Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I recently happened upon the site of Michelle Bradshaw, who creates some of the most amazing fantasy art sculpture I've ever seen. Pixiwillow is the name of her business and it encompasses her interest in faeries, pixies, storybook characters, and other assorted creatures, many of them covered in fur.
This Mad Hatter sculpture is part of her series, "Wonderland Asylum". Be sure to check out Alice, the Cheshire Cat, and the March Hare when you visit her site.
This sculpture, called "Letting Go" is one of my favorites. Michelle says she gets inspiration from "a story, a comment or expression, a walk in the woods, a dream or circumstance, a title, etc . . .". Simply incredible work!
And then, there's Wednesday Addams, one of my favorite TV characters, after the lovely Lily Munster, of course. Looking at Michelle's work, it seems even more amazing knowing that she's basically self-taught and has only been sculpting these fantasy art pieces for about five years.
This piece, titled "Selkie & Seal" is so realistic, I keep expecting one of them to move at any second. I had no idea what a selkie was but after seeing this, I had to find out. According to the Encyclopedia Mythica, "the shy Selkies are marine creatures in the shape of a seal. They can be found near the islands of Orkney and Shetland. A female can shed her skin and come ashore as a beautiful woman. When a man finds the skin, he can force the Selkie to be a good, if somewhat sad, wife. Should she ever recover the skin, she will immediately return to sea, leaving her husband behind." I think that would make a great movie!
This wonderful little mouse, inspired by the mice in the movie Cinderella, is sculpted from polymer clay and then covered with fur of some sort. What a cute little guy and so amazingly life-like!
If you've fallen in love with Michelle's work the way I have, then you'll want to watch this incredible slideshow of her artwork set to beautiful, haunting music from Lord of the Rings. Michelle says her goal with her art is to "give her creations spirit and soul." She's definitely accomplished that and so much more with her realistic, breathtaking sculptures.
Monday, November 26, 2007
So, how do you remember how to spell my name? Actually, you really don't have to worry about it since I answer to just about anything now. But, if you're interested, here's my latest idea. Kim Cavendar is "ar, matey", like a mean and nasty pirate. Kim Cavender is "er, um . . ." , like someone who doesn't know what else to say, and that would be me.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Our eyes love a pattern! There are countless ways to achieve pleasing patterns in polymer clay through canework and surface design techniques. Mokume gane, traditionally a technique used in Japanese metalworking, is one of the most effective ways to achieve an interesting pattern in polymer clay. I've seen a lot of very controlled patterns recently using a variation of mokume gane, achieved by impressing a stack of multi-colored clay and slicing off thin layers from the top to reveal the design. This is a wonderful variation on the more organic mokume patterns that I've always been so fond of.
Rebecca Geoffrey of Ontario, Canada is doing some beautiful work with her version of this technique. She uses simple designs in her jewelry and lets the wonderful patterns that she creates take center stage. Her pendants are a great example of crisp, clean finishing and a nice use of color. You can find her work for sale on Etsy.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
After I got over the shock of seeing "my" pendant, I scrolled down the page to see what else was new and found this wonderful "plumage" pendant. Jana made some small pieces last year for a swap in this same style and I'm so glad she's decided to make more. These pieces are incredibly seamless and perfectly smooth, except for the dimensional bits that she adds. I really like the feeling of movement these pieces have.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I've fallen in love with the incredible hamsas they make, which are considered to be signs of protection that ward off evil and can lead to good fortune and personal well-being. I have this wonderful lime green hamsa by Tania Damache-Podoleanu hanging beside the door of my studio and it's kept me safe for the last year or so. It's even more incredible in person!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Israel's Ronit Golan is an amazing artist. Her use of color and pattern combine to make her work identifiable and incredibly special. The wonderful relationship she has with color helps to guide her creative process. She says that "Color is everything. When working with color I feel it by breathing it unconsciously. When I combine some colors together I feel my breathing, if it smooth - then the colors are balanced, if it stops - then there is no balance."
I love this idea she had for wrapping one of her flower canes. By dividing the background color , she ended up with two beautiful canes that are related yet still very different due to the cool blue and the warmer green colors she used to pack the cane with.
Ronit's Flickr site is full of hundreds of beautiful and inspiring photos of her work. It's easy to get lost in all the magic so give yourself some time to savor it all.
She says that, for her, the "creation process is like a romantic comedy movie - it always has a happy ending." And, I'm sure you'll agree, a beautiful one, as well!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
If you want to create a masterpiece like this one, check out Mr. Picasso Head. Silly, but fun!
This poptart from Mossy Owls looks good enough to eat! Michael is doing some lovely work and I really enjoy her blog posts as well. You can find her work for sale on Etsy.
Molly McMahan from Molymer Clay (what a fantastic name!) has turned me on to On My Desk. I have no idea why I'm interested in what's on the desk of total strangers, whether they're creative or not, but I've been enjoying it nonetheless.
And then there's Monkee Maker. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I loved monkeys a lot. The funny lady behind Monkee Maker knits adorable monkeys and takes them on hysterical little mini adventures which she photographs along the way. She's got a great sense of humor! Thanks to Marla Frankenberg for another wonderful monkey link to add to my collection.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Not being able to resist the color quizzes, I went for "what color do you need?" next.
Green will make you feel alive, renewed, and balanced. And with a little green, you will project an aura of peacefulness and harmony. If you want stability, you've got to get a little green in your life! For extra punch: Combine green with blue or purple. The downside of green: It can promote jealousy in yourself or others. The consequences of more green in your life: You will be drawn to a new life path. You will feel free to pursue new ideas and interests, no matter how strange. You will be released from the demands and concerns of others.
You are incredibly creative, spontaneous, and unique. No one can guess what you're going to do next, but it's usually something amazing. You can't deal with routine, rules, or structure. You're easily bored. As long as you are able to innovate and break the rules, you are extremely successful. You do best when you can work by yourself and can express your personality in your work. You would also be a good journalist or actor.
Yup, you're so uptight - people definitely have called you "anal." You're the type of person who's so OCD you organize your M&Ms before eating them. You have so many rules and rituals, it's hard for you to let loose and enjoy life. So go ahead and mix up your alphabetized CD collection. Live a little!
Sharp and brilliant, you can solve almost any problem with that big brain of yours. People fear your cutting comments - and your wit is famous for being both funny and cruel. Deep down, you tend to be in the middle of an emotional storm. Your own complexity disturbs you. You are too smart for your own good. Slow down a little or you're likely to hurt yourself. You can cut a paper person down to pieces. The only person who can ruin you is a rock person. When you fight, you find your enemy's weak point and exploit it. If someone makes you mad, you'll do everything you can to destroy their life.
You're empathetic, loyal, and introspective. In other words, there's no way you're a sociopath... but you can spot one pretty easily!
Your thinking is so in line with the mainstream, it's pretty freaky. Have you ever considered running for political office? You're so normal, people can't help but feel comfortable with you!
Monday, November 5, 2007
So how is it that some of the most successful and admired artists are the ones who consistently break the rules? I think it's because they understand the rules better than the rest of us. Breaking the rules for the sake of being labeled a rebel probably won't do much to improve your art. But, breaking or bending the rules in order to enhance your artwork is totally acceptable.
Polymer clay, as a medium, doesn't come with a huge set of rules to follow beyond the obvious safety and baking concerns, which, btw, are on the back of EVERY package of clay. (I only stress that because I find it amazing that so many people think it's fine to bake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, or to cure clay in a sunny window, or boil and/or microwave it.) However, if you want your artwork to be taken seriously and you want to succeed in doing what you love, there are a lot of rules to learn when it comes to art and design aesthetics. Most of us don't instinctively know these things. We have to learn them. And only through lots and lots of practice and study do we begin to understand what happens when we break these design rules and how to use those results to our advantage. We must understand the reasons behind these rules before we throw them out the window. Personally, I would much rather see a simple piece of artwork done well and by the rules than an elaborate piece with no regard given to design concepts or finishing techniques. Read everything you can find about art and design, take classes when possible, study work from artists you admire, practice until these things become second-nature. Begin where you are! Don't be in a hurry to break the rules. Before you run with your clay blade, you need to walk.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Caught in the act! Notice the guilty expressions and their unsuccessful attempts to appear well-behaved even in this obviously staged photo. My second-favorite khaki Crocs chewed beyond repair! The choice that I enjoyed making each morning was snatched away in a matter of moments. My life is now reduced to one pair of size 8, burgundy Mary Janes. Or, as I'm beginning to realize, divided into the pre-schnauzer and post-schnauzer eras. There is hope, however. Luckily, the schnauzers left me with both a left and a right shoe still intact.
Nope, not even lime green rhinestones, which normally can overcome ANY fashion crisis, can make these shoes more presentable. So this is where you, an innocent bystander reading this blog, can be of great help to me.