OMG! Where does the time go? I truly believe that the older I get, the faster time flies by…and before I know it, another week, another month, has passed by…
I cannot believe that I haven’t blogged in over a month…jeepers…but, I have been busy…I’m still studying (graphic design), and although this college course is not what I expected, it has certainly broadened my horizons…I initially enrolled because part of the course is all about digital design, which is something I’m very interested in. What I didn’t expect was the “artsy” part, which comprises most of the course. I really struggled the first couple months of study because I had to do practical assignments–now, bear in mind that I consider myself more an academic than an artist. I mean, that’s part of the reason I love rubber stamping…it allows me to be an artist without having to draw…I cannot draw…well, Anita, welcome to the world of art. Much to my dismay, right out of the chute (that’s western ND rodeo speak, btw)…I had to draw…granted, it was only straight lines, but I had to use drawing pencils and charcoal pencils…it took me well over two hours of shopping at DickBlick.com to find what I needed…I had no clue…my loving daughter laughed at me…I mean, she really did think it was funny that I enrolled in a graphic design course thinking there would be no sketching or drawing or working with art supplies…she said, and I quote, “you know Mom, I think they assume you have some type of art background…like high school art classes or something.” Well, I don’t…
Anyway, I have been busy doing a lot of new things that I didn’t think I could do, and that’s been a huge amount of fun and frustration…I enrolled in two, yes two (because I’m a little bit OCD), art journal courses…one taught by Paulette Insall, and one by Pamela Carriker. They’ve both been hugely inspiring, and I’ve actually started two art journals…yes, two (that OCD thing)…I’m learning so much about color and composition, and what works and what doesn’t (we don’t even want to go there-let’s just say that my first four pages have to be done over because they literally fell out of my sketchbook…note to self…perforated pages do not make for a long-lasting art journal). I’ve also started doing some digital work, although nothing truly inspiring because I’m in the beginning stages…but the most important lesson I’m learning is that there are some fantastic teachers out there who not only show you how to do, but share their own secrets and techniques for doing them. For someone with very little natural artistic ability (I define artistic ability as those who can draw), I was amazed that there are methods for creating that don’t depend upon natural ability. That opens so many doors of creativity for me. It has been not only inspiring, but empowering.
Something I’ve been wanting to try for years is working with clay. Now, I have no illusions whatsoever about being a “potter.” I absolutely have no room for a wheel, and if you knew what a clutterbug and “collecter” of things I am, you’d know that is so true…and I really don’t think my dear, patient husband would go along with the idea that I “need” a kiln. But, I discovered a clay artist who has recently started up a group online for those wishing to explore a new medium, and is offering classes that are so reasonably priced so as to give anyone the opportunity to play.
This is her introductory video…
and click evbstudioHome to check out her site…
Marie e.v.b. Gibbons has this to say…
“Clay is the most wonderful medium, it listens and it speaks! It works with you, it is forgiving, and yes sometimes it does tell you what to do — or what it won’t do. I think clay is a wonderful metaphor for life: moldable, flexible, challenging, forgiving, and never a sure thing!! Process is a beautiful eperience when you just let go and appreciate process first, product later.
I will be putting info and words of wisdom regarding the medium of clay in this forum as well as the workshop group Handbuilding 101 which is a free workshop area… if you have questions about the medium and tools this is where they should post to be addressed. I am working on a listing of materials and possible places for purchase, hope to have it up in the next day or two.
Here are the basics of what you will need to get started:
I suggest a low fire white sculpture clay.
You buy clay like this from a clay supply store, or pottery studio. Check your neighborhood art centers, and / or look up potter supply in the phone book.
typical pricing runs between $10 – $15. for 25lbs of clay.
Air dry clay is another option. Found in craft and hobby stores.
You can order online at Dickblick.com
Work with a white clay as when we paint that is the best.
The best 10 tools in the world:
After that you need:
string or wire to cut clay off the big block. You can buy a cutting wire, or just use a piece of string, or what works really great is dental floss. You will pull the string through the block of clay to get a piece off the block to work with.
You can buy a little set of clay tools (wood or plastic) at craft stores. You can also just use things you may have or can acquire for free: coffee stirrer, popsicle sticks, pencils, wooden skewers, knitting needle, fork, plastic knife, exacto knife.
TEXTURE TOOLS… these are everywhere.
the bottom of your shoes, rubber stamps, buttons, sea shells, rocks, pieces of tree bark.
start looking at the texture of things, when you push something into wet clay that has texture that texture becomes the surface of the clay. This is a fun exercise, make little slabs of clay and press different objects into it — cool stuff will happen!
I think I can do this! I already have some polymer clay to get started (and a little toaster over, and a pasta machine, and some tools…what a surprise…I won’t mention how long I’ve had them and not used them, but let’s just say “awhile…)
There is still time to sign up for her February 1st Saturday workshop, “Pocket Love Clay Hearts.”
Now go, check it out!
Thanks for stopping by today!