After the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts closes this afternoon, changes in the Featured Gallery room will occur. The gallery elves, otherwise known as the member artists, will set about taking down one show, and installing the next. Reciprocus, and the new work I’ve shared with you here will be ready to view starting tomorrow, September 25. The show will run through October 22nd. The opening reception will be this Friday, the 29th from 6 to 9 during the Last Friday Art walk.
I will be sure to share some images of the installed show with you in a few days. Hope to see you all on Friday!
I think Loup Nouveau is the last figure sculpture that will be included in my featured artist show. We install at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts in just a little over a week. Next week, I will share more show specific details, so stay tuned!
His name is Loup Nouveau. He is the next in my series of patterned figures. I captured this rather young looking little wolf mid howl. I adorned him with an art nouveau inspired floral pattern.
Loup Nouveau is needle felted wool over an armature I created of wire and quilt batting. For the figure itself, I used natural colored wool fibers. The leaves and flowers are colored wool from various sources. Some I dyed with natural food colors.
Perhaps it is this young pup’s first howling attempt. He certainly appears to be giving it his all. As with my other patterned creatures, I’ve applied them in a manner that I hope flows over the figure. I want them to have a harmony with the form and appear to have grown with the sculpture.
Loup’s eyes which appear blue in the images, are iridecent black glass beads. I prefer, as I have mentioned before, glass beads over more realistic doll making eyes. It is a personal preference. I find that doll eyes tend to cross a bit into the creepy realm for me. Glass beads, as seen in this case, provide the sparkle needed without the creep factor.
Loup Nouveau, and his art nouveau florals will be at the Hillsborough Gallery of Art beginning Monday, September 25. He and all his fuzzy felted friends hope to see you at the opening reception during the Last Friday Art Walk from 6-9 on Friday the 29th. The show will run through Sunday, October 22nd.
No one seems to know exactly why saying “rabbit, rabbit” on the first of the month is supposed to be good luck. To be honest, I never really followed the tradition… But, it is the first of the month, and one of the pieces I’m sharing is a hare. So, I figured, why not?
Boho Bunny (rabbit, hare, lepus)
I mentioned that “Finding True North” sparked a series of patterned figures in my sketchbook. Florian started as one of those sketches. I have produced a number of rabbit figures, and Florian takes them in a new direction. Seems he would be equally at home hiding in your flower garden, on the edge of a meadow, or on the pages of a storybook.
I tried to capture Florian in that moment of rabbit stillness deciding if he should remain motionless or bolt. Looking more closely at him, I think he still is a work-in-progress. I see that I want to define his feet a bit more, and want to tweak his position to depict a bit more tension.
Hesperia refers to the direction of the setting sun, or the evening star. I did a search of owl names online, and Hesperia jumped out at me. She looks at the viewer with piercing clear blue eyes that are a similar hue as her distinctive circular and star like markings.
I tried something different with this bird’s talons. For most bird feet, I “felt” yarn that I have wrapped around the wire armature all the way to the end. This creates a challenge of getting the ends tight enough to not allow the wire to poke through. This time I stopped the yarn at the claws. The claws themselves I fashioned by layering black tissue paper and glue. The result is a more solid end cap that also secures the yarn wrapping of the foot.
Both sculptures are needle felted wool over a wire and batting armature. They also both contain internal elements for ballast and balance. In Florian, I used stuffing beads. Hesperia has strategically placed fishing weights in her tail, and legs to allow her to stand.
Show Installs 9/25, reception 9/29
Hesperia, Florian, and many of their friends will be at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts starting on September 25th. The reception for my feature show, Reciprocus, with fellow HGA artists Ellie Reinhold and Pat Merriman is that Friday, September 29th. I hope to see you then!
Every once and a while, a single piece sparks several more pieces in a slightly new direction. That happend recently with Finding True North. I like the surface treatment of the nautical “tatoos’ so much, that I found muself sketching other sculptures that incorporated interesting patterning or symbolism on their surfaces. The first of these new sketches to be realized is Prince Frog.
He is a little purple three toed tree frog. I captured this anthropomprphic amphibian waving hello, or perhaps giving a piece sign? It’s hard to tell the difference with only three fingers. He wears a distinctive little raspberry beret set to one side, and has distinctive paisley pattern on his back.
Prince Frog is needle felted wool over a wire and batting armature. He has iridescent black glass bead eyes. This art doll sculpture looks up and waves from a squating position on his hind legs. I will let you know when he becomes available for purchase.
Prints, Prints, and Cards
I received a request to wholesale some of my monoprint cards. Many artists bristle at anything that feels like production work, and I am definitely in that category. I don’t even like making batches of my own holiday ornaments (puffins, polar bears, and baby seals, oh, my!) but, they are so darn cute and popular. I was torn by the request, especially since my prints aren’t even my main artwork. They weren’t looking for hundreds, (though they may in the future) so I figured I give it a try. I made more than the order, so they can choose, and any left over will be available to take to HGA. I will let you know where they are headed after I deliver them next month. The price will be slightly higher than the $10 I sell them for at HGA. I have no control over retail markup.
Each of these cards is hand-pulled on a gell press using acrylic paint and plant materials. Almost all are comprised of two layers of paint, one with the forground image and the other background color. Some feature additional overprinting, and watercolor enhancements. Each card is a unique and one-of-a-kind original art work on paper and is suitable for framing.
It is defined as getting on the right course, and proceeding in the right direction.
My latest sculpture, Finding True North, is a white sperm whale. I depict him breaching far out of the water, and spouting from his blowhole. It is, of course, an obvious nod to Moby Dick, but I hope he is a bit more. My white whale is adorned with a variety of nautical “tattoos”. Some of these images are navigational symbols. I hope he suggests finding one’s way for the viewer rather than serving as a symbol of singleminded obsession as Melville’s whale did.
Finding True North is needle felted wool over an armature of wire and quilt batting. Several points of sparkle are incorporated in this sculpture through the use of hand sewn glass beads. Iridecent black beads are used for his eyes, clear crystals for the stars of the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor dipper constellations, and blue seed beads accentuate the spout spray. The symbols are truly wool tatoos as the colored wool is applied through repeated needle sticks to the surface. The piece also features a bit of metalic thread to highlight the constellations that indicate the location of the North Star, Polaris. Additionally, I used some of the synthetic quilt batting I mainly use in my sculptures’ interior form as a fiber source for the bright white of the water spray.
Though my whale is baring his one row of large teeth he doesn’t appear menacing. He will be smiling and providing guidance and navigation soon at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. I will let you know when he is available for purchase.
“For You” is a young raccoon holding out a daisy. He is offering his flower up to the viewer. I’m not sure if he intends to share the flower itself, or merely a chance to sniff and see if it has a sweet sent. Either way, he engages the viewer to move in a bit closer, and smile.
For You, is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature. He contains stuffing beads as well to provide ballast and volume. His daisy is needle felted wool over wire. He also features large glass bead eyes, and some prominant fishing line whiskers.
Kanga and Roo?
Kanga and Roo is an anthropomorphic Kangaroo sculpture that features a momma and her baby. The joey kangaroo waves at the viewer from the security of mom’s pouch. Momma Kanga appears to be proudly pointing out her progeny.
Kanga and Roo are needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature. They both have hand sewn glass bead eyes. This pair will likely hop into HGA for my feature show in September, but keep an eye out, sometimes they become available early. I will let you know when either Kanga and Roo, or their raccoon friend, For You, become available.
What do the three words in the title have in common? They accompany the main figures in this post. I have three new friends to introduce to you, a girraffe with a michevious ox pecker entourage, a baby rhino and her balloon, and a snail with a lot of bling.
First Up, Is Change Up
“Change Up” is my newest creation featuring a giraffe as the main figure. This time I had a bit of fun with the giraffe’s patterning. The ox packer birds are applying her distinctive coat pattern. However, it seems that the bird at the back has some different ideas about color. The giraffe looks interested, but it is unclear if she approves of the pop (or is that bling?) at this point.
Change Up is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature. All have hand sewn glass bead eyes.
Bling! is a snail with an eye for embellishment. They are decked out with a bright blue shell that is encrusted with beaded barnacles.
I began Bling! with a wire armature and a pouch of poly stuffing beads for ballast. That base is wrapped in quilt batting, and the surface is sculpted in wool with felting needles. All the beaded (including eyes), sequined, and fringe elements are hand applied with “invisible” thread. I’m kind of in love with their goofy expression.
This Balloon is My Bling
My little rhino titled My Balloon, seems enamored wirth her possession. Perhaps it is because her balloon provides a bit of bling too? Whatever the reason, she looks pretty happy. In fact, she appears to be making double sure that her balloon doesn’t get away. She has the string both looped around her front foot, and firmly clasped in her mouth.
My Balloon is needle felted wool over a wire, poly bead, and quilt batting form. The balloon is needle felted wool over batting, with yarn felted around a wire core for the string. Her eyes are hand sewn glass beads with frayed yarn lashes.
I’m not sure when each of these sculptures will show up in the gallery. More than likely Bling or My Balloon will make an appearance first, as Change Up is a more suited to the theme of my September feature show. I have been a playing catch up with inventory these past few weeks (one reason you haven’t seem many posts.) I will let you know when I drop anything off, or make it available for purchase elsewhere.
A short post just to catch you up on some new work and happenings.
Another Proud Fisherman
I was sketching a few weeks ago, and decided that I’d like to revisit my little puffin fisherman, but in a more minimalist fashion. So, let me introduce “Proud Fisherman #2”. This puffin has placed his catch on the ground to share how magnificent it is. He didn’t stay on my work table long, as I had some empty pedestals in the gallery to fill, so here’s a shot of him in the gallery.
He is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature, with hand sewn glass bead eyes.
I have been dropping off additional prints from time to time, and thought that I’d share the latest batch composed from fresh flowers and leaves on the gell plate. All of these prints are one of a kind acrylics on paper with some watercolor hand finishing.
but not HGA? I have been quite busy the past few weeks creating something a bit different. I was invited to create a piece for a rather well known reoccuring show, The National Teapot Show at Cedar Creek Gallery. Yes, I did type “teapot show”, but no, I did not create a functional teapot, or did I? Well, to be exact, I created a sculptural piece that is a one-of-a-kind functional handbag, but you cannot serve tea from it. This quirky and slightly surreal creation is titled, Tea With My Octopus Teacher, and features a spotted red octopus encircling a creamware teapot.
The piece references two works of mine: “Multitasking” – a tea serving octopus, “Clutched” – a black evening clutch with an aqua octopus, and the award winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher. The sculptural bag measures 10″x 10″x 6.5″. The octopus’ intertwined tentacles serve as a handle, and a button closure secures a fully lined interior. The show opens May 20th, and I’ll share details in a few weeks.
Save to Feature, or Not?
This is a question I perennially find myself wrestling with. I had already started hoarding work for my show in September, especially any that I felt photographed particularly well. However, taking some time to create my teapot and recent sales have stretched my available inventory. I know this is an excellent problem to have, and as a result I’m taking a couple pieces into the gallery this week.
The first piece is completely new, and is titled Songs and Wishes.
This sculpture features a little vignette that includes a singing frog, a mouse wishing on a dandelion seed head, and a dandelion partially fashioned from recycled denim. As I had mentioned earlier, many of the pieces this year incorporate two or more figures. I enjoy the movement and playfulness in this sculpture.
The sculpture is needle felted wool, and recycled denim over wire and batting. I also included stuffing beads in the lower portions for ballast. You can see Songs and Wishes at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts starting this Tuesday, 4/25.
I introduced the second piece going to HGA a few posts back.
Ele-vate features two small elephants helping each other climb up some wooden blocks. all of the elements are tied together in what is also a quite playful piece. This sculpture will be at HGA starting on 4/25 as well.
As I have been prepping sketches for this year’s Featured Artist show, I have been scanning images online. It is something I do in the planning phase of most sculptures I create. As I may have mentioned, I’ve been working on sculptures with multiple animal figures. A cold search for images with 2 or more animals has yeilded many points of inspiration. One image that caught my eye depicts two bears. In the photo, a momma grizzley bear stands on all fours with her young cub presumably along for the ride on her back. The youngest of the two bears looks so very comfortable and content. This is the feeling I strove to evoke in my piece Mommy ‘n Me.
The mother bear is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature form. The young bear is wool over batting, and is felted on to mom’s back. Both bears have hand sewn glass bead eyes.
Happy, But Not Completely by Accident
Last week, I introduced some of my gel plate monoprints. I mentioned it is a process in which you do a lot of learning by doing, seeing what works and what doesn’t. There are a couple of points in the production of each print where you hold your breath… Will the photo-transfer of the lazer print be clear on the plate? Will the whole print come off the plate clean? What will result of the final mixing of the foreground layer and the background colors?… There is a certain amount of variability in each print that is somewhat out of your control. So, it is a moment of surprize each time you peel back your final paper.
One such print I produced yesterday is Flower Print #3. This print has several layers. I pressed a composition of flowers from my garden in a layer of blue and green and pulled off the negative space around them. I then applied a second background layer of yellow and white. Finally, I did a single overprint of yellow on the side facing full bloom. The result is a quite painterly looking print of my flower composition.
Additionally, I did a photo-transfer of an image of my sculpture Remember Whales. It is always exciting when the print transfer has a nice crisp impression. I created this print with a mixture of green and blue in the foreground, a white background layer, and just a touch of watercolor to highlight his eye.