Web Presence

It would be great if there were more polymer clay artists’ web sites on the net. I can list a number of fine artists who are techno-adverse and shy away from the complexity and expense of maintaining a web presence.

Artspan.com seems to offer a simple, well-designed, inexpensive package. One of the local guild members recently signed up and I stumbled on it through her.

In real life I’m a webmaster so I hesitate to take work away from your local web designer. But if you want a painless and inexpensive way to get in the game, this might be just the ticket.

Seeing Colors

Polymer Clay artists are all about color and color tricks. Here’s a site that’s all about optical illusions and visual phenomena.

For this illusion, follow the movement of the rotating pink dot. You will only see one color, pink. If you stare at the black + in the center, the moving dot turns to green. Now, concentrate on the black + in the center of the picture. After a short period of time, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see a green dot rotating.

There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don’t disappear. We don’t always see what we think we see.

Hombre with Ombre

Judy Kuskin sent me this link to Jeffrey Dever. I wasn’t familiar with his work and was bowled over. Talk about ombre!

Jeffrey is featured in November in the Function+Art Gallery in Chicago. The gallery newsletter says, "His highly organic approach and bright polychrome palette combine for animated yet elegant brooches, pins and necklaces." They showed his work at October’s SOFA.

Thanks so much for the tip, Judy. If you find an exciting link, please send it along!

Ombre

In our recent color workshop we learned the word "ombre" which the dictionary describes as "having colors or tones that shade into each other — used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark." Maggie wanted us to keep running our blends through the pasta machine to reach ombre.

It’s related to the word "umbra" from the Latin for shadow…think umbrella. We thought that it had to do with "hombre"….not.

So if you want to sound erudite, talk about your blend’s hombre. It’s a noun and an adjective. I’m still trying to use it properly.

More than one way to Skinner…

What is a "Skinny Skinner" you ask? Lots of polymer artists attribute this variation on the Skinner blend to Dorothy Greynolds (shown here at a 2004 Columbus, Ohio workshop). Instead of the typical triangle blends, narrow rectangular bands of color totalling the width of the pasta rollers are laid side-by-side (look on the table in the picture).

Folding and rolling them through the pasta machine gives you a marvelous blend. In Santa Fe, Lindly and Maggie showed us how to refine and control this blend further. One trick is to keep the very light and very dark bands quite narrow, allowing stronger colors to prevail.

Back from Santa Fe

Light, dark and middle tone Skinny Skinners from Lindly’s palette.

A few polymer friends spent a week in Santa Fe being guinea pigs for color theorists Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio. Be prepared to learn heaps in their upcoming workshops.

We began with collages of our favorite colors and vaulted into color mixing, limiting ourselves to just three colors plus black and white. We then careened through value and contrast and hue and composition. We "skinny skinnered", created color relationships and considered simultaneity. All of this we did in a lovely Santa Fe setting.

It may take me a while to process and pass it on to you in bits and pieces. Check back tomorrow.

Inspiring Artist: Sean Samoheyl

Sean’s medium is quite literally, anything he can get his hands on — soap, straw, old bicycle parts — and his subject matter is equally eclectic. A true self-taught/outsider/visionary artist, art is his way of life. This featured piece is made of carved wood, house paint, dipped in rubber.

Although Sean lives a rural lifestyle on a commune in Virginia, his work is now sold at the museum shop of Baltimore’s American Visionary Museum, as well as websites and other venues.

To view his ever-expanding body of work, now propelled into the digital age, (*ahem* at the nudging of his friends) visit seansamoheyl.com

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