Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.
More art. A new week.
February 9, evening – I made a couple more paper dolls. I think there will be still more to come.
Saturday, February 10 – I loaded up the kiln with my assortment of mini-tiles with the idea of firing them the next day. With a bisque load (the first firing) – the tiles will emerge as ceramics after having gone in as dried mud. In this stage, I could stack the tiles and arrange them tighter; they have no glaze on them to stick to each other – and I would if I had a full load, but this small amount of work can be spread out, there’s plenty of space, so I used three full shelves and a half shelf, built up from the bottom of the kiln.
Here is a portrait of the hard-working kiln stilt. These items come in various heights and allow for a custom array of kiln shelves for each firing, depending on what is being fired.
In the evening, I was tired, and we were watching the Olympics on TV – I needed something to occupy my hands. I have a couple of paint brochures, so I got one out, plus a white gel pen and a black ink pen.
My idea was to make little drawings for each color square, the theme being that I’d draw what the color name inspired; and I needed both pens because some squares were dark and others light. I’ve done this kind of thing before.
But, it’s been some time. Now I wonder why I let myself forget about this activity. It’s lots of fun. I’m showing you just a bit of the two pages; I’ll do a post with better pictures when I’ve finished the other brochures I’ve got. These little pictures take some study.
Sunday, February 11 – I did fire the kiln today; results tomorrow. Otherwise, I worked on that mysterious collage project I have mentioned. I promise you will see the results in good time.
When I cleaned up, well, there were some interesting sights on my table. Who would discard a perfectly good arm?
I also want to mention a collage inspiration that I’ve used in the past and will certainly do so again. When I am working at collage, I am flipping through magazine pages, moving fast, and I slash or tear out the image or item I want, leaving irregular scrap-pages in my wake. The subsequent pages are peeking through these holes, that’s what is happening, and I have been struck by the compositions that result when I come upon the layers of pages in a calmer mood. Serendipity calling!
I cut around the layers, lift them out of the magazine as a whole, and glue them down. And there I have something nice, courtesy of — chance. Let me show you what I mean. I photographed some of these situations after this collage session. If I think of it I’ll go back and cut them out of the magazine.
Monday, February 12 – I opened the kiln. All good. Here’s a look at all four levels, top to bottom.
Now I’m ready to put some color on these tiles. I’ll be working on these for some time, I think. A nice meditative kind of work.
Then I started on a new project. I had eight 4″ x 4″ gesso-primed cradled boards. I decided to make small paintings using a sheet of photos I had printed out as my reference.
I chose eight of the nine views and quickly sketched on the boards in pencil. Oh no, I am thinking. This is not how I usually work. I generally just start right in with painting. Pencil sketching is how I make tiles. Well, that’s fine, but underglaze behaves differently from acrylic paint.
Well, I’ve got a dilemma now. How will I make this work out? I’ll figure things out as I go, I guess.
That’s in the future. Here is the overall group, laid out like the photo page:
And here are the individual sketches, photographed in a hurry, but you get the idea:
Tuesday, February 13 – I worked on the small paintings.
I will let these rest a bit, I think. I like how they are turning out. I found myself using smaller brushes than usual, that’s how I dealt with the small scale (I’m proud of myself for figuring that out, I am).
I also like the sketches I made to start them off, even though they are now obliterated – I might do a set of pen and ink drawings of the photos and make them into postcards.
Wednesday, February 14 – I was in the mood for some free-form painting today, as opposed to following a prepared plan as I did with the 4″ x 4″ group. I got out four gessoed 8″ x 8″ boards (I am using up the supplies that I have accumulated over time and there is a lot of variety in what I bought in the past, oh yes). These boards have 1 1/2 inch cradles, making a thicker profile than what I usually choose, so I guess I might have gotten these on sale?! Anyway:
I decided to do two of my favorite motifs – faces and trees. I did some random paint application:
and at the end of the session here is where we were.
Paintings this small can go quickly when I’m in a free-form mood. I’ll take a look in the next couple of days and see what needs to be done to them to finish them.
Friday, February 16 – I worked on a variety of things this afternoon – my mind felt a little skittish. I painted ATC’s – whether these will stay this way or not, I don’t know, in the beginning I just paint.
I might do some collage on these cards and I also have some other collage-ready surfaces, so I painted some papers, too. In the past, late 1990’s and early 2000’s I made many collages using only papers that I had painted, usually in a more representational style. I don’t do that anymore (it had its run and then one day – enough) but I mention it to say that in those days I had many pages of painted sketch papers. Usually I’d do a whole sheet in each color or design – here I just wanted a little of a lot of colors, done very simply – no layering of colors or adding a lot of splatters or the like.
I added a little bit to the current page in the current Artist Sketchbook I’ve got going – remember, this is where I put extra paint or papers or ink or whatever and try to turn it into something. I like this abstract composition and I might say it is finished.
Finally, I selected one of the four portrait paintings I did the other day, obliterated the face, and did something different. Now I’ve got a little goblin creature who looks like he might just have eaten an unwary…something. I like him, though he might need a little more work. The other paintings, I’m pretty happy with them, though I do think I was on a definite ogre/troll/gnome theme.
OK, that’s it for this week! Thanks for taking a look.