Friday, February 29, 2008

Van Gogh Meets Jackson Pollock

My boss asked me to do her a great favor last week. She had a bulletin board around 3 feet by 3 feet that she wanted me to paint. "Something nice and colorful" she told me.

I primed the board (which felt like melted cork) with off white latex paint. I used yellow acrylic paint and began to make a "Swirled" sun, radiating pinks, reds, oranges, and whites. Then I flicked paint in greens, pinks, whites, & blue against the board. I just loaded the brush with a color and flicked it with my finger. The final process was yarn dipped in paint that I "splatted" against the board.

I absolutely love this painting. It is colorful and warm. It has inspired me to make a few more variations of it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Things I'm working on

I'm taking a Color and Design class at Madonna University and our next project is making a mobile. I have never thought of mobiles as an art form, but boy was I wrong. An artist named Alexander Calder ( (July 22, 1898November 11, 1976) invented the mobile. Here's a quote from wikipedia...

"The Cirque Calder can be seen as the start of Calder's interest in both wire sculpture and kinetic art. He maintained a sharp eye with respect to the engineering balance of the sculptures and utilized these to develope the kinetic sculptures Duchamp would ultimately dub as "'mobiles". He designed some of the characters in the circus to perform suspended from a thread. However, it was the mixture of his experiments to develop purely abstract sculpture following his visit with Mondrian that lead to his first truly kinetic sculptures, manipulated by means of cranks and pulleys.

By the end of 1931, he had quickly moved on to more delicate sculptures which derived their motion from the air currents in the room. From this, Calder's true "mobiles" were born. At the same time, Calder was also experimenting with self-supporting, static, abstract sculptures, dubbed "stabiles" by Arp to differentiate them from mobiles."

I have an idea for a mobile for my class. I'm going to use liquid polymer clay and mix it with pigments. Then I'm going to spread the liquid on a cookie sheet and bake it. When it cools it will be colorful, flexible polymer. I'll then cut out the shapes for the mobile. I plan on doing this Saturday, so I'll be posting the phases of that process.

Here's a cool site that has all kinds of mobiles (and no doubt will inspire me)!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quicky Tutorial

Here is a very quick tutorial on how to make a gingerbread girl holding a cupcake. If you have any experience working with clay this will be very easy. If you have any questions, please email me. I'll be happy to help you out.

Gingerbread Girl...

Form the body and the legs first...

Drape with pink clay....

Form two apron
straps and attach to front of body...

Flatter darker pink

and then pleat it....

Attach apron to front of body...flattened gently....make two tubes for arms and attach to body....
Roll a brown ball and attach to top for the head. Make two small brown balls for the hands....

Add light brown for the base of the cupcake and top it off with frosting. Add white clay to feet and head to give appearance of the gingerbread girl being frosted. Top cupcake with cherry...bake at 275 for 30 minutes..let cool.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Blogging again

It's been awhile, about three months, since I blogged. When I first started this blog, the idea was to record my journey as a Sculpey Studio Certified Trainer. I was so excited and I blogged all about my trip to Chicago, going to Polyform and meeting all of the other clay people. After much contemplation, I decided that I didn't want to go forward with certifying others and I contacted Polyform to tell them of my decision. There are several reasons I came to this decision; the costs to future students, the many costs to me (renting hotels, travel, etc), the disorganization of those behind it, and the fact that I didn't care for the designs I would have to teach. So, although the experience was mostly positive, and I did meet a lot of wonderful people, I gave up my "regional trainer" position. I'm going to continue this blog though. I still am an avid clay artist, I'm going to school to get a Fine Arts Degree and I love to write. Hopefully, a few of you will want to read this blog. Maybe I can inspire a few and entertain the rest.

A Place to Create

I was talking with a co-worker the other day and mentioned that I had to clean my clay room. She was amazed that I had an actual room to create in. I proceeded to tell her that I had all kinds of art supplies, paints, clay, papers, etc. She told me that she would love to have a room that she could call her own, a place to create and keep all of her "stuff".. After our conversation, I started to think about how lucky I am that I do have what I call my studio/clay/art room. For most of my adult life I've had a place to create and keep my art supplies. When my kids were all at home, I had a work station in the basement. When they all left home I lived in an apartment for a short while and my living room and dining area acted as a complete studio for me. I didn't even have a couch, but I did have "stations" as I called them; an area to sew, an area to paint and an area to work on clay. I lived two hours from my closest relatives and friends and spent all of my time designing and making artwork.

When I married my second husband I had a room where I kept all of my clay and paints, etc. It was nice to be able to shut the door at the end of the day knowing that whatever I was working on would sit safely there till morning. But there were problems. When I wasn't home, any visitor who came to our home, felt compelled to sit in my room and play with my art supplies. In my x-husband's culture, someone who came to our house could take what they wanted. It was shameful to say, "stay out of that room"... We had many fights over this cultural difference. Many of my creations were painted over, disassembled, or literally smashed by his nephews and nieces. When they weren't snooping around in my clay room, they were taking food home with them out of our refridgerator. I finally had to remove myself from the situation and finally the marriage.

Now I have a room that is fairly organized. I'm surrounded by all of my art supplies, pens, pencils, glues, clay, papers, paints and all the goodies I need to create. It still isn't the dream studio I have envisioned in my mind, but it's the best I have now and I appreciate it. When my room is clean and tidy, I have a greater ability to relax in that room and sculpt and paint and glue. I listen to music. My cat sits on a shelf and watches me. It's pretty close to heaven.

Regardless if you work on your kitchen table, have a corner in the basement or are blessed with a designer studio, enjoy!

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