Monday, April 20, 2009

ArtFest part 2

This was the ArtFest bag that was given to all the participants. Isn't it super? Of course I really liked all the different patterns. Although this was only my second year in attendance, I agree with my friend Catherine who said this bag was the best one yet. She would know since she has been 8 times or so. On to Day 2 of classes of ArtFest 2009. My instructor was Michael Demeng who refers to himself as an assemblage artist who has a love affair with rusty things. His class had the biggest supply list of the three classes that I took this year. Aside from various different adhesives and other stuff to adhere things together like wire, we also brought recycled and "found" objects from yard sales, salvage centers, second-hand stores, etc. As I collected all of my treasures throughout the months leading up to ArtFest, husband extroadinare would always ask me what I was going to do with them. What a silly question! After 27 years together, one would think he would wise up and realize just how delightful something like an old electrical fuse can be and that there are limitless artful ways to use one. In addition to the trinkets, we were asked to bring a picture frame which would end up being the primary structure that everything else was built upon. I brought a framed mirror that I found at Tuesday Mornings in their clearance bin. As you can see from the picture above, I adhered some old kitchen drawer handles to both sides and bottom. These were purchased from Urban Ore, a most wonderful salvage yard full to the brim of stuff that other people throw out. I love it! Also the top piece that has a fleur de lis look is from Urban Ore. Next to this piece are those old nob & fuse electrical fuses that can be found in old homes like ours. But I got them at a garage sale because ours have been removed and upgraded so that we can have homeowners insurance. Then in the center where the mirror is, I first layed down some mesh to make it less shiney. On top of the mesh and hanging from a nail is an old metal frame that used to have a ceramic rose adhered to the center of the red corduroy fabric backing. I gleefully yanked off those roses and glued on Shiva & Shakti. In the Hindu spiritual tradition, Shiva represents the destroyer or transformer and Shakti is responsible for creation... quite the power couple, and I write that will all respect. Below them is Ganesh who is one of their sons. He is the remover of obstacles. Lastly there are fine copper wires laced through the top piece and looped around the handles on both sides. They were meant to be temporary while the top piece was being attached but then I decided I like them and now they are a part of the piece. Well, all that attaching and adhering took the whole day for me and that was only half of the process. I do admit that I really liked using the power tools and was more than willing to help my classmates who were more timid about weilding a power drill. Next there is still painting and adding patinas to make the piece look more cohesive... like it is all supposed to go together. But I am glad that I have a picture of it in this stage. Above I played around with the image in photoshop giving it a sepia tone look so I could get an idea of how I might apply the paint, etc. All in all, I am really happy with the piece. It sits right in front of my studio table watching over me while I create art. It is helpful to have Shiva, Shakti and Ganesh there as all their attributes are so much a part of the creative process. And below, here are 2 more pieces of lettering that I did from the first class that I enhanced using photoshop. I am really enjoying marrying the hand done work with the digital. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed it. Next is imaginary creatures!

Some Jewelry

I have another post about ArtFest that I'm still working on but in the meantime, I thought I'd share some jewelry that I finished recently. It turns out that one of Todd's client's really likes handmade jewelry. So he mentioned to her that I made some jewelry and directed her to my blog. Well, she found a piece that she liked and inquired about purchasing it. The one that she wanted had already been sold but I had some pieces that were partly done and needed a bit more work to be finished. So her interested was just the kick in the pants that I needed to finish up a few pieces. Even though I have decided that I don't want to sell my work, it was fun to get out the tools again. The piece at the top is a pendant that I made of fused dichroic glass. After making the glass piece, I used the silver to "encase" it. It is so different from most of my work. More of a happy, shiny look versus the more urban feel that a lot of my jewelry has. I like both and it was fun to do something so different. I would like to do more with fused glass. This next one is actually 2 round "drapey" discs that I connected with little posts that you can't see. I really tried to photograph that part but just couldn't do it with my little "point-n-click." (Digital SLR on the b-day list and Christmas list.) You can kind of see that there are 2 layers in the photo below. The other interesting thing about this piece is the brushed finish that ends up looking like a shell. People often think it is Mother of Pearl because when the light hits it, lots of lovely colors reflect off the silver. This last one is a remake of the piece the client wanted. It has a moon stone in it. Get it? Moonstone as the moon in the trees? I had made the second one long ago and it just needed some finishing work. It is actually a design that my instructor, Hadar Jacobson came up with and was generous enough with her students to allow us to copy and sell. She is a wonderful teacher. Check out her blog to see her newest obsession - copper and bronze metal clay. She pioneered this new product and has been incredibly generous providing information to the metal clay community about the best ways to work with it. Some day I'll go back and take more classes from her. Well, that's the jewelry post. Hope you enjoyed it. More on ArtFest to come.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

ArtFest 2009

It has been just over a week since I returned and it is still hard to put into words all that I experienced at ArtFest this year. Pure, unadulterated bliss comes close. You might wonder why it was so wonderful for me. Spending time with 600 other artists for 4 days... all of us creating amazing works of art... appreciating the energy and power that was manifested... spending time with dear friends and making new ones... waking up every morning knowing that I would spend the day writing, drawing, painting, hammering, drilling, gluing... that each meal would be spent talking with many other artists about all the art we were making... that each evening I would go home feeling a wonderful exhaustion that comes from spending that day doing the thing I was born to do... then although exhausted, spending more time with my housemates, drinking wine and sharing our day with each other as well as the art we made that day... laughing until the wee hours of the night or actually the next morning... knowing that I would get to wake up the next day and do it all over again... all of this and more made me feel such happiness which at times left me wondering if I would burst with it. I feel the great fortune that has been bestowed upon me and my gratitude is immense. I know that I am at an apex and will be leveling out. So these days area sustaining and writing about them is important to me. I am glad to share them with you. The first day's class was called Tats & Graff taught by Lisa Engelbrecht. She is an amazing calligraphy artist who I have admired from afar for years. Although she is trained in the more classical forms of calligraphy, she also has mad street cred with Tattoo and Graffiti artists. She taught us lots of different ways to do lettering and tons of tricks. I had taken traditional calligraphy classes about 25 years ago and enjoyed it. Since then I have been looking for a teacher like Lisa. She is generous and encouraging and the work that she got out of all of her students was energetic and vibrant. I bought her book and have been carrying it around with me since I returned. Well, that's all for now. Next, day 2 at ArtFest!