Mobiles in the Northwest again

Carrie Goller galleryI am now showing some of my newest art mobiles in the Pacific Northwest at the Carrie Goller Gallery in Poulsbo, WA.  Carrie and I met on an art walk in Seattle eight or nine years ago.  I am thrilled that she remembered me when she opened her Poulsbo gallery.  She is showing two of my newest kinetic sculptures made from translucent polycarbonate plastic and oil paint.  I’m so happy to have my work showing in the Seattle area again!  You’ll want to check out Carrie’s beautiful oil paintings and the other gallery art too at 18801 Front St in Poulsbo, (next to Mora Ice Cream).  You can also check out her gallery page on Facebook.


Residency at the Vermont Studio Center

I’m day dreaming about my residency at the Vermont Studio Center  at the end of the month.  I’ll join other Vermont artists for a week of self guided work up north in Johnson, VT.  I’ve never visited the center but everyone who has spent time there has rave reviews of their experience so I’m looking forward to it.  I was actually meant to attend last year, but had to defer for a year.  Now that the date for departure is approaching I’m wondering how to spend my time.  Should I spend time in their well equipped shop

experimenting with metals and tools that  I don’t often use?  Should I keep my time there unstructured and simply experiment with different materials I’ve had on the back burner?  Or should I have a project and goal in mind?  I’ve been thinking of making some “stabiles”, mobiles with an armature that sit on a flat surface.  Or another idea I’ve wanted to work on is a large kinetic wall piece.  Well, hopefully I’ll have some sort of game plan by the time I get there and it may just include a little of all these ideas.  For now I’ll just keep daydreaming….

Boston Children’s Hospital Art Mobiles

Space mobiles in a play room.

Space mobiles in a play room.

I recently completed a large commission of 6 sets of mobiles for play rooms in Boston Children’s Hospital.  The hospital has gone out of its way to make the children’s visits less scary and intimidating by filling the floors with child friendly art.  Each floor has a  play room full of games and toys for kids to play with when they are recuperating and well enough.  Many floors have a theme which I carried into my sculptures.  Here you can see 2 space mobiles in a play room on the “Space” floor.  All of the mobiles are made out of acrylic sheet and brass wire.  Some have wood and paper elements too, which had to be fireproofed for this project.  The spaces were challenging because of a central beam in each recessed space.  In order to fill the space part of the mobile needed to remain stationary.


CH Garden mobile fw

Garden mobiles in Boston Children’s Hospital



Here are my “Garden” themed mobiles in another play room.  I loved using the vibrant colors that they requested.  Who doesn’t love orange?



Garden detail

And a detail of some of the flowers which have some sand blasted texture on their faces.


There are 4 more kinetic art installations – 2 fish themed, 1 with leafy branches and another Garden theme with dragonflies that you can see on my website.  I’m thrilled to have had this opportunity to add color and lightness to this hospital setting for these special patients.  Photos by Don Ross.









Latest mobile installations

Studio shot of Branches

Studio shot of Branches

Four more mobiles were installed this week in playrooms in Children’s Hospital.  Yay!  I haven’t been present to watch the installations but my gallerist, took a few pics to share. (Getting professional photos is on my list!)  The spaces that I’m working with at the hospital are quite unusual. Branches installation As you can see a beam causes these octagonal ceiling recesses to be more rectangular than round.  Our solution has been to create two mobiles that hang on either side of the beam, creating one large sculpture.  Every room has a different theme.  Here is the Branch mobile installation.  You can see the true colors in my studio shot.  I have 3 more mobiles to finish before this project is complete.  Back to the studio…….

Art Mobiles for Children’s Hospital

Acrylic butterflies

Butterflies after heat forming.

I am very excited about my new commission of mobiles for Children’s Hospital in Boston.   I am working with gallery owner Betty Bothereau of L’Attitude Gallery where I show, to complete 12 mobiles for play rooms in the hospital.  I visited the hospital for the first time last week.  It is sad to think of a 10 floor hospital dedicated just to children, but these colorful mobiles will hopefully brighten their spirits during their stay.  One of the challenges of the hospital setting is that the art has to be washable and fire proof.   Even on the ceiling!   So I am using acrylic and wire for most of the sculptures and soaking any wood or paper I use with fireproofing liquid.   This product is commonly used in theaters it turns out.   Here you can see butterfly shapes after heat forming.  These shapes were laser cut by a “fab lab” from Cambridge.  What a time saver!  They will be incorporated into a garden themed mobile after some detail is added using a sand blasting type technique.

I am picking up with this post after the installation.  There was no time for good photography but here you can see some of the textured elements that were incorporated into the mobile.  I hope to visit the hospital to get installation shots sometime this summer.  In the mean time, I’m back to work on the next groups which have a forest and ocean theme.

Butterflies for the Garden Mobile

Butterflies for the Garden Mobile

Four Fun Fall Shows

Say that four times fast!  The fun begins with the South End Burlington Art Hop in Burlington, VT this weekend, September 6-8.  The Art Hop is a HUGE event with over 500 artists showing their work at over 100 locations!  This is the first year I’ll be participating at WND & WVS, a board shop at 688 Pine St., Suite C on the south side of the building.  That’s #19 on the map.

Deep Blue Sea mobile

Deep Blue Sea mobile

In honor of the location I’ll be showing one of my fishy mobiles “Deep Blue Sea” made from carved wood, fabric, paper and wire, in addition to other pieces.  There will also be another kinetic artist and 2 stained glass artists at our site.  We’re just a block north of Champlain Chocolates, so it’s an easy hop from us to them, or visa versa.  There’s even a free bus to take you up and down Pine St. on Saturday from 6:15 a.m. to 6:40pm, so be sure to visit!


Autumn is my favorite season when our local Vermont landscape explodes with color.  It’s a great time to visit Vermont and see our famous foliage so for the 3rd year in a row, the Vermont Crafts Council is sponsoring a state wide Open Studio Weekend, October 5 & 6.  Just like the spring version, artists will open their studios to share their work and process with whom ever stops by.  I will open my doors at The Granary, 29 Union St in Brandon from 10 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday.  You can watch as I find the delicate balance point in my mobiles and you’re sure to find some colorful, leafy kinetic sculptures cascading from the ceiling.  There are 7 local artists participating so it’s well worth you while to visit Brandon.  You can find state maps and details here.


The following weekend is the 30th Weston Craft Show on Columbus Day Weekend,  October 11-13, from 10-5 each day. Fall Flurry mobile This show features Vermont artists working in clay, glass, metal and other mediums.  This is my first time at this show with my kinetic sculptures and you will find me on the lower level.  Weston is a cute little VT town with a Vermont Country Store just 5 minutes from the show site.  If you’re out leaf peeping, this is the place to visit!  Find show details here.


I’ve decided to show only at the  Paradise City Marlborough show this year, November 22-24 at the Royal Plaza Trade Center.  This Paradise Show is more intimate than the Northampton show and features every kind of fine art and craft with approximately 200 exhibitors.  Just in time for the holidays, its the perfect time to shop for friends, family and yourself!  Please visit me in Booth #422, where you’ll find my mobiles and kinetic sculptures and kinetic wall pieces too.  You’ll find a $2.00 coupon toward admission here.

Enjoy the cooler temps of Autumn and I hope to see you at some of my Four Fun Shows!

Learning to Photograph Fine Art and Craft

Cosmic detail - week 1

Cosmic detail – week 1

I just finished a 4 week on line class: Photographing Fine Art and Craft with Brit Hammer.  Photographing my art is something I hadn’t really attempted before this class.  My camera is always set to automatic and I just barely know my way around Photoshop.  I’ve always used professional photos when representing my work because photos create the first impression when applying to shows and competitions.  They have to be great!   My kinetic sculptures are hard to shoot- they are large, they move and I want angles that look up at the ceiling- not the norm.  I have paid some wonderful photographers to take pics of my work, but it takes a lot of time to set up and get just the right shot, and time means money!  I felt it was time I learned how to work a camera myself to get exactly what I want.  Brit Hammer’s online class did just that.  It is broken down into 4 topics spread over 4 weeks: story, product, lighting and post processing.

High lights of what I learned:

Rock what you got!  (One of Brit’s favorite sayings.) Don’t worry if you don’t have the fanciest equipment.  I’m using clamp lights from the hardware store and a roll of no seam paper for the backdrop.

Discovering shadows

Discovering shadows

Lighting: Sometimes one light is enough.  Shadows create interest.  Check out this photo of my Cosmic Carnival mobile.  Although I’ve always thought of this as a calligraphy piece, I  never saw this shadow until I started experimenting with lighting from different directions. (This is from week 2 and I can now see ways I want to improve on this image.)

Who’s Kelvin?   Kelvin rates the color of light- from warm to cool.  Most bulbs state their Kelvin rating on the package.  (Even the ones from Loews.)  Learn what color light works best for your story.

It takes time!  Try all sorts of angles and all kinds of lighting to get the pic that tells your story.

Try to take your best shots in camera because fixing things in Photoshop takes time and talent.  Frame exactly what you want.  When you crop you lose data.

Use depth of field (some parts in focus and some parts fuzzy) to create depth.

Each week we posted our homework images to a private Facebook group where Brit, who lives in the Netherlands, ( Isn’t the internet great!? ) commented on each image.  She asked questions and gave suggestions to help us get what we wanted.  And I really had to think about what I wanted.  What mood was I trying to create?  What angle best tells my story for this piece?  I was also able to see other classmate’s work and the questions and comments about their photos.  After “graduating” I opted into the graduates’ Facebook group to continue to share images, questions and ideas with current and previous class members.  This class was well worth the money and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to gain confidence in photographing their own art work.  You will download the 4 week class syllabus and have it forever, complete with instructional videos.  With this class you will learn how to take artful shots of your art!

Brit has graciously offered those who enroll from my blog a discount off the class prices.  I took the guided-study + mentorship package because my work is very challenging to photograph.  I can now say I probably didn’t need that extra one-on-one because Brit is so attentive and answers all your questions on line.  To get your discount:

Dusk detail, week 4

Dusk detail, week 4

Use promo code PATTY at checkout.

Photographing Fine Art & Craft  (

$120 (instead of $125) Self-Study course

$475 (instead of $499) Guided-Study course
$575 (instead of $599) Guided-Study course + Mentorship package
DSLR Photography for Beginners (

$120 (instead of $125) Self-Study tutorial
Happy Shooting!


Kinetic art in Woodstock, VT

If you’ve never been to Vermont, the village of Woodstock is the quintessential small New England town complete with a town green,  towering church steeples and lots of small shops and inns.  IMG_0322Here at 46 Central St is the Collective Gallery, an artisan owned and cooperatively run art gallery.  I have the pleasure of showing my kinetic sculptures at Collective for the 2013 spring and summer seasons as a guest artist.   The gallery is housed in an historic building where flax was milled into linseed in the 19th Century.  It overlooks the Kendron river which flows through town and was probably a source of water power in those early days.  The gallery opened in 2006 with 12 artist members who share the running of the business.  IMG_0323


They have a high ceiling which is perfect for displaying my mobiles.  Here a a few photos of the art you can find there.


Autumn Balance mobile

Autumn Balance mobile

Autumn Shower mobile hanging in the back of the gallery

Autumn Shower mobile hanging in the back of the gallery

Honree mobile pays homage to Henri Matisse

Honree mobile pays homage to Henri Matisse

Fall Flurry and Dusk hang above the other art

Fall Flurry and Dusk hang above the other art

Kinetic Art and Mobiles- Spring Show Line Up

Copper & leaf fw I’ve been scurrying around the studio this month working on new mobiles for lots of upcoming shows.   I am loving a new material – copper tubing-recommended by my friend  and artist Mark Poulin.  The copper adds a wonderful warmth to my kinetic sculptures, especially when paired with hand painted organza.

Here’s a look at where and when I’ll be showing my kinetic sculptures and mobiles this spring.  I have 4 new galleries of Art and Fine Craft showing my sculptures.  They are:  Handworks Gallery in Acton, MA, Worldly Goods in Portsmouth, NH,  Heartwood Gallery in Saluda, NC and Show of Hands Gallery in Denver, CO in late spring.  I’ll also be a featured artist at the Collective Gallery in Woodstock, VT for the spring and summer seasons starting in April.  If you’re in the neighborhood please stop in and tell them I sent you.

In addition I’m preparing for Craftboston’s Spring Show, April 19-21 at the Seaport World Trade Center.  This show is a harbinger of spring with 200 artists showing their hand crafted art and fine craft over the weekend.  Then in May I’ll be part of a 2 person show : Nature Reflected in Water, Line and Form at the Brandon Artists Guild in Brandon, VT.  The show will run through the end of June.  Since all my new work will be in the gallery  you’ll find me there for the annual  VT Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by the Vermont Crafts Council- May 25th & 26th.  So there’s the line-up.  I’ll have more info and images as each show date approaches.  Stay tuned!  Or follow me on Facebook for the latest news.

Cleaning up in 2013

With the new year beginning it was time to clean up my studio from the chaos that I created in my rush to finish special Christmas orders.  As you can see in my before photo, there really wasn’t any room on my bench to work.  And while sometimes the serendipity of disparate items resting near each other leads to inspiration, at some point you just have to clean up so you have a place to work again.  I even went out and bought another set of shelves.  You can now walk through my studio without watching your step.  That’s the thing about creating in mixed media.  There’s a lot of “stuff” that just might find its way into your next piece.  In the mean time….you need to find a place to store it.

So now that I’m organized I can set my sights on the projects ahead.  I will be a featured artist in  the Collective gallery in Woodstock, VT from April till September.  I’ll be showing in Craft Boston April 19-21 and I’ll be part of a two person show at The Brandon Artists Guild in May and June.  So there’s lots to do!  Stay tuned for progress reports.  I just wonder how long my studio will stay clean?