Saturday, December 20, 2008
"...an overworked, wistful young farm girl, caught in a rare moment's reflection, ponders her life's role as a Keeper of Chickens...."
Busy doesn't even begin to describe what this past month has been like in my household. NEVERTHELESS, I had fun with my first entry ever in the monthly Nibblefest art contest last month -- so much so that I decided to participate again (even this close to the holidays, when things are threatening to nearly unhinge around here). This month's Nibblefest theme is 'Chickens', and below is my entry, entitled, "Chicken Keeper"....
My 2nd ever Nibblefest Art Contest Entry
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The link to my very first ebay art auction, and Nibblefest entry: http://tinyurl.com/5fkq5k
I've been intending to mention the Nibblefest Art Contest in my journal here for a long while -- and I suppose since I have actually finally entered it for the very first time, ...ever..., (though I've been meaning to for years) I figure now is as good occasion as any....
Nibblefest (or NFAC, for NibbleFest Art Contest) is a monthly themed contest, whereby artists are invited to submit art auctions, pertaining to the theme, via ebay. All the Nibblest auctions must have starting bids of .99 cents, with no reserve. So, many a bargain to be had there...!
The Nibblefest theme for this month is 'Christmas Trees', so I whipped up this little number as my entry -- a patchwork and folksy 'Evergreen Dreams', painted in acrylics on a 6' x 8' sheet of canvas paper.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I know this is supposed to be an art journal -- still, if one considers gardening an art, as I do, perhaps with a little stretching this may still be considered relevant...?
My kitchen table, displaying the very last of my garden's haul, picked clean and bare, before putting it to bed for the season. Loving all the colors (not to mention the flavors)....
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Whew, it's been a busy fall around here....
But, I was able to squeeze in a small, but fun, project. The 'Art Doll' message board on the EBSQ forums hosted a Halloween Doll Challenge this past month. Despite my bestest intentions, I put if off for ages yet still managed to pull something together rather quickly at the last minute, at least enough to squeak by and enter a piece just under the wire: http://tinyurl.com/5qfwv6
Behold, the 'Halloween Witch Cat'.... standing tall and erect (at a petite 6 inches), with her witchy hat tucked under her arm....
She was sculpted with papier mache and paper pulp. It's a little funny how it all came about actually. While I had wanted to participate in the challenge, and adore anything Halloween and always have, I just couldn't put my mind into exactly what I wanted to do. Naturally, my 'solution' was to stall and stall (plus, like I said, it's been pretty busy around here as of late).
Finally, scouring my studio for inspiration the other day, I came across three wee 'eggs' I'd made with leftover Celluclay pulp several months ago. I had about a third cup of pulp left after completing a project back then. Pulp doesn't keep obviously, and since I hate wasting anything, I simply fashioned three little balls. Which then dried. Pretty useless as is -- however, when I ran across them, I got the bright idea to use them as starts for little sculpted 'heads' of some kind. Adding more pulp to one of the balls, on impulse I fashioned a little cat's head. A reasonable start, cute little head-- but, I still had to come up with a body/a pose/a theme. And I was running out of time. Rifling through a bag of toys I'd sorted this past summer, I found a small odd-and-end plastic figure thingie (likely from a Happy Meal or some such? Though we are veg and have never in our lives purchased a Happy Meal) which was likely destined eventually for the landfill, and decided to use it as my internal structural armature. I attached my cat head (not he easiest thing to do, actually), and further fleshed out the figure and pose with papier mache, enclosing her neck (the neck being the head of the plastic toy figure), adding her witch hat (which was a little projection on the plastic toy figure), shaping and filling out her right arm, adding/attaching her left arm, and just overall going for a 'folksy' sort of look.
All in all? Not too shabby, I dont' think....
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Burgh Baby: Remember 9/11
In order to help raise money, she's sponsoring a fun contest with oodles of prizes (one of which I've entered for myself -- a lifetime membership to EBSQ) .
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Pray tell, what is this ... thing?
Why, just an utterly useless piece of plastic junk.
Or rather, it would be -- except that I have every intention of giving it second life as ... yet another F.A.P. (Future Art Project).
I had written about this M n' M candy dispenser thingy in a previous post (http://tinyurl.com/66rddz). From whence it came and why we would even have such a thing in our possession I can no longer recall (though I'm certain it involves the kiddos). In any case, it was one of the numerous objects of zero worth taking up more than their fair share of space upon which I came across cleaning our basement earlier this summer.
Given it's shape and rigidity, I think it will make a wonderfully lightweight and sturdy internal armature for a future papier mache project. Rather 'head, neck and shoulders-ish' already in design, or so it seems to me. Furthermore, the perfectly rounded shape of the globe top brings to my mind a pumpkin, or perhaps the moon or some such -- hmmm, might a Halloween theme be in order here?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Yet another future project....
I recently found this mirror put out upon a neighborhood curbside, free for the taking..., and... take it I did (indeed, I've been known to dumpster dive, as well as curb crawl. Scavenger!)....
The mirror is actually a door -- I believe it was part of a medicine cabinet or some such? I really liked the wide wood framing around the mirrored part of the door when I saw it-- immediately I had the idea in mind for adding some sort of 3 dimensional sculptural elements. The actual door framing may have potential as well. In any case I've removed the door from the door framing -- and it's my intention to use both the mirror, as well as the door framing (more shadowbox action?), in separate future projects....
Monday, August 11, 2008
This resembles a whole lotta nothin', doesn't it?
Definitely not much to look at this point -- although it's actually the framing (9" x 5" x 13") from the dead radio found in my basement when cleaning (as aforementioned in a previous post), and from which I'm hoping to give second life as some sort of cool and utterly fascinating shadowbox-ish thingie, mmm-hmmm (crosses fingers)....
A few weeks ago I finished cleaning up the framing and fleshing out all sides a bit with leftover thin shavings of wood (salvaged from a recent wood working project of my husband's). Currently it's getting the preliminary papier mache treatment. Wish I could have taken a photo prior to all the prep work (talk about 'making something from nothing' -s- doesn't get much more 'nothing' than what it was to start with), but my camera was broken until recently so this has to do as the 'before' picture....
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I stumbled across the above site recently (I believe it was through the Wet Canvas (http://www.wetcanvas.com/) message boards). As far as I can tell it seems to be free to both list and sell art through the site. And while it doesn't appear to be radically active so far? I suppose there is always the potential for it to grow,develop and prosper. Still checking the site out -- but if anything, the name "Beetlebird" makes me smile, so I went ahead and registered for an account: http://www.beetlebird.com/artistgallery.php?name_usr=ArtofPatience
Monday, August 4, 2008
I've just entered this painting into EBSQ's August show 'Welcome to the Theatre' (
http://www.ebsqart.com/Artists/cmd_690_profile_shows__1_1_G.htm). It's an existing, older painting from a number of years ago -- and while I do make the effort to try to create new pieces for these monthly shows whenever I can, I felt this particular one just really fit the show's prospectus (http://www.ebsqart.com/ArtShows/sh_180.htm) ....
Saturday, August 2, 2008
The other day however, I uploaded my new little bas-relief nude to my portfolio, without thinking much about it -- only to be informed within a few hours by the site moderators that they were removing it due to its 'unsuitable content' (rolls eyes). Please. I personally think the human body is beautiful in all its forms and guess I just take nudity in art for granted, because I was surprised, if not a little irked, by the reaction. What legitimate and credible art establishment worth its salt cannot tolerate a little nudity within the context of art? I forget that people can be so easily offended I guess. As if nudity equates pornography -- a total non-issue for me, and an attitude I really can't personally abide. In fact the whole matter strikes me as so very Bourgeois I'm now reconsidering even bothering to keep my portfolio open over there. Eh....
At any rate, this experience does remind me to be grateful and appreciative that EBSQ and Papier Mache Resource do not share the same arcane and prudish attitude/policies....
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Woah, I made it! Perhaps a little close for comfort, but at least I did manage to finish and upload my entries by the EBSQ "Ripped Off' show deadline. Unfortunately, I was forced to rush the finishing of my pieces a bit in order to get them completed -- let's just say, I MUCH prefer to take the more leisurely approach when it comes to painting, but time was very much of the essence in this case. Likely I will feel compelled to go back and tweak/embellish both pieces a bit for my satisfaction -- at least I properly participated in this fun show though, and got everything entered just in the nick of time....
(small bas relief sculpture, approximately 6 x 8, frame incorporated) My take on Muriel Areno's 'Kris Jean's Girls': http://www.ebsqart.com/Artists/cmd_8256_profile_portfolio__9_4_G.htm
Yay! As you can see, my little camera is home again, and back in working order...!
The above are WIP photos of my entries for EBSQ's' 'Ripped Off' show. They need to be uploaded by tonight's deadline, and they are still not yet painted (eek!). Been a bit busy around here (even these photos were taken in a rush)....
At the VERY least, in a pinch, if I don't get them 'officially' done in the next few hours? They could still be technically uploaded as is (even if they aren't actually 'completed').....
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I woke up this morning with all sort of extremely vivid concepts in my head for altering those ridiculous broken barbies I found when cleaning as mentioned in a previous post -- ideas including, but not limited to: bas relief/paper clay/tons of texture/vignettes/and a reinterpretation of late 18th century costume (???). Whatever the case, the pictures in my barely-conscious mind were really fabulous -- yet already this morning the images are fading dangerously. Perhaps I ought to sketch out a few before I lose the images entirely (or my enthusiasm, for that matter).
At least my entries for EBSQ's 'Ripped Off' are humming along -- I'm actually hoping to have them mostly completed by today (that is unless we decided to drop everything and spend the whole day outside somewhere enjoying the Weather. Not such a bad idea either....).
I've also been preparing a lot of 'supports' for future bas relief-style projects -- once these are finished I'll have quite the pile of them ready and waiting to work with.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Turning on our air conditioner would likely help, but I'm such a stickler about that (much to my kids' consternation). I just can't personally stand A.C. -- can't abide the cost nor the emissions nor especially how it makes me feel so cooped up indoors, almost claustrophobic. I miss the open windows --miss hearing the birds outside, and the summer breezes gently blowing the curtains, the barking dogs and the neighborhood kids whooping and hollering, plus just stepping in and out of the house at will all day long, because it's no hotter outdoors than it is indoors. I mean, what's the point of being stuck inside a dim, quiet, shut-up house while summer passes by just beyond the window pane? Guess I'd rather sweat to death (if that makes any sense). Therefore, we run the a.c. as little as possible around here-- firing it up only once a summer, just to maintain its working order. And no, it's just not that time yet (bound to be even hotter next month)....
Getting back to my projects however, I really can't move on to the next step until these dry a bit more thoroughly. So I'm trying an experiment --to see if my kitchen crockpot, of all things, will help evaporate some of the moisture. I've heard of this before somewhere -- let's see if it actually works**. One of my pieces is small and fits right inside, while the other is able to hang over the top. Perhaps in a few hours they'll be cured enough for me to continue work on them (and if not I'll just throw in some dinner and that will be that)....
(**Edited to add: Indeed. It works!)
Friday, July 18, 2008
If my camera were working I'd post WIP photos -- but it starting gradually going whack ever since our return from vacation over a month ago, to the point that it's completely unusable now. Very inconvenient, that....
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
I've taken part in this show (offered annually) before, and it's really quite fun. Participating members partner up with one another, selecting a piece within the fellow artist's portfolio from which to copy -- or in other words, 'rip off'. Typically copyright infringement is a monumental no-no in the art world (or any other for that matter) for reasons obvious to everyone -- yet within this particular challenge it's sanctioned and even encouraged, by all involved. And all part of the fun. The actual act of the 'rip off' however, is completely open to individual interpretation. The copying may be blatant and literal, or subtle and loose. It may be one artist attempting to copy only the general 'style' of the other, or perhaps the favored subject matter. Or an artist may choose one particular piece in a portfolio, mimicking it within his or her own personal artistic parameters. Or even a combo of all these approaches -- really, the opportunities are endless with no right or wrong way to go about it.....
Though I stepped in a little late, I'm now officially paired up with two other EBSQ artists -- and have selected the two pieces, one from each portfolio, that I personally intend to 'rip' and how (as they will be doing with mine). I mean to be working on these in the next several days and hope to report progress details here (though photos may unfortunately have to wait until my ailing camera is fixed, or replaced)....
Friday, June 27, 2008
This little lass (12" x 10") was a project I completed last year for an EBSQ forum artist's challenge. She's very sweet in person -- I don't believe the photo above entirely does her justice (I'd take another, though unfortunately? Since this one was taken, she found her way upon the floor 'somehow', by a certain two offspring (who shall remain nameless), becoming the hapless casualty of our very mischievous, free range, paper-chewing crazed house bunny, and is now awaiting major surgical repairs). Her form is hollow and was originally cast (along with two fellow WIP figurative busts, currently sitting around here unfinished) from an armature I built up and shaped, her features and details added after casting....
Which all brings me to another junk item I found in our basement yesterday - a desktop M 'n M dispenser (sort of like a smaller cheap version of a bubble gum dispenser), entirely plastic, cracked, missing it's top, and utterly useless as is. From whence it came from I have no idea. Though I think I might know where it's going, having had a stroke of inspiration when pondering how to possibly salvage such a thing (because it's such a big hunk of the dreaded plastic to scrap otherwise). It dawned on me it does have a general bust-like shape to it, rather like my lass above, if one uses one's imagination -- the round top reminiscent of a 'head', the base of it 'neck' and 'shoulders'. I think it may soon find a utilitarian second life as part of the internal armature of a future papier mache project. Of course the proportions are very wonky and would need to be somehow corrected -- but hey, nothing a little p.m. can't rectify, right? (Hmmm, perhaps something even Halloween related -- an event that will be coming up fast before we know it I'm sure....)....
Friday, June 20, 2008
Living in the tornado-prone Midwest, we are certainly very grateful to have anything underground-- not to mention the extra space a basement can afford (albeit spidery and damp) for the laundry, freezer, tools and such. In the past few years however, it was well on it's way to becoming primarily a dumping ground -- the least of which for waves of toys and playthings my two kids (almost 15, and almost 12) kept gradually growing out of, but also small, dead appliances, items in need of repair in addition to other misfit odds and ends (-- exactly what you might expect to occur when one packrat marries a fellow packrat and sets up housekeeping for nigh on 17 years). Add to that a spring flood or two (or three), and you can probably imagine the state of Disorder we managed to achieve down there. Something had to be done.
So, little by little I've been heading down to sort and straighten up. And true to my previous post awhile back regarding Waste, I am making the effort to practice disposal responsibility. Fortunately, a big portion of the lot is recyclable -- plus another chunk slated for donation to Salvation Army and that ilk. But I'm afraid a number of items may be destined for the trash unless I manage to find inspiration to repurpose them in some intriguing way.
One example of this would be the bag of mangled barbies now taking up space in my studio -- so beyond the pale they would be rejected even from the Land of Misfit Toys. I know there is an entire genre dedicated to altering dolls in general (with a sub-niche specifically Barbie) though until now it's never been something I've personally attempted, or even considered. I think I may have to give it a go though, to see if I can avoid these things from taking up permanent housekeeping in the local dump with their evil non-biodegradable selves (note that we rarely if ever actually purchased Barbies for my daughter -- I think they procreated down there). It will be an interesting challenge at any rate.
I found several other scrap objects down there that I'm intending to incorporate into projects, at one capacity or another. One is an gutless radio -- probably from the 70's or 80's, I'm guessing? I think my kids dissected it once it was broken -- at any rate, all that's left of it is essentially it's particle-board and plastic framing. I have the vague notion of making a shadowbox thingie from it, among other ideas -- we'll see...
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
|Good natured son modeling my HorseHead head pieces|
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
My entry in this months' EBSQ online art show, '1001 Nights: The Stories of Scheherazade':
She's a wee painted rock (a mere 4 inches high), and you can read about her history in the link above....
Monday, April 28, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Just take a look at this little interloper. I don't know exactly how she got into the house, but it sure gave us a surprise. Here she perches atop a framed photo of my children on a hutch in my dining room.
Nor was she easy to catch either -- but happily after several false starts and attempts we did finally manage to get her back outdoors where sparrows belong.
She did bring back a lot of fond memories for me though. Years and years ago I had a dear little sparrow I'd raised as a naked abandoned chick, found tiny and injured in my uncle's barn. She survived her rocky beginnings, though she ended up with a permanently disfigured wing from her long fall, and was physically unable to fly. Since I couldn't release her, she became a very treasured pet. Very Treasured. I named her 'Bird' -- and she had a wonderfully sweet personality. She even imprinted on me (thinking I was her 'mom') and would follow me all over the house. One could never imagine just what an endearing little sweetheart she became -- hunkering down into my hand regularly for cuddles and allowing me to stroke the length of her tiny back gently with the tip of my finger. And give her lots of kisses -- indeed, and this a Sparrow of all things. Sigh, my little 'Bird' -- I still think of her, and miss her lots.
And still love birds to this day....
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Thanks in part probably to my upbringing I suppose -- my raising by two former depression-era farm kids, from big families (see previous post), both who understood the value of a dollar and did not suffer overindulgence nor excesses gladly, was bound to have its impact, no? Whatever the case the fact remains. Wanton waste, the likes of which our hyper-consumerist and disposable society seems increasingly within the grips of, really disturbs me.
It's a fact. A certain amount of Waste is simply going to be unavoidable in life. Yet we also know a big chunk of it isn't, and could actually BE avoided if for only a little conscious choice and effort, both community-wide, and as individuals. While it's not going to save the world, I'm feeling ever more compelled to reduce/avoid/amend waste wherever I personally can, here in my own little corner of it anyway. At times it feels like quite the compulsion.
As such, this has been the motivation behind much of my artistic rumination and output in recent years. Some time ago, I challenged myself to keep my purchasing of new commercial art supplies/materials (aside from paints/glue sticks/duct tape and a few other essentials) at a minimum -- in favor instead of using either whatever I may already have in my possession (which happens to be quite a bit actually, after years of accumulation) or what I might manage to scrounge, second hand or otherwise. I do believe there is already 'enough' elemental material floating around out there with which to work, without having to resort to buying the newest and the latest commercially available art supply (plus all the packaging, raw material and manufacturing that go into such products). Because honestly, if I can't creatively utilize what I already find around me to satisfy my artistic urges? I may as well hang up my artsy little french beret. As it stands, I've come to really appreciate how this limitation forces me to look at objects now with a more critical eye -- inspiring me to fandangle alternate usage before sending the miscellanea of life along its way to take up precious space in our overflowing landfills....
There's just something really seductive about making 'something from nothing' -- objects of creativity, if not exactly beautiful nor functional, at least 'purposeful' -- made from the heart with what otherwise might be considered 'scrap' (and likely why I'm so attracted to papier mache technique, and painting rocks)....
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I love this photo. It's a picture of my maternal grandmother and grandfather, plus some random boy cousin (this couple had 10 children, and mega-tons of grandchildren, so I have lots and lots of cousins -- a score of whom I don't even know and wouldn't recognize on the street). I'm guessing this was taken in 1950's maybe? On the family farm -- showing off some garden produce by the looks of it....
Sadly, I never did know either of my grandfathers, both having died well before I was born (being the youngest child of older parents, who were themselves both youngest children of older parents, and something like this is bound to happen). My grandmother here, Lula, was my last surviving grandparent -- and she passed on when I was 8 (my dad's mom having died when I was 5). I still have fond memories of her though, and sometimes even dream about her.
She was a good grandma while I had her -- wish I could have gotten to know her better....