Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Loading The Kiln At CAC

The sculptures from the workshop I led at the Creative Arts Center are finally dry enough to load into the kiln. Glo Coalson has been teaching me the delicate art of firing large lumps of solid clay, AKA sculpture.

Looking down into the kiln, it kind of looks like a relaxing day at the spa, except the girls in this sauna are going to get unbelievable hot.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Playing In The Mud At The Dallas Arboretum

Being involved with the Creative Arts Center has opened up several unexpected opportunities to push my studio centric self out into the public eye. The latest example was at the Dallas Arboretum's annual art fair, ArtScope. It focuses on artisans like potters, wood turners and glass fusing-ists(?) About 100 artisan booths nestled among the blooming trees and flowers.

Anyway, DA asked CAC to send over a few art teachers to do art demonstrations, so here I am standing under the trees working on a clay bas-relief sculpture of the cafe gardens. 

I was out there for about 4 hours. I don't think the sculpture is the best I have done, but it was fun talking about making art, having my photo taken a lot, and handing out little balls of clay to all the kids.  A casual observer might think they were watching a sun burned Van Gogh feeding dirt to young children...

Next week it's off to North Park Mall for some speed sculpting at ARTsPARK.

Friday, March 4, 2011

When The Workshop Is Over

When the last person left the workshop at the Creative Arts Center, all I could think about was locking up, blowing the clay dust out of my nose and quenching my very dry throat with a glass of wine. I was exhausted.

In this workshop, we sculpted in clay from a live model. It's kind of like a figure drawing class except working in clay instead of charcoal and paper.

Because this was a free workshop, the participants felt that they had nothing to lose by take a chance on something new, which was the whole idea behind offering the workshop, although I was hoping it would draw a bigger crown from outside the CAC umbrella.

Here is the class room break down: 10 people signed up for the workshop, 2 of which didn't make it to class. Of the 8 attendees, 6 people had taken other classes at CAC, but no one had ever taken a figure sculpting class before. 6 had never worked from a live model, 6 had never worked with clay in any form, and 1 person was surprised to see a nude person standing in the middle of the room.

We worked from the same pose for the whole 3 hours. I was really happy to see how each person kept working and reworking their sculpture, dramatically changing it to refine the form as they began to really see what was in front of them.

Seeing, THAT is the first step to working from the figure. Seeing what you are really seeing and not working from what you think you know. It's hard, and it takes work and concentration to override your brains' constant insistence that it knows all the answers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Out Of The Loop Fringe Festival Opening Night

It was a great turn out for the Out Of The Loop Fringe Festival opening night party, and art exhibition. I walked in and shook a few hands before making my way up stairs to where the food and apparently most of the local theatre critics were hanging out. Anne Bothwell from Art And Seek introduced me to Mark Lowry from Theatre Jones. We then proceeded to recount dramatic tails of live theatre from seasons past.

Eventually I realized how late it was getting, and that I had not taken a single photo. So here are 2 from the blurry dozen that I took.

Fortunately the WaterTower blog has posted a very nice photo of CJ Miller and I standing with the Producing Artistic Director Terry Martin.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sketchbook Project 2011 Hits The Road

The reports are that the opening for the Arthouse Co-op Sketchbook Project 2011 at the Brooklyn Art Library was a big success.  There were over 28000 artist signed up to create a 40 page moleskin sketchbook. I don't have the final numbers yet, but if even half for the artists followed through on this project, that's still 14000 sketchbooks. Arthouse Co-op has created a web page for each of the participating artists. Here's the link to my page, which also has links to some of the artists that I like. There is also a very nice Arthouse Co-op blog too.

But the project doesn't stop there! The small staff at Arthouse Co-op are now boxing up all the sketchbooks and shelves into a moving van, and taking the project on a 9 stop tour across the United States, which includs a stop at the Austin Museum Of Art, March 12 (During the SXSW Festival) in Austin TX.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting Ready For The Thursday Night Workshop

With the workshop just 24 hours away, I spent some time in the clay sculpture studio at CAC looking over supplies and thinking about how to pose the model we will be working from.

Glo Coalson was there teaching a make up class because of the snow storm a few weeks ago.  We had a great conversation about figure sculpture, and hit upon the idea of the two of us hosting a sculpture restoration workshop some time this summer.