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repeating shapes – letting myself work intuitively

My Intro to Sculpture class at PAFA, taught by artist Steve Nocella, was much more fulfilling than I expected. Working in 3D tends to stress me out. I don’t think my mind works that way. Or rather, I haven’t trained it to. Or maybe that’s just something I was told earlier in life that I’ve let it take root.

This is the class I also built my kaleidoscope in.

Sculpture class macaroni experiment

This first project is, you’re right, essentially pasta art! It was a funny way to start the class. The assignment was to construct something with store bought packaged goods. So, maybe to be a smart ass, I bought pasta penne, flour, paper plates, tooth picks and cupcake liners. Behold my masterpiece! I basically made the round bases with paper mache. It was a mess. It even smelled and molded before completely drying. But it being a gross mess is what made it fun. I put it together with no plan. It’s like a sci-fi cloud city. Except made out of wheat products.

This then led me to make some meteors out of paper mache, styrofoam balls and toilet paper rolls. The goal is to make objects to use in future still life paintings so that I am not beholden to glass bottles and tea kettles next semester.

papermache meteors

The photos below are fired white clay that we built into shapes as a one day shot project.

clay experiments

Repeating shapes are a lot like little anxieties that never truly go away. Going through the same motions. There are patterns to recognize. Letting myself work more intuitively is challenging but also therapeutic. I believe it might be a bit like meditation(that golden place in your mind I don’t know how to reach, at least not through sitting in the quiet or listening to guidance podcasts).

It was like doodling mindlessly. Which is something I can’t seem to do anymore. It felt very strange playing with the clay and returning to that place. It’s like I forget how to do it with a pen/pencil/paintbrush, but something in my hands still remembers.

There wasn’t time to glaze them, so I decided to embellish them with acrylic paint I have left over from years ago.

I’m glad these projects unlocked that more childish way of creating. I am hoping it will help me sketch more creatively and naturally. I assume this is a problem others have, considering there is a whole slew of Skillshare classes about creating a sketchbook practice and so on.

To me, they initially seemed corny, but now I think they are addressing a kind of creative constipation we all suffer from sometimes.

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the you in my nightstand

It’s face was the used pages of a diary,
all bleeding ink and bent corners.

Voice like a scratched record,
no one to listen to it.

A dried ink pen for a spine,
chewed up brittle plastic.

With a brass locket for a heart,
hung on tangled chain and empty of sentiment.

It peered at me with mica-flake eyes,
squinting into fluorescent light.

I paid it with a copper penny to suckle,
closed the drawer to no complaint.

My memory smelled like cedar and lint,
felt like a knuckle in the eye.

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satellites – prints for sale

Waxing and Waning
Waxing and Waning

I’m not sure if anyone who visits my site remembers my more illustrative work. I haven’t! I might even do a throw back post of them to laugh at myself and share. I’ve been compelled lately to revisit it and spruce it up to flesh out some ideas. It pushed me to add work to my RedBubble shop and to figure out Society6 as well. So now that means I have my work in 2 print-on-demand shops, Society6 and RedBubble. I’m excited to be able to offer my designs on some new products, including shower curtains and a variety of sizes of pouches. Let me know what you think. And if you see something you like, but would like a different color or some other small change, please feel free to write me. I’m happy to see what I can do.
The Moth and the Moon
The Moth and the Moon

Sometimes I worry that working in my more cartoony style will negatively affect my fine art studies, but I’ve come to realize many other artists dabble in more than one creative realm. Plus, anything that gets me going, whether it be painting or doodling in photoshop, is a good thing for me. Motivation is something to be cultivated. I can’t afford to ignore it when it gives me a shove. Motivation has always been an issue for me.

Another reason I feel iffy about playing in different art worlds is that nowadays, people are so branded. Branding seems to equal success. It makes it easier to find your audience, or them to find you. And I can’t pretend that I don’t want to make a living from my art. I do. So issues that negatively affect me being able to do that give me pause. I’m getting ahead of myself.

society6 storefront

This has also given me a renewed interest in stationery design. I think I’d like to dip my toes in it to see what happens. I’ve been looking up local to Philadelphia stationary shops/design agencies to see what’s out there. I think I’d really enjoy doing production side work for one.

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psychic device – sculpture class

visionengine2

These are certainly not portfolio worthy pictures, but behold! My kaleidoscope/diy magic 8-ball monstrosity!

I put this together while taking an intro to sculpture class last semester. The project was to create a sculpture based on a toy. I’m not sure if mine isn’t just a toy, but I had ‘a time’ putting this beast together. I learned a lot about PVC pipes and all sorts of fun, useful bits you can find at the hardware store.

Pardon the window stripping part in the below video. If I make another one, which I will, the goal is to find something more attractive than window stripping to hold the globe in place but that is still also removable. So much of this project was trouble shooting that putting any part of it together in a permanent way would have been disaster. For the most part, I could clumsily disassemble it and then put it back together.

This isn’t the first time I tried my hand at making a ‘psychic device’. Check out a kaleidoscope I made for a show at the VA MOCA in this old post here.

visionengine
inside kaleidoscope