Monday, February 5, 2018

Jewelry Making Mode

I go through creative cycles.  I'll sew a lot for awhile.  Then maybe I'll want to sit and do needlework for a month.  Maybe I'll get seriously into drawing for a bit.  But now I am coming back around to jewelry making.

I don't like to go to the craft store and buy a bunch of stuff and then simply assemble it.  I mean, I do like that very much, but one of my creative goals is to make some of - or all of - the beads that I use.  I found a tutorial on making "turquoise" beads with polymer clay, so I spent the weekend working on these.  (And I like the look of the turquoise beads mixed with a red/orange coral bead, so I just applied the same techniques to creating orange clay "coral" beads.)

After I roll them and bake them, I like to give them a nice thin coat of varnish.  Here they are drying in the sun.

The next day, when the varnish was dry, I began stringing.  I'm using a thin hemp cord to connect them.  I'm very bad at winding wire and making clasps, so I really like making long necklace with no clasps.  (I need to work on that.)  You can see my sketchy plan beneath the beds.

The above necklace is all "Turquoise" and the below one - the half moon - has the coral beads mixed in.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.  I'm going to crank out some more for the Spring and Summer craft shows.

Winter is still bitter cold here, but the snow is gone.  I am ready for the buds of Spring to come and bring some warmth and color to New England.  But until then, I'll just have to make my own.

Thanks so much for stopping in and checking on me.
Have a lovely week!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Women's March, Hartford 2018

This Saturday was the one-year anniversary of the Women's March, so I put on my pink pussy hat, made a new sign* and was proud to march again.

*I didn't actually make a new sign.  This sign reading, Keep Your Laws Away from Our Hoo-Has! is actually from last year's Planned Parenthood march.  That one was cancelled due to snow, so this is the first showing of this sign.  It still works!

Stefanie - my art buddy and protest pal - made a very cool pink pussy power parasol that her daughter carried around most of the time, but I snapped a pick with her holding it.  She's also wearing her Pussy Power shirt that she designed. 

We marched in front of the Capitol and under Hartford's Soldier and Sailor Memorial Arch.  We marched with men and women of different colors and ages.  We chanted.  We sang.  We stood for something good - and it was awesome!

Basically, the same thing happened this year as happened last year; we couldn't get close enough to the front to hear any speakers.  I think they had another technology issue.  But we were still there: still strong, still proud, still ready to use our minds and our voices.

It was a wonderfully kind and encouraging experience that I know was shared across the country.

And, of course, the signs are always awesome.

I hope you are feeling empowered wherever you are.
Thanks so much for stopping in!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Flying into 2018


2018 is well underway here in Connecticut.  It has been bitter cold, but is a balmy 30 degree day today.  Woo-hoo - break out the bikini! 

It will be calmer in my art room for a few months.  No imminent shows.  Which means I'll have more penciled-in self-imposed deadlines, rather than black-ink calendar deadlines.  I'll be busy - but a manageable kind of busy.

One of the first things coming up is a group show at the Spicy Green Bean (a lovely little restaurant in Glastonbury, CT.)  The theme is FLIGHT.  It took me a little while to settle on what I wanted to do.  I tend to like birds and bugs and things of the like, and I was getting a little overwhelmed at some of the possibilities. 

But then I focused on the venue.  My best show there - to date - has been the Black-and-White show.
I think the black-and-white images look very sharp against the red walls there.  Also, my drawings (rather than paintings or collage) reproduce very nicely and therefore I can have more prints available.  This is a restaurant, after all.  People go in to eat, not to buy art for their mansions.  So more reasonable priced reproduced art sells better than higher priced originals.  Gotta know the market!

So I decided on Steampunk Flying Machines. I don't normally love drawing cars and planes and mechanical things, but Steampunk incorporates a lot of imagination, so it was pretty fun.   I sat down with my pencil, Sharpies, and my Copic greys and got to work. 

Here's the collection.
Airship Zero in the Sky      2017     j. c. phillipps

Bubbleship B           2018             j. c. phillipps

FishCopter               2017               j. c. phillipps

Flying DoDo               2017             j. c. phillipps

OctoBalloon          2017           j. c. phillippps

Snailship 7                 2018                 j. c. phillipps

Steampunk Flying Machines           2018           j. c. phillipps

Twelve-Thirty Blimp          2018          j. c. phillipps  

The ones with the white background are straight up marker drawings.  The ones with a little scenery were put into Photoshop and manipulated there.  FLIGHT doesn't go up until mid-February, so I'm well ahead of schedule - which is much better than being caught up in a last-minute scramble.  :)  Maybe 2018 will be the year of efficiency.

Hope that you all are feeling good at the beginning of 2018!
Thanks so much for stopping in!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ahhhhhhhh ... Relief

Ahhhhh ... the last art show of the year is over.  And it was wonderful!

A shot of my space - all ready to go!
We were worried about Saturday.  The weather forecasters were predicting a big storm.  And we got 7 inches, but the roads stayed drive-able for a long time and people came!  Wahoo!

We had live music.

Lots of people came out on Saturday - despite the storm.

A panorama shot of the space.  It used to be a car showroom.

The artists and makers of the Holiday Art Market.
It was a really lovely group of artists who made fabulous things.  One of our goals with this group has been associating the name of the WeHa Artists Emporium which high quality art.  There is definitely a place for more kitschy-crafty things like crocheted Barbie clothes - Lord know I loved that stuff as a kid - but we want people to know that they will be seeing a wide variety of finely made art and crafts at one of our shows, and we certainly pulled it off this time.  It was GREAT shopping!

Stefanie Marco is the wonderful artist who started it all.  I basically just back her up.  Putting on a show like this is a lot of work, but when it all works out, when it has been a successful show - not just for us but for all of the artists - then we have done what we set out to do.

And now it is time to rest.  Well, not complete rest.  I have to put everything away properly, send out the last box of Xmas gifts, do the holiday cards, and yadda, yadda, yadda.  But the art shows are over and I can focus on other things.

Here's our house after the fresh snow Sunday morning.  Just imagine me inside, sitting by the fire, sipping cocoa in my flannel pj pants, and writing out Christmas cards.

Thank you so much for stopping in after my break.   I needed it!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Open Studio Hartford and My Busy Week

Hi all -

Woosh - I have been a busy lady.  Open Studio Weekend went very well.  I had a lot of art there - a lot of people came by - and a lot of art sold.  So, goody, goody.

Here are some pics:
Me and one of my younger fans.  This photo is by my friend Stefanie Marco and she got a great shot of the wall.

My area before the show started.

Full swing.  Shoppers come by to check out my wares.

I packed it all up on Sunday night and went home.  On Monday, I had to go out to a lovely little restaurant, Spicy Green Bean, and take down some of my art that had been hanging and put some new stuff up.

The trick here was that I didn't have time to assemble pieces from Open Studio Hartford.  I had to have this all ready to go early Monday morning.  So a two shows worth of art framed and organized. 

Then, Tuesday through Friday, I've been at a local school doing an Artist-in-Residence program.  This school contacted me in September and asked if I could do a presentation and workshops on Finders Keepers and rock painting.  So I've been busting my hump creating that for two months - but it has been a lot of fun working with the kids and the wonderful teachers.  Here's some pics of that:

Me doing my Finders Keepers presentation on stage.

Then I jump down into the audience to talk to the kids.

I couldn't do a real Finders Keepers hunt at the school because that would have been chaos.  So I did a visual one with slides.
Here's a sampling of some of the rocks that the kids have been painting all week.
I have one more day of the school visit, two days to make art stuff, then it's Thanksgiving.  Then, on Saturday and Sunday, I have another pop-up art show at West Elm.

No rest for the makers at Holiday time!

Thanks so much for stopping in!  Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Last Inktober

Inktober was a lot of fun, but it was a bit of a time-suck in an otherwise busy period, so I can't said I'm sad that it's over.  But I am happy that I have new work to show and sell at my upcoming art shows and people on Facebook and Instagram were all very positive and supportive of the project, so that was fun. 

Here's the last of Inktober.

CLIMB                 Inktober 2017                j. c. phillipps

FALL                 Inktober 2017                j. c. phillipps

FOUND                 Inktober 2017                j. c. phillipps

MASK                 Inktober 2017                j. c. phillipps

SQUEAK                 Inktober 2017                j. c. phillipps

UNITED              Inktober 2017                j. c. phillipps

In other news, it was a lovely Halloween evening.  I couldn't find my long, black cape, but I found my Cruella DeVille wig, so that's what I went with.  Magoo dressed as his father.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Since I'll be busy getting ready for Open Studio Hartford (Nov 11 & 12th) I'll take next week off of blogging.  But I'll return when it's over and tell you all about it.

Thanks so much for stopping in.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

What?! MORE Inktober?

Hi guys -

I am pretty busy getting things ready for the art shows and working on projects with the WeHa Artists Emporium and preparing for a big school visit, but I am still taking a little time each day to participate in Inktober.  Here's the latest batch.
BLIND        Inktober 2017       j. c. phillipps

CLOUD        Inktober 2017       j. c. phillipps

DEEP        Inktober 2017       j. c. phillipps

FILTHY        Inktober 2017       j. c. phillipps

GRACEFUL       Inktober 2017       j. c. phillipps

JUICY       Inktober 2017       j. c. phillipps

SHIP       Inktober 2017       j. c. phillipps

TRAIL        Inktober 2017       j. c. phillipps

Today I am heading off to a great new space that the art group has acquired for our Holiday Art Market.  I'm armed with measuring tape, masking tape, and my sketchbook.  We (Stefanie and I) need to see how big the space is and how many artists we can fit in it.

Thanks so much for stopping in.  I hope you all have a good week!