Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bark for Art at Greenwood Village

 Snake in Slippers. Mixed media on cloth. 
My favorite flag made for the tent at Greenwood Villages Bark for Art event. It was a fundraiser for public art, and a lot of fun!

 The tent at about 7 a.m., with me trying to keep Gus from running away.
People registered for a dog walk, then hit the commons for refreshments, art, and ongoing events.

 Spot. Mixed media on cloth. 
I seldom draw furry animals, but felt it appropriate to have a dog as the center of the Cranky Bird Studio tent awning.

 Josephine. Mixed media on cloth.

 I had a great time meeting people, and was very lucky to be next to a "creative robot" operated by students who are part of Platte Forum! It's a super organization that "provides effective out-of-school creative learning that is long-term, consistent, intensive, in-depth, and high in artistic quality to address the problem of little to no access to arts-based learning in schools our youth attend."
  
Having a chance to visit with the students and see some of their high quality artworks was one of the highlights of the event for me. You'll be impressed with the organization too, so
please check out their site:

Thanks for the visit!

 

 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From Where do Ideas Come?

Terrence in the Snow. Mixed media on wood. Private collection.

During a show, artists are often asked from where their ideas come. 
Methinks I'm a fairly articulate person, but when those types of questions hit, I draw a blank. It's not for a lack of thinking about it, or that the answer is terribly deep, but this brain just stops. 

Some possible reasons:
1. Artwork comes from the unconscious mind, from such a right-brain source that talking about it is like reaching blind into some shadowy, web-festooned, Place-under-the-stairs.  It's obscured by time and conscious thought, and very hard to retrieve.

 A goofy, untitled watercolor from my younger days.

2. Making art is a right-brain activity, talking is a left brain activity. When teaching I'd find it very difficult to draw/demonstrate and talk at the same time. Could that be it?

3. I simply don't know, hence the difficulty of an answer. Each artwork comes from a multitude of things seen and stored in a vast "cavern of curiosities" that sits inside me. It's not just in my brain, but it's in my gut as well. It's full of items I've seen/heard/felt and unconsciously labeled as "art-important".  
 Each artwork must come from this place, but from which item does it spring? Without examining each work carefully, and doing some exploration of the cavern, there's no way to know.  And even with a careful search, the sources don't always reveal themselves.


The Gruagach, by John D. Batten. From Celtic Fairy Tales.

The reasons are probably a combination of all of the above, plus more. I randomly chose Terrence in the Snow, and searched my head and some old artwork to see if I could come up with possible sources. In a few words, some possibilities:
 1. Round art has always intrigued. That comes from a love of the illustrators of the 19th century (like John D. Batten), who used the motif quite often.

2. Goofy creatures have always intrigued. The cavern is stuffed with creatures from 19th century illustrators, creatures of children's illustrators and comic artists of the 50's and 60's, and creatures drawn by artists working now.

3. Ummm. Shoot...now I'm drawing a blank.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Art of Tom Sarmo at Parkside Remodeling

 The invitation featuring The Letter. Watercolor on board, 5" x 8". Private collection.

A few photos from the show last Friday night--it was a great celebration! Lots of people worked hard to help make it happen--many thanks to all of them; many thanks to everyone who came to see the new work; and special thanks to the good people at Parkside Remodeling for hosting the show and keeping everyone refreshed with great food and abundant drink!

Please support businesses who support the arts--businesses like Parkside Remodeling!  
You can find them at:

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Watercolor Clock-Face Sequence

This clock face was inspired by a "repaired" clock case I found in a thrift store. The case was once a very nice electric clock that had burnt out. It's mahogany, I think, and still beautiful.

What kills me is the repair job on the top. Someone must have dropped it and tried to glue it together. "Tried" is the key word here. Sort of like the restoration job the Spanish grandma did on the church fresco.

The parts

and
 the finished clock below:
Noddy Boffin's Clock. Watercolor face in repurposed clock case. 8" x 11 1/2" x 3 1/2". Private collection.

The watercolor sequence follows:

 I drew the face with pencil on Arches 300 lb. cold press watercolor paper, then inked it with a fine brush.
The face needed to be a bit ghostly, and also busted up--like the clock case.

The paper was dampened, and blue was dropped into what will become the deeper areas. Before that dried, I threw some burnt sienna in.

Both the blue and the burnt sienna areas are deepened.

Eye color and gum color added, plus deep darks.

 Shadows over the teeth and more work on the eyes, which I like a lot.

The completed face, ready for the clock movement.

In my head, some little kid was being nosy and knocked his grandpa's clock off the mantel. Panic, then some frantic gluing, ensued. 
And then the kid, certain that all was well, headed outside to play ball.
You know the feeling.

Thanks for the visit!






Monday, September 3, 2012

A New Recycled Clock Case

 Pleasant Day Clock. Watercolor face, wood case. 
The newest. 
Below are a few of my earlier clocks.

 Acanthus Clock. Watercolor and ink face, composite case. Private collection.

 Always Saturday Clock. Watercolor face, wood case. Private collection.

Yikes, What Time is it? Clock. Watercolor face, bakelite case. Private collection. 

Can't remember the name of this one. Watercolor face, wood case. Private collection.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Clock in the Works

 I'm hoping to have a few clocks in the September show, and it looks like I'll have at least one. Watercolor seems to suit the clock faces more than acrylic.

This is the only the first layer of watercolor on the face. I'll post the succeeding layers later.

Old electric clocks that have ceased to run are my favorites to use. Since clock shops don't like to spend the time it would take to repair electrics, I don't feel bad about putting in a new quartz movement and giving the beautiful case a new life.

The painting is the easy part. For me, the hardest step is putting the whole thing together for a sturdy, finished clock.

Thanks for checking in!


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