Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Creative Business Plan Marathon!

Hi guys,
I just wanted to say thanks for coming over to the blog and checking us out! It was a wild 24 hours for all of us, and we are a lot closer to having a plan ready for 2011 now.  If you haven't had a chance, follow the link to see what we did.  A group of 5 artists started reading the book The Creative Entrepreneur together and posting our exercises online.  It helps us to keep each other on track, and hopefully inspire other artists to get moving on their plan for 2011.

I know that some of you stopped over, and I appreciate it!  It's nice to know that somebody out there was seeing all of our hard work :)

We are heading out of town for New Year's Eve, and then I'm off to deliver my work for the upcoming exhibit for the Cabarrus County Arts Council.  I'll be back early January, and I am really looking forward to getting back to a studio routine!!

Be safe on New Years!

Monday, December 27, 2010

On Being Thankful

I wanted to share with you the finished sketch that I did while the kiddo was in her travel crib on Christmas Day.  This sketch didn't start out as a drawing about my daughter, but that day, listening to her as she talked to her stuffed animals, I decided that it was a perfect sketch for her.  I love the beauty of the flowers in the girls hair in the sketch, and it reminds me of the beauty that my daughter has brought into my life.   The light in the eyes of the girl in the drawing reminds me of the light in my daughter's eyes when she giggles about something silly.

All this might be a little too mushy for you, but I was feeling all sorts of tender on that day, and I was thankful for all of the goodness in my life.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday, and I am so looking forward to the new year!

And speaking of the upcoming year... I am in the middle of a 24 hour blogging adventure over at creativebizmarathon.  It is a group of 5 artists, and we are all creating our business plans for 2011, and we are putting it online for all to see.   If you've started thinking about your plan for the new year, and are feeling curious about our plans, come on over to see us! We all have different styles and there is a lot of information over there!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Working on a Sketch

Yikes! The Sketchbook Project deadline is nearing, and I still have some pages to fill! So I've been slowly working on a sketch that I started a while back... I'm just having fun drawing girls' faces for some reason. I love drawing the features of the face, and would you look at those lips?? Wowsers, those are some full lips!

Anyway, I've just started adding color to her. Right now, I'm using colored pencils because that is what was handy, but I'm sure some other mediums will get thrown in there too. Oh, and those lighter streaks across the drawing is sunlight streaming across my worksurface. If you haven't heard about it, check out The Sketchbook Project. There are over 28,000 people worldwide participating in this venture! That is so cool!!

Here is another little thing I did over the weekend. Tile coasters! We went over to Laura Otero's house for a craft party and made these. She was kind enough to supply all the materials! And last, but not least, here is a picture of my hubby and the kiddo just before the parade..

What a riot! Stay safe this week with all the last minute shopping out there going on...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Missing my Studio Time & Having Fun, too

This week has been a flurry of activities!  I've had to forfeit my studio time to get ready for Christmas.  I've actually enjoyed the shopping, and hearing the music and buying for my loved ones.  I'm feeling good this holiday, I love my family, and I have much to be thankful for.  But just last night, I started to feel that feeling, the one that makes me grumpy if I don't get in the studio.  I am waiting for some pieces to dry, then I can add them to my kiln for a full load.  I am at a good stopping point in the work flow of things, but I don't really want to stop!  I think what will happen over the next few days is that I'll have to carve out some time for other creative things, like sketching or art journaling.  Those things are so much more conducive to working in a 30 minute window.  It's hard to get much done in the clay studio in 30 minutes.  That's just long enough to get your hands dirty, and then it's time to clean up!  I'm in a glazing phase right now, and that takes me a little longer to complete a stage. 

All this chaos has been fun, though.  What's really fun is seeing Christmas through the eyes of my 2.5 yr old daughter.  She is so excited and is having SO MUCH fun seeing all the decorations and hearing her favorite Christmas carols (Rudolph and Jingle Bells).  I am so happy we decided to have a child.  She brings so many smiles to our lives everyday!

Here is a photo of another birdhouse I've made.  I like using simple forms and playing with the surface decorations.  This form actually started out as a square bowl I used to make back in my functional pottery days.  I am using the underside of the mold and forming the square birdhouse from that.  It gives me a supported surface that I can then draw and carve into!  I like this little red bird, too.  We have a lot of cardinals around my house, and I was thinking of those guys when I painted this little one.  I've rested the birdhouse on a shelf for the photo, but this one has holes and will hang on the wall.

Hope you have a fun and merry weekend lined up! This is the last weekend before Christmas and there is a lot happening! Tonight we have a Christmas party at my house with friends, tomorrow is a holiday crafting party with Laura Otero of Strategic Online Marketing and Dreamy Designs, and then Sunday is our local parade, where my hubby dresses as an elf and rides his unicycle.  What a riot! He is definitely a local celebrity around here, just due to the parade.  :)

Have fun!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wall-mounted Birdhouse

Hello there!
I wanted to share with you one of the pieces I finished recently.  I call these Birdhouses, and I've been stewing on this idea for months now.  I couldn't work on them until I had my pieces complete for the upcoming exhibition in January, but now I am plowing ahead and getting ready for my retail show in March.  I"m having fun coming up with designs that can hang on the wall.  I tend to think that "sculpture" goes on the shelf or table or pedestal.  So it is a different way of thinking to come up with hanging items.  Here is one birdhouse:
The little birdie is a light, almost chartreuse green, and there's little hints of that color (which are hard to see in the photo) in the house itself.  I need to measure to get the dimensions, but the height of the piece is probably around 10" or 11" to give you an idea.  I can totally see a grouping of three of these on a wall... what about you?

Hope you had a great weekend.  We had a very cold and quiet weekend, and it was just lovely.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Turning a journal page into a Clay Painting

Ever since our trip this summer to San Francisco, I've been toying with what to do with my sketches.  I like some of them enough that I'd like to see them come to life in another medium, and so I recently decided to do some Clay Paintings.  I've only done one; this is my first experiment with it.  You can read about this sketch here, as the original drawing, or here as the mixed media painting on birch panel.  The dimensions are roughly 9"x9"x3", made out of stoneware clay, and she was fired 3 or 4 times to play with the glazes.  I took her out of the kiln yesterday, and she kept me awake last night, thinking of how to finish her off.  I painted her with ceramic underglazes, and mostly I was happy with the results after all the firings, but I just couldn't help myself and had to add some acrylic paint and colored pencil.  What do you think of her? I am trying to decide if this is something I want to keep pursuing...  Perhaps I will do a couple more and then review them as a whole.

I've been running the kiln almost nonstop, trying to get some pieces to completion, and I've burned myself out a bit.  I'm taking a break from all the glazing and firing, and getting my hands back into the wet clay.  I'll be posting some of the new pieces over the next couple of weeks.

Hope everyone is well and getting ready for the holiday!  I still have some shopping to do...


Monday, November 29, 2010

I just finished this Little Bird Mama sculpture

Hi there!

The kiln has been running and it's nice to see some finished products coming out, finally.  All of my sculptures go in the kiln at least three times, to build up the layers of colors I like to have on the surface.  My kiln has good, thick walls, so I usually fire for 9-12 hours, and then it takes about 24 hours for it to cool.  I have to crack open the door once the kiln hits 500-600 degrees, or the darn thing just never cools down.  It constantly reminds me to just "Have Patience"!

This little Mama I built before our trip to San Francisco, but I never got a chance to work on her glazing before we left, because I was finishing up the bronze piece.  I love how she turned out, and the little birdies under her wing.  And then there's the other bird on the base... what do you think he's all about? Is he a sibling of the other birds, or is he an outsider?

In other news, I've been sketching quite a lot over the holiday, and I've been working on three different sketches that I cannot wait to finish.  I hope I like the finished project and can share them here!  One is a bit personal, so I may not share that one quite yet. :)

I have also just added Feedburner to this blog so that you can follow me through an RSS reader, or you can follow me through email if that is more comfortable for you.  I appreciate you taking the time to visit my little space, here in BlogLand!

As I am writing this post, I am listening to Sting.  One line that sticks out to me is:
"Let your soul guide you, guide you the way."  Be quiet, Mind, and listen to that Soul.  It won't steer you in the wrong direction.

Wishing you a happy week~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This One is Near and Dear To Me

I just finished this little sculpture. I actually made it several months ago, but just last week, I finally finished glazing it. This little piece is very personal to me; it represents myself and my mother, as she lay so very sick with cancer just before her death. I'm not even sure I can sell this piece; I don't believe I can part with it yet, but I wanted to share it with you. I'm wishing you love and happiness this Thanksgiving, and I hope that you are able to spend the holiday with loved ones. Thinking of you~ Kelly

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Art Buzz, Collection 2011

Good evening!

For all my friends on Facebook, I posted a little while back that I had applied to an art book for possible publication of my sculptures. Well, I found out that they have accepted me! In fact, I won the First Place award in the clay catagory, and that means I get a 2 page spread in the book! The only higher award would be the Grand Winner, which gets the cover of the book, so needless to say, I was quite excited!

Here is an excerpt from the email they sent me:

First of all, congratulations on your acceptance into Art Buzz, The 2011 Collection! Your work has been awarded 1st Place in clay! Choosing the winners was a very tough job and we are proud to include your work in this premier, contemporary visual arts publication. (for a complete list of the winning artists, log on to You will also be given a complementary Standard Plus listing on, if you don't already have one.

Cover for the 2010 book

So I'm quite excited by this and I am really looking forward to getting one of the books!

In other news, I've been firing and glazing, and trying to finish 2 pieces for the upcoming exhibit starting in January for the Cabarrus Arts Council.  I wrote about it in a previous blog post you can find here.  I won't be able to show the finished pieces, but I think a detail shot or two would be safe. :) Once they are completely finished, I'll be sure to post a little something here!

I hope you are having a great week! What have you been working on? I'd love to see some of your beautiful new work!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Blogger Love from Kim Henkel

You know, I just love the connection between all the creative souls I have met online, here in Blogland. Everyday, I am so happy to hear from each of you through your blogs/facebook/twitter, or emails back and forth, or comments on my blog. If I start to feel lonely or isolated, all I have to do is remember all of my e-friends. It's always that way, you know how it goes, you feel a little down one day or unsure about things, and then BAM! you get an email from one of your blogger friends and it lifts you up and makes you smile.

This happened to me not long ago. One night I was feeling all lovey-dovey about my online friends, and I decided to send a little clay piece to a fellow clay artist, Elizabeth Gonzalez. She is always so sweet with her comments and offers so much support, and I was thrilled that she liked my work. So I packaged up a little birdie, and shipped it off to Puerto Rico. And then two days later, an interesting thing happened. I received an email from Kim Henkel, another blogger I follow, and she wanted to send me a little something to thank me for my support! I was floored!!! Her generosity just amazed me and I was so excited to get this email!! It totally put in me the greatest mood and gave me a huge smile. If you don't know Kim or her work, you need to follow that link and check her out. Everything she does is just fantastic, whether it is her paper, her cards, or her jewelry. I got my little package from her last week, and these are the surprises I found inside!

Everything was so well-designed and thought out. A handwritten note on one of her handmade cards, an envelope made from a cookbook glossary (I think) then stitched together, all tied with a lovely ribbon. Now let's talk about that awesome necklace! I feel just terrible about this next photo, since it really does not do the necklace justice, but the necklace is so fantastic. It has the sliding type of tie for the clasp, so that you can adjust the length of the necklace, and get it on and off over your head. The pendant is a beautiful bezel with a image of a vintage clock face in it, with the word BELIEVE in it too. So beautiful and so special and I am so very thankful to Kim! I wore it the first day I got it, and I will give it much love for the rest of my days. Thank you, Kim!

I hope you all have a great week this week and thanks for stopping by my little blog!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Journal Sketch turns into a Painting

Okay, here it is! My little sketch that I just turned into a 12"x 12" painting on a birch panel. I did some collage first, then added some background color with Golden acrylic paints. After that came the face with Shiva oil sticks (which I absolutely adore), and then her flowers and leaves in the hair were done with watercolor pencils (again, love them!). I finished off the painting with some more collage, and used various pens and markers to make some more marks. Oh - and then I also used Stabilo pencils in black and graphite to outline and/or add some shading to her face. I love my pencils too much to let them go entirely. The colors in this photo are a little off, and I lost some of the tones in her skin in this jpeg, but that's okay. I still like it, and I hope you do too! :)

The next photo is a little detail shot of the birdie and a few of the words. I just thought that it was so cute!

This was done as a donation for a fundraiser for the South Carolina Aquarium. I hope that it brings in some money for them, as I love the aquarium and used to volunteer there, several years ago. Here is the flyer for the fundraiser:
It looks like it will be a great time, so if you are in the area, head over to the event and bid on my piece, if you like it, or just have a cocktail and help out the aquarium.

Doing this painting was a huge amount of fun for me and I am really looking forward to doing some more in the future! This has also gotten my brain turning and I'm thinking about doing some more drawing into my clay sculptures... but we will see. That will take a little experimenting to get it just right. Let me know what you think! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So Excited!

HI everyone!

It has been a crazy, crazy two weeks! I have been pushing and pushing to get some work in the studio completed. I've finished building two sculptures, and was working feverishly on a new piece... a mixed media painting! It is for a fundraiser, here in Charleston for the South Carolina Aquarium, and I have had an absolute ball working on it. I can't wait to take a couple of good photos and share them with you. Maybe tomorrow or Saturday I'll have them and I will be certain to post them here.

It's funny, this whole sketching thing. I used to sketch all the time in college, and got a little out of the habit in recent years. I still enjoyed sitting down sometimes, if I was in the mood, and working on a piece, but I didn't do it regularly. Ever since our trip to San Francisco, I have been really, really enjoying working in my journal and my sketchbook. I think that it will be the lasting influence from those weeks in San Francisco - the drawing and the sketching. And I am so thankful to have rediscovered it! What a joy!

And so this piece that I have been working on came from my sketchbook. I did it while in SF and as soon as I heard about the fundraiser, I knew it was the sketch to turn into a painting. I love how it turned out and I cannot wait to share it with you!! Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Building My Bird Sculptures

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the delay in posting. Just been staying busy with the kiddo and clay and daily life. Hubby is back in town and that is pretty exciting! We've just been hanging out, spending time together since his return on Friday evening.

The other morning, a Twitter follower sent me a question that was perfect timing. He wanted to know if I took pictures of each stage that the sculptures went through during creation. It was a timely question because I had just taken some photos of a piece as I was working on. I don't always take photos (sometimes I forget!) but I had just snapped a couple of the current piece.

There are many ways to work in clay, and the way I tend to work on an armature and build the piece solid. I work quickly in the building stage, just trying to get a rough form and get the clay on the armature so that it can began to dry. When I first start a sculpture, the clay is so wet and not strong at all, but as it dries, it becomes stronger.

My armatures mostly consist of 1/2" or 3/8" metal pipe from the plumbing section of Lowe's and I attach that to a plywood board. I wrap the pipe in stretch wrap so the clay won't stick and then I start. I take large hunks of clay and smash it onto the armature, making sure to really compress the clay as I squeeze onto the armature. I keep going as far as I can until the clay begins to sag or bend or do weird things. Then I let it rest, maybe overnight, maybe two days, depending on how humid it is in the studio. After that, I begin to refine the shape, but not adding too many details at this point.

Then comes the crazy point. You've got the sculpture mostly built, it's looking pretty good, you are liking the form, and now you have to cut it off the armature! So I take my fettling knife and start slicing. The idea is to cut through until you hit the pipe in the middle and then remove a portion of the sculpture. This is what I have done in this first photo. I cut down the back of the this sculpture, because there was less detail that I'd have to repair after hollowing it out. It really depends on the piece where I decide to cut. A little tip about clay: it's pretty hard to fire something solid, and I generally want a hollow piece with walls about 3/8" thick. Some people go really thin, others go thick, but the idea here is to get all the air pockets out of the clay walls.. The sculpture can explode in the kiln if there are air pockets or moisture.... and boy, is that fun, let me tell you!! And that's what all those small holes are for - to help with drying, and to expose any air pockets.

The next photo shows the piece back on the armature, and it's been all hollowed out. I leave in those "braces" in the interior of the piece, as I will be mounting the sculpture on a metal rod after firing. Those braces serve as guidelines for the rod and help to prevent the piece from loosely banging around on the rod after firing.

After hollowing it out, I re-attach the remaining piece(s) and reform the sculpture. Now I can begin to add in details and bring the piece to completion. I love sharing these crazy stages with you guys. I once did this in front of a friend who was visiting, and she gasped when she saw me scalp the head on my sculpture. :)

So thank you, Twitter follower, for your timely question and for getting me back on my blog!

Hope you guys enjoyed seeing a bit of the process!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sneaky Peek of a Sculpture

You guys were right,

It is SUPER hard to hold back images of things I've been working on in the studio. So, I have decided to share a little tidbit of info with a picture. Ever since my mother died, back in Feb.of '09, all of my bird sculptures have been without wings. Or if they had wings, they weren't for flying, but for protecting or something else...

But then, last week, a change happened. I built a woman/bird/girl (birl? boman? wobird?) with wings. Wings meant for flying or at least growing into wings that could one day fly. That's all I'm going to say.

I am sure am having fun with it and I can't wait til she's fired and finished. I think she's going to be one of my favorites... But we will see what the kiln gods have in store for me!

This past week was a crazy one in our household with no school on Monday, then the kiddo was sick with a touch of bronchitis and ear infections, and then hubby came home Friday morning. I'm hoping that, starting tomorrow, we can get back to a routine... which translates into studio time for me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Layout & Laura Rocks!

I want to take this opportunity to give a HUGE shout out to my friend Laura Otero, whom I actually met through an ecourse. It was pure luck that we both lived in the same city, and became friends in real life too. This girl is talented in several fields and can pretty much do anything she sets her mind to do. She does the lovely jewelry you see in these photos, and she maintains a marketing blog too that is filled with lots of great tips and is very helpful.

She also does web design, and has started doing logos, blog buttons, and headers for other artists. She's been pushing me to change my ugly, old, low res header on my blog for ever (and she's totally right, it needed changing), but usually it takes a certain action or thing to get me started. Today she made me a new header for my blog (isn't it awesome??) and it totally got me fired up to change things around on my old blog. As soon as I had a chance, I plugged it in and started having fun. Thank you, Laura, for giving me the push to get it done!! It was her talent, and her eye for design, that got me so excited. I'm still tweaking it and playing some things, so don't be surprised if things change a little here or there.

So if you need any help with your online stuff, contact Laura. She's an awesome designer and is happy to help, even if it's just a little ol' project, like my header. And she's super nice, which makes her all the more better. Love you Laura! Thank you!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Cabarrus Arts Council in NC!

I am excited to share with you some details of the art exhibit I have coming up in North Carolina in January. It is with the Cabarrus Arts Council (which is in Concord, NC just outside of Charlotte) and these folks do a fantastic job of supporting the arts while educating/involving the public as well! They have had previous exhibitions showing the work of many clay artists I look up to, and I am honored to be participating in this exhibit. It is entitled "Word Processing" and it will be a multi-media exhibit with paintings, installations, and ceramic works all that involve text in some way. The show opens on January 18, 2011 and runs through March 10, 2011.

I want to share with you all the new work I've been making for the show, but then I'd have no surprises left for the show. Therefore, as hard as it will be, I will only offer a couple of "sneak peeks" of my newest sculptures, as they come to completion. This will be so hard for me, because I always want to share everything!

I am super excited about this show! It has gotten me moving again after our trip to San Francisco, and I feel like some of my newest imagery is coming from that trip. How perfect is that?!?

Well, have a great weekend! The weather is here is supposed to be great - finally some real autumn weather for us. It's about time, don't you think??


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kylie Stevens Exhibition

Wow, o wow! Don't you love it when your friends really start to fly in doing something they love?? It's so much fun to see your friends succeed, and I am always a fan of people following their dreams. One of my online friends, Kylie Stevens is having her first art exhibit at a super cool gallery, and I am thrilled for her. I wanted to put this invitation up on the blog to show my support, since I am unable to physically attend. Maybe one day when I'm rich and famous, I'll be able to zip over to Australia for all of her openings!

The postal service brutalized her invite a little bit, and so parts of it are smeared, but her beautiful painting is intact. Her exhibit opens on October 22 and runs through to November 10, and I know her work will be well-received. She was just interviewed by one of the newspapers there, so she is getting some great PR for the exhibit already.

So, I wish you luck, Kylie and I know you are going to have a blast at that opening!!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

On Being a Single Parent

so I have no new photos for you guys tonight. Things have been going well in the studio, albeit, a little slowly. I've been too tired at night to work mostly, unless it's reading other blogs and having a glass of vino. :) I did start a sketch this morning, but it still needs quite a bit of work before it's ready to share.

As most of you know, hubby is away at Stunt Man School. Things there are really going well, but everyone's bodies are starting to hurt. Lots of Advil is being munched on like candy, and they are icing some of their joints too. It's been two weeks and they have two more to go. They've been doing some fun rappelling (sp?), and some zip line stuff. They were going to do some more high jumps, but it has been windy and the jumps were postponed.

So he has been gone for two weeks, and this is the longest I have ever been alone with the kiddo. I have ALWAYS respected single parents, and now I have a much better appreciation for what they do. We have no family here to help, but I did get the babysitter one night this week so I could have a fun work session with Dreamy Designs owner Laura. She's a girl I met through Twitter and we have become friends in real life. I am so thankful to have her as a friend! But anyway, back to the parenting. A few things I have noticed about being a single parent:

*I get tired of the same old routine and the same old arguments. Eat your beans, brush your teeth, etc.
*I sleep very lightly, because I know that I am totally responsible for her safety. I have even had very real dreams about "Protection" of children.. BTW, the last thing I need are more problems sleeping! That insomnia still likes to visit regularly...
*My daughter watches more TV than I would like her to, because mommy has to have time to cook dinner/wash dishes, insert various household chore here.
*I feel guilty because we don't get to go fun places everyday, like the beach or the park, because we have other things that need to be done, like take the dog to the vet, go to the grocery store, blah, blah, blah
*I love the exclusive snuggle time when it does come. I love every single second of it.
*I'm more tired at night. How in the world do other artist mommies who are single parents find the ENERGY to do their artwork?!?
*The kiddo is now talking up a storm and I LOVE the conversations that we have on walks and in the car. I wish I could record each one and listen to them at night before bed.
*Having said that, I really miss adult conversation. When Laura came over the other night, I felt like I was absorbing every nuance and word that she was saying. I also felt like I talked her ear off. I realized the next morning how much I was missing that.
*My back gets really tired from holding her so much. (she has liked to be held from Day 1 of her life, and I'm speaking of my daughter, not Laura, LOL)
*As hard as all this can be at certain moments, I am glad that I'm the one here and not the one gone for a month. I know I would miss these moments with my daughter so damn much!

She's growing up so fast. I used to hear people say that before I had a daughter, and I never truly understood that phrase. I thought it was just one of those things that people said. NOW I GET IT. And in those moments when I am tired, my back is screaming at me, and she's fighting me to brush her teeth, I am trying to keep that in mind. :)

In the meantime, I'm in the studio when she naps. Hopefully, I'll have a good work session tomorrow.

Goodnight! ~Kelly

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sketchbook update

This is an off-schedule blog post, but I just finished my sketch from this morning and I wanted to share it with you. This chica is calm, cool, and has her sh*t together. Just like the bird. Don't you feel that they have a connection?? Or are they two enemies about to square off for battle?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday (A Little Late)

Good evening! I wanted to include this on a Sneak Peek Friday about what was going on in the studio, but hubby came home from stunt school and I decided to spend time with him, instead of typing away on the computer.

On the hubby's stunt school update: they have started the "suicide falls". He jumped 10' into a crash pit the other day. Which doesn't sound like much, but understand that they go up to 40-50' by the end of the course! They are doing some fight-scene kind of stuff, and a whole lot of physical training. I don't think they do any kind of fire stuff or driving skills at this school, but I'm still pretty sure that it is way cooler than anything I'm doing right now!! The guy who runs the school is turning 81 soon, and hubby says that he seems so young and vibrant. You go, boy!!

In the studio, I have started two new pieces. One will be about 36" tall when I'm done and the other will be.... maybe 24" tall. Haven't quite figured that one out yet. My sculptures are slow to build since I work whenever I can around the kiddo's schedule.

The piece in the front is the 36"h piece and the piece in the background is the other one under plastic. The sculptures have just started being formed, with no refining of the shape yet. I generally build up the clay as fast as I can, then spend some time shaping and refining after the clay has dried a bit. This next shot shows the excellent use of my slab roller as an armature table. I do actually use my slab roller, but yesterday, I was building armatures for two more sculptures. Threaded rods, nuts, plywood, wire, all the essentials for armatures...
and the next shot shows a couple of my sketchbooks, where I put all of my scribbles...
And then last, but not least, is my shopping list for Lowe's the other day. This is what I did: wrote it all on the chalkboard in my studio, and then took a picture of that on my iPhone. When I got to Lowe's, I referred to my photo as my list. Gee - think I'm a visual type of person???
So this is what I've been up to all week... It may not look like much to you, but it feels good to me! Have a great Sunday everyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

American Craft Council (ACC) shows!

Good evening! I have had the BEST day today! It started with 9.5 hours of sleep last night - wow-o-wow! I awoke early and took the kiddo and myself to our famous Lost Dog Cafe on our little island here. After that the babysitter came and I was able to head out to the studio! Yay! I made quite a bit of progress on one piece and started another while I was waiting for the first one to dry a little. I then took a break and went to the gym for a bit. The kiddo came home, and she was in a fantastic mood and we played, did dinner/bath, played some more and then she went to bed happy. Awesome! And hubby told me today that he was going to come home this weekend - I think he is a little homesick. History: he left on Sunday for a long trip (one month!) to Florida. It sounds crazy, I know, but he's attending Stunt Man School! You know, like for the movies and TV!?!? He is having a blast but missing home a bit, so he will drive up from Florida this weekend to see us. Yay!

The other good thing is that I've been thinking about these ACC shows I got accepted into and I am so excited! The American Craft Council puts on very nice shows; I've been doing them now for 2 years and loving them. The quality of the art is so awesome, that I have to use super duper self-restraint to not blow every dime of the money I make on buying other people's art. At the last show I did in Atlanta, I did have to buy this woman's work - Valerie Bunnell. I LOVE her work! So anyway, you can read about the ACC shows here or here, in some older posts.

So my problem is this: Like the goofball that I am, I applied for the San Francisco show, even though I live on the other side of the country. (I also applied for Atlanta, and that one isn't the problem.) I would LOVE to do the SF show, but I can't figure out how to make it work, financially. It would cost me a bundle to ship my work and fly my body out to California, but it would also cost a lot of TIME to drive across the country, do the show, and then drive back! I guess I applied, thinking that I'd figure it out later... but now I was accepted (yay!!) and need to figure this thing out... Darn! But at least it's a good problem to have. On the flip side of things, I'll be doing the Atlanta show in March 2011 for anybody on the southeast coast. :) So, if anybody has any suggestions, let me know! I'm totally stoked to have gotten in to the show, but now what!?!? If I can't figure it out, I'll have to back out and that will be a bummer. Help! Am I the only one who does this to herself or do you guys have some good stories to tell? Please share!

Hope you all are having a great week!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Another Recipe - Turkey Burgers!

Good evening! If you haven't figured it out yet, I am into healthy eating for the most part. Sometimes, I'm a sucker for chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, or a creamy sauce on my pasta, but most of the time, I like to try to eat in a healthful manner. Especially now that I have a daughter and I want her to learn healthy habits. So while we were in San Francisco, my little one decided she didn't really like veggies. She only wanted bread and pasta, and fruit. This irked me beyond belief! I have very strong feelings about kids eating veggies (at least some!) and I was bound and determined to win this battle, like many mothers before me.

So when we returned to home, off to Barnes & Noble I went for cookbooks. After talking to the sales associate, I asked her to take me to the "Expecting Mother" section. A little history: When my daughter was just starting foods, I had made a few of the recipes in the "What to Expect" book and the kiddo found them to be palatable. So this is why I wanted to go back to that section. I ended up buying the "What to Eat When Expecting" even though I am NOT pregnant, just for the recipes. I know, I know, kinda weird, but hey, the recipes were interesting! So the first one that caught my eye was this Turkey or Chicken Burgers with shredded carrots and cheese in the mix. Now my munchkin won't eat carrots... but she ate these burgers! Of course, there was lots of ketchup involved, but oh well, that's okay. You can have your carrots with ketchup if that's what it takes! So for all you moms out there that struggle with this, give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes over in your household!! My apologies to any vegetarians out there... Oh, and last night, I tried the Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe out of that same cookbook, and don't hold your breath on that one - NOT my favorite..

So anyway, if you are feeling adventurous in your culinary ways, try this recipe, and let me know what you think! I have already shared this recipe with one friend and now another blogger/friend is asking about it, so this is why I shared it here. Enjoy!

Oh, and no studio time today. Hubby left for his trip today, and I have just felt a little "off" all day. But tomorrow should be a good studio day!
Hope everyone has a good Monday~

Friday, September 24, 2010

Random Thoughts

Its so quiet tonight. The kiddo is in bed, the hubby is out with his friends, and I'm here doing a little blog hopping tonight, trying to visit all of my friends' blogs. I've been absent lately, for no real reason, just trying to do too many things at once. I'm sure you know the feeling! The silence of the house is contrasting big time with the chaos in my head right now. I have all these sculpture ideas rolling around in there (these kept me awake last night at 2:30 am) and now I am also thinking about my e-friends. Bloggers, Twitter folks, and Facebook friends that I am starting to really know and like. Some I have met in person, and others I may never get to see their faces in real life due to distance. But what I have learned is that I value all of you. It may sound strange to some, but all of you, my new iPals, fill up my heart so much. You provide community, when I feel like a loner, and understanding, when I feel like I'm lost. You make me giggle with some of your stories, and I've cried too, with some of the stories that you have shared. This is a powerful thing, this thing called the Internet. And not just for information, or photos, or finding out what ails your little hamster, but for real things, like friendship, and community, and sharing. Things that aren't tangible, but very real, nonetheless.

And on another note, I've spent the last few days sketching like mad, working the chalkboard in my studio, and my little notebook that goes everywhere with me. I am totally hyped up to be back in the studio and I feel like if I don't start at least 4 more pieces immediately, I'll never sleep again. But life has other plans: Hubby leaves town for a month - a month! - and I'm on kid duty full time. So there will be a little schedule re-arranging, but I know we will be fine. I think the worst of it will be trying to convince the dogs to get off the bed when Hubby finally comes home. Oh well. His problem, not mine! :)

Stay tuned, I plan on catching up with blogging, and someday soon, I'll start posting photos of new work. I started a new piece this afternoon, and I can't wait to get back into the studio and get going on it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bronze Casting

Okay, I have no idea where to start on this blog post. There is so much I want to say and so much STUFF rolling around in my head! And there's no time to figure it out, as we leave town again tomorrow for Charlotte. Hubby has a triathlon there that he is doing with his good friend, and it will be a nice weekend indeed. But on the bronze side of things, I am so glad I did it. I was really nervous - about so many things! The cost, the potential for mistakes, and all the "what-ifs" too. I was even nervous about the guys at the foundry - what if they think I'm a "screw-ball artist type" who does crappy work?? All these nervous feelings just washed away once we got the ball rolling. I took the sculpture to the foundry in Florida back in June, before we left for San Francisco, so that they could cast it while I was gone. When I got home, a phone call to the foundry scheduled our date for the patina. Once at the foundry, all of the guys were just awesome. Big, burly, strong men who were not gruff or mean at all. They liked art, had a good eye for the work, and cared about doing a good job. They had no issues working with a small-ish female (I'm 5'1"), and made sure to help with anything I needed. I loved how the piece turned out and now I'm stoked to get back in the studio (it will have to be next week) and get to work on some new pieces.

Here is a picture of the sculpture before any patina goes on. It's just bare metal here. You can see that it looks kind of gold before the patina goes on. (All pictures were made with the iPhone, so forgive me if they aren't the best images...)

In this next photo, you can see the side of her wing, and most of the patina is already on this part of the sculpture.. And that's me and the patina guy, Paul, you can see in the reflection..

Next is a close up of her head, prior to the coat of wax.

And her backside..

This last picture shows the base block with the patina on it, again, before the final coat of wax. Really not a good photo, but at least you can get an idea of the color of the patina. It has a nice weathered-look to it, and if you know me, you know it's hard for me to do anything in one solid color... It's difficult to see some of the detail of the block in this shot though, with the less-than-ideal lighting...

And then, last but not least, she's getting her final buffing in this shot, before she is wrapped up and hauled home!

So that's it for now. Next thing to do is get hubby to take some quality shots of her with a nice backdrop and good lighting. I will use the nicer photos on my website and who knows - maybe on some new postcards too!

I want to thank all of you for ALL the support, and all the encouragement you gave me during this time! The emails I have received, and the little comments on Facebook/Twitter have all helped to give me courage to forge ahead in this expensive experiment! And I am so thankful to each and everyone of you, because the experiment was a success (Well, I think so, anyway...) and I probably wouldn't have done it without all of you!! *insert hugs for everyone here* Now I am looking forward to moving ahead in this part of my art journey! But to all of you clayheads, don't worry, I'm still working in good ol' clay too! I have an exhibition coming up in January for clay sculpture, so I'll be working on that too, over the next few months.

Have a great weekend!

XOXO, Kelly

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yummy Recipe!

Mmmmmm.... Doughnuts!!

I put something on Facebook about these doughnuts and I got several requests for the recipe, so I wanted to share it here. I got this cookbook because my little girl suddenly wanted nothing to do with vegetables, and I was determined to get some in her. This book was recommended by the girl at Barnes&Noble, and so far so good!

So these doughnuts are more muffin-like, rather than Krispy Kreme-like, but you should try them! If you wanted to make a glaze for icing, just mix together a little milk with powdered sugar and drizzle on top. I tested these on my kid and two others, ages 2 and 5, and all three kids liked them! Oh- and I had to get donut pans off of Amazon. Not many stores carry those, since most donuts are not baked... Enjoy! And let me know what you think!

Forgive the short post- I'm doing all of this on my iPhone and I'm having Internet connection problems in the hotel... Tomorrow I'm off to the foundry- stay tuned!! Yippee!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coming Home

We are home now from our trip to San Francisco, and let me just say how SWAMPED I've been! When we started planning this, I knew that there would be some packing/unpacking of the house that would need to happen, as we put away a lot of our personal stuff. We moved most of the original art out of the house and into my studio, as well as special plates/glasses things of that nature. What also had to go, was all the junk that sits around our house, like magazines, cables and cords, and other random bits. All that stuff got thrown in boxes and tossed into my studio. Out of the kiddo's room came all the toys, and all the cute little things that make her room so special to me. Before we left for SF, we went into a frantic state and just started racing to move all this stuff out of the house. It just got chucked into my studio and various closets, and so now that we are home, I am trying to go through everything and get some sort of organization going. Ugh. It's not my strong point and I don't enjoy doing this sort of thing, but oh well. It REALLY needs to be done.

Then today, I started feeling that old familiar feeling that whispers to me. It says "get in the studio and have some creative time!!" I have figured out that when that whisper starts, I better listen. I get super crabby if I don't and my poor family suffers for it. I haven't done anything artsy since I've returned home, with all the unpacking, dental appts, haircuts, and then preschool starting for our kiddo. Preschool, by the way, isn't going terribly well. Little Marley doesn't want to leave Mommy and Daddy to go to school. She's been with us for 8 weeks straight, with hardly any babysitting, and that is the way she likes it. We are hoping that week 2 of preschool goes better and that means less tears for Mommy and Marley. Here is a picture of my little girl on her first day of preschool. Check out that expression - it is so full of uncertainty and distrust!!
So I apologize to you guys, my readers, for being so absent over the past two weeks. Hopefully you understand with all going on, that I had my hands full! I am starting to feel a little better about things, even if it is 3:30 am as I write this... Oh well, I'm glad to be using this time to do something productive since I am awake anyway! But you know what?!? I missed all of you guys during my absence. I feel like I have made a connection with so many of you, and I missed my pals while I was buried under things. I am glad to be back online and look forward to catching up!

I hope that all of you had a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. It is always chaos here at the beach during Labor Day, and all of us residents are looking forward to the return of peace around our little community. Ah, there is no place like home!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Heading Home!

I wanted to write a quick post before we leave San Francisco today, because I've been thinking about things that I've missed from home and things that I have enjoyed so much here. Things I've enjoyed here:
  • Good food and a good variety of foods
  • Lots of time with my family
  • Rediscovering how much I like to draw
  • Sunny days without the fog
  • plants that grow here and the flowers
  • watching my daughter morph into a city girl (she loves to ride the city bus)
  • easier sleep - my insomnia has eased up a good bit
  • not having a To Do list!
  • reading more books
Things I've missed from Home:
  • our friends
  • our bed
  • our dogs
  • our Keurig coffee maker
  • my Mini Cooper
  • my studio and my clay
  • watching my daughter launch herself into our pool
  • the sound of summer bugs

There are other things to list as well, but time is short and I have a plane to catch! I'll be absent for a few days while we get our lives back in order at home, but I am anxious to dive back in!
Talk to you soon~ Kelly

Friday, August 20, 2010

Journal page- Woke Up This Morning

I've been working on this sketch for several days now. It's all graphite and colored pencil and I love love love the softness of it. I tend to work slowly with colored pencils, going lightly and taking my time with the shading. It is a peaceful practice for me, if I let myself relax and take my time. I love how her "hair" turned out - there are nasturtiums growing everywhere here in San Francisco. I think they must reseed themselves and grow naturally, because I see them all over the place. They are so pretty, I thought they would look nice for hair. I did a sculpture a few years ago with a girl who had poppies for hair, and I've decided that I like that. Perhaps I will keep going with it.

I should also tell you that I couldn't decide what text to include on this one, so I actually posted her as a Work In Progress on Facebook, and I got some great feedback and ideas! It was all rolling around in my head, and then this morning I was flipping through my notebook, looking for quotes/relevant words/journal entries, and I found an entry that I wrote one morning upon waking. I had just had a very realistic dream about my mother (who passed away last year) and I described that dream, in all it's details, in this entry. As the tears filled my eyes, I knew that this was it. This was the meaning behind the drawing. So now you know. If you gave me feedback on Facebook, I didn't ignore your ideas, I just had to use this one.

My mood has changed from my last journal entry that was done in all bright blues, purples and fushia. I had so much fun working with those bold and lively colors! But now my mood has softened and I've turned thoughtful. I have some Beethoven playing and the house is quiet. Hope you like the journal page and I am wishing you a peaceful weekend.

Love, Kelly

Sneak Peek Friday

Jennifer, over at Studio JRU, thought that we should all join up and show our messy studios and what we've been up to. I think it's a fun idea, and everyone is always curious about everyone else's art studios. It's not exactly perfect for me to join in, since I'm not in my studio right now. Here in San Francisco, I've taken over half the dining room table (we eat in the kitchen) and the other half belongs to hubby. Since I've brought limited art supplies, the mess is not as big as it would be at home. I still manage to trash the area, though, and I even had to find a cabinet to hide some of the stuff in. I guess you grow to fit whatever area you have, right?!? In the first shot, I especially love the coffee mug and the baby monitor. Two things that are standard in my space, since I normally settle down to work, with a cup of java, while the baby is napping. I also just finished that sketch in the journal in front and you can see that in this journal post. It took me days to finish this one thing, since I have only been working during naptime, if naptime actually happens. The second photo shows the backside of the computer, where I stash more of my junk. That is the only safe place on the table that I can put my paint pens and markers so that the kiddo can't reach them. As it is, I already have to grab my colored pencils out of her hands, since she loves to run through the house with them. That's not exactly safe! This photo shows the cabinet where I've stashed some of my other goods. Not all that stuff is mine, but I'd say about 90% of it is mine. :) On Monday, I will be going to UPS to ship a lot of stuff home so that we don't have to travel with all of that. I can only imagine what the airline would say if I showed up with all of these gels and paints and things in my carry-on! So anyway, I don't think I will participate in next week's Sneak Peek, since my whole house will be in shambles after we return from this trip. Hope you all have a great weekend! StudioJRU

Monday, August 16, 2010

American Craft Council - San Francisco

Yesterday we went to the American Craft Council show at Fort Mason. It was so fun to check it out and compare it to the ACC shows I've done on the East Coast. Fort Mason used to be a huge army base, and the show was held in an old warehouse on the water. It was a cool setting for a show, and they had lots of natural light, unlike the ACC in Atlanta that is held in a huge convention center. I think it gives the show a much different feel. When I first walked in, I spotted a pottery booth that I wanted to hit. Beautiful, salt-glazed work, which I've always liked. It was Insomnia Pottery and of course, that name struck home with me, since I sometimes suffer from insomnia too. But her work was awesome, and we bought two mugs and two bowls. Click on the link to go to her website.
The other booth I really like was sculptor Elizabeth Franks, who started with Aspen wood, and created a mixed media figure out of it. Her figures sometimes had wings made of old hardware and super long legs. I couldn't seem to make an image of hers work,so you will have to follow the link to her website. I know you will like her work!

So I did apply to do this show for next year, and you never know what the jury will think of your work, so I'll have to wait until September to find out if I have been accepted or not.

This morning, I'm off for a run. Eating all this good food and not enough exercise is starting to catch up with me! Have a happy Monday!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Doorway" journal page

Today I was playing in the journal, just having a little fun while the kiddo napped. I wanted to share it with you all, since I've been a little absent lately. We've got friends in town from home, and we've been showing them around the city for the past few days. So here's my sketchbook page. I like the flower petals. They remind me of my mother's paintings from back in the day when she worked in oils. Miss you, mom.

And a detail shot of the flowers...

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far and getting some much needed rest!