COMING TO LIFE

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Of Course I went the color route!!! How could I leave these brown and gray???

It’s against everything I know!

These are under-glazes.  Off to bisque fire and then I will get another shot at color infusion

– with the glossy glazes!

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I wish WordPress had Smell-a-vision.  You could not believe the fragrance!

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend Everybody!

M

READY, SET, NARRAGANSETT ART FESTIVAL

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I am participating in this summer’s Narragansett art Festival. It takes place the weekend of June 27-28.

These are ceramic wall hangings I am creating for all of our beachy houses here. Well, I guess they could be trays too for a coffee table.

I am headed in now to underglaze them, but it’s tough, I sort of like them natural…

We shall see what I decide….

I hope I don’t sell them all because I want one!

MAKE A SPLASH

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Many, many months ago I told you I had an idea…

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But I never told you the idea…

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I thought I’d show you the finished project but somehow, as usual, weeks turn into months!

I have this big black box of a fireplace insert.  It’s way too much black for my cheery décor.  So I had the idea to make tiles in my pottery class and attach them to the metal fireplace surround with magnets.  This way if I ever move, I can take them off and spare the next homeowner from what I deemed to be “gorgeous”.  Let’s face it, all humans disagree on that one!  Also, the fact that the fireplace is black becomes a perfect solution for the “appearance” of grout.

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Of course I haven’t finished.  I need to make roughly 40 more tiles, but if I waited until that happened, I might very well have forgotten to show you my great idea!

Obviously you could take any tile and create a fun fireplace back splash.  If I were to do it again, instead of one giant magnet in the middle, I’d put 4 tiny magnets in each corner.  This way they wouldn’t spin like my tiles are apt to do.

Oh well, my tiles wiggling and spinning seems perfectly apropos. Everything else in the house always seems to be wiggling and spinning…and cracking…and peeling… you know being a house!

Good luck.  Let’s all keep working at making this world creative! What are you up to?

Got Me a New Studio

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As of May 1st, I moved my paint into a teeny-tiny 9 ft x 9ft art studio.  Why?

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During my 365 I blogged a lot about this wonderful art store called South County Art Supply. Well, SCAS just moved into this gorgeous 1800’s building and the owner graciously rented me a room in the back.  My first day painting and I was able to walk into the front of the store and get more paint! The space is wall to wall windows.  It’s overcome with light!!! I don’t have to put anything away when I’m done. It’s awesome!

  My old home had a free-standing garage that I converted into an art studio…

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I have to admit, it was pretty sweet. My new home has lots of great things, but no studio and no sunlight.

So this is a big move for me.  I have worked out of my home FOREVER.  At least the last 15 years.

I feel a little awkward, nervous, and out of my element…

But also quite excited!

As for art… I’ve been a little secretive on that front too.  It’s because I’m trying something new for the first time and the perfectionist in me doesn’t want to show it until I’ve got it down!

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I am working on all of these canvases simultaneously.  None of them are “finished” they all get about ten different layers of paint and technique.

This winter was tough for me.  I felt like I was owned by my paintings instead enjoying the process.  The traditional techniques were taking weeks and weeks to complete one painting…for a Gemini/humming bird…that is a slow death!

I’ve been researching abstract painting.  I have two different artists who have inspired me.  I will share their info and technique after I get further along and have more to tell…

OH MAN, SPRING IS FULL OF NEW BEGINNINGS!!!

Man I love spring!!!

The Divine in the Mundane

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Asiatic Lily

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Sedum

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Hosta

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Lichen

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Magnolia

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It’s amazing I ever get where I’m going because I’m always getting lost along the way!

These images are from my front yard.  The most typical of suburban plants you can find.  Yet I get mesmerized from my mail box to my front door every morning.

It most likely stems from being cooped up for way to many months.  All of a sudden one blade of green grass is enough hope to allow you to dream of being warm again. But the morning dew is what distracts me enough to pull out my camera.

My camera is like a microscope and telescope all built into one.  It allows me to filter out that which is over-stimulating and at the same time see the world at a distance.

I can only imagine what my neighbors must think about the woman sitting in her front yard flower bed talking to herself (but then again they must be used to it).

But I was talking to myself. These words came right out loud and I was not thinking them:

Even the most common, through a lens, looks majestic.

Now this is where I started talking back to myself.  I thought where ever that beautiful observation came from, which I swear was not me, I agree with you!

I said out loud. “You are so right!”.

When you here a voice inside you that you know not to be your own, yes, you could call yourself bat-shit crazy. But, I’m of the opinion that we all have a higher Form within us.  You can call intuition, you can call it God, your Higher Self –whichever; it’s there.

It’s that we don’t hear it until we are quiet.

I urge you, while your walking your dog, walking yourself or walking to the mailbox, try it.

Grab your camera and hone in on your little part of this world.IMG_4370

Even the every day can appear majestic! 

A Walk in the Park

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Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

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Are these designer trees? Nah, Mother Nature couldn’t have made something that cool.

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“I live here!”

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It’s funny. I live in rural Rhode Island.  It’s filled with nature. And yet, my kids want to go to Central Park in New York City to see “spring”.  “REALLY???”

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Well, actually they wanted to slide down the granite slide in the park.  It’s my sons favorite thing in New York City.  We drove all the way to NY to slide down a slide.  Yep.  He’s a cheap date.

It’s a glorious place that Central Park and it’s free.  I think most of the best places in the world are :)

For Kicks

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Thank you Lord for the shoes I’ve just received!

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Nothing like new shoes. Nothing like the rainbow!

I spent my morning teaching another generation how to make Gods-eyes.

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25 kids and you could have heard a pin drop.

So many parents and teachers forget this one… I think the kids enjoy the rhythm as soon as they find it. Their concentration is unbelievable.

The group ranged from 5 yrs-14 yrs.  That is a large disparity and yet it interested all of them.

You should have seen me out in the woods hunting for all those sticks!

yeah. way better than popsicle sticks.

Way better!

Flight Patterns

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   Have I mentioned I love birds?

I spend countless hours watching them feed and fly. I can’t help but feel they are more elevated than us humans.  Let’s face it, they figured out how to go from land dwelling to flying!

This painting comes from my countless hours thinking about what it must be like to fly, to soar, to catch the wind and feel the sun.  What is it like to hone in on a specific location and then depart & elevate yourself until that location is merely a spec.  Would it allow you to always keep a balanced perspective? From way up high, all the things us humans occupy our time with would seem so trivial and insignificant compared to its whole.

I often wonder what birds observations of humans are?  What must they think about these creatures so preoccupied with that which no one can see?  What is it like to fly overhead and see trees and water and grass, but also to see buildings, landfills, crops that they would never eat because there’s poison on them, smoke stacks, highways with moving cars, cruise ships, all the things that do not belong in the landscape.  What would that be like?

What is it like to know it is time to leave and then in some magical way, you take form with all who are like you, no pushing, no shoving, no cheating, no martyr-dome.  You fly. With a common destination, you take to the sky, you know your place in the group and you work as one to get there.

Hmm. Humans may find birds simple little creatures but man, I find them spiritual.

Oh by the way, The green little bird in the corner, that’s me.  I love the Ugly Duckling who never feels like it is with its own.  It’s always wondering why it doesn’t fit in, only to find out it was never supposed to.  It’s not a duck.  The more I open my eyes, the more I see these ugly ducklings.  They are my flock, even if we must fly alone among the others.

PUT A LID ON IT

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Yep, that sums up this week.

Above are two vessels I made whose lids did not fit.  So I am trying again.  The tops have hollow discs so that I might try making some polymer clay flower bouquets like I once used to do on wooden boxes. Here are some examples of the flowers I used to create:

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It will be interesting to mix polymer clay with pottery clay.  I haven’t really seen anyone doing that.

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Ahh, two more vessels whose lids did not fit!  I made two more lids and hopefully they work.  Next week I will have two make two more vessels to fit the extra lids I now have…It’s an ongoing dilemma!

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It wouldn’t be a week without making a few more mugs… I bought these rubber stoppers so that I could create my own travel mug.  The lids work!  So I am making a few more…I really need to move on to dishes and bowls though.  My husband is cutting me off from any more mug cabinet space!

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Did I mention I went into a 2nd grade class to teach about coil & pinch pots?  The kids are studying North Eastern Native American Tribes. They are so excited to get these pots back.  I rubbed them with iron oxide so that they would look “historic” and all of their details would stand out.  I can’t wait to see their faces :)

OK. Off to finish that darn bird painting!

Be Creative People!  Be Creative!

Making Waves

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I’m so lucky to have a 10-year-old child because she asks me the best questions and demands answers.  This weeks question was – How do you paint waves? And thus started my lesson plan for my 9-14yr old acrylic painting class.

Gosh, painting waves is a struggle for adults and you want me to teach this to a kid? So I set out to figure out the best and most fun way which brought me to The Great Wave Off Shore of Kanagawa.

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Popularly known as “The Great Wave”, it is a famous woodcut print by artist Katsushika Hokusai.

Now I did spend time showing the kids other forms of waves.

Frozen waves are photographed on Nantucket, Massachusetts. Photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh used by permission

Check this link to frozen waves:  http://www.grindtv.com/culture/frozen-waves-captured-nantucket-surf-photos/

And another fabulous tutorial on drawing waves by illustrator Bob Penuelas:  http://www.clubofthewaves.com/surf-art/tutorial-how-to-draw-a-wave.php

But ultimately the “Great Wave” by Hokusai won out.  It’s color, pattern and graphic style is hard to resist.

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I set out with a blank slate trying to figure out how on earth I could break this down into something teachable, when it came to me…

The waves in Hokusai’s woodcut were created in three layers.  Ahh, break it down into three layers and everyone could actually create a wave painting.

Now if you’ve been following my little class I’m teaching, you’d know we did woods in three layers:

Teaching Depth & Shading

So with that understanding, we were simply changing the subject matter.  Who knew these concepts would tie together? So the kids set out creating three separate layers of waves:

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and as usual, the results were amazing!

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That is not an easy task and if Katsushika Hokusai were alive, I’d thank him for this image which allows many of us to deconstruct the chaos of the sea. So cool!

Which brings me to the uncompleted paintings from the week before (check out last week’s blog: Inspiring Kids to Let Loose and Have Fun with Color) :

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We worked on completing these paintings this week…

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…and had the added bonus of sharing our love for our animals!

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Which brings me to the incredibly slow pace of my own personal project…my bird painting…I got a little bit further this week, but not far enough! A little further to go… I guess you’d call it birdy-baby-steps!

And so I leave you with the hopes that you all have a very

GOOD FRIDAY! -take care!