Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Upcoming Posts and New Ideas

As I am trying to get this art blog off the ground as well as my art career, I know that I need to find interesting things to write about.  You really don't want to hear me complaining about how I am frustrated by a painting I just worked on (seriously awful!) or that I don't make enough time for creating art.  You want something more interesting.  So until I actually have something to show you, I've decided to bore you to tears with some papers I wrote in college on various artists and things.  I already posted one I did, about Jackson Pollock.  And after re-looking at my sculpture post, I realized that I had wrote a paper on Josiah McElheny so why not share that and my other posts with the greater world wide web?  Maybe someone will find them interesting. 

I do hope to be creating smaller scale images of musical instruments as well as a really cool painting.  I really feel like I need to start CREATING!  I don't really have a large body of work right now, making it hard to enter shows and really sell anything. Most of my recent things have sold, and the rest is from college and not all of that is sale worthy.  And I'm reluctant to want to sell my pregnancy drawings. I just love them so much! 

So until someone hires me out, I will be working hard to create and find my voice!

Thanks for bearing with me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

United Art and Education

My husband is a math teacher and I am an artist, so where do we shop when we need supplies? United Art and Education! My mother-in-law introduced the store to us last year and I loved it. There are so many great supplies and for good prices. Every time I go there I get a bunch of ideas of things I want to do, to create, to do with my children (when they are older). I find they have a very good selection of papers, which is the most common thing I buy.

My mother-in-law also took us down to a store down in Cincinnati called Suders Art Store. We went there last summer when to get bookbinding supplies and paper for when I was teaching them how to make books. The store is funny because nothing seems to be clearly marked and it's all piled up on top of each other, but the sales associates are really great and can help you find whatever you need and they actually have a great selection.

Other stores that I have shopped at in the past were Utrecht. My painting teacher took us all on a field trip up to Salt Lake City to get supplies there one time, and so did my drawing teacher. Good prices and great products available.

Of course there is also Hobby Lobby and Michaels. You got to love Michaels create your own sale coupons and deals that they have. I also think it would be fun to take one of the classes Michaels offers, like cake decorating sometime. In Utah I also went to Roberts, but they don't have them in Indianapolis. They are pretty much like Michaels.

What stores have you liked using as an artist? Which ones should I be made aware of?

*Note: I was not paid by anyone to write this post. I am simply mentioning the stores I have enjoyed using for my art supplies. That is all.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grade School Ceramics - To Keep or Not to Keep?

My mother decided she wanted to clean out her house last November and brought me a bunch of stuff from my old bedroom when we got together for Thanksgiving. I, who probably have the least amount of room of my siblings, was given more things to store. I went through it more thoroughly as I moved this last month. There were some gems among the items, like all of my grade school report cards and band programs, but sadly, I decided that some things were just not worth keeping… specifically some old grade school art.

I am not a ceramicist, a potter, a clay-worker. I may have recently sold a ceramic piece to my in-laws, but that was perhaps the best piece of ceramics I have ever made, and they just happened to be rather fond of it.

But, the rest of my ceramics have lacked this same artistic beauty. It’s interesting that as I was looking and taking pictures of my grade school ceramic pieces how little I feel I actually learned while making these pieces. I learned more in the one seven week block class I took at BYU, and could have learned a lot more if I had taken the advanced course.

Speaking of that class, it felt really great to work with clay. I have no questions about the very real artistic sensibility about making art from clay. It’s direct. It’s emotional. Every effort you put into it gets an immediate and direct result. It’s fun and it’s a release! But, sadly I just don’t have the knack for it. Maybe I could get decent at it someday. I can only hope!

Anyways, I decided that since I did not want to keep, store, and protect my old grade school pieces in the several (and very probable) moves we’ll take within even the next five years, I decided to take their pictures and bid them adieu.

So, I would now like to present to you what, I, a “big-shot artist” (I know you are all laughing), did when I was just a little girl.

In first grade I made my very first pinch pot! What a beauty!
It once upon time even came with an ill-fitting lid. I am impressed with my detail work I put in around the outside. (I actually kept this one…)

In second grade I made an awesome alligator! I mean look at this thing!
The legs may have broken off once or twice (each possibly) and be holding on with super glue, but it’s still looks good! The coloring is especially nice, as well as all the texture. It once had a small nest with two very large eggs in it, that I used to keep in the pot I made in the first grade but I have no idea where the nest is now. (I also kept this piece.)

In third grade (I think) I made this alien.
Sadly, this is actually a redo, and did not turn out as good as the first one I made (according to my recollection). After I got the first one out of the kiln, and was taking it back to my seat, I was bumped into by someone and it flew out of my hands and shattered across the floor. I was devastated and remember crying about it. The only piece that was salvaged was the bottom flat piece, which the teacher let me paint a robin’s egg blue and keep, though I don’t know where it is now. Since mine broke, the teacher had me re-make mine, and I put this one together a little quicker than the first and this is how it turned out. This is actually one of the few pieces I remember the process of how I made it. We made a flat bottom piece, crumpled up newspaper on top, and then put a new layer of clay over it, making sure to leave a hole so that the paper would burn and it would be hallow inside.

I think I was a weird child… I was kind of obsessed with aliens at the time, and I remember having several, sometimes reoccurring, dreams that had aliens, dinosaurs, and natural disasters in them… Plus I had older siblings who affected what I watched and drew…

I don’t remember exactly what grade it was when I made this UGLY thing, but I think it was fourth or fifth.
I know how I made this one. We took a container and wrapped clay on the outside. I think this is easier than the pinch pot I made in first grade. The face at the bottom it horrendous and I hate it… so moving on.

In sixth grade I made this weird head thing. He/she is supposed to, I think, look like a “Skeeter” drawing that my brothers Trevor and Tyler used to doddle and make comics about when they were in middle school. I don’t know why I gave “it” a hat, but the sun on his shirt matches the one of the previous piece. Let’s just say that a whole lot of thought didn’t go into this one, and it is now no longer in my possessions.

He/she is supposed to, I think, look like a “Skeeter” drawing that my brothers Trevor and Tyler used to doddle and make comics about when they were in middle school. I don’t know why I gave “it” a hat, but the sun on his shirt matches the one of the previous piece. Let’s just say that a whole lot of thought didn’t go into this one, and it is now no longer in my possessions.

In middle school I made this nice four-sided box. While I think the detail work, especially on the clarinet are great, there was no way I was going to keep a quasi big ceramic piece that was dedicated to my (used to be) three best friends and I, considering I only occasionally talk to them now. It would feel weird to display it in my home and have people wonder, who are these people?

In high school I also made this crazy monster. The monster used to be holding a big knife (or spoon? I don’t remember) and fork, but they broke off almost immediately. The face is one of the ugliest things I have ever seen and I don’t know why I made it so ugly other than I think I was inspired by “Ahhhh! Real Monsters” a TV show that used to be on Nickelodeon. I actually love the bright shiny green of his skin and the other color choices as well, but sadly this freaky thing had to go (per my husband’s request as well!)

In high school I used a spinning wheel, my one and only time, and made this bowl. And while the top may not be level, it’s not bad for my first attempt. I kept it simple in the color scheme as well which I like. We kept this one as well.

If you want to see what I did in college, CLICK HERE.

So, my question now is what do you, as a parent, do with art your child brings home that really is ugly? Do you really store it for years and then give it back to them? Do you quietly dispose of it when your child is not looking? And do you as an artist still have your artwork from grade school? (I actually have most of the paper art I did as well. Maybe I’ll write about them someday.) As an artist do you ever throw your stuff away? Is it really hard for you to do?

I am really curious so please comment!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My First Real Art Space!

So even though I share this 10’x10’ bedroom with a large bookcase, desktop computer, sewing table, and lots of boxes and things, it is an organized space where all of my art supplies are located at my fingertips! It’s great! I finally bought a chair for my art room after we moved. I got it from the Salvation Army for $6. I’m actually very happy with it! It’s got a solid wood base, it’s low to the ground and has a padded bottom and back.
Anyways, I just wanted to share with you all how excited I am about this. I hope that having a space really dedicated to creating any type of art will help me create more. I also may or may not have one or two upcoming commissions, but until then, I can do whatever I please.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A New Coat of Paint - Reworking an Old Oil Painting

I started this huge 3’x 3’ oil painting my last semester (on-campus anyways) of college and didn’t really get the time I needed to really finish it because, well, I had twins the day after adding stripes to the composition. The piece was based on a nebula image I found on the internet. I took the original image below and then rotated it and cropped it the second image below and then gave it my own artistic painting style and color scheme.
I also input the stripes, I think because we had to have an artistic influence in the piece, based on this painting by Jackie Tileston, which I find rather great:
However, my original stripping did not look nearly as wonderful as Jackie Tileston's...
Needless to say I wasn’t happy with it, but turned it in that way for a grade anyways. It was my final project. I actually received my worst grade in college in this painting class: a “C.” Part of the problem was that the class met at 8am MW and I took the bus to campus since my pregnant body didn’t waddle super fast. But, I often missed the first bus, so I would be 10-15 minutes late and all those tardies added up to hurt my grade. So, I blame most of the bad grade on that. Plus, I did miss two classes as I gave birth and was in the hospital/at home recovering, and another class here or there too...

Anyways, I have always had the best intention of finishing it, something I think all too common in the arts, and so it took me about 16 months (that’s how old my twin girls are) to actually touch it again.

I sanded down the texture of the stripes and then added some thin paint over them, changed some of the colors, added some highlights here and there and viola! I give you the painting I should’ve turned in 16 months ago:
I like it MUCH better than the piece I turned in for my final project. I wouldn’t say I love it, but then again I am not much of an abstract painter/artist. I am also not much an oil painter. I’ve completed all of about 10 oil paintings and studies combined in my lifetime. I still need a lot of practice and a lot of learning. Maybe someday I’ll take another class somewhere.

What do you think about it? Do you like abstract art? Should I make more like this, but on a smaller scale?

And if you love it, lucky you! It’s for sale.

A Musical Piece - Completed Charcoal Drawing

I finished this drawing as I was in the process of moving to a new place and then shipped it off to the intended owners. They were very happy with it, as was I! I am very glad it’s done and I can move on to new projects! I don’t feel like I want to do this big of a drawing for a long time. I guess you can say it burned me out a little bit. I hope that the Hunts enjoy this drawing for a long time!
When I sent them the drawing I sent it through FedEx and included a Certificate of Authenticity. I was nervous about sending it in the mail, but it worked just fine. They had a great box for art/paper. It was kind of pricey and the next time I send something in the mail I think I will buy the box and put it together myself to say on some of the cost.

So what do you think of the final piece??
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