Compass School Yearly Vision Event

 

2017-10-13 08.13.18For the past few years, my kid’s school principal has asked me to help create vision boards for the school’s annual Vision Night. I tell ya, what a cool principal!  The parents write down their “wish list”, the principal listens and each year we get to look back at how far we’ve come and which goals we have attained.  This year our principal helped us accomplish an amazing feat.  Our school created a giant vegetable farm and we now have a real farmer on staff! I can’t tell you what an amazing experience my children have been blessed with. It is an amazing goal to celebrate.

Here are some of my past year visual contributions:

compassvision (22a)

2016-10-03 14.54.29

Summary

Advertisements

4 Paintings

Here are the 4 paintings I forgot to photograph :) 3 of them are 12×16 and the smaller 11×14. All of them are acrylic paintings.

This one is of the clay cliffs of Block Island, RI.

Another Block Island painting, this is one of our favorite fields to sit and watch the sunset. Ok. We never sit. It’s more like hike!

There is a tiny little shed near my kids school in Kingston,RI. It’s bright white against the fields and trees. The white of the building always says “haunted” to me. I guess like the famous haunted “girl in the white dress”.

This is a view of the Island of Jamestown, RI from the mainland. The area where I live is blessed with both beautiful farmland and breathtaking seascapes. The juxtaposition of the two is a painters paradise!

My thoughts are to paint a bunch of 12×16 paintings. Reason being the size will allow me to work rather quickly. The more I make the more “gems” I will produce.

I’ve learned in pottery that not every pot comes out perfect. If I make 6 mugs, I can count on really loving 1 or 2. I call those the “gems”. With these four paintings there is only one true “gem” for me.

my favorite is this one. Other people may agree or disagree, but this painting meets my standards of what I deem a successful painting, a gem.

Ahhh…. I guess I am putting it out there (again :). My weakness.

Deep breath…. I have perfectionist issues…. Don’t judge me, we all have something! ;) This one is mine. Not my first mention of it, but I think it’s important to admit imperfections in ALL humans exist. I know I haven’t found that real-deal airbrush app for real-deal-life so until then, the first step to fixing anything is admitting it, one time or apparently twenty times….or maybe thirty for good measure.

I get it. I do. For instance, I’m new to pottery, I am gentle with myself, I know I have to put a ton of time in to master the art form. But with painting, I am not so forgiving with myself, even if I know I haven’t put In a spec of the time needed to master the art form. I create all sorts of stuff. I cross a wide range of mediums. And I feel no anxiety. No cares in the world. It’s all just play for me. Except for painting. Every insecurity and ounce of angst pours out of me. If I go even deeper, to find the source of my angst, it’s probably a childhood incongruent thought. I grew up in an art gallery surrounded by incredible talent. My childhood association with ART and SUCCESS was based on my observation of PAINTERS. As I sat there scribbling with my crayons, they were the unattainable in my mind. Natural talent. Just pure magic. Little me scribbles = big artists come in to frame their masterpieces. I could never be that good. Why did little Mary think that? Beats the shit out of me. I wish I could go back and shake it out of her!

So, in my 43rd year, I am finally putting the pieces together. All the “unattainable” artists I observed as a child with their perfect paintings, were get this -not perfect. What???? Really, they are my people now. I talk to them regularly. Did you know they have a garage full of duds they never show the world? Did you know they have to practice and practice and paint and paint until they find their gems?

Mind blowing. I know. I wish someone could have told me not every piece will be a masterpiece . Then I’d just need to find a way to get the last thirty years of my life back!

So that’s it. I am going to paint a lot this year. I am not going to craft and fill every hour working on craft shows. I am going to practice my heart out painting and heal my little inner-child. Who is going to come out of this year saying “I am not perfect, but I’m a darn hard worker. If you don’t believe me, check out my garage. It’s full. And there may even be some gems in there.”

Clay Carving

I am continuing my personal goal of wheel-throwing pots instead of hand-building them.  This is forcing me to come up with different techniques for embellishment.
For the pitcher up above, I found a beautiful photo of a Moroccan carpet and used a part of the motif as inspiration. There are 4 different tear drops in my design.  I painted with underglaze paints and when they were dry, I took carving tools and carved outlines.
The vessels below utilized the same technique; hand painted and then carved.
_2017-09-26 10.31.02_2017-09-26 10.31.20_2017-09-19 11.04.09_2017-09-26 10.29.13_2017-09-19 11.03.08_2017-09-19 10.59.46

After their bisque firing, I will dip these pieces in clear glaze and they’ll be ready to go!

My pottery teacher laughed. She said “Boy, the extent you will go to avoid traditional glazes!”   …she’s right.  I’m going to have to embrace those muddy-brown glazes eventually!  …eventually ;)

Wax Resist

_2017-08-14 21.31.46_2017-08-14 21.30.11For the distant future, I am challenging myself to only wheel-throw as opposed to my chronic  obsession with hand -building pottery.

Here are a bunch of mugs I left very simple and un-altered. Of course I am not one to keep things completely simple (aka. PLAIN), so this will be a challenge to decorate wheel-thrown pieces without adding extra clay.

For these mugs I stamped in some sayings and images. The fun part was painting on wax . Any place there is wax, the glazes will not adhere. Later, the wax burns off in the kiln. As a design element, I created arches with the wax, glazed them and it produced a nice effect. The bare clay shows through  in the arches and yet I still have areas of beautiful glazes.

I am currently painting and sgraffitto-carving a bunch of vessels. I will add photos  of these pieces in the current days. I’ve also tripled the amount of clay I would typically throw on the wheel.

I love giving myself challenges. It makes me grow as an artisan and keeps things fun and interesting. I think they call that ” a perpetual learner” :)

More Fun at Pottery Camp

Camp7

Camp6

Spoons!  Who knew spoons could be so cute, cuddly and fun! lol

Spoons are a great opportunity for kids to make those pinch pots. Plus coil making and scratch and slipping.

Camp8

These little orbs are rattles we call “spirit shakers”.  They are based on a Native American tradition.  Tiny pieces of clay are wrapped in paper and placed inside these hollow balls.  When the paper burns off in the kiln, the tiny clay pieces are released making a fun sound.

Camp14

Next we have wheel-thrown bowls that were then altered into animals. Don’t forget to scratch and slip!

Camp11A]

Finally, I saw this pin on Pinterest and thought.  We have to make these!!!

Camp12Camp11

When the kids came to pick up their pots, we had grass seed and some instructions to make their very own chia heads.  Fun stuff!

So this concludes pottery camp 2017.  600 pots later, the kids are going home with some great projects and memories to boot!

Blank Slate

This fall I am setting up in what is yet another new studio. The lease on my old spot ended mid-June. I’ll go wherever there is sunlight and heat!

My husband had an office not being used in his computer business… so I begged… and begged and made all sorts of offers until we came up with a successful scenario. I’ll pay some rent and I’ll make part of the office space a lunchroom for employees.

DEAL!

Again, there’s sunlight and heat! Two things I have gone without in the past and two things I don’t ever want to go without again!

So for this week I’m painting what was dark furniture – light. I like to have a nice bright white clean slate (at least in the beginning :)

I’ve wrapped the floors, counters and walls in plastic so I won’t leave any trace of art-making in the room when I’m done.

I have carpets and bookshelves to add. But for today, I got a bunch done :)

Pockets from Pottery Camp

_2017-09-05 12.44.55

Each kid at camp made a wall pocket using the slab roller, templates and tons of stamps for decoration.

Traditionally wall pockets are used for mail, keys, pens and pencils, maybe even a plant. However, I mentioned I use my pottery pockets at home as charging stations.  I can’t stand all the wires! It keeps all the devices off my counters.

Camp9a

The kids thought that was an awesome idea.  Every household has a device or two.  They were so clever, they actually put small holes at the bottom so the wires could go into the pockets and hide even more mess.camp9camp10_2017-09-05 12.45.38

Sometimes I forget who’s the teacher and who’s the student!

_2017-02-27 14.42.29

Remember when I figured out I could use craft foam to create my own pottery stamps?

Each camper made one too. I just love how the glaze breaks on their pieces.

camp17camp16

camp18

They also had the opportunity to throw some bowls and mugs using the pottery wheel.

camp19

I just adore watching what kids come up with :)

Narragansett Arts Guild

 

_2017-08-16 18.44.00

I will begin my conversation on weekly art festivals with these photos of me from above.  A fellow artist came by and took a bunch of pics.  I pretended to be a tiger, to walk down some fake stairs, a serious Lolita face… It was all about laughing and being silly.  That’s the cool part of being with a group of artists.

The other part is that it is TOUGH, EXHAUSTING, GRUELING, WORK.

I just never realized how tough it could be.

In a matter of a few hours you have to:

1.Gut your car

2.Load a tent, walls, weights and about ten crates of items to sell.

3. Get to festival site. Unload tent, walls, weights and ten crates of artwork.

4. Set up booth and make it look as beautiful as you possibly can in 40 minutes.

5. Smile, be friendly and talk about yourself and your artwork for 4 hours.

6. Pack up entire booth in pitch darkness.

7. Load tent, walls, weights and ten crates of art materials back into car.

8. Drive home at 9:30pm and Unload tent, wall, weights and ten crates so you can use your car again in the morning to ferry your kids :)

I am telling you selling your wares, in a booth, at a weekly festival,  is TOUGH, EXHAUSTING and GRUELING WORK.

What makes it do-able.  LAUGHTER! LAUGHTER! LAUGHTER!

I simply crack jokes.  Find something – anything – to engage and talk to passers-by.

Being completely silly with the artists to my left and to my right. That’s how I get through the grueling work.

Here were some photos from my booth.  mind you it was dusk under a tent, so they aren’t the best, but you can catch a glimpse of some of the things I was selling.

_2017-08-16 19.33.37_2017-08-16 19.34.33_2017-08-16 18.59.40_2017-08-16 18.59.32_2017-08-16 18.22.15_2017-08-16 18.21.56_2017-08-16 18.21.47_2017-08-16 18.21.35

Ask me if I’d do it again?

Today I’d tell you – HECK NO!

Ask me in February and I’ll say “oh yeah, that was really funny…I could do that again…”

It happens every year.  Winter amnesia.

If I’m being serious.  I have two thoughts about it.

  1. There has to be a better way to get my art out to people without it having to take such a physical toll on my mind and on my body.
  2. If I did it again, I’d REALLY have to go through my books, figure out what sold the most and streamline what I bring.  I brought too much every week and it almost killed me!

At the moment, I am philosophising on -THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY.

I am going to find it darn it.  Just you watch!

Pottery Camp 2017

Camp3

It’s been a month since I last posted.

Bet you thought I was taking it easy? Enjoying a summer break?

Ohhhhh no!

3 weeks of pottery camp. 60 campers @ 10 pots each = 600 pots that needed to be fired and glazed.

Rhea, the owner of  Pottery Through The Guild and I have been working day and night. And now that we’ve glazed and fired the last of the pots, I can sit down and look at some of the photos we took. It has definitely been a creative month!

campCamp2Camp5

For this project the kids got to throw a bowl on the pottery wheel.  From there, they were taught how to scratch and slip some sturdy legs for their vessel.  We put some blue wine bottles in a bag and smashed them with a hammer. I explained that after they were fired the first time, I’d be sprinkling glass in the bottom of the pots.  When the pots went into the kiln for a second time, the glass would melt and crystallize like a blue pool in the bottom of their bowls.  It was up to the kids to decide what they would like to swim in the crystal glass “water”.

Here is what they came up with:

Camp 4

_2017-08-29 10.21.06

They turned out great!