Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 305 ~ Transform a piece of advertising so that it has a new message.

I cut this ad from a back page of the latest New Yorker Magazine. Changed the name of the artist to yours truly and the listed the title, medium and date for my masterpiece.

The masterpiece, created by me, is another monoprint. I liked working this way for the Day 297 project and thought I'd try it again. It measures 1 3/4 " X 2 1/4 ". I used acrylic paint to make the print.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 303 ~ Use reptiles as inspiration. + Day 304 ~ Make chimes.

Chimes out of reptiles. Snakes, in fact. Little green snakes made out of Super Sculpey clay, baked in the oven and painted with acrylics. I got their twisty shape by wrapping them around a wooden dowel. They are suspended from a wooden block, which was spray-painted gold, with black sewing thread. The tongues are made with copper wire and red glass beads. So they don't have forked tongues. Artistic license! They don't chime either, by the way, they just quietly clatter, the disadvantage of polymer clay over ceramics.

So, I'm all caught up. I've completed the 304th project on this, the 304th day of the year. I rather enjoyed combining the days, actually. It was fun, sometimes more challenging, sometimes it gave me more to work with. So I'll kind of miss it. But I do intend to make the 60-some projects that are left, one at a time.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 301 ~ Pick a random day in history, research what happened that day and make something inspired by that event. + Day 302 ~ Work with a food package.

The random date I chose was by birthday 100 years ago. 

Sergei Sergeievich Korsakoff, the first great Russian neuropsychiatrist, according to Wikipedia, was born on January 22, 1854. 

Korsakoff is known for his studies of the effects of alcoholism on the nervous system, so I’ve created a label for his own brand of non-alcoholic Sparkling Cider.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 299 ~ Make something with silver materials. + Day 300 (!) ~ Make something which involves the sense of touch.

For the most part, I haven't needed to go out and buy anything much for making any of these 365 projects, but I really wanted a specific material for this one. Furry, silver yarn to wrap around the core of wadded up newspaper and masking tape.

He's 8" tall and joins the stable of the other 'horses of another color', similarly created over this year.

I know, he looks more like a silver Airedale terrier, than a horse. I was going for the 'touch' component.

Hi-Ho, Silver!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 298 ~ Do an activity in reverse order.

I couldn’t do this project. It’s just so totally against my nature to do anything backwards, or differently from how I carefully plot things out. I’m an obsessively methodical person and this was too far a stretch from my modus operandi. The best I could do was list my typical day’s schedule…backwards.

Read in bed until I fall asleep.
Take a shower.
Bring the horses in, feed them their evening mash and tuck them in.
Watch something from Netflix.
Eat some supper.
Clean the litter boxes and feed the cats.
Do some work in the studio.
Groom and exercise the horses (normally, not with bruised ribs). Turn them out into the big field.
Do some work in the studio.
Check on the horses.
Eat lunch.
Run errands or do some work in the studio.
Bring the horses in and feed them their morning mash.
Do computer stuff, like check my email and/or post my daily project on my blog.
Eat breakfast.
Take a shower, if necessary (!)
Do my exercises (normally).
Go for a walk (normally).
Take care of the horses and turn them out into the big field.
Write in my riding journal about yesterday’s rides (normally).
Clean the litter boxes and feed the cats.

Day 297 ~ Use glass to create something.

I used a piece of glass to make this monoprint. Here's how ~
  • Apply a thin layer of acrylic gel medium to a sheet of glass.
  • Paint a design over the medium, using a thin application of acrylic paint.You can also scratch into the painting with the pointy end of a brush to produce pattern and texture.
  • Cover the painting with a dampened sheet of paper. (Here I used a piece of watercolor paper that already had a wash of gradated blue to yellow. You can see the yellow half coming through at the front of the horse.) 
  • Use a brayer, rolling it in one direction only, to transfer the paint to the paper and pull the paper away from the glass.
I went over the print with a charcoal pencil to strengthen it.

If it looks windy, I think I'm anticipating Hurricane Sandy! In fact, if you don't hear from me for some time next week, it's because we are without power. But then, some of you might be, too.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 295 ~ Write a letter to a fictional character. + Day 296 ~ Create something where you normally wouldn't.

More of a prayer than a letter, I guess. Rhiannon is the Welsh goddess of horses.

I wanted to create this letter on horseback, not ever having done anything terribly creative there, I'm sorry to say. But, to be honest, I only created the photo. The letter was created in my studio. However, I would like a little credit for actually tacking up YoYo and getting on her. The bruised ribs and arm and big welt on my leg the shape of a horse hoof are keeping me from my normal range of motion.

Yes, this is YoYo that I am on, not Bela. I'm not a complete nincompoop.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 293 ~ Use salt as your medium. + Day 294 ~ Make something that is normally portable into something that isn't anymore.

I thought of running over this salt canister in the driveway with my car, but then I remembered that Bink was going to deliver hay this afternoon, so I took it down to the barn and, when we were finished unloading the hay, I asked if he would mind if I put the canister under the tire of his 1972 Ford Custom dually. The most challenging part of this project was trying to explain to Bink just why I wanted him to run over this salt canister on his way out. I'm not sure how many crazy artists he knows, but he was very good-natured about it.

So, anyway, salt, once portable, portable no longer. But at least it is where the horses can lick it up.

Day 291 ~ Make somewhere outdoors seem like it is indoors. + Day 292 ~ Work with squares.

Not sure if this works. I wanted to created the illusion that the outdoor scene wrapped around the walls of a room.

I drew the grid onto a photo I took of the view from the front of our house. In Picasa I added the border and vignette effect.

Day 289 ~ Create something about someone else’s job. + Day 290 ~ Write a love song to a pet.

A song to Cooper, sung to the tune of You Are My Sunshine…

You are my Cooper
My super Cooper!
You do your cat job
Well each day.
You keep my butt warm
Asleep behind me
On the chair
While purring away.

You catch the stink bugs
You catch the spiders
The ones that sneak
Under the screen.
You greet the people
Who come to see us
And you keep your paws
Nice and clean.

You are my Cooper
You’re super duper!
You do your cat job
Well each day.
If I were you, though,
I’d ask a pay raise
And threaten finding
Another place to stay

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 287 ~ Make an anagram of a name. + Day 288 ~ Make something inpired by a favorite TV show.

We don't have regular TV, but we have a TV and we like to watch a certain BBC series that we stream from Netflix. If you can crack the code of this 'schilly' anagram, you will discover which series it is, and you'll see how appropriate all these clues are. (The up-side-down 'S' is not a clue, it's a mistake.)

Day 285 ~ Work with plastic utensils. + Day 286 ~ Do something with silence.

"There are wonderful moments, those rare moments when there is silence, a tangible silence out there, a silence deeper than silence." Derek Jacobi

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 283 ~ Make something that makes a sound. + Day 284 ~ Make something that looks like it has been turned inside out.

This is a heart that has been turned inside out, and all the old, corroded thoughts and unnecessary worries and fears that have been harbored there for so long are spilling out.

It is made to hang, but this was an easier way to get a good photo. When it does hang, it makes a sweet little tinkling, clattery noise. And if it blows around too much, it ends up in a tangled and undecipherable mess, much like when we try to pour too much trouble out of our hearts to someone at once, perhaps.

The heart is made of canvas, sewn together and stuffed with newspaper. I had thought I would paint it, but I like the raw canvas with the color of the rusted stuff. Maybe I'll paint it some other time. The rusted stuff is from a collection of things I've picked up on my walks over the years. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 281 ~ Imagine yourself as an animal. + Day 282 ~ Use a toothbrush in a project.

I took a picture of myself brushing my teeth, and a head shot of kitty Zubie, and combined us in this watercolor. I tried a new pencil, which is made of water soluble graphite by Derwent. Really liked it with the watercolor.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 279 ~ Design a monument for something mundane. + Day 280 ~ Work with balloons.

A monument to string. String is pretty mundane, I guess. And string because I used it, soaked in glue, to wrap around the balloons. When the glue dries you pop the balloons and ha! neat little orbs of hardened string. Then you take about 50 pictures of it until you have just the right one.

Day 277 ~ Who would you be if you could be anybody? + Day 278 ~ Create something inspired by a piece of spam you've received.

This takes some explanation.

First, I apologize for poking fun at anyone who uses English as a second or third, our thirtieth language. I took French for 6 years in school and all I remember is how to say I love you, and that is with an atrociously bad American accent. So I am in awe of anyone who can get his/her brain around a language other than the one learned as a child.

These two projects were a challenge to combine. What I've done is to choose who I would want to be, and that is any of my grand nieces or nephews because they all have wonderful parents. And I've combined that with the kind of spam I get, which is weird requests for my 'product' from places in the world I've never heard of. So I am imagining myself as young Holden, my grand nephew (I've used his artwork to illustrate the message. This was done quite a while ago. He's now eleven years old! How did that happen?) And I'm in a different country somewhere sending this spam to a potential customer. Make sense? Probably not. It was a stretch.

Some of these projects mesh more easily than others. This was a tough one. Mainly because I thought a lot about who I would want to be if I could be anybody. When I was a child I wanted to be just about anybody but myself. Now I'm kind of used to who I am, so it's harder to think of changing. I did let myself fantasize about it. I had myself younger, but with the knowledge that I will have ideally accumulated when I'm 88. I would be living in a tropical climate with flawless black skin so that I could ride my horses along the beach without worrying about yet another trip to the dermatologist. And, of course, I'd be independently wealthy so that Judy could retire. And be recognized around the world for my stunning artistic accomplishments. And maybe be an expert fiddler, too...

When I came back to reality I thought maybe I would miss the change of seasons, my blue eyes, stuff like that...maybe not the struggling to pay my bills part, though.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 275 ~ Use your pocket change to make something. + Day 276 ~ Put your finger on a random location on a map of the world, research that place and make something about it.

I put my finger on A Coruna, Spain, where the founder of ZARA, Amancio Ortega, opened the first ZARA store in 1975 on a central street downtown (according to Wikipedia). I chose this fact about the economy to work with because of the second part of this project ~ to use pocket change.

I got the ad from Google 'Images of ZARA'. After spreading the pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters on my scanner bed I scanned and printed the image, cut the print into the shape of the coat and glued it in place.

Day 273 ~ Make something with a can. + Day 274 ~ Make something from the future.

IMPRUVO!! The drink of the future! It'll cure anything that ails ya.

A V8 can sprayed gold. The label was made in Picasa by taking an ink drawing that I did and using many apps to colorize it, posterize it, etc., then adding the copy.

I wish I could tell you who made the blue vase acting as pedestal, but I don't remember.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 271 ~ Add a door where one wouldn't normally exist. + Day 272 ~ Make something inspired by a hand.

Good ol' Photoshop. Made a little door out of paper, taped it to my hand, took a picture and used Photoshop to clone the sky into the open door.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 269 ~ Make a Venn diagram. + Day 270 ~ Make something with ice cubes and document it as it melts.

Day 267 ~ Recreate a famous work of art using the material of your choice. + Day 268 ~ Use sand as your medium.

The Scream ~ done on a 6" sanding disc. I experimented with different media and found that water soluble oil pastels and watercolor worked best. Also used some ink and acrylic paint. What didn't work was colored pencil.

Always interesting to copy another piece of artwork. I noticed how exclusive Munch's palette is in this painting, and the way he used the direction of the paint strokes to move the viewer's eye.

Day 265 ~ Make a miniature golf hole. + Day 266 ~ Make something out of cardboard.

I wanted to make a big crazy thing outside with lots of cardboard boxes, but it is really windy today. So, here's a really miniature golf hole (10" high) ...made from cardboard.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 263 ~ Design a unique chess set. + Day 264 ~ Make something with building blocks.

Couldn't get my hands on any building blocks. I don't exactly run in a crowd where there are lots of kids. But if I had (gotten my hands on some blocks, that is, not had lots of kids) I would have built a chess set something like this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 261 ~ Start something and have someone else complete it. + Day 262 ~ Carve a pumpkin.

I did the dirty work and got all the seeds and goo out of the pumpkins. Debbie, Judy and Meredith finished them for me.

Day 259 ~ Make something that would normally be considered cute and cuddly into something that isn't. + Day 260 ~ Work with brown materials.

Strange Teddy.

I know you are going to want to make one of these, so here's how ~ spray paint a bunch of little tacks brown, make the body of the bear out of balled up newspaper wrapped with masking tape, tear brown cloth into 1/2" strips and, using a brush to coat them with glue, wrap them around the bear until the newspaper core is covered, then use jeweler's glue to fasten the little tacks onto the body, as well as the googly eyes and a bead for the nose. It takes about 400 tacks for a 6" tall bear and a bit of patience.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 257 ~ Put pen to paper and draw for at least thirty minutes without stopping or lifting the pen. + Day 258 ~ Create a window.

I spent about an hour on this doodle. Kept the pen on the page for most of it. It's ink, about 9"X6". Drew it while sitting in my booth at a show in Gaithersburg, MD.

Day 255 ~ Make a good luck charm. + Day 256 ~ Use duct tape to make something.

Little horse good luck charm made from black duct tape. Stands 3" high. With wire and glass beads.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 249 ~ Work with popcorn. + Day 250 ~ Inspect something small very carefully.

Popcorn, inspected carefully.

The best my little Canon Power Shot could do. Don't have a close-up lens. Like the effect here after playing with the photo in Picasa.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 248 ~ Open a random drawer in your home and create something with just the contents.

And that's just what I did. A drawer in our kitchen that is rarely opened. The dog collar, nail clippers and rubber bone  ~ our dog has been gone since before we moved to this house. And an ice scraper ~ that's a great thing to have in the kitchen, come in real handy. A photo of Fili, long gone. A recipe card so yellow you can hardly read it. Old napkins. Some neat little porcelain things that someone gave me, I can't remember what they are supposed to be used for. Phone cord, who needs those anymore? And a funny little orange plastic skeleton, glad I found that, it's time to hang that on my rear view mirror again.

Day 247 ~ Make something that someone else has to find and provide clues to lead seekers to the location where it is hidden.

There is a place only kids come to call.
You can only go into it if you are small.
In fact you can't be tall at all
to sit at the table or walk down the hall.

If you care to use your foot as a measure
five steps will take you to my lil' treasure.
'Tis something to do just at your own leisure.
I hope this little gift brings you much pleasure.

And please let me know if you find it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Days 245 ~ Create the illusion that something is floating. + Day 246 ~ Use a sewing machine.

Got to practice my limited Photoshop skills again. Judy was nice enough to hoist this heavy machine up into the air long enough for me to snap a picture. I spent an hour or so erasing her hands and rebuilding the parts of the machine they were covering.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 243 ~ Make a postage stamp. + Day 244 ~ Make a frame.

My original idea was to cut the white postage stamp border out of wood to make a frame. Then what I thought would be neat would be to print the word 'FOREVER' and USA on the glass, so that it would be over any photo one would put in the frame. A project for when I have more time to spend on it.

As it is, I enlarged the border of a stamp and traced it, and repeated the pattern around a photo of CJ and Mishi, to mimic a frame. But, of course, it just ends up looking like a postage stamp. Albeit a very cute postage stamp.

For my friends out of the USA who might not know, we have 'FOREVER' written on our stamps so that when the postage rate goes up we can still use the stamps we have without having to run to the post office to get 1 or 2 cent stamps to make up the difference.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 241 ~ Make up a new sport. + Day 242 ~ Use markers as your material or inspiration.

Quick and silly...actually, you wouldn't believe how much I fretted over this one! I was coming up with ideas that seemed more like games. That got me researching the difference between a sport and a game. In the meantime I couldn't get anybody to play the sports/games I was inventing. So this seemed the best solution, worked on while I ate my meals today, between trying to get orders ready to go out tomorrow. The best I could do! Yes, I am apologizing.

Oh, it's all done with markers, of course.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 239 ~ Work with black and white. + Day 240 ~ Work with chopsticks.

To begin creating this image I used black house paint and a wide Chinese brush to paint a rough circle onto watercolor paper. I placed chopsticks in a random pattern over the circle. One light source created shadows on the surface for a high-contrast photo.

In Picasa I inverted the image to black and white and posterized it, then boosted the contrast. I turned it in different directions and decided on this orientation. You might like it rotated one way or the other.

I plan to try this as a layer, applied with acrylic medium, as part of a mixed media piece.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 237 ~ Make a bookmark. + Day 238 ~ Design a mural.

These two projects were easy to blend together. Both lend themselves to a long, narrow format. I thought of the design of the bookmark as also being possible as a large mural on a wall.

The artwork is done in ink and watercolor on watercolor paper. The horse's tail is made of yarn, punched through a hole in the paper and knotted in the back.

I'd like to make a few more of these and ask our local bookstore owner if he'd mind if I hid them in some of his books in the store (Four Seasons Books, Shepherdstown, WV). If you happen to find one let me know!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 236 ~ Carry something with you all day and document it in different locations.

I carried my left hand around with me all day and documented it fixing a fence, fetching the paper, with various blooming things, in front of wheels, rocks, trees and our mailbox, transporting my cereal to my mouth, with Judy's over her work table, holding tomatoes from the garden, scratching Mishi's back and buried in CJ's fur, greeting Doug's boxer Siggie, painting with ink, stroking Bela's mane, carrying a water bucket, doling out hay, submerged in the pond, and picking burrs from my sneakers which I got going down to the edge of the pond. I also slipped and fell in. Ha!

I'm not really left handed. My camera is made for a right-handed person. That left my left hand for my subject.

Day 235 ~ Use only the human body to make something.

The first three of these are products of the figure drawing class I go to on Wednesday nights at Shepherd University. Top is charcoal pencil and watercolor. Second, charcoal and gesso. Third, charcoal, watercolor and watercolor crayon. Bottom, watercolor and watercolor crayon. This last one was inspired by an exercise from a book called Expressive Figure Drawing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 233 ~ Create a portmanteau. + Day 234 ~ Create a label.

Those of you who have been following my progress on this blog are familiar with Cooper. He has shown up a number of times in these 365 projects. Here he displays his label (Day 234's project) designed especially for him by me. The label shows the portmanteau (Day 233's project) I invented just for him also. A portmanteau (I didn't know, either) is a new word created by sticking together parts of two preexisting words and whose meaning is a blend of the two original words (ex: fork + spoon = spork). Cooper's portmanteau is smart + cat + smat. He is very smart.

Why am I combining two days' projects? Because I'm really behind and I'm trying to catch up.

Fluent Magazine Article

Sheila Vertino has written a wonderful article for Fluent Magazine about my experiences with this 365 project. It was a fun interview and she did a great job interpreting my ramblings!! Please check it out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 231 ~ Create a superhero & Day 232 ~ Do something with clouds.

Again, combining two days' projects, here is my idea of a superhero (Day 231), a Pegasus-like figure, painted with a cloud motif (Day 232).

The body was cut from 3/8" Baltic birch plywood on a band saw and jig saw. The legs are mimosa sticks and the mane and tail are grape vine. They were secured by drilling holes into the side of the body, whittling down the stick to fit snug, and applying wood glue before inserting the pieces. I used acrylic paint for the surface. It's 8" X 11".

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 229 ~ Be inspired by a bicycle & Day 230 ~ Make a container.

In an effort to catch up with my projects and meet my goal of finishing all 365 by the end of this year, while doing my shows and filling holiday orders, my idea is to combine two of them at a time, at least for a while. (I hope that's acceptable, Noah! :) I think it could be even more fun, in some cases.

Here is the combination of Day 229 ~ using a bicycle for inspiration and Day 230 ~ making a container.

I found a bunch of different silhouettes of bikes and copied, cut up, rearranged and re-pasted (that's by hand, not in computer-speak, mainly because I don't know how). Then I did use the computer to scan the collaged image, using Picasa to invert colors and print the design in different hues.

I built the box from foam core and wrapped and pasted the paper to the outside. It's a little thing. Just 2"X5"X2.5". Now I need to make a little tiny bicycle to fit in it.