Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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The Daily Head: 4/5/11

Today’s head was inspired by the swaying trees that surround our house.

To help me keep track of when I create each head, I am scratching the date onto the bottom of each piece. Ironically, the idea for yesterday’s and today’s head came to me as I lay in bed at night. It makes for an interesting experiment in memory retention and in how an idea received at bedtime manifests itself the following day.

This head is 3.5″ tall (at his highest point), made from copper and metallic green polymer clay, sanded, washed with white acrylic paint and buffed.


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The Daily Head: Jumpstarting My Creative Mojo

As the result of several disruptions and interruptions in the studio the last few weeks, I realized the other day that I’d lost my creative mojo. Between the health issues, the ice dam damage, cleaning the studio, moving out of the studio, back into the studio, and then out of the studio again, I was beginning to feel like I didn’t want to engage in anything creative. I didn’t want to start a project only to have it sit because I couldn’t get at my tools. I found myself languishing over the computer, puttering on Facebook, sending emails, watching TV.

Most of disruptions and interruptions were out of my control. I had a mini-meltdown during part of the craziness, which may have helped me release some negative energy, but it wasn’t going to change the situation or fix it any quicker. I’d get my head back in a better place, start grooving on some artwork, and then have to stop for one reason or another.

Somewhere in all of this, I also started to feel like my art was “too serious.” That I couldn’t just goof on it, let loose, and have fun with it.

Over the weekend, I was struck with an idea. Boing! I needed some way to jump start my creative mojo, something that wouldn’t take too long to do and that would let me play around at the same time. And preferably it would be something that held my interest, especially if I’m challenging myself to do it everyday.

And so was born THE DAILY HEAD

I like sculpting heads. I can usually sculpt one in an hour or less, especially if I’m not heavy into detail. Sculpting heads allows me to be playful in their creation. And I’m not limited to sculpting. I could draw one, paint one, photograph one. The variety of media available is probably endless. That’s a good thing if I’m going to do this on a daily basis.

This also gets me to be a little more consistent in my blogging.

Now I don’t promise perfection in this challenge. I may miss a day here or there (or several if I’m out of town.) But the idea isn’t to achieve perfection. It is to allow me to play and to remember why I make art.

So with all that in mind, here is THE DAILY HEAD for today:

Polymer clay head

Daily Head 4/4/11

This little guy is about 1.5″ long, made from Super Sculpey mixed with a bit of gold clay, sanded, washed with white acrylic paint, and buffed.


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Julia

Several weeks ago, I posted a new head sculpt in the raw (pre-baked). Shortly after that I started to add eyes to the head. I got as far as painting in the whites of the eyes.

Last week I took some time to finish the head using the guidance provided in the Creager’s head sculpting DVD. It is nice to have the head completed. I was starting to get unnerved by the soulless head that looked like something out of the Night of the Living Dead with just the whites of her eyes staring at me.

New head sculpt in pre-bake form:

Front of Head

And with her new eyes:

Now I Can See You

Now I Can See You

I think she’d like a nice hair-do

Adding Colorful Hair

The Wind Blown Look

Finally, a full head of hair

Julia

Her face is colored with soft pastels and thin acrylic washes. The eyes are painted and finished with a polymer varnish. I’m not sure what prompted me to name her after my maternal grandmother. I don’t really remember my maternal grandmother. She died when I was five. So I can’t tell you if this woman’s head looks anything like my grandmother. But grandma’s name was the first one to come to mind. So there you go.

I’m pretty happy with how this head turned out. Let me know me what you think.


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Creative Every Day Week 2: Theme-Body

My goal with CED is to dedicate part of one day each week to an art activity inspired by the monthly theme. If I’m able to fit in other non-art related activities inspired by the monthly theme, even better!

Monday: Started the week off nicely with a treat for the body-a hot stone massage.

Tuesday: Keeping the body healthy with the annual mammogram

Wednesday: Exercised the body with a half day of skiing.

Thursday: A mind-mapping teleseminar with Julie Stuart; good for the brain and the business

Friday: Friday is the day I try to dedicate to an art specific project using the CED theme for inspiration. During the week I finished sculpting a head following the Creager’s head sculpting DVD. Heads always look a little scary before going in the oven and before the eyes are added.

Front of Head

This head also shows my first attempt at sculpting ears.

Left Side (My What Big Ears You Have)

Right Side (Do these ears make me look fat?)

And I completed this little guy, “Man in Turban.” This piece will be sent to the sons of a gallery owner. The boys helped in the construction of the head.

On this particular Friday I pulled out Cate Coulacos Prato’s book Mixed Media Self-Portraits and worked on a warm-up exercise called “Color Your World.” Through this exercise you create a self-portrait using one color.  The portrait can be literal or abstract or expressive.

Prior to creating my self-portrait, I meditated for a few minutes to get clear on which color was “me” this morning. I repeated the names of several colors over and over and the one that came to me most prominently was orange.

Orange? (Prior to the exercise I was focused on the color blue; my inner voice obviously thought otherwise.)

Okay; I spent 15-20 minutes gathering materials including colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, paints, construction paper, and tore orange colored images from several magazines. Then I got to work. I started by scribbling in a background and then glued the large image with the words “Find Your Center” on the middle of the paper. The woman meditating was glued on top of this background.

From here I worked intuitively, not really stopping to think about my choices. I just cut, scribbled, tore, and glued paper. Sometimes I would flip the image upside-down to see blank spaces that needed filling. During all the activity I remembered my paper punches and used them on the magazine images as well to make leaves and starbursts.

Here is how the piece turned out:

Color Your World-Single Color Self-Portrait

Find Your Center-Top Half

Find Your Center-Middle Section

Find Your Center-Bottom Half

Impressions

The piece seems to have no rhyme or reason. I started with the woman mediating because I like to meditate though I don’t do it as often as I used to. Ironically she was wearing an orange top! I also liked the words on the background image (Find Your Center) because I’m always working on learning more about my intuitive, spiritual side.

One thing I learned while working on this piece is that some personal symbols are emerging for me. Between this piece and last week’s creation, I find myself incorporating circles, dots, rough edges (torn paper), curly-q’s, and swirls, lines ending in points, stars or starbursts, little falling images (here falling leaves & starbursts; last week was falling stick figures.)

As I finished this piece I applied a wash of orange watercolor and thinned orange acrylic paint. As the piece dried, I spontaneously added a small strip of orange construction paper over the woman’s eyes. For some reason I didn’t want to focus on her eyes. I added a couple more strips of construction paper on the upper left corner and the right side of the piece. And then I glued the words “Guide Us” over the woman’s paper covered eyes. This represents my intuitive side, the part of me I’m trying to open up and learn about. Finally I addded the words “Success” and “In every possible situation” to complete the piece.

So I guess what this piece tells me is that I’m trying to find my center to guide me to success in every possible situation.

Meanings for Orange

Orange is a blend of red and yellow. It symbolizes stimulation, success and attraction. Orange is associated with orange fruit which symbolizes fruitfulness and fecundity (capable of producing offspring or vegetation; fruitful; marked by intellectual productivity.) Orange is the color of the sacral chakra which is associated with nurturing, receptivity, and emotions.

Orange is often used to depict the sun. It symbolizes happiness, socializing, abundance in career, projects, and matters needing an added push.


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If Two Heads Are Better Than One…

Then 10 must be loads of fun!

After quite some time, after waiting for inspiration to strike, after waiting for an idea to come, I started sculpting heads last week.  I’ve decided to work on a series.  In this case all the doll heads were created using the same technique, yet each one has a distinct look or formation of a personality. 

These are the heads after sculpting but before going into the oven.

They’re all jostling for attention here.

An overhead view brings everyone into focus.

Nervously awaiting placement in the oven.

Here we are, out of the oven, lightly sanded, antiqued, and buffed.

I’m putting together their bodies this week and will post results when they’re ready.


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New BS

Bottle stoppers (BS) that is.

Wine bottle stoppers are among my best selling wholesale products.  However, I’ve become a little bored with the standard designs I’ve offered for the last 1 1/2 years.  Now that I’m sculpting I wanted to try and combine faces/heads with the stoppers.

At first I thought of creating a stopper made entirely from polymer clay.  That required a lot of clay and I was concerned about strength and durability.

Then I realized I could simply paint the wood core, pull faces from molds I’ve made of my own face sculpts and other faces I’ve collected and mount them to the wood core.

headbs.jpg

These Head BS remind me of masks or shields.  I brought them to the Paradise City show to “test the waters” and see how they would be received.  I sold three of them.

I need to play around with the idea a little more and will introduce them to the wholesale market in 2008.

What do you think?