Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wearable Vessel Art

I've been making little bottle necklaces and fooling around with the design...this is my latest which works like a hinge. The bottles are 2 inches high and can hold secret messages or other small items.

I worked on a couple more today and did several earring sets and a few decorative pendants. You can see them on my website.

Friday, October 24, 2008

When art goes Bad

'When art goes bad' sounds like one of those specials on Animal Planet when someone seriously gets maimed, but there really are days in an artist's life when you end up feeling like you've just been mauled. You know how it is...things you've done a hundred times with no problem just won't work and if you're trying something new you can even wonder what ever made you thought you could be an artist.

I know that when I have a day like that it's usually because I'm over tired. Today was one of those days...everything I touched just fell apart or was ruined because other things fell apart. I even stabbed my finger with a razor knife (just a nick, but red doesn't mix well in ivory clay). I ended up salvaging part of my work and used it to make a new frame for tomorrow's work, so at least I didn't end up with a total loss for the day. On days like this it really is easy to question everything I'm doing, but in the end I realize it's just an off day. Tomorrow I will be fresh after a good night's sleep and I'll be right back in the old saddle. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An artist's mind

Today I had someone looking at some of my work and I got the quintessential comment "You really have an odd mind" when they saw my Jammins' characters. Now, that comment can be taken a lot of ways, but for me it was sort of an official stamp on being an artist.You see, we artists should not only have an odd mind, but the ability to express it well. 

Recently I've had more exposure to some really great illustrative artists and I'm almost jealous of their ability to express their 'odd' thoughts in such a delightful way. I've mentioned my friend Koldo's work before, not only does he delight with wonderful illustrations, you also get the added bonus of some delightful stories and character personality bios. 

Yesterday I was introduced to the work of another illustrator who commented on his site and again...jealousy lol! I can paint and sculpt but I can't seem to capture characters like illustrators do on paper. Take a moment to visit Leah Palmer Preiss's site Curious Art . The more I went back through her posts the more impressed I was with the way her mind works and her ability to express it. 

Anyways, if you're an artist and someone says your mind is odd, or strange...don't take offense, wear it as a badge of honor. Not everyone might appreciate it, but for those of us who do, you're a beacon of light in a sea of mundaneness. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tree frog Art Sculpture Pendant

Here's my latest pendant, you can see all of them on my website. So far I've done one each work day, usually I make the frame the night before. I had a lot of fun with this one, there's not many positions those legs won't work in and it's kind of fun to pose them, the only hard part is to decide which pose to choose :)

Here's a view of the back, just for fun...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

new Art Sculpture Pendant

I just finished this, in fact the varnish is just a touch wet still, it will soften as it dries. Total size is 3 1/2 inch square. This was a bit of a challenge as I have to shape the back to be able to lay's completely 3D but I have to turn the body just so for it to work. I also had to make up the legs in the back, so I had about 8 references up at once to get it right. 

I'm really looking forward to giving it a test ride tomorrow...I think this little lioness is going to get pet a lot :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fine art in everyday objects

Now that I've started making Sculpture Art Pendants I've been thinking about how other artists have learned to incorporate fine art into utilitarian or decorative objects. In fact, the very beginnings of modern art came from ancient decoration on every day objects.

At first it started simply, with etched or painted on designs in pots and then it slowly started to evolve. Plain handles became delicate animal or human figures, simple buttons created to hold pouches became intricate art objects, and neck pendants became cameos. Eventually most art went on to become stand alone pieces but collectors still prize ancient decorative utilitarian pieces.

In this day of instant gratification and fast paced video, tv and movie action, art has taken a little bit of a back seat. Most people don't often sit and contemplate paintings on the wall or sculptures sitting on a table. But having something that they can interact with on a daily basis not only fulfills a need but builds a new appreciation for art.

Granted, my pendant still fits into a decorative category, no one has to wear jewelry but it's sort of a feel good process for a woman to put on a treasured pretty to start the day or evening off right. I've been 'test driving' this piece the last couple days and I love the feeling of looking down and seeing a tiny little bird nestled on my's almost like having a tiny little pet travel everywhere with me. I even find myself stroking it's little feathers for a soothing moment now and then.

So I've been thinking about how many wonderful artists are out there that just aren't finding a market for their work. Maybe it's time for all of us to start thinking outside the modern box, and come up with ways to bring our work into the everyday life of people again. Who says a painting has to be in a rectangular frame and only hung on a wall, or that sculpture can only stand on a base on a coffee table?  An appreciation for art was born in the everyday object and perhaps we can once again resurrect that need for a touch of quiet appreciation in the midst of a modern busy life.   

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sculpture Art Pendants

I've come up with the idea of making some trapeze style frames for miniature sculptures that can be worn as jewelry or hung for display. At first I just wanted to suspend the sculpture as is, but realized that the pieces would probably flip upside down. So I decided to use frames for them with a single loop for hanging from some old sterling silver wire I've had for years. I'll use other shapes (along with using this circle design) for future pieces.

The photo is of the piece still unfinished, I'll sand a couple areas and then varnish it. No painting it, as it's much too small and basic a design, I want to keep it simple. The hummingbird is one inch tall and the beak is under 1/16 inch around. 

Here is an updated photo of the finished piece available on my website.

It's time for the Site of the Week, this time I've chosen a surreal/hyperrealist figurative painter from Peru, Renso Casteneda