Saturday, January 24, 2015

phase two (interior drawing) of the alchemical vessel complete

I've been wanting to get started on this for so long and finally did, late this afternoon. I have to admit, this was kind of scary - the actual process of getting started making marks on this very special ceramic bowl, which is going to be a part of the third annual Alchemical Vessel fundraiser and exhibit at the Smith Center for Healing in the Arts, in Washington, D.C.. This project is far different from anything I've ever worked on, in that I've never drawn on a ceramic bowl. Even more so, it wasn't like I was drawing or painting on a piece of paper or even a canvas, where you could discard it or start over again if you messed up. Finally, the bowl itself is quite fragile in it's bisque-fired state. The actual act of drawing on a curved surface turned out to be far easier than I had expected. What was an issue was the pencil marks smudging, and me having to erase a lot and carefully brush off the eraser shards (using a soft paint brush) while trying not to smudge the pencil marks even more. I guess I shouldn't even worry because the pencil marks will burn off in the kiln anyways. Still, it's encouraging to see this phase of the piece finished in what will be a very gradual process. Now I'm going to take the next step and draw the flowers (Gladiolus) along the outer edge of the bowl in pencil. Tomorrow I'm going to apply color in the form of underglaze, which I don't have much experience with. There's a chance I may apply a clear coat of glaze as well tomorrow, which will be absolutely necessary but cringe-inducing.  At least the ball is now officially rolling and it's all baby steps from here on out. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

a brief look at the black & white exhibit at franklin park arts center gallery

Last night I attended the opening artist reception for the Black & White exhibit at the Franklin Park Arts Center Gallery. This was the first time the gallery hosted a show with such a theme, and judging by both the big turnout as well as the number of pieces submitted, the Black & White show was quite a success. The exhibit featured media ranging from painting to print-making, drawing to ceramics, collage to photography, as well as some knitted and crochet-based works. Featuring art from both well-established local artists to folks who are just getting started showing their work, a wide range of styles and approaches to the theme were represented, showcasing the depth of high-quality arts and crafts produced in the Loudoun County, Virginia region. Above is a photo from the opening reception, and I managed to get some photos of folks' work as well, half of which did not turn out blurry, which are shown below. The exhibit runs through February 2nd, 2015, so if you're in the Purcellville, Virginia area, drop by and take a look around. All work is for sale!

*paintings by Leanne Fink and Penny Hauffe

*pen and ink drawing by Sally Summerall

*prints by Linda Bowman and Jill Evans-Kavaldjian

*mixed-media piece by Steve Loya

*ceramic piece by Bruce Bucklin

*cut paper collage by Kathleen Ganaille

*photograph by J. Riley Stuart

*photograph by Mary Louise Ravese

*mixed media sculpture by Hope Hanes

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"black & white" art exhibit at the franklin park arts center

Tomorrow, Sunday, January 11, is the artist reception for the Black & White exhibit at the Franklin Park Arts Center. It will be the first show I'll be participating in this year, and it's happening from 3-5pm in Purcellville, VA. Stop in, see lots of excellent art by local artists and have some drink and refreshments. You may even get to meet a couple of Splotch Monsters!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

astrodon page finished!

Yesterday it rained and poured from morning to night, nonstop. Originally I was going to head into DC to check out some art exhibits, but I'm glad the incredibly wet weather conditions forced me to stay inside and complete my Astrodon page for Magic Bullet issue number 10.  I put a lot of love into this page this time around, being it's a special issue that will also celebrate the tenth anniversary of local comics artist and writer collective DC Conspiracy, started by Matt Dembicki. I attended the first three meetings at a great place in Arlington called Dr. Dremo's Taphouse. I think the first meeting drew about six people, the second brought in about a dozen, and then by the third it doubled to around twenty-four or more.  I had actually found out about Matt through a Washington City paper article, featuring his Mr. Big comics - a then ongoing story about a giant snapping turtle and the animals he shared his habitat with. It was such a cool, unique story, I ended up buying all of his self-published books online and invited him to do a comics-making workshop with my students in my art classroom. It's amazing to see how far Matt and so many of the other artists and writers associated with the DC Conspiracy have come, progressing from some fun, light-hearted collaborative "jam-books" revolving around a fictional cosmic superhero called Dr. Dremo, to incredible, professionally written and illustrated anthologies that you can find at the local bookstore. Despite me not being nearly as hardcore a comics-head as most of the members of the group, Matt has kept in touch and has always invited me to participate in the latest happenings. 

Anyhow, tomorrow after work, this piece, made using thick watercolor paper and Faber-Castell Grey Artist Pitt Pens (a first for me), will go off to get scanned in Leesburg and sent to the publisher later in the evening. I can't reveal the whole page however, at least not until the paper itself has been released and is out for a little while, but I can show some of the progress as of late yesterday afternoon (above photo). I'm very happy with the results but know it could always be better. Still, you have to know when to stop and decide to move on. Looking forward to seeing this, as well as all the other amazing work to be featured in Magic Bullet #10!