Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 182 ~ Work with your hands.

The idea for this is from Antony Gormley's Body and Soul VI, an etching he did in 1990. He used oil on paper. I dipped my finger tips in ink and dabbed them on another paper a few times, otherwise they would be solid ovals, and I wanted my fingerprints to show. His do, and that is what I love about his work, the intricate intimacy. I wet the right half of the paper before I put on the prints from my right hand, because this is my half-way day. We are half-way into the year 2012, and I have completed half of my 365 projects. So I wanted the symmetrical hand prints to be representative of those two halves. The left one represents the 182 projects that exist and can be defined. The right hand, which is fuzzier, represents the projects to come. We don't know them yet.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 181 ~ Use bones as your inspiration.

A photograph this day
As I take it I am dressed in a wide-brimmed hat
a long-sleeved blouse
long pants
It is very hot

Nothing is moving
The groundhog is not munching clover in the paddock
Nor is the small rabbit, with her pink ears,
nibbling the grass at the edge of the path

The horses, the brown one and the red one, stand
in their dark stalls, noses to the fans

Large leaves of the mystery plant
hang like skin on old bones

The only natural sound is
the delirious repertoire
of the mocking bird
speaking for everyone

I return to the house and move into
air that has passed over cool, serpentine coils
and traveled through a maze of ductwork
so that I may send you this post
in comfort

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 180 ~ Put something in the environment that belongs to another season.

I didn't make this silver snowflake. It belonged to my partner Judy's mom Muriel. I wore it to the Phillips Collection in Washington DC today where no one seemed to notice or care that I was wearing a snowflake in late June in 90 degree weather.

At the Phillips I saw an exhibit of Antony Gormley's work. Beautiful, deep, fresh, soulful, intricate. Blew me away.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 179 ~ Grow it! Use seeds to make something.

The best laid plans of (in this case rabbits and women)... In anticipation of this day's project, about 10 days ago I planted some lettuce seeds in the shape of a heart. (What!? Not a horse?) Silly me, I didn't cover them in any way, so just as they were making their entrance into the world the baby bunny who hangs around here helped herself. Must have been yummy.

So we will make this count, a plant grown from seeds I planted about a month ago, I guess. I got three packs of seeds, one of zucchini, one of yellow squash and one packet of pumpkin seeds. I dug shallow holes in various places around our property, like, in some of the flower beds, beside the manure pile, in the asparagus garden which had been rendered non-producing, thanks to a relative of aforementioned lettuce seedling eater, distinctly pro-producing...Anyway, I planted all three seed varieties together just to see what would happen ~ what would sprout, what would survive to bear fruit. So far there are many beautiful plants coming up all around and I don't know for sure which of the three they are. If they do make it past the rabbits and deer to fruition, then we will know!

Incidentally, if anyone knows what the plant is in this photo, don't tell me. I want it to be a surprise. And, I'd like to give a shout out to the extraordinary photographer, Aundrea Humphreys, for the idea of taking a photo from a perspective other than what might be obvious.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 178 ~ Use the world of birds as your inspiration.

The origami birds are about 2" beak to tail tip. I've decided that making mobiles is not for sissies. You're trying to knot these tiny little threads onto this hanging thing that is bouncing all over the place. It feels quite alive! If you try to lay the whole works down on a table to fasten things everything gets tangled and then the cat comes over and wants to lie on it...Then once it's done and it's spinning around ever so gently, it's so relaxing to watch, and it's all worth it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 177 ~ Make a robot out of everyday objects.

A robotic horse, of course. The objects used include a Kleenex box, a paint tube, a light bulb, thread spools, wooden dowels and balls, yogurt cups, masking tape, a scrub brush, toilet paper tubes, plastic lids, screws, washers, and various other bits of hardware.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 176 ~ Make somewhere indoors seem like it is outdoors.

A little made-up cartoon. CJ often sits in this chair by the window watching the birds at the feeder, so I guess he was my inspiration for the idea.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 175 ~ Create a tiny version of something that would normally be much bigger.

I started with a pea-sized ball of polymer clay. Squeezed tiny bits out for head, legs, tail, mane. I used a small clay tool, an Exacto knife and a pencil point to shape the clay and add details. I put him out in the sun to dry, but he needed to go in the oven and bake for a few minutes to harden correctly. He's standing on a penny.  I might paint him, but liked the white and contrasting shadows for the photo.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 174 ~ Work only with kitchen tools today.

Another horse made out of stuff ! I did intend to try a person or something else, but it just wanted to be a horse...again. At least it's facing to the right for a change.

My friend Nan asked me why the horses I draw, paint or build in a flat plane like this, mostly face to the left. I thought about it and the easy answer is that I'm right-handed, and since I usually start with the head, like writing on a page I move my hand from left to right to compete the form. But I also thought of how I groom a horse, from 'head to toe', and I think there is something I do with tactile memory as I draw, paint or build a horse. I kind of feel the form in my hand as I complete it. You know what I mean?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 173 ~ Create a new traffic sign.

I've often thought I should make a bumper sticker for the back of my car that says I BRAKE FOR BUTTERFLIES, because I do. It's a reflex. This is how I thought of changing the deer warning sign to one with a butterfly.

This is a scene on a road close to our home. Used the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop to get rid of some wires, as well as the symbol of the deer on the sign. And because I don't know how to layer one image on to another, I printed the altered photo, inked in the butterfly in the blank yellow space and scanned that back into the computer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 172 ~ Make a book out of something other than paper.

These are some leaves from the Paw Paw trees we have around here. I picked an assortment of sizes a few days ago and pressed them in a book. This afternoon I removed them, not quite dried yet, and arranged them in order from the largest on the bottom to the smallest on top.

I punched holes with an eyelet punch along the 'spine', and hammered metal eyelets in a row, fastening the leaves together. This was not smooth sailing. The first one I overdid and punched a bigger hole than I needed. Got the hang of it, that is, I figured out how much pressure to use with both the punching and the hammering of the eyelet, by about the third hole.

Painted two small twigs gold and sewed them on along the row of eyelets. This process, too, was not without glitches. I had my mind set on using a knobby black yarn which kept getting caught in the eyelets and pulling them out. When I felt my patience begin to wane I settled for a thinner, less knobby yarn, which worked fine. I added too many beads and decided less was more and took some off.

When these 'pages' dry out a bit more I may try to do some calligraphy on them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 171 ~ Create a study in black and white.

Our cat Mishi, the three-legged guy, on the front porch floor, in the shadow of the banister, slats, and a flower box. The vertical, striped texture is the cement. Used the effects Boost, HDR-ish and added a border in Picasa to emphasize the contrast.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 170 ~ Make something unintended out of existing instructions.

A bit of a disappointment here, maybe? This is from a book called The Joy of Origami by Margaret Van Sicklen, a Christmas present. Margaret gives you wonderful papers and well-written instructions to create the models in her book. Here I've made the 'One-Trick Pony' (he is supposed to do a flip and land back on his feet if you give his tail an upward flick with your index finger, but I haven't quite mastered that, and I feel bad when he lands on his head) and I've used the paper for the 'Jumping Leopard Frog' in the same book. See what I mean? Not much of a stretch. I had a pretty great idea for this project, I think. I was going to take a sewing pattern and make the dress, or whatever, out of the paper pattern itself. But I just didn't have the energy for that today.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 169 ~ Create a personal shelter.

25 hay bales. Took me just under an hour to construct, including some designs that didn't work, like a tall, flat wall ~ very hard to balance and promptly fell before I could get a picture. So I tried the igloo approach, with the base as a circle and bales leaning in on each other as they were built up. The hardest part was getting the one bale to balance over the single portal. Hay bales are heavy, for me anyway. The best part was showering off all the itchy little bits of hay that were stuck to my skin!

This was an interesting exercise in construction. What did and didn't work. Balance. Also couldn't help thinking about how feminine this design is compared to the tall, flat wall I started with. An homage, perhaps, to all the nurturing fathers there are out there in the world on this Father's Day 2012.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 168 ~ Write a ten-word ghost story.

Sorta weird to be writing a ghost story at high noon on a gorgeous June day! But, actually, I've been thinking about this project for quite a while, noticing when and where I feel the most vulnerable and potentially frightened. I have to say, there are many things that scare me, and one of those things that freaks me out is not being able to identify a sound, particularly in the dark when I'm alone, like, say, walking back from the barn after tucking in the horses at night. That is when I came up with this story.

I set the type, Chiller, what else?, printed it, scanned the print into Picasa, inverted the colors, Orton-ished it, and tinted it red with a red border.

Day 167 ~ Use only pencils as your material or inspiration.

As I was watching my horse run in her paddock it occurred to me that most of the horses I've created for this 365 project have been standing still, so I decided to make this one moving. I wanted to catch the moment in the gallop where she would kick out her front right hoof and fly off the ground. (Not many things in the world more beautiful.)

This project took a better part of a day. I first drew the shape on a piece of matboard. Then I cut up the sixty pencils (I cleaned out the stock at the Dollar Store.)  into random lengths on a band saw. I secured them to the board with wood glue and modeling paste. I was trying for a relief effect, doing the things farther away, like the two right legs, first, with shorter pieces, and making the pieces in the barrel, shoulder and hip the longest to appear closest. This shows up best in the first photo, but I like the image of the second photo (from behind) better. The two left legs are made from shorter pieces and are suspended away from the board. I had to use some Super Glue and prop them up with pieces of foam core while they set to make that happen. The mane and tail are pieces shaved from a pencil with an Exacto knife and secured by drizzling Elmer's over them. The piece measures 8"X12". It took over 60 pencils and cost under $4.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 166 ~ Create a suit of armor for something.

A suit of armor for a dragonfly. Graphite drawing on 81/2X11 white card stock. Looked at a photograph of a dragonfly and added facets and joints as seemed appropriate. Also looked at human suits of armor to get an idea of how they work and are designed.

Day 165 ~ Transform a piece of furniture into something other than what it's meant for.

This was a little shelf my mother had in her laundry room many years ago. I've made it into a Kitty Play Station by hanging all kinds of toys from the dowels, nailing a scratchy thing to the bottom shelf and a piece of doubled-up orange fleece to the top. The kitties seem to like it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 164 ~ Make something that requires wind to complete.

I just spent too much time trying again to figure out how to show you a video to no avail. You'll just have to trust me that this little pinwheel spins nicely and that the birds are singing in the background. I found the directions for how to make this in a book called Artistry in Paper by Paul Jackson. When I first read them I thought ~ you've got to be kidding. I thought it was impossible, for me anyway. But this past weekend my friend Bill showed me that it was possible to balance rocks on surprisingly small points (you'll see this in a future daily project where I am to balance something). You would swear the rock was being held up by a post, but it just balances there. Pretty amazing. So I thought, hey, if I can do that, maybe I can make this fancy folded pinwheel if I allow myself to be open to the possibility of it. And I did.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 163 ~ Work with only the items you find in your frig.

I set this up on my kitchen table and stood on a chair to photograph it. I liked the black and white because it helped the image look more cohesive. If you squint at it it's a little more convincing.

Day 162 ~ Create a trap.

This is a trap for negative thoughts. I tried photographing it at first without the sticks across the opening and it looked too nest-like, which has positive, nurturing connotations and didn't work. But I used the dried grasses because I wanted it to look burnable, implying that once all those nasty negative thoughts get trapped in there they could be set ablaze and disappear. So I tried a little mat board trap door held up by a stick. That looked kinda cute, then the wind blew it down and the mat board piece fell opposite the intended direction and the stick lay across the hole which gave me the idea for more sticks and that looked best to me, like the traps set for the bad guys in the Tarzan movies.

Day 161 ~ Work with a calendar.

Please forgive the ultrapersonal nature of this image, but it's another doodle I did while sitting in my booth at a show. (This show, I'm happy to say, was a bit better than the last one.) It is a calendar of my summer, from June 21st (even though summer actually started on the 20th, I guess because of the leap year) and going until the autumnal equinox, September 21st. The original is an ink drawing on white. I played with the colors in Picasa.

Day 160 ~ Make a kit for an activity that normally wouldn't have one.

This is a CBI (Creativity Block Inertia) kit.  It's for those days when the ideas are hidden, when you need some toys to get the imaginative juices flowing. To help you experiment, investigate and explore. Some of the materials include coffee, chocolate (the basics), balloons, inspiring books, paint, brushes, beads, wire, crayons, polymer clay, yarn, pencils, fabric and paper pieces, stamps and sculpting plaster.

Day 159 ~ Use makeup to create something.

With a metallic eyeshadow thingy from the Dollar Store... She refused to smile until I gave her some hair, and then this was the best she could do. I think she was concerned about the lipstick color choice clashing with her red hair.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 158 ~ Work with homonyms.

Homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings...I think. So, I sewed the word SO.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 157 ~ Make something that will support your weight.

The projects during this week should be called Make Something As Fast As You Can. I grabbed a board that Judy said she wouldn't be using for anything, happened to find 4 perfect eyelets in my pile of hardware junk, drilled the holes in the board, screwed in the eyelets, ran down to the barn with my masterpiece, grabbed some baling twine from the recycle-ables bag and found a sideways tree that had been blown over and was held by four of its neighbors at a height that I didn't need a ladder to reach but was just far enough off the ground for me to sit on the swing and be able to raise my feet. Done! quicker than the time it took me to type in that sentence.

Did make me think, though, how much fun it would be to have a good swing, done right, in one of our taller trees. For the future...

(Thank-you to my photographer and wood donator)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 156 ~ Work with toilet paper and paper towel tubes to create something.

I've been saving tubes since I started these daily projects on January 1st. I had great intentions of making a big snake in the grass, or a smiley face, or writing out some message. But it took some effort to link them together as I'd planned and I'm pressed for time, need to get back to work and ready for another (hopefully better!) show this weekend, so I went with the 'utensil horse' approach and just scattered and gathered the tubes into a horse shape. Placed it in a position that I could photograph it from our porch. Cheated a little bit with TP for the mane and tail.

Day 155 ~ Use fingerprints to create an image.

Made the image by dabbing my finger from an ink pad to paper. Then did so many things to it in Picasa I can't remember.

Day 154 ~ Make a game board.

I made this yesterday as I sat in my booth during the last hours of a very bad show. You may say I was a bit disgruntled. It was nobody's fault but my own that I had a bad show. I thought I could do well with only my best, big pieces and not have smaller, less expensive things to sell and I was wrong. My booth looked impressive though!

Day 153 ~ Make something light seem heavy.

Needing to catch up on my daily projects, so here's a quick solution to this one...Yours truly using the ten second timer on my camera as I try to pretend a Kleenex is heavy. Used the HDR-ish effect in Picasa which seemed to enhance the stress in the image.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 152 ~ Create a Rube Goldberg machine.

Spent two days on this drawing while I sat in my booth at an art fair. It's done in pencil on 8 1/2 X 11 bond paper. I made it up as I went along, starting with the dog on the treadmill. It doesn't really work, or make much sense, but it was really a hit with the 10-year-old boys that came into my booth.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 151 ~ Create with crayons.

After a couple of tries doing other things with the crayons, settled on just, well, coloring. Liked layering the colors over each other, building up the surface and, don't know if you can see this, but found it fun to emboss the paper first with a pencil line, so that the crayon would reveal the embossing and it would show as surface design. Found that if I went over the colors with a white crayon it would blend nicely. The paper used is standard size white bond.

Enjoyed the names of the crayon colors, in English, Spanish and French ~ red violet (violeta rojizo, violet-rouge), blue (azul, bleu), sky blue (azul cielo, bleu ciel), blue violet (violeta azulado, bleu-violet), apricot (albaricoque, abricot), melon (melon, melon), red orange (naranja rojizo, orange-rouge), goldenrod (amarillo oro, gerbe d'or), lavender (lavanda, lavande), orchid (orquidea, orchidee), yellow green (verde amarillo, vert-jaune), gold (oro,or), black (negro, noir), white (blanco, blanc)...