Saturday, November 5, 2011

"The Gift of Art", Gifts of Art, and Some Fancy Pants!

Greetings, denizens of the Blog-O-Sphere!  *eek!*  It's been a bit...  *again!*  However, I think that you will understand my absence a little better after we catch up, here -- in the spirit of 'Fair Warning' I will recommend a comforting beverage of your choice, and a comfy spot for our 'reunion', as it might take a while *wink!*

The Fall, for the past few years, has marked an unlikely acceleration (rather than Nature's suggestion of a general slowing) around here.  Even if you removed the planning and extra work involved in preparation for and hosting of various and sundry Holiday fetes, the last part of the year is a total MaDhOuSe around these parts.  Knowing from having learned this *many times over* it may seem strange to hear that I was, once again, totally amazed by the pace required to keep up of late!  So much for "Live and Learn" - ha!  It seems that my modus operendi would be more like "Live and Live".

Consider "The Gift of Art"
for someone you love
this Holiday Season!
The biggest news is the arrival of a much anticipated tool for great good!  A joint effort to benefit Arts for Life/Durham, The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild presents "The Gift of Art" Calendar for 2012.  This gorgeous, 9x12 in. calendar features a different, vibrant work of art by an Arts for Life child/student at Duke Children's Hospital for each month throughout 2012.  Extra special thanks to the generosity of Victory 500 (for the design), Henry Wurst, Inc. (for the printing), and our own Lynn Creech (for assembling this cast of characters), every dollar from the sale of these calendars goes directly to the funding of artistic educational programming for the children served by Arts for Life!  This has been a most incredible partnership, already, and I am very excited to see what comes from a vast new year that holds "The Gift of Art!"  Calendars will be available through The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild at Art of the Carolinas, November 10th - 13th, at the North Raleigh Hilton in Raleigh, NC; and at Art in The Pines, November 19th, at the Southern Pines Civic Club in Southern Pines, NC. Several Guild members will have them in their booths and displays at area shows and festivals in the coming weeks.  If you are far away, you can have up to three calendars shipped to one address, with delivery confirmation, for $4.95 (United States Postal Service Priority Mail).  Visit our blog, Creativity Rocks, to order online.  We appreciate your interest and support!

Masked & Pasted
light molding paste through
and alphabet stencil
Next up, a Sneak Peek of my contribution to an upcoming collaborative exhibit!  What do you get when you take 25 artists, and give them:  one 12x12 in. canvas, 4 colors of acrylic paint, and free reign (with a few guidelines)?  Well, you get a little thing that my friends over at The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild like to call "CanvaSynergy" -- a collaborative creation that will be unveiled at this years Art of the Carolinas!  The idea was the brain-child of our Vice President (and dear friend) Michelle Davis Petelinz, who drew the unifying design that spanned the 5' x 5' combined canvas area.  The canvasses were then 'mapped' and assigned to each of the participants (who included every discipline from painters to fiber artists to photographers to glass artists -- we are nothing, if not mixed)!  We got to enjoy the spectacle of The Big Reveal at our October meeting.  The general public will get to see it next weekend as we celebrate both the 10th Anniversary of the CMMAG, and our 4th year at AOC!  Is there a big time in store for everyone involved?  10-4, Good Buddy!

Glass Bead Gel, Plus!
Glass Bead Medium by Matisse Derivan
added for increased visual interest
I chose to let the texture do the talking, and augmented my palette with an assortment of acrylic texture mediums (light molding paste, glass bead gel, crackle medium, and glazing medium).  Aside from the worry over WHAT this would end up looking like among its neighbors, I really had fun with the Guild's latest challenge!  I tend to work (some might say 'overly') carefully, anyway; a project such as this really brings out my internal Safety Guard!  I am quite pleased with the outcome, though!  If you are anywhere near Raleigh, NC between November 10th and 13th, you really should come check it out -- your eyes will be glad you did ;-)  This and many other wonderful visual wonders await!

CanvaSynergy by Yours Truly
side detail, vintage buttons tacked to leading edge
Then there was the driving (and driving and driving and driving)...
En Route to Raleigh   --   En Route to Sanford   --   En Route to Greenville
10/13                                10/18                                    10/20
With new creative endeavors on the horizon, there was a welcome respite of 'hunkering down at the homestead' (albeit brief) that found me steadily at the work table.  In addition to a new exploration of color, I am prepping to take a dive into encaustic collage after the first of the year (I can't seem to escape my wax roots, ha)!

Full Spectrum II
from the series "Colorful Convergence"
12x12 in. Mixed Media canvas
on deep cradle, lacquered panel
The next run of *entirely coincidentally* 12 x 12 in. canvases to fly out the door were happy compositions that doubled as charitable donations.  The first, to benefit NCTASH, was much beloved by one of the organizers -- who has requested one of her own *sweet*!  The second, to benefit Arts for Life/Durham, will be auctioned at their Fancy Pants Dance, tomorrow (11/05).  The Guild has sponsored a table, and you can be sure that there will be enough artful goodness and general merriment to merit a post dedicated solely to that adventure!  About these pieces:  this idea, in and of itself, is not mine.  However, unlike the versions that I have seen around (on stretched canvas), I have made what I feel are structural improvements for the betterment of the media.  I mounted a triple primed canvas square onto a deep-cradle, lacquered hardwood panel -- after completing the hot-wax painting, it was sealed *three times* with an archival, satin finish.  Having the work on a rigid surface decreases the likelihood of cracking and wax loss.  Sealing with a satin finish ensures the luster of the wax and removes the matte finish of the canvas -- as an added bonus, the canvas looks even better on the gloss finish of the lacquered panel!  The process of discovery in working with this form has been infectious!  More than once, The Man has *quite excitedly* chimed in with "Oh, and then you could..."  I love the mutual appreciation we have for our vastly different talents!  *OMG!  If we DID dress up for Halloween, we should one day be Left Brain and Right Brain!  We could travel the costume contest circuit!  We could be A'Walky Famouse!*  My stars!  Did I type that out loud?!?  Please forgive me -- like a magpie, I am, when stricken by whimsical notions!

The there was some more driving (and driving, and shopping, and roller-coastering, and friendshipping)...
IKEA, The Famed Meatballs,
A Moment of Giddiness, and Four Fab Friends!
A much needed, long-planned and well-deserved getaway with The B's!  We went to Charlotte:  I had my very first IKEA adventure (the Christmas shopping was much advanced), and we road ALL the roller coasters at Carowinds (a few, more than thrice)!  *AND wrote our own Halloween Carol -- alas, that is not a story for here o.O*  It was a wonderful, whirl-wind weekend with my besties -- and we don't have many of those.  

Stenciled
using vintage doilies
After a bit more driving...  Back on the Acre, and back in The Zone!  The Real Job has reached a new level of greatness, all due to The Man and his Massive Brain.  Many irons in the fire make for active hands and watchful eyes - "It's a good thing!"  It never ceases to amaze me that the more one has to do, the more one gets done!  The latest creative endeavor during my down time has been the 'fancification' of a pair of pants for the aforementioned "Fancy Pants Dance".  On the surface, a few months ago, it sounded simple enough:  Fancy Pants?  No problem!  ...weeelllll, there was the whole finding the pants thing ...and then the figuring out what to do with the pants thing ...and the slight learning curve that came from the never having done what I decided to do thing!  I will let you in on a little secret, my interweb friends:  There are times when it is highly beneficial to be somewhat anal *I'm just sayin'*!  With heartfelt thanks to JR and JC for the needed extra doily goodness, I was able to cut and piece a variety of vintage doilies as stencils.

Stenciled
using vintage, plastic lace
The best details were achieved using a vintage, plastic lace table runner *as it resisted warping from the combination of adhesive spray and moisture from the paint* better than even the heavier paper doilies.  I used various colors of Jacquard's Lumiere light-body acrylic paints (Blue Halo Gold, Blue Pearl, Turquoise Pearl, and Russet Pearl) and two Golden fluid acrylics (Interference Red Oxide and Iridescent Silver Fine) mixed with Liquitex Fabric Medium.  Paints were applied using both foam and nylon brushes - depending on the size of the openings in the doilies.  I will note that when using regular acrylics with the Fabric Medium, I found the iridescence was improved by going over those areas with straight paint while the paint/medium layer was still wet.  As the ol' saw goes:  All's well that ends well.  I am rather pleased with the end result.  I can just hear Hyacinth Bucket intoning:  "Fancy needn't be gaudy, dear!"  I even found a pair of earrings, yesterday, that look like little, silver doilies *oh, snay-up!  Fancy, indeed!*

All of this seems like a gracious sufficiency of 'happenings,' but more awaits me!  Tomorrow I'll be heading to Durham to don my Fancy Pants and Coat of Charmor for the official premiere of "The Gift of Art" 2012 Calendar!  Next weekend will find me, once again, immersed in the 4-day artful spectacular that is Art of the Carolinas (I can hear the buckets, calling me, calling me)!  Needless to say, there will be much more creative frivolity to share with you in the coming weeks.

Well...  If your drink was hot in the beginning, it's bound to be cold (if not gone) by now -- I suppose if it was cold to begin with, the reverse would apply *depending on where you are...*  Yep, yep, yep - it's time for me to head out of here!  Thanks for the visit!  As always, there is more to come!

Onward & Upward!
 - pla


Words of wisdom for today:
"This is your one life.
This is your only time as you...
experience all the good things."
                                      - Maya Angelou
Photo Notes:
   "The Gift of Art" provided by Michelle Davis Petelinz.
   "CanvaSynergy", "Colorful Convergence",  "Fancy Pants", and "Four Fab Friends" taken with Panasonic Lumix (DMC-ZS1) - set to natural light, slow sync/red eye flash.
    Remaining photos taken with Motorola DROID Vignette Demo App, set to random, vintage frames and auto flash.

*All photos can be seen in a larger size by clicking on them*