This started to be a tirade about Black Friday, but, you know what? People find their joy and purpose in all kinds of weird things, and if shopping for a TV at the crack of dawn gets ya up and out into this beautiful day, then go for it – just be careful out there! Crowds make me twitchy, so I prefer to be in the Studio finishing up these two new – er, “dimensional paintings.” I like the description. They’re painted on stretched canvas, not strictly collages, but they have dimensional surface applications. Titles are Copper Mountain 1 & 2, and I’ll show these next Friday as part of my La Vida Gallery opening. I’m still experimenting, but so far, so good. Feedback? Better yet, come to La Vida on the 6th and check them out in person.
This is kind of interesting – I’m doing some dimensional paintings for the La Vida show on Dec. 6th and have been experimenting with Activa Super-Light Air Dry Clay as part of the process. Look at these fossil-like shards – they weight about as much as a feather but look really cool, kind of like limestone:
These were finished with Tsukineko walnut ink. I’m not sure how I’m going to use them yet, but I know I’ll include this idea in the Exploring Air-Dry Clay workshop on December 15. Scorpion fossil jewelry, anyone?
Before he left San Antonio this afternoon, my friend Ramesh wanted to go looking for birds to shoot – with his camera. We went to the Judson Nature Trails, the place that Whiltley Streiber said he saw aliens. No aliens, and actually, not many birds, although we heard a bunch of them. I took a picture of some trees. Zowee. Here we are heading for the trail.
Me looking for aliens
My snapshot of trees – ho hum –
Ramesh with camera gear
Check out Ramesh’s camera – he didn’t need to go on a trail to take a great bird shot. When we got home, he took a fantastic photo of a dove outside the kitchen window. Now that’s the difference between a photographer and a snapshotter like me – you can even see the dang dove’s eyelid, and look at those feathers! I love this photo. Thanks, Ramesh, and happy trails home!
Rooster shard necklace and other pendants by Lyn Belisle
Sunday’s Earthenware Shard and Adornment workshop will be fun, and there’s one space left for a brave soul. We’ll play with clay and create pendants and faces and roosters. Well, maybe not everybody will want to make a rooster, but a friend asked me to make some rooster jewelry for a rooster aficionado that he knows. Always one for a challenge, I did it (see the necklace, above). You can use regular decorative stamps like this one on thin pieces of damp clay in all kinds of ways. After Sunday’s workshop is over, I will take the pieces home and fire them to Cone 05, then we’ll meet again on Wednesday evening to finish them and string them at Ann Pearce‘s jewelry studio next door. It’s one of my favorite workshops. Even the rooster part.
The kiln and I have been busy for the last few day. I’ve done two firings since Tuesday with new designs. Here are the first few pieces of earthenware with silver Gilder’s Paste which I order on Etsy. I love this combination or terra cotta and silver. Check out the little shard mirror! The Gilder’s Paste is a metallic wax that you can rub on with your finger to highlight texture, and it becomes a permanent patina-like finish on the unglazed clay.
Today’s Friday Freebie is one of the little B Beautiful shard dishes like the two in front. You can use them for tea bags, rings, whatever – or just look at them as a small one-of-a-kind work of art. I put a honeycomb texture on the clay that looks very cool, if I do say so myself. If you are a SHARDS Blog subscriber before midnight tonight and your name is drawn by my number randomizer app , I’ll send you one of the little B Beautiful dishes – free tea bag included 🙂 Subscribe by adding your email on the top right on the page – thanks! And thanks to all of you loyal already-subscribers – you guys are awesome.
Also, as a PS, since I’m talking about ME, I was asked to submit my digital portfolio for consideration as San Antonio Art League’s Artist of the Year for 2014. Now, chances of my being chosen are about as likely as flying pigs, but it was nice to be nominated. I didn’t have a digital portfolio so I put one together with some work from the last couple two years. The nomination made me smile because my work was rejected by the juror in the last Art League show, but you gotta roll with rejection, keep calm, and carry on!
Last night I got an email from artist Dawn Zichko, whose blog, Mental Mohair is full of inspiring ideas for thought and new work. Dawn had ordered some Shard Faces from my Etsy shop in early February. I always ask buyers if they’ll send me pictures of how they use the little faces, but these fiber hangings that she and her daughter did just blew me away. Look at this amazing combination of strands of knitted yarn, ribbon, twigs – beautiful work. There’s another photo here. Thanks for letting me share these, Dawn. I love your work and your blog.
I went to Harbor Freight yesterday to see if they had gotten in more of their canvas drop cloths – what a find. My friends Chip and Jane told me about these – beautiful heavy canvas for stretching on stretchers (or just using loose) to use as a painting surface. The price is right, too – a 4 by 12’ heavy canvas panel for less than ten dollars or 9×12′ for $15.
While I was there, the aluminum tape caught my eye – probably a lot of people know about that stuff, but I had a great time playing around with it. You can crumple it, paint over it, scratch it – great possibilities. In these examples I used black marker, transparent acrylic, and acrylic ink and rubbed it over the surface, then buffed it off. Next time will check out my neighborhood hardware store and see if they have it there. I’ll definitely be using it on some book covers for Nueva Street Gallery – yay for hardware stores! They even smell good.
PS The Baby Bee dish is there just cause it looked nice propping up the examples – no foil used in clay – it would vaporize!
I’ve just come across the work of potter artist Alice Ballard. It’s one of those revelation “aha” moments – this came right after my favorite local nursery, Shades of Green, requested my work for their shop yesterday. They are putting air plants in my Sprig Shards (thanks, Gloria, for showing them) and it’s made me rethink the form and function aspects of my earthenware. Take a look at Alice Ballard’s work, particularly this Pod series. Beautiful.
Gina and I had scheduled an unannounced Collage on Canvas workshop several months ago, and it ended up being a very enjoyable one-on-one afternoon. Gina is a talented crafts-person in her own right and has made some beautiful journals for me – today she brought photos and mementos from her trips to Ireland. The hardest part was deciding on the central image. She chose a Irish beach photograph she had taken, and she also had shells from that same beach, including a razor clam shell that ended up being an integral part of the composition. We had a great time going back and forth about colors and textures and her collage is just lovely, organic and serene. Take a look.
I love receiving comments and photos from other artisans who have used my faces in creative ways, particularly in Spirit Dolls because there is so much meaning, positive energy and symbolism in those constructions. Look at this photo and read the comments from Louise in Washington state, and you’ll see what I mean – the face and body have almost come to life:
Several months ago I purchased some of your lovely face shards and although it has taken me a while, I finally completed a Spirit Doll which I named, “Plant Woman of the Pacific Northwest Woods”, in honor of my commitment to deepening my knowledge of the medicine of the local plants. ~ Louise