Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Learning to Draw III + some ramblings

 As Spring sprang, I kept drawing and felt pretty good about my progress.  Especially as new flowers and trees started blooming, I'd be inspired to run home and get right to my brush and ink.  It was fun to see how my hand would render the flowers or if I could even be happy with the outcome.  Here are two early but large studies...

Crabapple blossoms details

Serviceberry sketch details

both sketches in full
46 x 9" each

I like being able to see the rough, curled edges of the paper, but this creates the problem of how to exhibit the work (these were meant to just be sketches but sometimes sketches turn into full blown pieces).  Also, taking pictures of the rumpled, wavy paper isn't easy.  This is why seeing art in real life is so much better than looking at or buying a reproduction (not always possible, yes I know).

Several years ago I was able to see Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" (after missing it twice before due to it being loaned out--MoMA!  Always sharing!).  This is said about many famous art works, but it was much smaller than I expected, and you know what?  I could see the raw canvas at the edge of the frame.  Same with Dali and many more.  This is not something you can appreciate learning from a text book, and it made it so much more real to me.  "A person made this and this is where he chose to stop painting."
You can see a bit of edge in this image, but that was all cropped out in the textbooks of yore.

That tangent was brought to you by my current struggles on presenting my work for exhibition.  It's one reason I love working with aluminum and panel wood--no need to frame, just set it and forget it.  In addition to my pieces being in very non-standard sizes, it's expensive to frame a piece right and who knows if that's even the best frame for the collector?  These are roadblocks I give myself. 

I'll end with a little about serviceberry.  Two years ago I learned of this delicious tree from a landscaper working on Main Street in my hometown.  It was the end of May or early June and the berries were ripe and ready and he encouraged us to take as many as we wanted.  They are quite tasty and have a bit of an apple flavor, but small like cherries.  Turns out there are serviceberry trees all over and I'd just never known.  They bloom in April.  Keep an eye out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Shop Update

Saturday, March 20, at noon, I'm going to have a shop update--my first this year.  

I've been making a ton of new work.  Here's preview!

Hand drawn flower pieces...
Dogwood mug

Queen Anne's Lace vace
Some mug experiments...
Cinched-waist mugs
Always have to include cat heads!
Small and medium cat planters
Nubby planters for the upcoming plant season...
Nubby planters

And a new series, titled Cut and Push (CuPu for short) includes versatile vessels that can be used as vases, cups, or simply art pieces...I'll have a post about this process soon.
Turquoise CuPu vase

Large mouth CuPu vase

I will be sending out reminders all over social media, especially my Facebook and Instagram pages.  Let me know if you have questions about anything.  As always, thanks for your support.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Missouri Art Now

 This year, 2021, is Missouri's bicentennial.  As a native of Kansas, I learned next to nothing about the Show Me State growing up, and I continued that ignorance for the fourteen years I've lived here. (Sorry!) However, I do know that we have a plethora of talented artists and the Missouri Art Now exhibit is showcasing a few of us.  My work from 2019, "How Soft the Hazy Summer Night" was selected as one of sixty pieces to celebrate the bicentenary in a traveling exhibition from March to November.  

How Soft the Hazy Summer Night
36" diameter
aluminum, vinyl, acrylic
From the call for art:
On the occasion of its bicentennial, it is important to recognize that Missouri has and remains a significant site for visual artistic production. The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau, Hannibal Arts Council, Post Art Library and Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, and the Albrecht-Kemper Museum in Saint Joseph are collaborating to create Missouri Art Now, an exhibition featuring sixty works from artists throughout the State of Missouri, together demonstrating the vibrant visual arts culture in the state.

You can see it hanging at the opening March 5th in Cape Girardeau.
photo credit: @Missouri2021 on Instagram

And now some detail shots...

I slathered on the paint really thick and scraped an old mop brush through it before drying, adding texture.  Then I sanded and did it again with a different color.


After all that was done I went to town with the vinyl orzos.


The title comes from the fourth stanza in a poem by Ellen P. Allerton called "On The Farm,"

How soft the hazy summer night!
On dewy grass the moon's pale light
Rests dreamily. It falls in town
On smoky roofs and pavements brown.
How tenderly when night is gone,
Breaks o'er the fields the summer dawn!
How sweet and pure the scented morn.
(Get up! Old Molly's in the corn!)

And, as it is a traveling show, here's where it can be found throughout the year:

March 5-27, 2021

Arts Council of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau

April 9-May 15, 2021

The State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia 

May 29-July 17, 2021

Post Art Library and Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin

July 23-September 6, 2021

Hannibal Arts Council in Hannibal 

September 17-November 7, 2021

Albrecht-Kemper Museum in Saint Joseph

More info at www.missouri2021.org 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Drawing on Ceramics I

 Around the time I started to relearn to draw (500 years ago?  no...a year ago but still In The Beforetimes), I made a few test pieces with underglaze and sgraffito techniques based on saved dried flowers and seeds from summer 2019. They didn't trip my trigger at the time, but I kept running across them, so I'm going to share.  That also means I can throw them out!


That one is based on my first round of abstract Queen Anne's Lace drawings and paintings.
Pretty sex-organ-y.

Based on river oats

These were only about three or four inches tall, so the nuance I could get from larger drawings, as well as from ink flow, just weren't there.  They're called sketches for a reason.  I let these ideas marinate for my time away from the Clay Guild and during my summer of collecting flower images and drawing on traditional surfaces...