Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Work

Some recent small works in watercolor. I hadn't done much in that medium so I've been exploring old methods and some new.  The Burchfield style painting was entirely by accident.  When I completed it I realized it reminded me of some Charles Burchfield styles.  Interesting since my watercolor instructor was a student of his and while William Kolbe didn't paint like Burchfield introduced me to the artist. (And also to the whole American Regionalist genre).  Glad I'm working again. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Working again

Much as I love doing artwork I can often think of a million things to do instead of it.  It's not that I don't love doing it rather the pictures in my head never come out on paper the way i visualize them.  of course that takes practice and I get so impatient with myself I will avoid the argument.  I will clean house or watch the television.

So recently my friend Jason kindly offered a spot in his studio for the annual East Austin studio tour this November.  I kicked in my tiny contribution (or rather will for this chance to hang out with friends - known and unknown- and let people stare at my artwork.  Now I have no excuses... it's paint, draw, assemble or die. 

So I've been slowly gathering steam and hope that the idea sticks after November.  I'm still working on this one but I'm not certain I'm entirely happy.  Trouble is that I won't know yet until I do more. 

The color isn't too good on these.  I need to go back and retake them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Untidy spaces

   I really need to think about cleaning up my art spaces.  I'm such a pack rat.  I tend to save things for some random project that's hazily set in the future.  I squirrel away odd things that people give me - thinking them quaint or unusual.  Hence the stuffed toad purse someone gave me.  I've never used it or been willing to use it but the oddness of it certainly keeps it near.  I have broken clocks, antique scales, bull dog clips in various sizes.  I have a red Chinese parasol for sunny days.

   In and amongst my treasures are tools of the trade.  I seem to love hoarding pencils - especially 2B art pencils (which count in the hundreds)  I love pencil sharpeners and my favorite one is a glow in the dark ghost.  I have a purple diamond shaped sharpener but it broke.  Pencil sharpeners are often cheaply made and so break easily. Jars of secret formulas - liquid hard ground for etching, jars of sugar and ink for painting on copper plates.  Odd jars for holding brushes. 
   My favorite two brush holders is an old Chinese pottery vase of my grandmothers which is currently holding knitting needles and an Olive oil tin that I was given by a friend over twenty five years ago.  She had the lovely name of Lucia Athens and I loved the fact that her family used olive oil.  (It was a luxury for me - not to say something unheard of in my white Anglo-Saxon protestant background).  now I cook with olive oil without thought.  But I still cherish the tin.  I think she would be surprised I still have it.  I have an abundance of tins including a faded old tin with a tiger majestically facing you on it.  It hold random things destined to be gone through and put in their right place.   The enameled trays are a find from my SO whose father was a photographer.  Perfect for painting. 
   It's almost time for spring cleaning and reorganizing which I look forward to and never quite finish since I get waylaid by the stuff I find hidden away and forgotten.

Monday, November 7, 2011

One Eye Looks...

The first assemblage!  It took awhile but I'm pretty please with how it came out. 

completed front

The title is for my friend Ron who died in the 1990's from HIV- AIDS. He was a wonderfully talented actor who used to draw a little character with one regular eye and one large eye.  I once asked him what it meant and he told me "One Eye looks and the other eye sees."  I really loved that saying so it has stuck with me all these years.  He had an amazing  but short life and I was saddened to hear of his death.  I have wonderful memories of Ron and with my friend Edwin who was Ron's best friend.  I'm still in contact with Edwin (which pleases me)  and I still have very fond memories of Ron.  Somewhere I have photos of a wonderful picnic the three of us had on the grounds of the Elizabeth Koogler McNay Art Institute in San Antonio, Texas when I lived there.

in the works
This is my first assemblage after many years.  I did an Eye box (actually an I-book) for a Design class and I still have it.  It was a project that said what I thought of my self.  I used an old clock box and painted an eye - the insides were filled with color and spirals.  Spirals also are very special to me for a number of reasons.  I was happy that I've started creating assemblages again. 

These aren't the best photos and I will try to replace them later as well as include a photo of the Eye-Box I did so long ago.  The glasses are a broken pair of reading glasses from my SO.  If you look carefully at the eyes they are different.  I like incorporating my present with my past.

What does it mean?  It's up to you really.  I have my own mythology about it and I'm hoping you find one for yourself. 

the finished back of the work

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Digital Art and me.

So of course after I get my art degree (see my other blog) I immediately went back and signed up for a new class in a new direction.  It came at a good time - I'm having to restructure my own life minus the structure of work from 8-5.  This takes a toll but I am getting encouragement.

My class deals with graphics and the basics of working with Adobe Illustrator which I like, Adobe Photoshop (which is more difficult for me) and who knows what else.  I'm starting to get the hang of the programs.  It's a good class and I'm learning buckets.  I'll put some of the exercises I've done for view.

I also entered an art show and the opening is Friday from 6-8.  I'm going to try to go to it.  With my leg being difficult these days it's always hit and miss.  I love looking at other peoples works.  The exhibit is for works 12X12 or smaller.  They allowed me to enter one that was 11X14 which becomes 12X12 if you squint your eyes.   I also finished another piece which I will post here. Photography takes time I'm discovered.  Especially since I've been doing work on ETSY.  I take 40 or 50 photos for that alone, editing them in Photoshop and then moving them to the shop.  Very time consuming but hopefully worth it.

Alright so the visual I added wasn't exactly one for class.  I will add one of those.  This is a poster I did in response to the Occupy Austin support group for the Occupy Wall St.   I used all the stuff I learned in class to make it so I feel pretty good.
I've learned a bit more since but I think I did okay.

I'm such a Luddite.  (actually I'm a little more progressive than Luddite but you get my drift.)
In class if something can go wrong with my computer it will.  My poor instructor is so very patient.  I think he thinks I'm a bit humorous and well odd.  he's right of course.......

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Feeling better about failure

So I've now started three paintings (notice the absence of photos) and realised they were failures.  Failures in the way that they were not conveying what I wanted to say.  It's annoying and slightly frustrating.  I see the picture in my head and when the old hand goes to form it a gap appears.  For some reason the eye in the head doesn't match the eye in the hand.  Sigh.  Practise will help but it's truly frustrating.

One of the reasons I didn't do art for a long time was that I was afraid of being talented enough to paint but not talented enough to be good.  And good means (in this case) having that ability to translate the eye in the head to the board or canvas to the eye that lives in the hand.  I took art in high school and the teacher instructing it only encouraged her favorites.  If you weren't in her in crowd you were just out of luck. 
I got into college (San Antonio College) and got a cross section of mixed reviews.  Some good, some bad.  Mostly people (Frank Hein, my painting instructor, repeatedly) who told me my art was cartoonish and not very well executed.  (looking back the comments now makes me go "Well, duh! That's why I'm school." )  Back then it meant failure and I left doing art behind. 

When I moved to Austin I decided when I went to school I was taking art courses only because I was approaching 45 and thought myself "too old" for a career.  I decided to take art history because I liked it.  Love history - love art so why not.  One of the first instructors I got was a woman by the name of Sylvia Orozco who encouraged me to switch to studio art.  She said I had talent.  A little later my watercolor  instructor (William Kolbe)  said something (nicely but true)  "It doesn't matter how much talent you have -you have to have the discipline to use it. "  Tactful but his message was true and he was kindly telling me I had to kick it in gear. 

I listen alot to people talk about me and art.  They all are correct and they all have valuable advice. They are also wrong sometimes but worth listening to even if only to disagree with. 

1. I have talent.
2. You have to have discipline as well as talent or your talent doesn't mean anything.
3. Practise all the time - draw, draw, draw.
4. You should have a good time when you do art.
and my newest piece of advice from my current art instructor
5. Out of 10 paintings you do, at least one of them will be really good so it's important to keep going past the 9 that aren't so good.

and one of mine (I just thought of it).

6. Gesso erases all mistakes on canvas.

It's okay to have failures.... you learn something from every one of them and that's what is really important.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I start my first ETSY!

So I decided because of the whole unemployment thing to try and sell handmade things I make.  Eventually I will list altered art but currently it's jewelry and loose beads. I have a ton of loose beads from my Celebration! days which I say I'm gonna use but I haven't.  If I use all the beads I own everyone in Austing would have a necklace.  So far I've made 4 sales- all from beads, not any from earrings. I decided since I rarely wear jewelry to let some of my vintage stuff go as well so I'm slowly posting that.  Here's the link.

Minerax's Shop on ETSY

I'm planning altered art to go on.  Still I'm happy to stay busy.