Travel

Shoreline

This latest piece, titled "Shoreline" is an example of technique and material coming together to create a unique art piece. 

I am getting ready for a booth space I will have at the Monterey Bay Birding Festival this coming week and wanted to make a bunch of bird pieces and especially some shore birds.   While rifling through my extensive pile of wood pieces, I realized I have some great driftwood pieces - perfect for shore birds.

Also, do you remember the double sided hanging birds I made a month or so ago? And the totem I made just last month?  Well, they brought together two techniques that melded together to create this shore bird piece.

I cut two exact outlines of the shape of this Black Necked Stilt.  The beak is quite thin and was quite a challenge to cut.  Next I painted the details of the bird in my 4 part process, firing it after each painting stage as I do all of my reverse paintings.   But on the final firing I inserted a small piece of fiber paper a short way under the bottom of the bird to become the hole where the metal rod would be inserted.  Both sides of the bird are glued together and the rod is glued in the void space to create a "bird on a rod". 

The wood was sanded and varnished and came out a lovely, rich, dark brown - which I adore.  A hole the size of the metal rod is drilled about half way straight down into the wood.  I then glued some well worn pebbles and  a couple of shells that we picked up years ago during a vacation to Catalina Island in a meandering path along the top of the wood.  The rod with the bird is inserted into the hole of the wood and Voila! "Shoreline" is born.

Loving this piece!!

Shoreline

"Shoreline"  Overall 18" x 4" x 10"

Shoreline 4


Inspiration

Last fall we took a trip in our RV to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Santa Fe is a very art centered community.  The eye candy is everywhere.

One of the places we went to was a gallery with bronze, metal and glass.  The Shidoni Art Gallery has a large property and had outdoor metal gardens and was so much fun to walk around and be amazed by each different art piece.

In the bronze gallery we came across some shelves of small sculptures.  My favorite was a man who made little animals, some stacked on top of others, that were made into little pull toys.  Not for actually playing with, but just perfectly adorable little sculptures.  I wish I had written down the artist's name, but, alas, I did not.

But I always travel with my sketchbook and when we got back to the RV I made some sketches of birds on pull toy bases.  My idea was to make a double sided glass bird, mounted on a wooded base with wood wheels.

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This idea sat in my book for all this time.  Last week I was looking through my book and when I stopped on this page, it triggered something.  I suddenly saw these birds flying in front of my window.  Bright and colorful.

So, some glass cutting, painting, fusing, glueing and some assembly.  And the two samples are finished.

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You don't get the feel of the three dimensionality of them by looking at pictures, but they have depth and are fun to look at and touch.

Like I said, these two were my first, but I plan to make a bunch more in a rainbow of colors.  I am also thinking of putting them on metal stakes for garden art.  


Color Failure

I guess I should tell you about my failures as well as my successes here.  I had a somewhat major failure here this past week.  I am working on painting some more bird pieces and had 7 more that I fired over the weekend.

Out of 7 pieces, I got only 3 usable ones.  I have never had this happen before.  I have had some paint colors turn a slightly different shade before. Or get a bit darker than anticipated, but I have never had 4 pieces at one time not only change color, but become so completely unusable.  

Here is the problem - the yellow turned gray.  And with these birds it is quite noticeable and unacceptable.

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Not only should this Lesser Goldfinch have a yellow chest, but the flower is supposed to be yellow!

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You can't have a Yellow Rumped Warbler with no yellow on him...

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Robins are known for their yellow beaks....

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And this Kestrel should have yellow around his eyes and an orange/yellow mustache.

So, between the loss of time, paint, frit and electricity, needless to say I was a bit frustrated.  But, I am in the middle stages of completing these pieces again as well as a piece with two Magpies that I am excited about and 2 other birds as well.  Hopefully these will be more successful than the yellow catastrophe.


Parliament

I know that I have heard before that a group of owls is a parliament, but while looking for a name for one of the 3 owl pieces that I am going to enter in the juried salon show in June I came across the term again.  It fit this piece just right.

ParliamentAproximately 5 x 5 x 17"

This burrowing owl is on the look out for his afternoon snack.  Hence the name "Two O'Clock"

Two OClockApproximately 5 x 5 x 24"

And the large piece I told you about in my last post - I titled it "Night Owl".  If you recall, this is now the largest piece I have made to date.  I am actually quite happy with it.  I played around with the painting in order to add light shading and pale coloring.  I ended up washing on a very watery color in some areas as well as full strength paints, then used white frit to color in the whole owl.  The color wash shows up as a much more natural light color that would not otherwise be possible with just paint or frit.  It is difficult to see it in this picture, but there is just slight color in the individual feathers of the front wing and as a shadow on the underside of the owl.

Night OwlApproximately 16 x 8 x 27"

I think the worst part is that I won't be able to show or try to sell these pieces until the salon show or afterwards.  I will be printing out the pictures and sending them in with the application this week.  If they are accepted I won't be able to substitute them - they have to be there for the show.

I am also playing around with the natural colored background for the photos.  The shadows are killing me - I really need to work on the lighting, but I think the pale color looks as nice or nicer than the black and really brightens up the overall feel.


New Year - New Thoughts

I don't usually actually make New Year's resolutions.  I like to make goals for myself all of the time, so it seems sort of redundant.  

But, this year there are a couple of things that I really do "resolve" to do.

1.  I resolve to eat as "vegan" of a diet as I can.  This can be difficult when eating out or with friends.  And reading all of the ingredients on packages is quite tedious.  But I feel very strongly about this in my life and hope that I can make a difference in my health, the invironment and for farm animals everywhere.

2.  Secondly, and I just thought of this today, I resolve to try to live every day as if I am on vacation.  I thought about how I slow down my movements, my thoughts, my interactions when I am on vacation.  I tend to enjoy moments more on vacation.  That could be because I am away from regular surroundings where people and things become mundane chores, but I think it might have more to do with a state of mind. This one will be tough.  I think I am up for it. 

As for goals - those will start soon and continue throughout the year.  I am really looking forward to a very healthy, happy and fun 2012.  Hope you are, too!

IMG_0590New Year's Eve dinner with hubby.  :-)


Rocks In My Head

It has been far too long since I posted here.  Sorry about that.  In late October my husband and I took an RV trip out to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We saw so much art and had a great time just poking around the town and surrounding areas.

There were two art highlights for me.  First, we went to Shidoni Bronze Foundry and watched an actual bronze pour.  Pretty hot and scary work.  The grounds are littered with metal sculptures for sale and some were super impressive - some were just plain fun.

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In the bronze gallery on the lower back section of the property was where we saw the actual pour and during the week they have more in depth tours of their process studio.  That is where I saw an art piece that has inspired a new thought - but that is going to be much later - probably after the holidays.

We also went to the outdoor Tesuque Flea Market.  I didn't get any pictures, but here we met a fantastic Flea Market Artist - Kelly Moore - doing graphic oil paintings on canvas, wood, etc.  His booth space was phenominal and he does his painting right there.  The ground of the space is covered in puzzle pieces!  You just have to check out his website.  He is also a magnificent poet.

Newsletter_shedImage borrowed from www.kellymoore.net

So much inspiration!  If you want to see a ton of art in a small stretch of space/time, you must visit gallery row in Santa Fe.  

So....the point of the title of this post?  While we were there I picked up some nice, smallish, basalt rocks.  I had seen another artist using small rocks and painting ravens on them.  I thought it would be fun to try some.

I painted with acryilics and varnished with a water base finish.  They came out nice.  I made 9 of them and I actually sold 3 of them at a small art show in Redlands a week or so ago.  

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IMG_0469This one's cute, huh?  Mark's idea. Ants with Cut Leaf "Hello"


Fall Shows

Just wanted to give you a quick update of my upcoming shows for this fall.  I am going to be a very busy little bee!

October 1st - I will have space at the Crestline Art-Tiques Walk from 4pm to 8pm.  This includes a wine walk put on by the Crestline Chamber of Commerce.

October 8th - Pine Cone Festival in Twin Peaks.  A wonderful mountain experience with Pine Cone art, music and contests!

October 15 & 16 - Big Bear Oktoberfest in Big Bear, CA.  Should be tons of fun with art, music and BEER!

November 4th - First Friday at The Lake House in Cedar Glen.  I am one of the featured artists for this event happening 4 to 7pm - come on down for Wine, Hors d’oeuvres, Friendship & Fine Art!  What a great way to start your weekend !

November 6th - Festival of Fine Art in Redlands.  This will be an all day Sunday show.  It is a fine event with wine, pianist and upscale art and artists.  It is being held in the old Fox Theatre in downtown Redlands.  I am really looking forward to seeing the old building and the history of it.

November 19 & 20 - Arts and Crafts show at the Oak Glen Retreat in Oak Glen, CA.  This is the heart of one of Southern California's apple orchard areas.  I expect lots of good apple foods and wonderful new artists.

November 25, 26, 27 - Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair at the San Moritz Lodge in Crestline, CA.  I did this show last year for the first time and had a lot of fun!  The lodge is large, warm and inviting and the variety of arts and crafts is just great!

December 10th - Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony and Winter Arts and Crafts Festival in Altadena, CA.  This one is fantastic.  There is one street overhanging with majestic deodars that are strung with over 10,000 holiday lights.  The festival has music, arts and crafts and of course, the trees are lit.  

Autumn Trio

I have been working on stuff like crazy and I don't think the pace will slow until around December 11th.  I look forward to seeing some of you at one or more of my shows.  Happy Fall!!


Pile 'O Pendants

I am trying to get ready for the upcoming holiday season shows.  I have several in October, lining up some for November and at least one in December also.  I will be updating my website Shows section as the locations, dates and times are confirmed.

In anticipation of some great shows, I have been making jewelry and tile pieces like crazy.  I have to get working on more ornaments as well.

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Up til now I had only been painting my little driftwood pendants with an off white painted tree design.  I decided to try the black paint on the light wood colors and I think I love them!  I have also begun using stone beads above the pendant instead of the metal beads.  I found some beautiful agate and jasper on my vacation in Oregon this summer that I think simply accentuate the wood tones.  I am pretty particular about which beads I use for each necklace.

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I've got 15 tile pieces in the kiln that will be mounted on wood.  Some of them I am pretty excited to see finished.  I tried a close up of a giant tortoise and a close up on a hare as well as some leaves, trees, an owl and other birds.  Oh yeah, and another little mouse.  Fun Stuff!


Art on the Lake XII

I am so proud to be showing my art at this years' "Art on the Lake" premier art show in Big Bear Lake this weekend.  I have been working very hard for a couple of weeks, just making, making, making more tile on wood pieces than ever before. 

This time my pieces range from bears to eagles...  

Soaring 1

Through the Fall 2


finches to owls......

Treetops and Turquiose

Head Shot 1


Caterpillars to butterflies and more....
 
Inching Along 3
Io Pause 1
Sweet Summer Scene 1

As I said, I have been working hard.  I am proud of all of my work and really looking forward to a great show.  There is an artist's reception on Friday night, then the show both Saturday and Sunday.  If you happen to be up in Big Bear, please stop by and say Hi!  There is no entrance fee and you can't beat the location right in the Marina.

Art on the Lake XII
Marina Resort
40770 Lakeview Dr.
Big Bear Lake, CA