Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 59 - 365/2014

Day Fifty-Nine

Today I have been wrestling with the last of the writing projects...still on the very rough first draft.  I bounced back and forth between working on that and making mix CDs for the car and/or studio.  I don't like to listen to the radio so I make compilation CDs instead.  I came up with four new mixes today.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 58 - 365/2014 (updated)

Day Fifty-Eight  (updated)


Look what I managed to do -- my left pinkie finger somehow was caught in between the closing refrigerator door and the opening freezer door...not much room...happened really fast...really shocking...brings you RIGHT into the moment!

I have been ice packing my finger, but it is roughly twice the size of my other pinkie finger.  Big bruise on the fingerprint side.  

The morning after...

Swelling is down about half what it was last night...finger is quite purple, tender but not painful.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 57 - 365/2014

Day Fifty-Seven photos for today.  I had those three drafts to write...I actually finished one email and sent it on its way after spending literally eight hours on another hour and a half tweaking the final version into my own "voice" (with suggestions from a couple of people).  

Today I was totally incapacitated physically with leg edema and knee/leg/thigh/back is ridiculous how much I have been hurting.  I think it was caused by a combination of several babystepping trips across my icy driveway to the garage and back, babystepping in parking lots and then all the hours at the computer.  

I. am. NOT. a writer. by. choice.

Today was day three of struggling with the draft for a 3-party contract/agreement.  I have plenty of notes, two contracts to pull examples from, input and suggestions from the subcommittee...and still I just cannot do this on my own.  I know the direction I would like to see it take but honestly, it is just too much for one person to be responsible for.  Yes, it can be tweaked as needed.  Yes, the first exhibit will be the test for the project.  But I really need help with the wording of the actual documents.  I am fine with handling all of the day-to-day chores and activities and organizing of it and it was just that activity that I thought I was agreeing to...but not the darn contract/agreement writing.  I have to come to terms with this fact and I am good with needing to turn it back over to the subcommittee for collaboration.  Not angry, not defeated...I just know (and am willing to admit to) my limitations.  I gave it a really good try.  The end.

The last writing project will be a bit easier after my surrendering to the above mentioned thing.  I will get back to work on that tomorrow.

I totally understand that writing is a skill...a learned skill that requires constant practice and honing to keep up with.  It isn't that I am illiterate or that I can't spell or hate English or grammar.  On the contrary, I rather enjoy (or used to enjoy) all of that -- it was about the only thing I could stand in school.  But if you don't use it, you lose it and my focus has drifted to the making side of things over the last few years.  It is just where I am at this point and I am really enjoying it.  

I will complete the third writing task and get on to the rest of the project attached to it.  It will just take another whole day to do.  But the middle task -- the contract/agreement -- that I will not be doing solo.  Period.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 56 - 365/2014

Day Fifty-Six

Nothing to see today.  I am taking a break from the Animal People collages for one day because I have 3 big things I have to draft...and I really dislike writing.  I can and will get it done, I am just not a comfortable/confident takes me forever.  (waaaah...poor Took)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 55 - 365/2014

Day Fifty-Five

Man -- sitting in the chair at the dining room table while working on the collage blocks is not an optimal situation...the chair is just a little too low or the table is just a little too high.  My arms and shoulders are killing me.  (poor Took) 

But I matched up (what I thought would be) the second fifty (of one hundred) bodies to blocks but I came up short four Animal People because a few of them were just too large for the blocks.  BUT, while I have been working on cutting out the images from the magazine clippings I found that I have a whole lot more kidly bodies to match up with puppies and kittens...SO that's what I did...the last four are Animal Kids.

I am stopping for tonight -- tomorrow morning I want to get to the car dealership early for a scheduled maintenance thing (time-wise I am overdue, miles-wise I am still not at 5,000 but I am out of washer fluid and I am tired of the car "yelling" at me when I leave the driveway) and I want to take a bunch of images to cut while I am waiting for the car.  I have a hard time reading when it isn't totally quiet, the morning television drives me this is a good is a pretty contained project and I can take a small trash bag with me...and maybe they will work on my car quicker in order to get me out of there...LOL.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Day 54 - 365/2014

Day Fifty-Four

Today Juana came with me when I restocked my Art-o-mat machine at LIFT Designer Toys and Gallery in Royal Oak, MI.  Juana helps me out (big time) with the randomizing of blocks for the columns. 

Tonight I assembled the last eleven of the first fifty (of one hundred) Animal People collages for Art-o-mat.  These are the ones I was just too worn out to do last night.

As with most of the rest of the blocks, these need to have a bit more work done on them before they are ready to vend.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 53 - 365/2014 (updated)

Day Fifty-Three -- updated

The art order from Artists in Cellophane (Art-o-mat) arrived today!

The art order arrived!
Stuff I got.

This shipment's white boxes were packed inside of a larger box (they are usually bound together in a stack) -- and Twink and Bootsy were very glad about cardboard to chew!

Twink is a champion cardboard biter.
Look at those teefs!
I moved the box to the floor and Bootsy came by...
...Twink allowed Bootsy a couple of bites.

I ordered several series/artists I haven't had before...along with a few favorites.  I had to stop myself from opening more than two of the (new to me) Mark Bulwinkle fired terra cotta clay "paw prints".  Man -- are they cool!!!  (I just visited his website for the first time today -- oh geez -- I have another art obsession!)

I had to stop myself from opening more than two least eight will get into the machine at LIFT in Royal Oak!

And I was able to snag ten of Crystal Mielcarek's "Cuties" -- AND -- I randomly got the one I liked the most from this series...the beet!!!

Same thing goes for the Crystal Mielcarek "Cuties" -- luckily, my favorite was in this order (and I didn't even ask for it specifically -- how cool is that?!

All of the Art-o-mat artwork that arrived got me all enthusiastic to get back down to work on my Animal People collages today.  I actually did fifteen in one l-o-n-g afternoon...very unusual for me!  Here are some photos of the ones I finished last night and today's progress.  They are probably all going to still get phrases added to I am not totally done with any of them yet.

The Animal People collages from last night.
First short break time.
Sometimes the animal person is too large for the block, but most of the time the essence of what I liked about the head/body combination is still there if I crop it down.
What it looks like from the back.
Whew -- I am done for right now.  Because it is still pretty early in the evening I will probably go back to doing some more tonight.
UPDATE: 2:14 a.m.

Well...I did end up going back to work on the blocks.  I started at around 11 and finally had to stop at right around 2.  There were 20 of the first 50 to go and I just couldn't do anymore tonight.

I selected Animal People to go on the last 20 of the first 50 (of 100) blocks.
I gave all of them their collage elements -- I had to cut quite a few new images.  I ended up only getting 9 assembled before I just needed to stop for the night.
I stacked them all carefully into an Arto-shipping box and they will be safe until I can get back to them.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Day 52 - 365/2014

Day Fifty-Two

Not much to say...pausing to take a photo...working on Animal People collages 
(for Art-o-mat) tonight.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 51 - 365/2014

Day Fifty-One

What a strange weather day...thundersnow.  This morning I had a wonderful meeting with a friend who I haven't seen in a while and who may become a sponsor for one of the upcoming juried art exhibits at NAH.  I am very excited no matter how things turn out -- it was great to see my friend again!

Then this afternoon my friend Peggy Kerwan came by to help me with some painting tips and techniques.  I have that big canvas with the little bearlike/monster/creature guy on it that I feel driven to paint but since I am primarily NOT a painter (and I don't like to paint, don't feel "qualified" to paint, etc.) (but somehow need to do this) Peggy was kind enough to come over and walk me through some stuff.  It was very helpful going step-by-step with Peggy -- she makes it look so easy.  I get so tense when I paint, nearly as tense as when forced to do math other than simple functions.  I hold my breath with every brush stroke.  Peggy kept everything fun and a couple of points she even had to take my hand and make the motions with it that she was trying to get me to do...very patient woman.  And after she left I forced myself to go back into the painting area and put at least a small amount of color on the little bearlike/monster/creature guy before I totally lost all of my nerve (or forgot what she had shown me).

Getting ready for Peggy's arrival.
Peggy unpacking her stuff.
Just one part of the demo.
Here is mine at the same point.
And a little farther along.
And then done...set aside to let it dry enough to come back in and work on the eyes...although we both like the ghosty look of him like this.
The little guy and the big guy.
More tips and techniques!
Peggy showing me a couple of more steps of how she achieves different looks.
Not too bad for a first lesson!

When Peggy was packing up all of the stuff she brought over, I was telling her that I don't want to come off like I am copying her style -- Peggy has a very distinct style that you can recognize right away and it is so Peggy and wonderful.  Peggy was kind in saying that even if I did make paintings like her it would still be me painting them and that would come through.  And we also discussed how I could incorporate using some of my papers that I use in the larger collages for the background and paint over would kind of bridge the gap between my collage and painting and that is something for me to keep in mind.

And oh yeah...I want to tell you that Peggy does painting parties at people's homes.  You can contact her for details.  She also has lots of paintings for sale at various venues around the Metro Detroit area.  AND Peggy will be the first artist in the Northville Art House's Outreach program...more about that as it gets closer.  Here is a link to see Peggy's Flickr gallery. Probably the easiest way to contact Peggy regarding her artwork or commission work of painting parties is to message her at her Facebook is a link.

And so here is my solo least it's a start!

The colors I selected (so I don't forget for when I go back to it again.)
The first bits of color on the big guy version.
A little more progress.
This is where I am stopping tonight.

I seriously doubt I will ever really fall in love with painting.  It just isn't "me".  But it would be good to at least come to a friendly arrangement with painting since most of the things I am driven to make require that I paint at least a portion of the project.  I am going to try to keep an open mind and heart with this painting thing.  I need to do this guy as a will be good when it is completed.

Oh -- and this creature's name is Biteyou.  He is named after a retired Detroit Derby Girl's cat.  "Sass Knuckles" (it is still hard for me not to call her Sass) cat's name was originally Merlin, but when her adorable son Linc was littler he pulled Merlin's tail one time when he was playing with Merlin and now the cat's name is Biteyou.  That totally cracks me up and I love it and I asked Sass if she would mind if I "borrowed" the name every once in a while and she was happy to grant permission.  I think Biteyou really fits this creature...this little bearlike/monster/cute/mildly scary/creature guy.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 50 - 365/2014

Day Fifty

I am not happy to say that I had a second incredibly physically painful day (after a rough overnight as well) and I have nothing creative to show for today.  I needed/wanted to "save up" to be able to go to the Exhibit Committee meeting tonight.  Now I'm back home and grabbing a bite and meds and cold packs.  Time for recliner/elevation/tv.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day 49 - 365/2014

Day Forty-Nine

I have been trying to work around this since my sister and I got back from running four errands.  Yep, four measly errands...but my driveway had deep snow and I just can't seem to cope with it this season.  I may sound like a big ol' cry baby, but I hurt extremely from mid-back down to my waist and on all the way down to my toes.  I have a number of physical problems (actually, a rather long laundry list of them) and I just cannot cope with this tonight and do anything remotely creative.  Tomorrow will no doubt be at least somewhat better.  Tonight...cold pack(s), pain meds, rest.  It is disappointing/difficut to report this -- but it is what it is.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Day 48 - 365/2014

Day Forty-Eight

One last day of tweaking and helping to proof the Call for Entry form that will be used for West of Center and Menagerie at the Northville Art House.  Now it is being sent off to the printer and it will soon be on the NAH website.  I'm very happy to have been a part of this area of behind-the-scenes work...I really enjoy it.

finishing touches

And tonight the baby snake guy was left in his hanging position while I added Scott paper "rags" and plaster cloth.  Again, I am not concentrating on the shape just yet -- I want to have the piece dictate how it naturally wants to hang.  I hope to avoid stress cracks by doing things this way.

blurry "before" shot...snake was turning and the exposure was long
"after" -- he is starting to look more snake-like

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day 47 - 365/2014

Day Forty-Seven

Geez -- it feels like it has been ages since I last worked with wet plaster cloth -- it is so good to get back to it!  Tonight I got started on the remake of the baby snake guy.  I am only concentrating on the first join where the hangers fit into the tube of the original neck/head.  I want to get that first join really solid and I am using the Scott paper "rags" along with the layers of plaster cloth to hopefully give it more strength.  It might not actually do anything at all but it feels like it makes it stronger. 

I also rigged up a hanging method so that the entire piece can support its own weight as the work moves along.  I think it will help the structure support itself and find its natural balance and shape.  Again, maybe it won't actually do anything, but it feels like it will.  At least doing it in this manner, I won't be surprised by any snapping/breaking later on...the weight of the piece will stretch the wire hangers and Devil's Fingers vine into place...that's my theory, anyway.

The first area I want to fill in and secure.
I'm not worrying about the shape of the body just yet...only getting the joins strengthened and capable of supporting its own weight.

I can't wait to poke at it again tomorrow night!  I am having big doubts that this piece will be finished in time for The Green Show, but that is okay.  If it is, it is...if it isn't, it will be for something else.

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