Monday, February 28, 2011

The Protractor Project: a new nanoscape

Silos of Iowa in a Row (#2 in progress)
Drawing -- or failing to draw -- the rooftops of the second and third "Silos of Iowa" stopped me in my tracks. For the Blue Silos of Iowa (below), I drew the rooftops by hand, but the next two paintings are far more detailed and will require much more precision.
Blue Silos of Iowa

Looking for a tool to make perfect semi-circles, I hunted down a protractor and a compass, and challenged myself to learn what I had mastered by the time I got to junior high. I am profoundly grateful to  Mrs. Garrett, who taught us Algebra and Geometry at Hyattsville Junior High School, for all of the Pythagorean Theory Problems we had to create and write out by hand and in ink. Whenever I create straight lines and 90 degree angles, I think of her.

Like so many young and old, I couldn't wait to play with my new toys, and The Protractor Project (below) came first.

The Protractor Project

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Peter Pangolin - new nanoscape Small Friend

Peter Pangolin
Peter Pangolin is part of a very small family of scaly anteaters who are native to parts of Africa and Asia. In his native land, he would have eaten ants and termites, but was found to be wildly allergic to ants.  Instead of thriving, he became thin and sickly. To save him from slaughter as bushmeat, a kindly member of Veterinarians-Without-Borders slipped him into a diplomatic pouch and sent him to relatives in France. He hunts -- but does not eat -- forest truffles, and spends his money on only-the-best-chocolate-truffles in Paris.

Pangolins are nocturnal and have very thick scales that look as if they were borrowed from Tricerotops' heads. Sadly, according to National Geographic, they are being consumed to extinction. In a blog post dedicated to an international campaign to stop poaching and bushmeat, you will find wonderful photographs and  25 Things You Might Not Know About Pangolins.

Original: Not for sale. Prints $40.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New nanoscape Small Friend: Bessie, the Bead Belly Block Feather

Bessie, Bead Belly Block Feather
Bessie, the Bead Belly Block Feather, was once an undistinguished gray bird from a family whose name has been lost in the mists of time. When her flock-mates departed without her, she became an orphan. Making matters worse, her singing voice never developed beyond an anemic peep.

She made her way to a small cabin in the North Woods, owned by a Committed Crafter, whose toolkit and workbench were the envy of her pals, many of whom she knew from Etsy. The always-busy Crafter kept to herself, quietly creating work that is beloved by small children and adults who wish that they were still small children.

Bessie landed in a pot of orange dye when she flew into the cabin window.  Shaking herself dry, as birds do, the dye showered onto a silk scarf, creating a beautiful, unpredictable pattern, and the beginning of  a great partnership. Bessie and the Crafter now collaborate on a line of silk scarves, which incorporate Bessie's Dye Shakes, and a group of ceramic tiles which capture her Dance Tracks.

The more that she explored color, the more color she wanted for herself. She learned to carefully dance toward a low-temp glue gun, and the to roll into her favorite beads. She often changes the color and shape of her Block Feathers with gel and shaping products.

Along with her friend "Bird Brain," Bessie will represent the letter "B" in the Small Friends Alphabet.

Bessie is 5" wide x 6" tall. The original is for sale for $250. Matted prints for $40 are available through the nanoscapes website under the both the "What's New" and "Small Friends" sections in the Portfolio.