I'll be teaching a 3 day workshop at the Des Moines Art Center June 5, 6, and 7th from 9:00 am until 2:00 entitled "Exploration of the head in clay" (see link below for details and t register). It's amazing what people who have little or no experience in clay or with the figure can create for the first time. We usually have a good time and learn a lot. Being able to focus on just creating and especially on the shoulders and head along with the features lends itself well to a 3 day workshop.
More info or to register?
"http://www.desmoinesartcenter.org/webres/File/Class%20Schedules/Class%20Schedule%202013%20Summer.pdfComment on or Share this Article →
I've been frustrated the last couple of weeks. The good news is I finished all my pieces for SOFA (stands for Sculptural Objects and Functional Art) Chicago indoors at Navy Pier. The frustrating part is tying up loose ends, making some new work for a new gallery and trying to do all of that between doing my other favorite things--being with grandchildren, teaching an art class, offering help to a couple of friends when they need it, etc. All this juggling inspired a new piece I just finished called 'Balancing Life' for SOFA.
We all have that juggle in life where we feel like we have lots of balls in the air and standing on our heads juggling them. I guess the trick is adjusting and learning to love the vibrancy instead of the unending frustration of it all. So what I've been trying to do is refocus my attention on the part of the glass that's half full. One of my family members and his spouse are struggling with a fast moving degenerative neurological disease; another the separation from a spouse; one has lost a spouse and another, dealing with a shameful mistake that was made public. I also thought about a young friend's mother who is close to death and how our friend is juggling 3 young daughters while trying to attend to her mom. My frustrations seem small and are actually issues I should be celebrating--having people in my life and my work being in demand.
I wonder how I could represent that visually in a sculpture. Hmmmmmmm. You may see that concept one day in a sculpture.Comment on or Share this Article →
She's always full of ideas
You never know when a request for a piece will come. A year ago I was at a sculpture festival and a woman bought a small piece from me. She recontacted me a year later with a request to make a piece similar to a piece I had at the festival and wondered if I could incorporate a rendering of her adult daughter as the figure in the piece. The piece she remember was a woman with little balls swirling around her head. The title was 'She's always thinking of ideas'. I made two similar pieces with some differences and let her choose which one she prefered. The piece you see is the one I kept.
I'll be sharing some pieces that will be at SOFA Chicago in a few weeks next week.
As always. Have a good week.Comment on or Share this Article →
photos do not capture the beauty of this part of the country
A couple of weeks ago I got back from a trip through the Rockies on I 70 to Park City, Utah. I decided to deliver some of my clay sculptures to the Terzaian Gallery in Park City rather than ship them. The gallery ended up taking 11 of the pieces. It would cost me over $1000 to pack and ship so I decided to make the trip and visit a part of the world I'd never traveled to AND do it with a friend I hadn't traveled with for a few years.
I'd been working long hours in the studio so taking a week to step away and get reinvigorated seemed the perfect anecdote to a weary artist. Besides the breathtaking scenery, spending time with an old friend was what my soul needed. Our trips started early in the morning and even though it wasn't raining where we were, ahead of us loomed some darker clouds along with a double rainbow with very vivid colors. What a way to start the trip!
The mountains were so, well, powerful beyond measure (quote from Nelson Mandela and the title of one of the pieces I took with me to Utah). The trees were turning yellow on east side of the Rockies and on the west side of the mountains red was interspersed with dark green pines. Too beautiful for words. The rock formations were amazing in southern Utah with colors similar to the Grand Canyon. We ended our stay in Park City with a trip to the Olympic training center for ski jumping, bobsledding, the louve and skelton racing. Very interesing.
Seeing the gallery that represents me in Park City was also invaluable. 'Loved the art by the other artists. Though the gallery was small it was well presented and my artwork fit in perfectly. There was a nice balance of 2D and 3D work. What a great way to start the fall season. Now my focus is on preparing for SOFA Chicago. You should checkout their website.
By day 6 my friend and I finally ran out of topics to catch up on-just in time to start back to Iowa. I'm glad to be home. Missed my hubby and family and found myself raring to get back into the studio--refreshed and ready for my busy schedule again.Comment on or Share this Article →
Interview iwth a 99 year old
I saw an interview with a woman recently who turned 99. The person interviewing her asked a typical question about her life and what had made her successful. She took some time to think and responded, “With each year I made sure I became more colorful. There’s nothing worse than having a mundane life.” I immediately wanted to know more about her and how she made her life more colorful. She wasn't talking about becoming more excentric or bizarre. I believe she was talking about making her life more interesting.
What an interesting thought especially with a new year beginning. How would I make my life more colorful/or interesting? Perhaps by
being more interested in others, being more open & tolerant, smiling more, becoming more inquisitive, trying new things, spending time with others and being more grateful? How would you apply the idea of growing more colorful?Comment on or Share this Article →
As I grow older, I hope I grow more colorful
Yesterday I dropped 8 sculptural pieces off at the shipper to make a little trip to Palm Beach, Florida for Art Palm Beach January 19-23. Sending them off, knowing that if they break Fed Ex will not cover any breakage makes me extremely nervous. Evidently when Fed Ex ships one of a kind, fragile pieces they will not cover breakage--you can pay for the insurance, but they will not cover a loss (I guess it's in the fine print). Unfortunately it seems to be my only option right now. So I think I may kiss each box and not look back. What do other artists do?Comment on or Share this Article →
Ready for anything
If you've never been to SOFA Chicago (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art) it is a playground for people who enjoy viewing mostly 3 demensional objects made from clay, glass, wood, metal, and all manner of materials. It's this weekend (November 4,5,&6) and I'll have some sculptures ehibited and be hanging out enjoying all the art. This is an art exhibition for top galleries in the country (and international galleries) to showcase artists they represent in their gallery. I'll be blogging during the weekend when I can and brining you photos from my iphone. Hope you join me or better yet make the trip and visit me in Booth 900 (Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery).Comment on or Share this Article →
What's swarming around your head?
A couple of years ago my husband and I made a long 24 hour trip to Phenix. My husband likes quiet. He doesn't like chatter and, you guessed it, I like to converse on long car,, drives. So I decided this time I would honor is desire to have peace and quiet. At the same time I was curious how long he would go without saying something, so I sat quietly.....ever so quietly. Four hours later my husband utters his first word (beyond restroom inquiries). Ready? He said, 'I think I just figured out how to make those dovetails.' Dovetails? You know, the clever joining technique used in woodworking? He asked me what I had been thinking about. When I wasn't reading, I had been redesigning our family room-rearranging furniture, considering other color options, etc. Not exciting stuff, but on a long car ride or when I have time on my hands without anything else to do, I often plan. Plan my future sculptures, rearrange the furniture in my mind, sketch out a possible painting.
This idea of what swarms around in our heads started me thinking about representing what people think about in a sculpture. When we aren't thinking about mundane things, like doing the wash and what to get at the grocery store, what do we mostly think about? What's important to us?
The attached image has all the mundane things I usually am thinking about i.e. calling hte plumber, making treats for a meeitng, paying bills, etc.-those things are stamped (written) on the sculptures hair. What swirls around the top of her head are some quotes about dreams. They hold the place of importance and it's no mistake they form a crown.
Email me what you usally think about and you might find yourself represented in a sculpture!Comment on or Share this Article →
Development of a mother-what do expectant mother think about?
I often am asked where I get the ideas for my sculptures. The majority of the time I listen to conversations around me and use those topics or statements as the focus of some of my sculptures. One prolific statement came from my husband who, along with me, was making a 28 hour trip. What is important to note is, my husband likes the quiet, likes his wife to be able to read his mind and likes to drive 28 hours without stopping. Suffice it to say I was prepared for long hours, long silences and short stops. Don't get me wrong, I like the quiet too and I love the opportunity for contemplation...just not so much of it.
After 4 or 5 hours of silence in the car I eventually heard a voice next to me. I was hoping it was my husband because the last time I looked we were the only two in the car. In an intent voice he said he'd figured out how to do the 'dovetails' he'd been struggling with (besides a high school principal, his 'thereapy' was spent in the workshop making wooden boxes). I'm trying to figure out what a 'dovetail' is as he describes how to set his saws and 'jigs' and assorted tools. His conversation was the basis for a series of sculptures focused on 'what we think about'. From that idea I wondered how I could represent that idea of things that people think about. From my Uncle Lee whose comments and conversations revolved around his crops to a person I worked with who always thought about dessert. It became a focus when I listened to other's conversations. Uncle Lee's sculpture ended up with a corn cob and husk on top of his head and my colleague with a cupcake. I haven't quite figured out yet how to represent ho to make a 'dovetail', but when I do it will end up in clay.
That leads to the question, What do you think about?
Great weekend in Denver at the Cherry Creek Art Festival. If you want to see 230 mini art galleries at your disposal this is the place to be. Such remarkable art. Between the Des Moines Art Festival and Cherry Creek I think I have inspiration for the next year. I was so thankful to be a part of it.
I'm on to KRASL Art Festival this Friday (July 9th). It's about an hour away from Chicago in St Joseph Michigan. The Festival is on the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. A beautiful setting and an impressive show of artwork.