Friday, October 31, 2014

Pomegranate season

One of the members of the art gallery in Lodi has a pomegranate tree that produces huge fruits.      She brought a big bag of them to the gallery for people to take for a small donation to the art center.      I picked out two colorful ones that I wanted to draw.   Sometimes at Senior art on Monday mornings, it is easier to bring drawing supplies.  It takes less room on the table, is not messy, it's easy to pack and carry, and it's fun.    What could be better?     Here is a pic I took while I was working on it. .      The persimmons were brought in by another senior to share.   I'll draw them later.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All dressed up and no where to go

Oh Noooo!!!!  The Halloween party has been cancelled due to weather.     None of the electric motorized pieces will be out, the patio is not covered, and the house interior is too small for the size party that was planned, so just a few family members will be here.       The little dollies will be out on my back patio under the deck where they are protected.    But they really wanted to go to a party.      

roughed up dolls

I realized I had not finished the little dolls when I last posted, so here they are now, with more scrapes and scratches, a little blood here and there.     Adorable little ghoulies. 

We hear predictions for rain Halloween night.    Oh my!    Where will all the decorations go?  Many are electrically controlled.    Mummies, witches with cauldrons,  escaped asylum lunatics -  Hmmmm......     I guess the porch swing can come down so they can be under the overhang.      We'll just have to play it by ear.    I don't know how many people are invited or coming, I'm out of that loop.    Thank goodness.

I wonder if I can learn to insert a short video on my blog by then.  Hmmm...     I'm thinking ahead how to record this event.     

 This is the doll Matt got at the flea market, grundged up now.   
And lastly, here are two barbie type dolls ready to come u p out of their graves.     

Now to do the gravestones, and I'm done.   

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Entering an art show

There are so many shows, it seems like there are always choices to make.    Where will your art fit the best?   Where might you actually win money and a ribbon?      How do you want to frame your art?      How much should you spend?  What are the entry fees?     D o you really want to drive there and back to enter, for the reception and then to retrieve my piece at the end of the show?   Any way you look at it there are three trips to the location.    Receptions are usually in the evening and that means driving after dark.    

Little by little I watch the older artists dropping off from showing their work for all of the above reasons, and it's a shame.      I see them producing wonderful art, and they show in galleries regularly, but entering competitive shows is so much more complicated, however it's where the prize money is, and where the art gets seen by a wider audience.   Many of the older artists resist the online entry shows, just because it is new and hard for them to deal with.

Most of the larger shows must be entered online, so there is the additional problem of getting good photos and figuring out the entry systems.     Getting photos the right size and quality for uploading.    Getting the lighting right so there are no glares.     Showing enough detail to whet the judges interest.      Three dimensional things are judged based on two or three photographs to enter a show.  Paintings, prints, and wall art - you only get one chance with a single photograph.     Some things just don't look as good in a photograph, you simply cannot see the subtleties in color and texture.      But, this is the way the world of art is going.   The people putting on the shows have found they get many more entries online, each accompanied with a fee for entry, so this system brings in more money.   People can enter from anywhere and then arrange to package, insure and ship their pieces if they are accepted.   To me, this is not worth the work, but if the prize money is high enough, you'd be surprised how many people want the big purse and are willing to do this.    And sometimes it works.      Sometimes not.  

My decision right now is what to enter in the next show in Lodi.  It is the Small Works and Itty Bitty works shows, running simultaneously.     Small works can be no larger than 8 x 10.    Three dimensional no larger than 8 inches in any direction.        Itty Bitty works can be no larger than 3 x 3 inches.

I have quite a few small works ready.   I'm thinking mainly of the gelli prints that are mounted and framed now.  I really love them and have a strong feeling that their simplicity and starkness set them apart.  There is something so straightforward and honest about the images.  And the fact that they are monotypes and cannot be duplicated.    I think I will enter a few of them.    I have a lot of small paintings, but nothing worth showing.     I have to finish the backs of the frames to get them wired and ready to hang.    And do the paperwork.      And write the check for entry.
Guess I'd better get buzy. Friday is the deadline.


Lifes challenges - just keeping up

I am so thankful for my life and family and friends.     So many are facing huge challenges, healthwise or family problems of one kind or another.    I have been very busy last few weeks with working on things for the Spring art show, at the same time fixing up things around the house and garden in preparation for winter.   

This is the next doll to alter for Halloween. 

 My solarium is on the South side of my bedroom, built onto the deck.  It has always been the nicest warmest place to spend a winter day.   It seems to get to 80 degrees by 11 a.m. and then stays constant until 4ish.  However, because it is built over the deck there is no protection from the cold coming up through the floor, so I added a big area rug, moved the furniture around, and put in one of those electric mock fireplace heaters.   Now it will stay cozy longer and I can move my things out there earlier in the day.      I had to put some darker color valences up to help reduce the glare and  bright light to protect my eyes.     I also got rid of most of the clutter, so it is more open and delightful.  This is the first year I'll have a door.  That was my birthday present from my son, who built it from scratch and hung it so it slides back out of the way.      I'm looking forward to many wonderful days toasting in the sun filled room with my journal and supplies, or my wire bending projects, or whatever I happen to want to work with, listening to public radio with the dogs curled up on the big chair.         

Projects lately have been taken over with all these matters and designing tickets, invitations, flyers and post cards for the spring art show.   There are so many details and comparing prices and delivery, etc.     Today I'm taking the day off and heading out for my flu shot.    My friend Frances is in the hospital, and may get home today, so I'll want to stop by with somthing good for her to eat.    

faux encaustic

This is my third experiment with faux encaustic.     Slathering on layers of thick matte gel medium over a painted and textured surface with natural elements imbedded.   Photograph does not do it justice, as  you can't see the depth and layers.    I really like this piece.   

Scary things that don't go bump in the night

Halloween is approaching with kids and grandkids putting out the decorations for a big party.    So, to do  my part, I'm horrifying some recycled dolls.      This is the first batch of tiny dolls from the thrift store, ready to come creeping out of their graves.     I'll post more pics later. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My new masterpiece

I did it!    I combined the little photo of my dad and the survey crew with a gelli plate print.      I wish I could remember now how I got the grainy look in the background.    But it seemed like the best choice of the daily batch.   Cutting out the tiny figures was not easy - I used a magnifying glass on a stand so I could see it.      I had planned to place them in the entrance to a mine shaft or tunnel, but I didn't like the way it looked even though I printed 6-8 tunnels on the gelli plate.   I just could not get one I loved.    but this one I do.   

I placed this one on the scanner without the mat on, so the image is better than the last batch I posted. 

What I like about it is that it's a hint of a landscape and nothing more.     Mountains?  Desert?  Glaciers?
I leave it to your imagination.   That's dad on the left looking out across the countryside.   This one will go to the gallery for the small works show next month.     What do you think?     I love it.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Moving up the ladder with gelli printing.

I have had so much fun with this, I gave myself permission to veer off in my own direction.     One of the main things I wanted to learn was how to keep the paints open longer on the plate so I could paint little landscapes and pull a good print from them.   The open paint problem was addressed by Carolyn Dube, but the landscape paintings are totally my own.   I am curious if Carolyn will do anything like this later.  They are much like painting on ceramic tiles.    You don't quite know what the results will be or what the print will look like.

I've had more failures than successes, but I now have a number of ones that I consider worthy of framing for the small works show in Lodi.   Here are three of them. I scanned them with the mat boards on, so they are not clear, but you can get the idea or what I'm trying to do.     

 This one is of the Nevada desert.    Near where one of my sons lives.    Mono printing is fun, but you can never duplicate anything even if you do the exact same thing.    I'm very happy I'm working on deli wrap so I don't waste a lot of good paper.     The size of the print is the size of the gelli plate.

This one is the high Sierra Mt. Range. 

I like how simple and calming they are.  Nothing bright, nothing showy, just a bit on paint on deli wrap, glued to Mixed media board.    Matted in a taupe/grey color.  I bought a packet of about 15 mats years ago when they were refused by the person who ordered them   I got them for next to nothing.   I'm so glad I hung on to them.    

Now I'll show you some of the influences that steered me in this direction.   

As a child, we had my father's old scrapbooks and photographs to look at.      Many of them were in sepia tone from the 1920s.     Here are a few examples from his Alaska days.

This is where I got my palette for the first one above.   I used asphaltum paint and white.    I went to an art exhibit the other evening where someone whose work I really like had been working with encaustics and rust.
She had some really nice pieces.     This is sort of my rusty looking palette.      

I may try to integrate some of the photos into the prints in some way - maybe digitally.      first I have to get better scans.  

My brother has been scanning the photos and has lots more of them I can use.     Right now he's busy making a film of the photos, dad's written story of his time there, and using the voices of our family members to narrate.     When it's done, I'll post a link for anyone who loves Alaska and history, and mining.