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Today’s Riddle

1 Apr

Found my groove finally with the bead coloring. Okay, more like I wore it down. I'm so stubborn sometimes. Side note: that's my magic pin in the upper right of the photo, I use it to pick up and manipulate the mini paper strips.

Spent quite a bit of time questioning whether the beads looked perfect in black and white or if they might be improved with color. Possibly, it came down to whether they looked better as-is or with the coloring done badly? Oh no! Not that AGAIN?! My bead-coloring fears: Too dark and they become illegible. I’m not interested in going too pastel, either. Too many spontaneous, painterly moves and I make mud. It isn’t a very big canvas!

Eventually… [after I tried different techniques and even painted over the rejects] a combo of fabric dye and watered-down acrylics meets with my approval. My delight at seeing it working is built into every bead! Yes, I like the color. Art of this tiny scale probably needs the double-take value that a little color adds. I hope this helps slow people down long enough to bring it into focus.

It always comes down to this: Maybe I could be a great artist. If I could just stop second-guessing myself all the time. But. I CAN’T DO that. Or CAN I?

I keep going as if I’ve already arrived. Trying not to give much weight to the doubts in my head, mostly because I don’t believe everything I hear. Behaving as if my quirky stuff is going to be a big hit when I start getting it out there. Which is coming up soon enough.

And, I have my answer next time somebody asks me what my art is for. I’m not being sarcastic. I don’t feel responsible to explain my art but I’m happy to do so. I made it because it amused me at the time. How true!


Circle Poems

28 Mar

Wall charms at night

I’ve finished this group of 12 wall charms. The poems start at the top and are circular but you can jump in or out anyplace. Not a lot of room makes them short and sweet. Sometimes weird. At a glance, adorable.

Just before the type went on

I was going to do more of the “No if and or but” but but but, I didn’t really have enough room to get a rhythm going that made me laugh. It works on a bead though, so I am satisfied.

No if and or but!

Stones were challenging. Got the turquoise just right. It looks good bumpy. For the next group though, I’ll need some of the stones to be smoother for a more convincing effect.

Here’s the three in turquoise. Click the link to see album with all of them

Layers of texture and color

23 Mar

Little wall charms. Easier than saying miniature sculpture-painting-collages. They might be magic. It feels good to be a little bit delighted by my own creations. I asked a friend (another artist) if it is okay for me enjoy my work so much. She said yes, as long as I can also let go of it. Thank you! What a great answer.

Everything has two coats except the "stones" in the middle are still raw.

With a little antiquing. There will be little shortie poems along the raised pathways.

I’ve gone over both whites with a sponge of yellow oxide. Two colors of copper and two colors of silver plus black. Nice. Even though I attempted to get more of a layered look with less colors, this is where I got satisfied.

Below: Pictures, captions, more or less in real time.

I like the shape of this stone and the way the bezel compensates to fit the round.

Feels like a mechanical gadget. Got hardware?

Oh my, the RED!

Photo op. The red really shines.

First coat on the stones. There will be many many more coats. Lots of extra-gloss gel, glitter, special stone-y effects. But for the moment, I am enjoying the pure colors just as they are.

I have plans to make this stone look like a pendant I've been wearing since I was 15.

What a hoot, right?

Side view.

Mirror in the middle.

While I waited for the fronts to dry hard enough for a second coat... I had a signing party. It's just me and my sharp brush. I call it a party because I'm doing them all at once. Also because I'm willing to sign them before they're finished which is a big deal. Like doing a crossword in ink.

I wouldn’t want to get carried away…

19 Mar

Night photography is so satisfying. I'm done working and the lamp light is warm. Giving the feeling that there is no need to worry about details.

Balancing all that neat and
tidy with some spatters.

Curving the type involves making lots of slits in the paper. More cuts as the curve gets tighter. I tried to shortcut some of these by not making enough slits. As if short lines don’t need to be curved but they do, they do! Even if super subtle, it absolutely makes a difference in whether or not the words feel truly connected to the base.

On this set (the Phrase Blocks Series) I wanted to see just how quickly I could work. Definitely, I see a few that I wish I’d taken a bit more time with. But…

Picked up on a whole bunch of great ideas for the next set and how to do them better, fancier and easier. Actually, I’m already deep into them. More squares, rectangles, rounds too!

"baker's dozen" finished

Wondering now, where I might dig up more great books to demolish? My way of honoring books. Sounds weird, feels right. I’m dreaming of large initial caps, interesting folios. I’m open to old keyboards, scrabble pieces, anything I can get my hands on that feels quirky and retro. I won’t be doing anything that looks like a ransom note, no. Elegant typography, yes!

(below): After I spatter painted, I still wanted more white. So I touched the brush to the squares. Did it looking away, eyes mostly closed. For a better chance at making it random. While still getting paint on the blocks. I have to say, sponging is really more my style.

Spatters in white, this drop cloth has been used before.

(below): After the white, yellow spatters. Trying to get the color to blend with the color of the book pages.

Spattered but neatly arranged

Also working on…

You know, stuff.


Cute poem leftover from the Humorous Hearts, in a block format.

Artsy photography, with lamplight shining directly into my lens.

And the new set of wall charms…

Letting the jewel dry first makes the rest of the shaping easier, if I can wait that long.

Getting some of the details and sponging done.

Using chunks of really rough old wood with uneven character.

Willing curlicues

(above): It was comforting to have a small piece to practice my ideas on. The little chains are leftover from “finished” bird toys. This copper paint is always too, too much but I like it a lot with a layer of antique gold over top.

More little ditties drying in the sun.

Looking forward to the painting phases, always. Color is food. First coat feels like I am nourishing the clay. Second coat is candy. I could go on and on and sometimes I do!

I have stacks of these. Sometimes I use them the way they pop out of the book and others I mix it up. It doesn't take much of a deletion, or addition from another page, to really change the context! I've taken a lot of these shorties for the mini wall charms that are drying now.

And, of course, adding the letters is pure fun, I’m not going to rush.

Squares are neat and tidy

25 Feb

Backs of 17 more word blocks

I’m thinking of a lot of reasons why I like squares. They calm me. I feel a sense of order. Predictability. Four sides. I know where this is going. Security. Familiarity. It’s like comfort food for my eyes and hands.

There are 34 word blocks in the works now. In various stages of wet so I can’t touch them. I’m sort of waiting. Thinking about baking, actually. Cookies come in little squares, too!

That million dollar five dollar idea

23 Feb

Little blocks will have type along the spirals

Actively pursuing the concept. Believing. Hoping to get my art career hopping with an original quirky item that people can relate to. Part of that relationship is that the art needs to be easily affordable.

Word blocks are on the way. Right now these are in the sun drying. Little squares, less than two inches, of wood molding covered in instant papier mache mix. Fasteners on the back are made out of real picture hanging wire. I love that touch.

A great book of phrase origins was gifted to me which is perfect to slice up and glue down along the spirals. I’ll be painting the blocks in a soft white to match the book pages. I’m really exited about these little ditties and hope that will show through in the finished product.