Friday, April 18, 2014

New York City, Part 1

Miss me? I've been getting my eyeballs scorched by looking at way too much art, my brain fried by pondering too many techniques and my feet exhausted by museum tromping. New York City is an under-4-hour non-stop flight away for often less than $175. Thank you, thank you, JetBlue. The hotels are another story but we economize by not eating anything but sandwiches or grocery takeout or museum cafeterias.

We have a friend in New York City who is alternately amused/horrified/disgusted/unbelieving about the number of people we make friends with in her city. New Yorkers cold and unfriendly? NOT! Of course we always start out with a smile and put on our Texas drawl as we say "Hey, how ya'll doing?" whenever we encounter someone.

Never fails. Proof positive in the picture above. That is Lu, or Liudmila, the cabdriver who brought us from the airport to our hotel. She has been driving a cab for 3 years and wants to bring her mother here and has a son in college who hopes to go to medical school in San Antonio. It was a 45-minute cab ride and lots of conversation about current events also, as she is from Russia. She's also half Polish, as is Susan, so they bonded right away.

First up was the Museum of Arts and Design

The top image is one we took in the museum, the second is one from Google Images of a similar piece. The artist is Angelo Filomeno and the piece is "As the Lilies Among Thorns, So We Fall Like Love".  I couldn't find a website for him specifically so you might want to check Images yourself.  Susan recognized him from a show called "Pricked: Extreme Embroidery" a few years back. The piece he had there was "Death of a Blinded Philospher and it was 42" x 10'2" - huge!
One of the interesting things about seeing pieces in a museum is the shadows they make due to the lighting. The pictures below are of an enormous display (floor to ceiling, about 10 feet across) made up of three "screens" by Piper Shepard, "Lace Meander". This is her description, which I find absolutely incredible, " ... gessoed muslin that has been coated with black graphite and entirely hand-cut using an X-Acto knife". Based on the amount of work shown on her website I don't think that knife ever leaves her hand.
More travel and museum talk to come.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Three Keepers and a Lot of Give-Aways

This little park is near where we live and I've put a lot of "learning experiences" out here. We'll see how long they stay.

These guys are keepers. They are made from a different clay than browner ones and I'm still trying to decide which I like best.
Speaking of keepers, we like to keep Austin weird.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Tweet, Tweet

Here's what a birdie should look like if I'm doing it right.
Nope, not my birdie. Just Austin street art.

Another successful birdie.

This particular wall gets a lot of street art and a lot of repainting by the property owner. Maybe they really like the changing art or maybe they think a blank wall could possibly just stay clear. Ha! Not in Austin.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What NOT To Do, Version 2

First, you don't make the bird so big it looks like quail on steroids. It should fit nicely in your hand and not feel like a boat anchor. Second, you don't put dried clay shards in the wing area thinking it will look like nice texture. Birds do not think that is a nice look. Third, you don't overdo the raku.

The bad news is that the perfect examples of poor work have to leave home. The good news is that they become Give-Aways. I like to think that eventually someone will find my Give-Aways and be absolutely thrilled. I don't like to think that someone will find one and say "What the  %$#@  was he thinking?!?"

From a distance -- he's in the tree bump in a nearby cemetery.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What NOT To Do

First, be sure you make sure your ears are put on correctly. Second, try not to use the wrong glaze, unless you really want to look pukey tan. Third, try to remember that there is such a thing as too much texture. Susan constantly tells me "Edit! Where IS your focal point?" I constantly try to throw everything I can on one piece of sculpture all at once. Isn't that called Good Time Management?

Here is an example of what I should aspire to:

This guy was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Way cool. Here's the info on the piece, by Frank Fleming:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Martha's Stars

I'm lucky enough to have Martha as a friend. More than a year ago she gave me some little metal? aluminum? stars. I've started finding a way to use them. Above is Kupka and below is Yoyab. Where do their names come from? The same planet they come from.

Yoyab is actually a lot happier than he looks. Honest.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wearing Green

OK, he's got a little bit o' the green on him, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and I have no idea what the deal is with green. It's all blarney to me. This little birdie didn't turn out the way I wanted so he became a give-away.

He's in a tree on the creek about a mile from our place, we often walk down there.

Susan asked me what the heck was that white thing on the ground by the tree. It's my coffee cup, of course. You can't take a walk without carrying some coffee with you! You never know when you'll need to spring into action to escape an errant bee or fly and the caffeine will help you move really fast.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'd take a video of Susan rolling her eyes at that but if I did, I'd probably find my camera/phone filed up my rear end.

Later this week I'll walk down there again to see if he's still there.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Been wondering where I am?

Eventually I'll be back.

And it isn't even me doing the work. My Blog Wrangler is coordinating the contractors on this.
She has announced she has no life.
We eat sawdust. Our neighbors (we live in an apartment building) hate us.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Because of a chicken foot? A chicken foot?!?

The looming demise of print newspapers will definitely put an abrupt end to world-shattering news items like this one.

And an end to valuable information! My potato head men and I had no clue that chicken feet were even edible. Sort of like crunchy potato chips?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day, 2014

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Hedgehog whistles, about 4 inches long.
Trivia: Susan is 50% pure Polish, complete with a maiden name that has z and w and s and all sorts of odd letters in it and is not easily pronounced. Her grandfather was born in February in Poland and was named Valentine. He came to the United States in 1907 when he was 16 because he heard the streets were "paved in gold".