Thursday, June 1, 2017

Resplendent Red-Violet

Silk, wool, glass, metal pin
When I was a kid, red-violet was my favorite crayon color. So, why red-violet? I really don’t know. Crayola red-violet is resplendent color. It’s close to magenta but also has some added red. To me, straight up magenta is a bit harsh, It’s good as an accent; but, somewhat overwhelming as a principle color for an art piece. Not to mention, it doesn’t really match many sofas -- and you know that’s the criterion for selecting art.
Mixed-media experiment. Glass, plastic, acrylic.
When my hair was red-violet, I would get lots of positive comments almost everywhere I went, I think more people would wear red-violet; but, they’re just afraid of standing out that much, I, on the other hand, don’t care. That’s the joy of growing older. I do what I want (said with Cartman accent). Maybe more people would wear red-violet if it were combined with a dignified navy blue.
My proprietary polymer over wood with sterling, gemstones, and pigments.
Much to my joy, Bullseye glass makes a red-violet glass called plum striker. It starts out as a light lavender-blue but turns red-violet when heated. Of course, the perfect foil for this lovely color would be lime green. Well, probably not; but, lime green seems to make an appearance in almost everything I do. It’s the complementary color, after all. It is. It really is.
 Crayola also makes a violet-red crayon. It’s a great color, mind you; but, it’s no red-violet. Red-violet is the perfect color. As a child, it was so perfect a color that I rarely used it. It was just much admired in my crayon box. I wish I had known then just how inexpensive crayons really are. I probably would have used it more often. I guess that’s really a life lesson. In the end, things are really not as valuable as we make them out to be.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Climb Every Mountain

View from our hay field across the valley.
It’s really hard being an artist. It’s not the life shown in the movies. No sleeping until noon. No substance-driven late evenings. No afternoons in the coffee shop or theater. Just a lot of work, a lot of self-doubt, and a lot of pressure. Being an artist means taking a big risk. The risk that your work will not be appreciated. The risk that you won’t like your own work. The risk that your fears will be realized: You really do stink as an artist.
Double rainbow in our valley.
Being an artist is somewhat like being in a dream state in which you need to get to work every day but work is fifty miles away and all of the roads are blocked so you have to walk… in the snow… in flip flops… wearing clothes from Thom Browne’s runway collection.
View from the top ridge looking into the valley where our farm is located.
I saw the Sound of Music when I was five years old. Not really a movie I suggest for a preschool child. I guess my parents wanted me to have nightmares. Along with the scary stuff was the ridiculous idea that a large family with small children would to attempt to cross the Alps on foot without food, water, camping gear, or climbing equipment. Whatever the intent or however they really escaped from Germany, the thing that really stuck in my head was the ending with Climb Every Mountain. It’s kind of an anthem for artists.
Path leading to the top edge of our farm.
Instead of climbing mountains and moving forward, most of us, at some point, start placing mountains in our path. We have these ideas of perfection in our heads and use them as an excuse to avoid moving forward. At least that’s what I do on occasions. Everything must be “perfect” before the next step can commence. Branding must be in place before opening a website. The studio must be completely clean before working. Not really. Sometimes it’s just a matter of just doing it. Climb every mountain. Ford every stream. Follow any path that leads you from where you are now.

Rodgers & Hammerstein -- Climb Every Mountain
Finale -- Climb Every Mountain

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sophisticated Teal

My proprietary polymer over wood with pigments, sterling, and gemstones.
 Teal is my second-best selling color for jewelry right after purple. I’ve always loved teal and frequently wore it during the 1980s when the jewel-tone palette was so important. Maybe that’s why teal sells so well. Most of my clients are about my age and probably remember the “glory days” of power dressing, big hair, big earrings, and Doc Martens.
My proprietary polymer over wood with pigments, sterling, and gemstones.
Teal is a sophisticated color. It somehow mitigated the otherwise garish excess of the 1980s. It re-emerged in 2015 as one of the trending wall colors. In 2016, it became an important fashion color once again. A spring 2016 trend combined teal with spruce. Gucci paired teal and tangerine later that fall.
My proprietary polymer over wood with pigments, sterling, and gemstones.
Teal can be combined with almost any color. Maybe that’s why it is my second-best selling color. I used to make a lot of jewelry with teal. The series of triangles shown on this page all managed to get adorned with teal. These pieces were made before I started working with glass and lime green infiltrated my work. Despite teal’s aesthetic and lucrative appeal, I stopped using it for a while. I think it’s time to add it back into rotation.
My proprietary polymer over wood with pigments, sterling, and gemstones.
I was playing with some watercolors and decided to do a color wheel with teal in the center. I guess I won’t be combining teal with yellow any time soon. I did mix up a lovely shade of resplendent red-violet… or is that violet-red. Ah, cherished crayon colors.
Winsor & Newton professional watercolors.
I’m always happy to see teal resurface as a trending color. As a sci-fi fan, I’d also be happy to see Teal’c; but, that’s indeed another story.

My proprietary polymer over wood with pigments, sterling, and gemstones.