Tuesday, April 30, 2013

365/2013 - Day 120

fooling around 

Tonight I was just fooling around with some cutouts of those waves and clouds and sea monster that I made eraser carvings of for a sea monster ATC series several months ago.  I was trying to make a sort of mock up of what it might look like if I made a shadow box picture with the cutout elements.  This is in no way a completed piece...it is was just to give me a sample of how it might look.  Obviously the whole thing needs a lot of work and a lot more carving.

I have a small stack of much deeper shadow boxes and they are what I would use if/when I really do this project with more attention.  For this example I pulled apart a fairly shallow framed piece I bought at a garage sale with the intention of playing with the mats.

This is just paper cutouts with stacked paper stock underneath to prop up the cutouts.  When/if I really do this project I will print the carvings on heavier paper stock or watercolor paper and take much more care with the dimensions.  But for tonight, this was a fun process!

Monday, April 29, 2013

365/2013 - Day 119

whew -- just made my midnight deadline!

After my appointment at the doctor late this morning I came home and sank into a multi-layered Benadryl fog.  I woke up about a half hour ago and hurriedly fed the cats and grabbed this collage to work on.  I will keep working on it tonight and hope for the best...but I wanted to post something for today...geez!

I have grown increasingly disappointed with the phantom giraffe girl creature behind the horse guy.  I decided a couple of days ago that I would let her go and add more layers of paper to try and hide her.  I am tackling that issue tonight.

tonight, "before"
ready to work!
the main problem area
what I had by midnight
I might end up totally starting over on the entire canvas but I still sort of like the horse guy.  So for now...I will attempt to block out everything behind him...although I would like to keep the image just to the left of his ear.  I think I will get more paper closer to the horse guy on the right tonight and then see how it looks when the paper/matte medium dry.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

365/2013 - Day 118

a flurry of ideas

Today was a rainy day -- the kind of day that makes me want to DO art stuff.  What I wanted to do the most was to go out to the garage and disassemble the old wooden gate that came from my side yard but I am really scared of electricity and I didn't think it was a good idea for me to use a regular extension cord on my electric drill...I will wait for a dryer day.

At one point there were so many ideas flooding me that I had to make myself sit still and write as many down as I could.  I needed to focus on a few and only work on those.  I will admit that when I look at my notes tonight some of them don't make a whole lot of sense, but others do.  

I chose three projects from my list to work on this afternoon.  


I tidied up this drawing in my sketchbook.  It was one of those automatic drawings that I did a while back.

I'm not sure what he is exactly -- there are cloven hooves and horns that are somewhat goat-like, but his face is a little bear-y.  He seems to be wearing some sort of wizard outfit that has a fancy collar and sides...or maybe those are sleeves...I dunno.


While I was watching television today I saw some masks on the wall in the background of a room that was being talked about.  I took a photo of the screen and then I tried to put together the beginning of a couple of masks of my own.  I have been saving up plastic trays and lids and egg cartons -- this is the perfect project for them.

I especially liked the larger mask in this picture.
And the dark mask in this picture is my very favorite.
part of my stash
This guy will have very tall ears.
I wanted the second mask to have very long horns...I cut a paper towel tube in half, deliberately making them uneven.
I put holes in the plastic tray and inserted the rolled up tube horns, then anchored them with some masking tape.
They are coming together more in my head...I may go back in tonight before I go to bed and put on a layer or two of plaster cloth.

intermission -- not really a project 

I was about to get up and leave the room to take a break when I decided to pop the croco-creature's taxidermy eyes off.  I have been wanting to do it for a long time and today I felt like I could do it and not break them.  And hey...after I wet the area around them -- these things snapped right off!

These were the very first glass taxidermy eyes I bought.  They are supposed to be for an alligator and when I was first working on this guy he was going to be a sort of a trophy head.  I was never happy with the position of the eyes but I really only meant to stick them on there temporarily -- I just never got around to trying to take them off again until today.
Plus, I wasn't sure how I had attached them -- if I had used epoxy or just barely plaster cloth'd them in place -- I had never tried to do that before.  Luckily it seems that I only did the latter because they came off easily, even though whenever I would try to wiggle them loose they felt very firmly set in place.  Look -- you can see that there was actual paper and flour/water underneath.
He is a little creepy looking with no eyes.
Ha -- I covered up the empty sockets with two of the cardboard punch outs that Leann gave us.
I will just set these aside -- they are not my favorite taxidermy eyes.


I thought I had some balloons somewhere around here...I went "shopping" in the deep closet in my studio and I found them!  I have been wanting to try putting strips of plaster cloth over a balloon in a sort of lattice style.  I have put a big ol' rolled out slab o' clay over a heavy duty punching balloon in a ceramics class...I have put solid plaster cloth over play balls...but I have never tried open spaced strips of plaster cloth on a balloon.  My expectations are very low...I am not sure I will even complete the creature...but I am going to give it a try.

Ready to start -- I noticed that the bag says "the choice of professionals worldwide" -- what the what?  I suppose that is a good thing.
What I had in mind.
ta-daaaaaa -- what a mess!
Hanging to dry.
About an hour and a half later I couldn't stand it anymore...an area of the plaster cloth had pulled away just a teensy bit so I thought it would be safe to pop the balloon.
must. leave. it. alone.

I had every intention of not going back into the wet plaster cloth studio again tonight -- but I had to check on it.  Oh my gosh -- the inner surface was as smooth as marble...incredible!  I fought myself to leave it hanging to dry some more.

The more I thought about it -- and the more I thought about those taxidermy eyes -- I figured what the heck...

I wish you could FEEL how smooth and silky this surface is -- I cannot believe it is plaster cloth.
"Normal" plaster cloth surface.
Trying out a position for the eyes...that opening is NOT his mouth.
Securing the eyes.
Building up around the eyes a bit.
Another view.
Enough for tonight...LOL

Saturday, April 27, 2013

365/2013 - Day 117

fresh sleepytime cd

When I go to bed (in actual bed) for the night I turn on a compilation cd of soothing (to me) sleepytime songs.  The cd player shuts itself off after the cd plays one time through -- which is a good thing -- because I generally don't make it past the first half of the cd before I drop off to sleep.  If it goes much past that it is time for me to get back up for a while.

ANYway...every few months or so the songs get a little too predictable (and I can't trust that the shuffle will shut off) so I need to make a new cd.  Tonight I have been working on putting together a new playlist and it has been surprisingly difficult to come up with just the right order for the songs.  I also added a few new songs.  I think I finally got it right.  

I always limit myself to 20 songs.  In order for the songs to be soothing to me the have to have at least one of these qualities: 
  • somehow repetitive 
  • relatively quiet/soft/low toned vocal  
  • fairly even levels (no saxophone/wild guitar/jarring piano solos)
  • vocals rather than instrumentals  (unless the original song is already an instrumental piece -- there are some really cool lullabye-ized versions of songs that I really really like but I have found that I tend to fill in the original vocal in my head and that keeps me awake.)
Here is what I ended up with:

  1. 3 Libras -- A Perfect Circle
  2. Rain in Venice -- Steve Harley
  3. Moonlight Serenade -- Carly Simon
  4. Wicked Little Town (Hedwig Version) -- Hedwig and the Angry Inch Soundtrack
  5. One Time -- King Crimson
  6. Two Grey Rooms -- Joni Mitchell
  7. Temporary -- Rogue Wave
  8. Kangaroo Lake -- Ian Moore
  9. Pink Moon -- Nick Drake
  10. The Coast of Amalfi -- Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel
  11. Just Not Just -- The Guggenheim Grotto
  12. Into My Arms -- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  13. 29 Palms -- Robert Plant
  14. Across the Universe -- The Beatles
  15. Wichita Lineman -- Glen Campbell
  16. A Stranger -- A Perfect Circle
  17. Northern Sky -- Nick Drake
  18. Fountain of Youth -- Grant-Lee Phillips
  19. The Consul at Sunset -- Jack Bruce
  20. Don't Dream it's Over -- Crowded House

Friday, April 26, 2013

365/2013 - Day 116

a delightful "girls' night" with Sue and Abby

My sister Sue and I don't get to spend time just fooling around together anymore -- it is usually to run errands or do money-related things that have to be done.  It feels like it has been a long, long time since we just goofed off and had silly fun.  On Monday we made a date to get together tonight with no phones or interruptions...it was great!  And Abby came, too!

Sue and Abby arrived!
I'm glad we figured out how to include Abby.

First we all piled into my car and went to our vet's office to pick up some dog/cat magazines they saved for me, then we went to the Northville Art House and Sue chose a painting from the current show (that closes tomorrow) -- it is a painting of a dog that looks quite a bit like Abby.  (I didn't have my camera with me.) We visited with Joan a little and then went to the drive-thru pharmacy and then we came back to my house and watched three episodes of Adventure Time -- Sue had never seen it before.  Then we ordered/picked up a pizza from The Starting Gate and went to Hiller's on the way home to get a little cherry pie for dessert.
After dinner it was GAMES time!  We only pulled out four games and we rolled a die to choose the games to play.  We ended up not playing Battleship or Sorry.
The first roll got us Yahtzee -- we play three games/lines at a time...if it hadn't been for my two Yahtzees, Sue would have won...she usually does.
The next roll got us a game of our favorite game -- Can't Stop.  (I won.)
The third roll of the die got us a second game of Can't Stop.  Sue nearly skunked me on this one...I only got ONE column!  GOOD GAME!!!
Then we took some time out for dessert and after that we tried our hand(s) at a watercolor project.
We blew drops of watercolor with straws to make abstract paintings and then we looked for images in them.
I found a sort of Ibizan Hound with colorful spots and googly chameleon eyes.  We decided his eyes went googly from trying to choose a color to mimic.
Sue decided not to outline what she was seeing.  After a few minutes Sue was seeing so many images she couldn't decide which one she preferred -- she is taking her painting home to see if Pepper sees anything she found.  Man we had such a fun time with these paintings!
What a great night -- so much laughing and talking and playing and creating and good food and wonderful company.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

365/2013 - Day 115

oh well -- maybe next time

I said I'd report back on the two shows I submitted work to.  The results were posted tonight for The Scarab Club's upcoming exhibition "2013 Blooms, Bugs, Beasts".  The three pieces I submitted for consideration were not accepted.  I didn't really think any would get in, but I wanted to give it a shot ...maybe next time!  

Congratulations to the artists whose work was accepted!  I'd like to go and see the show during its run.

Here are the photos from the CD I submitted.

"Djubi"  (view B)
"Djubi"  (view B)
"Foxish Thoughts"  collage
"Keeper of Secrets"  (view A)
"Keeper of Secrets"   (view B)

The results for the other show will be announced next week (I think).
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