Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Quilt Your Path Home - Collinsville's 15th Annual Quilt Walk

By GG Burns, Artist and Advocate

A few weeks ago, Rebecca Clayton a volunteer for the Collinsville Historical Association, (CHA) contacted me and shared that during the 2016 annual quilt walk, the CHA was also hosting their first Annual Art Show called: Collinsville’s Art CafĂ©.  

Without hesitation, I of course said I’d be honored to participate, knowing that my mentor and beloved Collinsville High School Home Economics teacher, Mrs. Martha Barksdale, had no doubt been involved with the conception of this new art event. 

Martha had inspired me, as well as many others, to attend college. Since early childhood, I had always wanted to become a fashion artist and Martha definitely played an instrumental role in my life as I pursue my dreams. 

While growing up in small town USA, I often had a pencil or paint brush in my hand. My inability to pay attention in class, once earned me a trip to the principal’s office for sketching a "portrait" of a substitute teacher in the first grade. (I wish I had that sketch today.) This is an image that my Mother saved from some of my early illustrations apparently from the 4th grade. 

My Mother was my first teacher … a historian in her own right. She preserved, recycled, and repurposed “everything” before it was fashionable. Last year, when she passed, I made sure some of Mom's collections made there way to Collinsville’s historical museum. When I’m gone, I hope some of my art, but mostly Mom’s quilts, and other collections that she’s passed down from many generations before us, will finally make their way to a place like Collinsville's museum. 

Last weekend, (yes last minute), I sat down to create art for the Collinsville event. I have lived in several cities, even another state since I left Collinsville a few months out of high school. However, I always made photos each time I was visiting, especially during the Quilt Walks or at Collinsville's famous Turkey Trot event. Sadly, when I was in town to attend families’ funerals, I also made photos. Photography and photo editing are to me as some enjoy reading or crossword puzzles.  

As I reflected on the history of this quaint little town and of my photo collection, there was one image that said, “paint me”. 

“Quilt Your Path Home” by GG Burns

Over the years, I recall standing and staring at a peaceful scene in front of Collinsville’s funeral home. The funeral home is housed in a large Victorian 2-story home that has been around as long as I can remember.

At first, I thought about framing the churches in a patchwork border … but that didn’t work. At the last minute, I sketched a fancy path leading into the church parking lot and added quilt triangles. 

“Quilt Your Path Home”  and GG's Grandmother's quilt"
These were much like the quilts I had watched my Grandmother Massey stitch as a child. Both my Grandmother and Mom were seamstress, artisans in their own way – who used fabric, patterns and thread instead of the paint and paper I use today.

If you haven’t been home in a while, regardless as to where your roots are – I encourage you to do so. 

If you are from the Northeast part of the great state of Alabama – please stop by Collinsville’s Historical Museum on Main Street. Call to check their hours at: 256-524-2323, but they are usually open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 1-4pm. 

Additionally, please join us for Collinsville's 15th Annual Quilt Walk at the beginning at the Collinsville Public Librarythis weekend: September 23 12pm-5pm – September 24 10pm-4pm

GG's quilted Chicks watercolor paintings and a painting of GG's great Aunt Alice's quilt"
I promise you will not be disappointed, regardless of how much time you have to spend. If you don’t have time to attend this unique 15th annual quilt walk this year, please mark your calendar for next year. 

I hope to see you there. gg

Live interview about the history 
of Collinsville's Quilt Walk 
and more: 

Text me through my Facebook pages if you would like 
to order a limited edition print of
“Quilt Your Path Home”
Prints are available in 8x10” size, 
packaged in 11x14” double mats for $30 each or 
smaller versions of 5x7” packaged in 8x10” 
double mats for $20 each.



Standing by Mrs. Martha Barksdale,
Collinsville Historical Association Volunteer

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Tribute and Patriotic Deck Art

Taking the time to remember, honor and smell the roses this Memorial Day.




See more on this design here: http://www.cafepress.com/dd/67146760







These are a few of my deck and front porch flower arrangements ... 

love my garden art, love my Kassie ... best #rescuedog ever!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Inspirations from Mid-Century Modern Ads

I spent over 25 years illustrating and designing graphic media. On the computer, I can sketch a logo or design for an advertisement by using a few swirls or swatches in minutes. Modern designs like this painting,

have influenced marketing designs for decades. Many images created to promote everyday household items like Coke©, Pepsi©, even Crest©, all have a mid-century modern flair.

In Adobe Illustrator, (a drawing software program) one can fill these objects with any color your mind can imagine. However, it is not as easy and certainly not so fast to hand-paint a poster-size piece of art. 

I started sketching various elements with the thought of a tulip, a bit more abstract than I usually paint.

I browsed the web looking at posters and advertisements from the 60's. After a few hand doodles, I was ready to transfer my altered design to a large 3 foot canvas.

Again, I could have sketched this on the computer and painted it dozens of different colors in an hour or less. Painting on a large canvas took 2 evenings, around 7-8 hours.

I was also inspired by the stained glass from our kitchen light fixture. Gray and white are my primary kitchen colors with a touch of bright red and a dash of lime green flowing in the adjoining rooms and outside on the deck.

Like many of my designs, true to my art business's name – I want my art to have function. I usually load my edited art to online art stores that offers reprints on items you can use. "Hence the name, GG's Functional Art ~ Art You Can Use". I especially like this design on the handbags and coffee cups. Not all designs fit the merchandise printing spaces, so each item I load has to be hand edited. 

Buy this design here on my Fine Art of America Website: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/inspired-by-mid-century-modern-gg-burns.html

Marketing is time consuming but necessary for any business. Promotion, website maintenance, etc., takes up more of my time than the actual design and producing of art does. I deal with several spine and medical issues, so at times creating is a painful process – but if I take my time, it finally all works together. Some days are full of challenges, but you must find humor – and kick it up a notch whenever possible. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Collage Art ... Glue or Encaustic, (wax)?

Collage art preserves memories. In fact many say, "Art keeps memories in our hearts". 

I have always admired collage art. A few years ago, I was privilege to take an online class using artist Claudine Hellmuth'sCollage Discovery Workshop book. This was during a time in my life, when I was too sick from dealing with several autoimmune diseases to work. Taking this class and meeting artist all over the US, was indeed therapeutic.

In Claudine's book, I learned many fascinating techniques. My favorite was assembling found objects; both old and new into one piece of art. Basically there are two ways to collage. 1.) is by using glue to hold your objects on a flat surface, (i.e, a board, canvas or tile) and 2.) is using bees wax or encaustic.

GLUE: I personally prefer Golden’s Gel Medium, buy it id too expensive for "play days" or for teaching students. However, watered down Elmer’s glue or Mod Podge works just as well. You can always add a few coats of high quality varnish or polymer to seal your artwork when you are finished.

Beeswax or Encaustic Art: There is nothing like the smell and tactile experienced of working with rich, buttery beeswax. It is truly an "aromatherapy" experience, especially on a cold winter day when you are longing for sunshine ... but rain or snow is what you have. 

Here are a few videos on how others create with encaustic or bees wax:

Here is another blog full of vintage encaustic collages: http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/glendaencaustic.html

Glue collages:

These collages on tiles, were created of images 
from an 1950's Alden Catalog.

These collages on tiles were created of images 
from an 1950's Alden Catalog.

 This collage was created using sheet music, color tissue paper, 
a stamped leaf and tree bark.

This collage was created using vintage patterns, lace
ribbon, tissue paper and old buttons. 

This collage was created using a copy of an vintage 
photo of my Grandfather and found objects
purchased at an antique store.

This collage was created by using a vintage picture 
from 1950's Alden Catalog, tissue paper, vintage 
sewing patterns and stamps. (SOLD)

Bees wax Collages:

This collage was created of a vintage picture from 
1950's Alden Catalog, old tissue paper, 
buttons, lace and rose petals. (SOLD)

This collage was created using a vintage picture of my 
Mother as a child, tissue paper, pressed flowers and a 
real butterfly that I found in my garden.

This collage was created using a copy of an vintage 
photo and found objects, purchased at an antique store.

This collage was created using many found objects.