Tag Archives: Mother Nature

From the Woods to My House and Therefore Getting Painted

I haven’t worked on stick ladies recently – busy with other things. I had quite a collection from the summer, though, and here are some of them. I’ve given a lot away this fall, so I think I’ll be making more soon. I feel the itch.

I tried to find some sticks with curves, branches, or other interesting sections, and then I used the features in figuring out how I wanted to paint the women. They certainly develop their own personalities this way, or I should say, they have their own personalities already, inherent in the wood…

This group of ladies I painted just for myself. I have them in my bathroom right now. I designed their outfits and color scheme to go with the room – white, gray, and yellow. I think I will keep them there all winter and then maybe in the spring they’ll try a new location or who knows – a new home. Because I do like to give these figures to people.

stick ladies group of three in yellow white and gray 8-14

Here are some portraits of a few ladies. Thinking their own thoughts, they are.

I Hate Winter

Last year I did. I hated winter. A whole lot of other people felt the same way, I know, but for me it seemed personal. Winter was nipping at my heels with big shiny teeth. For lots of reasons, winter really took a lot out of me.

I needed to get a grip on things before this winter came. I knew that. One thing I did was to make these little paintings. The idea was to face all the miserable winter things that happened and give it right back.

I think the exercise was helpful. And now that winter is here, I look at these paintings and say to myself – this is last winter. Not now!

As a note, I showed them to some people and ended up making cards out of some of them. Gave some away and sent some. I liked that. Somehow it seems to show defiance!

The scenes are all from my memories of last winter – electricity out for five days in sub-freezing weather, snow after snow after snow, trees toppled, dark and cold nights. I think I’ve covered the whole subject.

This year I am ready for you, Winter!

The paintings are all done in acrylics on junk mail ad cards, each about 8″ x 5″. In some cases I drew a small pen and ink sketch, pasted it on to a card, and then added paint.

A Lady of Substance

Here is a stick lady I made a while back. She’s about a foot tall, which is much bigger than the ones I have made in the past. The urge to create a larger version just overtook me and here is the result – a substantial lady.

I put her in the mail to a friend. Just seemed like the thing to do.

Want to see some other stick ladies? I have made quite a population.

Here she is, standing among some greenery in my front yard.

Here she is, standing among some greenery in my front yard.

Trading Art (Thank You, Sharon!)

For some time I have followed a wonderful blog: “Monday Tuesday Wednesday”. I look forward to the beginning of each week so I can see what Sharon Mann has been doing. I love her drawings and fiber art. There is humor and attention to detail in everything she makes. I marvel.

So, in the course of things, we came to the idea of exchanging art through the mail. About three weeks ago, we sent each other something to keep and something to set out into the world and find a new home. I’ve done the latter with my clay figurines but I’ve never taken on the pleasure of finding the right spot for someone else’s work.

I sent clay figurines to Sharon – she lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. A new geographic location for the figurine population to put in its scrapbook! Here are pictures of the subsequent experience.

And here at home in Wyncote, PA, I received two Time Travelers. One has stayed in my dining room. The other took a tour of my local sights before being left in Grey Towers Castle at Arcadia University, about a mile from my house. It seemed like a good place to set off on a new life.

Thank you, Sharon! It was so much fun to do this exchange.

Check Sharon’s blog to see the Las Vegas end of things and to look at more of her work: “Monday Tuesday Wednesday”. (Note in 2019: Sharon’s blog is now Make Art…Magic Happens)

Grey Towers Castle: Grey Towers Castle, Arcadia University

Wyncote, PA: Wyncote, PA

Las Vegas, Nevada: Las Vegas, Nevada

Eyeing the Future

Here are two women figures I made. I don’t know why I felt compelled to take the remains of a 30-year-old cutting board, one which I had left sitting outside for about a year, and create these two portraits. But I did, and I photographed them in my back yard.

I do know what I was thinking about as I made them. I will be having surgery on my right eye on Tuesday, October 28 – I have developed a hole in the retina. The condition is called a macular hole and the operation is a vitrectomy (I tell you this so that if you want more information you can search the internet for details). I discovered the problem about a month ago and it’s been under observation since then. As time has passed I have lost the central vision in this eye and my overall vision is now affected. The only treatment for it is surgery and so that’s what I will be doing.

This operation has a great success rate and I should have good improvement in my vision. But it will entail a long period of recovery and I am not sure how things will go. So, I’ll probably be in and out of doing art and communicating about it until things stabilize. I feel optimistic about the prospects and I am very grateful that this operation exists and can help me.

So – I’ll be looking forward to getting back to making art and to writing about it – and before you know it, I hope!

Everyone Needs A Home

In the previous post I showed a group of recently-made small figurines, the kind who travel the world as I scatter them wherever I go.

But if they’d like a little home to return to, I have been making some. These are done in clay, fired at cone 5. I used Velvet underglaze for the colors, painting them after the bisque firing. No glaze, I left them rough.

I’m not sure exactly why I made these, but maybe I felt that everyone needs a home.

Curious Ladies and Unanswered Questions

Here is a group of small clay women figurines, the kind I leave scattered all over the place for people to take home. You’ve seen this type of small figure in many posts over the past year or so.

I do love making them. And – I love leaving them in all the places I go. The mystery of where they end up, what people think of them – the unknown – it appeals to me. Lots of food for thought.

And that’s why I make them!

Interior World and Keeping Secrets

Here are some clay figurine boxes I made, two different firing groups, one in July and the other in September.

I wanted to see if I could come up with a “functional” object and then I couldn’t help turning it into a person. So now I’ve got women boxes.

They have their secrets and now they can keep yours, too, safe inside.

I liked making them. I am sure I will make more.

Small Ladies in Clay

Here is some more recent clay work.

This crowd consists of small lady figurines about 4″ tall, done in terracotta clay fired at cone 05. I created them in the same manner as the larger clay lady figurines – made the figures, let them dry a bit, painted their dresses with Velvet underglazes, incised lines as I thought looked good, and then fired them. That’s it!

Ladies! Ladies!

Here is another set of clay women figurines. They come from two firings, one in July and the other in September.

They are simpler in color than the ones I showed in the previous post, but they make up for it with the sculptural detail I put into each one. I spent time on their hair in particular – it’s fun to come up with elaborate hair-dos for them.