Well, my artistic endeavours continue here during my residency. I completed the last two pieces for the “Art on Record” show in New York. I will ship them directly to the gallery from here when my stay is over. (A few less things to try and get shipped home!) I wish now I’d have brought a few “spare” albums to play on, I’ve been having fun with the round format!
In addition to finishing those two pieces and playing with the junk journals I have started two more mixed media pieces. One is a “Colorado” piece, inspired by the view out of the studio window. I have the shapes cut, covered in aluminum, designs embossed into each piece and the first layer of black ink applied to it. They call the different parts of the mountains by numbers here, Peak 9, Peak 8, etc…one of my visitors today looked at this and said “that looks like “Peak 7”. I generally don’t do art that is very realistic so I was tickled that someone recognized what I’d done!
I’m sure I will do a few more of these before I leave…all I need to do is look out a different window to get my inspiration. How easy is that?!
The other piece I started is an abstract one (oh, aren’t you just surprised?) with lots of curves and movement to it. I’m planning on moving a few of the pieces around and layering them at different angles. This is a rough layout I did with the pieces after I covered them in aluminum:
It’s always interesting to see where these works end up once I get to the assembling stage! I’ll post more soon….
When I posted my new ATC images I mentioned that I’d taken some photos of the materials that are laying out for visitors to create cards with. Sometimes things like that catch my eye and I can’t resist capturing a few images to play with later. Often all that happens is the capture, I’ve got folders full of images to play with “someday”. But this time it was fresh in my mind so when I uploaded from my camera I got right to work on them. Here is one of the photos that I took of a pile of alphabet stickers:I layered images like this along with some images of tiny scrapbooking items to make several collage type images. The ones that just used the alphabet images I called “alphabet soup” just for fun. 🙂 After I’d created a few of those I went back in and cropped out smaller compositions, this time using a square format. After they were cropped I altered them using different filters, blending techniques or by changing the colors. Here are a few of those “close ups”:
I even took it a step further and did a few more close ups of the images I’d already cropped. Here is one that I really liked, it has a mosaic filter applied to it for a different effect:
After I’d done about a dozen or so of these type images I decided to select some of them and put them together in a digital “quilt”…I even added some marks to look like stitching on the seams. The original one had all the pieces in different varieties of colors . It was pretty cool but also pretty busy, to the point it was a bit distracting. So I decided to colorize the entire image to make it feel like a consistent piece. This is what I ended up with:
I’m anxious to make a big print of it when I get home and see how it looks on paper vs. a computer screen. It was fun to do some digital playing…the longer I am here to more fun I am having! I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can keep this creative streak going once I get home.
After the Artist Trading Card workshop on Thursday I left open the table and supplies to make cards and anyone that stops in to visit while I am working is welcome to make one (or more!) while they are here. I’ve had some takers and gotten to trade cards with several visitors as well. Yeah for participation! Here are a couple of photos of the tables & materials (plus there are a few other boxes of goodies sitting around the room for people to root through).
While I was taking these photos I took some close-up shots of the alphabet stickers and of the tiny pieces in this scrapbooking box…I’ve been having fun playing with them in Photoshop, but that’s for another post! During our workshop on Thursday I had time to create a few new ATC’s as well. Here is a sampling:
I must be ready for spring! I didn’t notice how many flowers I had used until I just put these images on here. 🙂 It is that time of year so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that flowers are sprouting in my imagination. Happy spring to you!
A few days ago I mentioned in a post that I was working on some “junk journals”…I have some images uploaded of my progress so I thought I’d post a bit of an update. As I said previously I am just kind of flying blind on this project, I heard about it, thought it sounded like fun, but didn’t make it to the get-together where they were giving instruction. Of course now that I’m into the project it has dawned on me I could have probably found out anything I needed to know with a quick search of the web. Hey, but where’s the fun in that? 🙂 Now I’m afraid to look it up, don’t want to find out I’m doing it all wrong! I started two different journals, in two different sizes, both ended up being bound differently and each seems to be developing it’s own personality. Most of these images are of the small journal. It started out with materials that were destine for the the garbage (or at best the recycling facility).
After assembling them in the order I wanted I first put a few layers of gesso in the outside covers and then bound it all together. (You can still see some of the product information through the layers of gesso!)After it was all put together then I started working on the inside, painting pages with layers of gesso or gluing decorative papers, etc. to the pages. This is an image of the larger journal while I was waiting for the gesso to dry on these pages. The outside of it is covered with aluminum that I will eventually etch and color with alcohol inks…I wanted to get the inside finished first since I am handling it so much as I work. Here are some images of the inside of the small journal as I continued to work on it. It seems to be a slow process but there is a lot of drying time between each step and, even with the help of a blow dryer, it just takes a while.It took me a while but I finally decided what I wanted to do with the cover of the small journal. I have had this paper for a while and hadn’t used it for anything, it just seemed right for a journal. 🙂That’s all the progress so far…I’ve been working on these in between other projects, I’m hoping another day or two and I’ll have them finished. It’s been a fun project, I’m always excited to do something new & different! Until next time…
Saturday afternoon I was treated to a textile workshop here in Breckridge! How much fun! I haven’t had much experience with textile work so it was something new to learn. Yeah for new! 🙂 Out instructor was Theresa Ducayet Clowes and she made it very comfortable and fun to learn. Our three hour session just flew by! The first project we undertook was “felting” with wool. I had seen the materials before but had never seen or experienced the process. Each of us chose a selection of colors to create our own scarfs with and then began to lay them out in a long row, putting different colored pieces of wool on top of each other in a semi-woven fashion. Here is a close up picture of my wool as I was laying it out:You could use more or less wool to suit your taste, resulting in a thinner or thicker scarf. I went for a fairly thick blend, if for no other reason than because I got carried away arranging all the pieces! After you had your entire scarf laid out it was then rolled up around a wooden dowel within the mesh or material that you assembled it on. Then the work began! The roll of felt material was put in a tub (with the wood dowel still inside) and then dish washing liquid was squirted on it and it was soaked with hot water (to make the wool shrink and cling to itself). Once it was cooled down enough to touch you had to roll it back & forth, squeeze it and kneed it for about 20 minutes. At some point it was unrolled and then rolled up again from the other end to keep the process even, followed by more rolling, kneeding & squeezing. We had bubbles everywhere and, whew, my fingers and hands got quite a work out! Once it had processed enough and the fibers were all connected then the soap was rinsed out and the scarves were laid out to dry. (Mine is the second one from the left.)
What fun! I love my new “scarf of many colors” and it was great to learn how to do something new. But wait! There’s more! 🙂 We also dyed scarves using an old technique (from Japan I think?)…the name of the technique escapes me but modern day tie-dye got it’s origins from it. We selected a piece of material (I went with a very sheer piece since my first scarf was thick & heavy). The material was attached to a piece of PVC pipe. The technique involved wrapping around the material with dental floss (the wax repels the dye). After you had wrapped around several times you would pull the material to the top of the pipe to scrunch it all together. It was a bit awkward at first but eventually I got a good rhythm down and got the piece wrapped (with a few extra wraps of floss on the outside for fun). After you were finished wrapping it up you got to paint the outside of the scarf with dye. I used two greens and a blue color on mine, painting in a random pattern. Then we took a hairdryer and used it to “set” the dye in the fabric. Once that was finished you could either unwrap & rinse your scarf or leave it scrunched together and let it dry for several more hours. Mine was unwrapped and rinse which gave it a softer color. The pattern was really interesting, very fine lines in between the soft shades of green & blue. This is a close-up picture to show the detail:I really like the way it turned out! It was a fun afternoon and I am so glad to have been invited to attend, thank you Jenn! And a big thanks to Theresa for the instruction and guidance!
My Tuesday was a busy one with lots going on. First I need to backtrack a bit to tell you that I did a phone interview with a local reporter about my work and my stay at the Tin Shop. It ran in the paper (and online) on Tuesday so I was excited to see what it said when I woke up that morning. Tuesday was also the day of my public reception so I wanted to try and get a few more pieces of art finished to show my visitors and knew I would need to do a bit of cleaning before that began as well. I showed images in my last post of two new mixed media pieces in progress so I started work on those as soon as I got in the studio. After realizing the pieces were destined for frames I went back in and removed a bit off of each edge so that they would fit within a frame (sometimes little details like that can escape me so I’m glad I figured it out fairly early in the process!). Then I began applying the layers of aluminum to each of the pieces and did the etching on each piece afterward. This is what it looked like at that point:
From there it was time to add the ink, I try to save up projects and ink multiple things at once so I also applied all the ink to the second & third “art on record” pieces (shown in my last post) at the same time. I still have to attach the pieces to the matboard and will probably add some wire details as well but this is how the mixed media pieces are shaping up so far:
The reception started at 4 p.m. and we had several visitors. Jenn & Gretchen, who work for the town of Breckenridge & help support the artists, were both here plus probably another 10 or 12 visitors throughout the afternoon. I have a portion of the studio set up for making artist trading cards and actually had a few visitors who took the time to create some while they were there. Sometimes it takes some convincing to get people to participate so it was fun that they were eager and willing to make something while they were there. In addition to the visitors Jenn & I were taped by a local television station to promote the arts district, my residency at the Tin Shop and the ATC workshop that I’ll be presenting on Thursday. I am supposed to get a link to the segment…if I don’t look to terribly silly I might even post it on here to share. 🙂 After the reception I decided I needed to get out and stroll around town for a while so I did that for about 45 minutes as the sun slowly faded behind the mountains. I had my point & shoot camera in my pocket and got a nice image of the late evening light hitting the peaks.
So now it’s on to Wednesday, day 7…who knows what it may hold!
Day four in the studio working! Yesterday I didn’t get around to posting anything because I didn’t have any photos of my work ready at that point. So you’re getting a two-for-one special this time. 🙂 I finished working on the three pieces I mentioned in my last post, although the one set I thought I would do as a positive/negative image I changed my mind on. Just didn’t care for composition that way after I got to playing with it. Things just change and I am rarely set enough about the final outcome to fight against where the flow takes me. Anyhow…here are the end results:
In addition to finishing those yesterday I also finished the first of the “art on record” pieces. I showed an image in the last post of it after the design had been etched into it. Here are the next few steps, plus the final image:
Today I completed two more pieces made on records! Three down, only two more to go…
Yesterday’s outing included riding the bus system, something new! It was fairly easy to get from one place to another, most of the routes had service at the stops every 15 to 30 minutes. I made it from downtown, where the studio & apartment are, out to the edge of town to the rec center. It was a big, beautiful building that housed about anything you could think of…leisure pool, water slide, lap pool, indoor hot tub, outdoor hot tub, steam room, sauna, two weight rooms, a cardio room, indoor walking/running track, tennis, climbing wall…well, you get the picture! A person could easily spend the entire day going from activity to activity. I wandered the building just to see everything and then headed for the lap pool to get some swimming in. Between the fact I’d not swam for a week and the fact that I was at 9600 feet elevation I was out of breath before I finished the first lap! Whew! Normally I try to swim at least an hour and will often stay for an hour and a half when I swim at home. I almost quit at 30 minutes this time but shamed myself into staying 45 before I gave up. I will be going back and trying it again, perhaps I will better adjust to things the longer I am here. It does seem to be easier as I take my daily walks and I’m not getting as winded going up & down the stairs now either. Other than my trip out to swim I spent the rest of my Monday working on art. After finished the two mixed media pieces above I cut out the beginning of two more pieces. Here is the initial design for them:
I brought the rocks & wood with me from home, I’ve been collected them as I visit different places (many came from my trip to Indiana Dunes last summer) and have wanted to use them in some sort of art project. I finally decided on what to do with them! I’ve got more news from the day & more images of these two new pieces as they progress but I am getting sleepy and this is getting to be a long post! I will try to get another post up in the morning!
Greetings again, from beautiful Breckenridge, CO. Today started off slow, I woke up with a blazing headache so I took some meds and went back to sleep for an hour. Still wasn’t feeling to spiffy after that but just eased into the day with a warm shower and light breakfast and after I’d be up about an hour I was feeling halfway decent. I decided to go out and take a walk since there was some beautiful sunshine beckoning. And the thought of a warm drink from the coffee shop was in the back of my mind too (I was sure the caffiene would help my headache…if not it was going to taste good anyhow!). I wandered for quite a while just taking in the scenery, the people and the sights. After the grey, snowy day yesterday it was nice to see the mountains again, even if it was just from the street!
I resisted the temptation of the fresh, hot mini donuts this time (although I did inhale deeply as I walked past!) and stopped at a different coffee shop for a mocha. Mmmmm. I asked them where I could find some freshly baked bread and was directed down the street about 4 blocks to a french bakery. I hadn’t ventured into that particular part of town yet so I got to check out a few new sights along the way. I found the bakery and got me a freshly baked baguette to take back and enjoy during lunch & dinner. I made my way back to the apartment, clocking about an hour walking time. It felt good to get out & stretch but now I was anxious to get downstairs to the studio and make some art. I worked on two different projects today, both using basically the same technique. I started my first “Art on Record” project by getting an album covered in aluminum, drawing out the basic pattern & shapes and then etching in all the details. My work would go so much faster if I could ever get away from all the tiny, intricate marks I make on each piece but for the life of me I just can’t make myself quit. 🙂 Here is a picture of the progress so far on that piece:
I also started two other pieces (perhaps they’ll end up being a diptych?) that will be positive/negative type of works. I recently got a new handheld, freeform cutter so I tried it out cutting some curvy, organic type shapes. It worked pretty well and only needed a little “clean up” with the xacto knife. After I’d gotten the shapes cut out I divided them into two seperate compositions. Here they are at that point in the process:
The next step was to cover each of the individual pieces with aluminum. Lots of curves & bends makes the process and a little more difficult but I eventually got them covered and then drew the basic shapes & pattern onto each piece. I guess I was still in “circle mode” from the record piece because I ended up with circles on these pieces too!
I spent the remainder of the afternoon etching the details onto each individual piece and had that process about half finished when it was time to call it a day. So, I know what my first step will be tomorrow, making it easy to jump in & get started. After I get them etched I’ll decide if it’s time to do some ink work and add some color or if I want to get a few more pieces prepped before I get out the inking supplies. I’m leaning toward inking so I can have some finished products to show visitors!
Now it’s time to warm up some dinner to go along with the crusty loaf of french bread. Bon Appétit!
Well today was officially my first day in the studio at the Tin Shop here in Breckenridge. The first thing that greeted me this morning was a fresh blanket of snow, with more being added to it at a steady rate. Oh, joy…I got to use the snow shovel! This is the view out the windows:
After waiting ALL day yesterday for my art supplies to arrive they were delivered around 5:30 in the evening. I got them unpacked and arranged last night but didn’t get much else accomplished besides that. So this morning after my breakfast I headed downstairs to get busy. Of course there was still rearranging to do as I settled in and tried to get the space organized into a workable set up.
I basically have two stations set up now, one for ATC’s and one for whatever other art I happen to be working on. The ATC station is set up for visitors so that they can create a card or two if they are in the mood. I’ll be presenting a workshop next Thursday but I thought it would be fun to just make that available to everyone who visits. Part of the approval process for being a guest artist is what your public interaction will consist of and they seemed very excited about the trading cards so I wanted to have it there for any visitors that are interested in participating. The cards can be made on most any substrate but I like to be “green” whenever I can so I had been collecting cereal boxes and other packaging materials then cut them into the standard 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 size cards to create on. Once you’ve painted, glued, stamped, etc. the surface of the card is usually obliterated so even if it started as a Wheaties box it really doesn’t matter. Of course if it’s an interesting image or pattern it can even be incorporated into your art. Anyhow, despite my efforts somehow the cards didn’t make it out here with me. I know they were packed at one point but I rearranged items in the boxes many times trying to make them more managable, I guess at some point those came out and never made it back in. Bummer! I’ve discovered that a few other items met the same fate. 😦 So I spent some time this morning cutting out more cards from materials that I had around here, some of it recycled and, unfortunately, some of it not. Since I was in “ATC mode” I went ahead and made several cards that were covered with sheet music and then went from there. I like to do my cards in batches with similar backgrounds, it gives me a good starting point and I’m not spending a large amount of time figuring out where to start. Here are the ones I got finished today:
If you can’t tell I love quotes! I have a hard time making an ATC without some sort of quote or at least a word or two written on it.
Other than that I painted some paper with watercolor to be used as a background on future projects. I also got my “slide show” up and running on my laptop so visitors can see my artwork. I had five visitors this afternoon, open studio hours are from 2 to 6 on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday so I will be “open” again tomorrow afternoon. Perhaps if it’s not blowing cold snow around I will have more than five visitors. I feel like I need to get busy and create lots of art so there are things for them to see! There will be a reception on Tuesday evening so I am working toward having more than just some ATC’s finished by then.
This evening I walked over to the local theater and saw a performance of “Office Space: The Musical” which was extremely funny. If you are a fan of the movie you would have appreciated it…although if you hadn’t seen the movie you most likely would have been scratching your head. 🙂 I’ve seen the movie several times but it’s been a while since I last saw it, now I want to watch it again! I got home about an hour ago, fixed myself a late dinner and opened up what turned out to be a delicious bottle of wine that I had picked up on one of my excursions out about the town. So I am relaxing, finishing up my dinner and my wine, writing in my blog and thinking about my pajamas and a good nights sleep. Then I can wake up tomorrow and do it all over again! It takes me a while to get in a rhythm when I am allowed to set my own schedule and pace. I am trying to make it a good balance of creativity, relaxation and recreation…I’m sure I’ll get it worked out soon enough.
I am here! And guess what? Internet service…woo, hoo! Now I can stay in touch easier with the family (I brought my webcam) and also keep up-to-date with my blog posts. Today has been a long day…up at 4 a.m. to catch the flight out of Indy then gained two hours when I got here so I am all out of whack with my sense of time. I look at my cell phone and it’s updated to mountain time, I look at my laptop and it’s back on eastern time, I’ll never keep it straight! 🙂
I was picked up at the Denver airport by one of the Breckridge town staff, an intern named Gretchen. She was good company and full of great information as we traveled up into the mountains. They had a fairly big snow here last night so the roads were melting but still very slushy. It was obvious she was born & raised in Colorado because it didn’t slow her down a bit! It was a pleasant drive full of good scenery. In addition to the beautiful mountains there were buffalo and wild sheep along the roadway too. The sky was just a brilliant blue, with pure white puffs of clouds…awesome. We went through the Eisenhower Tunnel, which is the highest (over 11,000 feet elevation) tunnel in the world. It went on forever and when we got to the other side of the mountain and came out the weather was completely different. Fascinating! We eventually arrived here at the Tin Shop where we were met by Jenn, who is in charge of the guest artist program (among many other things!). They gave me a brief tour of my new “home” and then left me to get settled in. Here are some photos of my new digs:
I unpacked my bags and got acquainted with the building, then walked down the block to get a sandwich. After lunch and a few minutes of rest Gretchen was kind enough to take me to the grocery so I could stock up on food for my stay. She even helped carry them in, what a sweetheart! I got everything put away, set up some tables down in the studio area and then grabbed my camera and headed out the door to walk around town for a bit. Although I didn’t venture more than a few blocks away in any direction it was a lovely way to spend some time. The surroundings are beautiful and the town is charming with lots of stores, eateries, attractions and tourists. It is a ski town so there were lots of people walking the street wearing and sometimes carrying their ski gear, snowboards, etc. Gretchen had mentioned a shop on main street that had hot donuts so I eventually ended up there and, true to her recommendation, they were awesome. They are tiny little things, no larger in diameter than the size of a golf ball, freshly cooked and then sprinkled with your choice of cinnamon & sugar or powdered sugar. Mmmm, they just melted in my mouth. (And headed straight for my midsection I’m sure!) Those and a warm cup of coffee held me over until dinner quite nicely.
I had wandered for many blocks before circling back and discovering the “river walk” area that runs parallel to the main street. It is a beautiful, boulder filled stream with lots of snow, ice and plenty of fast running water flowing through it. I had to take several photos of it from different bridges and angles.
I am settled in for the night now, had a warm bowl of soup with a hunk of crusty bread for dinner, followed by a nice warm shower and some cozy pajamas. I am looking forward to a good nights sleep, although I hear than can be elusive the first few nights at this high elevation. I have been dilegent about keeping well hydrated and also have been taking some supplements that are supposed to help with altitude sickness, hopefully that is something I can avoid!
I am hopeful that FedEx will be on time with their delivery tomorrow since I am here and ready and have no supplies yet! Last I tracked my boxes full of goodies they were in the state of Colorado so I expect they will arrive here it town tomorrow as scheduled. Evidentally there is more winter weather on the way tomorrow night into Saturday (8 to 15 inches is the last I heard) so I will be all set here with plenty of food and lots to keep me busy. I am excited to be able to spend my days creating!