Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lightbulb moments...

I has them!  Last night I was sculpting hands - really I have been doing that for a couple of days - but I was getting frustrated.  My hands didn't look like (insert any number of artist's names here)'s.  Duh.  Not that they didn't look like hands or even look like decent hands.  Because they did, and they were - until all the moonies showed up in the bake! 

Then it dawns on me:  Isn't that the point?  My own style??  Shouldn't that be more what I am striving for than anything else?? 


It should be. 

It is

So!  I think the rest of the week will be hands.  I do enjoy making the fingers and the exercise is designed to work on the presentation and anatomy of hands in general...  Whee!  More spooky disembodies hands....

Monday, May 24, 2010


usually find me exhausted and unfocused.  Well, maybe that is not entirely true.  They find me divided.  The back-to-work-writing-computer-code-when-my-head-is-still-working-through-sculpts keeps my left and right brains dueling.

This weekend was my mother's birthday so I spent most of my time shopping, cleaning or cooking.  I did manage a trip to Michaels to acquire some acrylics while I had a '40% off Artist Paints' coupon, only sitting down in my studio at 6:45 on Sunday evening.  Not a lot of sculpting time, but some goals were accomplished.

1)  My current heads will be finished as busts.  I know one I will attach to a candlestick I have.  My thought at this point is that it will be the female....

2) I took pictures of the before and after paint heads.  They are from my iPhone, but I did take them.

The fae before paint:

and after:

The imp sculpt before paint:

and after:

 Sorry for the rotten quality.  Will get better ones when not so crunched for time!

3) Fear didn't hold me back.  Time commitments did...

4)  I didn't even get started with the armature wire, but did sculpt some hands trying out Wendy Froud's Sculpting a Fairy video method. I will stick to individual fingers like in her second for now though when it is time to sculpt some more delicate fingers I could see this working out!  

So, 50% success in the goal realm. Enough to set some new (and much needed) ones.

This week I have to gt my photo area set up more permanently.  That requires some extension cords, but is entirely within reach.  That is my goal for this evening.... That way when it is time to take pictures, I don't have to offend our eyes with these blurry quickies!I also have a couple of doodles without heads and some heads without bodies that should be finished up to get them out of my sculpting space....

No sage advice or insight today other than to say try taking one thing from your list each day and do it, try it, whatever.  It is not so much about doing something as it is about keeping that promise to yourself.  There is a sense of victory in keeping your word to yourself each day and a distinct lack of self-admonishment. Admonishment lends itself to a sense of failure and to more unkept promises.  And that cycle is a hamster wheel best avoided!

Friday, May 21, 2010

With Good Intentions....

I sit and write this post.  Intention that I intend to act upon, despite the universe's best attempts to usurp me.  Here are my goals for this weekend:

Acquire items to build a decent armature  (this is already a bit of a cheat as I think I have most...)

Determine how to finish busts of fae creature heads I have already created (there are 2).

Complete at least one of the two aforementioned busts.

Take pictures as they are now and of the finished products.

Refuse to let fear (of what I am not exactly sure) stop me from any of the above...

I will report on all my successes Monday, which is to say, if I do not blog, then I had none!  Hahaha.....  Er, ahem.  Let's talk about something else....

If you are not signed up to receive Michaels ads/coupons in your email I suggest you do it.  This week there is a coupon for 40% all Artist Paints, Pencils and Markers beginning Sunday.   Liquitex and I are becoming friends and Michaels has begun carrying Golden Acrylics.  I will surely be spending money I do not have....  Did I mention that through Saturday, clay is on sale for $1.25/2 oz brick at my store?  Time to stock up on translucents and whites  and  maybe a fleshy or two! So they have me on both Saturday and Sunday.  That is seriously evil....

And on a serious and somewhat exploratory note:

I am overcoming my fear/dislike for  painting.  It is not cured by any means, but I am no longer fleeing my studio at the thought of  it.  And I am not holding stubbornly to the idea that my hands were only given the ability to 'paint' with chalks.  Seriously - I have held fast to that for a long time... So much so, in fact, that  I have colorized entire sculpts with it.  Archipelago (below) was sculpted from Prosculpt and colorized entirely with chalk.  I like doing it, but it is seriously difficult to find an extensive color palette....  So I will learn....

My next photo will be of something I have worked acrylics on....  HEY LOOK!  ANOTHER GOAL! 

Okay!  I hope something here has you thinking about taking on something a little outside your comfort range, because I am starting to think that maybe, just maybe, that is something I am meant to do.  It somehow feels right to say.  Have a creative and productive weekend and hopefully I will have successes to share on Monday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Productivity At Last!

Last week I spent most of my energy pulling out old landscape and putting in some new, more interesting stuff, so I was pleased last night to get up to my studio.  Okay - it is almost unbearable messy, but I can live with that for just a few days more! 

To prove that I am not just a philosophizing whiner, I created a goblin (I think) head.  He has all sorts of faults - the main one being that I blew the facial plane when I didn't make it even across the front, setting one eye farther back in his head than the other - but I did do it!  I will probably bake him, take pics and use him to practice painting.  I will also use him to gage the progress of my skill.

I have become more interested in the idea of costuming and building body armatures.  Which shows progress in my artistic curiosity since as little as a month ago I would have cringed and said "blech!" at the tediousness of that entire process.  In fact, I detest armatures.  I believe they are necessary, but they change the way I do things and I find that irritating.  I shall get over it.  And as far as costuming goes, it seems as though I should not be so scared of sewing, etc., as my mother and grandmother both are good seamstresses. Who knows!  Maybe I have a natural ability I have left untapped.  Not likely, but for now I can draw on that hope.

I told my daughter the other day that often the most successful people are not necessarily the best ones at what they do, but they consistently work harder to grow, learn, and expand their abilities.  Sort of makes it sound like it boils down to attrition, but really it is persistence and determination, eh?

I will post pics when I take them with something other than my iPhone...  Which addresses my other lack of talent - photography.  All successful artists stage their goods, the photography really setting the stage and completing the story.  So I will have to become better at taking pictures of things other than my thumb... :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May WHAT!?!

Well I have done it again.  Let another month or so slip by.  I did finish up the project that had been sitting around for the better portion of a year.  Geez Louise!

My birthday came and went.  I received two Froud sculpting dvds.  So far I am looking forward to the painting techniques.  Eventually I might get to that part, but so far my attention span has been in the 20-30 minute range...

I think I will spend some time this week going through my studio to clean out some supplies.  I know there are things I with which I will never bother, so I ought to thin them before the excess becomes so overwhelming I seal off the door.  (I have been watching too much of the TLC Hoarders show, me thinks.)

On a different but semi-related topic...

Ever know you could be really good at something if you just continuously applied yourself? If you just committed yourself to seriously studying and honing your skill, only to self sabotage and thwart your own efforts during of spurts of unbridled fear or feelings of inadequacy?  I am not sure what that is, but it is irritating.  I refer to it as ADD.  My brain hopping from one style to the next, wanting to do it all, knowing slow and steady wins the race.  Great if my brain would just run in one constant direction, instead of bouncing around from place to place, much like a highly sugar-fueled kid in the world's largest candy store!  Other times it goes numb, like a blob of unmolded, wet potter's clay.  Just an inaccessible lump of nothingness.

Why am I telling the world this?  Mostly just to purge it from my body.  To take it out and examine it, learn about it, learn from it.  Learn how to fight it, redirect it, channel it and make it work for, not against, me.  I envision this process as a room where I am constantly pressing the walls, expanding its dimensions. Secondarily, I know there are others out there that must suffer from something similar, but sit in silence, afraid of sounding, well, not normal.  To you, I say that there is no such thing as normal.  Actually, I would say that if there is such a thing as normal, it is skewed way left of where most people think it is!

Okay.  I am done throwing stuff at the proverbial wall so I can study it for the day!  I hope you are feeling happy, healthy, and creative!