Thursday, February 18, 2010

Project TWENTY-EIGHT: Chihuly by Acetate

One day, I was perusing the internet for lesson plan ideas and came upon a bunch at Dick Blick. I pulled one off titled, "Classroom Chihuly," that piqued my interest. And so... I gave it a try.

The premise of this lesson plan and the expected outcome looks pretty cool, different, and interesting; something I would have definitely liked to have try with my students. However, I
might admit that my attempt was a bit of a mess. The lesson plan calls for Dura-Lar, which is an acetate "alternative," according to the packet- though I'm not sure what makes it an alternative and not just acetate (which I think it is). I could only find .005 (medium weight) thickness at my Dick Blick here in the city, and the lesson has a minimum thickness of .007 up to .015, which may
be a partial blip for my attempt. I cut out organic shapes, as it says, and I tried using paperclips to hold the shape together into a crinkly pattern. The paperclips just sprung off of the dura-lar. I found that I needed to use tongs to hold the plastic in the semi-boiling water (which softens the plastic and makes it pliable) with portions paperclipped. Even though this plastic retains its shape shortly after you remove it from the hot water, if you want to then shape other areas, you have to be careful that the parts you just shaped do not warm up, or they will relax back to their flattened state.
I started out cutting up cloud like shapes like the lesson illustrates, then moved into two shapes with "arms" to curl up reminding me of the Chihuly I saw in Washington DC. This was semi-successful. Together, these pieces remind me of flowers and flower petals, or plant like shapes.

Next, I used the Pebeo Procelain paint that the lesson recommends. I used two colors, one metallic, a thinner, and a glossy medium to paint my pieces. I tried to keep it organic... and found that it looked better if I "outlined" the edges of the pieces with a heavier amount of paint. The paint takes 24 hours to dry, so here are photos right after I painted them. Kinda' looks like a mess, doesn't it?? Needless to say, I'm not thrilled about this outcome and would definitely have to try it again before making a lesson out of it. What do you think?

Note: For those of you unfamiliar with Dale Chihuly's work, he is a very famous glass sculptor. You can see some of his work at his site:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Project TWENTY-SEVEN: More Crocheted Jewelry

You keep asking for it! Here it is:

Though, while I'm really enjoying creating these crocheted pieces (especially playing with the different shapes and sizes of beads), I have to admit that I should probably be focusing on a more variety of new techniques as this blog was intended. There is certainly nothing wrong with my ongoing practice of my newly learned skills, but sadly, I should move on for the purpose of Project Art-A-Day. Enjoy!

Project TWENTY-SIX: Spacial Translation II

Today, I pursued another version my "vision" of the Spacial Translation. Again, I used my previously taken photographs, in conjunction with Photoshop filters (Gaussian and Box Blur being my favorite for this project), and several layers playing with transparency. Even though I am somewhat happy with this piece, it does not give me as much of that serene feeling I received from the first piece. I do enjoy the play with the colors, though, and the busy-ness of the towers and shapes. This piece definitely feels more playful than the previous, which I don't mind. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Project TWENTY-FIVE: Spacial Translation

Prior to starting this blog and the whole Project Art-A-Day, I had planned on developing my photography. Without going into a long tangent, which I'm always happy to elaborate and discuss, here's a tidbit of background info for this piece I'm working on: I was planning on using a 4x5 large format camera to play with tilts and shifts in order to achieve a translation of, or interpretation from my paintings. In my paintings, I have been very interested in investigating focus; specifically forefront v. background. I am also drawn to the markings with my brush which create this landscape type feel- some people say they look like cityscapes, some people see a heart EKG monitor type pattern. For the past 8 months, I had been thinking about this translation into photography. I've been very interested in the large format camera, and I seem to be drawn specifically to these high tension towers (is that what they are called?).

Unfortunately, I'm unable to pursue this avenue (because of the dark room chemicals- I'm such a manual freak... I love the process of a wet lab! Which is a whole other rant for another day...).
So, I've decided to play around with Photoshop ONCE AGAIN, and actually work to manipulate some digital photos I had taken of the tension towers. Again, I'm fairly pleased with the result for this first piece. Here, I've worked with multiple layers and blur filters to create this work. While my intention is not to "replicate" my paintings into photography- I'm more interested in a relation between the two media. I plan on working with these some more to create a series of the Spacial Translation. What do you think so far?

Project TWENTY-FOUR: Experimenting with Crocheted Jewelry

YOU asked for it! So, here it is! More crocheted jewelry!

Today (Monday), I experimented some more with crocheted necklaces. I incorporated some of my newly bought beads and decided to try out the addition of some larger stones I've had for a while. I know, my mom would say, "Are you SURE you know what you're doing??" She likes to say that when it comes to me and jewelry. Most of the time, I am not entirely sure,
but hey, isn't that part of the fun of it? What's the worse that can happen? I waste a little wire? CHA-
CHING! Yes, mistakes do add up- but a little wire
isn't too bad. This time, however, I feel like it was a success! I tightened up my chain loops, and made fewer to begin with (empty chains on each end, without beads), and the necklace seemed to turn out to be the PERFECT length! At least the perfect length that I love. Since I have a long neck, I tend to like the necklaces that lay right on base of my neck. I forgot to mention it in my previous post, but I did have to go back and
unweave the ends of that necklace because it turned out WAY too long. Here are some photos of the newest necklace, as well as what it may look like when YOU wear it. (I've also updated a few photos on the previous necklace, so you can get an idea of what it looks like on someone- so go back and check them out if you're interested.) Again, I tend to like a more vintage look, but I think the addition of the stones really modernizes this necklace and makes it more wearable- dresses up or down.