Saturday, May 28, 2011

365 day 148

New CAT!

Hey -- the kitten didn't work out, but the foster mom invited me back to the adoption day and I met the 2-yr-old cat that I loved first at the rescue's website (but I thought a kitten was going to work better with Twink -- boy was I wrong -- AND I was intensely allergic to the kitten).

This guy came with the name Vladimir, but we will be changing it as soon as we figure out what his name really is.

this is his photo from the foster home

And yes, this IS my 365 Project entry for today. I don't know ANYthing more artful or inspirational than a cat.

our new guy

(that's an "eeek-a-mouse" toy in the background)

Friday, May 27, 2011

365 Day 147

more plaster cloth guys

These are the last 4 (out of 10) small plaster cloth guys I am making to submit to that show I spoke of several weeks ago.

This is the next stage of their development into guys. I just let the plaster cloth tell me what they are...although I am still not quite sure what a few of them are. ALL 10 need more work, but at least I've got them all to that same stage now.

#7 before

#7 after

#8 before

#8 after
this was kinda odd -- I was trying to make a catlike face for this one, but I couldn't get the ears right and then the ears made it taller than the 8" limit for the show -- I pulled the ears off and the plaster cloth made me put them on sideways to make a mouth...this is one of the more strange ones and I don't know what exactly it is yet...bird? fish? dunno yet.

#9 before

#9 after

#10 before

#10 after

365 Day 146 (a day late)

painting glass for eyes

This is the first few stages of trying to paint glass eyes for projects. I did a practice piece a few weeks ago that turned out reasonably well and I thought I'd give it a go for real.

These are those clear glass bead/drops that you get at Michaels for putting in vases to hold flower stems or that sort of thing. We also use them as counters in Magic: the Gathering.

First I painted a black pupil, then second coated the pupils.

just the black for pupils

Next I chose colors for the eyes. These are just the first coats of color. It takes a long time for this regular paint to dry on the glass. No doubt there is real paint for glass that I could be using, but I want to use what I have on hand and make it work. This paint wants to rub off when you touch also sort of re-wets itself when you add a second coat of wet paint.

first coat of color on: a pair of green eyes, a pair of orange eyes and a pair of pink/gold eyes

a large green eye after one coat of paint

one of the orange eyes, first coat of paint

I will add another color over the colors I have chosen so far, hopefully that will add a little dimension to the look. Then I will seal the backs with a coat of spray varnish. That should make them durable enough. We'll see.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I returned the wonderful kitten to his foster mom today. This is the first time in my life I have been allergic to a cat.

When I got home at around 6:45 I took a couple of Bendaryl tablets to help relieve some of the allergic reactions. For me, Benadryl either does next to nothing or it totally kicks my butt. Tonight it really kicked my butt. I just now woke up (I didn't even know I had fallen asleep in front of tv) and I'm still in a bit of a haze. I will post to the 365 Project twice tomorrow, doing a make up post for today as well as tomorrow's regular post.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

365 Day 145

early morning energy

We are adopting a new kitten today! I can't go get him until later this afternoon and this morning I have been all revved up so I worked on the monster/ghost canvas...darkening and adding lines to it.

I can barely think to type I am so excited.

Update: sadly, this adoption did not work out. For the first time in my life I had an intense allergic reaction to something about the little is breaking my heart, but I have to take him back.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

365 Day 144

not very much to look at today

Juana and I are collaborating on another set of "Penciled In" colored pencil drawings for Art-o-mat. I transfer my drawings to blocks and Juana colors them, sometimes adding new elements. Then I paint the edges and add little wire hooks for hanging to the backs of the blocks.

This time we are doing an edition of one hundred blocks. Tonight I am working on the little wire hooks while I watch tv...we need one hundred of them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

365 Day 143

starting a new class
Today was the first session of a new 8-week class I am taking at Art & Ideas. It is a relief printmaking class and I am already in love with it. Our teacher is Shaqe Kalaj, the gallery's Artist in Residence. She is charming and patient and creative and I love her work.

Shaqe Kalaj in the studio/classroom area of Art and Ideas with some of her work behind her.

Tonight we had a brief introduction to printmaking and learned about various printing techniques and terms and saw examples of many of them. We were given the embellished sketchbook of our choice for
drawing and sketching during the course and also a thin Sharpie marker and a Speedball carving tool with multiple blades.

the notebook I chose

We explored shape, line and texture and used these to experiment with the carving tool on a piece of soft-cut gray material. First we made marks with the different blades to get a feel for what each one did and how the material cuts. Then we were shown h
ow to ink the carving and made our first print with the block.

my first print of the night -- exploring the blades and carving material

Next, using the same block we had just experimented on, we cut away most of the surface with more random, free-form lines and shapes to create texture. Then we made a print from that surface.

my second print -- from the same side of the carving material, but with more surface cut away

Next we turned the carving material over and used the other side. We chose a shape and experimented with variations on it...size, placement, using the different blades. Then we made two prints of that block. We discussed our prints and Shaqe
talked about some of her carvings that are there in the studio. She shared some of her experiences with printmaking and how she does things.

my side two and the two prints I pulled

Next we turned to our sketchbooks and Sharpies.
(I tensed know I don't draw very much.) We were instructed to use the word "Wild" and show: Shape, Line, Direction and Texture. Shaqe wanted us all to do the exercise together. We were to just make "Wild" marks on the page. (I need to learn how to relax and let go of my death grip on my pen and not over think things...stop being such a Capricorn...LOL) By the end of the class I started to understand what this part is about. By doodling and just making random marks on the page you can start to see images and shapes in there that can be pulled out and used for carving and printmaking. ( I get it)

my sketchbook page -- now that I am home I am beginning to see some shapes in there...and by playing with it more and darkening lines and filling in spaces I will be able to bring out a couple of ideas -- it is starting to "click"

I think I am really going to enjoy this class and I am already starting to get more out of it than I realized...things that will help in other areas of my art. I really appreciate how willing Shaqe is to share her own process and experiences. I love that some of her art is there in the studio so she can actually show you what she is talking about and you can relate to it because you see and hear the artist walking you through a section of the piece. (This helped me immensely to understand the concept of doodling and finding shapes/images in the doodle -- when I TRY to draw the imaginary creatures in my head they don't really transfer to the paper. If I just let go and do it intuitively -- like I have been doing with the plaster cloth...let my "self" take over for a few minutes -- things will come together.)

Shaqe is a wonderful teacher...and three hours felt like about 15 minutes...I can't wait for the next session!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

365 Day 142

lots of plaster cloth going on

I went back into the studio for a second round of plaster cloth last night at around 11:15 and before I knew it it was after 5 in the morning...I was having that good of a time.

Here is the overall shot of two sessions of work, followed by session two's guys. Not much to say other than I was pretty sleep deprived by the end and lost a lot of today dozing. (I hate when that happens.) But I did get a lot done!

group shot of two days work

"before"/cat like guy

"after"/cat like guy

"before"/wolf like guy

"after"/wolf like guy

"before"/sheep like guy

"after"/sheep like guy

"before"/the bubble wrap wrapped guy from yesterday

"after"/hippo?/dog? like creature -- not sure if I will use this

"after"/swimming tube guy with big clear glass spots

"after"/swimming pool foam guy with glass beads underneath -- back view

Saturday, May 21, 2011

365 Day 141

plaster cloth continues...

First I plaster cloth layered the 47" tube that Juana gave me. I have an idea for it.

this tube is forty-seven inches l-o-n-g !

I gave a bit of shape to two of the 8" guys.

I wrapped one of the thinner swimming pool foam floaty tube guys with large bubble wrap and then covered it with more plaster cloth in an effort to give it a random uneven surface.

plaster cloth over bubble wrap...hmmm...

this still needs work, but at least it has some shape now

And one of the box on a
tube guys is starting to look like a guy a little bit.

flames...horns...points...animal...human...dunno yet

I am still not sure what they will turn out to be, but it is a start!

Why yes, I AM...

...very very easily entertained!

Actually, it really doesn't take much.

Every time I tie my shoes these laces make me smile. You can't see them so well when I am walking around, but I know they are there!

I got them from a link at Ian's Shoelace Site. I could NOT find any cool laces locally. Not for adults, anyway.

The site also has every kind of shoelace information you could ever want. Pretty darn cool.

I got these laces from Mr. Lacy. I also got the red tartan ones and the ones that are green on one side and yellow on the other. I am really happy with them and I know I will be purchasing more...they make me giddy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

365 Day 140

crocodile (guy) smiles

I once owned a rubber stamp company called Crocodile Smiles -- today this guy is looking a little less bitey and a little more smiley.

upside down on the grid for the first layer on the box

I put this box frame around the back of his head hoping to give him the start of a neck or something I will be able to attach something else to.

The box had no top or bottom, so I needed to fill in the corners to help stabilize everything. I am not sure it was totally necessary, but what the feels sturdy (for now).

the head in the box frame...starting to fill in the corners

filled in and smoothed out inside the box

Laying on its side it looks like a laughing dog wit
h a long nose, panting. I wanted to get a couple of quick photos of it standing straight up, too...while it still can. I am not convinced it isn't doomed to fall apart at some point. There is so much jaw that will hang off the edge of the neck (unless it is looking straight up into the air...LOL). No matter...I am having fun and learning more and more about using the plaster cloth.

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