Home Residency: Day 5 (belated)

Well, I am finally posting the pictures from the last day of the home residency! I have not worked on the pieces much since then as I have been teaching art camps for young artists. In the little moments I can grab I have been experimenting with more carving in and trying to simplify, simplify, simplify. I'll post more pictures at the end of the week when I  (hopefully) finish. I am so ready to be done.

A.M. - Piece No. 1

P.M. - Piece No. 2


P.M. - Piece No. 1 (I know it looks almost the same but trust me, a lot happened) 

P.M. - Piece No. 2

A few things I learned during my five days of concentrated working:

1. Art takes a lot of time and a fierce concentration. 
2. Working every day gave me a better idea of just how many tiny decisions you have to make to create one thing. 
3. Being immersed in your work for hours each day does not make you a very good conversationalist during the off times. 
4. I need to make sure I am protecting more of my weekly hours to art making if I'm going to make any progress. 
5. I have to be ruthless about cutting out, covering over, and scraping down the things that are not really working with the whole piece. No matter how lovely the are by themselves. 

I am sure I will have more thoughts later. Now I'm off to make dinner. 


Home Residency: Day 4

Here's a progress report in pictures. Still more work to do, but no one ever said making art was easy!

Line drawing warmup



New Piece: A.M.

New Piece: P.M.

This beautiful lady visited me on my coffee break. A muse perhaps?


Home Residency: Day 3

Yesterday I made some progress on the new piece. I think it's trying to figure itself out and I am not sure that I am helping very much. Can't wait to see what happens with it today. Here are some images:

9:30 am
11:30 am

1:00 pm

3:00 pm

5:00 pm

7:00 pm

Right now my gut says I have too many colors going on. I would like a more natural feel. I want it to feel sort of organic, almost like it could be alive. Today I am going to take out some of the small blue and gold dots, and carve down through to the map paper underneath in a few more places. I think it also needs some line work, so I might play around the inscribing some straight lines and filling them with color. I've done that a little with the blue circles and I like how delicate it feels. I am also considering getting rid of those red spots layered underneath. So much to learn!


Home Residency: Day 2, Part 2

Before I went to the museum I spent the morning working on some new little experiments. These will be in the forthcoming Etsy shop. I'm filling my inventory with small devotional/inspirational objects that will, hopefully, aid people in their contemplative and interior life. Making these also serves as a great warm up before art making. I'm learning about drips and dots, so these have lots of both.

This the beginning of the next piece in the Cellular Series. More pictures on how it develops coming tomorrow! 

Home Residency: Day 2

Yesterday I took a quick trip to the Raleigh Museum of Art. I am teaching a children's camp there next week. I wanted to spend some time preparing for the lessons and checking out the offerings.

The museum just re-opened, after an extensive renovation and expansion, so I was excited to see the new space. The new building is really beautiful: a clean metal structure with lots of windows and natural grass landscaping. It reminded me a bit of the aesthetic of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Tx. The ceiling is full of skylights and the space is filled with plenty of light. Natural light in a museum makes for a wonderful viewing experience.

While the collection is small, they have a nice broad representation of everything from functional African art; to huge Robert Motherwell paintings; many sculptures by Rodin; two large Henry Moore pieces outside; some wonderful religious paintings from the 12 and 13th century, and a lone Picasso. It was a lovely two hours of looking, learning, and paying attention.  Here are some highlights:

Ledelle Moe, Congregation
2005-2008, concrete

This is my favorite piece. I love that each of the heads has a unique face, and that they are all facing in different directions. The slight variations in color come from the different colors of sand found in all the places the artist cast the concrete. I so enjoy the look of clusters of similar objects; calm but not monotonous. This is the kind of piece you can stand in front of and look for a long time. In fact you could look at it every day and not get tired.  Its simple aesthetic pulls you in to examine the details and discover the surprises in each face. 

Alison Saar, Tippy Toes
2007, wood, cast bronze

Anselm Kiefer, Untitled, 1980-1986, 
Oil, acrylic, emulsion, shellac, lead, charcoal, and straw on photography; mounted canvas; with stones, lead, and steel cable; in three parts. 

Juame Plensa, Doors of Jerusalem I, II, & III
2006, resin, stainless steel, light

These pieces are just amazing to stand under. The figures glow in this delicate ghostly way. The first thing you experience as you walk through the museum doors suggest a solemn invitation to quiet yourself. They sort of remind me of a sphinx, or an oracle. I almost expected them to open their mouths and intone some prophetic statement upon us all. I think it's quite wonderful how objects this large can be made to seem light, but not airy, not like they could float away, but more like a soft white blanket settling down upon you.  

Patrick Dougherty, Out of the Box
2009, red maple saplings

All the wonderful movement in this piece feels like the beginning of a storm. Pressure and wind and sound and water all swirling together waiting to drop. I loved looking at it and feeling its weight. My eye just roved and flew all over. I felt like I could get swept right up into it. It would be wonderful to eat underneath these lovely, lively lines, but I don't know that I would be a very good dinner companion.  I might forget to talk to whomever I was with!


Home Residency: Day 1

While David is in Michigan taking a class at Calvin College I decided to give myself a little home residency. I am taking a week to concentrate on learning some new things about encaustic painting.  I also want to be filling my head and eyes with inspiring things each day.

To get ready I re-designed my studio space, making it larger and more efficient.  The first day working in the new space proved that just  a little more space really makes a lot of difference. It's so nice to have a wax table, a cutting table, a drawing table, and a computer desk! Before this week I was balancing my computer on two biology textbooks, an atlas, and a big book of birds!

I hope this concentrated time will give me a great kick start into some new pieces. I am going to post pictures of each day's events and activities. Here are some from yesterday:

New tables and clean surfaces! 

A.M. Table

P.M. Table

Playing with drips and color

Today I am off to the Museum of Art in Raleigh to soak up the collection and check out their newly renovated space. I'm also going to the art store for some more gold oil pastel! More tomorrow!