It’s been over a year since I made the Thunderbird animation. I’ve been thinking about it lately, and watched it again today. I just wanted to repost it again, since it’s been awhile…
This fall has been particularly lovely here in Western Montana, and every day I’m astounded by the beauty that surrounds us. I get out most days with Bella and my camera, then come home to my studio imagining how what I’ve seen would look on canvas. I used to use oils exclusively, but stopped in favor of less toxic materials. Lately though, I’ve managed to return to oils by eliminating the worst solvents. Lavender oil makes the studio smell wonderful! It’s been a very rewarding experience.
There’s something satisfying to me about this deceptively simple water photograph. The colors are sumptuous. I would love to make a painting of it, playing with the texture and movement. All the landscapes here have a tactile quality that appeals to me.
Works in various states of progress…
The orange begonia is a dye/pastel sketch on fabric, but I’ve also made an oil study. The red begonia is starting to happen. The iris as shown is more or less an underpainting. It’s a watercolor study that I’m painting over with oils. All three are studies for large oils.
The first thing I did when I got back into the studio this summer was to try a material I’ve only read about: paper clay. In some possible life, I could have been a ceramist! My history with clay goes way back to my childhood, making “grandma ceramics” with… yes, my grandma! She was a very good painter, and she knew her glazes. I think she would have loved to do hand-building, but she ran a business so the ceramics were more like a hobby. At any rate, I’ve always loved getting my hands in the clay. If it weren’t so persnickety, who knows? I had hoped the paper clay might help me solve some of the issues that come along with regular porcelain, but I entered into it with no great expectations. I just wanted to have some fun. In that I succeeded.
These pieces are very fragile, but I swear! I’ve dreamed of making both trees and roses with clay since I don’t know when. Impossible, right?! So even though this experiment might have seemed like a sidetrack, it was very fulfilling. It was like a gateway drug to the hard stuff — the oils! I do have other ideas about it, which I hope I can get to this winter.
Just a quick photo update of the apartment… That is to say, this is where I left off when I’d had enough! After eight months of it, I began working in the studio to save my sanity. Whew! Just in the nick of time.
I’m studying for my last two tests, and will soon put school behind me. Then I can get back to work on the apartment. We worked on it all winter, and made some progress.
I stopped work to study for finals, so I’m excited to resume where I left off.
I’ve recently put an ad on Craigslist to sell the building, and here’s a link to a page I made. If we could stay in the apartment in exchange for a big chunk off the price, our living expenses would be manageable enough to make art full time. Ahh, wouldn’t that be lovely? I’d travel some and make documentaries, as well as paint. It would also be a dream realized to help someone open a business. Wish us luck!
I’ve been working steadily on the cattail project, among other things, but haven’t had time to update my blog. I hope to get ’round to it this winter when things slow down. In the meanwhile, I’d like to refer people to my facebook page, where I’m a bit more diligent about posting photos of recent work. Please visit and give me a like! Thanks.
Also, I’ve put a shopping cart up and now take PayPal. I’m set up to take credit cards too, but you have to call me to make arrangements.
Here are a few of the cattail pieces I’ve made. You might recognize the first two as characters from my animation. Piere makes frames, and I’ve been floating them on various surfaces. Tonight I’ve got a pile of fabric on my table, and I’m looking at linen and other textured fabric, like burlap. I have some hemp charmeuse that’s to die for! Its sheen offsets the metallics nicely.
At some point, I’m going to try the soy wax I just got today. I’m so excited! I rarely make batik these days because the beeswax fumes are so toxic and it’s too hard to get out of the fabric. Soy wax eliminates both issues. You can use it for encaustic too. I just learned about it from some art quilters at the MAP Gathering a few weeks ago.
I’m prepping now for the Union Club show which is coming up in two weeks.
This is the male elephant I made for the Thunderbird animation, adjusted in Photoshop with some images I took in Seattle this past week. We visited the Botanical Gardens, which were beautiful.
(I’ll have to make a post about Bella, our rescue Doberman. She used to be a wussy Washington dog, but not anymore! She’s a Montanan now. So happy she’s with us.)
This process of wildcrafting cattails and making paper from scratch is more involved that I realized… but it has its rewards along the way!
Cattail patch, with my favorite Russian olive tree.
Trumpeter swan pair. Seeing them was the highlight of the boat ride. All the birds were out in force, and I got great audio too. When I download it, I’ll put some here.
More info about papermaking to come.
Star Date: May 15, 2013
I’ll always remember this as a really fulfilling week for me — finals week. Everyone showed our most recent work, and I’m really proud to have been part of this group of smart and talented individuals. I showed my animation, of course, and today in Interactive Media I shared my new blog site with them. (We’ll find out next week if we got the grant for a new roof.) The Animation project is ongoing. Today I’ll work on a music composition.
School may be over, but an artist’s work is never done! I’m looking forward to spending more time in the studio this summer, continuing to integrate my fine art skills with media arts, which has been my long term goal with all this.
Next September I’ll also be “graduating” from the Montana Artrepreneurship Program, which will entail participating in a regional art fair in the Bitterroot. I have to build a booth, and fill it up with art work. I have a feeling I’ll be displaying a lot of small pastels!
In addition to building an apartment rental this summer, we’ll continue working on the gallery space and get the kitchen re-certified. By next year, I hope we’ve found someone who wants to make food happen in there!
I’ve added pages for several of my classes this term, and am updating them regularly. Please check out the menu items to see my latest work.