For You

Just a couple small items to post today.  In the past year a lot of my output has been donations for charity shows and gifts for friends.  I love doing this stuff and I love that I've been able to find time for projects like this.  I took a little over a year off from doing solo shows because it's so hard to make that much work in a short time span with a full time job (especially since I like for the shows to be all new work and have a unified theme) and that's opened up my time for projects like this.  I have a few more donations and presents to work on but there are two two-person shows in the works for me in the coming year so pretty soon I'll be buckling down and working on some larger scale more intense paintings again.

This first thing is another painted wooden egg for my friend Diana.  For the past probably 7 or 8 years she's been the only person to cut the tangled witch wig I call hair and I'm always grateful for her talent with scissors and her ability to work within the beauty industry while challenging beauty standards and cutting hair without any judgement or talk of what's "flattering" and with a real understanding of what it means to be a low-maintenance client who basically does nothing beyond washing their hair (like me).  She's also one of the funniest coolest ladies I know (and I know a ton of funny cool ladies).  If you live in or near Bethlehem, PA and you want to give her some business here's the organic cruelty-free salon she works at. 

Anyway, Diana saw the other painted eggs I did and asked if I could make her one.  Knowing she's got some intense PA pride and likes PA Dutch art and Hex signs I decided to use that as the theme and did a take on a distelfink design with some other symbols from fraktur art thrown in.
Since they're supposedly based on the European goldfinch I did a more realistic take on the bird but they were too tiny to get a ton of detail into.

I really like the fact that the raindrop design has a positive connotation because it comes from an agrarian culture and is linked to bounty rather than being the melancholy symbol you often see.

If you're interested in PA Dutch folk art and Hex Signs check out Jacob Zook's webstore.  Zook's is a family business that's been around for about 50 years. I have a few of these in my house myself!
The second present I made this month was for my partner Mike's birthday.  As you may or may not know he's an avid Madball collector and fanatic.  Beyond the actual trademark Madballs there are hundreds of cheap ripoffs floating around in the world and mike has rounded up close to all of them and put them on shelves in our bedroom.  I sleep every night under the watchful gaze of hundreds of bulging pus filled eyes. 

It's really hard at this point to find one he doesn't have and we've always talked about the possibility of making some ourselves so I took this opportunity to make my first attempt at sculpting since probably highschool.

I made this little guy with Das airdrying clay.  It wasn't too hard to work with and could easily be smoothed and added to with a wet paintbrush. 

Sculpting is weird after working in a super flat 2D style for so long, and painting something 3D is interesting because it has more to do with emphasizing the dimension that's already there than creating the illusion of dimension and you have to keep the paint soft without any harsh clean lines. The boogers were made by adding green paint to clear glue and then doing a clear coat overtop to keep it shiny!
Anyway, it was fun to make and I'll probably make more in the future and I recommend this clay because a good air dry clay takes all the stress out of a baking clay that could potentially crack and ruin all of your hard work.  Just be patient letting it dry when you do something dense like this. It took a few days.