Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egg on my Face

I spent yesterday afternoon at my easel. I set up a still life of a tea cup and silver spoon. Sounds like a simple painting doesn't it...well 4 hours later and frustrated beyond belief at my seemingly inability to paint a simple form I decided it was back to basic for me.
Oil paints are relatively new to me. My history with paints has been with watercolor and acrylics. Oils intimidated me. As a design student, oils seemed serious. They were for "real" artists and at the time I imagined myself in the genre of illustrator. Hence my oil painting experience is somewhat lacking on my resume.
To counteract that and to teach myself confidence with the medium I am dedicating the month of February 2011 to re-visiting the simple form. Concentrating on light, reflected light, shadows, brush strokes, mixing colors and I will do that with an egg. I will paint eggs for one month. White eggs, brown eggs, gosh I wonder if some of my friends that have chickens would let me have some blue or green eggs?
Let the scramble begin, what a good egg, I have egg on my face...should I go on ; )

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sad Eyes

Does he scare you? Out of the kiln and ready to go to work, my ceramic scarecrow actually makes me a bit sad. Is it the blank spot where his eyes should be, is it possible that his eyes look sad when he doesn't have any? Did the crows pluck them out, or is he tired from his role of garden protector against the brazen dark force of the crow?

You can read here about the creative adventure of the scarecrow.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Challenge is on

It's a new year and a new focus here at Lot 5. Both Peter and I are, and will be continuing, to set personal artistic challenges. Peter started off the year with a goal of 100 mugs in January. He's doing pretty well, 50 down and 50 to go. For now I'm calling him the Mug Man. He's gotta nice mug that mug man of mine, say that three times fast ; )

I admire his fortitude and his ability of consistency, something I struggle with. Some mugs lined up fresh from the wheel.

What's my challenge, you might ask? Not as lofty as Peter's. I only gave up a week on this month's creative adventure. I attempted to be creative with something, some how, a day for seven days straight. I sort of completed mine, does making soup count ; )
I had fun with a variety of mediums, resulting in both success and failure. The week started with my scarecrow ceramic sculpture, *see yesterday's blog, and ended with a oil painting that will most likely get wiped off the canvas, lol.

Some of my challenges offerings;

Enjoy whilst I ponder the next challenge for Lot 5 studio : )

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Barefoot Pajama Lady

I have an assignment. I participate with a group of local artists that pick a word and then create. This time the word is crow. Crow huh, hmmm...what do you think of when I say crow? Typically one might think of a squawking black bird. That's exactly what I thought. Let me push that image aside and think deeper... Now I'm thinking of a group of black birds. At this point one might question whether or not one has much of an imagination ; )
O.k. what does a crow mean to me? A crow means an annoying bird that on more than one occasion has had me running out my backdoor to my gardens screaming like a mad woman. Why? Because the family of crows in my neighborhood like to sit in the trees above my garden and harass the other birds. Now I've never been one to tolerate bullies, so I will go to any cost of personal humiliation to protect my sweet adorable garden songbirds.
I've been known to grab a pot and pan, dash outside banging them together, creating a noise so loud it echoes off the mountains, to being that "woman"; you know, the barefoot pajama'd (is that even a word, pajama'd?) lady screaming "leave my birds alone". WHAT?! You don't know her? Please allow me to introduce you to her, "Hi, it's me Judy" ; )
So, back to crow...the meaning of a crow for me is an annoying bird.
How do I create something that depicts a crow yet defines my feelings towards them too? I need something to frighten a crow...let's see...FRIGHTEN a crow? What possibly could do that if a crazy pajama'd Judy can't? It has to be really scary. I mean truly scary... hmmm... crow... hmmm... scary... HEYYY, I have an idea ; ). I will make a scarecrow to put in my garden.
O.k., o.k. it's not too far a stretch, but I thought it would be fun to make one. I made him from clay. I sculpted my scarecrow, I bisque fired him in my kiln & now I am glazing him. See him there amongst his Garden Spirit friends.

What glazes to choose? Do I want him dark? Earthy? Comical, no of course not. I want him scary of course.

To create the feel I want I'm going to underglaze the face part with a reddish brown and black, then wipe it off. This way the glaze will collect in all the crevices and create some drama and dimension.

I want Mr. Scarecrow to have different surface finishes. By only underglazing his "flesh" part it will be a matt finish. The rest I'm using conventional glazes in a variety of earthy colors. It always amazes me that the color of the glaze in most cases looks nothing like the finished fired product.

Tomorrow we fire the kiln here at Lot 5 and Friday will be the big reveal...then we'll see if he scares those darn crows! If not I may have to get myself a pair of pretty p.j.'s so I don't scare the neighbors ; )