Tag Archives: people

Articulated People

I made these artist trading cards by painting backgrounds and then cutting out people parts and arranging them into figures. Presto! An instant crowd.

I like the sense of movement they have.

Artist trading cards, mixed media, November, 2017.

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Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending January 5

 

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

It’s been hectic – the holiday, a snowstorm. And remember I go to a Day Trip Poetry Marathon session each week – this week I did it on Wednesday.

This week I did a lot of work on limited topics. On January 1, I devoted the afternoon to collage work. I have a big project I’m working on and I wanted to make some progress.

On the same day, I also glazed the “artifact” tiles I mentioned in the previous Art Diary post. I put three coats of the breaking glaze on each tile, letting each coat dry before I added another one. It’s the kind of thing where you run in, slap on some glaze, and then come back later to do it again.

The glaze is the pale color you see. It will turn turquoise/shiny when fired. Glaze is different from underglaze in that underglazes remain the color you see coming out of the container, while glaze colors have no relation to the finished result when you apply them. It is obviously easier to “paint” with the underglazes, because you can see what things will look like.

On January 4, snowstorm day, I spent the afternoon finishing up the handmade tiles I had previously bisque-fired. Here you can see all the tiles I currently have ready for the kiln.

Now I am going to work on a case of 4″ x 4″ terracotta commercially-made tiles that I ordered a while back. I have 80 tiles to work on. I’ve used these before and I really like them – they are thick, smooth surfaced, and accept the underglazes very well.

Here I have applied Velvet underglaze Jet Black, which I use for the undercoat. I’ve left one tile natural to show you what they are like.

And on Friday, I spent the day inside again – brutal cold outside discouraged me from leaving. I put in some painting time. Two larger pieces and more smallish faces, in acrylics. When I went in the studio, everything was in such a mess.

Nice view outside!

And here’s what I worked on. They are all getting near the finish, I think.

OK, that’s it until next week.

 

Outdoor Life

Clay tiles, 4″ x 4″, Velvet underglazes on commercially-made terracotta tiles, October, 2017.

Art Diary 2018

I’m making New Year’s plans for 2018. I hesitate to say resolutions. I’m reserving that for two things I’ve decided on: taking a better lunch to Poetry Marathon sessions – usually I’ve done a bagel and banana, that’s got to change – and remembering my reusable shopping bags when I go to the grocery.

No, this is a plan I’m talking about, a plan to rebuild my art work habits. In the last year I’ve been distracted by all kinds of events and changes and I’ve let my art time slip. By “art time” I include not only the hours spent actually painting, making tiles, collage, whatever, but also that mental space where ideas rattle around until I can catch hold of them. To put it bluntly, I need to focus.

I have my paintings and clay work show schedule to prepare for and I am also having a solo painting exhibit in the summer. I’m working on a joint art project and I’ve got some ideas for those routine things I like to make – postcards and artist trading cards. I also want to go out and take photos more often and I want to do more pen and ink sketching. Plenty to do.

Since I work at home it’s so easy to get distracted by laundry or cooking and so on and so on. Doing art is not like Poetry Marathon, where I schedule a day of writing and leave the house to go to a location with no other choice than to write. No, I need to be with all my supplies and paints and so on, and home is where they are.

I decided I needed to do two things: make scheduled art times and make myself accountable for getting there and working. I know from the Poetry Marathon, and from my past years of artwork when I was on a more coherent schedule, that once I set my plan in motion, very quickly I will have a habit – art will assume a clear place in the scheme of things, rather than floating around waiting for an opportunity.

Remember, I said to myself, I LOVE to do art. It’s not a chore. It’s a pleasure. It’s so easy to let other things get in front of me and lose sight of that fact.

OK. Here is my plan.

Number one: Each week I will set in artwork times on my calendar (just as I have already done with Poetry Marathon – I write the day in each week’s listing). In this way I can be flexible given other things I have to do, and yet be clear in my own mind that, say, at 1 PM on Tuesday, I need to be standing in front of my table in my studio (rather than dazedly wondering if I should do the ironing, or maybe just dust the living room, or…).

Number two: the accountable part – I will take pictures of what I’m doing as the week goes on and then do a blog post as a wrap-up. I think I will choose Friday as my diary day. In this manner, I’ll have an expectation of needing to explain myself, so I’ll be sure to have something to explain – and, I think it will remind me, through evidence of the photos, that projects finished or not, I am taking steps and rebuilding my focus.

I am a bit leery of making this commitment, because over the past few years, with my hand and eye health issues and my husband’s injury and other family matters, I’ve seen “resolutions” get derailed. I’ve started off a new year several times with great visions and then – sppplt – something happened. I’m keeping this pronouncement low-expectation as a result – I want to focus on art again, and I want to make progress in making art.

Because it is so easy to lose sight of what you are doing, isn’t it? That’s my theme in 2018 – see things as they are, pay attention, take in the meaning of them. It’s not the results that matter so much as the effort.

OK, let’s get this idea started. I’ve been practicing. I took pictures of things I did in the last few days. My plan is not to show finished artworks – that’s for other posts down the road, and I’ve got a backlog, just to warn you – but just to chronicle what I’ve been up to, and maybe give some explanations here and there.

Thanks for your help! And thanks for reading.

Oh! I forgot to say: if you have any questions about the projects or techniques here, I will be happy to answer. Please ask!


On December 23, I prepared bisqued “artifact” tiles for the kiln. You see them as they are in the plain state, with the underglaze covering them, and in the washed-off state.

I also continued to work on a couple of large paintings.

And these small 10″ x 12″ people paintings. I have been working on a series.

On December 27, I was working on some tiles. I am concentrating on tiles handmade by me, which is why they are irregular in size.

On the 29th I worked on the current people portraits and set them in front of my TV table in the living room so that I can let them rest a bit and decide what, if anything, they need to have done to them to finish.

We had snow on the 30th. I took advantage of the enforced day at home to load the kiln and fire it.

On December 31, I opened the kiln. Compare the top level before and after firing.

I unloaded the kiln. I am happy with the pictorial tiles but I am dissatisfied with the white “artifact” tiles. I had thought of leaving all of them, white clay and terracotta, in this washed-off stage, which is different from the previous artifact tile experiment that incorporated a breaking glaze.

I decided to keep the terracotta ones but am repeating the colored underglaze/breaking glaze method I used before for the white clay. Consequently I did underglaze work and recorded the colors and numbers in a photo for later reference. I will put the glaze on them tomorrow and later they can be refired.

Meanwhile, Back at Home

Here are tiles featuring a home-like atmosphere.

4″ x 4″, Velvet underglazes on commercially-made terracotta tiles, fired at cone 06, made in October 2017.

Travel by Car

Two tiles made in October 2017 featuring cars. One shows cars entering Route 309, a few blocks from my house.

The other is a carload of people en route to somewhere and I’m betting they are hoping to arrive soon, it being obvious the car is crammed full and people might be getting tired of the close quarters. Do I see some glum faces?

The tiles are 6″ x 6″, Velvet underglazes on commercially-made white low-fire tiles, fired at cone 06.

Who Are These People?

I don’t know. Let them speak for themselves.

Artist trading cards, collage, September, 2017.