I love crockpots. Dinner was a breeze last night and Parks went to bed promptly at 7pm. So instead of bowls and measuring cups, I pulled out a cookie sheet and a bag of clay and finally dug into a project that I’d been wanting to try for months now. Here’s the progression of it so far. Tonight I’ll detail it more. I don’t have a kiln so I’m hoping one of my artist friends will help me out on that part. Here’s the progression of it.
4 cups of moist clay
1 cup of tools
1 diet pepsi
Cut a slab off a medium block of clay with some medium guage wire. Roll it out with a rolling pin. Flip and slam onto the counter a few times. Assure the children you’re not mad and give them some clay to play with at the table after homework. Draw image you plan to sculpt onto the clay with a toothpick. Scoop out surrounding area with clay tools. Use your fingers to press and guide the clay into the shape you want it to be. Detail with clay tools. Bake in a kiln or give to an artist who owns a kiln or take to a place like Color Clay Cafe. (For my un-artsy but adventurous friends who declare they cant’ draw a straight line, draw a snowman or something simple and then proceed from there.)
Here’s the latest portrait I’ve just completed. This is what I’ve been doing from about 8pm – 3 or 4am for the past few weeks. I feel like I’ve just completed a marathon. But well worth it, I enjoyed painting it. Next project will be 4 siblings all in watercolor. (Among many other projects, but main portrait project now).
This is a good idea for a large family – or for grandchildren. You don’t have to frame them individually. In this example, I used a standard wide format frame from a craft store, cut an art bristol white board to fit, then placed each silhouette in a row with the names handwritten below. I love a row of black oval frames with childrens’ silhouettes lining a wall, but when wall space is limited, this is a nice option. I like how this turned out. Thank you, Myers family.
This is a sample of how my easel usually looks at home. I’m usually working on several pencil portraits at once. I used to work on them downtown while Parks napped in his pack-n-play I keep there, but lately, my busy 18 month old is too interested in chasing geese or playing in the water fountain. So the portraits get worked on at home during nap time or while he sleeps at night.
Lately, I’ve been able to take the cart out on the sidewalk. When my kids come with me, I stay in the studio, but thanks to some babysitting/swapping, I’ve had the opportunity to come more often while the kids play happily… at home. I’ve taken the cart out to the sidewalk countless times though… but for the past 4 Saturdays now, I’ve pushed my cart past the waterfall up to the phase 1 section of Art Crossing near O’Cha. If anyone wonders, (other artists ask), I am allowed to take my cart out anywhere along this sidewalk as long as I don’t go into Falls Park and the business license allows me to well, do business. I love being outside – even though the weather has been a bit muggy lately. And even in the cooler months, I keep hand warmers in the cart so my fingers don’t get too numb to work. I get to meet more people this way. Lots of people ask me for directions or what restaurant I recommend or where to find ice cream… Many people who have been away from Greenville for a while but are just now discovering all the new changes come up and ask me when everything changed and we talk about what a great downtown it is now. And yes, I do a lot of silhouettes!
People always ask me what the best age is for silhouettes. The truth is, silhouettes are great at any age. My own son has just turned one and I’ve done his silhouette about 4 times already and I love each one. I’ll have to post those soon when I have time to download them. In the mean time, here is a sweet little girl’s silhouette I just did in Charleston this past weekend. She is about 5 months old if I recall correctly.
Just wanted to include a drawing of Parks in honor of him just turning one year old. This year has just flown by. Parks is such a blessing for our family.
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This is my shadow today, Krissy M. She wants to be an artist someday and also a veterinarian. She is in the 6th grade and she loves drawing her pet cat and her great dane. The weather kept the crowds away from the studio this evening though – and the rain created puddles in my studio which made for quite an interesting evening. But we talked about being an artist. She asked me what would I give for advice for an aspiring artist. Anyone who wants to be an artist will work on their craft whether it’s pottery, painting or design… but what I would suggest is that if you want to be successful, get a four year degree in art but make sure you take business classes as well as marketing. You’ll be the advertising and billing department someday!
I love the holidays. I’m grateful for the business I get especially around Christmas. It’s so nice to be able to run a small business doing what I enjoy and still run a household with three children and a great husband. But I sure do enjoy January. It’s the time of year when I, like a lot of people, can take a breath. Organize. Throw out old things. Fix a few broken things. Redo a few other things.
This year, my youngest turned one on January 18th. That made January a little busier than usual but it was still a relaxing month. Now February will be a month of reacquainting. I’ll get back in touch with some boutiques and see if they’ll have me back. I’ll call those clients who graciously told me in November that they would not have to have their projects by Christmas. I’ll write a real letter to an old friend – on paper! And my husband will be back in town, so I might reintroduce myself to him.
And one last thing I plan to revisit, is the book I’ve been working on. I love the concept. I get excited about it! So much so that I procrastinated on the submission part. I won’t describe it yet. That would be like making a wish and telling everyone what it was. But I’ll keep you posted. In the mean time, happy February!!!
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