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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.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beware the Ides of March

I have always been a bit curious about this whole beware of the ides of March thing. Perhaps it was the demise of a Roman that facilitated the saying and idea. But, in recent years the folklore tends to lend itself to bad luck and bad weather in the transitional month of March. Spring occurs in the later weeks of March. At long last the grip of winter is finally loosened.

I am not a superstitious person by nature. But, one can't help but notice the subtle clues nature puts in front of our faces. The moon that is almost full becoming a bright orange ball in the early morning skies. What could this mean? The strange appearance of certain bird species that shouldn't be here this early. Mother nature, our beloved mother earth is speaking the language she knows best. Through her unbelievable nature, rhythms and energy. If we notice and pay attention. We can be witness to some wondrous sights.

My favorite is the ever present mocking bird that guards his territory that surrounds the bus stop where I catch my morning bus. It is quite remarkable to see him respond to communication attempts by us humans. One of the awesome abilities that becoming a photographer has given me is the power of patience and observation. It has actually helped me to understand many things in my life that I just didn't notice before.

So, the ides of March herald the upcoming new season of spring. They encourage me to take notice of my nature and the nature all around me. Even in the most urban areas of the inner city mother nature comes a calling. Welcome her and allow her nurturing love to fill you with the impending aromas of spring and all that this glorious season has to offer. Make some art, plant a garden, take long leisurely walks in the sun, listen to the sound of gentle rain drops falling on the earth. It is glorious, is it not?

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Inner Peace - Outer Peace

Another Essex art walk has come and gone. This first art walk of the year is really the half way point to me in the cycle. The reason is that way back in the early days of the Essex a small group of artists who started renting space there decided to hold an art walk in October. So, for me that is the beginning of the yearly cycle of art walks. There is something about a half way point that evokes a feeling of transformation and also one of peace. It is the summit and the vista and the way down the other side is in focus.

It was at this particular art walk, which was a rather slow one, that I came to realize a big goal I have had in the back of my consciousness for quite some time. I love theater, drama, cinema and all the emotions and energy that go with the experience. Many times while sitting there waiting for patrons to come in and look at the art, I thought how boring this must be. It is really boring to me. Here I have this awesome space and it looks  and feels like a stuffy two bit gallery. Not to put down my or my partners art, it was just the feeling of same old same old as every other art walk experience. I sat there feeling tired and longing for the time to quit to relieve me of my misery of boredom. Lately I have been asking the Universe to please show me how I can move forward in my creative endeavors and career. I am not ready to hang up the towel and fade quietly into the distance. There is a dynamic presence that lives deep inside of me that is longing to get out. So, it finally hit me last night at the height of boredom. After the umpteenth unpleasant patron turned up their nose at our studio that I finally said enough. "Universe what can I do, what do I need to do to get us out of this rut?"

The answer came rolling over my fed up brain like a beautiful angelic melody. Create the drama you so desperately desire to experience. Make this space an experience. Create a total environment for your art. Make it a show and not just a yard sale of miscellaneous art pieces looking like shelter pets begging for a new home. Make the entire night about one show one singular vision.

At last I had the answer I so desired and begged the Universe to help me find. A goal that will give me something to really immerse myself into that can provide the sensual, emotional and spiritual experience I have been longing to create. Until the day comes that I have some big gallery show, why not create that experience in the space I have ultimate control over. My goal is to debut this show at the October art walk this year. It is the beginning for me. What better time to make this a reality.

In case you were wondering about the title of this post and what it has to do with the above conversation let me explain. By coming to this place of aha, I have finally been given a solution to a big part of a puzzle in my creative life. All I have been working towards I think is leading me to someplace really special and sacred. This aha, has given me that sense of inner peace of knowing. That in turn will bring outer peace to my surrounding environment. It always does, so I have no reason to doubt this truth. A goal is a grand thing to have in front of you. Especially if you are one who procrastinates or self judges your own work and process.

I know that I can not do this entirely on my own. The Universe will place people in my life at the right moments when I need them. I have one good artist friend who I think will be a great help in the planning of this big to do. I am taking this first step by publicly proclaiming my intentions here. I will keep you all posted of my progress. I have seven months to achieve this goal. A lot of time and not so much when I know how much work is involved. Like my photo of the day project on Facebook, this is something I must follow through to it's conclusion. A dedication to all creative beings who are in a similar place as I. Onward ever onward and I am excited as hell.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Heart of the Matter

I decided to post just before the beginning of the week as it will be a busy one. Next weekend is the first studio open house of the year at the big studio place called Essex Studios. I will be working at the art supply store up to Thursday so no time really to do anything extra. I still have to find time to go and get the studio ready. In the meantime, I have some pictures of hearts I made for a heart swap over at Doll Street. Doll Street is an internet doll group.

Here is heart #1 the back side or the front, I am sure the person who receives it will decide that for themselves. These are made out of a foam heart shape that has been beaded and sequined. Other elements have been added as well.

The other side of heart #1. Kind of fancy but, I like how it turned out.

This is heart #2. I am showing the side I consider the front. The other side did not photograph well. It is a foam heart with faux fur and on the back I applied black leather. It is beaded and sequined also.

Last but, not least is the third heart. Here is the side that is considered to be the back. All sequined and beaded with some nice ribbon work thrown in for good measure.

The front of the heart has a nice button center and is sequined and beaded around that. I hope whoever receives one of these will like them. I think they turned out quite nice. It's a crafty kind of technique I learned many years ago but, comes in handy for a nice ornament. I thought these could be hung up and displayed if desired.

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my craftiness. Have a great week ahead and keep smiling.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Martha Vexley, Hollywood starlet

I am ready for my close up Mr. Da Bill is what you could hear Ms. Martha Vexley call out to the famous Hollywood director from the western shores of Codyland. She was the vixen on many a silver screen back in the hay day of cinema. Sesame B. Da Mill was her favorite director to work with in those days. She is the latest grand dame from Codyland to be formally introduced. Ms. Vexley never misses an opportunity to be in the limelight even if it isn't so admirable. Her rather crazy gaze is due to her star falling rather abruptly once color photography was introduced. She just didn't pack the same punch as in her earlier black and white dramas.

Now Martha leads the local community theater making sure she instructs everyone playing in the cast on how to be the proper actor. She is a lover of adventure as well and has been on many African safari's over the years. Even though she is wearing an animal print it is faux. In all honesty Ms. Vexley doesn't wish any harm on any animals. She adores her friends in the animal kingdom and will stand up for them every chance she has to do so. Ms. Martha has given plenty of time and her own fortune to such causes.

On a more technical note, she is another polymer clay sculpted head, found hands, and wire armature body. Her hair is wool from a local source. She is wearing her favorite safari boots. She joins the ever growing cast of eclectic characters in Codyland. Hope you have enjoyed her story.

Have a great weekend one and all.