Monday, October 22, 2007

A Trip to the Pacific, and What I've Been Working On

Don't get too used to a posting a day...this is my first 5 days off in a row since I moved to the Northwest over 2 years ago.
Sally, Katie, and I hiked the Ozette trail on a boardwalk through rainy woods (Giagantic Slugs!) to the very edge of the continent.

It was dripping the whole way out--a pleasant Northwest hiking day, but when we hit the beach, the wind, driving rain, tossing waves, and gray clouds in the west made the lunch break a short one before we headed back into the forest.

Sally checking out the view while consuming a rather soggy crab cake on olive bread. Katie gets her face washed compliments of Mother Nature...and looks about sixteen, instead of her normal sixty-something.
Lots of looping, multi-level women conversations about Everything in the World. Friends are a Great Gift!

On the way home, along the Strait of Juan de Fuco, Katie took us to a special beach--much calmer than the coast, where we found a treasure trove of round rocks, although Sally specialized in the heart-shaped ones.

Being artists, we collected LOTS that we could not live without. More yard art for me.

Two more art projects that I've been working on:
a collage/drawing/painting, inspired by my brother, David's method of working, but my own colors and naked lady drawings. It also sparked by glowing layers of colors in flowers that Katie brought from her garden last summer.
For this one, it's really difficult to tell when it's finished.

Another in the smaller Sentinal series, with some kind of conductors for hair. Working in series is a very good exercise for me, especially, who has difficulty on focusing on one thing at a time. There is the opportunity to play with many aspects of the same idea. Shall I make a 9-foot tall version?

And Finally, for those of you who took my last online Doll Making as a Transformative Process, here is the picture of my Mind Map that I promised. For the rest of your information, it's a visual representation of a mental process. for making decisions, setting priorities, figuring out what to do next or in what order. Put the question or yourself in the center and work intuitively with color, symbols, placement, to write/draw options and issues in relation to each other. I used this tool after my move to figure out my life/work/passion priorities. You may need a magnifying glass to read it.

That's all for now. Tomorrow is the last day of my vacation, and I'm getting a massage, going to Life Drawing, and trying to get all my projects to a point where I can finish them in the evenings when I come home from work--a challenge a lot of us share.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm struggling here today, to make progress on the Big Doll and collage and paintings and learning Creative Suite, so I can do more mind is leading me in a million different directions, when what I really need to do is FOCUS. Have you read ART+FEAR?

Earlier this afternoon I was very tempted to get side-tracked by catching you up on all the other things that have been going on, and later, after working on the BIG DOLL, here are some pictures of the past year. Above is the paper doll class I taught in February 2007 at Art Supplies Unlimited, with my painting and paper dolls hanging in the background. What FUN! We MUST do more classes! The rest of you will just have to travel to beautiful Port Angeles by the sea.

Last December at the Fine Arts Center Gala, a group of us bid on a special tour of sculptor Anne Morris' studio. I loved the open work space under a glass roof and all Anne's BONES.

You can see one of Anne's bronze sculptures in the background.

I'm having a little chronilogical difficulty. In blogs, everything happens backwards, but when I start posting on a regular basis, I should get back on least women and artists are good at carrying multiple concepts at once.

On the left is a box I'm displaying at The Art Mine in Port Hadlock, WA.
The next box is one of a series of "found" (thanks to Barbara Slavik) boxes we decorated for the fall fundraiser for Port Angeles Fine Arts Center (where I am on the Board of Trustees). I did seventeen and really enjoyed a very focused project. I need to write FOCUS in big letters all over my work space!

In the spring, my job sent me on a trip across Washington state--it's BIG! After living in the Northeast most of my life, driving 8 hours and never leaving the state was Amazing.

In my years of traveling and teaching took a series of pictures of where I sleep. Was also inspired to be brave enough to do self portraits regularly in a L.K. Ludwig class, so here I am at the motel in Spokane, where I took a class in making splints. Thermoplastic would be an interesting doll material.

I live in Western Washington now, where there are lots of mountains, ocean, and really, really tall evergreens. This is the Columbia River Valley, in Eastern Washington. I think everything east of the mountains is Eastern Washington, the way everything north of New York City is Upstate.

And a retro diner on my way across Washington.
I miss traveling and teaching, seeing new things and meeting all of you all over the world. We'll just have to visit via the magic of the Internet.
As you may remember, for my 60th birthday, I traveled Washington from north to south...I'm getting the state surrounded.

This would make a great painting, wonderful blend of a limited color palette and lots of pattern.

David (on the left) with Tom, at David's residency at Fort Worden, where he created a vast array of his wonderful monoprints in September. The space was large and light, reminding me of my 24' x 36' workspace in the old schoolhouse in Northeast Vermont.

We really are jumping around--flashbacks from 2007. Me and the Seattle brothers on Doug's back deck on Easter: Me, David, Hugh, Doug.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's WONDERFUL to be living so close to such a large contingent of family! Always an occasion for great food, too. You're lucky I haven't included Too many food shots (a Hastings tradition).

Hugh and Connie always look great in pictures--is it their actor training--or are they just gorgeous?

I'm still battling weeds to maintain my rock yard. I swore I was never going to do any gardening again after getting way burned out on weeding and lawn maintenance in NY, but I can't resist the many-colored sedums here.
The lobelia was a shocking and wonderful contrast to the yellow-greens.
There are pansies all year around in the Northwest, and COLOR! is Wonderful!

The stone spirals keep growing, with stones from Vermont (thanks, Will), Sequim (thanks, Tom and Ed), New Mexico (thanks, David) ones I've hauled from the beaches and my walks, and brought from Saugerties.

One of these days the yard will have a weatherproof Big Doll.

Caught up (for the moment) 10/20/07.

I gotta admit, I'm weird....but loveable. The scatter technique for task management, not sleeping too much, and not having a for me. Read SHAMBHALA, THE SACRED PATH OF THE WARRIOR by Chogyam Trungpa and ART + FEAR by David Bales & Ted Orland. Even though it's devilishly difficult to be an artist, we can't help it, and in the end we love it.

Do what you can, where you are (metaphorically and physically) and we can keep this old planet and each other going.

Thanks for Being,
Pamela 10/20/07 9:05pm PDT

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Free Pattern 10/07

A new free pattern YAY!
Vanessa is free-standing. Print the pattern so it fits onto a regular 8.5" x 11" sheet. Sew the tucks before turning the pattern right side out. You can experiment with the arm and head placement. Use a weight (like a rock or big washers) inside on top of the cardboard base to help her stand securely.

I made her white first, from an embroidered petticoat, backed with iron-on interfacing, then decided to remove the wig and
paint her red.

Big Doll 2

This is a 14" model, seen at the Imitation of Life Construction Company show in San Diego last summer. She may become a study for a Big Doll, too. Working large, there are lots of new problems for me to solve. It's a challenge, but there is something quite magical about BIG!

10/20/07 Working on Big in my garage. I've already put a dent in the living room ceiling by moving the armature.

The right is a shot inside the armature, where I'm squirting Great Stuff, an expandable foam, used for filling holes in insulation. It makes the core rigid, but light.

The original sketch for Women's Work, about
an inch tall, on a whole page of sketches, that are gradually becoming more 3-D models for potential Big Dolls.

Armature for the Nine-foot Woman's Work: This is getting to be an obsession! As I said before, people seem to put more credibility into art that is BIG, including dolls. My friend, Tom Light, had a metal fabrication business in Milwaukee, was a specialty blacksmith, and is a wonderful resource when it comes to doing anything with metal, plastic, or other esoteric materials that I know nothing about.

This armature is 8.5 feet tall and just barely fits in the highest pitch of my living room ceiling. On the left, you can see the 14" tall models for the larger pieces to come. Woman's Work is the white one second from left.

The wire is electrical conduit, with a round rock attached to the base with Great Stuff, an expandable foam that is usually used to plug gaps in insulation. It's an amazing material, and Tom came over with a sock filled with it, which I'm now building into the core of the body for solidity and light weight.

At the right is the smaller version of Woman's Work as I started to attach the fabric skin onto the batting flesh. I

This model is 14" tall, and the finished doll with be nine feet. Yikes!!!

I love the way the lines of sewing follow the lines of the body and how she took on a life of her own as she went through the stages of be
ing "fleshed out."

The batting base allows me to pin and sew right to the body. When I do the Big one, I'll have to use a ladder to access the top.
At the right is the wire armature for the 14" version. I'm comfortable working this size. I used thin wire, like rebar that I got for a Keith Lo Bue class, stuck into a cork and glued onto two big washers for weight. The next picture is covering the armature with batting and stuffing. This kind of low-tech construction is comfortable to me, but not nearly as impressive as the 9-foot version.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

I'm Back!!! 10/07

I know, it has been long, long time since I've posted. Working 5 days a week takes up way too much time and energy, and I am looking forward to getting back to my four day a week schedule in November.

I've been working on paintings (very slowly), a collage painting inspired by my brother David's wonderful work. He had a 2-week residency at Fort Worden in Port Townsend and it was Amazing to watch his pieces fly together! I'll post pictures soon (I hope).

I built a 9-foot tall armature for the next Big Doll with the help of my friend, Tom Light.--actually he did most of the work and I just handed him things. It's good to have friends with skills I lack--and a truck. There are a number of 14" models for future Big Dolls...oh, if only I didn't have to sleep!

I have a Wonderful New iMac with a 24" screen, so I can work in several different programs at a time and see everything. I'm starting to teach myself Creative Suite, and finally, finally the books will start to appear.

OK, Hold me to all these promises, promises. Better to have toooo many ideas, than not enough!