Thursday, January 24, 2013

A week of snow and....

It's been snowing on and off here, and sometimes it looks as if our house is in the middle of a snow globe. It's wonderfully dramatic to have these big flakes swirling around outside. I've also been, very happily, making a lot of vintage sales and 'tidying' my shop and my stock, taking pictures, and also fighting a bout of feeling under the weather. I started on "The Dream" (below) on Saturday night, but because I felt so terrible on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I didn't finish it until early this morning. This is the last segment of the giant aquatint I'd done at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts back in 1999. I have another etching, about the same size, downstairs in a folder. I'll bring that up and cut it into pieces and work into it well as continue with some art jewelry and forge ahead with the Radium Girls graphic novel. 

Speaking of graphic novels, Michael and I spent some time at Barnes and Noble in Robinson on Sunday night, after he was done with his usual 3rd Sunday systems engineering assignments. We filled our bellies with Red Robin goodness, and then went over to hang out in the comic book section. I picked up Craig Thompson's Blankets (for the 3,000th time) and his Habibi (for the first time). His work is dynamic, and I learn quite a bit just by looking at his line work and use of space. 

For now, I present the new mixed media work: "The Dream"....

"The Dream" (2013) collage on aquatint, with ballpoint
pen, white watercolor, oil pastel, and purple embroidery thread
Now in my shop: 

"The Dream"

"The Dream" (back side)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

'The Girl Knows These Corridors' and 'So Much Like Love'.....

Last week, I began cutting up a fairly large etching-aquatint I completed back in 1999, when I was in graduate school and, for the sake of my sanity, took a printmaking class at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. On their own, the etching-aquatints I completed were pretty unimpressive--more like an abstract jumble that never coalesced into real works I felt comfortable with.
My Dad has been giving me things that were stashed in the studio in the Pittsburgh apartment, and thanks to his diligent cleaning and discoveries, I have many boxes of goodies I can work with now. I brought the folder of etchings back to my studio here, cut them into smaller pieces, and have been working into them with a variety of materials, like oil pastels, embroidery thread, and watercolor (I'm excitedly awaiting the gouache set I ordered on should arrive from Israel soon). I also attached the drawing of the doe I made for our 2012 Christmas card to one of the works. Here are more productions from this week....

"The Girl Knows These Corridors" (2013) - cropped etching collaged with a black
ballpoint ink drawing, embroidered with yellow cotton thread, and
augmented with white watercolor and oil pastel. Now in my shop!
At the side and bottom of "The Girl Knows These Corridors" is a text excerpt from my autobiographical flash fiction work, "Italy, 1990". You can read the entire work here:

The hand-written text that appears at the bottom and side is:
"The girl, now a woman, knows those corridors. She didn't then, but she's walked them since she knew each of those men, although she's several—no, many—years behind them. She can't even see their backs from where she is. Yet, she knows..." (the rest of the story paragraph is: "the wallpaper of the hallways, its texture against her fingertips.")


On Thursday night, I completed this work (while watching a pretty riveting episode of DCI Banks involving art forgeries and duped museums--fun!). It is a segment of the same etching as the work above and those featured in previous posts.
"So Much Like Love" (2013)  - cropped etching, embroidered with magenta cotton thread, and augmented with white watercolor and oil pastel.
At the side of the work are words from my written work, "Charlotte's Nexus", a story about a little Polish girl who, as a ghost, haunts the doctor who has caused her death. You can read an excerpt from the longer story here:

The hand-written text that appears at the side reads:
"It was, some of her older facets told her, so much like love. Rushing away from the source, nearly drowning, coming back again…and again…and again….until the drowning could be mastered, managed, sustained."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Art Necklaces!

Inspired by Flavia Marele and Ildiko Muresan's (a.k.a. DoubleFox Studio and a.k.a. Harem6) lovely ceramic necklaces (see two examples here and here), I've started making some of my own painted polymer clay goodies. A glimpse appears just below...more pictures will follow as I complete additional pieces!
"Starry Cloud" (2013) polymer clay, acrylic, varnish, glass beads,
silvertone chain. Read the listing in my shop here!

"Raining Shield" (2013), polymer clay, acrylic paint,
sealant, silver plated findings, glass beads.
You can see the whole listing in my shop!

"Raining Shield" (2013), polymer clay, acrylic paint,
sealant, silver plated findings, glass beads.
You can see the whole listing in my shop!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Radium Girls: Weeping Wound

The next page in the Radium Girls Graphic Novella is complete! Gory, this one. This was the 1920s, and of course, the weeping wound depicted was something the man sustained in WWI. Moving through the story steadily....if you would like to see what's coming up, you can read the entire tale by clicking here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

And building on that inspiration...

Building on that inspiration I mentioned in my previous post, I've started adding embroidery to my 2-D art work again. I've embroidered my work before (quick aside: my Grandmother taught me how to embroider when I was in young--elementary school age--during summers, when I needed something to do, and she was constantly unknotting my thread and fixing my stitches), but exclusively on canvas rather than paper. Heavy watercolor paper, however, can withstand fairly rigorous embroidery work, although it's difficult to follow an outline with precision because I can't pull on the thread to find my place as I can with fabric. Nevertheless, I'm liking this form of expression when used in conjunction with painting and illustration. I'll continue to work with it in other pieces. Next post: an update on the Radium Girls project!

"The Dream River", a mixed media work now available in my art store. 
(acrylic, watercolor, ink, and embroidery on heavy painting paper; free-form cut scalloped edges)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Inspiration from other artists and new jewelry pieces

 I've started following the work of several artists, whose freedom of expression and use of media I find genuinely amazing and look for inspiration in. I notice that beeswax is becoming more and more prevalent in art--a good thing, since we have four little hives here, rocking the beeswax production. Truthfully, I've been fascinated with encaustic painting since I saw the works of Anselm Kiefer in college in the 1990s. Encaustic, of course, mixes pigments with hot wax, that can either allow for dreamy, veiled washes that make underlying imagery less vivid and more haunting, or allow for the sculptural shaping of the painted surface. Of course, I imagine, one would have to work quickly before the wax set, particularly if you only apply a thin scrim of wax. I plan to experiment with this in 2013. Details will follow in a future post. Below are some images of my latest inspirations and some new works.....

Artist and Jewelry-maker Angela Petsis makes both beautiful earrings
and necklaces as well as lovely paintings, both mixed media and encaustic.
You can see her jewelry store here.  Above is the encaustic painting,
"The Thing About Bees" (2012). There is a beautiful, haunting quality
to her all her work, but this one in particular speaks to me with its lace, its
vintage book imagery, the reference to correspondence with the veiled
longhand letter beneath the skep, the all-seeing eye that appears above.

Artist Patti Roberts-Pizzuto lives is South Dakota and is the proprietor of
both Missouri Bend Studio and Missouri Bend Musings on Etsy. She often uses
t-bags as medium, dipping them in beeswax or stitching them to handmade paper
with embroidery thread. She says that embroidery is simply another form of drawing.
I agree. I love the beauty of her free-form explorations (at Missouri Bend Studios)
and daily drawings (in the shop Missouri Bend Musings). 

Flavia Marele and Ildiko Muresan are the artists behind the fantastic
DoubleFox Studio. I admire their colors, the sense of freedom of their work.
They also mix their own clay, on which they draw (like the example above)

You can purchase the necklace pictured above here. 

I've started making my own series of painted and beaded necklaces.
Above is "Happy Blue Sky" with a miniature painting that can be worn
thanks to two strands of fire polished silver-clear glass beads and
sterling clasps. You can see this listing here. 

"Mr. Blue Sky II" art jewelry necklace, featuring a
miniature painting, and two double strands of blue
luster Indian seed and bugle beads.
You can see the actual shop listing here. 
The radium girls graphic novel continues. Above is the page I am currently inking. The photograph
here, taken with my camera phone in the evening hours, is pretty terrible, but a proper scanned image
will appear in a future post when the page is fully inked!  You can see more of the project here: