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!
It’s one of those “I need to” mornings right before the Hildegard: Art and Soul Workshop which begins at 10:00 this morning at the Studio – incredibly good timing, because it is much needed. “I need to post a Friday Freebie – oops, too late – I need to fold up the laundry – oops, forgot to put it in the dryer, it’s probably all stinky – oh, no.” Have you ever been swamped by so much stuff that you can’t talk yourself out of panic mode? I’m not quite there yet, but am on the outskirts. However, after visiting with Michelle Belto yesterday about the workshop plans, there’s hope, because she could calm and refocus anybody. Check out her blog post on Viewpoint and Perspective. It makes me wonder why we don’t give our own selves permission to chill out once in a while, like Michelle did at the Spurs game. I’ll report back from the workshop as a new, improved serene ME.
Your Saturday order-of-the-day is to do something relaxing for yourself. Get a pedicure – guys, too! Eat some gelato, that yummy salty caramel kind! In the meantime,convincing myself that things are getting done, I did finish the five Guardian pieces – they will go to the Cathedral House exhibit on the 19th of this month along with some other small paintings. Here’s a phone shot as I was leaving the Studio last night – whew! Happy Saturday 🙂
I think it’s fun to see artwork in progress, whether it’s mine of somebody else’s. Here’s what going on in my Studio – remember the fired clay parts for the Guardian series? This is how those are coming together. I’m preparing the board back structure and putting together the pieces on small canvases. I’m using more color than usual in the finishes for some reason.
heads and bodies
little guardians in progress
I’ve also been experimenting with a new-to-me transfer paper called TAP. It’s kind of pricey but I like the results so far. Here are a couple of preliminary experimental mixed media pieces on 300 lb watercolor paper that I did yesterday:
Right now I need to switch hats and head to Trinity. it’s a Teaching Day – semester’s over soon, though, so more Studio time! Whoopee 🙂
I unloaded the kiln yesterday and took out lots of little puzzle pieces. The new Guardian series of mixed media constructions is getting assembled for a show at Cathedral House in mid-May, and I need to get these little guys completed. I hope they are not too pagan-esque for the venue! The fun part is matching the right face with the right bodies. Somehow, they know who goes with what. Here’s a picture of the just-unloaded earthenware tiles and shards:
pieces of the puzzle
And here’s the first yet-unnamed Guardian piece assembled:
So the big Fiesta Show and Sale is day after tomorrow – I’m sorta ready, but this morning I really wanted to work on something new for the show. I started with some square black frames that I had ordered just because they were on sale. Then I printed some digital photos of gravestone angels (but of course!) and started working on two small collages that remind me of the Guardian series. I call the new series El Ala y la Oración(the Wing and the Prayer) because they feature bird feathers and monument faces. They are turning out so well – it’s great to feel them come together. Here are the first two – with any luck I’ll finish four more by Sunday. These are behind glass so there is a bit of reflection in the photo, but it adds to the overall effect, perhaps. The hardest part was figuring out how to create the shadow box. I did it with thin strips of black foamcore mounted against the inside edges of the frames – come by the Studio on Sunday and I’ll show you the trick!
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.
In Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way day book yesterday was this quote, which somewhat describes that feeling of the force behind the creative calling – apart from making something “to sell”:
I wonder who the “they” is, though – people who look at art and get a message? Buyers? Do “they” have to come to make art worthwhile, or can you just express yourself FOR yourself. Personally, I love it when other people find a resonance for themselves in my work, but if I were alone on the proverbial desert island, I’d still be arranging palm fronds and shells into nifty designs and drawing lines in the sand just for my own enrichment and artistic fulfillment. You probably would, too!
I was invited last fall to exhibit my work at the Sol Center, the education outreach of the University Presbyterian Church, in April and May of 2013. That’s right now!This morning, I was literally painting the edges of a canvas minutes before it was time to go hang the work.Whew! Done in the nick of time.
The SoL Center a beautiful facility with a high domed ceiling. The track hanging system is unique. There are wires that hang down from the crown molding that have hook-y clamp-y things that slide up and down the cables. The whole installation process took less than an hour with help from some of the great people on the UPC art committee. The show will be up through May. Here’s a look – and it’s up for Easter Sunday!
Ever want to add a new font to use in your designs? It’s really easy – here’s how. These directions are for Windows but I can do a Mac version later if you like.
If I’m looking for a new fort for a particular project (or just for fun) I start at Fontspace. Lots of designers contribute to it and you’ll see fonts from beautiful to weird.
I found one I like called Wallflower.
I clicked on the Download button (be careful here to click the correct arrow because sometimes ads for software slip their download links in and you end up with something you didn’t want – ads are the way fontspace keeps it free)
You font will download as a Zipped file:
When you see it in the window, double-click on it.
A page will open with every letter and variation of the font – and if you look at the top, there’s an “Install” button.
And, voila! The next time you open a word document or a program like Illustrator, it will be available for you to choose from in your font list!
Today’s Mala and Spirit Flag Workshop felt like playing – wonder if there’s such a thing as a Playshop? It was like summer outside where we splattered our prayer flags with paint. We didn’t get much more done with the flags because sitting around the table stringing mala beads and talking was a lot more relaxing. One of the things we discussed was creating with intention, which seems to elevate and enrich any project.
Congratulations to Barbara Weitbrecht, the winner of the Mala meditation bracelet. Barbara, email me and let me know if there’s a favorite color you’d like me to use for the tassel. I’m still far from perfect at making these little wrist Malas, but it will be made with much love.
Here’s a video from today’s workshop – you can see what the parking lot around the Studio looks like! It was deserted on a Sunday afternoon so no one ran over our prayer flags. Yay!