Each year around Christmas the Indianapolis Arts Council hosts a show titled “TINY” and each year I think I’ll enter something, then don’t get it done. This year I was in the midst of creating the WOOD|STONE|METAL artwork when the call came out so I actually created some pieces to submit!
All these use some combination of natural stones, painted stones, driftwood, balsa wood, metal, paint & ink. Basically the exact same materials I was creating larger pieces from. I don’t really have any step–by-step images of their creation so I’ll share with you images of each individual piece so you can get a better idea of the details.
Each of them are currently available to purchase online in my “Giftables” shop, along with a selection of other small artistic pieces.
Of the above five pieces one was selected for the show, Origins. Which piece (or pieces) would you have selected?
Getting back to sharing the process images of the artwork I created for last November’s show at ArtSplash Gallery in Carmel, Indiana.
All the pieces had materials and inspiration drawn from nature, this particular piece started as a fallen branch that my grandson found for me while he was playing back in our woods. I was given instructions to “make some art” with it, so that’s what I did.
Most of the bark had fallen off, whatever hadn’t I striped and then smoothed off any rough spots. The very bottom of the branch was split so I ended up cutting that portion off. I still ended up being four foot in length! After it was cleaned up I began adding designs to it in black.
Once the entire piece was covered then it was time to fill in the designs. Much of it was done using Pitt Artist markers, which lay a nice layer of India ink into tiny places. The black & white areas were painted with F&W artist acrylic inks with designs added on top of the white sections with Gelli glaze pens.
After the painting was done it was looking pretty good but I just felt like it was too tall & skinny and needed a little variety to it, width wise. Out came the drill and I (carefully!!) drilled holes in it, gradually using larger bits until I could fit this aluminum wire through, bending and curling it in different directions until I was happy with it.
Ta-da! This is one of several “branch” pieces in the body of work. I’ll be posting more down the line.
One of the first pieces I created in my newest series “Wood|Stone|Metal”, this is “Serendipity”. The entire series could have been named that, it just came together in a delightful way! For many years I’ve collect bits of driftwood, sticks, stones and other items as I’ve traveled through life knowing that “someday” I would do something with them. With that stash of fun things around I was posed the question “what did you really enjoy doing as a child?” and immediately my love for collecting rocks in a shoebox popped into my mind. Even if they were just small pieces of gravel from our driveway adorned with paint, I spent many happy hours with rocks, as well as playing in nature with whatever I could find. But how to incorporate all that into works of art? That was when the exploring began. Sorting, stacking, painting, and arranging I began to gather/create items that might work together in a natural way. With the plasma cutter I started a collection of steel and copper shapes to use.
From my newly gathered stash of scrap balsa wood pieces I began to shape organic, rock-like pieces.
Rocks were pulled from jars, boxes and storage spots…as well as the landscape!
Driftwood, collected on my travels, was unearthed and more sticks gathered in our woods were stripped, cleaned and bleached to add to the pile.
I also began experimenting with paint on stones.
Over the course of several weeks I gathered, created and prepared. Then it was a bit like solving puzzles, choosing which pieces went with which, how they should be arranged and what made me happiest. Here are images of the process for this piece as it evolved:
Although I ended up with more wall art than sculptures, it was fun to express myself in a more dimensional form. Look for both types to be featured over the following weeks!
I’m just going to share a couple “teaser” images with you today, down the line I’ll share each of the new pieces up close & personal. I couldn’t be more delighted with how this show looks! Our artwork blended effortlessly and seems like they were made to show together.
I’m excited to be sharing the main gallery space at ArtSplash Gallery in Carmel, Indiana, during the month of November with the talented Lynn Andalman! We’re jokingly calling it the Lynn & Lynne show. 🙂 I’ve been busy creating new work with a focus on wood, stone & metal. It’s more sculptural than some of my previous work and I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring the shapes, textures and colors I’ve been using.
From the artists –
“I was asked recently what I loved as a child. The question brought memories of collecting rocks and other items in an old shoe box when I was young. Some were from treasured trips to local creeks to collect geodes, fossils and river rocks. Others were merely gravel from our driveway that I’d used my Prang watercolor set and painted pretty pastel colors! Special trips to the local rock shop, where I would spend much longer than my parents would have preferred, selecting just the right stone added to my collection. Those happy memories, along with a collection of driftwood, rocks and items that I have collected as an adult (to make something with “someday”) are what inspired this artwork. I hope you enjoy these new creations as much as I have enjoyed creating them!”
Here’s the third piece of artwork created from a section of an old metal filing cabinet, titled “Carefree” –
Unlike the pieces I’ve shown previously, the piece of metal wasn’t cut apart but instead I used the plasma cutter to etch & cut the design in the metal, cutting openings within the design. Here’s an image of the metal after cutting and sanding, before anything else was done to it.
The next step was to paint the entire piece black, using spray paint.
From there it was time to start adding in all the details. I spent a lot of time sprawled out on the floor of my studio with paint pens adding each little mark! I love creating tree art, no matter what the media, so what some might see as a long, tedious task I enjoyed each moment of.
Once all the details were finished I mounted the piece on a large wood panel (also painted black) with pieces of copper sandwiched between the metal and the wood. I am happy to report that this piece has found a wonderful home and I had the honor of being invited there to see where it had been placed. I couldn’t have been more pleased to see how it seemed like it was just made for it’s location. The light from nearby windows made it dance and change as the sun moved through the sky and the room lighting highlighted it perfectly as well. As an artist you can’t ask for more than that!
During the next few blog posts I’ll be sharing artwork created from reclaimed metal from a large file cabinet that had been discarded. The first step was to cut apart the cabinet into managable pieces! Once that was done then I drew the design and cut out each of the smaller pieces with a plasma cutter.
Shapes, cut & numbered
Laid out for painting
Spray paint applied
Hammered metal spray paint
After cleaning them up a bit they were spray painted in various colors and then re-assembled & glued onto wood panels. Decorative nails were used to help secure the piece and add extra detail.
Glue & Nails
The three circles were mounted on different thicknesses of wood pieces to add depth to the overall image. This piece and the upcoming “Pathway” are both the same size piece, approximately 12 x 36″ each. Currently they are on display at Artistic Designs Gallery in Brownsburg, Indiana.
In my last post I shared images from the Industrial Art Duo class, focusing on the concrete mixed media art. This time I’m going to show you some images of the metal wall sculptures being created. The first step was for each artist to forage through the miscellaneous pieces and parts and do a rough layout of their piece.
Once the design was set then the metal needed to be cleaned and readied for the welding process.
Then they worked with Mark during the welding process and, if they wanted, polished the finish piece.
I think they turned out amazing! I always love seeing the different styles that each one has.