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Friday, April 18, 2014

Grand Duchess Genevieve DuPont Von Frankenstein


May I introduce you to the Grand Duchess Genevieve DuPont Von Frankenstein. She resides on Unholy hill as it is called in Codyland. Her husband is the lesser known brother Ekhart of the famous Baron. Like his brother he has decided to pursue a life of science. His wife Ginny as she is often called by the town folks, was in a terrible accident where upon her hands were destroyed. Not wantyng her to suffer Ekhart gave her a new set. No one knows where he found the new hands but, the deed is rather obvious. Fortunately she does have full use of the new hands. But, she is not very happy as the towns people talk and so she keeps to herself mostly. The Duchess longs to chat with the ladies of the local art guild as the Duchess is an avid painter.


If the Duchess weren't so deeply depressed and melancholy she would realize that the ladies of the Codyland Ladies Home Art League would welcome her with open arms. They are just dying to hear some of the juicy gossip Duchess Genevieve must know.

The Duchess is a polymer clay head with store bought hands and shoes. She is constructed on a wire armature wrapped with layers of batting and fabric. Her costume is designed and constructed by yours truly. She is wearing a strand of pearls that are real and a bracelet made from a small ring with a moonstone and small diamonds on it.

I only have two more unfinished ladies to complete from the original series I started last year. Wish me luck finishing them as I need to get started on some other art projects. Hope you have a great holiday weekend for those who celebrate.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Timeless Thursday


Due to my work schedule and not being able to post on Saturday as I have been. I am taking this opportunity to do so today. So, I am posting some older art pieces that I had done a number of years back when I was really into my painting life/ Still hoping to include painting in my current artistic endeavors, but my schedule is so wacky right now. Which actually is part of my point to posting this old stuff. I wanted to share my evolutionary steps as an artist. But, also I am feeling too scattered at the moment and seem to have no real focus. It could be the moon phase, the time of year, who knows? One thing I do know is that I am feeling a bit burnt out. My day job is sucking so much energy from me at the moment. It isn't really a complaint, just an observation. How do some of you deal with this odd state where nothing seems to motivate you. I have ideas, just no real good chunks of time to get moving. My energy level is really low.

The universe seems to be playing the part of the fool or court jester during this time too.. Tricking me with all sorts of things. Hence the above image. I did this for the Cincinnati Opera challenge the art guild I belonged too a number of years ago, put forth. The challenge was to create a painting of one of the operas being performed that season. I chose Rigoletto from the opera of that name. It was a fun study and a challenge as I do not normally paint figures. But, that sparked a little challenge in me.


The next little fun piece I did was based on a doodle I drew at work back in the 1990"s. It was a goofy clown. I did manage to capture the mood of the drawing. All of my pieces are usually acrylic on canvas or panel. This is done on panel.


I then began to play around with images from nature and doing a more expressionistic style with them.


Next I began to use photography to create a more painterly type of image for some projects. This image was actually going to be used as a pin. I was planning on transferring it to polymer clay and making it into a jewelry piece.


Finally, I started combining photographic elements in Photoshop to try and tell a story. This is a character called Zero that I created using a coworkers face. It was a project for work that particular month. Not that great of a job, but it was fun. I was inspired by the movie Mirror Mask.

Well, there's my blast from the past for this week. Hopefully I can get myself in the swing of making art a daily practice again. I know it will make me feel better overall and my energy will return. Have a great one and all.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

New Character


Today I finished a new character for the photo series I am working on. I had been working on her on and off for about three weeks now. Partly due to my work schedule and social commitments it took me a bit longer. This is the Prophetess. She is one of the odd and a bit touched in the community. This particular character is loosely based on a real person I knew of once. Very committed to her beliefs of the religious nature even if they are a bit out there. But, the biggest component to her personality is her preaching to anyone that will listen, of the doom approaching mankind. Is she a true prophet or a crack pot.

This character will be the foundation to one of my Tarot card images. I have been wanting to create a version of the iconic divination tool for years. The hardest part for me was how I wanted to approach it. Do I take a serious look at the whole looking into the future thing or do I take the idea of what the deck is supposed to represent and make one of my own. I have used the Tarot for years and it really gave me a great process for inward contemplation. I didn't look upon it as a tool to predict my future, but rather a way of finding a deeper understanding of who I am as a spiritual being. Then there is the thought of creating something with a bit more humor to it. Kind of a parody of sorts. In the end I think I am going to have a bit of both approaches. I am creating a version of the Tarot with both humorous and serious elements. It is my take on the whole idea and process.

My goal will be to create a set of 22 or so images that I will use as my major arcana or something similar. I am not committing myself to following the actual Tarot symbolism exactly. Which is where the Prophetess comes into play here. She will be the basis of one of my cards. She is a polymer clay head and feet with a wire armature body. I used store bought plastic hands. She is then clothed with hand sewn costume and such. I wanted to keep her a bit simple.


Here is a close up of her face. Simple and a bit creepy. That was the vibe I wanted. The next phase of creating her card will be making the props and setting for her. So far I have five of the card characters figured out. I am looking at some options for three more. Hopefully once I get through the final studio open house for the season I can get to shooting the card images. My dream is to have them ready or at least a good number of them ready for a big show in October. My goal is to have the cards available to purchase separately or as a whole deck. The images will be printed on aluminum panels and mounted on special frames for the exhibition and sold as one of kinds. Lots of work ahead of me. But, I am excited about it and this will give me a goal. The characters will be a combination of my own dolls and dolls and toys I have collected. They will be altered and dressed according to the needs of the character and cards symbolism.

Well, that's it for this post. Have a great weekend one and all. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Portrait as Art and Sentimental Saturday


Lately, I have been obsessed with portraits and have been finding my friends becoming unwilling or willing subjects. They are an easier access to models for me when I need a living person instead of a doll. Since my first photography class was in portraiture, I didn't initially think I would find this art form that interesting. Not to mention what could I possibly have to offer the world as a portrait artist? But, there is something so mesmerizing and magical about capturing the likeness and especially the human face that just captivates me.

The first portrait is of my friend and coworker Kajy Parker. I love her smile and her spirit is so captivating. She is a warm and caring person  that many are drawn to. This simple pose I think captured her essence perfectly. How could you not love her.


The second image is of a dear longtime friend of mine named Dan. He loves disco and seems to reflect fondly on that time in his life when disco was king and the music was much happier. He tends to be a quiet person, but very devoted and dedicated to his friendships. He holds his memories in his hands with a great deal of delicacy
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Finally we have a  portrait of my friend Chris. He had been away from our group for quite a few years and is now back in the area and hanging out with us again. A great friendly guy, with aspirations of being an actor. He participates in local theater productions and is quite the actor. I captured this while we were playing cards one afternoon.

Portraits allow me to capture what I see in the person. It is important that I know something or better yet a lot about the person I photograph. It gives me more to use in trying to see into their inner self. It is kind of a mirror of sorts as I can only hope to reflect the beauty, compassion and devotion that my friends do.


Sentimental Saturdays are becoming a little tradition of sorts on my blog. It is a chance for me to reflect and also share some of my creative past with my blog friends. So, this weeks look back is of three pins I designed and submitted to a Lark books call for entries a good 12 or so years back. They were looking for creative pins and broaches created by artisans.


Unfortunately mine were not selected to be included. Not sure why except that perhaps my images weren't good enough quality. Maybe they were a little to crafty for them. .Who knows? I did have a grand time designing and executing the creating of them.


These little guys were created using a few bits of wood, miniature playing cards, Buddha head beads and other bits and bobs to create these fun little articulated pins. When I showed them at a show I was selling at, they sold within the first hour. Someone bought all three and they were off to a new home. So, the story turned out good in the long run. At least I got more than just a free book and a page in a 500 series book.


As with the paper dolls posted last week, I have thought of revisiting this particular structure and update it a bit. Not that I need another distraction. They were a lot of fun to make though. Well, that is my post for this week. I welcome your visits and your comments. I encourage them actually as they connect me to you my followers and visitors. That way I know what you are thinking and you all give such helpful advise when I need it. Have a great weekend one and all and will see you soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fog In the Head and Sentimental Saturday


As Saturdays go this is rather low key. it is rainy and damp here with a good bit of chill in the air. It is supposed to be spring. But, Cincinnati weather is rather moody. You never know what you're going to get from one minute to the next. This all puts my head in a foggy state. The past week was rather trying at times so I guess this is the Universe's way of getting me to calm the f#%&* down. I offer the above image, taken in my little neighborhood as a symbol of my sate of being today. There are many projects I should or need to tackle. But, I think I will just go with the flow.


Sentimental Saturday's edition comes from my distant past as a doll maker. These set of elemental spirit dolls were made in the mid 1990's for a show at the now defunct Cove Gallery. The first one here is the element of earth. These were sewn and stuffed figures with polymer clay heads and hands and or feet, In some cases I used found pieces of branch or twig too. I then painted them and used a variety of embellishing techniques for the surface. Sorry, but these are scanned snap shots and the quality is rather lo fi.


This figure represents the element of air. I called this the sky being. It's surface is painted to look like a sky full of clouds I used metallic shimmer paints for some of the polymer clay bits. It is approximately 22 inches in height.


Next in line is the fire element. His skin is created using paints that have pumice and lava bits added in to create a very textured surface. He is painted in the colors of molten lava. I used metallic gold and russet to color his hands, feet and head.


Lastly we have the water element. I used a glass beads medium mixed into the various colors of paint to create a bubble like texture on his skin. He is painted in shades of greens and blues with the metallic shimmering qualities of those colors added in. He also has turquoise beads and crystals applied to the surface. I made his head and face to be a little frog like.

These were a fun challenge to make for me as I had never attempted at that time any mixed media pieces. Happy to say that they were a hit as they all sold. It has been rather nice and sometimes humbling to look back into ones creative past. The journey has been amazing and I have learned so much over the years. My love of experimentation and trying out new products has produced some interesting results. When I feel rather timid and unsure of where to go I just remember how courageous I have been in willing to try almost anything creatively. Now I can say if it works, it works. If it doesn't, toss it aside and move on.

Have a great weekend one and all.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sentimental Saturday


Saturdays are one of those strange days in the week for me. I can never seem to get going early and figure out priorities of what project needs my attention first. Whenever I get in that state of purposeful confusion, I pull things out from my past creative endeavors to push me in some direction for the day. Here is a collection of three mini paper dolls I made a few years back as examples of a mini class I taught at Artistic Figures In Cloth AFIC . They are articulated with very tiny paper fasteners. The bodies are bits of decorative papers that are laminated to a foundation of card stock. I use found photo images of faces or drawings and then used a variety of fun bits to add to the costume or as adornments. The reason I resurrect these beauties is that there is a lot of possibilities in incorporating photography into paper doll making.



However, I think it would be nice to move beyond the cheesy portraits or snap shots and take time to create some interesting images in the post processing phase of the photo session. You could even take shots of doll heads that you have created and make them a paper version that you can then change up the costume when you like. Create paper puppets using this process. Then animate them using a stop motion process. The possibilities are endless.


I had forgotten how much fun these little paper dolls were to create. I have recently purchased a few books on paper dolls and puppets to fuel some interest in that area. Someday, as one of the things on my bucket list, is to create some fun paper puppets and try and animate them on video. Of course that presents a whole other set of learning curves. I smell a challenge.

Have a delightful weekend no matter what you find yourself involved in and have fun, find happiness in each moment and just be.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hello Spring!



Another birthday has come and gone. A year older, maybe wiser and certainly ready to keep on trucking. It has been a long cold winter and as many of you know really cold. So, I can be confident in stating that we are ready for spring, Oh yes, we are so ready for it. At long last it is here at least on the calendar anyway.

My first signs of spring came earlier this week as I watched a Mockingbird keep watch over his newly acquired territory near my bus stop. This little guy is very inquisitive and seems to make an attempt to communicate with we humans. It is such a delight to see nature marching on and getting ready to explode in color and beauty.


I know this beauty of a flower is technically a summer bloom. But, I couldn't help but present it here as my banner of the arrival of spring. One of my favorite seasons of the year. Perhaps you could say I am a middle of the road kind of guy. I like both spring and fall. But, the transitions seem to be the most dynamic and interesting to me. They are opposites that herald change.

Welcome spring 2014. I hope you bring the promise of renewal to all who choose to dip in it's energetic flow. I am certainly ready to get going and shake out the winter blahs for good this year. Time to get some creativity moving. Have an awesome rest of the week to you all. I am anxiously awaiting the last of my set and prop pieces so I can finally start my photo shoots. Going to the big studio today to make preparations for the set up and alterations of things as needed. There are lots of things to move and I will be making many bus trips to take it all there. So, again have a great second half of the week.