Saturday, February 23, 2013

Not THAT Kind Of Mother

In all our lives, there are, without a doubt, certain EPIC moments that we go through. Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce etc etc etc and many more depending on our own journey and definition of 'Epic'.
For me, apart from the oft times jaw cracking weirdness I seem to inhabit, there are these moments too.
My youngest son has proposed to his most lovely and beautiful girlfriend, just after Christmas and, aside from catching us all off guard, plunged the extended and myriad members of this family in to feverish delight with the ensuing marriage hoopla. For me (who is truly over the moon happy 'cause I adore his lady and excited beyond normal), it brings up the awkward topic of : 'what to wear'. 
Now, out there in cyber land are countless sites slavishly devoted to the provisioning of tonsorial extravagance to the 'Mother Of The.....' (insert correct gender definition) 
However, and this is where my path really goes off the regular one, it seems that these outfits, gorgeously lavish though they may be, are meant for, well, more, um, decorous ladies than the Artist I am so firmly entrenched in being. Seriously, wearing something that would make me feel like going to tea with the Queen is just not my thing. (although I DO love the hats!)
So I'm in a dilemma. The thing about being 'one of the Mothers' (and there are 3 of us: me the biological, J. the step mom and the actual Bride Mom) is the undeniable fact that all eyes will check you out. Now normally I would just go blithely on my way and not give a tinker's (oh the Brits and their colloquialisms), but my son has a bit of a button with his 'oddish' mum and as such, I don't want to make him fret on what is going to be a day of enough stress for him as it is. 3 mothers for god's sake.
Well, praise the Creative Spirit and all she stands for because I actually have found 'Art Wear' and there are some phenomenally beautiful dresses that fulfill my arty soul yet provide the glamour and photogenic decorum all could wish for. 
There is a catch.
 Of course.
They seem to be only available in Italy. 
.....*sigh*......we will continue to search. I have until Sept. 
The Painting: "Grandmother Knitting" by Edmund Charles Tarbell (I'm not even a Grandmother like this)

So, other than endless hours spent looking at fashions for the odd and square-pegs-in-round-hole types, I have finished my BIG paperclay sculpture:

"The Sound Of The Ocean Is There In My Dreams and I Sail and I Sail and I Sail Away"
Paperclay (home made recipe) Acrylic Paint, Impressed objects - Face = Air Dry Clay
32" High X 10" Wide (15.5" with tail) X 15" Deep 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stupid Human Tricks

In my life I've gotten myself into some .....well.....decidedly ridiculous situations. I am, without a doubt, completely without a sense of "perhaps this might be a bad idea".....and although I can be immeasurably embarrassed by my penchant toward behaving like an eejit, it has given me a great sense of the absurd and irreverence towards being a tight ass. 
Ok....witness the other day. 
I am not a fan of flossing - yes, all you dentists can collectively gasp here - I am more into the outlaw-slouching-dark-soul image of the toothpick. That little bit of string you floss with is, in my opinion, not up to the task of getting all those chunky bits residing between the valleys of my teeth and gums. (holy dentures Batman, what an image) Now this may also be an early imprinting upon my self of my father always fishing around with a toothpick deep in his maw but I'll leave that to the couch psychologists out there - and best of luck to ya figuring out this morass of a mind- moving along. 
So there I was, dutifully mining the mouth in my way, with my toothpick. Let's just take a small sideways jump here to mention that the toothpicks I use are somewhat crap, but that is what's available out here. And there are good toothpicks out there.
Right, so I'm trying to move the detritus when the toothpick breaks. And it breaks because I was trying to force it into the tight spot between the upper part of two teeth - as opposed to the space by your gum line, which is where you are supposed to be, I believe.  Recall the penchant to not thinking about bad ideas? This would be one of them. Yes, the toothpick breaks off jammed tightly between my teeth. I am now left with what feels like a giant jagged log in my mouth. 
This is when the imagination kicks in with visions of having to phone the dentist to 'fix' this idiotic situation and the resultant 'big talk'...I am not a fan of 'big talks". Who is?
So, we are determined we will fix this. 
Our first move? 
Get another toothpick to try to push out the fist toothpick.
Remember that 'not thinking about bad ideas'? This would be another one of them.
Oh yes, dear reader, that one breaks too. 
Now desperation sets in. THIS is intolerable. What can I do?!? 
Well, for the next 45 minutes...not kidding.....I used anything that seemed like it would be able to get those 'logs' out. A needle (and the thought of how bad that could've turned into, leaves me shuddering but there's that 'not thinking about bad ideas' thing again.) It didn't work. Surprise
I tried all sorts of things....thankfully the idea of a knife didn't cross my mind....eesh....when I reached for my sculpting tools. 
Not kidding again. 
These tools are small implements that are in various shapes that are curved or straight but all thin blades. 
Yes, I did. And it took me a while but I eventually got those toothpicks out. 
With blood. Not a lot of that but not nice. 
My tooth has been very tender these last few days and chewing is problematic but the damn thing is gone gone gone. 
And no 'big talk' well, except for the one I give if I'll listen. 

The picture: This is a fantastic artist : Donald Roller Watson and go check him out. You will be highly engaged. Not just the paintings but the titles he gives them. 
Here's this one:
"Cookie....(disguised as Meg)....yelled loud when she saw him...the flight from Egypt....inches from her mind.....(and on his way to the kitchen of the father).....where Meg had tried, repeatedly, to light a hot fire for the leg of lamb-the Easter ham-for the heat of the moment)....(but, foiled by the wetness)...."
This is the kind of mind that lives with 'not thinking about bad ideas'.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What's in the Tickle Trunk Today, Mizzez Art-up?

Well and well again. 
This morn when I went to my inbox I received a notice that someone had posted a comment to my Art Blog -( (or you can just click the link at the page top) (eesh) -  Anycanwemarketourselfsomemoreway, what has me all 'huh, who'da thunk' about this besides the overwhelming feeling of wanting to leap about like Jams after a spider because someone is looking and liking, is that it's no secret this whole 'bloggy' biz can become 'chore-ish' - you know, at first it's sort of a fun thing to write about all and sundry (I would say if you like to write, obviously) and then you just get the sound of crickets when you need some snappy topic to regale the masses with AND as well, to keep updating and maintaining an Art site when you are on DIAL-UP becomes a lesson in zen patience and often descends into the screaming hell of frustration akin to threading frayed wool into a small needle....well, my point is made after all that running on. 
The comment was posted after my "Spare Parts Sculpture" and was hugely complimentary and went on to say that they were going to recommend me for a blogging award.
......but, oh, the pressure.....!
So, other than the glory awaiting, we have been experimenting with making our own 'paperclay' for the sculptures I've been indulging in lately. This means breaking down paper to a fine slurry - here's the trick to getting a really fine slurry> BOIL your toilet paper. Really. You need to initially soak the roll for about 20 mins and remove the cardboard inner roll, squeeze out the water then transfer the resulting 'lump' to a pan (stainless steel is the best) add hot water to cover and turn up the heat and get it boiling for about 30 mins - keep an eye on it as it soaks up water like crazy and use a spoon to break it up into smaller and smaller bits. Then put it in a fine mesh colander to drain.'s where the experimenting happens.
My first batch I used in a mix for homemade paperclay I found doing research on the Internet. It uses drywall joint compound and glue and flour with linseed oil. That made this:

Not bad BUT! It was a very 'sticky' mix and made stamping into it troublesome and difficult. Was not completely happy.
So, yesterday I scrounged around in the chaos of creative ephemera I call my studio and found some "Aves Clayshay", which is as far as I can ascertain, dried clay slurry. Now this seems to be the ticket! It gives you a lovely surface that is very 'pottery' feeling and takes imprinting beautifully. I made my mix a bit too wet but that's correctable for next time I hope. Here's the thing tho!! You MUST keep unused mix in an airtight container in the fridge - because, as I found out this morning, it will dry out and you have a semi hard lump that you will have to reconstitute. Which I am in the process of doing.
Ah, the Art Life - trials and tribulations all in the name of creating! 

The pic at the opening is "Crayon Eater" by James Jean, whom I LOVE. I'd really love to get this as a tattoo. Maybe not with those squirting penises....but then again.....