31 March 2009

The undisciplined blogger

I need to catch this blog up to date... So here's a quick list of this month's tasks and projects - all the things I should have been blogging about this past month.

March 6 - member's show at the art center, Flock is in it.

March 7 - moved bedroom upstairs in house to the room vacated when Nova & Mike moved out

March 8 - expanded studio to now totally fill first floor of house (except foyer, kitchen and bathroom)

March 11 - started teaching the mosaic class; 8 students (totally full on tools and space)

March 13 - opening reception for the members show at the art center

March 13 - received a commission for a large mosaic, planning and work to begin in June

March 18 - new SMU website went live, was supposed to take overnight to update; was live in 15 minutes and we haven't stopped running yet; just a few of today's web tasks were - faculty photos & bios/cvs, undergrad res hall images/floorplans (create new images, make flash files for each hall showing all floors and get them uploaded and linked), faulty search programming (thankfully Atomic Playpen got that figured out and fixed), numerous links added, created new graphics, typos corrected, forms updated and linked to, etc, etc... most of these remain "in progress"

March 18 - second mosaic class

March 19 - first Winona Arts Center board meeting - I've been asked to be on the board, I think...

March 20 - designed new Winona Arts Center logo, still waiting on the board for which version they liked, if any...

March 20 - gallery shift (volunteered for an occasional shift, staff is all volunteer at this point)

March 22 - received another commission for a mosaic, will be 4 panels totaling 12' x 42", work to begin next month, budget of $1,000 - $1,500 for materials, researching new suppliers and interesting glass options

March 24 - knowledge acknowledged presentation

March 25 - my dad's 80th birthday, or it would have been...

March 25 - third mosaic class

March 28 - reorganized studio(s), still in progress

March 29 - worked on Abelisto's second top bar bee hive (about 75% finished - needs to be totally finished this coming weekend, bees arrive soon after that...)

March 30 - started two more mosaics

That's most of it.
Now that I've cleared the air and caught this blog up, maybe I can keep up with it.

25 March 2009

Guerilla Art

This cracked me up...

Guerilla Artist Hangs Nudes Of Irish PM In Dublin Museums - The Times (UK) 03/25/09 (with slideshow)

12 March 2009

Art Show

Tomorrow (Friday, March 13th) is the opening of the Winona Arts Center Annual Members Show. The opening is from 5:30 to 7:30.

I entered a glass tile mosaic - Flock.

Mosaic Class at the Winona Arts Center

Last night I taught the first of 4 2-hour mosaic classes at the Winona Arts Center. I have 7 students, all women. I have provided 12" square pieces of Wedi board, glass tiles, Weldbond, and grout. I also brought in tile nippers for the students that wanted to purchase them. One student had her own.

I started the class with a brief bit about the history of mosaics and some mosaic terms. I then explained some general mosaic design considerations, as well as the various methods of building a mosaic and showed them the examples of my mosaic work that I brought in for them to examine. The students then started going though the books I brought, looking for inspiration for their work. Once they had an idea I had them draw it on the Wedi boards - they are doing direct method mosaics - and select the glass tiles in the colors they wanted to use.

I explained soaking the tiles off of the paper and demonstrated cutting the tiles using the nippers. Everyone thought it was easier than they thought it would be to get good cuts. I explained that with mosaic it does not have to be perfect - it's a fairly forgiving art medium. We talked about the various shapes they might need to produce, how to get curved shapes and thin slices and what shapes to avoid using in their mosaic. I explained that I did not want them to get frustrated with their first attempt at mosaic work.

Some of them got started right away and ended up with several tiles glued down before the end of class, others were being more cautious about diving in. I think that any of them that come to all four classes will have no problem finishing a mosaic.

Only one student cut herself on the glass. 

Today two of the students told me they really enjoyed the class and were very glad they signed up for it. One of them told Abelisto that they thought I was a good teacher. That was nice to hear.

05 March 2009

Catching up on the mosaic progress

Thought I'd take a few minutes while I eat my lunch to get this blog caught up. I've finished the glass work on MacKenzie in the Garden with Bees. I also made a grout test - a 10" x 20" mosaic using tiles that represent the color range in this piece. Tonight it will have been sitting log enough for the adhesive to be dry. I will tape off parts of it and do grout color test strips. I think I will want to test blue-gray, light gray, medium gray and black.

On previous mosaics I've often skipped the grout test, but I've devoted enough time, energy and resources into this one I thought I would do it. I'm really bad about just doing things without this kind of prep. Most of the time it works out because I am good at visualizing. Sometimes I wonder if a test of this sort would have made a good piece even better. So with that in mind I'm taking the time (and committing the resources - 161 tiles) to do one.

When I was doing a lot of B&W photography I actually learned that I really liked making test strips for exposure settings. I would cut strips of glossy, matte and pearl finished papers; line them up in the print easel, and do a series of test exposures. It became part of my darkroom ritual - shoot a roll of film, process it; expose a contact sheet, process it, dry it; take it out into normal lighting and select which images to print; cut test strips, expose them, process them, dry them; take them out into normal lighting and finally decide which images and which papers and which exposures; expose images, process them, dry them, take them out into normal lighting and see how well I chose. If not so good, repeat process with other choices. If good, frame photograph (or whatever I was doing with it) and move on.

Supreme Court Arguments Today

This is being argued in court today.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.
Hopefully NPR will give have information on air later today.