Sunday, May 30, 2010

i am THE happiest person right now...

because i FINALLY figured out how to get my doll faces the way i want them....



whooo hoooo!!!
although my boob making skills still need a little work! :)

have a great holiday everyone...

amber


Friday, May 28, 2010

boxed in part I

i finally picked this piece back up yesterday morning. both the box and the figure are works in progress. we'll see how they turn out...
but i am going slow, taking my time, and being hopeful.

have a great ( long ) weekend everyone!

amber

Thursday, May 27, 2010

rethinking things

hmmmm....i don't even know where to start today.

i got up early this morning so i could get some studio time in before i go to work. which i am not enjoying these days, by the way. honestly, i just don't think i am cut out for work. at least for someone else. but, that's an entirely different story altogether.

i won't be able to work tonight as i have a  prior engagement, so i thought i would try to get 3 - 4 hours in this morning. which i did. yay me!

last night i painted these two faces and applied crackle medium to them. when i went to bed last night, i was very pleased with both of them. in fact, i thought they were my best two pieces so far:



when i got up this morning, i stained them and took pictures.

now i am not so sure how i feel about them.

hmmmmm....yeah. i still don't know.

that's funny, isn't it? how i can go from loving something at midnight to thinking that i can do better by 7am.
i suppose that just goes with the territory when learning a new craft!

i will just keep trying to bring my visions to life, i suppose. i just wish i was better. now.

unfortunately, this is an ongoing theme in my life - i want to learn something new and i go at it whole hog. when acquiring the skills - taking the time to perfect the craft - takes longer than i think it should - i get upset, depressed, and angry. i want to be perfect at everything i do right out of the starting gate. i don't want to learn. i want to do!

when i started working in mixed media and then moved to whatever the hell this is - doll making? sculpture? whatever....i was doing it because i enjoyed it! it was a break from beading, which has grown sooooooooooo stale for me. i can't even look at a bead right now. sad, i know.

now that i have started thinking about the possibility of applying to shows and trying to sell some of these pieces  - i am putting so much pressure on myself, that it's not fun anymore. i rush. i push. i rush. i push.

not good.  no fun. work.  yech.

so, i am going to take a step back today and think about what i want to do and where i want to go - and what it is that brings me joy.
it's been a while since i have felt real joy. i don't know what's got me down, but that joi de vivre i worked so hard to recapture last year has just flown out the window. and i think that in some way, pushing myself to be a certain something by a certain time is what leads to this melancholy.

so..... i bid you adieu for today so that i can go take a little walk with my camera and think about what makes me happy creatively.

i hope that everyone has a great day!!

amber

ps.... thanks to everyone who has left such wonderful, encouraging comments. they have not gone unnoticed. you have given me quite a lot to think on ...






Wednesday, May 26, 2010

fresh paint



well, LOST is over... what do i do now?

seriously.

well, i managed to pull myself off the floor and actually get some work done this week. it was a slow process, and they are not ready for their closeups yet, but here are a few sneak peaks at some other pieces i painted over the weekend...
i think i am going to keep this one. i love love love the way his horns came out!

the rest of him isn't so bad either...


someone does not want to be photographed... she's being very difficult...


perhaps when she actually has a stand, she will be more accommodating.

that's really it this morning, i suppose. like i said, i have been working on a few more faces - i am just not comfortable yet with bodies. i am not sure exactly what i want to do, so i am letting the pieces i started just be for now.
they will tell me when they are ready to become who they are meant to be...

have a great tuesday!

amber

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

where bloggers create and a partial doll body...


okay, so i thought about it overnight and have decided not to post pics of my new clean work space at this time... because i am going to a part of where bloggers create on june 19th and there's no point loading them up now and then doing so again in june! so, if you wanna take a peek at where i work, drop by on the 19th and not only check out my space, but about 300 other work spaces by all variety of creative ladies.
karen at my desert cottage is putting the event on for the second year running and i was lucky enough to find out about it when i picked up the newest where women create magazine last week. i am a total junkie for looking at other people's creative spaces so you know i'll be blog hopping all day long!

i will, however share a few pics of a few things i started last night:




everything is in the beginning phase. still lots of shaping, painting, etc to be done.

the pic on the bottom here, with the two figures features my first attempt at making part of a body for these dolls. i was a little scared, but really... why be scared? so i just jumped in and started. i have another doll started as well, but she did not feel like being photographed this morning. she's not a morning person.

i am not really a very good planner. and i am a terrible sketcher. i used to draw real pretty like, but i am about 20 years out of practice. so i just start with a general idea and then let the piece basically tell me what it wants to be.

take that figure there with the one arm... it wants to be a zombie. so a zombie it shall be. same with the little mouse girl. and so forth and so on.

hopefully i will finish painting the other 3 pieces i worked on this morning and they will be up soon.

have a great day everyone!

cheers!

amber

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

getting serious about playing....

hola dear folks!

i've been soooo busy cleaning and organizing my studio this past weekend, that i have not had a chance to craft much. of course, cleaning and organizing is crafting to some extent? right?


mr. b and i moved in to our little 2 bedroom abode last july - about the time i was laid off from my job. i spent july setting up the house and the studio and then returned to work in august. in september we finally cleaned out our storage unit and after 2 months clutter free, we were living in what i like to refer to as "box land" again. and we have been ever since... and most of it has been in the back room where i keep my little work space.


well, after stumbling over and around ladders, boxes of books, papers, heaters, cat toys and all the crap i've been accumulating for my mixed media pieces, i finally decided to tackle the back room on sunday ( after returning from the mother of all yard sales where i got, i am not kidding you, about $300 worth of inks, stamps, wrapping paper, ribbon, and a storage unit for all my paper for $70). i had to find a place for that paper storage unit... so the cleaning began.


i did pull a muscle in my lower back, but by golly, i got it clean.

and now i can't work.

just kidding. sorta.

truthfully, i did spend a lot of time yesterday just sitting at the table in the studio admiring the clean carpet and lack of clutter. it's still not the gorgeous, inspirational retreat that i see in my head, but it's getting there. slowly....

the room is still pretty small for all of the work i do and i sure wish sometimes that i had a door on this room to keep the kitties out, but it serves it's purpose: a place for me to create without having to listen to ESPN. and we all know how very important that is!


mr. b has requested to share the space with me and i did clean off half of the table for him, but we both know that he knows that i consider that to be my studio - my sanctum sanctorum -  and i doubt very seriously that he will spend much time back there... see the ESPN comment above. i am going to give him 2 months and if he doesn't claim his space, i'm totally taking it. hee hee hee.

of course, now that i am organized in this little corner of my life, i thought that maybe i ought to get serious and more organized in the actual making, marketing, and selling of my work. so, as i was sitting there staring at the carpet yesterday, i had some thoughts...


first off, i have decided to re open my ETSY shop. i will be loading up new jewelry over the coming weeks and i have decided to stop being afraid of putting the mixed media pieces and sculptures out there, so they are going to be available as well. just a jumbled mess of arty goodness. tee hee!


i am very excited about putting new work out in the universe. i don't really use my shop to sell ( weird, i know) but to just have a place to show my work. still, it feels good to be getting it up and running again.

so many things have changed in my life in this last year... you know some of them of course ( job, wrist injury, big birthday, new hobbies) but maybe what you don't know is that i've gotten to a place where i don't feel that i need to prove myself to anyone for any reason. for the first time in my life, i am comfortable. with me. i don't feel that i need to jump through hoops. and i am here to tell you, that is a truly empowering feeling. i feel that i am on the right path and i am just letting it take me where it wants to go. and it's ready for me to put my shizzle out there. for sale. screeech!


i have some other ideas and plans in the works, but it is all too early to share at this point. but, i will when i can. you know i will.

i will post new pics soon of the new, clean work area... had some problems with le computer this morning and it appears that the norton anti virus update i downloaded yesterday is interfering with my camera whenever i try to upload photos. but, i think i can just install the card into the computer ( it worked this morning) and hopefully the problem will be remedied.

cheers!


amber

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

imagination, doubt, and dawdling...

i finally got a chance to shoot some quick shots of the conjoined twins sculpture i have been working on.
yes, it is finally finished... well, almost. it still needs a stand, but i will get around to that later this week. i have about 6 more wall hangings in progress that i want to attend to first.
in the meantime, here's the first look at ocula and orala:




again, i am swinging to and fro in the confidence arena with this one. i like it. i don't like it. i see things i could have done differently. i wish i was better. faster. surer.
but, all in good time, mah dear lady.

honestly, it turned out almost exactly as i pictured it. but, how i picture things has become a bone of contention with me. i question whether or not i am an artist because of how i approach working... i know. that's weird. i'm weird. my mind is weird. i will explain that to you later. i haven't had enough coffee this morning to be that philosophical...

all in all, i guess i shouldn't be too heard on myself...i made a decision to learn a new craft and i am following through on that decision. it's going to be a long road. hopefully a fulfilling one. i am definitely enjoying the journey although my hands are really dry from all the clay.

today i am going to just take a step back from what i have been doing. just let things marinate if you will.

i will leave you with one of my favorite quotes regarding creativity and imagination:

so you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient happy idling, dawdling, and puttering...
~~~ brenda ueland.

have a happy day!

amber

Sunday, May 9, 2010

fresh from the studio

well, it took me most of the day, but here are the results of two of the faces i started last week:

meet lizette the lizard girl and deedee von teufel

they belong to leilani and fisk's travelling curiosities - one of the great american sideshows

lizette is very scaley, but don't let her appearance frighten you...

dee dee is the one you should be afraid of...

lizette is very shy and a sweet and gentle soul

to be quite honest, i am not sure how i feel about how they turned out.
i suppose that for a first try, they are pretty good.
but, the learning curve is wearing on me. i want to work faster and better and i am just not there yet.
i am definitely no lateefah wright, that's for sure.
but, progress is progress... and tomorrow i shall stain the twins and finish monsieur lavender....
i will enjoy myself and that is really what counts!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

a big ole mess of paint, pen, pencil, and clay...



well, i didn't get much painting in last night, and i surely didn't do enough to warrant taking a picture of the twins.
i am sooooo easily distracted. and out of practice. after 2 beers i came home and took a nap. so sad.


but, i did get a little work done. mostly, i feel like all i do is make a mess...

these guys didn't get their eyeballs. maybe tonight.... who knows!?

this fella here, turned out far better than even i had hoped. disregard the crappy head wrap. that was an experiment gone horribly awry. the wrap didn't work nor did the paint. but, the face turned out pretty much as i had hoped it would. i used white paint instead of flesh, because i want my pieces to look old and creepy. i painted the lips and used graphite, charcoal, colored pencils, and felt tip pen on the eye. i almost got the look i was going for. now i have a feeling for how those mediums work on the paper clay, so i can refine my style. i just don't hold a brush steady enough to paint the eyes on. much more comfortable with a pencil and pen in hand. weird, but true.

after all the painting and coloring was done, i applied a crackle medium and rubbed black paint into it.
i was very happy with it. much better with the black on white than the brown on flesh tone i had originally envisioned.
i can't wait to finish painting the sisters and crackle them. that's my favorite part.
i don't think i have enough time this morning to do much, but i'm gonna try...
see ya later!
amber


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

goodbye, uncle festers - hello summer!

whew.
jazz fest if behind us.

 i know, i know... it's good for the city, good for the merchants, etc.
but i bloody well hate it. all those folks descending on mah city... you can't get a cab, you can't get a reservation, you can barely get a drink, and on saturday night ( for mr. b's birthday) you couldn't hear ani difranco at tips. have some respect for the artist you idiots.

grrrrr... uncle festers.

but, it's all over now and the slow, lazy days of summer are upon us. yay!
i love me some southern summer in the big sleazy, i must say.
the smell of the sweet olives. the green of the city after a rain.
oh, and yeah... no crowds.
anywhere.

i guess that makes me sound like a grouch, but it's how i feel.
new orleans is one big party from october through may and damnit, by june, i'm tired. or if you speak loretta lynn, like i do - tard.

and right now, all i want to do is sit in my little corner of the world and create.
which is what i have been doing for the last 3 weeks or so. sorry i've been absent, but instead of getting up and blogging in the morning over my coffee, i've been hitting the studio before i go to work.

i've been experimenting with a number of different techniques and mediums. i have a growing number of little collage pieces piling up and for the last few days i have become obsessed with learning to sculpt with the paper clay i've been toying with for a few months. and i mean obsessed. scarey obsessed.


last night i started work on these little wall hangings. i thought it would give me a chance to work on my noses and lips without having to worry about the body of the figure. so i practiced, practiced, practiced. i am not sure where they are going next, but i do suppose eyeballs would be the logical choice.

eventually i want to make art dolls and figures for my shadow boxes. and to be completely honest with you, i feel that i have finally found what i want to do.it was like something just clicked the day i discovered ART DOLL QUARTERLY. you know, jewelry is nice, but it never really lit me on fire like disovering sculpture, mixed media, and collage has. the possibilities are endless. there is so much room for self expression and the opportunity to tap into my creepy imagination.  every day feels like a new day, full of potential.

so, that's what's up in my little corner of the universe. i hope that all is well in yours, too.

 i hope to have some more pictures to share with you tomorrow. i started painting my conjoined twins figure this morning and am chomping at the bit to work on them tonight.

thank you all for joining me on this creative journey. i can't wait to see where it takes me!

cheers!

amber