Friday, March 18, 2011

Expensive tools make for cheap work

This kinda skanky looking fox was one of the first things I did with my expensive Prismacolor Pencils. I've been working like mad with them lately.

I feel that while the picture doesn't need explaining that I should talk about the pencils themselves.

I used them a few times prior to this picture, but I didn't use them well. I would lightly color in a few areas on a picture, but they ended up looking like any picture that I had used cheap colored pencils on. The reason was that I wasn't using them correctly.

Now, my intention is not to explain how to use them correctly, but to tell you why I was using them wrong. I was using them wrong because they were expensive. What a waste, huh? It's true though. The sheer cost of the pencils made me a little afraid to use them, and so when I did, I was timid with them. I don't know how common this is with artists, but it's a problem I'm constantly facing.

I used sculpey improperly at first, because I didn't want to waste any, I used acrylics too thinly because I didn't want to waste it...this goes on and on like this, but the truth is, it doesn't help me. The pencils are just the latest in this line of thought.

I know why too, and I still can't get past it! I grew up in a very very rural area where art supplies were not easy to get, and I grew up poor, so it feels kind of wrong to just play with something that costs a lot (which is subjective), but there's no other way to learn, really.

I'm writing this as a reminder to myself to not be intimidated by the cost of my materials, and so hopefully some other artist will read this and get over the same problem, because I imagine that it's not just limited to me. Good luck with whatever it is you do, and if you have any prismacolor pencils collecting dust, dust them off and get to it. They are awesome.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Roofing part 3: A casualty

The roofers have claimed their first casualty in the whole 'rattling the house' bit. A jar baby (one of my first ones, not a candle) fell off of my 'specimen' shelf and busted. The baby is fine, but there was glass and water all over the floor.

I'm more upset that I didn't have the presence of mind to take a picture of the baby laying in the glass and puddle of water on my wood floor, than the fact that it broke. I'll just get him a new jar, no big deal.

Anyway, here's the little guy. He's a bit more deformed than what you can see in the picture. He has a little tail, and only has odd numbers of digits. He's made of super sculpy, with a little purple wash here and there to give him some color. The nasty peeled looking stuff on him is rubber cement...and yes, that look is intentional.

The water in his jar was discolored by a little bit of coke, and there were a few scraps of toilet tissue floating in there to look like bits of skin or flesh that had separated from the baby. I know it's probably not one of my 'deepest' works of art, nor is it even in good taste, but I love it. Heh.
Also, if this bothers you, let it be known that you came to a site that says 'Jar Babies and Art' right at the top, so you should have expected a jar baby sooner or later.

Anyway, the roof should be done tomorrow, so that's happy. Also, I've been playing with colored pencils, so I'll probably show that stuff off soon. The rat doll has been on hold because the hammering really kind of jars my nerves and makes me unable to do the little delicate work that I need to do to sculpt.

EDIT: The little baby has a new jar to call home! Here he is! He got some coffee in his water this time, because was closer to the sink when I was filling him up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Roofing part 2

The roofing thing is still going on, and it is so jarring that I can not concentrate on art. It sucks.

It also rattles every damned thing in the house, and terrifies the cats. The rattling is a worse problem, as I keep finding stuff that the constant hammering has knocked over. Nothing has broken yet, but I keep waiting to find something...then I'll likely loose my damned mind at a roofer and end up with a partially fixed roof, and broken stuff.

It really is nerve wracking. I hate the constant pounding and the shaking. Also, let it be noted that if they are tearing out your chimney, they will drop bricks down it, and that will cause soot to fly out everywhere...onto everything in front of the fireplace....which happens to be the backs of all your video games, if you set up your TV in front of the fireplace because the fireplace isn't usable. Trust me on this.

Ugh. Updates later on stuff.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Sorry for the lack of updates in the last week. The damage to the house has been more severe than I was expecting, and right now I have guys climbing all over the roof ripping up shingles.

Apparently (just learned this) some of the boards under the shingles are split and/or rotten and so even more cash is getting thrown at the problem than was initially thought. Insurance doesn't care about that damage though, and won't pay for it. *sigh*

Sooo, that's where I am. Art is taking a back seat to fixing the house, currently. I'll let you know how it turns out, and hopefully this process won't take too much longer.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fake Taxidermy completed!

The taxidermy monster is finished, yay! Here he is in all his scanky looking, ill preserved glory.

The eyes were glass pebbles painted with red, gold and black, then wrapped in super sculpey. The nose and teeth were also super sculpy. His ears were just bits of craft foam covered in fake fur. His whiskers are bits of fishing line held in place with straight pins.

The head itself is anchored to the plaque with hot glue then a series of finishing nails all around the edge of him. The heads of the nails are just kind of hidden in the fur. The fur came from a thrift store ladies fake fur jacket. I covered the styrene form with masking tape, and just hot glued the fur over that.

Now I have this nasty looking head to stand guard outside my bed room, and I can move on to other projects. I'll probably get back to my slow slow process of making my rat girl doll.

Also, turns out I didn't lose TOO much in my studio thanks to the leak, so that's a good thing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weather Damage

Hi everyone, this is just a short update. Yesterday evening a storm tore though the area, and I was without power for about 10.5 hours. It also murdered my roof, and caused a leak in my studio, of all places *grumble*.

I'll probably end up having the house completely re-roofed, and I don't yet know the full extent of the damage in my studio. We'll see.

Last week towards the end of the week I was a bit under the weather (...but not a storm), so I didn't post anything because I just didn't feel good. I have been working on a few little things here and there, but I don't know if any of it is worth really focusing on, here.

The fake taxidermy critter has been given a full set of fur, his eyes, nose and teeth are in place. I just have to add some ears, possibly some horns, and sand and stain the plaque he's anchoring to. Pictures will be coming soon.

I also have done a couple of paintings I'll probably show later. Take care, and I hope the weather didn't destroy your home too.