The Art Fly

“Experimenting with a Natural Palette”

Posted on by Norine

Since the last blog post I’ve been working with my natural palette by cutting bamboo stalks (see foreground) into thin, flexible strips. Bamboo can hold a very sharp edge or point, but the edges of each of these strips are hand-shaped by yours truly, and feel smooth to the touch.
I’ve also been cutting bamboo on various angles, creating interesting markings on the outer skin by sanding through here and there. All edges will be smoothed with a knife or sandpaper. The sides that will be mounted to the wall panel must be sanded flat. Each piece of the mosaic will be a finished “sculpture” in itself.
And, I’ve been de-barking twigs to create patterns, no sense asking why, and connecting these to bamboo rings. This idea came from something I saw in a Native American museum in Montana a few years ago – the teepee (tipi or tepee) tent flaps were secured at the entrance with decorative strips similar to this. Functional and beautiful. I couldn’t wait to try them myself!

It’s a long journey to simplicity! At this point, I have nothing in the way of a finished composition for a natural mosaic, still experimenting and doing quick drawings as the ideas emerge, but I can feel things coming together the more I work with my materials. Each step in this process matters to me, from collecting, selecting, cutting, composing…and each step is given my full attention over an extended period of time. I receive great satisfaction in developing an idea into something visible, tangible.… In this case, it’s a hand-crafted co-creation with nature.

Your comments and emails are always welcome!

“Gathering a Natural Palette”

Posted on by Norine




Gathering a natural palette is my first step in creating any artwork, whether for a painting, or in preparation for a “natural” mosaic. I have in mind to include these and other found objects into future bamboo mosaics. Certain things attract my attention: the spiraling vines of varying thicknesses and textures, the neat thistle patterns, the round pods that seem suspended in these long thin twigs… The question of how to use them will come soon…for now I’m still discovering my palette, in the woods and along back roads.

As my ideas develop and expand I’ll post more images. Meanwhile, I pay great attention to intuition; subtle nudges help me make choices all the while. Right now I have no idea what will happen. But, that’s exactly what I love about creating!

“Freedom of the Spirit”

Posted on by Norine

Thanks to writer Gwen Shrift for putting my artistic output (so far) into a nut shell. No small task! Some of the highlights of my journey as an artist are in this article. It was recently published in the local Calkins newspapers: Bucks County Courier Times, Burlington Times, Intelligencer, and on The photos were taken by Matt Stanley. Thanks Gwen and Matt!

Please email me if you have any questions, comments…

Works in Wood 2011 at New Hope Arts Center

Posted on by Norine

Works in Wood 2011 runs through December 17th – there’s nothing like it! Visit New Hope Arts for details.

At the bottom of this poster you’ll see a detail of “Uplift” – one two bamboo mosaics I have in this show, which received a mention here. This article by Gwen Shrift gives a great description of what’s in store for the curious viewers!

“Small Treasures”

Posted on by Norine

Never cease to be amazed! Check out the current online exhibition – “Small Treasures” – on Crafthaus. It is wildly fascinating!

This is my submission to the show, a small bamboo container 2.5″ high x 1.75″ wide. Read more about this, and all the other artist entries at “Small Treasures 1” on Crafthaus online.

Santa Fe Respite

Posted on by Norine

Almost canceled it due to flooding on the east coast, and in my studio, but decided to get outta town for a week – destination Santa Fe, NM! It was a great adventure hiking and climbing, flea marketing, gallery hopping, pueblo touring, and tram-riding to the top of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque just before flying back home to Pennsylvania.

Still ripping off floor and moldings in my studio, dehumidifiers going non-stop, can’t wait to get back to the easel…