Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.
Another Art week begins, hello!
Friday, June 15 (additional) – After I closed out last week’s Diary I did a little work on the clay figure I was working on – the tall cylinder. It had dried enough to stand up on its own.
I gave it a bottom – I set the cylinder on a circle of clay and used my serrated rib tool to scrape up the fresh clay. I left some of the marks.
I added a strut across the top to hold up the head, and then I added a top, same as I did for the bottom.
Then I gave her a neck and head and bosom. Here she is, with her shelf-mate looking at her, askance. Already life has become interesting for her, I guess…
Saturday, June 16 – We spent the day at Art-in-the-Park in West Park, Allentown, PA. I’ll start right off by saying there is no sadness to report about this show. I had a good day in all sorts of ways – reception of my work, sales, and I won 3rd prize in my category, Acrylics and Oils. So you can look forward to a pleasant account. I just wanted to warn you!
We stopped at our usual Wawa for gas and coffee. Shout out to my friend Diane here, she has moved to North Carolina, but we did shows together for years, and several times we met (by chance) at this location on the way to events up PA Route 309. Coffee calls out to all of us.
We arrived and the park was still quiet. The weather was just perfect, ten of ten. And, we got a parking spot right next to the park, not only for unloading, but we could keep the car there all day. This is a real advantage – parking around the park is pretty much non-existent.
We did our usual set-up thing. Space sizes are generous and I was able to use the outside of the display for artwork.
Then the show got into action.
Did you see the giant trunk of that sycamore tree to the right side of the first photo? That tree is magnificent, right across from our booth. Remember, this park is an arboretum and trees matter here.
I took a few minutes to go over to the bandstand and watch some of the ballet performances. These two girls were doing a jazz version of a dance from the Nutcracker. Yes, they were.
Water fountain, original fixture of this 100+ year old park. It still works.
I have participated in this show for 20+ years and it has always been a good one for me. Contemporary art is appreciated here, in fact is more popular than traditional and more realistic pieces, and in my experience it always has been, so for me, the crowd is interested and involved. I had many good conversations about my work and I was very happy that a couple of my more abstract pieces were especially noticed – I had wondered if there was anything to them or had I just had a nice time painting! I am glad others were attracted to them.
I also saw many people here that I know – and remember, I live about an hour away, so normally I would not expect so much personal attention. However, I have exhibited in Allentown for 20 years and many people have been very good to me in all kinds of ways here.
I want to say thank you to everyone, and I’ll mention a few – Ann, Hannah,and Adam; Adrian, Missy, Carol, Jodi, Olga and her daughter, Rob, Kris from the Baum School, Mickey and Sandy, and I’m pretty sure I’m leaving someone out. Do I sound like I’m auditioning for an Academy Award? Anyway, you can see, my art and I felt very appreciated.
Back to the show. In the afternoon I saw herds of people wandering the park, eyes glued to phones.
Guess what, it was a Pokemon Go event.
So the day wound down and we packed up to go home. I was grateful for how nicely this show went this year.
Monday, June 18 – I decided to work in the pleasantly cool basement today and do some clay. I rolled out some slabs of white low-fire clay.
This clay is part of my recently-acquired stash. When I went to work with it, I realized that I needed to make some slip to match it – my previous white clay was from a different manufacturer and was browner in tone. You say, what is slip? And I’ll tell you – it is a more liquid version of the clay – I put some bits in a jar, add some water, and shake it up to get it to break down into a gloppy consistency (which can take some time).
Slip is used as “glue” when two pieces of clay are joined. The mantra is, slip and score – make grooves in the joining areas and then smear some slip over it. Or vice versa, doesn’t really matter, just that you do it! In this way the pieces will intermesh. Just sticking a couple of pieces of clay together is not enough for a bond that will survive a firing.
All right, back to work. I made this little guy:
We call him a puff person. I’ve made hundreds of them in the past, and they looked like this:
You can see I finished them with underglaze washed over a heavily-textured surface. With this new creature, I want to try a smooth surface and color him all over as I’ve been doing with figurines. I’ll make some more and see how it goes.
I also made these small women figures from slabs @ 2″ x 4″ or so (not counting their heads, I made those separately):
I plan to give them colored outfits too. I left their bottoms open, with no covering base. I might use these for art giveaways and if I do, I want to put a message inside them instructing the finder to go ahead and take it, it’s ok. That’s what I did with the earlier small figurines I gave away, who looked like this:
I also made some tiles, which I didn’t photo, as I think you’ve seen plenty of freshly-cut tiles!
Tuesday, June 19 – Do you remember the Ogre Baby paintings?
Yes, me too. I have never quite felt they were finished. Well, when I was going through items for the last show I did, I set them aside.
Today I started to remodel them. Here we are so far:
All right, we’ll see how it goes. So far I’ve used India ink, acrylic inks, crayons, and oil pastels. A free-for-all, all right.
Friday, June 22 – This week has been busier than I thought when it started out. Not as much art time as I had thought. Well, it goes along as it goes.
This morning I went down to the basement and cleaned up the edges of tiles I did earlier in the week – by rubbing the edges with a wet sponge I smooth the edges and get rid of ugly transitions and sharp edges. While I was there I photographed the white clay slips I mentioned earlier in the week – the old one is on the left, the new one on the right. You can see the difference in the raw clay color and yet they both fire white.
Here’s a photo of those little women figures, now almost dry. Notice how the color of the clay has changed as it dries.
I also spent some time painting edges on acrylic paintings, back upstairs in the studio. I am getting close to the end of this task. Good. I also sprayed the ogre babies with a fixative spray out in the garage (very strong odor, yes) and repainted their edges – you can see them in the background.
And I did three more illustrations for my Minuscule book.
Then I figured I’d done enough. I’m going to go into the studio and clean things up to the background accompaniment of my favorite radio show, Funky Friday on WXPN Philadelphia. See you later!
OK, that’s it for this week! Thank you for coming along with me.