Guilty! I haven’t blogged for quite some time but I was thinking about my next blog every day – honest. Ask Adrienne. I was telling her every day “I do need to blog.” Well, finally, I made it.
I am in the last stages of my WBHD artworks and hopefully I can show them to you next week. It all takes longer than expected, because I can’t get past the critical eyes of either my husband or Adrienne. It’s all good feedback, but it always means I need to change something and when I start changing something, I have to change and adjust something else….I am sure you know what I mean 🙂
Today I thought I post something about my kid’s classes. At the moment I have 19 students ranging from 8 years up to 14 years of age. I teach Wednesday and Thursday afternoon for 1.5 hours. I love coming up with crazy ideas for the kids as I do want to further their creativity. Their parents must think I am quite strange looking at the projects we do 🙂 Some of the kids have been with me for 5 years now so it can’t be that bad! I hope while in LC I can come up with some new ideas and inspiration (hopefully with the help of all of you) which I can take back with me and try with my charges. They are already disappointed that Term 3 is cut short and Term 4 not happening due to me being with YOU! So, I better come up with something amazing when I get back!
At the end of last year I attended a workshop called “Creating the Animal from the Human”, a ” Transformative Sculpture” workshop with Simone Eisler. Simone is an Australian artist mainly working with sculptures and installations. She had an amazing installation in the Vault at BRAG called “Allure”. You have to check her website, just type in her name, then go to Installations – Allure – The Vault.
What Simone did she changed Baby Dolls into fabulous little creatures adorned with feathers, snake skin, fish scales, anything you can think of.
These are the two baby dolls I was working on in her workshop. First you get them into shape by wrapping packaging tape around them and in the second stage you use plaster bandages to create a base for all the bits and pieces you want to attach to them. As you can see I haven’t finished them quite yet but just looking at the heads you can get an idea where they are going. I used shells, broken geese egg shells, a small skull, pearls.
Close up – Don’t you love the blue eyes 🙂
This little fella looks quite cute with his shell ear and skull plus oyster shell on his head 🙂
Although I am still working on them, I did the same project with my kids.
Stage 1, while the plaster is drying, we could decorate the heads. The skinny one is my one.
This is Clancy’s. She’s 7 and did a fab job.
Half devil, half angel….
Group photo – a seal which turned into a floral creation, a fashion model , little angel/devil and a little peacock.
Rockhopper penguin 🙂
This little guy is not quite finished but already looking stunning.
The kids had so much fun and of course I haven’t finished my doll yet as I had to assist with glueing feathers, rhinestones, squeezing out paint 🙂
I haven’t got a bad life being able to play all day long (not all day every day, but most days!)
Any baby dolls I can transform in LC?????
Working over the week-end on the “Hat Box for Ritchie” artwork for the exhibition
The cast glass section survived the firing process, the material “Gaffer Glass” was sourced from New Zealand.
Some time ago a friend told me the story of her Great Uncle Richie who survived the First World War only to be tragically killed on his return to Maryborough.
The people of the City rallied together and erected a monument in his honor.
TODD WALTON. http://www.underthetablebooks.com
June 24th, 2015
(This article appeared in the Anderson Valley Advertiser June 2015)
“You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.” Anton Chekhov
Trust is a tricky thing. Long ago, I held writing workshops for groups of eight people meeting for two hours once a week in my living room, each course lasting eight weeks. At the outset, I would reiterate what I had explained to prospective participants when they called to sign up for the process: we would be doing my original writing exercises and there would be no lecturing or criticism or analysis of anything we wrote, by me or anyone in the group, and no one had to read aloud anything he or she wrote unless he or she wanted to.
Of the hundreds of writers who participated in these workshops over the years, nearly all believed there would be lecturing and analysis and criticism and judgment of their writing, despite my proclamations to the contrary. And almost all believed if they did not read aloud what they wrote, they would be made to feel stupid and ashamed.
By the end of the first session, there were usually two or three participants trusting they would not be criticized or shamed when they read or did not read aloud what they had written. But there were always people who needed three or four sessions to fully trust they would simply be listened to when they read what they wrote, and so they had to wait a long time to find out that being listened to by a group of non-critical people can be a deeply illuminating and inspiring experience.
And it was only when everyone in the group fully trusted that no one would criticize or be criticized, that we truly became a group and not eight individuals separated by fear and mistrust doing writing exercises. Everyone in the group would feel this momentous shift when the last doubter surrendered to the embrace of non-judgmental group mind. Talk about synergy! Talk about people taking chances, going deeper, and discovering things about their expressive talents they would never have experienced without trusting that anything they wrote was allowed.
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare
I make a part of my minimalist living selling my books and music and art. Customers can buy things from me using their credit cards via my web site or they can send a check to my post office box or they can bump into me at the farmer’s market and give me cash. I have a policy, established two years ago, that I no longer send or deliver orders until I have the money in hand. Had I established this policy ten years ago, I would be thousands of dollars richer than I am today.
Why did I continue to trust people after numerous people did not pay me for goodies received? Because I prefer trusting people to not trusting people, and I was embarrassed to imply to my friends that I didn’t trust them. But the fact is, since most of my customers are my friends, most of the people who stiffed me, knowingly or unwittingly, were my friends. I think poverty and forgetfulness, rather than malice and greed, were behind most of the stiffing, but still.
Yet it wasn’t until a very close friend ordered several hundred dollars worth of books and music CDs to give as Christmas gifts, and I gleefully sent off the big package to her before I received her check (money I was counting on) and then I never got her check, though she claimed it was immediately cashed yet was unable to confirm who cashed it, that I finally installed my policy of having the money in hand before shipping the goods.
And, yes, I have since lost sales to friends infuriated with me for not trusting them, which is why I say trust is a tricky thing.
“Trust, but verify.” Ronald Reagan
When I moved to Sacramento in 1980, my neighbors told me that our neighborhood was so safe no one ever locked their doors and there had never been a theft of anything for as long as anyone could remember. And so I never locked my house or my car and I left my bike unlocked on the front porch, and for several years what my neighbors told me proved true, and life was groovy.
Then one night somebody stole a neighbor’s Volkswagen. And in a twinkling, everything changed. Everyone started locking their cars and locking their doors. I continued to leave my bicycle on the front porch unlocked, but then it was stolen, and thereafter I kept my bike in the locked basement accessed through a padlocked gate.
And the unexpected result of this rash of thefts, this new economic reality, was that my neighbors began to mistrust each other and me, and there were fewer block parties, life became less casual, and people spent more time indoors. It seems that once mistrust becomes the overriding modus operandi, it permeates everything.
Then I moved to a working class neighborhood in Berkeley and my neighbors told me there hadn’t been a theft of anything in the hood for as long as anyone could remember, at least fifty years. And until rent control ended and the dot com explosion rendered Berkeley unaffordable for most of my neighbors, our neighborhood was blissfully safe and crime free. But once the street was gentrified, robberies became commonplace and gloomy mistrust descended and life sucked.
Then I moved to Mendocino, and the first joke I was told by two gregarious locals who sat with me in the café and paid for my tea was, “Why do you lock your car in Mendocino? Because if you don’t, someone will leave a bag of zucchini on your front seat.”
So far no zucchini, though I never lock my truck.
And plane trails across blue skies, and white sands at White Sands. And turquoise. Can the High Desert-ers tell me more about the significance of the colour turquoise? Memory tells me it’s used to ward off spirits when used on doorways and windows… Do I have that right? Does it extend beyond these entryways?
Not painting on my 40×40″ canvas YET….got a JOB from a publishing house run by Benedictine monks….I am painting ‘portraits’ of The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Not an easy thing to do. My first attempt on Jesus looked JUST like Jared Leto (actor).That’s because I used him as a model, haha. Next I Googled ‘men who look like Jesus’ and the first one was Mr. Leto, haha again. But I made a mixture of Arab/ethnic faces. Mary? Harder. Can’t even show them to you because they haven’t been printed yet. But, suffice it to say I’ve not worked so hard for the money in years. But fun.
The big brush and the runny medium came out this week and I started flicking some base colours around for the first WBHD II piece. With limited time, it makes no sense to work on a large piece. So that’s what I’ve commenced.
In this piece I’m working around the Goondicum Crater which is near the grass tree site, and where Nearest works at a small ilmenite mine. From ilmenite comes titanium dioxide which is what makes titanium white paint (and is the white element in most art and house paints). On Google Earth the Crater is very distinctive (top right corner of pic).
Then came some scaling up, up, up to the big piece where I’ll cover quite a bit of that background (yes, with titanium white). Now it’s back to the Arches paper to do some more sketching and layering of, ahuh, titanium white. Nothing of value to show yet, but I’m enjoying thinking about what I’d like to ‘say’ with this exchange. Two pieces will be based around (titanium) White Sands National Monument and the yukkas growing around it’s perimeters.
The model for the Crows Nest” work was made in wax and cast at a local foundry in bronze, a fair bit of sanding and polishing to complete.
The rifle butt mould is finished and drying, it has been made in plaster and silica and hopefully will survive the glass casting process, it will form part of the top section of the “Hat Box for Richie” the bowls have been glazed and ready for the kiln firing.
Title of my latest little 12×12″ painting. Acrylic on canvas. Next up, I believe will be a 40×40″ canvas. Maybe. Happy with these small paintings, though. Yes, strange title maybe. But it could be about the rapture of the deep while scuba diving. Lovely to feel part of the sea and like you want to stay there forever…so beautiful and peaceful. Or….
I finished all four works for WBHDII! ‘Fields#4’ is the last one I made, for Unsettled. I am attaching a photo here. It will be shown with ‘Midnight Fields’. ‘Fields #2’ and ‘Fields#3’ are headed for Bundaberg…I plan to ship them within the next couple of weeks. I hope I get to meet some of you in person in at Catherine’s place in August.