I’m excited to finally be making progress on my road trip paintings. I started them last fall after our October trip to Alabama. I have been contemplating the color for a long time, but I see now that it has been worth the wait. Okay..who am I kidding, I have been scared to add color, I forget that if it doesn’t work you can simply paint over it!
The ceiling is really low so I placed them on the easel horizontally… grumbling as I did it (I know there is a big lofty studio out there just waiting for me) I realized that it’s probably a good thing for me to do now and then compositionally. I also work upside down from time to time.
The red border was a bold move for me but I think it really works. I’m hanging a show next weekend at Flourish Studios and would love to have these paintings done in time…you know me and a deadline!
Last night …was clay class at Lill Street. This is Eva May with her newest creation: ART…she made the head and torso from porcelain and then being the exquisite hat maker that she is…she made him a hat and added several other cool art related embellishments…oh..and she also made his wire rim glasses.
The photo of the terra cotta piece is one that I am working on…not sure exactly what it’s all about yet. Yes there is a beak on the standing figure…I broke part of it off later in the evening so now it looks like a beaky nose. (Hmmm, wonder if this is the chicken responsible for the egg truck?) We sure have a great time on Monday nights, good interesting people and conversation with very diverse things being created all around us. I’ll try to add photos of what some of the other people in class are doing next week.
1) How does it feel when you paint? What do you enjoy most about the process? It feels like an adventure, the blank canvas or board is like the open road – it’s easiest to take a route you know well but most satisfying when I have the courage to go down a path I have not travelled before – that’s when my most interesting compositions emerge. I love each step and am often tempted to leave it as is, but then have to carry through with my process: the rough black sketch of my initial composition…the abstract color field created after and then bringing it all back into focus with black line.
2) How do you feel when you’ve successfully completed a painting?I feel a giddy happiness, a sense of accomplishment and sometimes a sense of surprise and wonder that I did it. It gets me excited about the endless possibilities of unknown creations ahead…
3) What does "successfully completed a painting" mean to you? It means I’m experiencing the feelings in #2! Sometimes it takes several days, weeks or months for me to really appreciate or fully see what I have created. I have plenty of unsuccessful pieces around – but these are critical as the most treasured advice I ever got was “you have to make a lot of bad art in order to get to the good stuff so you better get to work!” …George Cramer, my Sculpture & Foundry Professor and mentor in college.
4) What three words describe how you feel about your work? Happy, hopeful, grateful…
If you are still reading this…Now it’s your turn, tell me how you feel when you are creating… be it art, writing, cooking, gardening, etc.
So I made this cute little truck out of terra cotta at Lill Street, building it was the fun part. Then comes the not so fun part: Glazing it…always a frustration for me – working with glaze is nothing like paint. To get the color saturated you have to put many coats of white to cover the orange clay and then many coats of the actual color that you want…and you are still not guaranteed full coverage. Last year I coined the phrase…"let go and let glaze" I’m still trying to embrace it.
So why an egg truck you ask? Well as I layered on all the white glaze I was having conversations with the other people working at my table and they asked what my truck was carrying…I had no idea and was not sure what direction I would take outside of having that great purple cab. The next thing I glazed were the tires, and I thought they looked like sunny side up fried eggs…so voila…an egg truck. Check out each side and the bottom…I titled it "eggzactly".
This first photo was from yesterday, Alice will go out and sit on the deck when it is a mere 5 degrees acting as if it is a balmy 75 degree summer afternoon…she has also been known to sit there in the rain and in the snow.
She is pining away for the neighbor cats who have opted to stay in for the winter. The words that set her off and we must whisper around here are: cat, kitty cat, chatty kathy (as we often call her since she is quite the talker) she gets so excited…ironically to get her to come in from those freezing temps I just say "here kitty, kitty" and she comes running..it’s hilarious. The only other magic word is ‘treats’!
The girls (well, Alice) had fun in today’s snow storm…Izzy doesn’t like to spend much time in the cold, she prefers to lay on her bed next to the old radiator snoozing away. She is such a sweetie, we went to the vet today for a blood test, she is on a new drug called Rimadyl which has really helped with her arthritis but it can do some funky this to an old gal like her so we had to make sure all was well…and it is! : ) While waiting for our results we met a 15 year old Beagle named Gus…he looked like a very wise old dog. Okay..time to go out and shovel some more snow!
Back in November we went mattress shopping for a King Size Bed…it was not as hard to CHOOSE as we thought it would be. It was a very Goldilocks-like experience. We used Yelp.com to find the the stores with the best deals, and we did!
We had been wanting a king bed since adopting Alice back in 2004 so there was room for everyone….of course now that we have it: Izzy refuses to join us…she is so stubborn in her old age!
PS…This image is a scanned page from my sketchbook that I inverted with Photoshop.
Fabulous illustrator Andi Butler gave me the "you make my day award" for my blog…
What a surprise, I’m just humbled (and a little embarrassed) to know that people are out there reading this. I’m inspired by Andi and so many other working artists today…here are my 5 in no particular order …
Catherine Thursby … and her Red Shoes Blog complete with good music. I LOVE her art, her store, her decor (we must share a gene) all the delightful things she makes. And the way she so generously shares it all, so honest. One day I’ll make a field trip to Ann Arbor so I can meet her and visit her store!
Claudine Hellmuth … Blogger, artist, writer, Martha Stewart guest extraordinaire. It’s always fun to check in and see what’s happening in Claudine’s exciting world.
I just received my invite to the cocktail portion of Friday night’s Art Sharks Fundraising event at the Shedd Aquarium. This is a thank you for donating my painting "More Frisbee Focused Pups". The premise of the event is a clever concept … complete with 10 second induced feeding frenzy. Names are drawn from a hat every 10 seconds… those called dart over to their preferred piece of art and tag it.
Tickets are $600 for two guests and one piece of art, $450 for one guest and one piece of art or $3000 for a table of ten and five pieces of art. Quite a nice return for the price of admission and a lot of fun. Check out the Program of available art.
I’ve already submitted several applications for the 2008 shows and whisked off a few more for a January 31 deadline yesterday. Most people have know idea the lengthy process artists go through to get into the art fairs. In addition to paying to rent our spaces, months in advance we spend time filling out applications, labeling slides, writing checks for jury fees, booth fees, SASEs (stamp self-addressed envelopes) including 100 character (yes character not word) descriptions, and in some cases resumes ..(this is the prompt I have every year to update mine). We are all competing with other artists based on 4 slides (3 for some shows) and a booth shot and also paying a jury fee for them to look at our slides. Picking those slides becomes very important, I learned some tips from a workshop taught by Bruce Baker. I visited his website and saw that he now has a cd available on the topic: Your Slides and the Jury. Since my images are now digital I use iprintfromhome.com to have my slides made, you can upload digital files and they ship the same day.
There is a great new on-line art fair application process which streamlines the whole system dramatically, it’s called Zapplication (Zapplication.org). We upload our images to the site and can apply and manage our applications on-line to the shows that subscribe to the service. The downside is it’s simplified the application process so much that hundreds more are applying to each show and competition is higher than ever before. I recently received a rejection letter from the Brookside Show in Kansas City: they received 1,300 applications for 170 spots! and painting is generally the largest category so with odds like that you do the happy dance if you get in! If they like your work and it’s a tie, it often comes down to your booth shot, which I have not had professionally taken outdoors…one of these days. Below are the images I am using for the 2008 show submissions. So anyways…if you are still reading…thanks! and I hope this was somewhat informative if you are interested in jumping into the art fair circuit.