Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New Inspiration, Old Canvas

When I'm able to, I paint once a week at Wayne Art Center.
I appreciate being able to learn from the talented instructor, Georganna Lenssen
and usually welcome the occassional in-class 'assignment'.
For a while, I avoided the model assignments, choosing instead to work on my own projects.
Painting people makes me anxious.
If the scale or relationships between features is even a little off,
the result can be kind of goofy.
I am so disappointed with myself when I end up with goofy on my canvas.

since I have declared that this is 'My Year',
I decided that includes pushing myself into areas of discomfort so that I can learn things that I might otherwise avoid.

A few months ago, I showed up at the art center with a prepared
18 x 24 canvas, 
thinking that I would work from one of my photos
but decided it should be an evening of being uncomfortable.
Does this look like the model?
Not really.
I'm pleased that I kind of got some of her features kind of rightish,
her nose is too small, too high and too red, as if she's suffering from algeries.
I also gave her prematurely gray hair.
I apologized to her.

Did I learn something?
Definitely, yes.
Do I want to keep this painting?
Definitely, no.

Last night, my prematurely gray model painting became the canvas for a new painting that is in progress.
Something has been gnawing at me to try some more abstract work,
and my model became the underpainting for a new piece.
So that she wouldn't distract me, 
I turned her upside down before I began my new composition.
(the blue chair, green top and right arm are still visible in the upper right corner)
I think I know where I'm going with this, 
but it's all right if I end up in a completely unexpected place.
What is it?
This does represent something specific to me,
and I've decided to keep it to myself.
I've come to realize that I rarely enjoy describing my inspiration...
it's just too personal.
My hope is that, 
whenever I paint, 
I'm able to create an image that somebody else, 
maybe just one person,
connects to with their own interpretation.
I won't ask for an explanation.

And a few day later...
calling it completed
(at least for now).

Monday, May 16, 2016

Exploring New Textures, Again

I recently went to the 
show at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
The Guild shows are consistently wonderful because members must meet and maintain a certain level of mastery in their particular area of craft.
I'm always interested in seeing what other jewelers are creating and was again reminded that most professionals have developed a particular line that can be recognized...
(some fabulous work was seen by Janine DeCresenzo and Heather Stief)
a definite advantage when promoting one's work.

I continue to believe that, when seen as a whole, the body of my work has a degree of cohesiveness,
but individual pieces might not be attributed to me.
This approach does create a marketing challenge,
but I have not been able to deny my interest in exploring new techniques...
like the texturing of these copper discs.
I had cut a few discs, wanting to experiment with texturing.
The plan had been to do some fold-forming,
so the discs were annealed.
As I prepared to get to work, my focus shifted to my dapping block
and ended up with a a texture that calls to mind a lotus seed pod or a lunar landscape.
Once I had a small collection of these lotus/lunar discs,
the brainstorming began.

I have what I think are promising ideas for earrings and bracelets that incorporate the new discs,
but chose to move forward with a necklace.
Three discs, of gradating size, 
were soldered to a base of etched silver nickel
that I had cut with my jeweler's saw.
A bail was formed with pliers
and soldered on to the back
allowing for a clean connection to the woven cable.

Could this be the beginning of a specific line in my jewelry empire?
but probably not.