Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending July 27

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art! Let’s do some art!

Saturday, July 21 – Last night I had the four paintings in progress upstairs in my living room, staring at me as I tried to watch TV and do a crossword puzzle. As you know, I put work in progress there in order to let it sort of soak in, let me see if I am done with the works or not. The answer for this group was – the beachgoer painting continued to bother me. Here’s how it was:

AD 7-20 #102

Sometimes, it is better to start a painting over than to continue to work on it. When my husband said he thought the lady’s arm looked like a turkey leg (I had to agree), it was just the push I needed. I grabbed that painting and took it back downstairs to the studio.

AD 7-21 #603

To me, the painting had too many problems. I judge my work by the feeling I get from it – I can only describe it as things being in balance. If the painting is not at that state, I have an uneasy feeling.

It sounds airy, I know. But years of doing art have taught me to listen to this feeling.

Not knowing where I was going with this painting had left me with a work that lacked that spark I want to see. In frustration, I revised the lady again. Still no good. In more frustration, I turned the painting 90 degrees. Now the lady was sitting in a beach chair. It seemed right. So here she is. I hope this will be it for this lady. I bet she does too.

AD 7-21 #702

All right. On Saturday morning I stopped at the Ceramic Shop in Norristown to buy more underglazes.

AD 7-21 #801

I wanted to start work on my recently fired figurines. You remember that I had prepared their faces last week. Here are puff people waiting for color.

AD 7-21 #504

I’ve made this style of figurine before but never with color patterns applied in the fashion I am using today. I was not sure how things would go. I put Jet Black Velvet underglaze over their bodies, leaving their faces clear.

Then I applied color in patterns as usual. I think things went pretty well. Here they are at the end of the session.

I took them out and set them in the kiln (which is half-loaded with other work).

Sunday, July 22 – I worked on this painting for a little while. I am happier with it now, too.

Next, I went into the basement to work on some clay figurines. Today, the cats and some of the round women figures. I gave them their Jet Black Velvet underglaze base coat:

AD 7-22 #3

Then I set to work. I did not finish them all, so I’ll continue with them and ad more to the crowd, maybe tomorrow. I also worked on the clay rocks.

Monday,July 23 – I decided to work on some illustrations for my anticipated Minuscule book. I’m making pictures to go along with the tiny stories and poems.

I usually make more than one version of the image idea I have chosen. I’m not always happy wit the first version, though I never know what I’m going to get with the second or later versions. I’m not the kind of artist who can do the same thing twice in a row. Sometimes that is good and sometimes less good. Luckily, these stories just need one picture. I choose the one I like best. Then, the discards, I either keep the whole picture, figuring I can do something else with it later – or I cut it up. I’m saving these pieces for collage works later on.

AD 7-23 #701

Tuesday, July 24 – I worked on clay today. I finished up the color details from the figurines I was working on earlier in the week. Then I prepared this group:

to be colored later on, by giving them their initial coat of Jet Black Velvet underglaze.

AD 7-24 (6)04

It takes time to apply the black around all the details of the figure while leaving neat edges and a good solid coat of underglaze. If I wanted to sell figures such as these in production, I would need to do some redesign so as to simplify and speed up this step. (I also probably would never do the amount of color detail work that I do).

Now, I might sell these, and I might give them away, but in either case, I don’t really care how long it takes me to do them. It’s not production, it’s really more for my enjoyment. So I’m good with the way they are designed.

Friday, July 27 – Some family issues that require my attention have come up over the past week, and so art has had to take a back seat. Depending on events, I’m sure I’ll be working on projects but I don’t know on what or how much. I’ll just see how it goes.


See you next week! Thanks for following along with me.

16 thoughts on “Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending July 27

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I’m sorry to read about the family issues. I hope they aren’t too serious and are resolved with relative ease.

    I think the beach lady looks perfect now. Maybe you had to work through all those issues with her in order for her to evolve and emerge so successfully. I do enjoy watching your process with the clay. All the little figures look charming.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I agree with you about the beach lady. There is a certain amount of just slogging through bad painting sessions sometimes to get to the right place and the thing is to have patience and stay with it. The figurines, they are like candy to do – it’s just free form enjoyment, I think because patterns really come easily to me. Thanks for your mention of the family. Unfortunately it is a train wreck in progress. That’s the best I can say. One day at a time.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you for reading and your compliments. I find writing the weekly post really helps me see what I have accomplished and keep on track for the future, and I’m glad it also is of use to others!

  2. tierneycreates

    SO much good art to look at in this post! I am in awe of your productivity (and talent!). I especially love the figurines! They looked great when they only had the black glaze and equally as awesome with color!

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I think all art is mostly just practicing, figuring out what you like to do, and then doing a lot of it. I agree about those figurines, I like them in black or in color. I’m thinking about figurines I can make that will satisfy me that can be one color, not fussy, and yet not boring. Mulling it over is fun, don’t know when I’ll get there, but sometime I will…

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I feel better about her now that I’ve observed her for about a week and had no desire to remake her. I do kind of what to make a person lying on a beach towel still, though, I think it’s in my future.

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          Thank you. I added white to a lot of the colors to lighten them and I think that is what made it work this way. I do especially like a nice warm yellow color.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I like that, jesters. I agree, they have a certain clown/liveliness/playing tricks look to them, and also they look as if they know what you are thinking…

  3. Pingback: Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending September 7 | Claudia McGill and Her Art World

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