Monday, January 31, 2011

Everybody Let’s Twist

I was invited to decorate a plastic megaphone for a fund raiser. I could have taken the traditional route by painted it but after studying it a bit I realized that I was more interested a less conventional solution. Being the inveterate scavenger and collector of odds and ends that I am an idea began to emerge. I love music. I love dance. I would transform my megaphone into…….a ‘hula gogo dancer.’

I inverted an old mop and stuck the handle into a 10” section of railroad timber. This was the infrastructure for the dancer. The mop became a beehive hairdo, a former lampshade ring was used to create a hula skirt made of strings of marker tops. Her arms were made from wooden laths attached to a dowel that I passed through a hole in the mop handle and held everything together. Her hands were cut out of plastic milk jugs.

With a little paint and a sense of humor, my megaphone was transformed into a dancing queen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


These are extensions of the Checkers series of made from cutting pen and ink drawings that were cut into strips and woven back together again. In these pieces I used remnants that I glued together to form strips and then them wove into 8"x8" squares. I then drew features with pen and ink and randomly assigned them to the woven squares. I enjoy the texture of the weaves contrasted with the features and how the portraits then emerges from the arrange of the features

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Checker Portaits

On numerous occasions as a teaching artist in public schools I have given all kinds of demonstrations ranging from doing simple perspective exercises to building simple sculptures. In this case I was doing water color exercise illustrating some effects that could be achieved with water colors, not that I am anything close to an expert. But I can do some rudimentary exercises that are accessible to inexperienced students. At the end of the exercises rather than throw away the samples that I had used, I would keep them. After all it was decent paper and seemed a pity to throw it away just because it had some water color on it. After all, you never knew when it might in handy for something.

Well, I found a way for them to come in handy. When all else fails, weave them.

I ended up applying a white wash of acrylic paint over the water color designs to create a neutral field, allowing for the water color to bleed into the whitepaint. I then used a thinned down black paint and a bit of ink to draw very simple but similar portraits on twelve small squares of the used water color paper squares that I had used as samples with the kids. I then cut pairs of drawings into strips and wove them back together, as I have done on countless of other occasions. The results, though not new, are always a surprise. I’m calling this series ‘Checker Portraits.’