For The Birds

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This is the first in a series of cutesy-beach art I am creating to sell to tourists this summer off Narragansett Beach.

This illustration depicts some spoofs on our visitors as well as favorite local beach foods. Here’s a link to a description of some quirky RI favorites:  10 Must Try Foods When Visiting RI

_2017-03-28 11.03.44Ok. Now let me explain another part of this beach art idea… it’s a little bit embarrassing, but I’m sure somebody will get a kick out of it.  Do you know those nights when you wake up at 3am and there is absolutely no way your mind is letting you go back to sleep?  Luckily I don’t have too many, I sleep like a log, but I did recently had “One of those nights”.  For many, every piece of stress in your life might surface: to-do lists, exams, presentations; you know all the stuff that seriously needs worrying. Well, for some reason, my mind didn’t go there. My little off-beat head started thinking about a Haiku poem I wrote in the third grade.  Hmm… I really liked Haiku in the third grade… and then poof…13 Haiku poems came out of my head and onto little scraps of paper I keep on my night stand. Granted they are all about the beach because that would be my current focus, but now I’m thinking to possibly use them in my beach art.

Here is a fast recap on Haiku for those of you like me, who may not have worked on one since the third grade:  How to write a Haiku Poem The important principle is that it is a poem of three lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.  They aren’t supposed to rhyme, but they are supposed to conjure beauty and nature.

So some of these poems are better than others.  The one below doesn’t really conjure up beauty but a seagull technically is a part of nature ;)   FULL DISCLOSURE: DON’T JUDGE ME OR I’LL NEVER SHARE MY FAILURES WITH YOU AGAIN!!! Ok. with that said, here’s my seagull Haiku.

So clever they Are

Watching seagulls is so fun

One just took my lunch

 I have an illustration I’ve done of a seagull inside someone’s beach bag grabbing a cheese doodle.  It is one of my favorite pass times -watching unsuspecting beachgoers wading in the water while they thought nothing of sealing up their beach bags.  Rookies.  The seagulls wait maybe 40 seconds before they fully abscond with their 12 inch sub, 3 bags of chips and some chocolate chip cookies for good measure.  I love it.  Good stuff. Serious entertainment.

So the image above isn’t the one that matches this poem.  I am wising up and starting on my least favorite illustrations as opposed to my favorites.  The last ones always come out the best and it has only taken me a decade to discipline myself not to jump right in on my favorites! This illustration didn’t really match up with any of my poems, but it kind of cracked me up, so I decided to paint it anyway.  Can’t hurt right? May not use it but it lets me iron out kinks…

In the coming weeks I will post a bunch of little drawings/paintings and haiku poems.  My idea is to write the poems onto the illustrations, but I am holding off until the end to decide how stupid or valid this idea is… I mean maybe channeling my inner 3rd grader seemed like a way better idea at 3am then it might a month or two from now.  If there are some word geeks out there who want to send me improvements…I am all for it…if not, I will plug away and let the ideas work themselves out. If I make 12-15 paintings there should be at least 6 worth printing.  I learned that from pottery.  Want 4 perfect plates?  Make 7. Then you can choose the best.  There’s some merit to this idea…

I apologize for sounding completely insecure today.  I’m feeling insecure. I don’t like to admit I’m not perfect, however I find it so important not to perpetuate the illusion of perfection. It’s not real.  Good ideas seldom come out on the first run. Becoming good at something only comes from learning from past failures. The reason I still blog is because I don’t think there is enough artists out there that show this perspective and it’s probably one of the most endearing parts of sharing one’s creativity.  It’s not perfect!  Still, it doesn’t feel that great showing one’s underbelly.  It makes you cringe inside and writhe in discomfort.  That’s why I do it.  If you disclose everything and still you are alive – you are free.  And strong.  It put’s hair on your chest ;) And don’t we all want that?   … back to work!

 

Loosening Up

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I am beginning to work on a group of art prints to sell at Narragansett Beach this summer.  I usually start by loosening up.  I doodle and look for inspiration all over. I also pull up lots of photos of animals and buildings to make sure I am familiar with how many segments are in a lobster body or how many windows are actually on that historic building.

From there I begin sketching lay-outs and illustrations on tracing paper.  I create the image I am happy with on the tracing paper, then I scribble an entire piece of paper with graphite pencil.  The graphite-filled paper will then allow me to engrave and transfer my image to a high-quality piece of paper.  I do this because I can then start painting with a really clean image with no erase marks or damage to the paper.  The other bonus, is if I don’t like the painting, I can re-transfer my initial drawing. I also use them as reference. As the layers of paint get applied, your initial drawing is no longer there to work from. I have a copy of my original ideas.

I am close to finishing the sketching process.  From there I will start painting… I’ll post the progression.

Now to get my cat off all my papers….

A Little Pottery Ingenuity

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A couple weeks ago I had mentioned that I had one of those “A-HA” moments.  I have been using craft foam to make my own stamps for abstract art painting. Then it occurred to me, why not try the same concept with clay?  I made some testers and gosh darn it, it works!  So to continue with my “by the sea” theme, I’ve started creating foam plates to allow me to write  words of inspiration on my summer beach pottery. I’m psyched.  What a super-fun idea! I’mmm juuust gettting staaarted!!!

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Made some pretty pitchers last week too. You guessed it, beach theme!

DRIFTWOOD SCULPTURES

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My husband has this vacant office that he is stuck in a lease with, until May.  It’s loaded with computer equipment for his business, but other than that, it is HUGE, well lit and warm. I’ve been the artist squatting in residence for some time now.

I mention this because I am sure all his techie computer guys are just thrilled.  The past three weeks they have heard BANG, BANG, BANG from my hammer.  Then there’s the saw dust flying from my saws and to top it off the smell of burning wood from my drills.  Sowwy guys I SWEAR, IT’S IN THE NAME OF ART!  ;)

The above fish are quite large.  They range from 3-4 feet.

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I’m also working on these wall hangings, shadow boxes and sculptures.  Each of them are still incomplete.  I am going to add pottery elements to each of them to make them more personal.

It feels good to finally put a dent in that driftwood collection! I’m feeling organized and off to a good start.

 

 

Pop-Pop’s Soup Recipe

1233552_10151887355635513_104104038_n1This is my pops. He also just happens to be the best darn cook I know (sorry husband…you are a close second ;)  My father wrote a cook book sharing all of his favorite Italian recipes and it also just happens that almost every recipe is low-fat to boot!  Alas, he could never find someone to help him get it published.  I’m telling you, it’s the world’s loss!

After yesterday’s post, I had quite a few requests for the recipe for the soup I plan on making for the “Soup’s On” event.  I asked Pop-Pop if he’d mind me sharing the recipe and he said it would be his pleasure. So mangia and enjoy!

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Alphabet Soup

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The Peace Dale Neighborhood Guild Pottery Studio is preparing for our “SOUP’S ON” event this Friday at 6pm. Bowls are going in and out of the kiln like mad!

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I asked some students from The Compass School to help me make about 20 bowls as my contribution.  I just love the messages they include in their designs.  These are all glaze firing as we speak.

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My Step Mom said she’s so excited to come and take home one of my alphabet bowls.

Sorry Meme. I made those for your  grandkidsThey are already eating soup out of them!

I’ll have to make more in the future, but for now, I have contributed some other bowls to the event ;)

Next, I need to make a giant pot of soup.  I’ve selected my father’s famous Rosemary Chickpea Soup.  It is vegetarian, although you’d never know it.  Somehow my dad has figured out how to squeeze every morsel of flavor out of the simplest of ingredients.  I’m happy to share one of my family’s favorites.

…. I Can’t wait!

Photo Shoot with my Lunch

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Last year, my pottery studio held an event called “Soup for Syria”.  This year we’re calling it “Soup’s On”.

You come join us, pick out a beautiful homemade bowl to take home and we fill it with soup!  Last year’s donation went to a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. This year we are helping closer to home.  The proceeds will support refugees settling in Rhode Island as well as the Granola Project which gives settling refugees a place to work and job train right here in RI.  They produce granola, package and distribute it.  It’s been a terrific success and delicious to boot!

What’s crazy is we selected our charity before all of this national political conflict errupted.  Coming together and supporting people fleeing very serious conflicts, seems all the more relevant these days, unfortunately.

For me, the fun comes when I get to create the flyer using some of my own pottery.  I get to “play” graphic designer and set up a photoshoot right in my very own kitchen. LOL.

2017-01-23-12-04-40On closer inspection, you can see I was working with a peasant blouse and two scarves. Did you notice I chose red, white and blue?  Yeah, that was no accident ;)

_2017-01-23-12-09-37_2017-01-23-12-08-45b__2017-01-23-12-06-32I am so darn lucky.  My husband is a crazy-good-cook.  There isn’t a day I can’t pull something  yummy from my fridge.  So that part was easy. This is my Dad’s recipe for Tuscan Hunter Chicken.  Red wine & rosemary… one of the best parts of winter!

So without getting all political… (I lied, I’m getting political :)  Let me just throw it out there.  Maybe you can’t make it to my teeny little willage in RI to come to our soup event. But, you can band together with like-minded people and create your own!  All it took was one woman in our pottery studio reading a newspaper article she connected to.  People trying to help with a local problem. She called and asked if we could contribute money.  What agency would say no?  From there it’s easy.  We pick a date and all start working towards it.  For us potters, we make bowls, but there are others.  Last year 15 crockpots of homemade soup showed up.  Some from people who could not even attend, but still simply wanted to help.  Panera Bread donated a giant table of diverse breads.  The room was filled with food and good folk.  It smelled amazing! –tasted pretty darn good too!

Do you belong to a bowling league?  Do you knit?  Are you part of a book club?  A corporate division? Walker? Soccer mom sitting on the sidelines for way too many hours? Of course there’s churches and schools who are already organized, but it’s amazing what even 10 people can accomplish.

Local. Lots and lots of little local can become something bigger. A difference.

You should definitely try this whole community service thing -It’s madly addicting!

 

 

Getting Limber with Timber

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I live by the beach.

That means I beachcomb!

But beachcombing can add up if you don’t find ways to use it.

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After Hurricane Sandy I made myself a 5 foot mirror. But let me tell you, that wasn’t even half of what I collected!

So it’s time to put all this driftwood to good use.

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Strewn all over the floor, I can begin to look for shapes in the abyss.

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More to construct…nailing, painting and assembling to do…

I shall record the progress… not getting much done today though! :)