Thursday, August 30, 2012

Using Art Powers for Good

My superpower is art.  But 'with great power comes great responsibility.'  (I think that's from Spiderman... but originally from Voltaire.)  I choose to use my powers for good.

Tony Simmons, a great local writer and promoter of all things local and awesome, came into CityArts and asked if any of our artists would be willing to create a bra for's 'Making Strides Against Breast Cancer' team to enter into next week’s “Battle of the Bras.”  The deadline was fast approaching, but Heather Parker and myself, said yes.

Not exactly a surprise, but I have never made an art bra before.  I was afraid and excited by the challenge.  I won't go into all the details because you can read the full article about our art bras here.

Here is photographer Andrew Wardlow taking the amazing shots for the cover of's print version in the News Herald from last Friday.

Our models were the lovely Jamie Sasser (left, modeling Heather Parker's bra) and Samantha Neeley (right, modeling my bra.)

And here it is in print!

And don't miss the video where I am completely caught off guard and attempt to say something at least somewhat intelligent for the camera.


As you can tell from the many links above, a lot of people are involved in this - all for a good cause.

My bra was chosen to be the official bra for in the Battle of the Bras that will take place September 6th at the Grand Theatre in Pier Park.   A 6:30 p.m. presentation in the theater will be followed by the battle, when a member of each team will strut the catwalk in a 15-minute fashion show, showing off each bedazzling entry. Survivors of the disease will decide which team created the best looking bra.  More info on that here.

The bras will then be auctioned to raise money for the American Cancer Society during the CityArts annual half-off sale, which coincides with our artists’ reception for the current “Clothing Optional” exhibit. The reception is 4-6 p.m. Sept. 15, and the auction will be at 5 p.m.

Green Tip #7:  Ditch paper sticky notes, and just use your   computer.  Most of us have to-do lists, quick phone numbers, dates, and other little reminders that we need to write down quickly and then keep for the near future.  Why waste paper when your computer is probably right in front of you?  Most computers have a notepad or sticky note program.  You can leave them on your desktop so they won't go away and be forgotten.  Think of how many trees are cut down for sticky notes.  One of the benefits of technology is less paper, take advantage of it.

Thank you for reading!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rhapsody - Paper Cut

Allow me to introduce you to a new paper cut called "Rhapsody."

Dictionary Definition:
rhapsody |ˈrapsədē|nounan effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling: rhapsodies of praise.• Music a free instrumental composition in one extended movement, typically one that is emotional or exuberant in character.
"Rhapsody" hand-cut paper, 16"x20", by Heather Clements. *SOLD

I tried a new approach to paper cutting on this piece.  When I sketched my idea for this piece, the sketch was in pen.  To shade I simply created lots of parallel lines, drawing hatch lines, like I often do.  You can see my rough idea sketch below.  As I was thinking how to transfer the entire image into a paper cut, in just two values, black and white, I realized how much detail would be lost.  I also really love the look of the long hatch marks, and always have.  So I decided to incorporate those lines in my new paper cut, creating more than just two values.  Here is the sketch:

And a few detail shots:

"Rhapsody" (detail) hand-cut paper, 16"x20", by Heather Clements

"Rhapsody" (detail) hand-cut paper, 16"x20", by Heather Clements
 I am quite pleased with the result, although I did learn a few things about my new technique as I went, via some mistakes I won't be making in the future.

This piece is for sale, please contact me if you are interested.

Inspiration Source #6:  "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. describes it as: "The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. "You are the teacher?" he asks incredulously. "I am the teacher," the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves."

For me, this book revealed everything I had been thinking for years, but with more facts and more eloquently phrased.  It is so simple and well put.  It just may change how you view this world, and therefore how you live in it.  Many people have considered this novel revolutionary.  It was awarded the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship in 1991. This was an award given by Ted Turner, for a book offering creative solutions to global problems.  Read it.  And then read the other two books in the series, "My Ishmael" and "The Story of B"

Buy it from Amazon here.

Thank you so much for visiting,


Friday, August 10, 2012

'Hibiscus: Delicate Beauty' - Paper Cut

Yesterday I finished a new paper cut.  To me, this is a sister piece to the last large paper cut I made, "Woman of the Earth."  The new cut is called "Hibiscus: Delicate Beauty."  I found that a symbol for the Hibiscus was 'delicate beauty' which fit perfectly with the concept of my piece.  It's also perfect because there are hibiscus flowers right outside of my studio.  They are breath-taking flowers; huge, vibrant, and with a very long and intricate stamen. Their presence is particularly special because these flowers only last one day.

In this new piece I am showing an iconic connection and interdependance between humans and nature. The irony is that humans have always depended on nature, for food, water, shelter, etc., but nature never needed humans.  Now that humans have damaged the planet so much, it is only us humans who can use that same scientific mind that created such a mess, to reverse the damage.  Hence the modern interdependence.

There is another thought on that.  Jonas Salk said, "If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish."  

I think that's true.  But being a human myself, I am evolutionarily obligated to want our species to continue (although I definitely don't think we need 7 billion.) Therefore, we have to be careful to use the gift of human imagination wisely, for a better future.

I am an artist.  Artistic talents are what I have to work with.  With that I try to do my small part for the greater whole.

Now, for the actual art:

"Hibiscus: Delicate Beauty" (detail) hand-cut paper, 16"x20", by Heather Clements

"Hibiscus: Delicate Beauty" (detail) hand-cut paper, 16"x20", by Heather Clements

"Hibiscus: Delicate Beauty" (detail) hand-cut paper, 16"x20", by Heather Clements

"Hibiscus: Delicate Beauty" hand-cut paper, 16"x20", by Heather Clements. *SOLD

And here is a video I made of the process:

This piece (including idea sketching, drawing on the back of the paper, and the cutting) took about 12 hours.  It is for sale.  Payments can be made over time.  Contact me if you are interested in purchasing this piece.

Green Tip #6:  Buy used.  Production of new products takes a huge toll on the environment.  Plus everything we throw away stays on the planet, it doesn't just disappear.  There is so much stuff already in the world, we really don't need everything to be new.  Buy used furniture, appliances, dishes, decor, books, clothes, and more. You'd be surprised at the awesome clothes you can find at thrift stores like Goodwill.  And you'll save a ton of money.  Most of our furniture was found on the side of the road, or passed down from the family, and most of my wardrobe is Goodwill.  And I'm proud of it!

Thank you so much for visiting.  I would love to hear your thoughts on my new piece of art, and the video of the process.