Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.
Saturday, August 18 – As you know I’ve been working on illustrations for my Minuscule book, using a Chinese brush and India ink. When I really make a mess of a picture, I wipe it out with a few swashes of the brush, loaded with ink. Then I have really nice black background papers to draw on with white or colored gel pens. They are perfect for the TV-watching kind of art-making.
I also do the same thing with acrylic inks, if I happen to be using them. Depending on the color of the ink I’ll use a pale or a dark pen.
Here are a few examples.
Here are some peeks at the images I drew for the book.
Sunday, August 19 – More TV time in the evening and more black/white design things. Oh, some green, too.
Monday, August 20 – I did the firing of my clay pieces – the weather has moderated and it was cool enough to run the kiln. You may remember I loaded it a week or so ago.
I happened to be passing through the garage later in the day and the kiln shows its temperature as being significantly higher –
It tops out at about 1828 degrees F. This particular firing took just short of nine hours, typical for a bisque load (because the kiln brings up the temperature slowly so as to bake out moisture in the clay very gradually, making sure that it doesn’t turn to steam instead and explode the item).
I worked on more illustrations for my future Minuscule book:
and as always there are leftovers. I have accumulated quite a collection at this point, a nice box-full.
I had a couple more of those black/white ink doodle things, too, from last night.
Finally, I think I’ve finished up these 6″ x 6″ cartoony type mixed media pieces.
Wednesday, August 22 – Today I faced a task I’ve known was coming for months, and I’ve been avoiding thinking about it. What is this dreaded event? Well, I’ll be participating in the Lansdale Festival of the Arts on Saturday, and…almost every painting I have is hanging in my exhibit that opened in July. I pick them up next Thursday, but that won’t help me this weekend.
I knew this situation was coming and I made only vague plans. I just figured, well, I’ll get an idea one way or another.
I have two very large paintings plus three medium sized ones here at home. And I’ve got a modest array of small paintings that can also be hung.
What I have decided to do, to fill out the booth this one time, is to bring out my array of small paintings that I don’t usually show – the ones I did for fun, or they have no frames, etc. etc. I took the box-full out into the garage and laid them out on a table to see what I have.
I plan to take two tables and set the paintings on them. I have small and large wire stands, which I usually use for clay work.
I have two ancient flip bins, which I used to use a lot when I made collage work – I often sold items matted but unframed, and those went into these bins. Maybe some of these paintings can fit into one of these.
I think I can put the tiny ATC-sized paintings into an old drawer that I sometimes use as a table bin. Anything else, I can lay flat on the table. I’m hoping my display will look coherent and neat.
I re-packed the paintings and took them inside to wait with the other large paintings for Friday, when we load the car.
You might say, why can’t you take whatever you want to the show? And/or, why didn’t you take your clay work?
First question, it is a juried show, and I juried in with acrylic paintings, so, that’s what I have to show.
Second question, you are right, I could have juried in with clay this year, and looking at what I have on hand right now, I would agree. But, I had to enter this show in March, I think, and at that time, I was more concerned with making enough work for my exhibit. See, I had purposely run down my paintings inventory over the last couple of years and suddenly – I needed work to show.
I had done the same thing for clay. My stock was quite low, tiles and sculptures. But I had no deadline for clay work, and additionally, clay takes a lot of lead time given the multiple steps in the creation process. I was not sure I could get enough clay work done at the same time as doing more paintings.
I also was at that time evaluating how many shows and events I wanted to be producing clay items for. I did not want to build up excess clay work – especially when I felt more sure of my plans for my paintings.
Now in retrospect and with some of this year’s events under my belt, I have decided to look for more shows for my clay, and keep my painting schedule stable or even reduce a couple of shows. Showing clay at Lansdale would have worked out fine, as it turns out. But – let’s look at it this way – some paintings that never get seen will now be the stars of my little show.
Friday, August 24 – I did a few odds and ends this afternoon before we pack up the car for tomorrow’s show. I painted some papers that I might use for my secret project:
And then I went to the basement to start the process of coloring the clay work I took out of the kiln a few days ago. You may remember this process from earlier sessions. I plan to do the wild color patterns all over the cylinder figures and the puff people, but first I need to prepare their faces and give them an undercoat of underglaze. Here we go.
I brought the figures into the laundry room to work on, because I need to use water from the sink there.
First, I colored their faces with Velvet underglaze, Jet Black.
Then I took a wet rag and, holding the figure under a trickle of water, I rubbed away the black color from the raised areas – it stays in the indentations. I then went back and did the same thing for the grooved areas at the bases of the cylinder figures. These areas are created when I make the join between the figure’s body and its base with a serrated tool. I could smooth these joins out and sometimes I do, but this session, I left them.
Here are the final results.
I then took them out to my work table and proceeded to give the cylinder figures a coat of Velvet underglaze Jet Black. This base will form the underlying color for when I put on the colorful designs.
I will do the smaller figures another day. Until then, they will wait over on the other table.
All right, that’s it for this week, except for packing the car, as I mentioned earlier, for tomorrow’s show.
See you next week! Thanks for following along with me.