An Artistic Sanatorium . . . for the muse plagued with artistic attention deficit disorder.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A New Embossing


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

Etsy Handmade Moment Contest

So I desperately want to make a little stop-motion animation using one of my poseable figures and enter this contest. Of the myriad reasons I have not done so yet, the most legitimate are: 1. that I have no completed figures in stock and 2. I have non-Etsy commissions to finish.

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

Three favorite things

Not much to post this week as I have a lot going on in my day job. Three things for which I have a great appreciation:
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

I "heart" a new artist: Jennifer Khoshbin

I "hearted" the artist Jennifer Khoshbin on Etsy a while ago, after only briefly perusing her items. Today, I went over to her site and what a tender treat! Her work is so intimate, delicate. She reminds me of paper-cut artists Jen Stark and Su Blackwell,but she has built upon their innovations by adding sound. Don't miss her lovely "intonation" pieces: books outfitted with music box parts (with soundclips available), "transformation" (scroll down to the beetles), or her magnificent machine-embossings and paper carvings in "illustration".

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

A Special Dedication

Percy secretly called during my little hiatus a couple weeks back and I quietly mounted up for a ride. Sometimes deadlines for other work must be put off for things of the heart. I created these as a gift for my parents, who have been tremendously supportive to my husband and I recently.

The Harpist

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.

The Harpmaker

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

La muse s'appelle . . .

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


How many times have you wished for an undiscovered manuscript, composition, or painting by your favorite dead artist to magically be unearthed?

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!
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