30 June 2007

you just never know

There is a group of us called The Escape Artists that get together for weekend art retreats. We basically just lock ourselves up for the weekend and make stuff. One of the retreats was spent making altered books. I decided to make one that could be used as a journal. It was fun, not something I usually do.

Then I saw a call for entry for a book called 1,000 Artist Journal Pages from the same people that published 1,000 Artist Trading Cards. I figured, why not? I sent a few pictures in.

I got word the other day that three of the pages were accepted. :) The pictures in this post are some details of the pages, one from each page. I'm pretty happy about it, was a fun thing to do and now its being published! Just goes to show you that you never know what your projects will grow up to be.

28 June 2007

Gretchen Kramp tiles

Gretchen Kramp is one of my favorite tile artists. I was in Northville last weekend for a SAQA regional meeting and a gallery there called Dancing Eye Gallery carries her tiles. I decided to pop in and see what they had. There were several tiles I hadn't seen before so I had a good time looking at everything.

In the end I chose a 4x4 size tile of a venus fly trap and one of her 2x2 mini tiles that has the evil eye on it.

Her style is somewhat sarcastic and I really like the glazes she uses. I picked up one of her mini tiles a while back and its got a fish tail on it. Eventually I'll have to pick up the mini fish head but I haven't come across it yet.

I love pottery. I considered giving it a shot but its not realistic, my wrist gets sore too easily. I'm not sure how much strength you need for tiles, maybe I could try that one. In the meantime, I'll just admire Gretchen's work and add to my collection one tile at a time. :)

18 June 2007

I'll show you mine...

if you absolutely positively promise to never make something that looks even the slightest bit similar in any way, color, shape, material, fabric choice, bead type, embroidery thread, or molecule to it.


The discussion has come around again about copyrighting one's work. Mostly due to the lawsuit going on over the Gee's Bends quilts. Now before I go any further, let me say that I agree that they should be suing. The people that have run rampant with their work and not given them their right due should be taken out back and smacked silly. (I'd like to say something harsher but will keep it clean.)

But as always, the conversation over this has spiraled into side discussions about how to avoid having people take advantage of your work/copy your work.

I'm no different, I struggled for a long time about whether or not I wanted to really show my work. Entering juried/traveling exhibits was step one. When I kept getting accepted, I figured a website was an okay idea. So that was step two. So then I started answering calls to be published in books/magazines and got into a few. So completes Step 3. (There are a lot more steps on my List but I'll share those another time.)

But I sit back and I wonder this...how do I know if someone who has seen some of my work in a book/magazine or on my website has made copies and is selling them or giving them away or using them for Fido to sleep on?

Easy answer? I don't.

Would I be pissed if someone was selling copies of my work? Sure. Who wouldn't? But the thing is, it'll never be the same as mine. Never. Ever. Period. More then anything people who copy other people's work disappoint me. Kind of makes me sad that they can't even be bothered to take the time to try to think of something original. I saw a lot of this when I was teaching and it really got to me after a while. And I'm not referring to following a pattern. I like patterns, got a few around the studio. I'm talking about people who copy work that has no pattern published for it.

So do I go and put a copyright on all my work? I guess I could but I'm not going to. Probably because I don't have the energy to. And I think that mostly people like taking a look at my work and then move on. There are a lot of artists out there who are far superior then me and some who aren't. I'm just one in a huge mix.

So I guess I'll keep showing you mine...and hope you enjoy what you see. :)

08 June 2007

busy, busy

Even though I haven't been posting much about artwork, I've been working frantically on some new pieces. They aren't done enough to show but during construction, I took this picture. I thought it was pretty neat just by itself and it has given me some new ideas of what I'd like to work on once these projects are done.

I've got three more tight deadlines to meet for July and while I secretly chastise myself that I shouldn't wait until the last minute, the truth of the matter is that this is just how my schedule rolls. There seems to be no getting around it. I work at least ten hours every day at my day job and then come home, try to take a break for an hour or so and then drag myself into my studio. It just doesn't allot me a lot of time.

So I've grown used to working under the gun. I sometimes think it makes me more creative. I've always said that there is nothing more inspirational then a deadline. But then I often wonder if I sell my artwork short and it could grow up to be something better if I had more time to work on it.

But in the end, I think it just matters that I'm working and that its quality. I just wonder what else is lurking in my brain that would work itself out if there were more hours in the day and/or I didn't require sleep.

So tomorrow I plan to bury myself in my studio to finish the last member of this trio I'm working on. Never mind the fact that my poor doggie needs a bath in the worst way (he's a little stinky right now), the weeds are up to my knees (I'm short but still, not good) and there isn't any food in the house. At least my art will get done!

02 June 2007

Construction Cone Season

It is officially summer in Michigan. Aside from the lovely 90 degree days with high humidity, the orange cones are out on the road in full force. Its such a blasphemy of my favorite color. Unfortunately, along with their reappearance, the urge to drive like stupid maniacs also comes back for many people.

And so I bring you my personal top-ten-stupid-driver-pet-peeve list:

1) If you are at a red light waiting to make a left turn, don't gun it as soon as the light turns green and cut off oncoming traffic so you don't have to wait.

2) If you are behind someone at a blinking red left turn light, don't honk your horn at them every time you think there is a two inch gap in traffic that you feel the car in front of you might be able to squeeze through.

3) Driving is NOT a multi-tasking activity. This includes talking on the cell phone, putting on makeup, reading a book, folding laundry and eating. You can't do any of these and drive well at the same time so DON'T DO IT!

4) If you need to turn the music up so loud in your car that it vibrates the mirrors in mine, I'm going to be praying that you go deaf soon and put the rest of us out of our misery.

5) When there are signs for a mile that one of the lanes is going to be closed, here's what it doesn't mean: get in the lane that's closing, drive really really fast, cut someone off in the lane that isn't closing and slow traffic to a crawl so that you don't have to wait your turn.

6) Do not tailgate me when I am going the 25mph speed limit in a school zone. I'll only think bad things about you and most likely they'll come out of my mouth as you speed past me and endanger the children walking in the area.

7) If you have a fleeting moment of niceness when I'm walking across the street and decide to let me have the right of way (regardless of the fact that the law says you should), please don't inch the car up as I'm crossing until you are close to hitting me and then speed by with impatience once you are past me.

8) If you are going to take the time to rush to pull out in front of me and cut me off from wherever you are waiting to turn from (ie gas station, fast food restaurant, bank), at least make the effort to go the speed limit once you are there.


10) If you own an SUV, please remember this when you are crossing a railroad track. The cars are built pretty tough, they can stand driving over them at more then 10mph. After all, SUV does stand for Sport Utility Vehicle.

Okay, I'm done now. Rant over.