Wednesday, February 24, 2010

just too much

I recall a recent phone conversation with my Dad. We are both doing something while talking, as usual, and I ask him about his day. He goes on to tell me what's on his agenda for the day, what order, who and what. And it all sounds a bit overwhelming and there is a bit of panic in his voice and I say "Dad, I totally understand..." there is a pause and he says, "you know, I really think you do." We might not have a lot in common, he really doesn't get all this arty stuff, but, he always expects too much from his day and feels a bit defeated and surprised when it all doesn't get done. I know, because the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
But he is a lover of life with an adventurous spirit, a retired fireman, fixer-upper, jack of all trades with a can do attitude that is contagious. A team maker and life coach. A loyal friend, helping neighbor (one neighbor insisted he was her angel while trying to help her after having a stroke) and I am so proud of him.
My parents are on a cruise through the Panama Canal right now. Instead of relaxing at his "age", he's repelling through the dense forest in Ochos Rios and sending the Grandkids a geography quiz (providing longitude and latitude and having them guess where they are) and probably making sure they get up at "o 9 hundred" so they don't miss anything. I also love that he is the organizer, the one that gets and keeps people together. He recently started a blog to stay connected to his fellow retired firefighters, which is completely cool.

So, if the to do list gets to be too much, I'll let it go and try to be more diligent tomorrow. Knowing that my intentions are good and living a full life is even better.
Happy Birthday, Dad, love you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

doable challenge - a month of earrings

A special thanks to Vickie Hallmark for this doable challenge. A month of earrings. I really wanted to jump into the Ring a Day challenge that started 2010, but knew my life would only set me up for failure. But this I can do! I have to play a little catch up, but I'm really looking forward to coming up with some fun new designs. And here is the start. A challenge, a deadline with inspiring artists. Won't you join me?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

heart broken

So, last night while creative healing I put a few copper and bronze pieces in the kiln. When I took them out, I was greated by some lovely color, But upon further inspection I noticed some cracking, then as I tried to clean them up with a steel brush - I got dust! All these chubby hearts were hard on the outside and pulverized in the middle. Looking on the bright side, because I'm all about possibilities, I can mix these lovely grains and chunks with my newly acquired Golden mediums for a lovely textured background. I've been experimenting a bit with the firing schedule to accommodate the higher temperature required for the copper. But this is new. If you fired Copper Clay, do you have any pointers or a proven firing schedule? It's a bit hard to figure what I did wrong this time, a few variables from previous successful firings. In this particular batch:
}I used up some old copper and bronze clay (stored in the same baggie, wrapped separately.
}It was kept in a cool place and seemed pretty pliable when working with it.
}some might not have been totally dry, but most were - that didn't seem to matter in the fired pieces
}used coconut carbon in a steel container
}here's where I think I went wrong. I fired it with a Ramp of 500 an hour to 1700 (way too hot even for copper) and held it for 3 hours in my Paragon kiln.
Oh well, better luck next time, I guess.

at peace

I question, because I believe. And when sadness leaves me without words, I do. I create–hoping for clarity–which never reveals itself. But I welcome the peace in the doing. Heartful wings for someone dear.
We will miss you, S. All my love, M.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

golden love

oooo, must share. I just received my shipment of Golden acrylics and mediums from Dick Blick. I've been working like crazy in various "day jobs" this January. Let's just say I spent a bit of the money before getting the check, sorry Dave Ramsey.
Here was my wish list and why I "needed" them:
{Crackle Paste : okay no need for elaboration! who doesn't need to crackle, the good honest, it will happen crackle.
{Golden GAC 900 - for setting or mixing with paint for fabric! oooo... should of had this for the Collage Sisthars Mixed Media Madness back in November
{archival Spray Varnish - like workable fixative, but better
{various fluid colors : to add to my growing stock : hanza yellow, a few irridescent like Quinsadone Violet (a modern color) and titan buff for a lovely opaque base for skin colors
{Micaceous Iron Oxide : really thinking I should have bought the bigger jar of this beautiful dark gray ground with mica sparkles. Also going to try mixing it with the fluid Pyrole Orange for a lovely dark terra cotta with sparkly ground
{light molding paste : make use of my stencils, some I created when I took an online class with Mary Ann from Dispatch from LA
{matte medium : must have for image transfers, gluing and skins
{Clear Tar Gel : use like self leveling resin, or for dripping -
Jakson Pollock would have loved this medium
Some were in my goodie bag, lucky me:
{fibre paste : dries really slow
{coarse moldeling paste : adding great texture
Others that are still on my list, had to stop somewhere ;)
{absorbent ground - can make acrylic act like watercolor
{silver point ground - makes surfaces like scratch board
{digital mediums - this is just another wonderful monster I must try later, ink jet from your printer on anything! Aluminum Foil, fabric, gel skins
So many great products. But I'd better get into the studio and play with my new toys! have a creative day!

Monday, February 1, 2010

sos - more workshop inspiration

If you live in the Chicagoland area, you may or may not know of the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles - a wonderful place of inspiration and classes ranging from jewelry making, pottery, painting to fiber work and textiles. Just this weekend I was one of the lucky ones to attend Sandie Bacon's Lecture, on Golden paints and mediums. I was really hoping for some clarity on their vast array of products, which happened, kinda. It was such a whirlwind of information, I walked away with so many ideas, I thought my head might explode. The resource materials, new color palette and descriptions of each medium was well worth the $5, plus a little goodie bag with samples, I was more than elated. Well, and of course I have quite a "wish list" of new art supplies. If you missed the lecture and are a bit mystified by the Golden Acrylics, I noticed Valley Ridge - outside of Madison - has a similar lecture with a 2-day workshop to follow so you can explore all the nuances. Here's another workshop coming up that you might find fun.Coming up in March, Mary Hettmansperger, one of my favorite artist will be having a guest workshop also at the Fine Line. I love her style, weaving and contemporary combinations of metals. And her book, Wrap, Fold, Stitch and Rivet is great, too.
OR if you are interested in the BronzClay. You might want to check out my classes on February 20 or Precious Metal Clay (Silver) on February 27.

I'm always energize and recharged after taking a class and I look forward to sharing that energy with you.