenge for me. Took me 6 weeks to get this one done...but learned a lot in the process! The sky is made of blue and white petals of delphinium. The faces and most of the rest is made from the white/gray side of the white poplar tree and also from some weeds I found at our lake place that had gray undersides. I am also very happy to say that Expressions Art Gallery in Watertown, SD has asked me to let them display it in their shop! Finally got into a gallery!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oh, my! Has it been that long since I've posted on here?! Lots has happened since my last post so guess I better get busy.
My fall shows went well. I sold my favorite piece, 'Time for a Rest'...the one with the geese landing in the harvested field. It went to a good home in Texas though. And I got 4 orders for 'Midnight'! I was glad I decided to take orders and after doing 3 more of him I think I got the technique, as well as drawing horses, down pat. I really want to do more with the cotton wood 'fluff'...found a couple of trees with the pods low enough that I can get to them before they 'pop'.
I met a wonderful lady on line recently who does beautiful work with pressed flowers and mandalas. I never heard of these but sure hope to be learning more soon...very intriguing. Here is the link to her website:
She is a truly wonderful blogger and is the one who has inspired me to get back to my own here. You will find a link to her blog on her home page. I am betting that you will be just as intrigued with her mandala art as I am!
Will post more tomorrow about the Philadelphia International Flower Show...stay tuned!