Friday, August 27, 2010

Featured on Craft!


Noticed that my blog entry showing the Privacy Blind created from water bottles has been featured on Craft  It seems to have spurred a host of visitors to my site, which I greatly appreciate! The above post was also tagged by Technorati.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peace Project

iphone art by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

My boyfriend noticed postcards that were left to be given away at a local convienience store. He brought one home to me, since it had artwork on the front pertaining to Peace and he knew I would like it.  The postcard was produced by Varga Gallery in Woodstock NY. It serves as an announcement for the 'Peace Project' on YouTube which runs until August 31st.
Check it out! :-) 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fall is in the air, I can almost smell it...

Photo Art by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Fall is in the air, I can feel it. It's been rainy the last couple of days here in New York. But the night air is cooling down and I've seen Canada Geese in v-formation, and smaller song birds are starting to flock up as well. Lately the calls of the Blue Jays seem to be announcing the season's change.

We took a short cut over the hills yesterday, and on the way, climbing up a seasonal dirt road I commented that autumn was just around the corner...the woods are starting to thin out now, you can see the deer through the forest trees as they start moving towards the streams to drink just before dusk. You have a little more warning, as they prepare to cross the roads as you pass by. We stopped for a mother and twin fawns, who had probably just lost their spots recently, to let them cross in front of us safely. And caught sight of many more whitetails both in the more distant fields and nearby at the woods edge. As we finally reached the very top of the hill we saw our first view of Maple Trees whose leaves had begun changing to that almost fluorescent orange color.

Yes, Fall is in the air, I can almost smell it. I don't think I could live anywhere that doesn't experience four distinct seasons. I welcome each one with joy, but tire of it as it's end draws near. Though autumn is my favorite time of year, it always brings a kind of melancholy feeling along with it. I suppose because it brings to mind the harshness of the winter months, and loss of the vibrant life that surrounds us in more hospitable times. It's a time to reflect on our lives as another year's end begins to seem within reach and to regret all the things we had hoped to accomplish while the weather was fine, but never quite got around to because we were too busy with our carefree summertime living.

There is still the fall, with it's more comfortable temperatures and that colorful beauty that inspires us anew every time it comes around. There is still that wish for peacefulness and quiet that the cooler seasons brings, and the hope for spring with it renewal of life and love and another new vivacious beginning.        

Monday, August 23, 2010

Work Sold ~ PJ Bear

'PJ Bear' Original Sketch by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

This is a simple sketch of the pajama bear that my Grandma Kyler gave me when I was born.
I think I probably slept with it every night for a third of my life :-)
I still have PJ, though he is worn and limp, he still makes me smile with that sad face and cuddly ways.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Recycled Bottle Art ~ The Beginnings of my Bottle Tree


Bottle Tree' ~ photos taken earlier in summer by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

I chose this tree for the bottle tree outside my studio, since it was in the perfect spot, was quite symmetrical and at a smaller size so that I could easily hang bottles higher in the tree before it grew too large. It has also always been quite sparsely leaved so that the bottles wouldn't become so hidden by the foliage. I've begun dangling bottles from the limbs, and have many more strung with wire and ready to hang. I plan to continue collecting discarded bottles and adding them as I find them.

 Since this year the summer weather came so early and has been much hotter than usual, along with the adequate amounts of rain we've received, the woods on our land are much more lush than usual. The undergrowth and weeds are three times higher than it normally grows. The trees are growing faster with abundant greenery. It's beautiful, but as a result my bottles are becoming harder to see! 

I'm hoping that once I get the rest of the many colored bottles in place and am able to gradually add more as the tree becomes larger that they will be more visible. And once the weather returns to normal, if global warming hasn't taken a permanent stand as yet, I think it will be as I first imagined.

This tree will grow into a gnarly, kind of ancient looking tree in time and stay fairly low growing, if the others of this type on our land are any indication. Since I have always been drawn towards trees that have character I am looking forward to the bottle tree that resides in my determined imagination.

Though I love the way it looks now when the sun illuminates the colored glass and the shadows of the leaves add interest. It is located at the bottom of the trail that leads to my shack and visible as you are heading down the hill, it is just across the way from the building and visible from inside. I often find myself lost in thought, watching through the windows as the sun shimmers and shines off of the glass, and sparkles brightly as the breeze gently rustles the leaves.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Recycled/Found Art ~ Whimsical Moon

Whimsical Moon ~  photos by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

I had some stars (I think from the dollar store) lying around and decided to create a moon to go with them. The moon was made from a 2 liter pop bottle, the curve in the plastic providing an outward bulge to each side so that it was hollow in between and widest on the rounded edge. The eyes and mouth are just cut out, with a swarovski crystal bead placed in the open areas to reflect a little light. Both sides were laced together with old used fishing line, and it was stuffed with strips of clear lightweight packaging plastic, saved from the garbage, to create a mottled and kind of glowing appearance. A found, apparently hand made ceramic figurine is attached, so that she appears to be swinging on the cusp of the moon. They are all hung from the peaked ceiling of my studio with more fishing line, in front of a high well lit window.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer will soon be coming to a close ~ Autumn is on it's way...

'Queen Anne's Lace Flowerhead' ~ photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot) is a summer flower and is the forebearer of the carrots we eat today. The taproot of Queen Anne's Lace can be dug up and eaten like a paler carrot, though the leaves are toxic.

'Black Eyed Susan Blooms' ~ photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Black Eyed Susans are one of the most common wildflowers along summer roadsides and in sunny fields, if cut for a bouquet they will last for 8-10 days in a vase.

'Common Daisy' ~ photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

The Daisy gets it's name from the Anglo Saxon words which mean "day's eye" because the flowers open as the day begins. It's leaves are edible and can be used in salads.

'Field Flowers' ~ photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

The summer wildflowers shown here are now being joined by the flowers which are indicative of the fall season. These photographs were taken last week of the field on our land, and since then I've noticed that the thistle plants are going to seed and the Golden Rod, Ragweed and Chicory are all flowering along the roadsides. All signs that Summer will soon be coming to a close and Autumn is on it's way...but that's okay, because fall seems to be my favorite season.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rear View Mirror Art

Original Beaded Rear View Mirror Art by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Created for a dear friend, by request, for her new car...woo hoo! :-) 
The sun shines through the medallion, illuminating it beautifully while the square Swarovski Crystal beads send rainbows throughout the interior. The colors of the piece reflect the awesome color changing paint of the exterior, blues, greens and  purples... 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recycled Water Bottles ~ Privacy Blind

Original Photos by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Privacy blind created for the window in my small writing loft in my Creekside Studio Shack. Made from the bottom sections of water bottles, fastened together with fishing line and hung on a rod. I remove it and hang it below the window on the wall, when I wish to have a clearer view of my woods. I plan on producing more for the windows in the lower portion of the building as well. I love the atmosphere it provides, while still letting the light in and obscuring the visibility from outside both day and night...

First, I cut off the very bottom section (I used bottles with a flower-like design on the bottom) of each water bottle with a sharp knife, making each 'cup' the same depth, 3/4 - 1" deep.

Then I used a paper punch to make holes on all 4 sides of each cup, about 1/4" from the cut edge.

Last I used fishing line to tie rows of cups all together quite tight, side by side, to create strips the width of the window. And in the same way later tied the strips together at top and bottom until it was long enough for the length of the window.

Also tied the top row a little more loosely to a curtain rod. Then they're ready to hang. The most time consuming, and inconvenient part is collecting and storing the bottles until you have enough to work with  :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Woodland Shadow Studies

Original Photographs 'Woodland Shadow Studies' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Photos of shadows cast by setting sunlight through trees surrounding our cabin, whose outside walls are currently covered with Tyvec. I imagine they would make an interesting background for some types of art, and I plan to experiment with them, and perhaps other shadowy images, in different ways. Though I find them intriguing as they are - we have noticed several gestalt patterns (mostly faces) within the swirling shades of gray and white, though the actual impression of leaves and branches is somewhat ambiguous. Do you see any shapes that are familiar?

.         .        .

World English Dictionary
Gestalt (ɡəˈʃtælt) — n , pl -stalts , -stalten ( sometimes not capital ) See also Gestalt psychology a perceptual pattern or structure possessing qualities as a whole that cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts [C20: German: form, from Old High German stellen to shape]

   Read more about gestalt phenomenon at

The Old Apple Tree

Original Photograph 'The Old Apple Tree' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

This is one of the apple trees surrounding our cabin, an old orchard that still produces delicious apples, though small ~ the trees have been neglected for many years but they are beautiful all year round . . .
Spring blossoms, summer foliage, fruit, fall colors and interesting ancient looking shapes and textures against the white winter snow. Not to mention the perfume of the flowering trees and the taste and smell of warm apple crisp on a cool frosty night :-)
A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible. ~Welsh Proverb

I am not bound for any public place,
but for ground of my own
where I have planted vines and orchard trees,
and in the heat of the day climbed up
into the healing shadow of the woods.
~ Wendell Berry

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Work Sold ~ 'Sweet Scented Lilac Toes'

Original Photo 'Sweet Scented Lilac Toes' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress
I am thinking of the lilac-trees,
That shook their purple plumes,
And when the sash was open,
Shed fragrance through the room.
~ Mrs. Anna S. Stephens
~The Old Apple-Tree

Friday, August 6, 2010

Porcupine from recycled materials

Porcupine crafted from recycled phone book & pop bottle labels by RLHall Artfulexpress 

Thursday, August 5, 2010


'DreamTime' Mixed Media Collage by RLHall ~ ArtfulExpress 
I've been reading about dreams lately, and most recently finished the book 'The Dream Encyclopedia' by James R. Lewis. The subject matter includes all phases of dreams and dreaming, covering ancient beliefs to modern thoughts about the process of dreaming from all over the world. He touches on the psychological and physical aspects, as well as the religious and emotional importance that dreams have in all our lives. The ideas I've absorbed from this and other related studies, have inspired this mixed media piece - created with recycled newspapers, paints and ink on illustration board. Ideas expressed include wishes and fears, love and hate, problem solving, dream flying and falling, astral planes and travel, dream sharing and collective unconscious, spiritual messaging and interpretation. I am looking forward to seeing the movie "Inception" to see how dreamtime is expressed in this sci-fi flick...

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
~Khalil Gibran

“Dreaming is not enough. You have to go a step further and use your imagination to visualize, with intent! Forget everything you've ever been taught, and believe it will happen, just as you imagined it. That is the secret. That is the mystery of life.”
~ Christine Anderson

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Captured Faerie ;-)


"I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
And they were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell . . .

Because I was taught to dream . . ."

~ 'Fireflies' by Faith Hill

This song always makes me think of my Parents ~ Dad used to catch fireflies for me and leave them on my bedside stand, when I was a kid. I would wake up in the night and see the glow from the jar and then lay and watch them flit around until I fell back asleep. In the morning I would hide under the covers with them, and try to make out their waning shine in the dim light.

I remember asking them if fairies were real? They were sitting in lawn chairs in the front yard, while I laid in the grass reading a storybook. Dad answered "Some people say they've seen them." My Mom added, "You'll just have to watch closely, and maybe some day you'll know for yourself." Have you ever seen them, I asked? "I thought I might have once, but it flew away so fast I couldn't be sure. But I have seen what are called fairy rings, where mushrooms grow in a circle on the ground, it is said that fairies dance in them."  
Ooooh, really?

*                          *                          *

I doubt that I would ever be so cruel as to trap a fairy, without good reason. Especially since I've heard that they can be quite the tricksters if you cross them. But this found fairy is missing a wing, and has two injured ankles as well. Otherwise I'm sure I would never have been able to secure her in the pickle jar, if it wasn't for her weakened state. I felt she needed a safe place to stay, for protection against predators and such. Even a house cat at play could be very dangerous for her, let alone the many woodland creatures she might encounter. I've done everything I can to make her as comfortable as possible, providing a nice log seat and a bed of moss. A pool of water to soak her ankles in, a bouquet of flowers to cheer her and tiny seashell bowls of honey and fresh water for her sustenance. The lid is riddled with many airholes, and I've even spruced up her dress, hair, wing and face with paints, since she was so very pale. Though she seems sad and hasn't spoken, I think she knows that I have saved her from total destruction. She remains quite inactive, but sits on a ledge on the porch of my creekside shack, where she can enjoy the morning sun but is nicely shaded in the heat of the day and her perch looks out over a flourishing bit of nature which fairies are known to love. I just hope that she uses her magic to bring happiness to those who look upon her with favor.