Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"East and Beyond" by Helen Frankenthaler

Life isn't just a sequence of waiting for things to be done. -Ze Frank

This time of year wildflowers are generally anticipated but specifically unexpected. Blooms often tower over neglected lawns. Brief gasp of glory before the inevitable blade.

I'm not sure why I'm drawn to woodgrain and wildflowers, but it might have something to do with being here in this moment with fresh eyes and ticklish minds. The music is over, but let's keep dancing.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sketchbook Sunday: Dino-pot Ideas

This week I finished shaping some new pinch pots (see below) that I want to draw on, but I was having trouble deciding what to draw. So I pulled out my sketchbook and a bunch of plastic toy dinosaurs to use as references, and came up with some ideas.

Speaking of dinosaurs, or more specifically, representations of dinosaurs primarily aimed at children, I'm still trying to get at something about that with my art. Should probably explore it more with relief printmaking. Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Hotaru Kago" (Firefly Cage) by Yamamoto, Shōkoku

I'm seriously digging the thousands of high resolution images of Japanese woodcuts now available for viewing on the Library of Congress website. Tonight this particular image caught my attention for a while, not least of all because I spent the evening gathered around a fire with a few friends, our kids trying to catch fireflies to put in jars. Some simple activities are inherently enjoyable to people across time and culture.

I love the geometry of the composition; how the strong vertical lines and patterns emphasize the soft and playful curves outlining shoulders and feet. It mirrors how the two women are still and focused in their observation of the fireflies, while the children seem to dance around in restless delight.

Friendship binds us, or
Is it the magic of

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sketchbook Sunday: Bird Drawings on Pinch Pots

I have not been working in my sketchbook at all lately. But I have been drawing! Mostly on pinch pot ceramic pieces I make. Ceramics is a newer medium for me that I've been at for just over 3 years. Most of what I create is variations on pinch pots that I let get leather hard and then draw into. (It's not sgraffito because I don't cover the piece with slip first. I just draw into the bare surface and fill the lines with glaze after it's been bisque fired.) The drawings are done spontaneously; I decide what to draw on a pot after I've already formed it) and the lines drawn are the lines that stay. I don't smooth over "mistakes" or try to "fix" anything I don't like.

I thought to include this activity in a Sunday Sketchbook post because this process is mainly about the relationship between hand-shaping a piece of clay and intuitive free drawing. Also, most of the subjects I've drawn are animals I have been sketching over the past several months.

These are images of 2 pieces: a pinch pot creamer and mug with bird drawings.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Highlights From Baren Exchange #72 ("Wings" Theme)

These are two prints from the Baren Forum Exchange #72. Paper size was 5" x 11" and the theme was "Wings".

On the left is Bird Count by Theresa Martin and on the right is Heron Nest by Clive Lewis. These two prints were the favorites of my mother so I'm giving them to her to display side by side since they coincidentally offer a nice dialogue. Both images take place outdoors and offer two tones of the same color with a key-block printed in black. I particularly enjoy the contrast of the movement of the birds in flight with the empty stillness of the empty nest. Both seem to be very much about the quiet patience necessary to observe and gain an understanding of wild animals.