Tag: chicken art

Joining the Art and Craft Fair Circuit

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After a two years of collecting parts I finally have my outdoor booth set up ready to go. It’s officially June, and I have two outdoor fests under my belt with one more before the month closes out.

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Atlanta is not shy when it comes to hosting festivals, the latest addition is the Mac n’ Cheese fest, often with multiple festivals per weekend come spring and fall. This makes weekend planning difficult, but it allows me to have a variety of options when choosing which festivals to apply to and participate in.

Chastain Park Arts Festival was my introduction into the outdoor festival circuit. The weekend couldn’t have brought more perfect weather. It was low eighties, a light breeze, and a good continuous crowd. I was pleased with my profit earnings and the connections I made in the Atlanta art community.

Joining the festival circuit doesn’t just mean I have another venue to sell my art. It also means I get plugged into the art community. I have a much greater opportunity to meet likeminded and goal oriented people. I have the chance to build relationships, learn more about my craft, and be inspired by others. I love feeling like I am finally part of the community I have observed from the outside in for so many years.

Virginia Highlands Summerfest came next with an even better weekend, better foot traffic, much hotter days and a lesson in rain. I learned to place my oil paintings at the front of my booth, to save my encaustics from the direct sunlight (and potential melting) that inevitably pours in. I learned that if there is a chance of rain everything that sits on the ground should be placed on a raised surface. The later was a difficult lesson to learn when I opened my tent the next morning to deep puddles and a bag of ruined mats and prints.

Next up is Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival in just a week and a half. In between spending time with my family on Hilton Head Island, I am ordering new mats and prints, gluing paper to panels, and painting a new batch of fruit and veggies. I can’t wait to see what comes from this next festival and the break afterwards until my schedule fills up for the fall. Check out more about my new oil paintings below!

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When I first set up my booth to take pictures I realized my encaustics could melt if it was warm enough outside and they were in direct sunlight. I began to panic. After all I had just invested a lot of money for my set up. What would I do if I couldn’t display my product outside?

Version 2While teaching an idea hit me. My students had just started oil paint studies of food. I was itching to paint with oils on canvas again and started my own so I could work along with my kids. I loved getting back to the basics of just paint and I was pleased with the way my bell pepper and pomegranate turned out. I wanted to do more.

After thinking about it I decided these would be the perfect solution to my encaustic melting problem. If I moved around my artwork based on where the sun was hitting I could keep my encaustic out of the sun by displaying my oils in the sun.

Since my bell pepper and pomegranate studies I have completed blueberries, eggs, a cabbage, orange, cauliflower, garlic, mussel, oyster, and I am finishing up a kiwi, tomato, onion, and papaya. Each of these food studies are 6″x6.” I start with an underpainting, typically choosing the complementary color of the food I am painting for the background.

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After allowing the underpainting to dry I mark out the shape of the food and add some detail before applying my first layer of white to the background.

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I like to leave hints of the underpainting peeking through. Whether it’s along the edge of a bowl or in between eggs, I think it adds another interesting detail to the piece.

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I also pushed myself to loosen up my painting style by trying out palette knife painting. I started with portraits of my chickens Rachel, Thackary Binx, Sir Sylvia, and Linda. I loved the texture and the sense of movement the palette knife marks made.

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I decided to go even bigger than the 12×12 chicken portraits and I completed a 32″x32″ positive/negative space painting of the Crescent City Connection bridge in New Orleans.

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I will post additional information about my upcoming festival, Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival, next week.

With sweet Cooper, my 13 new chicks, finishing up teaching for the year, and prepping for four festivals, I have had little time to update my blog. I hope to get back to posting weekly this summer. I look forward to keeping in touch. Thanks for stopping by![subscribe2]

 

Fused Glass Plates: Backyard Chicken Decor

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I very rarely make art for myself. Typically, I will put together pieces for gifts, commissions, or they are immediately added to my Etsy shops after their creation. When I began dabbling in the world of fused glass, it was no different. Everything I make goes straight to Crafted Westside, or my Sweet Celadon store. One day, while developing a fused glass lesson for my 3D II class, I decided it was time to be selfish. I was going to make a set of chicken plates all for me.

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While touring the annual Stacks Artist and Loft tour in Cabbagetown, Atlanta, GA, I discovered a stained and fused glass artist, Susan McCracken. She had amazing fused glass plates of fish, foxes, and other animal assortments. You could see thin lines where she pieced the background around the forms, to create a two layer fused piece. Immediately, the wheels began turning in my head, and I decided to make a lesson out of it.

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I began experimenting with the process of cutting the background around the object, by making a rooster plate. It was inspired by my then rooster, Richard Parker, a Rhode Island Red. He has since found a new home, with a lot more land and hens. If you look closely, you can see the thin lines that mark the cut lines.

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After success with my rooster plate, I decided to make a plate for each of my chickens. It was a great way to hone my glass fusing skills and decorate my home. After completing Richard Parker, I took on Amy. I bought a sheet of glass with a mix of oranges and yellows, to match her Buff Orpington colors as close as possible.

Thackary Binks

After Amy was complete, I began on Thackary Binks, my Barred Rock. I love her black and white patterning, and I found the perfect glass pattern to mimic it. This plate is my favorite out of the set. I love the movement of the chicken bending over, the pattern turned out just right, and she has so much character (in real life and in the plate).

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I waited as long as possible to take on Wendall, my Ameraucana. She has the most complicated patterning out of all three chickens, and it took a bit of planning before I could get started. I carefully cut small black triangles, for her black neck, tail, and wing feathers, and intermixed them with orange and the mottled orange glass. While I struggled to piece everything together, I was happy with the end result. I think she looks the least chicken-like of all three plates, but this is my Mom’s favorite of the set, which makes me feel better about the end result.

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The Wendall plate has the most obvious cut lines showing.

So far, I have taught the glass fusing and piecing lesson two times. Both times the students have been very pleased with the end result. They have created a range of designs from elephants, to sailboats, to under the sea scenes. My students love the glass fusing process, and I hope to continue to include it in my lesson plans in the future. Check out my glass fusing set up and lesson plan here.

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Art: The 6×6 Series

 

Snapshots- The Progression of the Telephone

After working large scale for the past five years I decided it was time to try something new, and downsize. Fueled by my desire to live off of my art and sell more art on Etsy, I began looking into cheaper ways to make art in order to make it more marketable to the masses. I didn’t want to lower the integrity of my work, so the best way to achieve this was to go small. I made a trip to my local art supply shop and picked up 6″x6″ panels.

I knew I wanted to continue experimenting with mixed media and encaustic waxes, and it didn’t take long for me to realize I could combine my love for visual journals and painting into one work of art. I turned to my bin of pattern paper and began cutting, ripping, and layering. I loved the flattened look I could create by using sections of patterns to create a sky and ground. From there I began incorporating silhouettes, and my 6×6 “snapshot” series came to life.

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These images are meant to be snippets, snapshots of life. They reflect my life, thoughts, memories, and fleeting images that have found spaces in my brain. I look for interesting shapes, appealing images, and something that brings to mind a story. This idea of a story doesn’t mean it has to have a beginning and an end, it is simply a section, and snapshot.

One of my favorite things about this new series is how they can come together to say something. By grabbing a chicken, bicycle, and pinecone, and hanging them in a group, something begins to emerge. Somehow these images reflect me, my past and present me, and it says something. I also love that I can sell them for $35. Anyone can afford a one of a kind work of art, a Whitney original. There is nothing more special than finding a piece that speaks to you, knowing that someone put their thought and time into it, and having something one of a kind decorating your home. I hope as Etsy, craft fairs, and other methods of selling art become more popular more people realize how accesible the art world is.

Snapshots-The Progression of the Bicycle

Thanks for visiting my blog! Please help me spread the word by liking, tweeting, e-mailing, commenting, and subscribing! If you love the few images I have posted, and want to see more, visit my Etsy shop here. Thanks for stopping by!

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