Category Archives: Collage/Mixed Media

More Articulation Please

Here is an assortment of artist trading cards from February and March, 2018. Some more of those articulated people, articulating…

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Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending July 6

 

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

And we are off on another Art week…

Note: Since we’ll be setting up for the Tinicum Arts Festival on Friday, I’m posting this entry in the Diary a day early. I’ll include show info from Friday, July 6, in next week’s post.

Friday, June 29 – I know it was part of last week, but I’ll show you the first attempt at clay sgraffito (look at last week’s post if you wonder what I’m talking about).

The underglaze dried on the tiles I had laid out – no longer shiny but instead dry to the touch.  (Note – this photo is from Saturday, but, you get the idea).

AD 6-30 #711

I did not have the tool the You Tube video recommended so I made do with these small loop tools.

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Then I set to work. I realized fairly soon that the process is a lot like doing linoleum block print carving – it’s a subtractive rather than an additive process. I also learned that there is no need to dig hard into the clay. A light touch is better. I ended up with these tiles. Not great, but then, let’s face it, I never did this before, in this manner!

AD 6-29 #107

Saturday, June 30 – We stopped by the Ceramic Shop in Norristown, PA, to get the tool that was recommended by the video. You may remember this store from the Art Diary of a few weeks ago. Here’s what I got – I’ve already forgotten its name, but it has a curved end and a straight one.

I went through the process of putting five coats of underglaze on tiles and letting it dry. Then I set to work. I had decided to make figures sort of like ones I had done in ink from the figure drawing book I mentioned earlier this year in the Diary.

The new tool really made a difference. I was better able to control the cutting process. As I said, all that’s needed is to remove the underglaze and the slightest bit of clay, so that the white clay is exposed. There is no need to strip away deep into the tile. In the end I had these figures:

It’s also recommended to use a clay with no grog (larger clay particles that make it hold together better, used for sculpture or tiles), but – I have clay with grog, and since I use it for a sculpture or tiles much more than sgraffito, I worked with it. I can see it would be a little easier to make clean lines with a more plastic clay, but…I’m happy with this direction I’m going, for now.

I also spent time in the studio today. I have a long-term project that I am embarking on, and I cannot reveal it until after I have completed it – it is a commission. I will show you hints of it, though, so you know that I am doing…something…

Sunday, July 1 – More sgraffito tiles in process.

Monday, July 2 – This week is shaping up to be another choppy one for art, I think. My computer fell ill on Sunday and so it’s off being fixed; shouldn’t be long but I was confused by not having it. My mental flurry was compounded by the need to deal with state bureaucracy involving my sales tax license (which I’ve had since the 90’s, do not owe money on, and yet is tangled in a snafu that the people at the state say they can’t figure out who should help me. We have now enlisted the aid of our elected state rep’s office to maneuver through the red tape after submitting paperwork and hours on the phone. Ugh. Nothing major, but taking a LOT of time. And not done yet.)

Paperwork is part of being an artist, too – that must be the lesson here?

Anyway. I decided to load the kiln. I won’t be running it for about ten days. I will not have many days at home over the next couple of weeks, and it is also not good for the kiln to be working in 95 F temperatures. But – the warm weather means that I can put items in the kiln that are not totally dry – they will be plenty ready by the time I get to firing.

I’ve got a different set-up this time. The tall woman figure has to stand on the bottom shelf. I had calculated her height, when making the figure, for this situation.

AD 7-2 #203

This means I can use only half-shelves to stack up. I have just two – you can see that if I had more I’d have room to put more work in, but – I also estimated the number of items I could fit in pretty well – I’ve got everything in here that I’ve made since the last big firings a couple of months ago.

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You can also see that I put in some terracotta clay “rocks” on the top shelf – they are darker because they have not dried at all. I will make sure they are ok before I fire the kiln, but ten days out here in the garage and I think they will be…DRY.

I also worked on my secret project a little…

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Tuesday, July 3 – I had just enough time to work on these little paintings/drawings/whatevers. I’m heading them in the direction of the small images with text that you might remember from earlier. (Think Ogre Babies.) They are 6″ x 6″ and good for picking up when I have a little time.

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Wednesday, July 4 – I spent the afternoon in the basement (the cool refreshing basement – it’s about 95 F outside) working on some more sgraffito tiles. This time I rolled out terracotta clay (actually yesterday, but you’ve seen enough shots of rolled out clay, I think…)

I put black glaze on most of them but I also decided to try some white.

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I am wondering how the white will show up against the orange of the terracotta. Here’s how the tiles in white looked at the end of the session.

And here are the black ones. I have full confidence in this color scheme – I’ve made lots of black on terracotta clay and the results are strong and very striking, I think.

I wish I could fit these into the next kiln load but there is just no more room. I am sure they will be included soon, though – glaze loads are less tightly packed, because the items cannot be stacked, so that means the current bisque load in process will take 2-3 loads to work through with color, and these red tiles will slip in there.

I like how these turned out. I am getting more sure of myself in working in this way. I did do one thing wrong in this group – I forgot to keep the tiles under covers while I was working, and over the hours that passed, well, some dried out more than I should have let them. It was noticeable in the white ones – I left them until last.

It was harder to carve with precision and I found the tool scraping and bouncing at times. Also, the terracotta clay has a lot of grog (grit) in it, and that causes swerves when the tool hits.

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Well, that’s all part of learning. I’m very happy with these results and I’ll be very interested to see how they and their white clay companions fire.

OK, that’s it for this week! Thank you for coming along with me.

Not Too Happy

And who knows what they are thinking about?

Mail art postcards, March 2018.

Drawn Up and Set In

The postcards from March and April 2018 were made from little sketches that I took out of the various notebooks I’ve got going. I have paper in every bag or purse I have and I draw in all kinds of circumstances, with no order or theme.

I cut out sketches I liked and added to them to make these postcards. The postcards are from spring 2018, as I said, but the sketches themselves, well, they could go a couple of years back. You can see I also added more sketching, such as the audience for the band concert, in some cases. That was fun, to extend the story the original sketch was telling.

Paint Card Inclusions

These postcards all included paint cards as some part of the image. They were made in February, 2018.

Here’s a purple girl set on another paint card in that vibrant yellow-green color. I didn’t record the names of the paint colors, sorry!
Postcard 2-18 Purple girl003

 

This house was drawn on a Hazelnut Cream color paint card and set into an acrylic-painted landscape.

 

Postcard house in the fields 3-18002

 

This card features a drawing on a paint card – the paint name is Campfire Blaze, so that is what I drew.

 

Postcard Campfire Blaze 3-18001

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending May 25

 

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art is out in the world.

As a note, I say in the post title that this week is ending on Friday, May 25 – but I’m posting it on Thursday the 24th. I’ll be at a show, Mayfair, in Allentown, PA, all weekend, including Friday, and things close up at 8 o’clock each night – so, after we drive home and so on, well, no energy on Friday for a post! I will put the show info into next weeks’s Diary.

Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20 – We were at the Tile Fest all weekend – you saw the set up on Friday. Here’s a little wrap up.

Saturday was a miserable day, weather-wise. It rained all day, and much of it came in downpours that pounded the tent roof. It was also chilly and really just…miserable uncomfortable.

I made one trip to the bathroom through the rain and came back soaked; I had to change my shoes and socks (Note: always take extra clothes to a show. Always). Since we have had a lot of rain recently, the ground is saturated and the water ran down the hill through the tent when the deluge got heavier (you see the straw put on the ground to soak up mud). You also can see everyone wearing coats and long pants. Show attendance was light and sales followed suit.

Two bright spots. All of us vendors are friendly with each other, having come to this show for years, and newcomers get gathered right in. We support each other and make jokes about the weather and so on. It helps.

Number two – the show organizers have the tradition of putting on a really nice dinner on Saturday night – this year we ate inside the Tiles Works building. It allows us to relax and talk to fellow vendors, and the food is always good. We all really appreciate this consideration, and this year it cheered us all up after a pretty long day.

Sunday, the weather really improved! Sunny and about eighty degrees.

I’m showing you the bathroom building. It’s made of concrete, like the Tile Works and Fonthill, Henry Mercer’s home, which is a short walk away. Anyway, it’s like a little cave of a building, and it always makes me laugh.

AD 5-20 #1

Attendance was better on Sunday and we were all more comfortable.

But I think the show’s momentum, for me, and for others, too, never really recovered. I believe that Saturday is generally a more active and buying day, and we lost that with the weather. I’ve had better sales years, but, overall, I was satisfied. Plus, I stress, this show means a lot to me in meeting fellow tile makers, renewing friendships, and just being in a show where people care about each other.

When it was time to pack up, we did so, and got on the road home. The orange cooler is the marker for where we spent the weekend.

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Monday, May 21 – How this week will go is an unknown for me – I’ll be getting over being gone all this last weekend and then getting ready for the long show coming up. Here is a postcard I made and sent last week. The story is, my friend Steve sent me the card with a space drawn in it, saying – Make art here. So I did, and then I kept on going. I sent the card back to him last week but I thought I’d show it (hoping it has made it to his house by now!)

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I used to exchange a lot of mail art. Not much now, but I see it happening again in my future. And, if you happen to read this and want to send me something, I will send back, yes I will.

Tuesday, May 22 – Odds and ends and then some inspiration. That was today.

First, I took some tiles I had set aside from the show. Let me explain – there is nothing wrong with these tiles. I like them ok. But seeing them in my display, well, I just wasn’t loving them, and I don’t like to exhibit or sell things I don’t love.

Sometimes people buy these things before I remove them, that’s ok. People often like pieces that I don’t, because my attitude toward a piece is not necessarily how “good” I think it is. It’s hard to explain my criteria, let’s leave it at that.

Once I’ve decided an item is not up to par, it is doomed, in its present state. If it’s a painting, well, it may get a remake or be entirely obliterated for a new start. Tiles, not so easy. They are what they are.

Anyway, I pulled these out, marked out my name on the back, gave them new names, and voila! Art to be left out somewhere in the world. I think I always knew I was making these items for this purpose, and trying to sell them never felt right. OK. Rebalancing things.

Note: I like that flower tile a lot, but, it is the last one of a group, and they never get the attention they deserve in a show. As take-away art, they are on stage alone – the star.

I’ve also been itching to paint, and I’ve had the idea of making something big and colorful and abstract. No theme, no idea, just paint and see what goes. I got hold of the largest board I have right now, 24″ x 20″ (wish it had been twice that size, a size I never do, but somehow that idea appealed to me…but anyway, this is what was on hand).

I gessoed it black. And I also pulled out some of those 6″ x 6″ squares to use up extra paint (I anticipated a frenzy of painting, you can see). I chose 2 each of black and white gesso.

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All right. Here is what I ended up with at the end of the afternoon. The large painting:

The small ones.

OK, I feel better now. I’ll let these sit and see what happens next to them.

Last thing today – I  have this page in my current Large Artist Sketchbook to work on, if I want to, maybe tonight while I watch TV. It is certainly a conglomeration hoping to cohere…

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Wednesday, May 23 – I worked some more on this painting. I think it is close to being finished, that’s what I said at the end of the afternoon.

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I also arranged some more of those 6″ x 6″ small boards on my table, two gessoed white, two black. This time I painted random colors and shapes on the surfaces, the same for each color, two different sets. Take a look.

Now you see what a difference the gesso color makes. With the white, I will need to do more layers just to cover the white. The black, different story, the color is richer from the start. I have the feeling I will be using this black gesso a lot.

Later I’ll do something with these boards. For now, I was just wondering what the results would be.

I finished this page in my current Large artist sketchbook. I have been hanging on to this page for some time. Done! Now I have only one more page left in this book. What do you know about that. I was surprised myself.

 

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Later in the evening, I had the larger painting upstairs for me to study, and suddenly I had to do some more work to it. Here it is:

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I think this painting is done. Or maybe not. In any case, done enough for me to paint its edges and take it to the show tomorrow? Yes, I think so. Now I’ll stop writing and get that little task done – plus load the car and so on for tomorrow. Thank you for reading.

 

OK, that’s it for this week! Thank you for coming along with me.

Just Kind of Hanging Back and Waiting

This ATC came about in its own way. The lenses of the glasses were actually two dots of ink on gray paper. I drew the face around them, but…there was not enough gray paper.

Where is the rest of this guy? Does it matter? He looks pretty satisfied.

Artist trading card, November 2017.

ATC #13 11-17005