Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This Moment is Enough

This recent picture of Mister Marley T. Bear describes my current mood perfectly.  My journals are ever-present as I try to muster enthusiasm for the most exhausting months of the year.  I am easily over-stimulated and whether it is all-caps ads screaming at me on Twitter or crowds of the shopping-obsessed out in the world, I feel both suffocated and inspired, exhausted and energized by the season.

This is also the time of year when I become deeply introspective, thinking on how 2011 measured up to my hopes, goals, and expectations.  I ponder the year to come and think about current paths I will continue to explore, which ones I will abandon, and what new paths I might need to investigate.

But really, I just need to be more like Marley who thinks only about how he can best position his sleepy head so he can watch Mama journal and still be comfy.  He cares not for the spinning world beyond.  He lives in the moment and that is enough.

Monday, November 21, 2011

An Art Fail & Rescue

As 2011 winds down, I am going to try and get back to this space more often.  I've got many, many ideas rocketing around in my head; I just need the time to transcribe them into posts.

From time to time, I think it is important to show something that didn't work and this is a journal page that certainly fits the bill.  I'm not sure what I was thinking when I began but I do remember that it was late in the evening and I was super tired and cranky. I was trying to force the art from my brain and in the process, made a critical error.

I began this epic art fail by stenciling with light molding paste.  Once the paste was dry, the coral stencil suddenly looked like an old tree and because of the bluish background, I thought a tree in full autumn splendor would make a nice contrast.  So I used a palette knife to apply heavy body acrylics to represent the foliage.  That would have been a great idea except for the fact that the molding paste created a very dimensional surface and without the addition of a texture medium, the paint simply sank into the crevices around the "tree branches."  It looked terrible and I cursed like a sailor at the wet mess I had created.  I couldn't tear the page out so I decided to let it dry and attempt a rescue in the morning.

The essential problem was that the "leaves" didn't read as being on top of the branches, especially up close.  I considered several solutions.  I crinkled little pieces of tissue paper and placed them on the tree to represent the leaves - too bulky and quite frankly, too cheesy.  I thought about gessoing over the whole mess but that damn molding paste would've shown right through.  I could've applied more molding paste but the page would've become impossibly thick.  Same problem if I tried to apply more paint to build up the "leaves."  Ultimately, I opted to increase the contrast between the background and foliage by applying Payne's gray shadows and pulling the background color up and over the molding paste branches.  This serves to lessen the immediate visual impact of the molding paste's dimension.  This page doesn't stand up to much close scrutiny but I think I actually like the final result.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Whole Lot of Everything & A Little Bit of Nothing

Whenever I disappear from the helm of Lost Coast Post, you can be sure it is because I'm busy piloting the ship of my life across wild and crazy seas.  I am going in a thousand different directions but going nowhere fast, doing a whole lot of everything and a little bit of nothing.  I've been fussing over government paperwork and annual inspections, playing in my journals (always!), creating samples for the art classes I teach (sculpture requires A LOT more time devoted to step outs, lesson plans, demos, and examples), prepping canvases for the next show lined up (January), trying to stay warm (what happened to fall?), experimenting in the kitchen (love baking!) and oh yeah, getting my son through the last few hectic & stressful weeks of his third semester of college.  I suspect things will start to slow down in mid-December as schools begin their winter holidays until after the first of 2012.  Until then, I expect to be constantly on the go, physically and mentally.  Stuff is brewing in my brain for this space but there's not too much time right now to devote to my online presence.  So patience, my pretties...it might be a little brief around here for a while.
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