Thursday, July 31, 2008

The World is a Wonderful and Curious Place

The other day I was taking a little break, lying in the grass outside my studio, when a dragonfly came and landed on my knee.  We looked at each other for a little while, and she flew away.  She returned, landed briefly on my nose, and flew away again.  I sat up and held out my hand.  She came back (not even kidding) and landed in my hand.  She stayed there for a good minute.  The wind started blowing hard, and she was struggling to hang onto my hand.  I didn't like the way her delicate wings were blowing all willy-nilly, so I lifted my other hand to shelter her from the wind.  This scared her, and she flew away.

I finished King Kong Cardinal earlier this week and took more high quality digital pics of my latest batch.  I made it to the framer with this series and my big vine piece, so everything will be ready for my show at the end of August.  

I've been spending the last couple of days working on my bird egg installation.  So far I have seven eggs completed, and two in progress.  Actually, one of the two in progress was finished, but I decided I didn't like it anymore.  I like this one, though:

On Monday I played around a lot with different ways to mount them on the wall.  I made a mockup mini installation with masking tape and push pins, just to get an idea of how the eggs will look when they are grouped.  
After playing around with different ideas--making tiny shelves for each egg, wrapping wires around them--I decided I want the hardware to be invisible.  So I came up with this:
The result is that the eggs really become paintings, instead of little sculptures, because they no longer work as free-standing pieces.  But I think they're more interesting as paintings, so I'm happy.  

Lately I have also been inspired by my kitchen:

Naps in the fort are very nice.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I am a bad, bad, neglectful blogger!

And for this I apologize....I have many (and may I say valid) excuses, but I won't bore you with those.  Besides, I'm pretty sure I know everyone who reads my blog, and you all already know about the shenanigans that have been stealing me away from my precious studio/blogging time. In fact you were probably involved in at least one of these extravaganzas.  In any case, here's where I left off in my studio last week: 
I finished this guy.  I really like him and the evil deeds he is obviously plotting.

I started this sassy, Spiderman-inspired Cardinal.

And played around with the arrangement of this series of six.  

My original intention was to make a series of nine.  But like so many of my artistic exploits, It appears that I have aimed impossibly, ridiculously high, given my current time constraints.  I need to get these guys to the framer asap so they will be ready for my August/September show, so for now they remain a series of six.  

I know that I got a few hours of studio time in this week, too, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember where I squeezed it in....aha! It was Monday, between my day of teaching and my nighttime private lesson.  Yes.  On Monday I finished another bird egg portrait and started a new one.  I didn't have my camera with me though.  

Today I also went to Home Depot and bought some molding that I'm going to try cutting up to make tiny shelves for my bird egg portraits to sit on.  We'll see how it works!  Even if it fails, it's a good excuse to hang out at my dad's house and use his mitre saw.  

I have next week off from teaching, so I will have oodles of studio time, and many, many more things to share!  Huzzah.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just a Little Update

I worked on this little guy today and expect to finish him tomorrow.  I was loving the summer evening light and shadows on my studio floor, so I included them in the picture. :)

I've been playing around with the arrangement of my giant bird-on-house series, and I think nine is the magic number.  Four more to go!  

On Friday I took high quality digital pics of my latest completed work, and it feels so, so, so, so good to be finished with this latest batch.  I even corrected the colors and backed up the files already!  In a perfect world I would employ a team of magic elves to take care of all of these pain-in-the-butt parts of my art life.  

Here's a glimpse of one of my classes from last week:
It's kind of hard to see, but all of the kids are behind the theater, holding up their puppets.  They were my dream group of kids and the memory of their positive energy completely makes up for the screaming banshee child with whom I've been blessed this week.  

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Am So Rumbly in My Tumbly

But while Pooh Bear's tumbly rumbles for honey, mine rumbles for studio time.  :( 

I'm teaching a LOT this summer.  A LOT.  And although I'm having a wonderful time with the kids, I intensely miss my long stretches of focused painting time.  I did, however, get a chance to make this quasi-sinister guy this week:
And I started this guy today:

The house is based on this house: I find myself painting directly from my computer with increasing frequency.

I also started this guy last week, but I felt like the composition was too dead and boring.  I'll keep this and see what I can turn it into.  The chickadee piece is my take two of this first attempt:
Yesterday afternoon, in a moment of extreme obsessive compulsion, I spent two (*cough* unpaid) hours creating this puppet theater for my puppet-making class at the Arsenal Center.  Don't get me wrong, I spend a lot of unpaid time preparing for my classes, but this was a bit over-the-top.  Especially, since I was feeling very cranky for lack of painting, AND I was working in the room directly next to my studio.  But the kids in my class are REALLY cute and REALLY excited about performing with their puppets in an end-of-week show.  So I made this for them:My students painted it today, but I forgot to take a picture.  I'll get one tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yesterday I got my creative juices flowing with a walk through the Arsenal Center for the Arts Nature in Balance Exhibit.  It's all right outside my studio door.  Here are my two favorites:
Yuya Shiratori, RE: Project

Nicole Colella, Hanging Pods

Feeling inspired, I promptly quasi-destroyed a painting:

I felt like it wasn't quite working, so I cut a strip from one side.  And then a little more.  And then I regretted it.  Sort of like a jalapeno pepper in curried beef stew.  (By the way, adding a little half & half to the stew effectively kills the spice.)  So I decided to sew the painting back together, a task which has occupied me for the past two days:

And voila!  DONE.