Friday, May 31, 2013

An angel a day

Posted by Melissa

I've been drawing angels, lots of angels for weeks and weeks. I was working mainly on kraft paper, which is really fun to draw on with colored pencil. Light colors pop, and I love the fluffy texture and warm irregular brown. But I didn't feel at home with anything I made. The popping color was a handicap--everything I made looked cartoony to me. There's nothing wrong with cartoony, but I'm not really a cartoony kind of person, and I couldn't identify with any of my little characters. It was stressful--constantly trying to adjust and find my groove, with no success.

So I made some angels on white paper, and it felt like coming home. They have a completely different feeling than what I was doing before. I'm going to make 12 of these little gardening angels. (Forgive the pun. I didn't originate it, but I must admit it pleases me.)  I will post one a day for the next 12 days, more or less.....


She's a little bummed about this photo. She thinks her face has more color and detail than the camera picked up. I don't know much about taking pictures, but I think I might just need to make a bolder statement when I draw so all my hard work is reproducible.  

See you tomorrow!


NEW PHOTO without flash, enlarged.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Posted by Melissa

Back in the day, I loved to make cakes with lots of steps: sift flour three times before measuring, cream butter and sugar till light, whip egg whites to form glossy peaks, beat egg yolks with sugar till they flow in a pale yellow ribbon. No one complained about this. No one said, “What, cake again? Don’t you care that gluten gives me a stomach ache and white sugar erodes the very foundation of my health?” No, my longsuffering family ate cake and scones and flaky biscuits and homemade bread with touching tolerance.

I think somewhat complicated baking was compensation for not enough art in my life. I need to make things that aren’t too easy to accomplish, like scratch cake with a tender, delicate crumb and stretchy, long-rising homemade bread. Now, I have loads of art in my life and am fully out of denial about the ways gluten and sugar were making us sick. I wish I could say no one is complaining about food now, but tummyaches are better, and headaches and asthma and acne and aching joints. So I’m not complaining.

But what to do with my cake pedestal . . . .

I know.  Let’s use it to keep these ceramic models wet and workable overnight.

These are porcelain models for toys, as well as studies in porcelain. If they are not made into toys they will not be models, they will just be themselves—porcelain figurines of childlike angels. When they are more finished I might take pictures of them outside of their glass house.
Here are studies of heads and a couple of tiny angels in various clays. One I painted with acrylics. Those files in the background are for carving tiny models out of jeweler's wax. I haven't done that for a while.