Friday, November 24, 2006

A Good Day

We had a lovely holiday... a good day with MUCH to be thankful for. I set out the food and let everybody have at it. With plates in hand, they settled down to watch football. Jake doesn't often get an entire afternoon to just sit down and indulge himself like that, so it was my pleasure to make everything as laid back and relaxing for him as possible.

Now, I like football as much as anyone, but my hands *need* to be busy, so I picked up some clay and began to play.

This lovely thing is the round robin doll that is staying with me this month. Doesn't she have a gorgeous face? She is a world traveller, touring the world with her treasure box. I have been agonizing over what to do to her for a few weeks now, so I was quite relieved to finally have An Idea! Yesterday was the perfect opportunity to just sit and play and keep everybody company as well.

I was inspired by the work of Jean Bernard to give her some roots to keep her centered while she wanders...

I began with the top of the box. She had been simply glued to her base, and while the connection seemed pretty secure, it utilitarian rather than attractive. I thought I could do something about that.

Here is a closeup of the front of the box. I forgot to take a photo of the back, but it's pretty much more of the same, so you get the idea...

I would have liked to spread the sculpt out a little farther along the top of the box, but I didn't want to obscure what previous artists had done. The "Emperor's Gold" paint that I used stood out against the pink a little too strong; this morning I added a light wash of Lumiere's "Halo Pink/Gold", which connects the elements nicely.

I continued the "Roots" theme down into the inside cover of the box. I really got to go to town here. I just kept going and going until I finally ran out of what apoxie clay I had mixed up... it took me two whole football games to complete, but it was so much fun that it seemed to take no time at all.

For once in my life, I have a travelling project complete BEFORE the 11th hour before it is due to be mailed!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I have absolutely no business blogging today. I should be cleaning. My son and his wife are coming for a visit for Thanksgiving and their room isn't ready yet and the bathroom is not fit to be shown to outsiders. We haven't seen them since July, so I want everything to be nice.

On the other hand, I have been working all morning, and these hats are going in the mail today so I NEEDED to get a photo of them. LOL!

These are for a "parts swap" on Fabric Doll Art. The finished dolls will be in the form of Holiday tea pots! I especially like the green and pink one with the angel button. I wish I could find another one of those buttons...

It is good to be in the sewing room after so much time spent painting.

The painting bug has bit me hard however, and I have begun another canvas. I won't work on it until after our company leaves, as not everybody is as crazy about the smell of oil paint as I am.

This is the reference for my next portrait attempt. It is a snapshot of my mother taken when she was a young girl. I have *always* loved this photo. Wasn't she the cutest thing??

I have a couple other old snaps of family members... I think I will begin a series.

This is what I have so far. I think I caught the likeness pretty well, but I need to keep working on the placement of her hands. The details in the photo just aren't as clear as I'd like. Hmmm... this might be a good spot to experiment with "lost edges"!

Anybody have any ideas as to what color her shirt might be??

OK, back to cleaning. It really will be nice to have the house completely clean again. It makes it so much more comfortable to be creative.

I hope that everyone who reads this has the most Blessed Thanksgiving. May you have as much to be thankful for as I do!



Saturday, November 18, 2006

For Judi W...

Because she asked, I am posting this photo of my domino magnets for Judi W. (Hi Judi!) I sold about 2/3 of what I had, and thank goodness I had them! Between these and what I called "Hanglie-Danglies" (little bead combinations hanging from a small parachute clip) I made a LOT of kids happy... which lured in their parents, who bought other stuff. (happy grins!) Even 2 of my canvasses!

Lots of "ooh"s and "ahhh"s and some good sales too. I actually sold more than I anticipated, which is good, but oh! I am tired tonight.

The reactions to my canvasses was both amazing and disappointing, though now that I think about it... not surprising. A few people simply walked right past my table as if they didn't even see it, which is a *little* weird as I was spilling out into the path way with my easles... MANY people were interested in them, and even very complimentary, remarking how unique they were. The ones who seemed most fascinated by them -- and some seemed to be completely mesmerized! -- wanted to know all about how I made them... now that I think about it, I wonder if they weren't hunting for ideas...

(Not to worry -- I gave Sherry Goshon FULL credit and gave away NO secrets!)

I have nothing but the deepest respect for those brave and HARDY souls who do this for a living. How do they DO it??? I would SO much rather make stuff than sell it!

Did I mention I was tired...??

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ready or Not...

It's just a little church craft bazaar. No big deal... right? Sigh...

As much as I love sharing my work, I still dread the "I can find it cheaper at Wal-Mart" comments that I KNOW will be forthcoming. I KNOW in my head that not everyone will like everything I do, but I don't have to like knowing that! I especially don't like it when they tell me so to my face...

OK, I'm taking a breath and getting over it!

TA DA! This is my little corner of the world where I will be spending the next 3 days. Most of it is my jewelry, but I dyed some silk and silk velvet scarves too -- they look SO pretty all lined up on that old drying rack. I also threw in my canvasses from my online class, just to see if there is a market here for my very different art. No fruit still lifes here!

If they DO sell, I can afford to buy some more canvasses and make some more, LOL!

I finished 2 more canvasses. I'm not that crazy about the dancer one, but I really really like the Angels canvas. I think it's my favorite. I seriously think they are too weird to sell, but we shall see. I am often wrong. I hope this is one of those times!

Now that I know the basic process, I look forward to refining the technique and making it my own. I like the way the whole process flows, with each step taking its cue from what has gone before. It is an intuitive way of working that I find very comfortable and energizing.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Frenzy of Art

Maybe instead of Leaping Calf, My studio name should be ADD Art. I've been jumping from one project like a manic grasshopper all this week, LOL.

This is the first piece I have completed from Sherry Goshon's "Inner Child Wall Art" class at I am reasonably pleased with it, though I learned a lot about what I DON'T need to be doing for this kind of art. For example, I wish I had sealed with paper with the words on it on the back as well as the front. The paint under the paper seeped through and the words aren't as clear and easy to read as I would have liked. On the other hand, they blend well with the rest of the piece and don't stand out too much. Oh well.... it's done now.

It has been a wildly entertaining class with lots of give and take between the students and the teacher. Those are my favorite kind. It has also been a s-t-r-e--t---c----h for me to branch out into this kind of art. Flat AND 3D just felt sort of "wrong" at first... I think I got the hang of it though.

This one is the second of the 2 canvasses I have completed so far. This one is just for me and will be my signature piece. Again, I wish I had protected the paper...

I have 6 more in progess, but only one more is as large as these. 3 of them are pretty little...

This last one is from Jean Bernard's "OOAK Journal" class at Class Another fun class with some interesting and innovative journals coming out of it. The face is from one of my own sculpts, but other than that, I pretty much followed the teacher's instructions. I have some good ideas for another one that will be a little more my own design.

AFTER the bazaar next week! Until then, I am in a frantic finishing mode. Time to be creative later, LOL.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Finished Object, at last!

I finished Lydia's portrait yesterday in painting class. I am so pleased with it -- I honestly had no idea that I could paint like this. It is SO satisfying to complete a project of this magnitude, especially one with so many potentials for disaster, not the least of which is my beloved daughter never speaking to me again!

I have already begun the undersketch for another portrait. This one will be taken from a very old black and white photo of my mother taken when she was a very young girl. I am looking forward to the increased freedom of *not* having to follow an already-decided-upon color scheme, as well as not having the model looking over my shoulder every week...

Here is where I am on the first of my mixed media collages...

I think it actually looks pretty cool as is. The teacher called for spray paint as the "cover everything" medium, but I am too cheap and also too in love with my new-found ability to throw paint at canvas. Lots of paint! Lots of color!!

This is the only one of its size I have to this point, but I have 2 more big canvasses, 3 medium size canvasses and 4 little bitty ones at various stages of completion. I just wish I knew what was coming next. I am dying to take the next step!

And finally, as if I had all the time in the world to get stuff ready for next week's bazaar, I went and began a new Eni Oken style piece. She posted a similar piece to her blog a week or so ago, and I just *had* to start one similar to it. Strike while the iron is hot and all that...

This is a dreadful picture, but I was too lazy to set up the light tent. These colors aren't quite true, but you get the idea. Beginning at the center, the stones are ametrine, aquamarine, amethyse, rose quartz, another aquamarine, and another amythest. Can you see the tiny green stones that cover the space between the stones? Those are the last of my peridots. I'm so glad that I found such an exciting piece to spend them on.

The wrapping is going much easier this time -- I must be getting the hang of it. There will be another wrapped ametrine and maybe a few other little things dangling from the central silver piece, but I can't start that part until I finish the wrapping, which gives me some time to ponder ideas for the dangle too... I can't wait to finish it. After all... I still have 9 days before everything ELSE has to be finished for the bazaar...

All the time in the world, right?

Friday, November 03, 2006

I am in 2 minds about sharing these photos of my works in progress -- I am so pleased with what I have accomplished so far, but I just can't give a viewer an idea of how much is left to do to these pieces. There is still a long way to go.

For one thing, the whole surface will be getting several more coats of paint and then more embellishments, but these photos will give you an idea of where I am going. I have already adjusted the folds of the stockinette draping based on what I see here in 2D, so taking them wasn't a total waste of time.

The piece to the left "Freedom - Leaping Calf." It is going to be my signature piece. It will hang in my studio, and accompany me when I do anything like a craft show or demonstration. Unfortunately, everything is still wet and shiny, so you can't really get a good idea of the wealth of texture on the surface of this canvas. Ignore what is left of the black writing as well as the colors of the draping -- it will all be painted over in the end. (I find that my calligraphy skills aren't up to the challenge of the design of this piece, so I cheated and used a fancy font on the computer. Sigh...)

Look hard -- you can see the capital "B" which begins the quote. I cut it out of cardboard and coated it with modeling paste, so it is quite dimensional. There is also a stylized sun in a celtic knot design stenciled in modeling paste in the upper right.

The second piece is more experimental in nature. I am using it to practice on. The "hills" are finger painted in using a modeling paste that has had little glass beads mixed in. It is softer and a little less dimensional than the other paste, so I may add another layer to make those hills stand out from the surface a bit more. This particular angel is my favorite body shape. I couldn't use one of my own original sculpts for the face though, because they are all too big. I had to resort to one of my Sculpey mold faces. I wish it had a little more "life" in its expression, but oh well. I can see I am going to have to sculpt some smaller faces if I want these pieces to remain entirely original.

I am dying to get started on my "Inner Gypsy" themed piece, but I already have requests for works revolving around other people's signature verses, so that one may have to sit on the back burner for a bit. Who knows... I may get some commissions out of this. That would be nice...