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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Soldering Heart-shaped Bezels

Decided to start posting from my iPhone instead of waiting for all the stars to align so that I can get my studio computer back online!

These are soldered brass-- They will have pieces of book/dictionary pages in them with resin over the top--and just in time for Valentine's Day!

Seriously, that did not occur to me until I had made three!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Faux Mercury Glass

I love mercury glass. I've collected some (not real) mercury glass candleholders over the last five years or so, during the post-Christmas sales.

Recently I stumbled on a recipe for faux mercury glass and I've been experimenting (in small doses since I'm still fighting sciatica :(

This is one of the many insulators my dad got for me over the years. I love love love the blue insulators, but the clear ones don't do that much for me. I thought it was a perfect piece of glass to experiment on.

I'm fine-tuning the technique, since, just like with cooking, I can't simply follow a recipe--I always have to tweak it.

So, next post I'll talk about making faux mercury glass!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Experimenting with Simple Rings

I actually went down to the studio today for a little while! Felt sooo good. I just played with wire a little bit, did some soldering--Made this little ring, actually two of them, so that Jenny could have one and her friend Makenna, who is spending the night, could have one, too. 

I've got pages and pages of sketches for jewelry ideas, so maybe I can start making some of them. 

It just occurred to me that I need to remember that the jewelry is a side thing, not my main focus. But it is so fun!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A Word About "No Pin Blogs"

I keep seeing badges in the sidebars of blogs, proclaiming the blog to be a "No Pin Blog," and I  keep thinking about it and wondering "Why?"

Pinterest is a wonderful, amazing way to share the things you love. I am so excited every time a piece of my art gets pinned to someone's board! Someone likes my work enough to share that love with everyone else...

It's a wonderful way to get more people to visit my blog or my Etsy shop and share in my creativity. No one is stealing my work, just saying "Wow! Look at how cool Karen's painting/piece of jewelry is!" The link leads the person back to my blog or website or Etsy shop, which is exactly what I want.

One day, someone pinned a painting from my Etsy shop to their board, and I had SEVENTY-EIGHT visits to my shop that day, most of them originating from that pin (and all the pins that followed that). It's exponential exposure, and isn't that what we are all shooting for when we write a blog?

The only thing I will say is that you need to make sure that the images you put on your blog are small enough that no one could print them out and use the image as their own. Generally, resizing an image to 4 inches wide at 72 pixels per inch solves that problem. Viewers can see the image on their computer screen, but if they tried to print it out the quality would be very poor. But this caveat has nothing to do with Pinterest, specifically. This is something we all need to be aware of every single time we post a picture to our blogs--

So, in summary: if you are going to share your images online at all, I highly recommend that you allow people to pin them using Pinterest. It allows many more people to see your work, and as long as you are resizing your images correctly, no one can "steal" them.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Intuitive Painting: Under the Sea

I love this painting. I think it's the vibrancy and depth of the colors--the background, as well as the interior of the outlined areas.

 It's painted on a two by two foot board that I gessoed before painting. I probably wouldn't paint on wood this thick again, as it makes the painting relatively heavy, compared to a stretched canvas. For smaller pieces I love working on wood. The grain seems to show through no matter how I sand and paint, and the grain adds that element of unpredictability that I love so much.

I think that's what I love so much about the art that I've been doing in the last year, all summed up in one word: unpredictability. I never know, anymore, what I'm going to paint when I pick up a brush. I have really gotten the hang of letting go of my preconceived ideas about what my art is supposed to look like. It's very exciting, and very scary, too, in a wonderful way.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Scribbler App

Found a cool app for my iPhone a few months ago. It's called Scribbler, and it takes a simple line drawing and enhances it by connecting the various points on the drawing and, well, scribbling! Very cool. It allows you to save your sketch as a photo.

Scribbler is also available online right here.

For some reason this reminds me of Zentangles. It also influenced my sketching style to a certain extent. Instead of simply shading in my drawings, I started using the scribbly kind of shading.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's all about the story...

This piece actually sold a couple of months ago. It went to a very good home; someone who was very excited to take it home. That's always a good feeling on my part. In the last few months (since I did the Apple Festival, actually) I've met a dozen or so people who really 'get' my work. What a thrill.

Most recently a woman drove up to my house to pick up a pendant of one of my Instagram photos, and a set of coasters with the same photo on them. We talked about the materials that I use--how so many of my paintings begin with collage, how I use found objects in my jewelry--how every piece I make has a story--

When I first had my work in a gallery, I had to write my first "Artist Statement." Of course, I struggled with the entire process. It was HARD, and I didn't know what to say. Maybe a good sign is that the same process would not be nearly so hard now, four years later. But I have realized that some of what I said in that first awkward statement was absolutely, totally right on the nose. I wrote about how when I was little, I wanted to write books and tell stories. When my sister and our friend Vicki and I played, we played stories that we made up. When I read, it was all about immersing myself in the story. I'm still doing the same thing now, and I'm loving it.

My work, my materials, my art--it's all about the story...