Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Art Framing

One of the best jobs I ever had was working for a custom frame shop. It didn't pay very well, but I really enjoyed seeing new art every day and discussing the most flattering way to present the client's artwork.

I've bought and created several art pieces over the last few months that I put in the "need to be framed pile". I started getting to those this week, because the pile had started getting in my way. I have a shed full of frames waiting to be filled and mat-cutting tools to do most of the mat designs I want. It is finding the time to do the framing that has been the challenge.

The other problem is finding a place to display the art after it is framed. I love art. I love collecting art that speaks to me. I hate not being able to see all of the pieces in my collection at all times. I'm still working on that problem.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Places, New Artists

I just got back from a road trip up to Canada and discovered some talented artists along the way. There is a great Museum in Jackson Hole, WY named The National Museum of Wildlife Art. It contains a significant collection of contemporary wildlife art. My favorite pieces were by artist Carl Rungius. His work is colorful and interesting. Some of his works are just animals posing, but the best works in my mind are the ones that tell a story about nature that humans don't see.

Red Fox, 1933 by Carl Rungius, (1869-1959, Germany, active U.S. post 1894) Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chili Harvest Festival 2009 photos

The Chili Harvest Festival was held at the Lakewood Heritage Center. It was a great venue and a beautiful weekend for the event. About 1000 people came through over the two days. There was entertainment and great food. The smell of roasted chilis permeated the air all weekend. I debuted my glass pendants and got some great compliments on them.

Glass Bugs

I want to get more diverse than just glass pendants with the kiln. I have been experimenting with mixing other materials in with the glass - including various wires. Below are some of the first bugs that I put together. The beads on the antennae were added after kilning.

Some wire does not fire well. "Kiln wire" has no coating that burns off during the firing. But really, any wire will work. You just need to be careful that the burn off doesn't fly into the glass or it will be permanently lodged there. You can just cover the wire with little strips of kiln paper and then wipe off the wire when it comes out of the kiln. Some wire, like 10 gauge bailing wire, get a really neat patina effect on it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

More garden photos

I know I just posted some garden shots, but the garden changes every other week and I am trying to get out there and see the details as often as I can because I know winter is coming and I will miss the garden while it is dormant.

glass works

Here are a few of the glass pieces that I have finished this week. I am loving the kiln and I was thankful the electric bill only went up $20. I was fearing that the electric bill would be $400 or more with running the kiln every day. Yes, I run it every day after I get home from work and on the weekends, I sometimes run it 2 times in one day. There are endless combinations of color and texture.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Finished Sculptures from previous posting

Remember these? I posted the carved stone images that weren't quite finished yet. Here they are finished. I got some great feedback on all of them. I plan on making many more this summer. Send me a comment on what you would like to see.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My first fused glass piece

Here is the first fused glass piece I've made.

10" x 10" x 3"

I made this at a clay and glass do-it-yourself shop a block from work. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I recently got a glass kiln for fusing small pieces. I got up the nerve to actually start trying a few pieces with mixed results. I can see why they suggest to keep a firing journal. Sometimes the kiln gets too hot or cools down too fast. The first small piece didn't fuse all the way and the second one (with questionable COE pieces) cooled down too fast and had small cracks in it. The one planned for tonight is some "real" COE90 pieces that I hope will fuse correctly. I'll post an image if it does.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yard Art in the Garden

For this last art show, I made stone sculptures specifically to put in the garden. I used high heat paint to emphasize the features of most of the stones, which will hold up in the daily extreme in temperature and moisture. They were very popular at the show.

Garden Wolf 8" x 8" x 2"

Garden Cat 1 - 8" x 10" x 3"

Garden Rabbit - 8" x 12" x 2"

Garden Cat 2 - 10" x 8" x 2"

A Garden Full of Art

I have been so into weeding and prepping pathways for stone that I have missed just how much "art" that is happening in the garden. There are thousands of blossoms which means that the garden is alive with creatures that need flowers to live. There are bees, butterflies, dragonflies, flies, millipedes, ladybugs and hummingbird moths feeding to their fill. The bugs have been bringing a beautiful variety of birds to the yard as well - including Robins, Grackles and Woodpeckers. Looking closer to the worlds within the garden, I see details of the amazing art that Nature creates - wasp nests, tomatillo husks from last year's crop that have turned into a fine messed sack, and a Preying Mantis egg nest stuck to the vegetable garden fence. I need to remember to take time this summer to photograph the many wonders of my own garden or at least I need to "take time to smell the roses".

Bumble Bees on Lupins

"Hair" Aliums

"Candy" Rose with blue glass garden art

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CHAC Show 2009 opening photos

The opening nights of the show went so much better than I expected. We all had a great time and most of us sold very well. Here are some images of the setup and the friends who came by.

The stone table (click to enlarge)

Celebrating the sale of the outdoor chess board!

"Stone Smile" just invites you to give it a kiss. Go on, give it a kiss.

Thanks to Site Sensations for the new look!

My good friends at Site Sensations (http://www.sitesensations.com/) did an excellent job reworking my blogger page to look like a power seller's web site. THEY CAN DO IT FOR YOU TOO! Give them a chance to price a site where you can sell your wares. Then you have a site that pays for itself. It is much easier than most people think. They can even set up an easy click and purchase process with your PayPal account. I love it! Thank you Des and Josh!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Glass Kiln - a new toy

I got a new toy last month - a glass kiln for fusing glass! I'm excited. I have totally run out of space for toys, but I will move things around to make it work! It came with a workbench, a small glass grinder, and buckets of glass!

I have a couple friends who make glass fused jewelry and just talking with them and seeing what they can do got me jazzed about getting started with my own designs and art pieces.

I will post photos of them as soon as they come out of the kiln!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Supporting new artists

The thing I like about CHAC is that it supports young artists get started in the art world. I especially like purchasing art from a "new" artist. I bought my first piece of art when I was in 7th grade. It was a mermaid weeping on a rock. I saw it on the shelf in the art room and went to go ask the teacher how I go about buying someone's art. I remember, she looked at me with such surprise and realizing I was serious told me to approach the artist with why I liked the piece. If the artist was open to the discussion, then I could bridge the idea of buying the piece from the artist. If the artist was open for that, start the negotiation with a price I thought was fair to the artist. I offered $7 for that mermaid. It was all I had in my pocket. Luckily, the artist accepted and I still treasure the piece today.

The latest artist who I love to support by purchasing her work is Amanda Wahl. She is a student at Denver University and has some fresh ideas about subject matter. When she has a website, I'll let her interpret her own pieces, but I think her pieces speak volumes on their own.

Time to sculpt

The ice has broken and the warm weather is trying to return to the Mile High City. I had a chance to focus on sculpting stone outside last weekend. These are the "raw" pieces I'm developing for the June show. I will post them again once I finish them. One of the things I love about stone is converting a rough, abrasive hunk of stone into a smoother-than-paper, shiny surface. That in itself is an art form.

Bear, Crane, Woman, Bird

Oh, and I have a new appreciation for the stone-masters. It is a risky medium. My hands are bruised and scarred from one weekend of work.

Monday, February 9, 2009

CHAC Heart Show 2009

The CHAC Heart Show is this Friday. It is the biggest fundraiser for the gallery of the year. Most members and friends of the gallery decorate the a masonite heart to donate back to the gallery. It opens the door for some great creativity. The Heart Show has been going on for ten years now, so needless to say, some folks have started seriously collecting the best hearts they can find. I'm one of those. I have about 25 hearts in my collection and hope to add a few more to that this year.

There is always music, food, a live auction with other donated art, and lots of people - it's just a big Valentines party.

Here are the hearts I made for donation this year. I always try to do one with a rooster and hen theme. I also did a polymer clay sculpture of a mermaid. She is spilling a sea shell full of gold and silver coins. The title is "Buy Me Love". The third I cut out of my own stock of masonite so I could have outspread wings. I added a heart-shaped jewelry box with a heart milagro. The title is "Milagro del Corazon".

Monday, February 2, 2009

Art shows in 2009

I am booked for the month of June at the CHAC gallery, 772 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO. I'm hoping to have an extensive collection of stone sandblasted sculptures for sale art that show. Maybe some paintings too.

I'm going to host an artist sale at the house sometime this summer. Maybe early April depending on the weather. Artist friends bring things to sell as well as lots of my own art - cards, matted block prints, framed art, sculpture, sandblasted glass, miniature paintings and more.

I'll post updates of other shows when they become a reality.