Friday, July 30, 2010

Dreamy Studio

My place is small and I do most of my painting in the corner of my bedroom, adjacent to (or practically in) my closet. My collage projects end up strewn all over the coffee table in the living room. There is clay in the back yard. I often fantasize about the fabulous studio space I will find myself in one day.

Today's post on the Contemporist Blog made my heart flutter... I would love to set up shop in a space like THIS.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Art Sale-

I was a pottery making fool for a few weeks leading up to the art sale, which is already 10 days in the past. It was a great exercise in really pushing myself to make quantities of something. Anything. I kept the forms simple; lots of plates and bowls. I see a lot more platter throwing in my future. I'm digging using them as small canvases for shadow panting. I also became slightly obsessed with creating cake plates, of course making them and actually ushering them through the process to completion proved to be challenging... problematic even. Of the five I made three of them cracked while drying, one developed a severe list making it quite lopsided, and the one that was somewhat acceptable didn't make it into the kiln on time. I'll pick up with these again soon.

While the sale itself wasn't as well attended as we'd hoped, the folks that did come by were enthusiastic about what they saw. I was asked several times- "do you have a website or business card?" To which the answer is no. I guess I should get on that if I truly want to be a real artist when I grow up. One thing at a time though. As I'd mentioned at the conception of this blog, I'm a bit of a shy artist. This sale is only the second time I've actively showed my work in the hopes of selling it. I walked away feeling very validated and I got to spend the day with some amazingly talented folks.

Without further adieu here are some photos of the 11th & Boise Summer Art Sale:

My Shadow Plates

I carved the rim of this plate to mimic portions of the Portland Skyline. It's actually based on a sketch I did while biking along the waterfront last summer. It was my prototype and I planned to perfect it using this one as an example, but it was one of the first things I sold! So I guess I'll be starting from scratch. Not a bad problem to have.
These plates were done last minute- the last things that went in the kiln. It was pure experimentation- throwing caution to the wind and thankfully they worked out extremely well.

My display. Made of plexi glass and two teak step ladders from my Smith & Hawken days.

I guess I should probably start making art now for the holiday sale in November...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Playing Catch Up

I just got around to starting my Coil Clay project this morning, and as I sit to write about it, I realized I have some catching up to do. Creatively speaking, I have been a busy girl! So busy, in fact, that I have not made time to reflect upon that creativity or share the process and results here on the CWP. I'll continue on with the Coil anecdote, but you'll see a few updates from me later today too. I say that more to hold myself accountable to posting them, than any other reason.


This project made me a little nervous. My relationship with clay is firmly centered around the wheel (no pun intended). The idea of hand-building projects hasn't occurred to me since I was working on assignments back in college. Even then, I only worked with coil or slab building out of necessity. For a while there I was obsessed with paying homage to Alberto Giacometti's all skinny figures. Something about them really spoke to me. Trying to re-create something that had originally been cast in bronze, by using coiled clay was definitely a challenge, but it was a rewarding one. Once those projects were completed, I turned to the wheel exclusively for my clay fix and never looked back.

Here we are 7 years later, a new coil assignment staring me in the face. To make it even more complicated, I've never been much for working in abstract forms. I am a realist through and through; in art, and in life. I've been thinking about this project daily since Mandy posted it last weekend. Mulling it over, trying to squelch the ideas of slugs and candle holders- representative, functional objects- that kept jumping into my brain. I finally grabbed hold of one idea of an abstract, multi-limbed form, and began thinking about that shape and how to accomplish it.

Cutting the likeness of a three dimensional shape you've conjured in your head, is an exercise in using your imagination for sure. Turning that two dimensional representation back into a 3-D form takes that one step further. Aside from those challenges, I also realized that coiling clay upward requires some patience and techniques that are beyond rusty. Fortunately, the sun is shining in Portland today and clay dries more quickly in the sun. With any luck I'll make some progress on this thing today and regain my coil legs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Clay Play

This is our first 3D clay project and it is going to be FUN. Here is the basic premise; cut out a piece of paper or cardboard in a crazy free-form shape. Then, using coils build up letting the clay take you where it wants to go.  I love doing this because no matter how much you plan, once the clay starts to develop it's own shape it could turn out to be anything (and most likely inspire you in a certain direction).  The only rules are that you must start with the shape of your choice, any size you are willing to develop (fire, glaze) and that you use coils, no slabs. 

For this project everyone is welcome to participate, at the finish line we just ask for results to be emailed to one of us for posting on the site. The time limit on this project will be 1 month, which puts us at deadline on the 19th of August. If that sounds like not enough time for you, please do the project anyway and send us results whenever, we will still post them!

If you have any questions feel free to ask, I am flexible and would like to keep it as open as possible.  Meaning you can do just about anything you want...:)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Creatively Speaking

I have had so much going on in the last couple of weeks I feel bad for slacking on the blog. To summarize my creative endeavors, I have been getting ready for a friend's baby shower. For me that means painting a gift for the nursery, and planning some edible arrangements for the fondue (the most important part:)

The painting is based on my friend's bird themed nursery and since she is having her 3rd girl, the Bob Marley song "3 Little Birds" kept coming to mind.  I also used her bedding for inspiration (Brooke, from the Pottery Barn). Here is what I came up with;

s ise up thisThe lyrics "Rise up this mornin' smiled with the risin' sun, 3 little birds pitch by my doorstep, singing sweet songs of melodies pure and true, this is my message to you...Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be all right" are framing the picture.

My helper Lulu

edible art...those grapes were fine, just photoed weird!

I added green grapes too, YUM!


Turns out the painting was a real hit, as well as the amazing fruit. The fondue was of course delish, as well (sorry didn't get a pic!)

Will be back with a new project that this is out of the way, we can start some clay!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Sketchbook Has Arrived!

My sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project arrived last week and I couldn't be more excited! I allowed the project people to select a theme for me at random, which is "(your name here)".

Hmm... this could be interesting. Any ideas of what I can do with that?

I'll be busy preparing for our Art Sale, happening this Sunday, but once we move into next week we'll get back to a regular cadence with our projects here. Stay tuned for photos of lots of pottery coming your way soon!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

So Curious...

So funny Nicole,  I took these at my folks house not to long ago as inspiration as well. Great minds think alike.
And to see what all I have been up to creatively speaking, click here, to lazy to go over it all again. I do have some painting plans soon, as well as some more sewing.
Happy Creations Everyone!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lonesomeville: Creative Inspiration

This might be the next painting on my roster.

Lonesomeville? No, I'm not talking about a sad country song. Lonesomeville is where I've been throwing my pottery the last several months. An old farm house, built in the late 1800s, sits nestled away on an acre of land in South East Portland. The good people that live there are always in motion, beautifying their surroundings and bringing the house back to life little by little. While I've been working there the past few days, I've witnessed them cast & glaze pottery for the business, while insulating and dry walling 2 rooms that had been down to the studs on the second floor. Cooking dinner, painting, scraping up linoleum... Their gardens are simply amazing (see sample flower above) , and someone is always cutting the lawn, or harvesting vegetables, planting, cutting... always moving. I'm fortunate enough to get to play in their studio space and I can't really articulate what a pleasure it is. Throwing open the double carriage house doors and emerging myself in clay, it's the most peaceful thing.

Part of the mission of this blog is to share inspiration- talk about the things that make us want to create. My creative mind has definitely been the more forward thinking side of my brain lately. It's a strange switch, and I'm still trying to adjust from a scheduling perspective (I'm very similar to my friends at Lonseomeville, I don't really stop moving either), but I'm really enjoying it! Carrying a sketchbook for our last project was a good catalyst. I sketch a lot more and jot down notes and ideas. I can pinpoint moments and connect them to something I'm working on and planning to work on. I'm giving more time to the process, instead of just pushing for the finished product.

While I was putting my plates out to dry, in the sunny garden bed
I had one of those inspirational moments.

The shadows that the flora cast on the plates were stunning! I've really been trying to think more about the decorative part of the pottery and this is a great solution. Using plates and platters as a vehicle for painting has long been one of my favorite creative expressions. Maybe it's my need for functionality and efficiency in all that I do? Anyhow, I ran back to the studio and grabbed a plate that had already been bisque fired and came back to the garden with paint brush and new test glaze in hand. Here's how they looked before being fired:

I'm so curious to see how they look when they come out of the kiln later today...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pottery Throwing Bonanza

This is my last weekend to make pottery before the upcoming art sale. Here's my plan: four day weekend, 10-15 pieces a day, 40 to 60 new pieces headed for the kiln by Tuesday of next week. It'll be a stretch for sure, but I'm up for the challenge. I've actually been putting my PR powers to use for good instead of evil and have sent a press release for our show out to about 5-6 local media outlets. That has really lit a fire under my behind to get moving. Must sell art work! More importantly... must have artwork to sell!

In other news, I received notification that my sketchbook has shipped from NY for the Sketchbook project. How exciting!

Stay tuned for photos coming soon...