Sunday, August 29, 2010

Roadtrip Stripes - a new nanoscape

One of the joys of my Pass the Baton life is speaking to law students about "Alternative Careers" and "Professionalism."  In 2010, I have been particularly lucky to have been asked to present in places I'd never been, including Macon (Mercer Law), Greensboro (Wake Forest), and a 5-day-5-city-5-law-school Texas week (Lubbock/Texas Tech, Dallas/SMU, Waco/Baylor, Ft. Worth/Texas Weslayan, and Houston/Thurgood Marshall.)

Artists travel, and all 100+ colors of the nanoscapes' palette fit into a small zipper case, and Arches watercolor blocks are easy to pack.

My "souvenir" of last week's four-day-two-law-school trip to Syracuse and Tulsa -- new cities for me -- is Roadtrip Stripes on 7x10" Arches hot press paper.

Thanks to the wonderful group at Syracuse Law School's Office of Professional and Career Development for asking me to present "Professionalism Has Attached," and to the staff (and terrific volunteers) at the Tulsa Law Professional Development Office who put on an intense "Professionalism Day" for 2Ls and 3Ls, and for inviting me to present "Alternative Careers: Getting to There."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mary-Anna Musk Ox: Portrait Complete

Mary-Anna Musk Ox will sit for a formal, digital portrait when I return from my Pass the Baton trip to Syracuse and Tulsa. Once digitized, she will appear on the nanoscapes website as the newest SMALL FRIEND. She will then return to Alaska, taking the antique quilt with her.

Mary-Anna will represent the letter "M" in the Small Friends Alphabet.

Mary-Anna Musk Ox (The New Small Friend): A Portrait in Progress

Mary-Anna Musk Ox discovered an antique quilt in my studio and demanded to pose in front of it.  Although she is technically a "Small Friend," when a 600-pound Prima Donna Bovidae Caprina Ovibos  makes a request, it is my policy to accede to the demand.

In the Small Friends Alphabet, Mary-Anna will represent the letter "M."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Marya-Anna Musk Ox - a new Small Friend

I encountered a live Musk Ox a The Alaska Zoo in Anchorage in 2003, the year that the Iditerod started in Fairbanks because there was no snow in Anchorage. It was a hulking, sulking animal with matted hair and the worst animal odor I have ever encountered. Its hair is a kind of wool called qiviut which is prized by weavers and knitters, and can cost $80 an ounce. Despite the odor, the Musk Ox was a good subject to sketch, because it never moved.

You can imagine my surprise to meet Mary-Anna Musk Ox in my studio.  Although she weighs several hundred pounds, she looks terrific and smells quite wonderful.  Although she lives in the mountains outside of Anchorage during the winter, she moves to the city each summer to be near her favorite hair salon, whose staff takes a Mary-Anna Marathon Weekend to give her a color-cut-and-perm. 

She will be around for two more days while I put the finishing touches on her portrait.  Mary-Anna will represent the letter "M" in the Small Friends Alphabet.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jennifer Merchant: Corian™ Carver. Big Hot Red Corian Bracelet - a new signature piece

There are many competing philosophies of jewelry acquisition, and I have variously subscribed to:
  • More is more, which worked because relatively inexpensive silver has matched my hair for 30 years;
  • Why buy costume jewelry when you can have "real?" -- a tip of the hat to the late and much-missed Lester Tarlow; and,
  • Have a signature piece.
The "Signature Piece" plan has simplified my life: one set of earrings (30 years old), one long string of pearls and fluorite that I knotted on silk (making a pearl knot is my one and only jewelry skill), and one silver ring.

Thanks to Jennifer Merchant, I have a new signature piece. Jen carved this bracelet out of the Corian™ color "Hot" and added black crystals, which require very careful carving out so as to set them perfectly.  In honor of this piece of amazing RED jewelry, I have joined the Red Hat Society.

If you love Bakelite, you will love carved Corian™ -- I promise.

Thank you, Jennifer.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Glenda the Gecko Diva -- a new nanoscape Small Friend

Glenda the Gecko Diva dropped by my studio today to pose for "G" in the Small Friends Alphabet.  Unlike most Small Friends, who are willing to cooperate and eager to take direction, Glenda posed by draping herself across the canvas, with part of one foot and half her tail off the page. In another incarnation, she would have called for hair and makeup. A Diva to the core.  
Although it was in the mid-80's outside, she is visiting Minnesota for just a few more weeks. She has heard rumors of our chilly winters, and minus 20 is just not her favorite temperature.   She winters in South Florida. 

Learn more about Glenda's from wikipedia.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jennifer Merchant: Corian™ Carver. Problem Solver.

Corian™ has been widely used for years for countertops and other kitchen and bathroom accessories. It is less well-known as a medium for jewelry (more on that later).  Jen Merchant is a Corian™ carver whose skill and artistry solved one my my most intractable problems.

Several years ago, one of two knobs for my bathroom light and fan broke almost in half.  It was usable (barely) and only slightly annoying.  Seeking a replacement, I visited visiting multiple hardware stores and a scoured a gaggle of websites. No luck.

A few months ago, the half became a totally unusable third of a knob and I started to use the remaining good one for both the light and the fan. Very annoying.

Fortunately, I met Jen Merchant, one of the other artists at a benefit for the Wings of Refuge Foundation.  I bought one of her plexiglass bracelets, and shortly thereafter, commissioned a shockingly red carved Corian™ bracelet in a color called "Hot." Jen will set black crystals into it.

After admiring her jewelry, my brain kicked into gear and I asked if she would take up the Knob Challenge. She did a spectacular job, as you can see. The new knob has a much nicer shape than the original, and in one of many Corian neutrals, it looks great in the bathroom. My first comment: "Jewelry for the wall!"

Whether you are interested in jewelry for your ears, wrist or for your cabinets or walls, visit with Jennifer Merchant -- a great problem-solver.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fractured Glass Meets Kaleidoscopes: Day 11. The End.

It took 11 days to paint 39 "Fractured Glass Bubbles."  I used new colors, and, in three of the bubbles, worked out a new approach to painting Fractured Glass -- painting all of the lines in one color, and then filling in the spaces.

I took all of the blog photos with my Palm PRE.  This afternoon "Fractured Glass Bubbles" will have its professional digital image taken.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fractured Glass Meets Kaleidoscopes: Days 9 and 10 ...getting very near the end

Getting very near the end...  As I bounce between focusing on the choosing the shapes' colors and enhancing tiny lines, I wonder what I've painted...a lucky lady's jewel box, a box of holiday decorations, molecules through an electron microscope, a box of marbles (do kids play with marbles anymore?)...

End of Day 9

End of Day 10