Tag Archives: photography

Mall Walking

Here are some photos from a recent mall walk I took ( you know, escaping cold weather and using the mall for some exercise rather than shopping).

I really like mannequins and I really like reflections.

Here are a couple of subjects who caught my eye:

Mannequins 1-28-18002

And here they are with their friends, doubled.

Reflections-mannequins 1-28-18003

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Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending February 2

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

Here we embark on a new week and new art.

Saturday, January 27 – I opened the kiln. Everything came out fine. Always a relief. Compare the before and after shots. The tiles are more brilliant in their fired state.

Also, on Friday night as I was cleaning up, I took all my collage scraps and quickly and randomly glued them on to postcard-sized recycled cardboard. No thinking, just slapping on the acrylic medium and sticking on the papers. It looked like this:

On Saturday I trimmed them. I will use these later in a project of some kind.

AD 1-27 #4001

Sunday, January 28 – My husband and I took a walk in the mall before it opened. The weather was cold and rainy so we wanted to be inside for some exercise. I took a lot of photos of the store windows – I like reflections. Here are a couple of shots featuring shoes.

Monday, January 29 – I rearranged my schedule a little, as it looks like snow tomorrow, but I had some time to work on paintings and clay.

First. Paintings. I have three 6″x6″ boards to work on and two 8″x10″. I laid them out on my table.
AD 1-29 #1012

I like to work in groups, you know that. I decided the small pieces would feature animals and that I’d do the other two as different floors in a house. I just started in and got going. Here are the small paintings.

I’m going to have to wait and see how they develop, the animals, I mean. I feel a little out of my depth here, I don’t think I’ve done anything like this before.

The rooms are more inside my comfort zone. They will need a lot more work, too, though.

End of the painting day. I’m not sure I’ll keep the eyes on the animals or not. Or if I need to add some ink or crayon, maybe. I did like their blank faces. We will see.

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I spent a little time with clay as well. I have an idea to make a lot of  @ 2″x 2″ tiles with designs in underglaze. A giant series. I have some white and some terracotta clay in bags with about 1/4 left in each, that would be about 5-6 pounds. Not that much.

I am making slabs; then I am going to cut the slabs all into little squares, fire them, and then put simple geometric designs or maybe tiny faces on them as a kind of low-thinking and mentally restful project. It will take a long time.

Today I cut the white clay. I rolled it out on my slab roller.

I transferred the slabs to my work table and cut them with a needle tool. I’ll let these dry and work on terracotta clay another day.

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Tuesday, January 30 – We had a little bit of snow today, enough for me to decide to stay home and catch up on lots of home things. I took the assortment of recently made tiles upstairs to my living room and wrote my name on the back of each one – a task that needs to be done but is not too exciting. I indulged in an episode of vintage TV Perry Mason to help me through it.

I don’t store the tiles long-term in this manner; I wrap them in bubble wrap as they can damage each other’s colors if they bang against each other. I’ll do that step after I price each tile – another day.

In the afternoon I checked on my clay work. The tiles I had cut yesterday were at a good stage – stiff enough to handle, but not so dry that they had become brittle. I needed to clean up the edges of each one. I used a round sponge and wiped around each tile, putting some force into it. Now they will not have sharp edges or look unfinished when fired.

AD 1-30 #3003

This work is also pretty tedious. I listened to an audio book; I do that quite often when I’m making art. Somehow in my head I can separate the art thoughts from the book thoughts. I do like a good thriller – that’s mostly what I listen to.

AD 1-30 #4002

I then went through the same cutting-out process with the terracotta clay. I try not to move the tiles too much; if they are bent in the wet stage, they “remember” that and want to go back to it when fired, even if they look flat when they enter the kiln. Small tiles like this, though, are usually not much of a problem. I kept some slabs just as they were cut out but some tiles had to move so as to allow me to do more work on the table. That’s why you see this arrangement.

AD 1-30 #5001

Wednesday, January 31 – I was out a lot of the day so much not art time happened. I did clean the edges of all the terracotta tiles I did yesterday. Now I will wait for all these tiles to dry. I like to give them a couple of weeks. You can tell the clay is ready for the kiln when it no longer feels cool to the touch – I use that test and then I wait a little bit longer…to be sure.

AD 1-31 #1002

I took a moment to look over those 6″ x 6″ animal paintings. I decided they needed some India ink. I gave them some faces and made a start on background work. Just enough to see that I liked it. Once I finish up with the ink, well, who knows what is next? I have come to understand that these creatures will figure out their own destiny and tell me, not the other way around.

AD 1-31 #2001

Friday, February 2 – I spent the afternoon finishing up some projects and starting new ones. First, the starting: I had a cradled masonite board in storage, 36″ x 24″, which is very large for me. I don’t make many paintings this size, but I sold two in these dimensions last year and so I just got the feeling of wanting to make another large one. I do not know what I will paint on it. Luckily, today all I had to do was prepare it.

I sanded the masonite surface (forgive the bad picture) to give the surface some tooth for the gesso to hang on to. Then – I gessoed it.

It spent the afternoon drying. I’ll get to work on it in the next week, I think.

I finished up the small animal paintings.

AD 2-2 #8005

I added India ink and crayon details.

Blots and irregularities are welcome.

Now I think these animal paintings are pretty much done. I also worked on the “home” paintings and I also feel they are close to being finished. I’ll let both of these sets of paintings come upstairs and sit in my living room for a few days to see what I think.

AD 2-2 #7006

And just for fun I made some paper dolls while watching TV at night this week. Haven’t done it for a while and I was glad to get back to them. I am sure there will be more of them soon.

Well, that’s it for this week. On to the next. Happy Art.

The Little White House – again…

I’ve got a thing for this house. I don’t know why. I took the picture along with a lot of others as I took a walk in a neighborhood near a park where I run, in Rockledge, PA. In other words, a place I am familiar with, but not my stomping grounds, if you know what I mean.

I’ve done a tile portrait:

Tile, approximately 6″ x 6″

I’ve made a small painting

Acrylic painting, 6″ x 6″

Now this one.

“At This Address”, 16″ x 16″.

Am I finished with this little house yet? Somehow I think not. Wait and see, that’s what I say.

Local Sights

These two paintings, done in November 2017, are based on locations near me and that I see so often I wonder at the fact that I still find them interesting. But I do. It’s because something small changes every day.

I’ve captured just one day in the life of these places.

As usual, I have made some changes from photo to painting, but – I think you can see the bones of the inspirations.

I’ll start with the intersection of Spring Garden Street and Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA. If you follow my poetry blog you know that I have made a little occasion of photographing this intersection as I wait at the light there on my way to Montco for Poetry Marathon sessions.  Here’s one of those photos:

and here is the painting (acrylics, 12″ x 18″)

“Leaving Downtown”

And the second location is closer to my home – a repair shop I pass almost every day, at Jenkintown and Baeder Roads, Glenside. Photo:

and here is the painting: (acrylics, 12″ x 18″).

“Local Garage”

 

Visions

More blur photos. These are from Logue Library at Chestnut Hill College, September, 2017.

Mistake, but I like it

I took this photo by mistake. I was getting ready to photo some paintings – I put them on the concrete floor of my front porch and stand over them to take the pictures. Ooops, my legs wanted to get a selfie done. I liked the way they did it, so I kept the photo.

This is how things happen around here at my house. Don’t ever say serendipity does not have a sense of humor.

Crossing in the Mail

This post is the story of a collaboration between me and Kerfe at Method Two Madness. We are posting the wrap-up today. Take a look at her blog post to see her side of the story.

A while back I wrote a post that showed some mail art postcards that incorporated handwriting. I’ve been on a plan to improve my handwriting for some time and the topic keeps spilling into my artwork, too.

In the comments to the post I mentioned the technique of crossing lines of handwritten text, used in the past to save paper. You would write a letter, send it, and the recipient would cross the paper with their own words and send it back. I did various items in this style – I love the curly intertwined look.

Anyway, in the comments, Kerfe at Method Two Madness and I got to talking. The upshot of things is that we decided to try this crossing thing ourselves.

Long and short, we sent each other handwritten pages in the US Mail. Then, we crossed the received pages with our own words and sent them back. We ended up with our original letters and much more. Here’s my side of the experience. I’ll go in chronological order as it happened to me.


First, I wrote to Kerfe. I had no idea what to write. I kept putting it off. Finally I got hold of myself, took me and my pen and notebook over to the Dixon Meadow Preserve about 15 minutes from home (I wrote a post about this trip with some nice photos – look here). I walked out into the preserve and sat on a bench on the boardwalk in a beautiful sunny day.

I wrote a couple of pages about how it felt to be sitting in this place at this particular time – one day, unique. I felt at peace. Here are my handwritten results:

Mailing the letter was the next step. When I sent these pages off to Kerfe in the mail, I also sent her some photos, so she could see the place I was writing from.


Then, Kerfe’s letter to me arrived. I realize now I did not keep a copy of it as it appeared originally, but I know she has this image for you to see at her site. But I can tell you, she wrote an amusing narrative about handwriting itself as it has appeared in her life.

Once again, I was confused as to what I might write (Kerfe set a high standard). I settled for another stream of consciousness handwriting explosion, relating what was happening to me that very day.

Looking at this beautiful tangle of words, I wondered if she could read any of it. To help out, I typed out my words in the line formation they took on the page.

1.
Well, the rain falls all morning and the sound
of it on the roof can make a drum corps sit
up and take notice and drive the thoughts
right out of your mind and send the cat
to hide down in the basement and I’d follow
him too but I’m a lot busier than the cat is
or so I’d like to think but maybe it’s all
just filling the hours every day all day
with the cooking (what do you think of a spinach
quiche for dinner?) and washing clothes
or at least taking the clothes to the washer
so the patient machine can do the work while
I watch and stand ready to assist with the
folding and so on all of the while considering
the idea of ironing, maybe later in the week
and washing the shelves where I store my clay
work in progress which I did manage to get a
load of tiles in the kiln, in fact they are in
there right how and I don’t know if you’ve
ever considered what it would be like to be a
clay tile in an 1800-degree kiln and is it worse
than a piece of bread in a toaster which of
course is a silly thing to imagine but more
interesting than counting ingredients for dinner?

Then things went a little off-center in my head. Somehow I got the idea to re-write the “poem” but in another voice (I did not handwrite it, I just typed.)

2.
Well, it precipitates throughout the pre-noon hours and the noise
of it on the rolls of asphalt sheeting that form a covering on the house can make a percussion ensemble
pay attention and whip the cogitations
out of your head into the ether and compel the resident feline
to take cover in the lower levels of the house and I’d accompany him
but my obligations to the smooth running of my home occupy me fully, more so than any feline,
or that is my impression though perhaps the entirety of it is
mindless activities repeated over and over until I am dead
including food preparation (give me your opinion of a tasty spinach
egg pie for tonight’s meal) and laundering our garment collection
or at the minimum supplying the washing machine with a steady diet
so the ever-willing appliance can do the heavy lifting while
I observe and maintain my readiness to handle
making the garments drawer or hanger-ready and the like all while reflecting upon
the topic of pressing the clothes with a hot-plated instrument at a later time in this seven-day period
and cleaning the storage area where I maintain my supply of pre-ceramic material
work in progress my current backlog of which I have just today
fired up in the kiln, the assortment being located there at the moment and I wonder if you
might at some time have given thought to the experience of being
a clay tile in a hellish inferno of 1800 degrees F and comparing it to
that of a slice of bread enduring the electric coils of a toaster being admittedly
an asinine and senseless time-wasting thought path but of greater fascination
than enumerating the components of tonight’s dinner?

Then I did it again, one last time.

3.
Whole lot of rain all blessed morning the racket
on the roof drown out a drummer standing on your head
deafen him you too if you could think that long
blow your last nerve and that cat knowing what was good for him
cowering in the basement me too
but I’m a whole lot more important than the blessed cat
I don’t think it I know it but sometimes I get the idea maybe it’s all just a whole lot of back and forth
spiced up with cooking things like spinach quiche (hoity-toity dinner night
once in a while, what is the matter with that?) and laundry blessed laundry
though thank the heavens I’m just putting it in the machine
not beating the clothes on a rock let the washer do that I say
It’s hard enough standing around
doing that folding until I lose patience just throw it in the basket thinking of
the blessed ironing sometime next century if I can put it off that long
and scrubbing down those filthy dusty shelves where I store the clay
masterpieces I make no it’s not a hobby I make MONEY at it and I did
get a load of those blessed tiles in the kiln
that’s blasting away at them right now and here’s a thought
imagine yourself
a piece of dried mud stuck in an oven hot enough to melt metal and then
compared to an English muffin say in the toaster I laugh at you
bothering to listen to me and think about this it’s so dumb but it’s better than
figuring out how to make a spinach quiche for dinner, right?


I sent Kerfe a couple of photos of my basement to round out the package.

And some mail-art postcards composed of lists (I make a lot of lists) with some extra handwriting on them. I wanted to commemorate her theme of handwriting history.


The last part of this experience was receiving my letter, crossed by Kerfe. She did each page separately and in a different way. They are beautiful.

Here is my original page 1 now crossed by Kerfe,  with her typed words below.

Here is my original page 2 now crossed by Kerfe, and with her words typed out below.

 

A friendship strengthened by the power of words, that’s where we end up. I am grateful. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope for many good words to come your way today.