Saturday, June 27, 2009

Color Play

Here's a little video on color play. These are new colors I recently bought and I really think I'm going to enjoy them. We'll work with several different Triads in my class at Valley Ridge - I am bringing a few of my faves and have hand painted color wheels showing all the various colors that result.

Just click on over to VR if you want to join us. I think there are still a few openings if you're interested. Its going to be 2 days of glorious Claybord, yippeeeeeeeee, I can hardly wait!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Klimt meets the 21st Century

A couple posts ago I mentioned that I had developed some new classes and here is one of them. These were inspired by Gustav Klimt, one of my very favorite artists. I love the way he painted on gold leaf and his pattern work is amazing. I believe you can click on the images and they will enlarge so perhaps you can see the detail work better.

I had a wonderful time pushing myself to bring a retro yet current feel to the Klimt style. These pieces were all done on claybord using a lot of new techniques that I've never taught before.

All I can say is FUNFUNFUN!!! Hope I get to teach them soon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Behind the scenes at American Artisan

I have never been a camper. Although I love the outdoors and could hike for hours and hours on end, I much prefer to return to creature comforts at the end of each day - pool or hot tub - glass of wine - big bathtub - cushy bed. You get the drift, I'm a Princess.

So, why oh why would I select outdoor art fairs as a source of income you might ask?
God only knows? What I do know is it seems a lot like camping......

Thursday I drove to Nashville to set up for the show. It was hot. Damn hot. Insanely hot. I had been sickly for several days due to this Calcium/Magnesium pill my Doctor had suggested. If you don't know the side effects of magnesium, I'm not going to mention it here, but let's just say I was weak.

I did manage to set up my tent without hurting myself or anyone else. No emergency personnel required. Whew. It was brutal with heat of mid 90's and a heat index over 100. I drank crazy amounts of vitamin water/gatorade/regular water. And I have found a miracle snack...........Flattened Bananas from Trader Joe's. They are only 90 calories each and have very low (if any) fat. They are chewy, semi-dried bananas and have a wonderfully intense flavor. I swear they give me a burst of energy.

The photo shown is the tent city we all built behind our booths. I have a full shade awning attached to the back of my booth, but we had all day sun exposure, so this convoluted structure was necessary in order to maintain shade (and our sanity). Sitting outside for 3 days

straight, wearing completely sweaty clothes, ugh. How delightful. Lucky for me, I had some amazing F-U-N neighbors and that made it bearable.
Mucho thank yous to Beverly, Henry, Jason, Theresa, Janice, Marie & Rhonda. Your humor made it all bearable. Thanks also to the staff of American Artisan and of course to Nancy Saturn. What a class act you all are.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

American Artisans

Its Thursday so I must be heading to Nashville for the American Artisans show, an invitational art fair sponsored by a gallery extraordinaire. If you're in the area, I'd lovelovelove a visit, we'll be in Centennial Park (where the Parthenon is) on Friday-Sun. You can click the link for specifics.

Thought you might enjoy seeing another new piece, this one 30" tall by 10" wide, on claybord (click the image to enlarge). I have all sorts of madness planned for my return (I have a break between shows, yippeee!). So stay tuned for an instructional Flip video; more class previews and maybe, just maybe, I'll throw in a contest for good measure!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Class Idea - Repetition Warhol Style

This is one of my new class ideas, using the power of repetition to explore subject matter. Andy Warhol did this, although he use screen printing, and I have always been drawn to repeated topics. For this particular class, claybord is treated as "scratchboard", starting with black instead of white. And, instead of screen prints, we do stencil cutting (layered stencils to create more detail) and build surface texture with molding paste. Plus the usual carving on claybord and then layer after layer after layer of acrylic paint and paint markers. The effect is very "3D" in that the flowers look extremely textural and real. I have a variety of subjects to choose from, so not everyone has to use flowers.

I'll let you know when I have a venue set up. And, if you know of a spot that might be interested, just let me know so I can do a formal proposal.

Stay tuned as I post more new class ideas.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Words of Wisdom

Last night we met my step daughter & family at the Farmer's Market to select items for dinner. We brought the bounty back to our house and fixed a feast that (by some miracle) we enjoyed out of doors (balmy evening with no rain and no bugs, if you can imagine that!).

After dinner, we all hung out in the studio and my grandsons wanted to paint. On canvas, naturally, because I have taught them well, tee, hee. Aidan (age 7) had an idea in his head and immediately set to work.
He chose colors outside of his normal palette. When I questioned this, he said he wanted light colors, all pastel. He painted quickly, without hesitation, his small canvas on the table rather than the easel.

When finished, he placed his canvas up on my big easel to dry; his piece was alongside a couple of my abstracts which he inspected carefully. He finally said, "so, Yia Yia, you mainly just paint whatever you want, don't you, with stuff floating around?" He was talking about a couple of my geometric works, with foil squares.

"Yep," I said, trying to conceal a smile. And oh, if only it were easy he made it look and sound. To be seven again and to flit in and out of that precious art zone, how glorious it must be.

I'm heading to the studio right now and am going to paint whatever I want.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've been tagged....

Lelainia has tagged me (as she was tagged by Catherine) to answer this question -

What are you about right now - if you had to write down the things in your head at this exact moment in time, what would they be?

So, here this moment, I am about....

Ideas, darting round and round in my head like fireflies.
Grand kids
Classes, fantastic new ones that I am eager to teach.
Disappointing rejection.
Geometric subjects
Gentle breezes
Claybord, oh glorious claybord - the discoveries of my continued play.
Architectural drawings
Dreams of houses
My next show, American Artisan in Nashville, TN
Books, reading Seven Days in the Art World, which is fascinating
Glass beads gifted from my friend Mary Smith
Color, a new triad of paints that I just ordered from Blick
Upcoming beach vacation
Farmers Market
My book, ok I just said it out loud
Champagne Mangoes
Sewing on my new machine
Mom & Dad, I miss them yet can't find a weekend to visit
Shows, inventory needs plague me (its good, I know)
Walking, one foot in front of the other, feeling the earth
Spider webs
Klimt, Jasper Johns, JMW Turner, Hundertwasser
Painting all day and all night

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ties that Bind

I am so proud to have made a charm for this utterly glorious doll that is being raffled off to benefit Ovarian Cancer research. The project was organized by Kris Henderson, Aileen Roberts and Jan Brown - they gathered an amazing collaboration of women - click here to see the blog which includes a gallery of stunning photos (the doll is BIG!). And click this box below to buy raffle tickets. Who wouldn't want to win this!?!??!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Of cats and men

Oy, these cats are driving me insane. You all know that I adopted the adorable Jasper Johns a couple weeks ago, right? All was going fairly well (meaning minimal hissing) until we left for my Chicago show on Friday. My friend Karyl watched the kitties as usual and all I can say is, while the peoples are away the cats will play. Or, in this case, act out. Apparently there was a lot of pooping in the living room.
And who knows what else?
We got home very late last night and it seemed like the whole household had been turned upside down in our absence. There were smells. And 'tudes. BIG 'tudes.
Ugh, ugh and ugh. Not what I had in mind.
In the meantime, the tests of Jasper's stool (ok, ok, I realize this is a family blog) came back and he has roundworm.
Excuse me!?!?!??!?
Did I not get this cat from a rescue? Was he not examined by 2 vets prior to my adoption?
Ugh, ugh and ugh again.
He is now on meds, 2 types, one for all the bacteria in his stool, one for this roundworm.
Izzy remains on meds for her messed up butt.
Gil seems fine, just a little crotchedy (imagine that?).
And me.......well, I hit the Petsmart today and bought the following:

Black Lite to find the smells
Special guaranteed treatment stuff to fix the smells (once we find them)
Herbal stuff to put in the litter boxes to entice cats to pee & poop there
More herbal stuff (a spray) to calm them (you think I could get some of that??)
And a "boundary" spray to keep them out of certain places, I am hesitant to use this as it has lots of chemicals in in and I prefer to stay somewhat holistic.

In other news, I had a kinda crappy show in that I didn't really sell as much as I had hoped. Possible big sale to come though and I am hoping that will happen as it did with my recent Lousiville show.

The good news is that John & I stayed with Pam Sussman and that was a lot of fun. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with she and Richard. Other good news is we hung out with Mary Smith and her hubby, Gary (he is toooooo funny!!). That made the show delightful in spite of cold weather and light crowds.

All in all a fine weekend.

Friday, June 05, 2009

57th Street Art Fair

In Chicagoland? Come see me this weekend at 57th Street Art Fair in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Although the website says the show takes place on 57th Street (which it does) there are also plenty of artists in the school yard where I will be. The lineup of artists is really strong so I feel sure this will be a great show.

On the Internet (duh)? Check out my interview at the MMCA Marketplace.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Easel Shot

Here is an easel shot which shows some work in progress. The two bigger pieces are claybords and the smaller ones are canvasses. Obviously not finished in this shot, I have since finished several of them and I will hopefully share them tomorrow (which I guess is today since I am up so late).

This is a nice close up of my easel (my own design) which John built for me. It leans against the wall and offers several heights for painting while standing or sitting. I use it for "viewing" too because I move my work around quite a bit and often will paint the pieces while they are on the table or on the floor.

And how 'bout this other shot, where Jasper Johns is inspecting my progress (and oh, don't I wish the real Jasper Johns was hanging out in my studio with me). I am so not used to a cat walking on my art tables as my older kitties pretty much know the drill. Jasper, on the other hand, is such a kitten. And I am apparently a soft touch since I grabbed a camera rather than that handy spray bottle that was sitting right there. The other day he climbed all the way up the easel, using the ledges as steps, and then embedded his claws in the top in order to hoist himself up to the window sill. Ahem.....

Monday, June 01, 2009

Here Kitty

Our cat family, is this not simply adorable? Or perhaps that is just a mama talking. Izzy on the left, Gilligan in the middles and Jasper Johns on the right.

And who let Jasper Johns sleep in the piano, good grief, have you no couth? He also sleeps in the bathtub (guest bathroom) and on top of the air conditioning vent in our bathroom. One of my friends suggests he was perhaps homeless and prefers sleeping on a grate of some sort. Hmmm. Could be true as we really don't know his history. I suspect he has come a long way in the last 10 days.

Needless to say, all these critters have us right where they want us.