Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Exhaling Bubbles

After a few weeks painting hiatus, I had an amazing session last night. I combined bubbles and ink and only inhaled up the straw too far once. Then I looked for patterns and drew what I saw. That this pretty, winged spirit emerged was/is such a wonderful gift. Here are a few more raw images. I wonder what you see?

With bubble pre-burst

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Endings and Transformation

My last chalkboard creation at ICC.

I have not had any time to burn lately, but even if I would have had the time, it would not have been spent in the studio. When I do go out there, it's usually to grab a gift or to make sure the AC is still on. I haven't felt like painting or doing anything with my torch/metal/rocks in a while. I already mentioned some of the struggle that has occupied the first half of this year. What I'll add now is that eleven of the last twelve paintings have been sold for money...to pay bills, barter or fix cars, etc.

This final fact does not make me want to paint. It makes me want to get a different day job. And so I did.

Getting to this point was not easy. It took a chunk of time and burned down energy. Think Endings and Disintegration in the Hero's journey. I can say I was fully present with it, and I finished the process well.

I am finally in the Transformation stage, and I welcome it. I will consciously heal now. My new job means so much more than a steady paycheck. I expect this to be reflected in all of me, including the studio, which will eventually translate to creative blogging again. I am open and ready.

(I would say more about my fabulous new 30 hour a week job at EMPAC, but this post is really about my creative life. In the words of my wise son who has patiently and graciously witnessed this process, "Why did you go to school?" Me, "So I can do therapy." Mason, "Then why wouldn't you go where you can do just that?")

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wayne White

Chloe and I got to see Wayne White speak on Monday night. Holy wow. There are several ways in which this man's art has influenced my life. It was so great. Afterward we shook hands with him and Mimi! and thanked them for coming to Wichita. He looked at Chloe and said, "Let me guess. This is your mother?" Even though others were doing it, I did not have the heart to ask them to pose for another stupid  photo. Instead, I chose to be fully in that moment. The energy was so great! (You know when you share space with a great mentor? How it's like an exchange of gratitude for just that moment? His willingness to meet us there was refreshing...and so congruent with his talk/art.)

And now I guess we are being rewarded, because Chloe and I were invited to work with Wayne tomorrow morning! We will be assembling and helping with the build for the big puppets that will be going down Main for the Riverfest Parade. Cool Beans!

Here are the quotes I wrote down (I could have written a whole lot more, but again I chose to just be there, experiencing the wonder) from his life talk:

"All artists, at a young age, get a glimpse of a world we cannot reach." He went on to elaborate on how this process of reaching is what drives us to create. Every once in a while we reach it...and that is what keeps us coming back for more, creating...we get addicted to it.

On why he juxtaposes things like discarded old thrift store paintings and fancy long words: "...it's the coming together of two opposites to tell a greater profundity." He also went on to talk about how the dogs "magically" fit inside/emerged from this painting.

"Humor is a commodity."

"Riff like jazz. Improvise." "That's what the studio is there for; impulses."

"You gotta make a lotta shit to find that diamond."

"Learn on the job. Jump in, then do it."

On calling himself a "Puppet Expert": "I said I was, and then I did it."

On having an art piece totally misinterpreted: "Critics don't know shit."

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Frondescence In Progress

Warmth! Newest layers of Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red

Here's some of the progression (to the reds/yellows) in order from first layers to last layers.

1 Too much detail in the purple arteries just below and above center

2 Noticing the blue under the left side would bring better balance if it were purple.

3 Actually widening the bottom left with a blue line

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Another painting begins

This one won't turn around. What the heck?!

I'm widening the bottom right corner and will add some white to lighten and balance that corner with the other two light corners. I see many things while I paint this for my friend (who gave me an established saltwater aquarium!)...about his journey. Obviously there's this bird thing which was not a conscious creation. I like the idea and I know why it emerged, I'd just rather see less bird and more wings, so any bird shape might be completely obscured by the end. It's the first time I've used oils in a long time, so the slow build of color is beautiful, calming and fascinating for me to watch. There will be diox purple yet---and cad yellow added last, for sure. Possibly will add some cad red, but we'll see if it needs it.
My friend gave me this coral tank. This is just after it was moved into my office. The water was stirred and the coral were withdrawn. The following morning I walked in to find a very different looking tank.

See a black-light only photo here.

More on the dress and the Senior Art Show

She won first place at her school's Bard's Birthday Bash Fashion Show.
The Senior Art show was amazing. Chloe's dress was picked for the front window on Douglas St.!

I missed photos of all the other art--but this photo of Chloe by her friend Tasha Wentling was one of my favorite pieces.
On the night of the show, Chloe won the Maize Senior Joe Pfannenstiel Art Scholarship. The following Monday we learned she won the Maize Endowment for Art and Design. It is nice to see all of her hard work pay off. Good golly, she's getting quite the send off!

Vehicles at The Crown Uptown

 So fun to see them play another great stage!

Gooding was great!

Of course I had to video their name in flashing lights!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lily Pad Sapphire

My friend Tara gave me this beautiful natural sapphire several moons ago. The specs of her commission? Do whatever I want. Perfect!

After many failed attempts, the silver and sapphire finally decided to join each other and stay in one piece.

This completed ring is kind of a small victory...and another reminder to trust the process.

Back of the ring
Side view---so feminine.


This was my first design. I thought mixed metals would look good with the sapphire. I kept burning up the baskets, though, because that was a lot of metal and all were soldering at different temps. No bueno. 

With this latest version (2 mos ago), I was tightening the last prong when the whole basket popped off, sapphire and all. Evidence of  poor contact/a bad solder job. The patina was perfect---but the domed circle with half-shank did not want to exist. Another basket ruined. 

As I waited for another basket to be shipped to me, I began playing with the perfectly domed circle. I flipped the dome and punched the metal up in the middle. Eventually I'd hammered the metal enough without stopping to anneal that it began to stress crack at one point. That's when I had the idea to make it a lily pad. I broke off a wedge of metal at the crack, filed it down and added irregular waves around the edges. I'm so glad it all stayed together. I like the end version the best!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Paper Sculpture / Project Runaway

Chloe started her last quarter of high school a couple of weeks ago. While she could be getting out of school early every day, she instead chose to take advantage of pursuing more art electives. Her first assignment in Sculpture II (Bethany Jansen) was to create a costume constructed out of paper. This dress is what she created, and the following photos document the process from sketch to wear. She painted every drop of color and she sewed nearly every stitch (needed Grammy's help with the bottom of the zipper) (yes, there is a zipper and she received special permission to use it even though it is not paper).

The sketch that started it all. I'm sure glad she dreams big.

You can imagine how excited I was when she told me she wanted to marble. This was the first trough. The second trough had to be 54" X 42" to cover the panels large enough for the outer skirt. (Yes, that's larger than any trough I've ever built.) It was her brilliant idea to add the gold leaf.
I will never get over the glint of floating, spreading paint. This is directly on the substrate, before I helped her lay the paper down to "print"
Our feet. You can tell which one of us was the painter. Marbling is messy, gooey business.

Both cars had to be outside and we had to use the garage door to dry the panels. Of course there was severe weather both nights, so twice we packed it all up at the last minute to get the cars in from the hail. Chloe and Cody both got hailed on on separate nights. Kansas!
After the sheets dried, they had to be crinkled for "give". She even had a method for this so the paper would not get torn. We watched a lot of Netflix that night while we were waiting for the tornado to blow over.
Mock up on plain paper to make sure it would fit. All of the paper is butcher paper given to her by her art teacher.
Sewing the mock-up
Her Zamma and Grammy came two days to help piece and oversee her sewing. These two have always been suckers for their oldest granddaughter. (She has kept them sewing and doing all kinds of projects nearly all 18 years.)

This is how far they got day one. They worked from 10 am to at least 6 pm.
In the middle of all this she got so fired up that she decided to sew herself a fringy kimono, too. For several days there was no where to sit and eat. I finally put a moratorium on any side projects.

...and then there was the little matter of jewelry. She cast a mold of old gemstones and beads, ground up paper pulp in the school's blender, poured and dried the stuff into these perfect cabochons and half-pearls (they are glued back to back). The final step was painting them. You can see she had to try every shade of blue in my studio before she found the right one.
She ended up adding pearls and shortening the earrings to make room for her "ruff".

Here she is getting into the underskirt. Everything went on overhead. I thought she looked like the leg-lamp.

The catwalk from the third floor of McKnight. (How could Cody and I ever have guessed when we were in that building for photography/painting twenty years ago that we would one day be there to see our girl parade around in a paper dress?)

Catwalk rehearsal.
The fan ended up being a Friday afternoon project. I snapped this photo because it was the first time everything was on at the same time. What fun to see!

Needless to say, I was very proud to watch her wear it last night at WSU's Project Runaway, a benefit for ShiftSpace Gallery. She won first place in the high school category, $50 cash and a gnarly yellow assemblage trophy topped with little green army men and a "fly gun" loaded with hundreds of dead flies. If you click on the "watch her wear it" link you will see photos of all of the great costumes and fun!