It’s been a long while since I felt like I could say it, and claim it – I’m an artist! I had a creative weekend! I put my work in a local, very popular and well attended art show! I’m patting myself on the back here – as of mid last week I didn’t think I would find the drive or energy to do much of anything but on Saturday the muse hit and I did it! I’m still doing a happy dance, too.
I’m talking about the work I wanted to make for the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts Open Show, coming up this weekend. If you’re in the area I would encourage you to check it out; it’s truly an open show, meaning anyone who wants to can submit work to be hung and admired (and hopefully purchased), so you’ll see a range of styles, mediums, and skill levels. Well known artists submit, newbies submit, there’s usually a section for student art, it’s a feast for the eyes, I tell you. Be sure to check out the special exhibit juried shows in the building next door, and when you’re done there you can walk across the street to the Craft Faire and enjoy a wide variety of arts and crafts, foods and music.
I’ve talked about one piece here already, which I finally titled “Potential” (speaking of titles, do you enjoy doing it? Do you have a hard time coming up with titles? Do you think they’re necessary??). I trimmed down the red portion to improve the proportions, remounted that on a black background, trimmed the threads and repositioned the beads a bit, and bound that puppy up in a frame. Done!
For the second piece, “Just the Bare Bones”, I started with a small vertebra from my curiosity cabinet (found on my first hunting trip with Matt, I believe), layered that with paper, a copper test piece (my chemist uncle gave me a pile of them years ago), more paper, a sheet of newsprint that was dipped in beeswax back in my college days, and more paper. The trick here was attaching the main piece to the beeswax paper, and that to the backing paper – double-stick tape doesn’t stick here, so I had to do some hidden stitching to keep them together reliably, along with decorative beads stitched at the corners. The bone is held on the first black paper with wire, and that is attached to the copper with some super-sticky dimensional foam adhesive pieces; the thread is also sandwiched in here. This was the one I had an inspiration for while sitting here at work and I’ve very happy with the result; Matt even asked where we could hang it up at home (if it doesn’t sell we’ll definitely find a place!).
Finally I felt a strong pull to do something with a dragonfly (I LOVE dragonflies!) and originally pulled out a simple brass cutout I made several years ago with the intention of using it as a print plate (didn’t work out). I had a deep square shadow box on hand to use, and intended to do the same layered paper type thing as before. Then while laying there trying to get back to sleep last week I realized I wanted to use the dragonflies I made in metals class in college, cutouts that were then hammered into a cupped shape (with the intention at the time of soldering them, all dozen or so, into a ball or some such 3D shape) – much more interesting than a flat dragonfly. I lay them in the shadow box and realized I didn’t need any more paper or background elements, just a little dolling-up with beads and wire against that rich black background – simple, grapic, but with dimension and interest. This one went together pretty quickly until I got to the glass-cleaning before framing and I swear, it’s hard to get all the specks and streaks off the glass when the background is black. Sheesh, some of that is hidden with a colored or textured paper, but deep black? Torture. The dragonflies are sewn directly onto the backing and this one is titled “Five Fliers.”
I like a really finished, clean-looking job on the framing so all three were backed in PH neutral craft paper then I screwed on framing hangers and strung metal framing wire for hanging. The craft paper hides the tape, prongs, etc. that keep the picture in the frame and provides a perfect surface for a sticker with my name, title of work, email and blog address on the back of the piece. All three also happen to be in black frames (the first two aren’t pictured *in* frames because the glass is too tricky to work with, you know?) Presto, “professional” framing at home!
It felt sooo good to make art and put it out in the world again. But now it’s back to Nursery prep for a while – just barely over 5 weeks to go!!!