Friday, July 29, 2016

An Outdoor Mural

Here is my latest creation: an outdoor mural on my garden wall.A total first for me and a  different approach. What you are looking at are images of the plants and leaves left  on the original wall color. The green painted  around them forms the designs. Rather than painting on, I am   outlining the lightly sketched pencil drawing. I guess it could be called a negative image. 
My inspiration was this great Mexican screen to the right, gifted by my Aunt who has disappeared into Mexico forever. Peeling from the weather, I had to repaint it as close to what I perceived its original palette. All these walls around it are beige, of which I am not a fan, and it certainly did not show off my beloved metalwork. So what was the solution? Paint, and while I am at it, why not add decoration and whimsy to this little space?
There were difficulties in this creation.
Deciding on background color, and choosing the right shade of green, which took seven samples. Then I was reminded to use outdoor paint, so no,  those samples will not work At All, since they are interior. The hot muggy days here in Sedona made it a  challenge as well. 
Painting on rough stucco amounted to pushing the paint into the crevices, and even sponging as well. I know why artists use airbrush, but I did not when I started.  This uses a lot of paint.  As I saw the gallon disappearing I added the cacti on the bottom. Necessity as a force of creation.
I now  look into my garden and it makes me smile. I have another idea for the next wall...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The "Business" of Art

My personal goal always was to " make my living" as a working artist. Well, I guess I am there.  I list that as my profession, and give the  government their share of all profits.
Art is a passion; a path; really a need inside of me, wanting to come out in a tangible form. However, every day I am reminded that it is also a business.
For example: I just spent a large  amount of time  to figure out the EZ form that the state came up with to pay sales taxes. How to undo pushing just one button in an incorrect way? I like it when I get a human to help, but that can be a lot of time on hold. We all know about waiting for the " next available person" on the telephone.
Recently there was a complicated  shipping  dilemma.  Add an upset client into the mix  and it becomes a total lesson in patience and sanity. Rarely is one paid for all this time to sort out these basic functions. Yet we must smile, and do our best to keep the customer happy.
Now that is my goal also. Without a patron, my ceramics will  sit on the shelf, or my calligraphy hang on the wall, forever. So there is both the  fiscal and the human need to keep things flowing smoothly.
 If we are in galleries there are shows to enter, time spent promoting ourselves and our work. Often, we must pay to be rejected. Heck, you can go out into society and get that for free, but not in the art world. 
It  catches me by surprise, and some sorrow,  how all artists must borrow  time to go into the studio and create. I guess I wish that image of the artist as the " free spirit" were more truly available.I know I chose this path, but it sure gets steep and rocky sometimes
 I invite other artists to  comment on their feelings about the "Biz" side of art

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Red , the White and the Blue

Here is my appropriate 4th of July  ceramic platter. Entitled " The Red, the White and the Blue", it is currently showing at the Jerome Artists' Cooperative in Jerome, AZ. 
I like to abstract the familiar. I have created in this theme before, with each piece still totally a one of a kind.The American flag, with all its significant colors, yet interpreted in my own  particular style. I like our flag, with its bold colors and symbolism. An artist can be inspired. 
Rather large in size, almost 15" across, it has a foot to stand on, but it usually hung on the wall. To get these bright colors I use four coats of lower temperature glaze; fire in my kiln for durability, and then finish it off with a primitive fire to create that crackle look.I like the juxtaposition of the modern colors with the older patina, like the image I am portraying.  
So, on the evening before  the 4th of July, I choose this art  to send out to all of us, everywhere.