My prints are now being shown at the DeKalb Clinic's Dermatology Department thanks to the Kishwaukee Valley Art League Traveling Exhibit.
Just practicing with my new Caran D'Ache Supracolor watercolor pencils and thinking of Julie and Dacia who are having babies. I think of them all the time even though I don't really see either of them in person. They most likely know even know how much I pray for them and their baby's well-being! I'm so happy for them both! Life is precious and amazing! So, Julie and Dacia–if you are reading this–I'm excited for you!
I completed this today during the Caran D'Ache workshop with Kristy Kutch. I haven't drawn from still life in forever and it felt really good. The products are so versitle. With regular colored pencil the technique is linear: you start at the bottom and build up layers from there. With the highly consentrated pigments found in Caran D'Ache watercolor pencils, museum sticks, and water-soluble crayons, you can lay color down, lift it up, move it around, blend - they really are amazing and the colors are so vibrant. I'm thinking about taking a 4 day workshop next September with Krist Kutch in Lake Geneva next year!
So, I didn't make it into the Logsdon 1909 Gallery's notBig show. Am I disappointed? Yeah, a little bit – but not too much. Actually, it is a more of a relief. I'm not ready mentally for Chicago yet. I have too much to learn and too much to figure out before I try out for another show in Chicago. It might be fun to go in and see the show though!
I walked to work this morning. It takes about half an hour at a brisk pace. It gave me time to slow down and think. I really enjoyed myself. Plus, it is a wonderful way to fit in exercise into my schedule! (Which I am sorely in need of.) The unfortuneate part is that I decided to start doing this in November, in Illinois. It was 44 degrees this morning which is quite warm for this time of year, but once the snow arrives it is going to make it more difficult to build this into my daily routine. As usual, I'll just do the best I can and leave it at that.
Today I sat down and made a schedule for myself. I should have enough time to get everything achomplished, but like my paycheck, I don't know where it all goes! So, I thought writing out a schedule would help. Now I have a set block of time for art, cleaning, family, food preparation, grocery shopping, work, walking the dog, etc. It is such a small thing to have done, but already I'm starting to feel better knowing that everything will have a time and place.
Thanksgiving is arriving next week here in the United States. I've seen many people on Facebook writing their daily gratitudes until Thanksgiving day. Their words are so positive. I just love reading them. Some, also, break my heart. A person I keep in contact with just miscarried. She was thankful for the amount of time she had shared with her baby and was happy in knowing that she would meet this person in heaven. Such faith! My troubles pale in comparison. She has helped me to reset my priorities. Living a life in gratitude has that effect. It humbles a person to find what is real.
Today, I am thankful for a warm home to live in. I'm thankful to be able to walk to work. I'm thankful to be able to "make do." So many more things. I could go on forever. Maybe its the fresh air talking!
Michael Gesiakowski was giving a demonstration at Kishwaukee College. Lucky for us, his demonstration ended at 6pm and our class started at 6:30. He took the time to talk with us about his woodburning firing techniques.
One thing that Michael said was that each piece of pottery is like a recording of what happened in the kiln. The wood ash will swirl in and around the piece. In this way he can tell where it was placed in the kiln as well as which side was facing the fire. I thought how cool it was to have a 'recording' of a specific place and time. He said that pottery from 4,000 BC has been found. How awesome it is that a single moment in time was captured for all time - someone today could still decipher the clues left in place by a person just living his daily life 6,000 years ago!
I purchased this bowl of his which was made with Benzene clay – it was named after an ancient firing place – and a modern version of Hagi, a type of ancient Asian glaze. He said it takes 10 days to fire. They gradually raise the heat then keep it at 2100 (?) degrees for 3-4 days. It takes a week to cool enought to open the kiln. and it needs to be manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week so someone can add wood to the fire. The outside is unglazed, wood-fired bezene clay pottery, It is a rough dark orange-brown. This contrasts nicely with the interior hagi glaze which is silken and has the appearance of irridescence. It reminded me of an oyster shell. It also reminded me of myself: two completely different modes of thinking in one person: both sides beautiful in their own way. It also has Michael's signature slices cut off the sides which creates a polygonal shape outside, yet smooth curved inside... and the [MG] stamp.
He currently fires his work at Waubonsee College, but is applying for graduate school and is also entertaining an internship with a potter using the same techniques in Wisconsin. He doesn't have a website yet, but his work will be available for sale at the Waubonsee Holiday sale.
I could see the passion and energy when he spoke of this work. It was inspiring to see! I can't help but feel that I now have work from a future master potter!
Can you believe it? All three of my pieces were chosen for the Rockford Midwestern Biennial! (I'm swooning!) My work will actually be hung in a real museum! I just cannot believe it! You might remember my first attempt to enter this show didn't go quite as I had hoped. But that was when I was starting to get back into art after a decade and a half hiatus. It wouldn't have been right for me to have been accepted then: it wasn't my time.
Silly or no this was to be a litmus test showing me whether or not I should continue pushing as hard as I have been with printing. I guess the answer is, "YES!" Thanks, God, for giving me a sign as to what direction I should head in.
Now I am excited to make more woodblocks! I have one picture in mind, but I want to try Aquakolors to give it a softer look like Moku Hanga and this time I WILL match my registration! Forward Ho!
Thank you to Al who is my teacher and all the inspirational artists I've met online thru Printsy, Etsy, and Flickr - THANK YOU!
I am happy right now!
So, if you are in the Rockford Area on Friday, January 22, 2010; there is an artist reception from 6pm - 7:30pm with an awards presentation at 6:30pm. I would be thrilled to see you! The public opening is January 23rd with a gallery walk at 11am. To find out more information or for directions, please visit their website at rockfrodartmuseum.org.