Monday, February 13, 2012

500 pencils on the wall, take 1 down, pass it around, 499....

click image to go to website

By the start of fall...I'll have all 500 pencils!  I read about the 500 pencils some years ago on the QuiltArt email list.  It took me months of hemming and hawning but I broke down and ordered the 25 pencil/month plan.  By the start of autumn I should have all 500!  It was the collection of 500 colours which is alluring.  I would love to collect 500 solid colour fat quarters of fabric the same way!

My lungs have been junky, necessitating the need for a course of steroids and anti-biotics...with the dropped in temps, I haven't been to The Chitlin' Circuit in over a week...with only 1 trek out to test improvement in my lung capacity.  Surprisingly, I've kept the anxiety in check over losing time but have kept myself close to the hearth and entertained with pinterests, facebooking, blog and e-book reading.  Since getting the Kindle Fire, my book reading is back on!  I've read more books in a month then I did all of last year that were non-art making related!  And now that my library offers e-books, there is less threat to my budget.  My current author crush is Tayari Jones and it is my book review blog thats getting most of my action now.  

My two favorite boards on pininterest are DIY crafts and Food.  I've spent the last couple of weeks cooking dishes I found there...I tried recipes for thai noodles, brussel sprouts, zuchini boats, chicken salad, quinoa patties.  This cake is cooling now...but it is from, my go to food site.

DSCN2976apple cake

One of my studio neighbors has hosted Pinterest workshops which is "lets get together and make something we find on pinterest".  I haven't attended any but how clever an idea!  




Thursday, February 9, 2012

Counting boats

It takes me on average about 45 minutes to do one boat.  I have around 125 remaining.  I've lost 2 days from the studio due to soar throat and irritated sinuses and upper chest.  The temps have dropped back down highs in the low 40s.  My great grandmother called this pnuemonia weather...when its unseasonably warm with sudden drops in temps.  She believed in dressing for the season with a hat or scarf always covering the head in winter when out and about. 

This Saturday is Demo Day at Mellwood...I'll be in my studio hand embroidering on the boats from 10-noon.  



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fred Miller, Visions in Metal

Fred is another Mellwoodian artist.  He is located in Bldg. B #302.

Karen Davis:  Tell us what you do and why?

Fred Miller:  What? My art is metal sculptures.  I primarily use aluminum.  I buy the aluminum in sheets, cut the needed pieces, bend and fit them, weld them together using a TIG process, and then finish them with a wire wheel to give a rough texture or with a sanding disc to give a smoother texture with movement.


Why? Numerous types of relationships between both natural and manmade objects may encourage introspection.  By their very nature, these relationships have some impermanence about them.  While a sense of impermanence is minimal in very stable relationships such as that between a house and its foundation, others show a very pronounced uncertainty, kindle a meditative spirit, or induce an emotional reaction.  Contemplating the many possibilities of emotion or change, especially present in tenuous or precarious relationships, gives me a strong sense and appreciation of the present.  It is this feeling that I instill in my sculptures.  It makes life interesting, gives life value and induces in me a kind of meditative appreciation for the intrinsic worth of relationships, now, at this moment in time.

On the flip side, I also enjoy happy pieces that simply make me smile or feel joyous when I see them. Doesn't everyone like to feel happy?

KD:  What other mediums have you worked in besides the aluminum?  And if so, was the answer to "why" the same for those mediums?  What I'm curious about is whether there is something inherent about aluminum and your processes that induce the meditative/emotional reactions around impermanence and feelings of joy that you mentioned.

Visiona in metal 3

FM:  I have worked in other mediums.  I very much enjoy balancing rocks on top of each other so that they look like they will fall (have attached a picture of a few of them).  However it is not something that I want to do as a continuing art focus.  I have also worked in wood but for some reason I enjoy metal the most.  Welding is a very meditative process requiring constant and extreme focus.  When welding a long "bead" I can easily get lost in time.  It is only precarious in that it is easy to make a mistake and aluminum is regarded as far more difficult to weld than mild steel or stainless steel.  I think I enjoy aluminum because it has a natural bright shine to it that finishes well without painting, it is light weight so large pieces can still be easily moved around, it is strong, and it is challenging to weld.  It in itself doesn't necessarily lend itself to happiness, precariousness or impermanence; the pieces have to speak to that.  It is just something I enjoy doing.  

Visions in metal 2

KD:  Tell us about the "well" you draw from for inspiration and design ideas; and along those same lines, share how ideas go from inside your mind to a finished piece.

FM:  You are making this "little interview" very deep but I will give it a try.   Inspirations come from my life, past and present. I think about things that give or gave me joy and why that was.  Often it was a precarious circumstance or it might have been reflective. For instance, as a child I loved to run down hills and I think that love reflected the feeling of tremendous speed I felt while at the same time tetering on a disastrous fall. I have a few pieces that follow that theme (on the stage at Mellwood).   I have always loved to cross a stream by running across rocks that would make for a dry crossing, jumping from one to the next without a planned route.  That is also a precarious feeling that when successful, makes you happy to be alive. I have a piece that portrays this;  it is a child in the act of landing on a rock after jumping.  I tend to notice balances in nature (stable mountains vs rock slides; still ponds vs roaring streams, yoga poses that seem to defy nature or body flexibility, interactions among people that may be conflicts or very harmonious) and I try to put these thoughts into an art piece.  I love to laugh and to make people happy and a few of my "happy man face" pieces as well as my whimsical pieces reflect that feeling.  Sometimes the idea spontaneously lends itself to an art work, sometimes I have to think about how to portray that idea.  I don't know what else to say; life just happens.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ELEMENTS: An exhibit from Mellwood Arts Center Tenants, Pigment Gallery@Mellwood, Louisville, Kentucky, January 9, 2012-March 10, 2012

I currently have 8 pieces in this exhibit.