Tag Archives: Mother Nature

Remember That Eclipse

Yes, remember that eclipse we had a couple of weeks back. I read in a couple of places that the time of an eclipse is a good moment to make a new start on something.

I’ve been distracted from doing art for some time; a variety of things have gotten in the way and I can’t seem to clear a way in my time allocation and inside my head. That has to change. I decided to do art while the eclipse was going on to mark my intention.

Here in the the Philadelphia PA area we got about 80% coverage, I think. With my retina problems, I was leery of even thinking of looking at the spectacle. Overly worried, I am sure, but I need my eyes, don’t I?

So I tried the pinhole idea and I have to say, I found it thrilling. It seemed just magical that a shadow of the event would create a crescent shape that marked what was going on in the sky. Take a look:

It never got very dark.

I was even more excited about leaf shadows. I took these pictures at the height of the eclipse.

And for fun I let the eclipse show itself through this bug-eaten leaf:

Magic, right?

All right, on to the art. I didn’t have any real idea what might be right for eclipse art. I decided to take a variety approach – several different boards stepped up to take a try.

I thought I’d use dark paints to make backgrounds, marking the unusual shadowy world the eclipse created. I used a brayer to roll on paint. The third set of boards had paintings already on them that I did not like, so I was happy to do some obliterating.

More paint.

For the 8×10 and 9×12 groups, I just painted what seemed to fit. I incorporated the eclipse in some of them and in others, I portrayed people watching the eclipse.

The 4×4 group became a selection of small portraits. I took random people pictures from a magazine and painted them with a dark eclipse background.

Another session, more paint.

Over the next few days, I added more paint, NeoColor 1 crayons, India ink, and acrylic inks. Here are the results. First, the 8×10 group.

Next, the 4×4 group. Now, I have to explain something: I took a dislike to the lady sitting on the sofa. I gave her a pink sweater:

I did other things, I painted and painted, and I just could not get happy. No reason, but when you only have 4″x4″ to work with, well, there is no hiding. So, I painted her out and did a new lady, also sitting, but different. That’s who you see in this group. Please do not tell me you like the pink-sweater lady better. Please.

Last, the 9×12 group.

I am happy with the results of eclipse painting. I hope its inspiration will carry forward. And even if I did not see the eclipse myself, I participated in it, didn’t I?

Cat Lady

Or, two cats and their lady.

They are all painted on broken brick pieces; you’ve seen ladies and cats like these before, I think. I have a whole collection on my porch right now. Maybe later I’ll take them to the park and set them out but for now, I really like seeing that crowd there to greet me when I come home. These three will fit right in.

Brick lady and 2 cats

Tiny Slices of Life

I worked on this group of 6″ x 6″ acrylic paintings on 3/8″ board all at one time. And I realize that three of the four involve a window and the last one a glass door. I don’t know how that occurred. Windows, doors, inside, outside, observing, leaving, entering.

Did They Just Get Off A Tour Bus?

I have a finished kiln-load of clay that I will be unloading today. And these ladies have been waiting patiently sinceĀ the fall (or at least they haven’t complained to me) for their turn here. I figured I’d better get with it.

When I see figurines in groups like this I think of situations where a large group of women would be found (all wearing what look like muumuus? I’ll overlook that part, as I know we’re not in Hawaii). For some reason I felt this crowd was posing for group pictures while on a package vacation (OK, maybe it was Hawaii?).

Here they are. Fresh off the tour bus.

Scraps. Scraps. What’s the Difference?

The word “scraps” can have a couple of meanings. One of them refers to left-overs, and the other isĀ  – Fights. Arguments. Altercations. Disagreements. Knock down drag outs.

OK. Well, I’ll solve this little question. I’m only talking about scraps in the first sense.

I made these women-figure-painting-things from some scraps of wood we had in the garage. They are about 6″ tall, painted in acrylics. I gave them names because the idea amused me.

As a group, I admit they look quite strong-willed, now that I think of it. So it is a good thing that I took them to Lorimer Park and set them out along the rail trail. (Look here if you want to see them at the park.) I did separate them, so I guess the danger of a scrap, altercation, row, whatever, is pretty much zero.

OK, I know I’m stretching your patience here today! Thank you for indulging me.

Ladies Who Are Friends

Here are some large clay women figurines I made in the fall of 2014. I say large, because I make smaller ones, but these ladies are only about 6″-7″ tall. I used terra cotta clay fired at cone 05. The colors come from Velvet underglazes applied when the clay was leather-hard, more or less, and then scratched into with a needle or loop tool.

I love making these figures. I love making their colorful outfits and choosing a little item for each woman to hold. And I love their faces – each one with something she’s just about to say, it always seems to me.