sequestered

8 April, 2011 at 7:30 am (art, blue-eyed crow, life, Uncategorized, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I love looking at other people’s studios and hearing how they work. Blogs like from the desk of…, and Terri Windling’s ‘On Your Desk’ posts are always interesting, also books like ‘Artists’ Houses’ and ‘In Artists’ Homes: The Living Spaces of Contemporary Artists’ and, of course, artists’ own blogs, like Rima Staines’ Into the Hermitage and this multi-talented artist who experiments with making her own iron gall ink and sculpting from the skeleton out. Harry Ally so impresses me in this video, working quickly among all those other people *and* in front of a camera.

It’s amazing how different artists’ spaces are, and their ways of creating. Actually, I think part of my fascination with Harry Ally is precisely because he works so opposite from how I do, his paintings and drawings are so free and large.

So, here is where I work (you can click on the photos if you’d like to see more detail, hopefully I dusted well enough!):

Sketches strewn over an old suitcase (because if I put them tidily away I forget about them), a couple paintings-in-progress, a little house my mum built (a simple one, most of the ones she makes are more complicated, she also does lovely water-colour paintings of bits of architecture), and to the left the door to the teeny balcony (it can fit either one chair or a pot of jasmine, I chose the latter).

The work table: more sketches, bits for some boxes and tiny shrines (underneath the bank bag are the littlest micro-bits hiding from the dusty winds that sometimes blow in even when the door is closed), a tiny village a 6-year-old and I are slowly constructing along with mini paper dolls and their even smaller clothing, and a wind-up toy I love that throws off sparks as it rolls around. I found the table itself on the street, it has lovely barley-twist legs but a sheet of plywood on top (with ‘danger’ still on from its former life) so I don’t have to worry about protecting it. Note the lovely view of stucco – nothing to distract me there! (The view from the balcony is more treehouse-like – hibiscus, palms and jacaranda, a fountain down below and over the trees distant skyscrapers.)

Some possibly finished pieces hanging out on the built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (I love these shelves!), another old suitcase barely visible bottom left.

The rest of the tour would include a small easel, an antique Arts & Crafts style table I use as a desk, an ancient cloth-covered trunk (all three found on the street), a chest of drawers with old fruit crates (avec labels) stacked on top as shelves for supplies, and bright silk longyis from Burma and cotton sarongs from the Philippines, gifts from a sister and a friend, covering big cushions on the futon because this is also the guestroom.

Also, numerous postcards and other flotsam and jetsam from vide greniers, gifts, and scavenged and found bits on the desk and shelves and tucked away in the drawers.

I feel very lucky to have this room, and I am completely dependent on it because I can’t work around other people. At all.

I don’t know whether it’s because I am too distractible to create around others or too self-conscious, probably both, but it makes art classes and retreats awkward (I practice the techniques but can’t actually make a piece of art) and group paint-outs or sharing a studio impossible.

And I can’t work in short bits of time, or with interruptions. Portions of an hour are useless to me, especially when I am doing the initial sketches for a painting. Sometimes I work for hours before I start to get what I want, then when I do I don’t want to stop for more hours until I’m finished (which means if I start in the evening it can be early morning when I finally put everything down). When planning the moving parts or secrets of the boxes I build it’s like I’m making an invisible path in the air, so as soon as there is an interruption it’s completely gone and I have to start at the beginning. And unlike the wonderfully free Harry Ally with his big brush and crowbar my paintings are built slowly, in layer after layer of washes and detail.

So, back to work here…

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ruby

8 March, 2009 at 8:03 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , )

rubybox

I love making these tiny boxes, this one is about two centimeters across.  As usual, the tiny jewel rotates out to catch the light.

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lost

5 March, 2009 at 10:28 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , )

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I love this fragment, it went inside the lid of The Egypt Box (one of the story boxes I made a while back).

egyptbox

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linked

4 January, 2009 at 7:31 am (art, blue-eyed crow, friends, life, work) (, , , , , , , , , )

pearls31

I have many partially finished pieces right now, but nothing near completion.  Plus I keep changing my mind about which way to go with my favourite bits, many of which include pearls and copper wire.  I am loving both the copper and steel wires I’ve been working with lately (and I always love pearls!).

This week I was at a few parties with people I don’t see often but whom I adore, it was a great way to start the year.  Eating as much fantastic party food as I did, maybe not such a great way to start the year.

textbuddhaa

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swirl

1 January, 2009 at 3:19 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

swirlsa

As usual I start making something and need a tool I don’t yet own (although there can’t be many left in that category).  Of course, the hardware store down the street doesn’t carry circlip pliers, either internal or external, so it’s left to internet shopping to save the day.

A close friend of mine pooh-pooh’s New Year’s Resolutions, he says you should make changes in your life through-out the year, whenever you think of it.  I agree (being fond of change, in general), but I think it’s good to be reminded periodically to examine your life, just in case you get caught up in things and forget to take a step back, look at the big picture and decide on any additions and/or alterations.  My list will get longer, but my first resolution for this year is to open an Etsy store this Spring.

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lace

29 December, 2008 at 9:53 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, life, local, work) (, , , , , , , , )

leafpearlspiralpa

I’m forging leaves and swirls for some jewellery and an assemblage book.  The bits of wire sticking out will be removed as the rivets go in, and I am starching pieces of lace to be stretched between them.

Cutting up the lace, even though it is damaged, is hard – I love making things but have a very hard time breaking something rather than restoring it.  Friends have told me I’ll get over that someday, but it hasn’t happened yet and occasionally I think about going back to school (again!) because I’d love to do restoration, especially on textiles.

Finally I got to see who has been dropping clouds of pigeon feathers from the jacaranda and leaving wings to flutter down at odd times.  This is the first time I have seen one of these in the fountain, he had three watery baths plus a sun bath because that water is cold!

hawk2pahawkbathpa

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leaves

23 December, 2008 at 1:04 am (art) (, , , , , , )


While I was trying to fit some pieces for an assemblage book together this morning without altering them much I was reminded of how Andy Goldsworthy challenges himself to use materials he finds on site and with minimal modification.  I love that he intends many of his creations to be ephemeral, like Tibetan Buddhist mandalas.  The mandalas in person are so different from their photos, the visible height of the layers and the sound of the scraping on the sand delivery cones, seeing Goldsworthy’s work in person must be even more different, the sounds and smells and breeze would add so much to the experience.  Except the the smell of the dead heron he plucked the feathers from for one piece, I don’t mind missing that.

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clock beetle

17 December, 2008 at 6:23 am (art, blue-eyed crow, friends, life, local, work) (, , , , , , , , , , )

watchbeetlea

I’m letting this piece sit for a while until I figure out where to go with it.  I spent much of today drilling tiny, tiny holes in wire which I will rivet tomorrow, also experimenting with odd-shaped rivets of various materials.

Last Saturday was a day of coincidental meetings.  At the show (which was in another city) I ran into the lovely woman who was my neighbour for the last seven years until she bought a house this summer.  Later, at dinner in a Peruvian restaurant, it turned out that the woman sitting next to me had been in the same Chinese (language) school that I was in, for the same three years, but we had never met before this.  Two friends on my left told us they ran into each other on a sidewalk in New York last month, neither knew the other was planning to be there.

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measured

29 November, 2008 at 7:50 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , )

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On request, here is a picture of one of the legs next to two acorns so that the size is clear.

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flotsam and jetsam

27 November, 2008 at 11:06 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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These are some of the bits that consumed my day.

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