I call this studio, STUDIO 2. Since I care for my grandparents who have Alzheimers and dementia, it helps to continue my sculpture and painting into that environment too. And yes I cart them back and forth sometimes...on the train no less!!
Not only can I continue my studio work, it is good relaxation in between -what can be a bit stressful- caregiving. In addition, my grandparents enjoy seeing someone nearby and the work that I get done. I set up with them in the tv room or in the bedroom for more privacy (if you've ever assisted such folk you know one's own space is needed too).
Seen above is the production and fine sculpture work I am working on in this bimonthly batch. The mushrooms are a current 'product' so I make plenty to have in the gallery in Olympia. The tulips, orchids and insects are components from my new series Orchidea imaginarium and beyond.
VIDEO GAME ILLUSTRATION
My little brother is working on a video game this year and we are collaborating on the illustrations for it. I do love to sketch but usually only prep drawings for future sculptures or ideas. Its been fun to push the rusty drawing skills out into the open again! Though drawing on paper is definitely preferable to me, I find learning new skills in any area is a great challenge as well.
I pulled out my dusty, be-webbed Wacom tablet this month to see if it would do the trick. I have little skill at using the tablet but am learning fast. Its great to have so many talented graphic artists sharing their videos online. This has helped a lot. Below is the test sample I finished last night.
DOING IT ALL....
Between laundry, cooking, sculpting, painting and all its been a good balance. The body needs to move and get rests in between all these ventures, so it helps to move between them during the day.
In preparation for a Dutch Masters Show at Food Art Collection Gallery in Seattle, I am making tulips. Though at first I thought they would be so much easier than crafting an orchid, they have been surprisingly difficult.
When sculpting in porcelain, I roll the petals very thin but leave the centers heavier for support. During this process I find I have to work quickly to shape each petal and attach before the porcelain becomes dry. Those petals flop around and make a mess of things when just starting out! But each flower I make goes more smoothly and one develops a rhythm.
Parrot Tulips are experiencing another surge of attention and well.....they are spectacular!! I am working on a porcelain batch (see upper right). And the picture on Left is of striated versions, but painted on glaze not Biscuit. Both sets above are only in their first wave of painted layers so the colors will deepen from here.
Originating in Turkey, tulips reached a frenzy of fanaticism in the 15th century of Holland. Though the 'Tulip Mania' lasted a short time, 1636-1637, it probably ruined many a speculative tulip buyer.
The Golden age of Holland, 1500-1700 was awash in wealth and art and tulips! I have been indulging my own obsession with this time period of artistic expression. Every month, painting and sculpting my own wee studies of the flower still lives, and 'sottobosco' the forest floor paintings. If you have been reading my blog, Rachel Ryusch and Otto Marseus Van Schrieck are favorites.
The new tulips on forest floor still lives will be ready in May and listed on this site as well as showing on www.foodartcollection.com .
My favorite Rachel Ruysch, "A 'Forest Floor' still life of Flowers." shown below.
COME PURCHASE NEW smaller works AT A WONDERFUL LOCAL ARTIST COOP
Always striving to produce artwork that is unique and seen no where else in the world. The prices are very accessableAmong my work now showing at Splash Gallery in Olympia, WA are:
- Hand sculpted porcelain mushroom and acorn ornaments that have been carefully china painted
- 'No Kill' butterflies and moths mounted in studio made wood boxes that have 4 coats archival paint with uv and dust protection, and a sturdy hanging wire. (See on upper right a china painted Indonesian Owl Moth)
- Unique and marvelous forest floor still life's alive with butterflies, mushrooms, snails, mosses, and snakes.
- Snake, mushroom and mice figurines
- Amazing and ornate mirrors with minute metal work and porcelain and Crystal details.
If you are in the other states and see this work, you are welcome to contact me at the CONTACT PAGE on this site. I can send close ups of your favorites and if you want to buy, I can take your credit card # and ship most pieces.
Click on a picture below to go to a link on web giving information on the artists' work.
Mutualistic Relationships Of Orchidacea
As I venture on my own Orchid journey, each component I sculpt leads to a rabbit hole of others; blooms, then insects, the pollen, the fungi, the mosses, and more. Often I find falling in love with the subject matter helps to build the work in the studio or visa versa.
The family of orchids is an amazing exploration for anyone, as there is so much more about orchids than their beauty and placement in our living rooms. Darwin found in his exploration of orchids " The contrivances for insect fertilization in orchids are multiform and truly wonderful and beautiful".
Barbara Gravendeel of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, Netherlands, said that the new studies show how orchids owe their diversity to a series of innovations. In one example, more often than not orchids evolved with their pollinators.
The amazing diversity in the evolution of orchids is partially due to its Pollinia. Like a sticky ball of pollen that is packet-like, it evolution led to unique ways to deliver it. This may have also led to reproductive barriers giving birth to new species. Pollinia is deposited often on the head of a visiting insect.
As I sculpt a tiny sample of the myriad of insect pollinators to grace the porcelain orchids I discover their amazing relationships, uniquely evolved for each kind of flower.
Orchids also have their own supportive links to mycorrhizae. Young orchids have co-relationships with fungi ('fungi symbionts'-cool name!) supplying them with carbohydrates and the fungi with moisture and more. Mosses and other animal partners also cooexist with orchids and make good examples of a world connected on every level, developed to collaborate in order to survive and change.
The journey of orchid evolution is fascinating. I have been reading books like: Understanding orchids:.... by WIlliam Cullina, Fertilisation of Orchids by Charles Darwin, and even The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean.
This series of orchids are crafted of copper and porcelain. Orchids in themselves are such amazing and unusual plants. When starting a new direction sometimes I make many sketches in the notebooks strewn about my studio, house and car. Prototypes are usually the next step when using materials that are new or just used in new ways.
Starting with the blooms I made a variety of patterns of each part of the flower- in various sizes. Using these parts I assembled a common orchid flower in thin rolled porcelain. In addition I made many sizes of buds to go with the final assemblage. FInally I sculpted a glazed dish hold crafted copper plant and added porcelain rocks.
After creating /braising the copper leaves and stem they were patinaed for 4 days in a special solution. When finished the assemblage began.
I enjoyed making this piece so lifelike but not to get bogged down in the accuracy of botany. I have several designs in the works more fantastical. Its been a wonderful exploration mimicking the wild orchids like a witch or Dracula orchid and then studying and imitating their various pollinators. The prototype piece will show at Splash Gallery in July and is available at their website for sale. It is 14 inches high, delicate but transportable. Available for online orders and pickup at www.Splash Gallery olympia.com.