Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Silver White Winters and Rustic Ponies

I'm back, and with a few new creations to share!  It has been a while since I've posted anything but I promise I've not allowed my creativity to go slack.  I've been actively sculpting, crafting, daydreaming (hey, it's necessary in the creative process), and traveling - toting camera (in use), no less. 

This bas-relief bowl was specifically made with Kelly's Gallery (http://www.kellysgalleryatjoseph.com) in mind.  I began with a rolled slab of clay that was then pressed into a concave form. From there I began to press, scrape, carve and give life to the horse.  Once the horse was complete the bowl was bisque-fired and ready to be stained.  I chose stain rather than glaze for this piece because I wanted a rustic, almost stone surface. In a small sense this bowl might represent a composite of the "cowboy dishes" I remember my great-grandmother having and an antiquated pottery vessel from several millennia ago.  It only seemed fitting to give the rim a rope-like resemblance.

Are you finding opportunities to be creative this season?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mischievously Mad

The Cheshire Cat was sculpted from clay, bisque fired and painted with watercolor.  

The Cat is the second (and quite possibly the last) character in my short Alice in Wonderland series.  I had every intention of creating Alice... she's not completely uncreated, as it were.  She's just simply lacking her head- quite literally. She's proving quite a challenge...

Today I'm certain I've got a similar grin from ear to ear though possibly not as mischievous.  We're now in the second day of our first snowfall of the year and I'm looking forward to all of the opportunities and activities that winter brings!  

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving from my little Winter Wonderland.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do You Play Croquet?

I've chosen several characters from Alice in Wonderland to create in miniature.  Sgt. Spade is first in this series- sculpted, bisque fired and painted with watercolor.  He reaches a towering... 4 1/2 inches. 

Anyone up for a little Alice in Wonderland trivia?
  • In the very beginning of the movie or Disney book, what does Alice, concealed in a bottle, have to float in?
  • What poem comes up on a recurring basis, usually narrated by the Cheshire Cat?
  • After the doormouse hears the word 'cat', what do the Mad Hatter and March Hare have to put on his nose to calm him down?
  • What game are Alice and The Queen of Hearts playing with flamingos and hedgehogs?

In closing I leave you with some advice from the King of Hearts, "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Peace and long life!"

This bust of Mr. Spock was hand sculpted and painted with watercolor.  At only 3 inches the facial features were especially a challenge, but I'm pleased with the results.  Now for my Trekkie friends, some trivia!

Who was originally offered the role of Spock?

What actor from "Star Trek: The Original Series" lost his right middle finger during World War II?

Who was the first real astronaut to appear in any "Star Trek" episode?

Who was the first actor to play a member of all three of the major alien races in "Star Trek"?

What was Spock's mother's first name?

And a few Trek Facts you may not have known:

Leonard Nimoy created the hand gesture that Vulcans give when they say, "Live Long and Prosper." He is Jewish, and the spreading of the fingers resembles the hand gesture taken from the ceremony performed by the descendants of the priestly family during holiday prayer services.

Gene Roddenberry created the transporter as an easier (and cheaper) way of getting Enterprise crew members onto a planet's surface, rather than landing the ship on the planet.

The Vulcan Nerve Pinch was invented by Leonard Nimoy as a way for Spock to overpower opponents without having to resort to violence.

Though the Captain Kirk line of "Beam me up Scotty" is an often quoted Star Trek line Kirk never actually said that line at any point during any of the episodes.

Kr'trkkla, akarshif mene!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What is "Real?"

I am crazy, head-over-heals in love with sculpting.  It's absolutely, by far, my most favorite medium to work in.  I have a love/hate relationship with drawing and painting.  There aren't many days that I feel I can accurately convey or portray all that is in my mind on paper or canvas, but clay is altogether different. When I'm working in 3-D it's almost as if I can create something more real, more believable. 

So far I'm quite happy with the way this piece is turning out.  This figurine is about as tall as an espresso cup and lightly textured.  Rather than glazing after the bisque firing I'll either use a stain or watercolor to enhance his features.

Are you familiar with the story of The Velveteen Rabbit who wanted more than anything to be real?  Maybe today is a good day to reread the story and share the message with someone in your life who's needing to feel real, to be loved.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Debts & Debtors

While we were hiking in Idaho a few weeks ago a butterfly landed on the trail before us.  After about 5 tries to get a picture of the butterfly with wings down (which wouldn't have been a problem except that I was holding up everyone else on the trail), I finally got a decent photo to use as a reference.  I painted this butterfly in watercolor and covered it with a glossy varnish, cut it out and painted two small pieces of wire with black acrylics after adding a drop of glue to the end of each for antennae.  The "stick" is a rolled piece of paper from a magazine.  The background will be this 19th c. encyclopedia page with the top reference being Debtors-Debts.  I plan to add some leaves painted in watercolor and varnished and maybe a bit of sand or... ?  The reason or theme behind this mixed medial collage will be Environment/Creation and our responsibility to it care for it. 

Politics and politicians irritate me.  Political polarization irritates me, especially when Christians are involved.  Liberals claim to believe in the concept of the need for maximum individual freedom.  Seriously?  How on earth does that work when a liberal government wants to take over everything?  Hello?  Big government = less freedom.  And how is it that this "freedom" just seems to be more and more about being free from anything moral?  My liberal Christian friends- freedom from morality isn't freedom at all.  Regardless of any other name you give it, sin is still sin.  And Christian Conservatives... what exactly are you conserving?  Conserve and preserve our resources as well as your morals!  Your actions affect everyone around you.  Stop wasting resources!  That's immoral!  Stop trashing the world.  If Jesus tarries I don't want my great-grandkids living in a garbage heap with few natural resources left.  Be responsible.  Some people are environmentalists because they believe our earth is suffering from global warming or climate change.  I'm not one of them.  I'm an environmentalist because I believe Christians should be good stewards.  We're all related, all interconnected.  Our survival is dependent upon this habitat- that we all share. 

Okay. *sigh*  Is anyone still there?  I hope I haven't offended and alienated everyone.  Tomorrow's blog will be full of happy, cute and cuddly things. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Making and Breaking Bread

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to brush up on my bread-making skills.  It had been more than a decade (a reminder of my advancing age...sobering) since I had made fresh bread.  Disappointingly, I couldn't find my favorite recipe which calls for several different grains including rye, barley, and oat as well as molasses for sweetener.  If I happen upon it again I'll be sure to post the recipe and mouth-watering pictures.  The recipe I used this time was a run-of-the-mill whole wheat.  Just the same, I don't think anything smells as good as fresh bread.  It's almost worth the work to have that aroma linger for a day or two.  (Remember those scratch-n-sniff stickers?  Too bad you can't do that with a computer monitor...)

The 24th chapter of Luke is full of incredible accounts of people seeing Jesus after His resurrection, but what I find most amazing are the verses that involve food.  The two on the road to Emmaus are clueless as to the identity of their newest companion as they walk 7 miles with Him.  It isn't until He breaks bread and blesses it that they figure out it's Jesus.  Again, as He appears to the eleven where they are gathered in Jerusalem, He shows them His hands and feet and tells them to look Him over from head to toe.  His true identity still didn't register with them until He asked for food and ate it.

What is it about the food?  Was it the way He blessed it?  The way He ate?  The fact that He used food and wine to institute and commemorate Communion surely can't be overlooked. 

Food is the one thing that we all have in common and we partake of daily.  We may not like the same kind of foods but we all have to eat.  It's a bonding ritual.  An opportunity to share something.  A space, a time, an experience, a conversation.  Seems to me there may be something almost spiritual about eating with someone else...  Time for lunch. :)