Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I wanted to do a special post for a few precious followers who have been so kind and supportive lately with their comments. Tara, Renee, Sherri, and Ruthie . . .
And here are some bits and bobs I thought you might find inspiring.
First "Danse Macabre" conducted and arranged by Leopold Stokowski and recorded in 1925. Listen to it here.
Via Morbid Anatomy and Dinosaur Gardens.
And a scene from a masterful Russian animated movie, Konjek-Gorbunok from the studio Soyuzmultfilm. Byzantine Russian palaces, firebirds, magic horses . . . I grew up watching this fluid, sparkling gem. Enjoy!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
And this is already all over the internet but bears repeating:
My own attempts at paper sculpture are entirely dwarfed by the above paper or paper-like engineering feats. Truly, these have inspired me to try again.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia, Stefano Maderno
© Rémi Jouan, CC-BY-SA, GNU Free Documentation License, Wikimedia Commons
In my art blog-wanderings today, stumbled across St. Cecilia - patron saint of music, as well as that of musicians, composers, instrument makers, poets, and the blind - who reportedly continued to sing despite her severed head. Hmm. I'm not so sure it couldn't have happened.
The months that have passed since I last posted anything in the virtual world have been full and heavy indeed. So many things have "died" of late - metaphorically and literally. But I sit on a deep hoard of hope. Not the desperate hope that clings to having everything resolved according to my demands, or the wishful kind of hope that expects to win a lottery, but the kind of hope that rides through the storms of life and gives life and joy.
My heart still sings despite its severed state.
I hope to be creating and posting artwork again soon and to finally get my revamped Etsy store stocked. Until next time, have a wondrous day!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Angelo Filomeno. Death of Blinded Philosopher, 2006. Embroidery on silk shantung, linen, and crystals. 42 x 122 in. (106.7 x 309.9 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb
Found via http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2008/03/pricked-extreme-embroidery.php from the exhibition "Pricked" featuring contemporary embroidered art at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
All About Papercutting
The Hidden Seed
Elsita on Etsy
"Elsita" is so intriguing because she is so intensely personal and open with her life and experiences. She has done everything from fashion, jewelry, and papercutting to porcelains, paintings, and photography. I have included two of her flickr sets to whet your appetite but don't miss out on the rest of her extensive and amazingly varied work - many more sets here.
Almost everything she produces tugs at my heart with a kind of dreadful, delightful "urgency". Have you ever felt this? What artists do this for you? . . . create a painful, wistful feeling in your heart that such touching artistry or sentiment cannot be held for more than a moment?
Friday, August 28, 2009
It's been a while and I apologize - I have a large project going on and have had to shut down all other artwork, including my Etsy store, to stay focused. However, today my husband shared an excellent article with me "Client Red Flags? Ask These 4 Questions." By Steve Tovak.
Some artists seem to have as long a list of "bum" clients as "good" clients. Sometimes the bad list is longer. I know I often feel obligated to take any and all work that comes my way, sometimes despite my gutt reaction to the client, because, well, I need the work!
I'm comitting these four questions to memory for the next new client who contacts me.
Medival Market or Fair. Artist unknown.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Here's a little project that is no more. I've been trying my hand at paper-engineering. This is the beginning of a sculptural version of the well that also features prominently in another project. Unfortunately, I was using paper that was too heavy-weight and rubber cement as adhesive. As soon as humidity set in, it started to fall apart - rather elegantly, like a rose, first leaning and drooping (as you see it doing here) then quietly losing it's petals - but falling into oblivion none-the-less. Also, the rubbercement yellowed and collected dust in all the crevices. It was pretty forlorn in the end.
However, I learned a lot and Percy has some new tricks up her sleeve we'll have to try.
Notes to self:
Try a light Canson paper
Good ole Elmer's glue
Work from ground up - not top down. Seems obvious, I know, but remember my background is in costume and clothing is usually draped or "sculpted" top-down.
We'll see what happens next!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
The old favorite, and an all-time favorite forever, is Elsa Mora or "Elsita" (right); more on her in another post. The new favorite is Carlos Estévez. He and Elsa Mora are opening together in a show called "Laboratorium" in Los Angeles. Both are Cuban artists living in the US. Their artwork touches my soul; it somehow manages to capture much of my emotional memory of Ecuador and Colombia, even though they are from Caribbean Latin America. I long to be able to capture such feelings in my own work.
A post on a new piece I created will be coming up in a few days. Until then, enjoy these other beautiful pieces from Carlos Estévez.
Friday, July 31, 2009
These photos were taken before I put the finishing detail on; and I forgot to photograph the completely finished piece I was so eager to get it in the mail! Wish I had because the last item I added really brought it all together. Oh well, here it is in almost finished state.
It is about 4"x5" in overall size. The challenges to embossing a human subject, on this small a scale, are numerous and probably obvious. I have learned quite a bit, especially about leaving depressions instead of flipping the work over and depressing from the opposite side.
Most of embossing is done on the reverse side of the paper, pressing hardest for the areas that need the most loft: cheekbones, shoulders, brows, nose. Once I've completed the fuller impressions I flip the work to the right side and use a very fine-tipped point to define edges and details. The hardest embossing decisions revolve around small detailed areas such as eyes, lips and hair. They require a delicate play of impression next to depression. The first impression is usually the finest - repeated impressing in the same place wears out the paper, can look "deflated" or collapsed and won't take fine details - so getting it right the first time around small, detailed areas is imperative.
Anyway, the person for whom I made this piece is a very unique and talented one. May beauty bloom in unexpected places!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So I'm simply going to give a shout-out to my favorite entries thus far:
Watch all the entries here.
Monday, July 20, 2009
1. Tim Burton artistic vision
2. Colleen Atwood's costume design
3. The red, black, white color palatte
All three combined in the following promotional pics from Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland. Behold the White Queen:
Images via The Costumer's Guide to the Movies which has the most comprehensive image collection of film costumes I've yet found on the internet.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Visit her Etsy store here.
Ooo, she just makes me want to head home and create all kinds of new things! But alas, must attend to the work at hand.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
My mother is a wonderful pianist, runs her own piano studio, occasionally composes sweetly yearning pieces, AND owns a lovely Andean folk harp she acquired while we lived in Ecuador. She only had a few lessons on it before the rest of life took over and the harp was put to slumber prettily in our living room corner. I hope that someday she will take it up again. The harp in this silhouette is modeled - loosely - after hers.
My father tunes pianos for a little extra income. As the provider of my mother's pianos, and mechanic to them, he inspired me to create a harpmaker. This piece was quite a challenge to compose. I decided to use an ancient Egyptian harp as the basis for the composition so that I could keep everything oriented horizontally - the Egyptian harp lends itself to horizontal lines because it is visually heavier at the bottom, unlike more contemporary harp shapes. Every time I sketched in a contemporary harp on it's side the composition felt awkward and overly complicated. I also like that it is in keeping with the general theme of ancient art that inspires most of my silhouettes.
I have plans for a new take on my silhouettes when I create a piece inspired by my Grandmother. But these will have to wait until I get back to and meet my current deadlines for commissions, etc.
Thanks for peeping in again! Have a lovely week!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Persephone - "Percy" for short. For many reasons - which Wikipedia lays out much more concisely than I ever will.
Here's my favorite reason to call her this: Plato calls her Pherepapha (Φερέπαφα) in his Cratylus, "because she is wise and touches that which is in motion".
Thanks again for all your suggestions!
Here's the embossing I created for the winner of the drawing, Renee. The actual figuring in the peice is probably no more than two inches wide, which made her face a bit of a challenge - it's only a few sixteenths of an inch! Overall size is about 3"x4".
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Well, I've had several little "unearthings" this week: two by one of my favorite Fin de Siècle illustrators, Kay Nielsen, and one of my own sketches.
I'm assuming these Nielsen illustrations have been known to others much longer than to me but this steals none of the magic from my own emotions upon finding them on the web.
I found these via Golden Age Comic Book Stories, which has wonderful, wonderful images from many classic children's book illustrators, comic books, and pulp fiction.
As to my own lost sketch:
Today I send "The Embroiderer" off to a new home. As I turned her over to inspect, voila! there on the back of the Bristol is a light sketch of some lanky, ornately encrusted, medieval princess I did while working up roughs for The Embroiderer. The ink from the finished piece on the other side seeps through so that the sketch is not very discernible; it did not photograph or scan well enough to post. But what a fun remembrance for me and what a nice "extra" for the new owner!
Next post, you will finally discover my muse's new name and I'll post pics of the prize I created for Renee. So come peep in again soon!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Go check out Colourlovers.com if you have some free time. Too much fun!
Color by COLOURlovers
Color by COLOURlovers
Color by COLOURlovers
Monday, June 22, 2009
I had plans for several posts that have not been realized due to some private matters. Please have patience with me as I navigate some new emotional waters. I hope to be back soon with some progress updates on work and other new and interesting ephemera to share.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I have been obsessed ever since. The graceful, skeletal forms, monochromatic palette, simple and melodious engineering - they take my breath away.
Because there is so much out there on Jansen and his work, I'm going to link to a fellow blogger who compiled a pretty concise and comprehensive list of images and videos.
I want a strandbeest for a pet.
Tomorrow, another of my favorite artists . . .
The Garden of Earthly Delights - Detail, center panel. Hieronymus Bosch
Congratulations, Renee! And thank you for being a part of the naming process.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Seven Sacraments, Roger Van der Wayden
Again, my apologies!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I would like to invite you to participate in a very important decision: a name for my muse. To honor this sacred event (a little snickering as I type that) I'm going to do my first give-away. The prize will be a 4"x4" embossing which I will create for the winner.
To participate, please make your name suggestion by commenting on this post. A little exposition on meaning or why you think it's the perfect name would be welcome.
*Gentle Facebook Readers, please go directly to the blog to comment if you would like to be entered in the drawing. (Click on the title and you should be taken directly to this post.) Facebook comments will not be entered in the drawing for the prize but the names suggested will certainly be considered for the muse.
The winner of the personalized embossing will be randomly selected from all comments that suggest a new name. So the more new and original recommendations you make, the better your chance of winning. Comments about an already suggested name will not be counted. Comments must be received by 5:00 am EST, Monday, June 15th. The contest winner will be announced later that day. Whoever wins must then contact me about your embossing within 48 hours. If I do not hear from the first winner, another name will be drawn. Instructions for contacting me will be on the post announcing the winner.
As to the name I actually choose for my muse . . . wait on. I see another give-away in my future.
Now, for your consideration - this muse's characteristics:
Willful, deeply loyal and oddly fearless but very slothful, insanely fun to ride, wiry, aloof, illusive, distracted, mercurial, original but not witty, vaguely annoying but deeply endearing
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
She also sells neat vintage apparel, shoes, and accessories in her Etsy store, A Single Charm Vintage.
Monday, June 1, 2009
One thing we are agreed on is that calling her "my muse" is getting tiresome. I hope to include my wee list of followers in the naming process shortly so be watching for an upcoming post on this. It will include a special treat.
In other news, inspiring me today:
Laberinto en la Guitarra by Ensamble Continuo
My mother's Ecuadorian folk harp - I am missing my family today. (OK, I think it's actually a Paraguayan folk harp. But she bought it and learned to play on it while we lived in Ecuador so it is erroneously burned in my brain as "Ecuadorian.") She rarely touches it now, being busy with her piano studio.
I am also missing my Andes Mountains today. Specifically Pichincha - though not the most beautiful of Ecuador's stunning volcanoes, it was Pichincha's craggy, gloomy slopes to which I awoke every morning for many years as a child. I remember vividly - down to temperature and smell - trooping through the wind, clouds,and/or intense sunlight that crowned its head.
Friday, May 15, 2009
So my muse and I are having a row. She's got all these wonderful ideas she wants to pursue. I, on the other hand, have some commissions to complete before I leave on vacation next week. She is being very obstinate and refusing to help me with the commissions. In fact, she is slowing my work down by assaulting me with fabulous ideas I don't have time or energy to pursue. Don't know how long it will be before we're on speaking terms again. I'm going to whine a little now: why do I always have to be the "adult" in these situations? So wish I could just indulge her.
Monday, May 11, 2009
My sister-in-law is on her way to Paris later this week and I'm so excited for her. I have yet to visit France but I have my list of "must-sees" ready for when the opportunity presents itself. On this list is the Musée de Cluny or Musée National du Moyen Age. The above well, located outside the museum, has been an inspiration in several of my artistic endeavors. Look here to see one of these.
If you'd like more information Sacred Destinations has wonderful images and clearly presented, concise, useful information.
Speaking of inspirations . . .
And here's another fairytale-ish element that's becoming a go-to inspiration. Look for it in up-coming posts.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
The color-palette of this lovely Lotte Reiniger film is delightful. To see more about how she created her wonderful paper-cut animations, see "Escapism" in the bottom margin of this blog.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
In between illustration commissions and Etsy orders I've been stitching away at my own version of an embroidery sampler: my own rendering of "Death and the Maiden." I plan to work in every kind of stitch, floss, ribbon I can find and learn. (Needle'n Thread has a wonderful video library of how to perform many different stitches.) I am obsessed with white-on-white in most things I do; finding this obsession quite a cleanliness-challenge - I'm not succeeding at present.
I learned many of these techniques as a child but have only recently revisited this craft. I've found I love embroidering - so calming. Making lots of mistakes and stumbling upon little tricks now and then.
Fine artists are also taking this craft to a new level: