Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 150 ~ Take inspiration from the nose.

I did a show this past weekend with a bunch of friends. I didn't sell much, but I had fun taking pictures of noses. People were pretty good sports about this, for the most part. The nose is a touchy subject, really, and probably not the first feature upon which a person would choose to allow focus. But, look at all these beautiful noses. Seen here are the noble proboscises (I looked that up) of Tom, Fran, Pat, Bradley, Joy, Judy, Tom, Judy, Steve, Doug, Nancy, and I'm in there, too. There is also an anonymous baby, a talented saxophonist, an American Mastiff called Bull Dozer and the beak of one of Pat's sculpted swans. At home I filled in with a local cow, a sheep from a calendar of photos by Lynn, Bela the horse (front as well as side view), Mim the cat, and a black snake who happened to be crossing the paddock.

I played around with various effects and created the collage in Picasa.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 149 ~ Work with all the utensils you own.

A great day to clean out all of our utensil drawers and give everything a rinse. I moved the kitchen table to make this piece on the rug underneath. You can tell the scale of the utensil horse by Mishi, the kitty in the corner. You may notice that Mishi's left front leg is missing. I assure you it has nothing to do with all the knives in this picture. He showed up at the barn a few years ago with an infected stump and has been a happy and very appreciative indoor cat since the surgery to remove his leg.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 148 ~ Use only purple materials to create something.

Background is 81/2X11 watercolor wash. The body is banana Thai paper. Legs and mane of batik fabric, paper saddle, yarn tail, shiny paper for hooves and saddle details, beads for eye and nostril, chenille yarn bridle, wire stirrup.

I wanted to do this quickly (which is probably obvious!) and tear things out instead of cutting where possible to make it more spontaneous and playful. Also wanted depth and texture, so didn't glue things flat and encouraged wrinkles. Used as many different kinds of materials as I had.

Another fun project for kids!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 147 ~ Do something inspired by a favorite movie.

The photo is one I took the same morning of my Day 137 project with all the sounds and smells listed. The quote is from the movie American Beauty and is said by a character called Ricky Fitts, a young man who makes videos. He's showing a friend a video he took of a plastic bag caught in the wind and blowing, gracefully animated, against a brick wall, and how it made him feel to see it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 146 ~ Create a visual definition for a word chosen randomly from a dictionary.

Can you tell what word I'm visually defining? (Spoiler Alert) I opened the dictionary and put my finger on the word last 1 a : following all the rest. Interesting because I've been thinking about a wabi sabi concept I recently read that says Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect. But! that's not the 'last' I put my finger on. It was the other definition of 'last'.

I wanted this to be graphic and colorful. I painted the sky with acrylic, cut the water from somebody else's painting on the cover of an art magazine and glued the pieces down with a glue stick, and cut the little ducks out of paint sample swatch paper, as well as the arrow. Painted their little beaks with acrylic and dotted their little eyes with an ink pen.

As you can see I was ably assisted be kitty Naomi (aka NoNo).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 145 ~ Make something incongruous.

This was not one of the assignments I got an idea for immediately. To start, for inspiration, I looked up 'incongruous' (not harmonious, incompatible, inconsistent within itself). Decided on a mobile with the least likely thing to be floating around in the breeze, namely little rocks....I just like making mobiles :)
These daily projects often end up being exercises in problem solving. How to get the thread around the little rocks (a lot of patient knot tying and wrapping). How to hang them from the sticks (jump rings). How to find the balance points and secure the threads in those spots (trial and error and Elmer's). 
Because a mobile needs to be seen in motion to be appreciated I made a video of it spinning around for a minute or two. You could hear the birds in the background. It was very restful. But I couldn't get it to work here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 144 ~ Use your feet as your hands.

I stretched a piece of 140lb watercolor paper onto a homosote board, let it dry, placed it on the floor. I tried to hold a large round brush with my foot and experienced some pretty impressive cramping, so tried a conte crayon next. Much easier to hold. Tried both left and right feet to see if I was better with one than the other. I think my right foot was easier because I can balance on my left foot more easily. Yep, balance was definitely an issue here. I wrote the words in conte first, then charcoal pencil. By the time I got to the paint brush with the red acrylic I was sorta, a little bit, getting a feel for how it might be possible to hold a brush with one's toes. I thought of the artists I've seen who paint with their feet because they don't have use of their hands...

I reused the paper with the message, painting over it (with my hands) to create an acrylic and charcoal textured piece which I'll cut up and use for my mixed media collage work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 143 ~ Make something about the sense of taste.

The project was to make something in which the sense of taste is the essential component, but I didn't want to make something to eat. I thought of those textbook 'maps of the tongue' specifying different areas of taste buds that pick up various tastes exclusively. Turns out that may be a myth and that all taste buds pick up every taste, maybe some just a little bit more than others. When thinking about the human tongue I got the idea to map out the tongues of animals and what they taste. Of course, there would be no scientific data on that because how can an animal say "ew, that's bitter" or "yum, that's good" or "yuck, that tastes like..." well, you know. So this is my made-up map of animal tongue taste bud responses. It's a very quick and spontaneous pencil sketch that I then inked, scanned, and tinted in Picasa.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 142 ~ Cut holes in the pages of a magazine so that what you reveal beneath creates something new.

I cheated a little bit and didn't use the pages in the order they were bound, but chose those that would make the best order of contrasting layers. I tried the window-revealing-one-word thing but couldn't get it to where I liked what was revealed, so went with the graphic image of the body copy as the bottom layer, which I did like, after I broke it up with pieces left over from cutting out the pattern. The sun design was inspired by the work of Frances Lewis, a member of my 365ers Facebook group. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 141 ~ Make a paper pop-up.

In the book I'm following, 365 ~ Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life, the author, Noah Scalin, shows an example of his pop-up project which is a human skull. This gave me the idea for the horse head, including the lighting for photographing it. I cut it out of a piece of 81/2X11 card stock and backed it with the same. It helped to score the folds, including the ears, with a book maker's scoring tool. I made a few rough tries at this with regular bond paper before getting it to work the way I wanted it to.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 140 ~ Create a rebus.

A rebus is a visual puzzle in which a combination of images leads the viewer to read a phrase. Here I've used a watercolor painting I did of my own eye (I have a brown 'birth mark' in my eye) stolen from another piece I did a while ago, the heart is two quick watercolor strokes and the ewe is an ink drawing. Do ewe get it?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 139 ~ Document something in decay.

A Jack-in-the-pulpit in various stages of growth and decay over a 7 week period.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 138 ~ Make something a fictional character might own.

The owl and the pussy cat's beautiful pea green boat, stocked with a crate of honey and plenty of moolah. Made with watercolor paper painted with acrylics. The mast and spars (had to research that word) from sticks tied together and sewn to the sail. Hardest part was the photo shoot. 1) getting it balanced enough to float (the money bag helped) and 2) keeping it in the position I wanted long enough without it sailing away. This was really fun to make (and sail) and I wish I hadn't felt rushed to get it done. Now all I need is a tiny cat and owl. The boat is 9" tall and seen here floating in our bird bath.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 137 ~ Look at the morning sky when you first get up and make something inspired by what you see.

This morning the sky was a vast, foggy space ~ very little color, no details. I wondered how I was going to find any inspiration here! Then I started to notice the first sounds and smells of the day and the details became more apparent. I've written my list on the photo I took of today's early light. In Picasa, Arial, all caps, in various colors I thought went with the subject. Some words run off the image or behind trees to indicate the 360 degree theater.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 135 ~ Do a rubbing.

Better day than yesterday for this, weather-wise. Did some research first and asked Google for 'Gravestone rubbings how to'. Plenty of sites with info. Suggested using rice paper or interfacing, a sewing material that I happened to have. I went to the Antietam Battlefield (U.S. Civil War) near our home where there is this lovely little cemetery with graves that date back to the 1700s. (This is a big deal for Americans.) I tried different materials like conte crayon, graphite, charcoal, and settled on a charcoal pencil for best result. The interfacing worked better than paper because it is more flexible without tearing and see-through, making it easier to position over the letter. Smooth stones with well-defined letters work best. A little drawing stool would have made it easier, instead of having to crouch down (grass was wet!). Couldn't help thinking this would be a fun thing to do with kids, having them find letters to spell words. Because the interfacing happened to have a heat-activated backing (you can get it without) I ironed the rubbing to a piece of fabric.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 136 ~ Create a life-size person using your clothes.

I'm doing tomorrow's project today because today's project involves the outdoors and it's pouring. So I'll do today's tomorrow...Anyway, I started by blowing up a balloon the size of my head, drew a face (which looks nothing like me) with magic marker, then stuffed the pants with two rolled up bath towels, the shirt with a blanket for the torso and towels for the arms, added gloves for hands, and shoes. Oh, and a scarf and hat. Our kitty, Zubie, seemed to really like, um, her?...him?...Anybody want to suggest a name?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 134 ~ Reinterpret a childhood story.

Faded a photo I took a few weeks ago with the 'Fill Light' adjustment in Picasa. Added Century Schoolbook type there, too. Thought of this idea when I was reading the week's projects in advance last weekend. Didn't realize then that it would fall on Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 133 ~ Make something surreal.

An 8 1/2 X 11 pencil drawing. I researched the definition of surrealism and got that it is supposed to be the unexpected juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities or elements not normally found together producing an illogical and startling effect.The reference for the 'creature' landscape is a Blue-Spotted Ribbontail Ray (Taeniura lymma) from a wonderful Natural History picture book published by Smithsonian.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 132 ~ Create something on a T-shirt.

This is what happens to a black T-shirt when you wrap it in sections with rubber bands and put it in a bucket full of half bleach / half water and let it sit while you eat lunch. Photo by Judy (thank-you, Judy!). Posing partner is Yo Yo Ma, my 18-ish-year-old thoroughbred + ? mare. (Yo Yo Ma means 'friendly horse' in Cantonese, according to The Yo Yo Ma.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 131 ~ Make a word out of objects in your environment.

I picked some of the leaves last night and pressed them in a book, others I gathered this morning on my walk. I worked on this while listening to my friend Joy's really great 'Mixed Tape' hour on our local college station, which made it at least twice as much fun. I glued the leaves down with spots of Elmer's, not planning much in advance, but starting with the L, as if writing the word. The photo I took was okay, but couldn't help messing around with it in Picasa. First used 'Invert Colors', then 'Tint', then 'Border'.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 130 ~ Create something using a piece of music as inspiration.

I started with a piece of mat board 12 X 14. Painted it with green acrylic and scratched in a rough sketch for the placement of the type and image with the pointy end of a Chinese brush before the paint dried. On the dried surface I used oil pastels for the image and additional color in the background. I photographed the artwork and added the type in Picasa.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 129 ~ Make a travel poster for a fictional planet.

My first idea was just a flat poster, but then I thought it would be fun for this 'VISIT PLANET GEOMETRIC' travel poster to be a cube. It's about 7" in diameter, made from mat board taped together and painted with acrylic. The words and landscape features were cut from scraps of paint swatches and glued on. In Picasa I used the Orton-ish effect which gave my photograph a glow and helped the object look suspended in space.

Day 128 ~ Write a ten-word autobiography.

The art was done as a black ink drawing on white card stock, 81/2X11 and scanned into my computer. I used an effect in Picasa called Heat Map and slid the 'hue' button back and forth until it gave me a color combination I liked.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 126 ~ Something that can fly...

A few weeks ago I found a message balloon from a person called Jordon in Tennessee. Thus the idea for today's project ~ something that can fly. It turned out to be a bit of a challenge and I was presented with some problems to solve.
First, I couldn't get a regular rubber helium balloon at our local Dollar Store, only the Mylar kind, which is heavier. When I added my note with four staples it became too heavy to take off successfully. I had to run after it and rescue it from the (tick and poison ivy infested) tall grass. I removed the staples, put the note in a lighter plastic bag, and tried 'er again. This time it took off, but landed, tangled, high in the trees above the barn. (The horses found this exceptionally interesting!) It struggled there for quite a while, trying to loose itself. As soon as I gave up staring at it and trying to will it free with a great deal of anxiety, I looked away, looked back and it was in the air again...only to land in the high limbs of another line of trees at the edge of our yard. I walked to the base of the tree it was in and determined that this time it was really stuck and left it to it's sorry end, poor thing.
I went back to the Dollar Store and bought three Mylar balloons and some smaller baggies. I used lighter bond paper for my note instead of card stock and cut the ribbons short so they wouldn't tangle in the trees (duh!). I waited for the wind to not be blowing so hard so they could rise higher than the trees before traveling cross-country. This time the three together took off immediately. I watched them soar up into the cloudy sky, until they were a tiny speck, and then they disappeared. An interesting experience to watch something that you just held in your hand travel so far away so fast. I highly recommend it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 125 ~ Work with triangles.

A dozen triangles on an 81/2 X 11 sheet of card stock in mixed media. Newspaper, watercolor, acrylic, a leaf, black masking tape, graphite pencil, colored pencil, charcoal with oil pastels and turpenoid, magazine, fabric, paint swatches and pen with watercolor.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 124 ~ Make something seem as though it is passing through a wall.

Took a photo of my hand above the light switches for wall reference and played around in Adobe Photoshop Elements. Used the Clone Stamp Tool to repeat texture of wall and remove the part of my hand I didn't want. Then, in Picasa, used the Orton-ish app along with Soften and a colored Vignette. Learning as I go along in PS. Took me about 2 hours.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 123 ~ Be inspired by an eggshell.

I had already colored white eggshells for the dying project on Day 80, so I couldn't do that again. Thought of creating little bowls out of the egg pieces, but, of course, they couldn't stand up on their own, so needed wire stands.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 122 ~ Make a musical instrument.

Whether it's musical or not may be a matter of opinion... It makes a not unpleasant sorta clunking sound. The tubes are made of Super Sculpey which I rolled out and wrapped around a dowel and stamped with metal stamps, then put in the oven, then forgot about them while I watched a movie, so instead of baking at 275 degrees for 10 minutes they baked for about two hours, BUT they came out fine, in fact they turned a wonderful dark brown, which I painted over with acrylics (Titanium white and gold) just enough to enhance the stamp design. They are tied to a deer rib, also painted, with sewing thread. This was a trip to photograph! Talk about a moving target.