Sunday, April 30, 2017

Zester A to Z Challenge

 Z is for Zest

My entire A to Z challenge could be about food. Maybe a year in the future. 
In the meantime, I see food & cooking as a big part of my creative life.
 Not a bad way to end the challenge.

The aroma in the kitchen when zest hits the heat in a pan, heaven.

 Current favorite recipes with lemon zest:

 Shrimp with Pesto & Lemon Zest

Tuna casserole

I made it! A to Z  2017. Can I have my survivor badge now? 
See you next year. Hope you visit before then as well. 
It's been a pleasure cruising around to see what others are up to. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Yardage A to Z Challenge

Yardage- Term used to describe any cut length of fabric. In the U.S., fabric is measured and cut in yards (36-inch intervals). A length of fabric in an undefined amount.

It's not the official definition, which has something to do with animal pens. 
But I'm sticking with fabric as Y is a tough one.

I have lots of yardage in my studio. Stacked in cubbies and jammed in a trunk I've owned since college. In an earlier post I showed my trunk full of old fabric. Recently I discovered a local business that accepts & resells all kinds of craft stuff. Perfect! A place to obtain & pass on "yardage".

When I'm deep into a project I like to coral all the pieces in a bin.

I have a table set up right now for painting soem "yardage" for several
fabric containers I have in mind.

Layer one of hand painting done yesterday.

It's just another word for fabric, but it had to be my "Y"

Friday, April 28, 2017

X-Acto knives A to Z Challenge Can't Do Without 'em

In book binding, box making, & other paper arts exact cutting is mandatory for good results. 
A sharp blade, steady hand, not to mention a cork backed ruler, maybe a square edge of some sort, makes life in the studio so much better. X-Acto knives are in every artists bag of tricks.

Over time & on the suggestion of different instructors I've accumulated a variety of
 tools for cutting. The one above is my current favorite. 

This baby has been with me for years & it's a work horse. 
I use it on heavy book board, paper, even fabric at times.
You can find one in any man cave. 
This one is mine!

This was recommended for trimming leather. I haven't been able to make friends 
with it yet. I'll work on it.

My "X" for this years A to Z Challenge was easy. 
Nice of the brand to start their products with an X.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Weights & Measures A to Z Challenge

In the studio I use weights to help me all the time. To hold the end of a long ruler, to keep a piece of paper or fabric where I want it when cutting, to hold a pile of like items off to the side when working on a series. The image above is a tin full of old lead type I used to make the weights below.

Creating your own boxes for any purpose is a time consuming exacting endeavor, just the kind I like.
Old maps with a waxy finish make a perfect cover. All these weights could be used as a weapon as they are quite heavy, that's the point.

 I've featured these before. They were my Dad's. A friend of his melted lead into muffin tins, then used enamel paint to cover them. A screw was embedded into the lead so a knob could be attached.
 I have put new felt on the bottoms and added newer knobs. 
These are always the envy of fellow artists at workshops. 

 I totally stole this idea from Shanna Leino. Hers are sold out
 so I pulled out the scrap leather bag & went to town.

 These BBs have come in handy for the leather weight as well as fabric sculptures that need 
some heft to keep elements where I want them.

The measures were just a way to make my title work. 
More interest than just weights don't you think?
These tools are just as important. Could have used them for "M". 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Viewfinder A to Z Challenge

  This Viewfinder was in the attic of the Arts & Crafts Bungalow I occupied for over 30 years. Since I found it it has had a place on my mantle or elsewhere in view.  It's vintage 1930's according the the link. Could have used Vintage for V...too late.

 In the first picture you can see the little strip of velvet that has mostly worn away along the edge.

 I should try a sketch it. A challenge.

Unfortunately no cards were found that go with these.

I had a little trouble with V.  But already have an idea for next year.

Is anyone else getting worn down at this point in the challenge?  Only 4 letters to go.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Urban Art A to Z Challenge

 When I travel I like to see the art that is on display in public places. It assures me that humans are aware that art in our everyday lives is important. 

 The  images above & below are from my home. I would love to know the story of the fox, and why is he holding an egg?  But he stopped me dead in my tracks.

This funky guy is the "River Guardian" in Traverse City.  It got both raves & contempt when it was unveiled. I happen to like him. Link is an article about the reaction to this sculpture.


 A friend who lives in Denver sent me this. These lovely lithe ladies are magnificent on their own. Then they got dresses for an arts event!

 I admit I do like graffiti. She is a bit frightening but so well done. 
Brooklyn N.Y. from a trip several years ago.

 This couple is so sweet. Portland neighborhood. Discovered them on a leisurely walk to get breakfast one morning. That is what's so great about public art, you just happen upon it.

 Alaska. A personified loon.The artist,  Rachel Dowdy,  also has an installation in the airport. 
Image below. These whimsical geese.

Also in Alaska. A High School project using ocean trash to create this rather beautiful salmon.

 These last two are as iconic as it gets. Large metal. The St Louis Arch by Eero Saarinen & "Cloud Gate" by Anish Kapoor, better known at the bean in Chicago. Photo ops of these two are limitless.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Texture A to Z Challenge

T is for Texture

 It is what makes light play on a surface.
 Draws your hand to something to touch it. So many words to describe texture. 
Smooth, slippery, rough, spiky, hard, soft, fuzzy. I could go on & on. 
Could I do an entire A to Z Challenge on texture works? A thought.

 It's part of everything, but we don't think about it.

Look how time creates texture where we try to make things smooth.
 Rust, water, sun all played a part in the textures above & below. 
Maybe nature abhors smooth as much as a vacuum?

 Lots of supplies can be used to create texture in art pieces.  Gesso,
layering, hard objects pressed into something soft. Dry wall tape made the grids in the
 metallic cards above, matte medium below. 

I have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to Texture. 

When you are out & about today stop to notice the texture in everything around you. 
Let me know your interesting words for the textures you find.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Spoons A to Z Challenge

A simple tool. So versatile. You don't need a fork if you have a spoon. 
They also works of art. These were my mothers.
 I use them in the kitchen every day. The patina!

Part of "building an artful life", my theme, involves using things
 that you find beautiful in your everyday tasks. That practice can bring you joy.

These little beauties I found years ago. Had to have them.
 They went on my Christmas list & I was rewarded. Apparently I was good that year. 
Pounded pewter. Plus lots of artistic detail. Use 'em every day. 

I admire the hand made spoons of others. 

The 2 above examples are from Instagram.

Shanna Leino made these. Ebonized walnut, wow.

Would love to take a class to learn to carve wooden spoons.

Of course a class would require special tools. More art supplies. Oh well. 
At a workshop a few years back one person made the comment "We aren't artists, we're collectors of fine art supplies". Funny, but very true.