Category Archives: Drawing

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending September 14


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

Let’s talk about Art.

Saturday, September 8 – Lots of secret project work. Here is some from yesterday:

and from today:

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And I got the kiln going this morning – remember, it has been loaded since last week with that small group of sculptures. I’ll be able to open it tomorrow.

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Sunday, September 9 – Today I wanted to organize my clay work to get ready for shows coming up in the next few months. I hoped to make it easier to figure out what to take to a show and to be able to pack easily and quickly. Each event I’ll be going to over the next few months has a different amount of space or layout for me to consider and with limited storage of extra work. I need to have just what I need and no more.

So, first I went down to the basement where I store my tiles. With the company of my faithful laundry friend, I pulled out the boxes.

I took out all the tiles and sorted them into categories: large, small, cat, sgraffito, and miscellaneous.

I made a listing (though I don’t intend to keep a close count as the season goes on, I wanted to know where I was starting from), and repacked the tiles into boxes, storing them in their usual place.

I have about 105 tiles in inventory right now. That should be a good amount to go through my remaining shows. When it’s time to pack for a show I will come down here and make selections from each category; I don’t plan to choose each tile every time, just get the numbers I need. There can be too much planning – I don’t need to choose each tile individually for these shows.

I then went upstairs and opened the kiln. The items are cool and look a little lost in the big kiln.

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I put the items with their various categories already in the studio. I had some of these little face tiles to set aside for art drop-offs – everything else is meant for a show.

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Originally I was going to pack these items into boxes and follow the same procedure as the tiles, when I realized – they are already sorted, and I can enjoy looking at them when they are not at a show, so why put them away when all I’m going to do is take them out again when I’m packing? Better to just pick them off the shelves in my studio.

I have enough work in the object category, I think. And if I should get low, I can take some older figurines out on the road if I need to – the ones in the upper shelves of the cabinet are fine, I’ve just been enjoying having them, but I’ll probably sell them someday, too. Or give them away.

Monday, September 10 – I am at a completion or completed stage in my art world right now – I have done my solo exhibit, I have enough clay and painting work for this fall, and I have just finished the secret project (you will find out more in a couple of weeks).

Mentally I am preparing to move on changes that I have been thinking about, as to how I spend my art time, for 2019. As far as activity, right now I’m assembling items for small works, mail art and the like; preparing for doing some painting later on. Overall, I am settling my mind and the studio. To those ends, I have been finishing up some things – like this painting, which was the former Beach Lady:

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I’ll wait a little and then if I’m still happy I’ll finish up the edges and take it to my final painting show for the season on September 22.

I gessoed small boards (these are 11″ x 14″, so I guess I should say, medium boards):

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I did a couple of quick things with ink – this man is in one of my notebooks and will eventually end up in some collage; the chair is the beginning of a page in my next Large Artist Sketchbook (I guess it will be 2019).

Tuesday, September 11 – More odds and ends. I gessoed the edges of the boards – I hate the messy paint spattered look of any painting’s edge, even these very thin boards, and if I want to sell them as is, I want them to look nice!

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I added one thing to this sketch. One thing only. I am not in a hurry; this book is intended for a more contemplative approach, not rushing through it for hurrying’s sake, though I do think I’ll move a bit faster than this, generally.

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I prepared some boards and postcards/ATC’s – The next time I want to work on something – here it will be ready for me.

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Thursday, September 13 – Progress continues to creep along on this painting. I did a little more here and there to it.

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I added more paint to the three 6″ x 6″ items. Now they are ready for their next stage, whatever that will be.

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And here are postcards and ATC’s with paint on them, again, ready for whatever I decide to do next with them.

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Friday, September 14 – More odds and ends make themselves felt in my art world today I decided to do a task that is not for a current event, but is easy: I assembled my contributions for swag bags to be given out at a show I am attending in December. It’s a clay show for me so the treats are small clay items. I’m clearing out all kinds of small things and doing my part for the show all at once.

I laid out the items on the table.

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Then I put them in bags and added a business card. I ordered these bags from a place I’ve used for years for the special extra-clear bags for artwork; these here are not meant for that purpose, being heavier and not as clear. They are perfect for what I need them for, though, and they were very inexpensive. I have enough left over for next year’s treats!

I had ordered some 18″ x 24″ masonite panels and they arrived today. I bought the very inexpensive version of these panels – eleven of them cost me about $36. And why eleven? Because I could get free shipping with that number.

I want to have the option to do bigger work, but I no longer want the storage problems that come with maintaining a lot of cradled pieces (masonite or board with a built-in wood frame). Or carrying a lot of bulky work to a show. Remember that revelation I had at the Lansdale show a couple of weeks ago, if you are wondering what I am thinking.

I also want to feel free to paint, draw, scribble crayon, whatever, on pieces in the future. At the price of about $3.50 each I will be worried about nothing when I get to work on these.

I gessoed the edges.

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Then I started working on the painting surface. It will take a few sessions to finish these.

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I spent the rest of the afternoon just kind of doodling around. I took the next steps on those small 6″ x 6″ items:

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Ditto for these postcards:

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Here’s the latest on that page in my new Large Artist Sketchbook 2019:

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And here are some off-the-cuff drawings with Chinese brush and India ink. I can use these, cut-apart, in all kinds of ways later on, I think.

Look at that guy and his TV (top). Yelling at each other, I think they are.

All right, that finishes this week. I’m going to clean up the studio and listen to some more of my favorite radio program, Funky Friday on WXPN Philadelphia. Happy Friday.

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


Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending September 7


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

Art every day of the week, please!

Saturday, September 1 – Here are photos from yesterday’s take-down of the exhibit at the Gallery at the JCC, Allentown, PA, where my paintings had been for the last couple of months. It’s an anticlimax, really – it’s very quick to take a display apart! We took in our boxes and bags:

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and started to take items off the walls and from the display cases.

Soon everything was neatly packed away.

Empty walls and cases…

We took the tags off the walls and then…the party was over!

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The arts group here has invited me to participate in their holiday craft show, so…I’ll be back in December.

Saturday, September 1, nighttime – I did some paint brochure drawings – this is a gray-themed group. As you may remember, I often choose an activity like this one for when I am watching TV at night. These brochures are addicting.

Sunday, September 2 – I sat down with a friend to do a planning session.

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I spent a couple of hours or so going through my projects (art and poetry)and working out plans and possibilities I’d like to explore in the next 6 months or so. I do this exercise about every..6 months…I guess, and it helps me to review what I have going on and where I want to go. I wrote it in a notebook and will type it up tomorrow and put it in my studio.

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Then I went down into the basement and cleared out my head by working on a couple of clay cylinder people.

Monday, September 3 – I did some odds and ends around the studio. Not exciting, but necessary, these things were. I have a collection of 6″ x 6″ drop-in frames that I have used for clay tiles. Well, I admit that lately I’ve sent to the trash a lot of earlier work that was glued into these frames.

I am sure this may provoke gasps of horror at the idea of destruction but sometimes, there is no other answer for past work that I don’t feel is up to my standards today. And, these frames were perfectly good. I gessoed over the name and date of the previous works.

I tentatively intend to use them for the 6″ x 6″ paintings on board that I have been doing. I tried out the look with a few and I love it. I plan to velcro the paintings to the frame rather than gluing them, so I’ll have some TV-watching work ahead of me in putting all these together, I guess.

I also gessoed over a couple of paintings my husband sanded down for me. Ditto the clay tile situation – time passes and older work does not always please. I have learned that onceI feel this way about a painting, I will never change my mind. It is better for me to wipe it out and do something new.

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Art is not always about creation, I guess!

I did a quick cover-up of the back inside cover of my current Large Artist Sketchbook. Once it dries I am ready to take it to Poetry Marathon sessions to get some text done for it.

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Tuesday, September 4 – More secret project.

Then I went into the basement to work on cylinder people. Things continued to progress. One guy, though, I was not happy with how his outfit was turning out. It seems that in every group, there is one figure with whom I get off on the wrong foot and my attempts to salvage and re-make a design just get – uglier. When that happens, I wash off the old.

Then I give him a new undercoat. I will start over again next session.

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Here are the others, in progress.

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Wednesday, September 5 – I worked on finishing up the cylinder people today. The one in the remade outfit is a lot happier now, or at least I am, with his attire.

I took them, plus puff people and a few tiny tiles, and loaded the kiln.

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In the past I would never have contemplated firing a load this small. No, absolutely not. But I think differently now about this subject, as well as about a lot of other things! In the past I would have had these figures wait until I had made enough new work to fire (because with low-fire clay, you can fire bisque and glaze loads together as they fire at the same temperature).

That would have been fine if I were in an ongoing claywork mode (which I usually was). Now, though, I do less work, and if I hold these until I get more to go with them, it could be months. I am planning to do some other things for a while and clay’s not on my schedule right now.

And I’m impatient – I want to take these cylinder and puff people to a show next week – plus I have several other clay shows lined up in the near future. I don’t want to rush making more work just to…fill up a kiln-load? The cost of one firing is just not enough to make me worry about it. I’ll probably get these guys fired this weekend when the weather is cooler.

Thursday, September 6 – Last night I decided to paint a little… just a little. By dinnertime I had this start:

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Hint: it’s the former Beach Lady painting. Anyway, I almost never work after dinner, but for some reason I got engrossed in this painting (despite not knowing what I wanted to do with it).

Here is where it ended up.

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Don’t know if it is finished. I don’t want to be doing this kind of work, really – I want to move on. (Destination: unknown.) I think this exercise might have been the equivalent of comfort food art – using a well-known recipe and getting predictable results. I’ll let it sit a while and see if anything else happens to it.

Friday, September 7 – This morning my husband and I drove to Allentown, PA, to pick up my painting from an exhibit at the Baum School:

Here’s a quick look at how it appeared hanging on the wall, before I took it away with me. I inserted an arrow to direct you to its location:

I thought I might do some artwork later this afternoon, but since I’m not sure, I figured I’d post this week’s Diary and clear the decks for another week.

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

Leftovers Can Be So Useful

These artist trading cards were made from failed postcards. I was drawing in India ink with the Chinese brush and things went wrong. I cut out the parts I liked, colored them, and now we have artist trading cards.

Made in March, 2018.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending August 31


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

Art. Art. Art!

Saturday, August 25 – We spent the day at the Lansdale Festival of the Arts. This is one of the first shows I did when I began my art career, and though it has grown a lot over time, it is still run by the same people in the local parks and rec department, and it is still one of the nicest shows to do that I know.

Weather was absolutely wonderful – clear skies and moderate temperatures. We arrived a little before 8 AM and got into line for receiving our spot – this show has the practice of filling the park as exhibitors arrive. You wait in your car in line for a little while, and then you are shown to your spot, and you get to work setting up – no traffic jams or disturbing near-misses by cars trying to get to an interior location when everyone else has already begun setting up.

I’ll skip the set up shots, because if you’ve seen one set-up (and you have, think back to earlier shows) you’ve pretty much seen them all. Here is my booth when done, with my husband providing scale:

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And here is the interior.

You may remember from last week’s Diary how agitated I was about the amount and type of work I was showing. The vast majority of my paintings are at another exhibit, and I hadn’t thought about how the scheduling would work out for this show. What I had on hand: two large paintings I don’t show much plus three other medium sized ones; a variety of smaller ones that could hang on the walls; and a box full of miscellaneous flat unframed (but on board or masonite) items.

I was pleasantly surprised at how it all worked out in the display. And as far as customer response and sales, ditto. I got some valuable information from this show to aid me in making decisions on how I want to steer the next period of my art making/selling career. I’m trying to decide what kind of work I want to make, and how much, especially given that I already have such a lot of work done right now in the sizes and shapes that I have traditionally thought of as show-worthy.

This event taught me that I can have a different array of work to offer than I had thought, and I am glad about that, because I am more interested in working in smaller sized pieces as part of a series and/or really large things. This medium range I’ve done for so long, I’m less interested in. Hmmm…I see possiblities more clearly now. Interesting.

And guess what. Do you see those green tags under a couple of pieces of my work?

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This show gives out prizes, and the way they do it, you mark the two pieces you want to enter. I figured, the large one, why not? and then the face one next to it, simply because it looked nice with the other one. Well, here’s the result.

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Third prize in my category, Oils, Acrylics, and Mixed Media. Now that was really a surprise. I had not thought I had a chance, with so few bigger items in my booth (even though you choose two pieces, the judges generally tend to look at all your work, and I am sure it influences them).

So I was thrilled. A really nice day all around. And here are a few shots of the show in action, to round out today’s information.

Sunday, August 26 – I gave these small cylinder people and puff people some black underglaze in preparation for color patterns. Here they are, naked.

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And here, with the black.

Monday, August 27 – Secret project.

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Tuesday, August 28 – I spent some time in the beautifully cool basement (we are having a late summer heat wave, that’s why I mention it) working on coloring puff and baby cylinder people.

Wednesday, August 29 – More clay time. I worked on cylinder people today.

I am planning to work on two at a time. That’s a good number for getting both fully done in an afternoon, more or less.

I also did some faces on clay scrap tiles. These are the kind of thing I leave around the world in art drop-offs. (I usually chronicle my art drop-off activities on my blog Sometimes You Get So Confused – go there and search the category Art Drops In).

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After I finished with the clay, I decided to work on an updo of some small paintings I did a while back. I decided to transform them into my sort of cartoony style. As they were, I felt they looked a little bla.

So here is where I got to with them on this day. I’ll post better pictures of them in their own post pretty soon.

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Friday, August 31 – This afternoon I will be picking up my paintings and clay work from the gallery exhibit that I had July through August. I’ll post information about that trip for next week. Otherwise, I’m getting ready to do a big meeting with myself about what I’ve got going, art-wise, and see if I can’t work up a list to re-orient myself and prioritize.

Every so often I go through this process, for art and for poetry, and I find it really helpful. To start things off, I cleaned up my work area in the studio and arranged the current odds and ends so that I can see them. I do better when I have tangible items to view and then can make a list much more easily.

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This assortment is not everything going on, but it’s the ones I’ve got going right now. I’ll show you photos and make comments.

And here are some more ideas…I’ve been saving rejects and odds and ends of scrap paper in a box. I have accumulated a lot of it and I want to start making some postcards/ATC’s with all these items.

This spattered notebook page represents the page facing an image in my current Large Sketchbook. I have finished all the pages in this book and this was the last one to be spattered. Now my next move is to write poems or stories or whatever to go with the images and insert them in the book. This will take some time and will be part of my Poetry Marathon work.

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I also plan to review my paintings when I get them home from the exhibit and decide how I want to invest my painting time this winter (as I mentioned my thoughts earlier in this posts, when I discussed the art show last weekend).

And I have ongoing clay work to do. I need to make a separate list of projects there, but I know it will include tiles, pictorial, abstract, and sgraffito; I also want to think about some sculptures, too.

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Puffs from the front…

I plan to put some time in this weekend in doing this work. Now it is time for me to load the car with boxes and bags to bring home my paintings!

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

Sometimes Accidents Happen and It’s a Good Thing

These artist trading cards came about by accident, or serendipity, as it may be.

The first one is what happened when acrylic ink was sloshed on a gessoed surface, and then scribbled on in India ink, when the cat shape appeared, to be delineated in white and black marker. There you go. From April, 2018.

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Next, this bird man emerged from the shapes I saw in the painted background. March, 2018.

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This cave horse was inspired by the underlying scribbles in the background and the fact that I just felt like making a horse. From March, 2018.

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Collage is all about combining bits of things that came from different sources into one image. I’ve been doing it for a long time and I love it.

These artist trading cards combine magazine pages and and print with people or items I’ve drawn in ink on another piece of paper and then inserted into the scene.

Made in March, 2018.