Masks - the new hotcake

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today I finished painting this leather mask but it was sold before I left the studio.

Productive Day in the Studio

Last week I spent a full day cleaning out my studio. Things got a little crazy during the wheel banner project and so I had to take a breath and carve out some space for other work. A clean studio space does soooo much for my productivity level. I really got a lot done yesterday and enjoyed being inside while the rain poured outside. I lit some incense, brewed a fresh pot of coffee, and listened to "A Painted House" while I worked.
The first thing I did was to screenprint some more totes to take over to the Edge of Urge, a cool shop on Market Street that sells my wares. This time I printed on two different sizes of organic cotton totes I ordered online. I can't wait to drop these off, especially since I have my new hang tags in.

I was also able to finish painting another mask. I really like the way this one turned out. I had to work fast because I was trying to blend so many colors to get a metal look. This time I worked a bit harder on the underneath side.

This is the way it looked before I painted it.


Justin and I have a pretty lofty dream...we want to sail around the world someday. All in due time I suppose, but for now we are taking a boathandling/seamanship class at the community college. Baby steps. Every Tuesday we are submerged in a flood of nautical terminology and safety guidelines. This week we spent most of the time cruising up and down the Cape Fear River. We took out a little Jon Boat and learned the basics of starting it, steering it, and to my surprise, were asked to do donuts at a pretty high speed. It was fun, especially for someone like me who has never even touched a tiller or started a boat of any kind.

My next step is to get my diving certification and then who knows...maybe my Captain's license.

Another painted mask

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I achieved this look by blending several acrylic paints in multiple layers. I also painted the underneath area all black, just to give it a more finished look. Next time I will spray paint it all black (or some neutral color) first, to save time. This first coat also allows the paint to absorb into the leather which makes the additional layers go on smoother.

This is how it looked before I started painting:

SEEDS: Succour-Gifts of Support And Solace

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One of my narrative pieces,"Prayer Flag" was selected to be in an exhibition called "Succour-Gifts of Support and Solace", curated by Cindi Rhodes and Denise Weyhrich. The exhibit is sponsored by SEEDS Fine Art Exhibitions and will be premiering at the Crystal Cathedral's first outreach fine arts program, which will be in the new Richard Meier's Visitor Center, Anaheim California.

Based on Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
"Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered,two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
There will be an opening on August 29 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Orange, CA.

Girls Best Friend

When we found out that Pucci got a clean bill of health from the vet, we decided to celebrate with a full-day kayaking excursion up Snow's Cut here in Wilmington. He seemed to really be comfortable on the water and soon settled into the lap of whoever he was paddling with. He's so little that any water on his coat makes him looked like a drowning rat but that only makes us love him all the more.
He also loves to ride in the truck and sit up like a person so he can look out and watch the cars go by.

ACME -- August Exhibition

Monday, August 25, 2008

There was a lot of great art on display at ACME this month (including my wheel banners) but it looks like Pucci stole the show.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Building shipping crates can be a whole day event. But it's worth it to ensure a safe passage for sold artwork. I am saying goodbye to two pieces, one of which is Spiraling #1, a piece that was hanging at a local coffee shop. I announced the exhibition on my blog and the painting sold the next day to a friend of mine, JB. JB is becoming quite the art collector.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Last night I had a wonderful time with my Acme friends at the home of Arrow Ross. We were invited over to watch a movie he made about the 20 years he spent living on a hippie commune in Missouri. What life experiences he has had!

Second leather mask

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This is leather mask number 2. I sculpted the "feathers" so that they
would stand up this time. I'm planning on painting this one, but I'm
still trying to decide if I want to go with an airbrush or just
regular acrylics.

Wheel Banners

Monday, August 11, 2008

I have been working on a three-color wheel banner screenprinting project for the last couple of weeks and I'm finally finished. For anyone interested, I'm selling them for $250 each and I can customize the colors. Check out the time lapse video to see how I did them. Adjust your volume level as needed.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Yesterday we adopted Pucci, a little 5lb chihuahua. He's a total cuddle bunny and adorable!! Unfortunately, Pucci is a bit sickly right now because he has had such a terrible life. He's suffering from malnutrition and so he's underweight. He was so flea bitten that he scratched off most of his fur in spots. The vet judged his age at about 8 years old but it's hard to tell because his teeth were so rotten he had to have dental surgery where most of his teeth were removed. They found a lot of infection in his mouth which caused his white blood count to be very low. He's on antibiotics and pain meds for the next 10 days. Then we'll take him to a vet here in Wilmington to find out if his blood count was low because of the infection or if it is something worse. He also got fixed so he's a little tender there too. Poor guy! He's nothing but love and seems to be perking up just getting some food and a warm bed to sleep in. We are praying for him and I really think he'll be just fine. Fortunately, Molly at Saving Grace let us have him for free and her organization has taken care of all of his medical needs so far. I encourage anyone who is thinking of adopting a rescue dog to find the nearest shelter. It's so worth it.

Leather Mask: Shaping

After cutting out the mask pattern, I soaked it in hot water (not quite boiling) for a few minutes, took it out and patted it dry on a towel and then started forming it over the mannequin head I sculpted into a bird face earlier. I worked steadily, curling the edges to get a more finished look. I scored the feathers on the backside so they would bend a little. Once it was shaped, I let it dry overnight and it held its form nicely. I did talk to someone who explained to me that I used the wrong kind of leather (has too much texture and an unevenness in thickness throughout. I did some more research and now have the right (or more commonly used) leather. I will probably have two or three more masks before it's out of my system.

Leather mask: cut out

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I came up with my own bird face design for this, then I traced the
pattern onto a piece of leather and cut it out with an x-acto blade.

Girl's Night Out

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Every Tuesday me and some of my friends do a girl's night out. Tonight we took a boat out on the inner coastal waterway. Such fun!!

Artist in the Gallery

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Today I went to the Cameron Art Museum to hear my friend Michael Van Hout speak about several pieces of art on loan to the museum from the North Carolina Museum of Art. A nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Emerging Surfaces #2

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Here's a cool time lapse video of me making "Emerging Surfaces #2". I don't have a professional photo of the finished piece yet but I'll post it later. For this sculptural painting, I cut up some faux wood blinds (the kind for windows) using a miter saw, and then sanded all the edges. Then I built the panel surface and stretched canvas over that...and then a series of applying gesso...then sanding...then more gesso. Next I played with various compositions to get an idea of how I wanted to build up the layers and finally started adhering the squares to the panel using get medium. In between some of the layers I sewed in thin pieces of metal. By doing it this way they kind of "float" between the squares. I think this was the hardest part. I had to use clamps and try to keep the thread the same length all around so the metal would be evenly placed in the middle of the squares. When everything was glued in place, I used a sand textured paint to cover everything...twice. Then I used a needle to loosen the sand around the threaded areas. Then I sprayed the piece with black spray paint. This sealed in the sand texture and prepared the surface for the acrylic paint. I used several colors of acrylic paint to achieve the look of old tiles and finally, I sprayed the whole thing with a clear varnish to really set it and seal it.

Going Home: the Modern Myth

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tonight we went to a primo art reception downtown. The party was for Grey Pascal's exhibition called Going Home: the Modern Myth. Grey is a fellow ACME artist who does sculptural pieces. What a great night with awesome food, yummy cocktails, good conversations, and many familiar faces....oh, and wonderful artwork!