Author Archives: lynnadmin

Rabbit, Rabbit (or, Hare, Owl?)

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.

Hare sculpture with boho floral patterning. Needle felted wool - wire and batting armature - rabbit
Florian

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.

Evening Star

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.

Owl sculpture white with blue patterning. Needle felted wool - wire and batting armature
Hesperia

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!

needle felted anthropomorphic animal figure sculptures with patterned surfaces
Patterned series

Paisley, Prince, and Prints…

That’s a Prince Frog, not a Frog Prince

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.

Prince Frog - needle felted anthropomorphic purple frog sculpture with paisley pattern and raspberry beret
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 - needle felted anthropomorphic purple frog sculpture with paisley pattern and raspberry beret
Prince Frog – back view

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.

Finding True North

It is defined as getting on the right course, and proceeding in the right direction.

Finding True North - sculpture of breaching and spouting sperm whale with nautical "tattoo" imagery - needle felted wool over wire and batting armature
Finding True North (left view)

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 - sculpture of breaching and spouting sperm whale with nautical "tattoo" imagery - needle felted wool over wire and batting armature
Finding True North (right view)

Magnetic North

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.

Raccoon and Kangaroos?

A Raccoon With a Daisy For You

“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 - anthropomorphic raccon needle felted art doll sculpture holding felted daisy
For You

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 - anthropomorphic kangaroo needle felted art doll sculpture with joey in pouch
Kanga and Roo

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.

Birds, Balloon and Bling!

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

needle felted anthropomorphic giraffe sculpture with ox pecker birds and color surprise
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!

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.

needle felted anthropomorphic snail sculpture with highly embellished shell
Bling!

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.

needle felted anthropomorphic baby rhinoceros sculpture with polka dot balloon
My Balloon

Stay tuned

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.

New Puffin and Some Prints

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.

New Prints

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.

Teapot Show is now up at Cedar Creek Gallery

I shared “Tea With My Octopus Teacher”, my uniqe octopus-teapot-purse with you here and wanted to let you know that the National Teapot Show XII is now in full swing. The 200 or so teapots, can all be seen in person at Cedar Creek, or purchased online on their website. Here is the direct link to my piece… https://cedarcreekgallery.com/collections/national-teapot-show-xii/products/lynn-wartski-tea-with-my-octopus-teacher

Octopus Tea, Frog Song, and Mouse Wish

Octopus to the gallery…

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.

Surreal one-of-a-kind needle felted sculptural handbag with yellow polka dotted red octopus on a creamware teapot
Tea With My Octopus Teacher

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.

Sculpture of Frog and Mouse singing and wishing on a dandelion. Needle felted wool and recycled denim over wire and batting.
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.

two young elephants helping each other climb blocks. Needlefelted sculpture on wooden blocks
Ele-vate

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.

Bears and Happy Accidents

Mommy ‘n Me Bears

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.

anthropomorphic needle felted bear art doll sculpture, with cub on mother's back
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.

3 color original monoprint acrylic on paper using spring flowers - Flower Print #3 - 8x10
Flower Print #3 – 8×10

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.

3 color monoprint photo-treansfer original in acrylic on paper - based on image of lynn's sculpture
Remembering Whales #1

Both prints are now available at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. It will be a bit of time before the bears arrive.

Fish and Print?

Print first…

I have been playing in the studio with the idea of presenting images of my work as well as the sculptures themselves. I did not want to merely produce cards and prints of the photos I take of my work. The process of producing gel plate monoprints caught my eye, and I decided to try my hand at this unique medium. This type of print uses a synthetic surface that looks and feels like a slab of gelatin. Each of the prints produced is an unique original piece of art. You can utilize a wide variety of media as the printing “ink.” I have been using regular acrylic paints to produce mine. One gel print technique allows you to use lazer prints (and some magazine images) to incorporate photo transfers. I have used this to create something completely new from the work images I share here with you.

The process can be a bit temperamental, so I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting and learning. I finally have produced a few pieces that I’m happy with, and will be taking them into the gallery in the form of matted prints (5×7 & 8×10) and some blank note cards. So far, I’ve produced photo transfers of my work, and some completly original print art using found objects like spring flowers. Each piece is completely unique, and may include over printing, multiple colors, or hand coloring with watercolors to finish. Below are a few examples…

Matted Prints

8x10 monoprint photo transfer of rabbit sculpture hand coloring
Rabbit Games and Midnight Rainbows
8x10 monoprint photo transfer of zebra-butterfly sculpture
Morph in Blue print
8x10 monoprint of penguin sculpture
So Many Questions print 1
5x7 matted spring flower monoprint
Flower monoprint #2

I will bringing the cards and prints into the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts as soon, as I get them all priced, labeled and entereded into inventory… Hopefully, in the next day or so.

… Then the Fish

aquatic themed needle felted mobile hanging sculpture
Conversation Bubbles

Conversation Bubbles is my newest anthropomorphic sculpture. This hanging mobile sculpture is something a little different. The piece features three needle felted aquatic creatures. I took some liberties with the exact species, but they based on a yellow tang, a pink tailed trigger fish, and a mauve stinger jellyfish.

The glass bead “bubbles” raising from the two fish are my marine version of cartoon conversation bubbles. Not sure what they are talking about, but it may have something to do with a gulf jellyfish being in their tropical Hawaiian reef.

Both of the fish are needle felted wool over batting with glass bead eyes. The jelly fish features a nuno-felted layer over a majenta needle felted layer. The top of the jelly has hand sewn glass bead dots.

The mobiles hanging system brought me back out to my metal shop to hand forge the copper “waves” from wire. I used large jewelry jumprings and fishing swivels to attach the figures and beads with fishing line. I am not sure yet if I will hold this piece back for my show or not.

The Price of Elephant Dance

The title is me playing around with things that help a piece of digital content be found by search engines. I do not think my tinkering in this post will really bring any more traffic to my little art blog. It is a price I’m paying for my own education and entertainment.

Annual Feature Show

Right now, I am beginning to decide what sculptures to hold for my feature show, or make available immediately. I also need to decide which images to use to highlight that show. I reassess these decisions as work sells, and my gallery inventory dwindles. This year my feature show is in September, so I will hopefully be making many such decisions between now and then. Perhaps you all can help me decide with the sculptures below? I will update you if the availability status any work changes for any reason.

The title of the feature show I am in is RECIPROCUS. As you might guess, that is the latin root for the word reciprocal. We artists in a show come up with our titles together. I suggested “Interactions”, as several pieces I had been working on recently had two or more figures in them. A previous FA show already used that title, so Reciprocus was suggested as an alternative.

Elephant Elevation

Anthropomorphic elephant pair helping each other climb. needle felted wool art doll figure sculpture
Ele-vate

Ele-vate is a pair of elephant babies helping each other climb. They are needle felted wool over wire and batting, and are integrated with the wooden blocks they are climbing. Yes, the title is a terrible bit of punning, but you just have to go with it sometimes.

Everything has a Price

Anthropomorphic zebra with stripes that run into a barcode. needle felted wool art doll figure sculpture
Everything Has a Price

This sculpture features a lone zebra who’s stripes become a barcode. This piece is sort of a nod to the other big project I worked on for the past year or so, leading a team to set up HGA’s point of sale system. At times it felt like that was my job. This sculpture captures that. He is needle felted wool over wire and batting. Though this scupture is a lone figure, I created him with the intention that he is looking directly at the viewer and interacting with them.

Crane Dance

Anthropomorphic pair of dancing Japanese cranes. needle felted wool art doll figure sculpture
Dance

My cranes are captured in a moment within their courtship dance. They evoke human behavior with out the need to be contrived. The cranes are a combination of needle felting and nano felting (wings) over wire and batting. Their legs combine black yarn and needle felted wool roving. The delicate pair is joined together, and they support and balance each other to stand on ther own.

Reminder:

The new show, It’s All About The Story, Volume IX – Jaki Shelton Green, opens at HGA next week. The opening reception will be during the Last Friday Art Walk on the 24th. The piece I shared last week, Rabbit Games and Midnight Rainbows will be part of that show.