Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!
This month felt hectic and I'm scrambling to recap December as to the artistic things that I partook, along with reviewing 2009 and making plans for 2010. As always, I want things to be perfect, but this isn't going to happen for this Happenings in the Studio.
Before I get started on my artistic endeavors, my brother had some art done to his body. He got a tattoo of his favorite hockey team - the Colorado Avalanche. He loves it!!! I wish I had a photo, it looks pretty cool.
Homemade Christmas Presents
For the first time in my adult life, I actually made all of my Christmas presents and finished them before Christmas Eve. You will see photos of some of the presents in the link at the end of this post, like the Shadow box for my brother of the the original Nintendo games that we played with as kids.
Two of the Christmas presents I made are yet to be photographed, and they are particularly unusual; one is a hat/scarf (which in need of a better name). It is a knit hat that is sewn onto a matching teal scarf, that way you can't misplace the hat. The other present was a store bought photo album with an old map of the world on the cover. I altered it into a treasure book. It was for my cousin to put her photos, stories, flattened flowers, and anything else that could fit in the plastic sleeves.
Monthly Artists' Date
It all started in November when a couple of us sculptors got together and played with wax and dye. We're trying to meet up every month, but it's a bit of a trick given work schedules and that they live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I live in Sacramento. Never the less, I was able to meet up with one of the artists and scrounged around SCRAP and Urban Ore, which are great places to find used art supplies. I found fishing poles with beautiful handles, that I am going to chop off and make into handles for juggling clubs. I've literally been looking for these for 15 months. I got them for $2 a pole!
In December we were going to head up to Sonoma to check out the Di Rosa Preserve, which is the equivalent to a wildlife preserve for outdoor art. It was WAY TOO COLD to consider going, so we'll save that field trip for a future date.
I'm hoping in January the three of us can meet up: Rohan, Celeste and me and talk about art, make something or go some place inspiring. Spending time with Celeste and Rohan makes me motivated to art, since they are such ambitious and talented artists. Next time I need to take some photos. :-)
Portfolio Website Under Construction
The website elizabethsymington.com is almost ready from being transformed from a wordpress template to a custom design. It will be a ton less wordy, easier to navigate and be up-to-date with my latest art. I try not to think about how excited I am to have it finished. I've felt lost without having it up. Dork, I know.
Andrew's Mandala Mobile
I'm still in the design phase for the hanging art installation that will go over my friend Andrew's bed. As far as I know, it's going to be made out of suspended bouncy balls in the shape of a mandala. To follow the progress read the following posts:
Part 1: Inspiration for my Current Commission
Part 2: Inspiration for my Current Commission
Part 3: Inspiration for my Current Commission
I also entered my design into a contest hosted by the fun theory, where the challenge is to alter human behavior by making the action fun.
Created an Early New Years Resolution
At the beginning of the month I decided to make myself get my art out there by monthly entering a contest, call for entries, find a place to show my art... I was going to submit to a local gallery called Tangent, which has a call for entries every month for a particular theme. What happened was that the theme was changed last minute, from "coloring books" to a private show. I thought it would be too much fun to make a coloring book for the visually impaired, but that idea will have to wait.
Instead I entered the mandala mobile and started on a Polaroid project that is explained more in the photo album at the end of this post.
Sculpture Principals apply to decorating the Christmas Tree
Here's a great example of how an artist thinks. While decorating a Christmas tree with some friends and my mom, I kept seeing the connections between sculpting and hanging ornaments. The steps and the questions you ask yourself are basically the same: when sculpting you work big then focus on details, and when which ornament to hang first, you put up the largest and fill it the rest with little decorations. It's important to step back often for the work to be able to see the whole picture. Then is something is not working, fix it before moving on, otherwise it could negatively effect your next decision.
It's realizations like this that make me confident in calling myself an artist and not a sculptor. I do sculpt, but I'm not limited to it. That is the problem with labels. They can confine. I can use art principals in many outlets: stop motion animation, picture framing, 3D modeling...
Odds and Ends
- working on a commissioned cat magnet
- taking Maya lessons via web cam to learn how to sculpt in 3D
- for 2 days, I got to help animate plastic bottle caps for a friend's stop motion film
- passed the TB test, so I get to listen to 2nd graders practice their reading. I did t
- won the star of the week at work. Not sure if it's for the bookkeeping that I do or the custom framing, but either way, the star is going on my apron.
December 2009 Photos - click Here
When I get everything together I'll be sharing my New Years resolutions since I'm an avid believer in having a plan, so I can get to where I want to be. Thanks for reading and your comments this year. Have a happy new year!
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