Tag Archives: fun

dragon update

His head is unfinished and not stuck on the neck. The tail, body and neck are connected but not joined to the base yet. He needs legs and wings too.

I asked the teacher about underglazes because I thought it would be impossible to glaze with so many undercuts. I’d have a lot of white spots because I couldn’t get a paint brush all the way around it. She told me to get Speedball underglazes in the 2 oz. size and they had it at Jerry’s Artarama so I’m glazing it as I’m building it. When it gets fired the first time this will color it and then I can put a clear glaze on top and fire it the second time or maybe keep it a matte finish. I don’t know yet.

You need to put 3 coats of underglaze on it so doing the base took hours and it’s weird stuff to paint with. I need to put green underglaze on the body before I join it to the base. Then I’ll still have to do touch ups. Everything takes longer than you think it will. I was hoping to make more than just one dragon in this 6 week pottery class but now I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do all I planned. This is a slow process. I’m controlling the drying with plastic and making it moist sometimes. If it dries too much it won’t rewet but if it’s leather hard it can be rewetted and another piece joined to it.

I took this pic last night and the warm indoor light makes it look this color as opposed to the top pix which were taken with the natural sunlight in my apt.

I laid him on the side after the clay started to harden so I could work on the bottom of the tail. I tried to keep it an unjoined open tube but as I was working on it I could tell it was closing up the gap so I went back in and dug out a groove in case any air got trapped.

The plastic is wrapped around it where the legs need to go. I’m trying to keep the clay from drying there. I guess I’m over half way finished but I might have to wedge another ball of clay so I have enough ready for wings and legs. I feel like wedging the clay is what gives it the great elasticity to make tubes and bend them. A new block of clay is stiff and needs a lot of water so I try to add water as I’m wedging it. That makes it slippery and harder to wedge until it gets worked in and the process of wedging dries it a little so it needs even more water.

first pottery class / a 3 pot mess

The first class was about wheel throwing. The second class will be about how to use the extruder or whatever things they have for hand building pots. Whew!. Wheel throwing is hard. I didn’t really want to do it because I know how much practice it takes and I don’t want to put in the time to get that skill. I decided to go along with the class and gave it a try and the photo is my 3 attempts which I smooshed because they were sooooo bad.

The teacher was the best! When I tried wheel throwing years ago I don’t remember the teacher helping me as much. These still flopped but she was a big help with centering the clay.

I asked about the size and number of pots they would fire because on their site I saw something about 6 pieces that the dimensions add up to 24″ and she said there are no rules. I was glad to hear that! Now I can plan a larger dragon. I’m getting started on the base which is kind of worked out in my mind as an oval arch shape (picture an upside down boat) with a half round border on the bottom as a lip and decorate the lip with the Celtic design. If I can get that done by the next class and show it to the teacher, see what she thinks of the start, that would be good. Maybe I can get started on the dragon soon.

This is the 3 pot mess of clay that I started wedging. The teacher said it’s not necessary to wedge the clay off a new block but that’s not what I heard before.( Either way, you’d have to wedge the clay to use it after smooshing the wheel throwing disasters.) Clay is made up of microscopic plates that slide over each other. When you add water they slide more and that gives clay its stretchy feeling. When you wedge clay you’re trying to get the air out and compact the tiny tiny plates into a spiral seashell type thing by pressing down and folding over a bit of it with the heel of your hand, give it a slight turn and repeat until you get tired. You can see an air bubble breaking under my hand in this pic. I wedged this ball for 7 min and needed to take a break but it needs more wedging. I’ll keep going until I don’t see any air bubbles breaking for a few minutes. Then it will be a stronger clay to work with, no air bubbles, less cracks when drying, stretchier, safer from breaking in the kiln. They should teach wedging first but I’m no teacher or pro potter either. I always loved playing with mud even as a kid.

sock puppet for my granddaughter

That was a fun easy project for today since it’s raining but it wasn’t easy to get the photo with it on my hand. I kept it simple because my granddaughter is 18 months old. I guess she’s too young for sequins. If this one is a hit with her I’ll try to make a more elaborate one in the future. I was thinking of making a baby sized sock puppet so she can fit it on her own hand. I used the other sock to make the ears and a piece of ribbon for the tongue and a scrap of red print inside the mouth with shiny button eyes.

The Dragon Cometh / mixed media

Darn it, he’s not scary at all. Looks like he’s smiling and waving at you.

I signed up for a pottery class starting in March. I took classes years ago and thought it was fun. I tried to throw pots on the wheel a few times but hand building is more for me. I made a dragon once out of clay and it came out good. He had a personality! My mother in law wanted it so she could give it to my brother in law but I said no because it was one of my favorites. Eventually I gave it to my brother in law. I want to make another dragon. I should get a plan worked out for the pottery class.

This is a mono print with palette knife scraping and smearing to make horns, legs and face. You can see some scraping in this close up. The background is oil pastel.

This was fun to do and I took step by step photos to show you the process, in reverse order posted below.

I pulled the print off my wax paper onto this bright orange and onto pink but I like the orange more. The paint is thick on there and the orange is so bright it was vibrating my eyeballs so I wanted to kill the orange with its opposite, blue.

This is how thick I glommed the paint onto my wax paper with my palette knife, trying to make a snake shape and have it be thicker for a head and thinner at the tail.

This is a close up of my palette, a plastic lid. I’m letting the layers of acrylic build up instead of cleaning the palette. The white, yellow and green are today’s colors on top of what was left from the iris painting, which is dry.

I only scraped through the colors once then scraped it up in smaller blobs with the palette knife to make the snake shape on the wax paper.

Doesn’t that remind you of a flower? I love the sculptural texture of a blob of acrylic. This is a step I like to see but it doesn’t last because I needed this paint to do the dragon.

It would be fun to make a dragon sock puppet for my granddaughter. That would be a sewing project. They make good subjects and you can do a dragon any way you want to.

charcoal sketch from Rivers Casino

That was a fun thing to do today since it rained and I wanted to get out. I found my way over to the casino but got lost in Norfolk on my way home. It’s a straight shot over to Portsmouth on 264 but coming home I was in the wrong lane and got funneled off the highway. I got turned around somehow and made a circle but avoided going through another tunnel. Finally I found the way home. My car has gps but you need a phone with blue tooth and I never hooked it up because I have a little old flip phone. That’s ok. Getting lost in Norfolk isn’t scary.

The casino is pretty with all those bright colorful shiny sparkly machines. It’s big and a ton of people were there. People have been complaining about the smoke but they have a non smoking section and I sat at a table where I could see these pretty machines. It looked like I was in a cafe section but it was closed. I was the only one sitting there and propped my sketchbook on the table to draw. They didn’t know I was sketching and no one said anything to me which is good.

The slot machines don’t look like the old time pictures of slots except that they still have spinning pictures that line up to give you a win. I saw a guy win $25. I don’t see what the fascination is for all those people to be sitting at the machines watching the pictures spin but to each their own.

They had a section for big stakes poker but you can’t go in unless you’re playing. I saw craps games, sports betting and black jack. If I ever decide to gamble I’ll learn how to count cards so I at least have a chance of winning at black jack. I think I could do it with practice. It’ll probably never happen, just a pipe dream.

I want to go back and try to sketch more. If I want to do a painting 10 sketches of different machines might be enough. Then I can arrange all the pretty machines and they don’t have to be in rows. I could do a cubist version and have the machines and people all over upside down and sideways.

Dreaming of Back Bay / mono print series showing step by step

OMG! This was so much fun! I might do another set! And I think it was a good art therapy project for me.

First I pulled out a bright orange paper and made blobs of acrylic using a plastic lid for a palette. I used metallic gold, yellow ocher, metallic silver, burnt umber and white, (thinking of colors for Back Bay). Then scraped through my blobs of paint with a palette knife a few times. Lifted blobs of paint with the palette knife and dropped the paint down on a piece of wax paper and smeared through it a little more to spread it around with the palette knife.

OMG! Fun Fun Fun! Or am I just easily amused?

The above pic shows my piece of wax paper upside down on top of my orange paper and I pressed it together to smear the paint in the directions I wanted it to go and make it smoother. Then peel off the wax paper and see the first print!

This is the first print. The paint is so thick it’s not forming veins in the paint as much as I like to see so I got out a pink paper and pressed it down on top of the orange one.

This is a close up to show the texture.

I’m turning the papers around in every photo so you can see it from different sides and possibly find something in there.

This second print did show veins in the paint better on both the pink and orange papers.

This is a close up of the veins in the paint on the orange paper.

There was still paint on the wax paper so I pressed it onto a purple paper but it wasn’t enough to make those sweet veins in the paint so I scraped the last of the paint off the wax paper and smeared it down on top of the print with my palette knife. Then I scraped the last of the paint off the palette and slapped it down and scribbled through it a little with the palette knife. I like this last print too.

This is the wax paper on top of my gray rug and the little bit of paint left on it.

I took my favorite which was the one on orange and colored the background with a blue oil pastel trying not to smear the paint so a little orange outline is showing. That’s the top pic on this post.

You don’t need to worry about “overworking” a mono print. You can keep going and going. The colors don’t come out muddy no matter how many times you print them off because you’re not mixing the paint with a brush. The colors mix themselves and not to death.

Sometimes I save the ones I like and when they dry cut them up for a collage. So, that’s one more step and if I don’t like one I still have all the others.

Don’t forget to think up a catchy title for your mono prints!

About Bigfoot

He’s hiding behind trees. All you can see is giant fangs and glowing eyes. The eyes have been reported as red, blue, or yellow and sometimes the Bigfoot is only seen as a fuzzy black shape.

I watched a series on Discovery + called “These Woods Are Haunted” It’s mostly about Bigfoot but there are stories about shape shifters, demons, werewolves, ghosts, and ETs. The stories are scary but it’s only people talking with the same shots of woods showing in different stories and the same sound effects of growling, hooting, howling, etc. They added sound effects later. The sounds they capture on tape aren’t convincing. It’s the kind of show you can have on and do other things and listen. The scariest sound effect could have been a rattle snake slowed down and it was only in one episode.

They can’t seem to get a very good photo. The pix are so blurry or maybe the Bigfoot interferes with the electronics somehow. This series sees Bigfoot as evil and supernatural and the people will go outside to follow the Bigfoot after it was banging on the cabin. Why do they go out after it? Why doesn’t the Bigfoot break a window if it wants to come in?

I wonder why the Bigfoot throws heavy rocks instead of stones which would be easier to aim at the human. They never can hit the human with the rock. They only want to scare you. They act territorial but the Earth belongs to humans. I think if you could remain calm they would go away.

They could be guard dogs for ETs. They used to be shown as another humanoid but now the Bigfoot stories are getting more weird. The people talk about feeling like they’re being watched and I remember reading somewhere that scientists did a test where they watched people and the people never knew they were being watched, so that might be the imagination of the people and if you’re paranoid to start with then you might be imagining the whole thing.

They crash through the woods like elephants then they just vanish.

These are just some of the things that the shows give you to think about and the best story is in the 3rd season but they’re all good.

I’m pretty sure there’s no Bigfoot around here. I would never camp out in the deep woods alone or to look for them. Are they real or just a good story? I’ll never be able to answer that question.

These are acrylic mono prints with paint left over from my tide pool painting and some palette knife scribbles in the teeth.