Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I raided my horses' first aid kit for this one. This little bucking broncho (he's just 6" high) is made of what horsey folks refer to as vet wrap. It's a cohesive flexible bandage used to secure wraps on horses' legs. It sticks to itself only when stretched, so I really did have to 'bandage' this fella to make him. That's why he looks a bit like a little pink mummy. Oh, I did use some cotton swabs for the armature. He's glued to a foam core base and stands by himself in this wild pose.
The kimono is made of watercolor paper that I painted, cut out and folded over around the 'shoulders' to the back. I've painted the other side of the paper where it shows through into the neck opening. A beveled and sanded mimosa stick holds up the arm holes. I've drilled a hole through each to attach the chenille yarn up to the bead that I made from polymer clay. The yarn goes through the piece there and ties in the back. The bead is stained with black acrylic paint. There are small brass findings hanging from the mimosa sticks where the yarn goes through, which you can't see very well in this photo, but they look like fishing lure pieces, to me anyway. The kimono is mounted onto another piece of watercolor paper, painted and stamped, and that is mounted to black foam core board where I've drawn in a repeated wavy design with a grey pencil.
The idea for the kimono came to me when, to get inspired as to what to do for this project, I was looking through my reference books for illustrations of fish. Opulence, The Kimonos and Robes of Itchiku Kubota hopped off the shelf and opened itself. From it I used the motif from one of the kimonos that had the faded green to clay to grey with the waves bleached out. The fish are not Japanese, but from the design on a Mayan vase, depicting two famous characters in Maya mythology, the Hero twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who allowed themselves to be sacrificed. Their bones were ground up and thrown into a river from which they later emerged as catfish people. Thought you might not have known about that.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Kinda hard to see the detail in this photo, unless you feel like blowing it up. This little snake was really fun to create.
One more thing. Mimosa, which is considered sort of a weed tree around here, is a wonderful wood to make things with. When it's stripped of its bark (Susan finds it's easiest to soak the branches in water first) and sanded, it has a bone-like feel. I use it for things like arms and legs on some of my wall piece figures, or just as small, painted and wrapped bundles in mixed media work. The mimosa tree can be identified this time of year by its bright pink, fluffy blossoms.
Friday, July 27, 2012
This is made of 1/8" white foam core board. Measures 15"h X 9"l X 8"w (just Cooper's size!). Carry handles of braided yarn.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
- drew a 1" grid with pencil onto white 81/2X11 bond paper (I used bond paper because it's thin and wouldn't challenge my sewing machine too much)
- used a crayon to draw designs in the squares, then painted them with watercolor, the light color first, then filling in the darker squares with another color
- on the brown one I scribbled on the surface with a charcoal pencil
- the blue and purple one has an additional layer of translucent paper on top that I put through the copier, adding one of my haiku (breaking the 2nd line in half to fit into the space)
- sewed the grid lines on sewing machine with gold thread, on the brown one leaving the ends of the threads long
- the blue/purple one got trimmed to its edge and I glued on cut pieces of purple paper in a random pattern for a border
- the brown one got edged much the same way a fabric quilt is, bringing the bottom, dark brown paper up in a folded hem (being careful not to trap any of the long, gold threads that had been left
- threaded beads onto one of each pair of threads and tied it on using both threads in a square knot
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I've been, I guess you could say, struggling with a painting all afternoon. I'm sure I wouldn't have taken the time to go out and have this pleasant experience if my daily project hadn't brought me out here. But now the mosquitoes have found my feet. Time to go back in and pick up my brush again.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Day 204 ~ Ask a friend you haven't talked to in a while for a suggestion of what to do and get her involved in the project.
We found that the shore of the river was not very rocky where we walked down to it, but we did spot the wonderful metal creature swimming upstream (second image from left, top row). This gave us another idea ~ collect photographic images of the other creatures we see (easier than moving a bunch of rocks on a hot day...call me a wimp).
Above is a collage of those images. Thank-you Louise and Judy for joining me on this very enjoyable treasure hunt!
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Cooper's latest appearance was sporting stylish eye wear on Day 201. He just as unhappily models a fabulous hat on Day 183, plays with his new Kitty Activity Center on Day 165, jumps in a space ship on Day 67, gives me a kiss on Day 21 and wears yet more eye art on day 17.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
This was the project that I switched with Day 186 because for this day the thing I wanted to make quiet was me and that wasn’t going to work on the 186th day as well as on the 200th day for various reasons.
So I was quiet all day, or attempted to be. It was a goal and I did okay.
I began the day by waking from at least three dreams in which I broke my silence in different situations. And I was SO disappointed with myself (in my dream).
I wasn’t into the first hour of my morning routine before I heard myself say hi to Theo. There were quite a few more times during the day that I babbled away in the presence of an animal before remembering to shut up. It’s hard to not talk to your pets. You know that.
And it was sorta boring and sad not to talk to anyone, or respond to emails or check Facebook or my blog, or listen to the radio (especially to get rid of ear worms!). All self-imposed rules for this day’s project, just to see what it would be like.
So now I know I like communicating and being in touch, maybe more than I thought. I'm not disappointed with myself for not doing this perfectly, as I was in my three dreams, because it was an interesting exercise.Those of you who know me know that I’m not exactly a blabbermouth, so it wasn’t a huge stretch for me to be quiet for a day. Still, to say nothing, that ain’t livin’. Unless you’re a monk or a nun who has chosen silence, I guess, but I’m neither, last I checked.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I would like to impress by saying that this is a dressage move called a Half-pass, but it probably isn't. It's probably just a leg yield. You don't care, do you? It still looks pretty. Fact is, I'm not really teaching her how to cross her front right leg over her left leg as we travel to the left. In reality, she is teaching me what I have to do to ask her nicely to do this.
The perfect mouths are from the fashion models in the inserts. The most genuine smiles are from the obits. And of course, because it was Sunday, there are comic mouths.
There are probably some mouths you can recognize. For example, you may be able to identify the mouths of the following people : President Obama, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bill Cosby, Grandmaster Slash, Mark Twain, Ayn Rand, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Phillies manager Charlie Manual, Marion Jones, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, Leonardo da Vinci's Ginerva de' Benci, Sigourney Weaver, Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Sanya Richards-Ross (Track & Field Olympian), Patty Quarles, who lost her son in the Upper Big Branch mining disaster in WV.
She took two days to dry. She's a she because girls don't get to be monsters enough. And her name is Washington because she is made mostly of The Post. Anyway, thank goodness it's been in the 90s around here because I was able to bake her in the sun (only one brief mishap with a sudden shower and I forgot she was out there). Funny thing is that when she was dry she smelled like bread from the flour in the papier mache.
Washington The Monster is sprayed with five different colors of spray paint. Her antenna is a pipe cleaner wrapped in yarn. Teeth and claw toes are painted paper. And googly eyes. Many of them. Oh, and a red yarn tail. She is 16" tall, counting her antenna.
If you aren't into non-representational images, this isn't going to do much for you, but I happen to think it's really beautiful and I'll try to explain why. I find it very exciting to manipulate media (paint, usually) in ways that create intricate textures and layering through randomness and spontaneity. The 'happy accidents' are organic and natural and that's where I see the beauty.
An image like this asks the viewer to respond in a personal way. Nothing is obvious or forced. If you are at all inclined, it's a fun image to put into an app that allows you to rotate it and/or blow it up for more detail. I feel that if an image works at every orientation, it is a good design.
This is a 6X6 detail of a piece of 140lb watercolor paper, 22X30. I placed the paper on a homosote board on the bathroom floor smeared paint on a pallet (starting with ochre, then sepia, then black which is a throwback from some classical oil painting lesson when I was a kid), stepped in the paint (careful, if you happen to be trying this ~ have something to hold on to because it's slippery!) and walked on the paper. Now you know why I was painting in the bathroom ~ I was able to wash my feet in the tub without trailing footprints through the house.
I keep a collection of papers like this for my mixed media pieces.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
I looked at pictures of family crests on the web. Took note of the format, which often included a shield, two figures on the side, a banner with words (sometimes in Latin) and another figure (usually a knight's helmet) in the center on the top of the shield. So you can see what elements I copied.
The two figures on the side were easy! YoYo and Bela. The shields often have a repeated graphic silhouette, so I used that area to represent our nine cats ~ Mim, Cooper, Naomi, Gus, Zubie, Theo, CJ, Mishi and Augie. The violin is Judy's. The trees and wreathe stand for our beautiful home and land which is a constant source of amazing delight. The Latin phrase on the banner is Ars Longa, Vita Breva, which means Art is Long, Life is Short. We both felt that an apt representation for our lives.
The design started as a pencil sketch, painted with watercolor and with some details added with colored pencil. It's 81/2X11.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I wanted to build a horse (of course) out of sugar cubes, but couldn't find them in the grocery store (maybe they are no longer made?). So I settled on a 10.5 oz. bag of miniature marshmallows. I thought I was going to be able to stack them into a standing structure. Not happening. Marshmallows don't harden if you leave them out of the bag overnight the way they used to. They stick together if you wet them, and they also turn into a gelatinous mass. Good old white glue saved the day, as well as giving up on the standing structure idea and adhering the marshmallows to a board, much the same way I made the pencil horse on Day 167. She looks like she could be standing because I saturated the shadow to make the background uniform.
I used all 10.5 oz of marshmallows. From the tip of the tail to the pointed right front hoof is 16".
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The scene is one from my hometown, Shepherdstown. I used the Pencil Sketch effect in Picasa.
Of course you know from the picture of my lunch on Day 188 that, actually, I eat more than pickles and eider down.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
He dons this patriotic outfit because it is the 4th of July, which is a big deal here in the USA, especially for folks who like picnics and loud noises. The four stars on his blanket are in honor of my niece's daughter, Sarajane, who turns 4 years old today. Happy Birthday, little firecracker!
The original assignment in the '365' book for Day 186 was to make something quiet. The idea I have for that didn't work today so I've made a switch with Day 200 and will do the quiet thing on that day.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
This is an 8"X5" pencil drawing with a tint and border added in Picasa. (The shapes of the buildings spell out HappyBirthdayAmy.)
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Wonderful orange fleece. I bought this stuff years ago thinking I would make blankets for my horses to wear during hunting season, but never did. Since then I've found many uses for it! This has to be the best one yet. The great thing is that it cuts clean and doesn't need hemming, so I could make the fringes easily, and it has a body to it ~ for silly stuff like this.