I feel as though I'm totally neglecting the blog; and I am. This week was devoted to behind the scenes preparation for opening the store; so excited, I'm almost there. By Friday I was feeling a creative void that led me to begin this canvas.
I've had the bones for this piece sitting around a bit. I bought the wonderful rusted vintage door plate from Karen Lackey owner of the Starshine Salon. Karen is a vendor at the Big Tin Cotton Gin, and she has a permanent spot at the Marketplace on Arizona Avenue. If I know she is selling I make a point of stopping by. I have found no one in the Phoenix area with her selection of small vintage metal ~ really cool stuff, and priced right.
At some point when I was creating to sell my art, I started prepping the canvas in advance. Not only did I gesso, but I applied paste, and in some cases metallic sprays, paying attention to designs I thought I'd like to work with. I no longer needed a heat gun to hurry the process. There is nothing like working on a thoroughly cured canvas. One of the most difficult things about being an artist is the quest for instant gratification; I want it and I want it now. The product doesn't work that way and too often it becomes a road-map for disaster.
I am loving the look of this piece; especially the way the pigment has collected in random bursts of color. Hope to return to the blog with a finished piece by the end of tomorrow. In the mean time everyone, it's the weekend - ENJOY!
Just one of the small squares used as a title on my small journals. I'm loving this morning. Sitting at the computer, coffee in hand thinking about 100 things.
I woke up to a solid stream of rain. This caused me to check in with California. I live in Arizona, but I am a native Californian. In Morgan Hill, they've opened the spillway at Anderson Dam. We lived across the valley, so on the rare times this happened it was exciting to watch the water. This morning I was reading about a 33 year old guy who lives directly below it; pretty scary considering the rains haven't stopped. The sad thing is the State has restricted the collection of water to 68.9% of the reservoirs capacity until 2024 when scheduled renovation should be complete. Guaranteed the area will be faced with a draught sooner than later.
Yesterday I was in recovery mode from Friday, which as I wrote was a great day; but I was really tired. To anyone who thinks they might enjoy the "craft-fair" circuit, I want to share. When I did the first event with Kim Heinz, I had no clue. She did a wonderful job of putting together the booth, but my stuff really didn't show well ~ my fault. Then I did two Briar Patch events, and had benefit of long time event planner Jeannie Cueto. I switched from white to black table cloths, I moved my tables to the front, because no one will cross you to come into look. At the end of the Briar Patch Horizon event, I'd done well enough that inventory was depleted. This is a real problem for those of us who make their own stuff. I went into this last show at the Cotton Gin with a fraction of what I needed. Truth told, the rain has been my friend.
There is a trial and error period in making craft fairs work. Anyone who speaks differently is yanking your chain. i.e. I know that my mixed media pieces sell, I know that some books sell, but I found out this weekend that my small journals that are so much fun for people like me, are a mystery to the general public; marketing, marketing, marketing. Now that it is all over, I realize that on every level, I failed to plan. Yes , PLAN my 2017 little word. OMG, I need to spend the next seven months planning and working. The idea is to be comfortable with what I'm doing, not rushed when I do my next event at the Big Tin Cotton Gin in October.
I need to build some things for my booth; a way to hang my pictures ~ my preference is a box-wall. I need a work station that I can park at the back of my booth to hold all the stuff you need to make a sale. I want to build my own, with a little help from Ted. I want a directors chair, and I'd like to introduce some large plants and repurposed furniture that I can use for display, but also sell. I also need to expand what I'm doing. Miranda Edeny and ArtVenture were so inspiring. In my down time I've decided I need to stalk vintage markets for stuff that can be up-cycled or turned into a mixed media pieces. That little pig I did has left me with all kinds of ideas.
As for life on the Riviera, it is good. Jen is now 6 months pregnant and doing well. In March, Erin ,Dev and I will be traveling to Alabama, a great place for junk-yard treasures. We are there for a week and then back to the grind until the end of May when baby Bean will make his arrival. We are so exited.
My grandson Dev, such a great kid, loves to throw the football with Ted, has A's and B's in school and he is in the midst of doing a mixed media piece with me; well rounded, which in my world is the best you can ask for. We still share our love of all things tech, and he is a lifesaver at getting me through changes in MineCraft. MineCraft has some beautiful new stuff to build with.
Erin has hit what I consider her busy time; parent teacher conferences and end of year events. She is enjoying her kids. She is working on several different things that are the promise of big change in her life; fingers-crossed.
Ted is filling his time with another backyard addition - he's building a fountain. He too is watching the weather, totally excited by all this rain. Water moves the gold, and between the rain and snow, there is lots of it.
I feel as though this weekend which means little to most is a milestone. It truly is the start of my new year. My hope is that this very lengthy post from the Riviera finds all of you well and that as you make your way, you ENJOY!
I've been rained out. Most of my Big Tin Cotton Gin folks are still at the event, but I was outside, very much in the open and had to call it off knowing that my paper goods wouldn't handle the weather. I'm so glad I did. It has been raining since I got up this morning.
There is a chance that things might clear tomorrow, and I could go back. Weighing my options, I feel as though it is time to move on. I did really well on day one. I'm comfortable with this venue and have already committed to Oct-Dec. The owner and vendors are wonderful. I was next to the kettle corn ~ awesome. Diane took a picture yesterday, that made me laugh. It actually looked like I might be at the corner of Riggs and the 347 hawking my wares in the desert. Not so! Some of the vendors opted to stay home and out of the wind and rain. Smart, but I did have a great day yesterday.
There is so much to do at Bloomingayls; the number one priority is to finish a baby book that is promised before I head to Alabama. I have two books sold, going to cousins, and I don't want them to be alike. I'm using this tag as the title; function and art. It doesn't get any better.
Also want to give a shout out to Glitz Design that created the beautiful background paper. Can't forget the great Prima giveaways from Art Venture that also show up in this tag. These products made being creative so much easier. Remember tag when you're stumped for a page title and ENJOY!
I have this piece sitting on our credenza, and I have to say no picture will do it justice. I'm drawn to it every time I pass by.
I have done a series of color studies, but this royal blue is a first. The turquoise-teal hues in the right lower corner make a good contrast. Pulling it together, I did add a touch of green to break things up. All in all it is striking and will be for sale next weekend at the Cotton Gin.
Texture, can't get enough of it! Yesterday I pulled out a background canvas I'd done using a tri-tone of Silks. To it I added a stenciled image, thank you Dina Wakely using gel medium infused with rust and gold fine glitter. Generally I let the back ground guide my creative process, and I no idea where this piece was going.
With all the cool rusted pieces I've been seeing on Instagram, I wanted to incorporate some of Finnabair's Rust Paste on the canvas. Not sure of the process, I turned to You-Tube and found that pieces I liked the best had additional layer's of texture added to the gesso. I combined Finnabair's Mini Art Stones along with texture powder to my current favorite, Jerry's Artarama gesso.
This is what I got. .
Phenomenal. . .look at the metal flowers on the right and left. . .look at the beads and the heavy coat of gesso that is the result of the texture powder. I loved this so much, I was afraid to start adding the color.
I got over that quickly and OMG. . .hope you ENJOY!
I love these field trips that Diane and I take. Our visit to the Phoenix Art Museum yesterday to see the "Emphatics" exhibit was outstanding. For most of us "ready to wear" is the extent of our wardrobe. There is no way that most of us could fit or afford these pieces. This is art in fashion, and it means designers who wield their artistic talents as would a grand master on canvas. The opportunity to get close, to see the tailoring, the trim details, the shoes, the jewelry ~ sensory overload. This exhibit features haute couture from 1963-2013. Designers include Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Galliano and many more.
Wearing these designs may be limited to a few, but savoring the details, the fabric, the tailoring, the subtle touches that separate them from the norm is a treat for people like me. Dart placement, zippers, the use of covered buttons to create closures: One outfit was an amalgam of pieces cut and stitched on the bias. It hugged the mannequin based on the "bias" stretch that could never be replicated with traditional tailoring. The material cried to be touched - leather and velvet to die for. It was tough showing restraint. What a fun experience: I'm so glad we were able to carve out time for this before it packs up to leave on January 17th.
Is this not a great quote - perfect way to embrace the New Year? Reminds me that while I may not have total control, all of us are charged with the choices we make. For the first time in an age I am optimistic and looking forward to my travels through 2017.
Walking back from Dev's winter concert, I had my camera with the 55-250 zoom lens flung around my neck. I got a lot of good pictures that night. This was the best. It's a perfect visual;the sun setting on 2016.
This is one of my favorite photos. . .I drag it out at least once a year; so much said. This time around it evokes that moment when I'm over wrought. I start out each day pretty much the same - coffee, email, bank, Drudge and Lucianne. Today I read where at age 86, Dr. Thomas Sowell posted his last piece. It wasn't age that forced him to hang it up; it was a love of life.
Our youth are so tied to social media, I'm on board with the need to stay connected, but Sowell's words made me smile. A week in Yosemite with friends, taking pictures, no phones, no internet, left him appreciating life without the media. I feel this same way when Diane, Karol and I sit down to our favorite pizza and talk through the world as only lifetime friends can do. It casts a euphoria that has me loving life and inspired.
All of this led me to start looking for that one little word that I want to shape the upcoming year. Last years word, commitment is my favorite. It turned into an action word. That isn't to say that I completed everything on my to-do list, but the important stuff got done. Allowing for all of life's unpredictability, I can look back at I what I accomplished in 2016 and think WOW! I learned so much, I created and I set the tone for 2017.
I have been tossing around three words; Discipline, Balance and Plan. They're related, but I think, depending on which one I choose, my focus will change. Balance is the most important, but to achieve that I need discipline and planning. For the record, "planners" have become a big deal in the paper community. I am about to archive my second planner. I love lists, and I love my planner. It's my life journal. The planner is something I will keep-up, and this year as a member of a planner club, I am hoping to separate my "Get To Work Book" from the social with a Frank Garcia rose gold planner - I'll have two of them going :)
Now I'm left with discipline. I know people who can sit at a retreat and turn out a completed mini-book, sometime two in a weekend. It's true they craft until 3AM, but they get it done, and they're beautiful. Right now I'm half-way through a baby book I started two weeks ago. I probably should be working on that; instead I got a bee in my bonnet, and have been organizing my space yet again, which really means that I made a mess. Too much clutter, important stuff tucked away outside the space and too many things in the space that I'll never use. I'm still in the year of commitment; my space will be good to go in 2017..
Balance is the goal, discipline controls, but planning will get me to the finish line. This is the year of "Plan" - work on time management, refine my to-do list to eliminate the non-essential, and above all else focus. The cool thing, if I stick to the plan, 2017, like 2016 will NOT be a wasted opportunity.