Friday, July 31, 2009

How I get inspired

I originally went to college as a fine art major with an emphasis on painting and drawing. I struggled for inspiration, technique, subject matter, etc. all through school as far as painting was concerned. I just could not seem to find a way to paint that felt right and that I would be happy exploring for a while. I didn't pick up a paintbrush for almost 23 years. Did take a foray into clay, however. So in 2002 I decided to do some large paintings for Jim's new veterinary hospital and really enjoyed that. Subject matter was animals, of course, so I didn't have to THINK too much.
Since then I figured out a way to start a painting without a lot of angst. Since I want to explore color and some form without being representational, I take photos from magazines that have colors I like, then move the pieces around until I have a color balance that I like. The image above is what resulted in the painting below.
Of course, it changes a bit every time I work on it, since I use acryllics and the end is only similar to the beginning. I have several of these "inspirational" collages so the next time I want to start, all I have to do is start! I guess a sketchbook for pottery is a similar idea.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Face Vase

Here's the "face vase" drying. It's based on an Eastern print from the early 20th century of a woman combing her hair. I've added my characteristic carved background with plum blossom branches, which you cannot see but will have to imagine. The black is a slip which I paint on when the clay is fairly wet, in this case, just after carving. I think it works best technically when the clay is very moist and fresh.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Quick studio tour

You can click to enlarge any of these images. The studio is located in a former veterinary hospital. I didn't change the floor plan, just worked with the existing rooms. My husband is a veterinarian and his office was here from 1987 to 2002, so I still refer to the front as the reception area, the handbuilding area is in former treatment and surgery and my throwing area is back where grooming and boarding used to be. It's been great to have all the space and I feel guilty sometimes that I have filled it all up with work or workspaces. Then other times I just enjoy it and think how hard I have worked to make it happen.
Going in soon to work more on the Australian series of work.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I've been working on finishing projects so I can start the new work based on ideas about Australia.
Among the list:
  • A face vase for a show in Georgia. Now I find that it has to be a jug. Makeover. Dang...... Thought I was done except for the firing! But I am pleased with the vase. Pictures to follow.
  • Mailing out a wholesale order
  • Dog Training. This dropped by the wayside while Jim was sick.
  • Moving all the furniture back in the office now that it is painted.
  • Going through files and office supplies to organize
  • Completing a workman's comp audit for my husband's business. My Other Job is Accounts Payable, along with any "Honey can you help me with this?" project that Jim has going. Next project is to understand the inventory computer program and help work out the bugs with reordering.
  • Making a frame for the 40"x40" painting I finished. Priced out simple frames for this painting and they were in the $600 range. Oh, my. So, I have been cutting and sanding and painting 1"x4" boards. More pictures to follow.

That's enough for now. Rather than face the unlisted, uncompleted jobs I will just head into the studio to work. A simple choice......seems clay is always my simple choice for uncluttering my mind. What's yours?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Series

I've been working on ideas for a new series of work that will be shown at my Summer Studio Event, Aug. 15 and 16. I'm pretty excited about it, doing sketches all weekend about textures and ideas for pots. This is a little sketch that will appear on my postcard. Haven't used a computer drawing program with much success before, but I was able to scan this black and white drawing, then fill in areas with color. It all got uploaded to Vista Print, which is where I have been getting my postcards from for a while.
The new series is based on ideas about Australia and aboriginal symbols.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday--what a relief!

This weekend started Friday and seemed to last a week. This is how your home life can interfere with your chosen profession. Not in a good way, but in the "Oh, I'm so glad I get to go back to work and stop all this extra activity" kind of way. We have decided to replace our 21 year old carpet upstairs, where the office is. So, cleaning, patching and painting walls, replacing the shelving to handle office supplies more efficiently, picking out samples, doing a plan for new desks and ordering furniture, moving stuff to the bathrooms..........and I attented the Terry Gess workshop that our Carolina Clay Matters Guild held Sunday. I'm pooped and it's only 8:30ish in the morning.
When this chaos is over in a couple of days I will be glad to go back to normal.
On the pottery side, I am mid firing cycles to complete the pottery pendants and the 3/4 portion of the order for 170 sauce bowls. I still need to make and trim more sauce bowls but that thought seems delightful and rather calming right now.
If you would like to read more about the ups and downs, the dark days that can come when you are stuck in the tunnel of pottery production, go to Whitney Smith's blog. I always enjoy the comments of others, but this is a frank look at making work, and not the "oh, it's such a dream job" picture that gets painted a lot. Note: I am not trying to dispell the idea that potters love their work, because they do. I just happen to believe that when you are passionate about something, there will be large failures and great successes. If not, you are probably not taking enough chances.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dollar store Camera Case

I carry my little Nikon camera in my purse (so I always know where it's at), but I started to get concerned about the screen getting damaged and I would hear it turning on when something heavy pressed against it. So, I've been thinking that I needed a case to protect it. While in the Dollar store check out line, I saw all these eyeglass cases in bright colors and scooped one up for my camera. Of course, I had it with me so I could check to see if it fit. Perfect fit and works great. Now if I could just find my sunglasses......

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ideas I'm working on

These are some sketches of ideas for pieces about Edgar Allen Poe's writings. The Cleveland Co. Art Council has a call for entries in September for a show that will tour the county. I got very excited about the idea of the show. I have had some narrative box-like pieces mulling that would be multi-media and really not be functional, but sculptural in nature. Of course, that meant a trip to the library for some "Poe" and writings on Poe. Funny how you can get such a picture of what you would like to make, including little details that are so real you feel like you could touch them. Inspiration!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Isn't it ironic?

A quick post and then off to the studio.

Speaking about issues like health insurance in my last posts and low and behold, Jim ended up in the hospital this weekend. Rather ironic. We're out now and on the road to recovery. As a kidney transplant recipient, he is more at risk than normal to mundane type germs, but this is our first "illness" since his transplant.

I'll be doing a fun thing--making pendants for a band called "The Rise of Science". You can see the sample pieces I made for them above. They are friends of the band that Spencer is in and were interested in the pendants I made for Tides of Man. Kind of a cool idea that young people around the country are wearing things I made.
Have a great day--very glad to be back in the studio!