Deidre's Amazing Blog

I have a brand new batch of ceramic stuff that went through a kiln fire recently. It looked like a lot more stuff when it was taking up space on my tables in my studio area. However, it barely filled half a large kiln. Some of the recycled clay body turned out a little strange with some pin pricks or cracking showing up. Also some of the glazing had some pin hole results and I won’t be able to list them in my shop, but they are still fun experiments to have around the house. Below are pictures of the items pre-fired and then them finished. Keep an eye out in my Etsy shop for some of the things that turned out well.

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If you haven’t noticed, I have a fascination with bright neon colors, and it shows up in my work. Recently I bought some neon acrylic colors from work to play around with. I had some sample acrylic mediums I have been playing with lately and wanted more acrylic colors to test out with them. I made 4 small (approx 4×6) text pieces with my new neon colors and some older colors I had. i used tape and cut up sticker sheets to lay down some shapes and strips to mark off certain area. I had a glazing medium that I mixed in the paint to thin it down a bit and also get some smoother, thinner layers. I really like the way they turned out however the color does look much better in person, my scanner doesn’t seem to pick up on the neon as much. Will definitely be doing more tests in the future but am currently in a getting messy with clay mood.

I have dabbled with watercolor before, back in school and when making little crafts for swaps. When I got a free high quality watercolor brush from a training at work I thought I might do some more watercolor studies which I previewed in the previous post. While I am satisfied with what I came out with I was kind of disappointed in the brush.

This is my new brush, an Escoda Prado series in a size 10 Filbert.

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It is quite different and more stately than the rest in my collection.

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And it is a different shape than what I have used in the past. The feel of the brush was pretty great and the hair felt great too. But my problem was that it was too absorbent for what I want to do with my watercolors. I like to splash them around and flick the paint off the brush which was a lot harder to do when it did not want to leave the brush! I still like the feel of it and think it is great for laying down washed and doing more detailed work, but when I want drips and splatters I am still going to go back to my cheapies.

I am working on uploading the watercolors I have done in my new Society 6 store (see link in sidebar) and will continue playing around with it in the future.

I have been working on some watercolor studies lately and decided to make my own society 6 page and post them there. I have one up now and will add more in the future. Possibly some other 2d work will show up there also. Here is a sampling of the watercolor pictures I have been working on that will be showing up there soon.

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So technically this art fair is referred to as the Saint Louis Art Fair, but I always refer to it as the Clayton art fair and know many others that do since that is where it is located. I have quite a bit of history with this fair, I have shadowed a working artist there, shown my own work as part of a student program, and worked as a volunteer there more than once. This was maybe the first time I ever went to it purely as a visitor. There were some artists I recognized from previous Clayton art fairs and other local fairs but some were new and there was some really great stuff. I wish I had more time to explore but we saw a good portion of the fair, maybe only missed one little avenue. Stay with me, but this is going to be a long post 🙂

One thing that seemed a little different was the Emerging Artist booth, this was the booth a few years ago I had a chance to show my work in, and for years it was mostly SLU and Wash U. students. This year the booth was much larger and centrally located, the signage was better, and overall it looked like the organizers put a lot into this booth this year. However, it did not appear to be necessarily students, if they were students no signage or anything said what school they were from and I can’t find any info on this in the program guide or online. My favorite showing from this booth was Lisa Hilton, but I cannot find any links to her work online. It was mostly ceramic sculpture of figures that were deteriorated. The figures themselves were beautiful and the textures created to make it look as if it was rotting away was really amazing.

Okay onto other favorites this year. I kind of separated them by type of art, but some are in a category all their own. Some of these are also Paul favorites but I like them too.

Grant Silverstein – Realistic etchings are Grant’s specialty and they are done very well. He even had on display some actual etching plates he used to make the prints, which are a work of art in themselves. His style is really great with lots of lines and squiggles making up great pieces.

Kreg Yingst – Combining a love for music and visual art in one. These were a series of woodcuts and linocuts each featuring different rock and blues artists or lyrics to songs. Brightly colored with fun frames to match this was a pleasant surprise of a booth.

Amy Gillespie – This was the first booth that really stood out to me. I have been getting more and more fascinated by fiber arts lately. Amy’s wall sculptures out of felt and wood really fed into that fascination. They looked flawless, but obviously required a lot of time and effort.

Jeffrey Zachmann – I may have mentioned this guy from previous art fairs, but his stuff is just too much fun not to mention again. They are kinetic sculptures. They look great just in picture form, but on the site you can see them in action in videos. The most amazing part is when they do little long distance jumps from one ramp to another and it is spot on every time!

Aaron Hequembourg – They are described as engraved paintings, but they encompass a lot more than that. These works are made from salvaged materials from old farming houses and represent farming and family life. They are large works that leave a large impact on the viewer.

Tanya Doskova – Featured her figurative art paintings in this show which are really whimsical and fun. I like the chubby figures with big proportions thatd had a large presence and even larger personalities in the paintings and also some of them included pigs. 🙂

Joel Hunnicutt – I have seen a lot of wood artists over the years but this one is by far my favorite, why? That amazing use of color. In case you haven’t noticed, color is kind of a big deal for me. These stunning works are high gloss and the best colors I have seen on wood pieces, and you can still see the grain of the wood throughout keeping the integrity of the original material. Love it!

Richard Ryan – Another first for me, again I have seen a lot of glass art and I do enjoy it, but this one takes the cake. These glass sculptures have been cut into and manipulated from the normal blown or fused glass I have seen before. They become these organic life forms that held my gaze for quite sometime. I held in my desire to run my hands over every nook and cranny, though it wasn’t easy.

Andy Rogers – Another artist I ma have mentioned before, I have seen his work more than once, but it is just that great I can’t help but mention it again. A lot os texture and a lot of color in each piece which are the main reasons I love all of it.

Susan & Eric Anderson – Just plain gorgeous work. This ceramic work was very nature oriented and had some similar silhouettes to ones I have worked with on a smaller scale before. Really fluid and colored nicely, I enjoyed everything in the whole booth.

Michael Hamlin-Smith – Last but certainly not least comes Michael’s work. This was the one that caused me to ask permission to touch. The texture was astounding and when I did massage the different forms it did not even feel like clay, it felt like volcanic rock which is pretty awesome. And again the color is what initially drew me into the booth.

 

 

Had a chance to go to 2 different art fairs happening in Saint Louis this weekend. I will have a post about the Clayton Art Fair in a couple days. This however was the first time I was able to go to the Art Outside fair sponsored by Schlafly. This fair was started as an alternate to the Clayton one and exclusively features local Saint Louis artists. I did not get to spend as much time at either fair as I would have liked but I did get to peruse every booth at least. Art Outside was a fun event and while it might be a bit smaller of a fair it still packed quite a punch. Here are some of my personal favorites.

Bill Perry – Bill (or Mr. Perry) was a teacher of mine in high school. I took his basic art class at Central Visual and Performing Arts for 3 out of 4 years. I run into him now and again at the art store I work at and other art events and live seeing his fun work. This time he was showing clay sculptures of fun little critters and creatures which were really great. His booth was actually the first thing that caught my and my friends eyes as we were crossing a parking lot towards the fair.

Mark Sheppard – Fun characters make up more of his work in paintings and drawings. Also uses a lot of good cross hatching in his work which I like. He’s created a fun little universe of characters that I’d like to visit.

Firecracker Press – By now Firecracker is surely a Saint Louis staple, you can recognize it instantly. I love their stuff and have gotten the chance to have some of it in postcard and advertising material forms. Bright and colorful and just designed and made well, it’s all good from Firecracker. Check out all their stuff on their site, and ps they offer classes.

Mark Grayson – Cool, cool, cool, beyond cool. Mark Grayson’s work consists of guitars made out of old cigar boxes, wood, and other antique elements. They look amazing, and the best part is they work. He was playing one hooked up to a little amp in the booth.

Dganit Moreno – Clay artist, with an amazing glaze. I asked about it and of course it is one she made herself. It was a beautiful celadon color, which I have been wanting to get into lately. Unfortunately I do not see anything like what was shown in person on the website linked. Aha Here we go, found a facebook page, gorgeous!!

Den Smith – Another case of the site showing different stuff than what I saw in person. The closest I can get is the art boxes. His sculptures were really fun each one included common objects and were painted fun colors and had their own little personality and face.

 

 

I’ve been working on a few different things in the past week or so. One being some throwing. I was going back to watch some ceramic videos that I had seen before to try some different ways of doing things. One video was about creating curved designs in bowls from artist Martha Grover, which can be seen HERE from Ceramics Arts Daily. I do like making waves and curves in my pottery and thought I would try this method. She actually goes through the bottom of the vessel and then attaches another piece to create the ruffle along the bottom. I went through the bottom and created some curves on top, waiting for it to dry out a bit before I get to adding more pieces.

Another thing I have been playing with are my encaustics. I have been trying to get some newer ways to build up a base layer and some texture then adding the wax on top. I stopped playing with the one pictured below after I burned myself a bit on my arm.  I use a towel to pic up the cups of hot wax and pour them, but the towel end dripped into another cup and then slapped onto my arm. It’s a tiny burn but enough to make me pause on that for the time being.  Also as a friend said (and I agree with) it kind of looks like rainbow cat poo in a litter box.

I also finished a second piece in a painting on ceramic stuff I have been working on in my spare time for a while. It’s kind of a snake like piece that is going to end up going outside as part of our growing lawn art.

Wavy 9-4-13 (1) Wavy 9-4-13 (2) Enc 82713 Snake Painting 9-4-13 (1) Snake Painting 9-4-13 (2)

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