Gallery Submissions!

Yesterday I went on my annual trip to Comfest and stopped at a booth to buy some artwork. I asked the woman who I gave the money to if she was the artist. She confirmed that she was then we started talking. I told her that I was also a mixed media artist and wanted to start selling some of my stuff, but didn’t know how. She said she showed her work through a local gallery here in town and that I should go talk to the owner who was 2 booths down! So I did and he said the gallery was accepting open submissions for the first part of July, that I should check out the submission guidelines online and send in an application. 

When I got home, I looked up the submission guidelines on their website and I am really excited because there is no jury and you are pretty much guaranteed at least one piece getting into an open show! So I submitted pictures of 5 different pieces and now I am waiting to hear which ones they want me to enter. (Cross your fingers it will be all of them!)

Here are the pieces I submitted…. The very last one I started and finished today and I had a lot of fun making it because I used my sewing machine to “sew” the pieces of paper together and add the lace and buttons…

Just Keep Driving

Slightly crooked close up of flowers and words

Close up of the crackle trees

Night is Flying

Close up of words, a flower, and one of the metal stars…

Close up of my beautiful Grandmother Edmiston and the key she is holding…

Party Animal

Close up of banner and hat…

Close up of text… I think my Great Grandpa Benadum would approve haha.

Time was Slipping Away

Detail of the little bird

Detail of the text.
Pale Eyes
Details of the text, stitching and the buttons and lace.
Details of the lino-print and stitching outline.

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Pyromaniacs Rejoice!

So I happened to check out a couple of “Stampers Samplers” (a Somerset magazine) from the library the other day and while I was reading one this afternoon came across an article on “soot stamping” that made me want to run straight home to try it! It’s actually kind of a reverse stamping project and is ridiculously easy and has pretty cool results. Here’s how it works….

Your basic supplies

 For your supplies you need-

  •  Free standing candle (I am not sure one in a jar would work very well…) 
  • A lighter (duh)
  • Assorted stamps, I used both commercial stamps and hand carved stamps 
  • Cardstock with a glossy finish
  • Spray fixative

Light the candle and then take the cardstock and hold it partially in the flame. Keep the paper moving around or it will catch fire! Build up the collection of soot by revisiting the same places on the paper. Once you have a good coverage of soot, stamp the paper with a clean stamp (examples below). The stamp should lift the soot off the page so you can see the image. Once you are done stamping seal the whole page with several layers of spray fixative so it doesn’t smudge. Viola! Soot stamping! (The pyromaniac in me was absolutely gleeful throughout the entire process 🙂

This was done using a typical store bought stamp…
As well as this one…
These two were hand carved stamps and I would venture to say they came out about the best. I think it’s because the lines were thicker.

If anyone else decides to try their hand at soot stamping I would love to hear about how it went so leave comments and pictures!!

The name of this project is "tedious"…

Worked some more on my stained glass project today. I started this sucker like 4 months ago not realizing how time consuming it was going to be.

Here’s the basic idea-

I found a children’s board book from Goodwill in like February and bought it because it looked interesting. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it yet. As you can see from the picture it’s unique because it can fold all the way out and it has the cool cutouts on each page. There used to be see-through plastic designs there, but I ripped them out and primed the book with gesso paint.

 (Carwyn *left* and Rhett *right* were just waiting for their close up! Ignore the messy studio in the background.)

A couple weeks after I bought the book I ran across an Elizabeth Kubler-Ross quote I fell in love with-

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to turn that book into a stained glass sculpture with that quote running across it?” Yeah, great idea=lots of work!

The first step was I had to design each of the six stain glass panels. I looked at traditional stained glass panels from churches to get ideas. Then I had to redo each design onto tissue paper so they were geometrically equal. From there I had to trace each design on black cardstock, which I then cut out by hand with an exacto knife (this is still a work in progress as well). Then I had to create the colored paper that would go into the different parts of the cutouts by using glue and tissue paper (a la 5 year old, camp arts and crafts, sun catcher style!) NOW I have to trace each shape, cut it out of the tissue paper and glue into place. Repeat six times, and I will finally have all the panels to glue down onto the book. WHEW! Despite the amount of work it has been it’s turning out pretty awesome as you can see…

This a panel with the first two colors, red and green added. I think it’s going to take me awhile!

Aside from that I have a couple other projects on my table right now such as my next linoleum cut pictured below…

Before I started cutting with just the pencil drawing…
Now it’s almost completely carved.

And speaking of things on my table I don’t think this post would be complete without sharing the awesome food find I made earlier this week.

Veggie chips! (Yes, that is a green bean!)

I found these awesome organic veggie chips in the bulk section at Kroger of all places! They are whole slices of veggies that have either been baked, fried, or dehydrated (or some combination thereof) to make this awesome tasty snack that I can actually eat yay! I was surprised that I liked it as well as I do because I am not a huge squash fan and there is squash and zucchini both in it, but it doesn’t bother me bit. I bought a couple of containers to take in my luggage when we go to Florida 🙂

What’s in a name?

Some of you may be wondering why I decided to name my blog, and hopefully if I am able to market my artwork, my eventual professional studio name “Curious Hawk Studio”. This is a fun story, so fasten your seat belts- this was a bumpy time in my life…
To give a brief overview for those who may not be intimately familiar with my story, I had a quarter-life crisis last year in February. Two years out of undergrad working in a job completely unrelated to art and extremely stressed out and depressed I decided I needed a change, and I felt art was my calling. However, rather than having the courage to try and make it as an artist I decided to take the safe route and go into art education. Little did I know art education wasn’t all that “safe” either. Within less than 4 months of being in an education program several of the major school districts in my town significantly cut or completely eliminated the art program from their elementary schools- my target age group. If that’s not enough to put the fear of God in you I don’t know what is. It didn’t take long until I became disenfranchised with education and finally admitted to myself this spring that what I really wanted to do was be a full time artist.
Anyone who has ever jumped off the deep end can probably then relate to what was going on in my head during that time. I had days where I was filled with confidence and excitement at the prospect of creating my own art to sell, as well as days where I was plagued with doubts, fears and worries about how I could never possibly amount to anything. Many of the artists I admire have blogs that I used to read thinking how similar their stories were to mine and I began to think that maybe a blog was a safe way to “test the waters” so to speak. Problem was, what was I going to call it?
Around this same time I started seeing hawks everywhere. They aren’t really uncommon in our area, but I was seeing 4-5 or more everyday as I drove around town for my job. I am a firm believer that when we are struggling the universe sends us messages of hope and strength. Considering some ancient religions believed the hawk to be a creative messenger who encourages finding a life of  “purpose”, I said to the universe “I get it already!” and decided to close my eyes and leap and see what happened.
Several weeks after I made the decision I was still somewhat unsure of myself and my ability to turn this into a reality. Then one day while I was driving to work I saw yet another hawk, but this one was different. The highway I was driving on has a large retaining wall next to it and I noticed a large bird sitting on top. I remember thinking “Oh goodness that’s a big bird!” and as I got closer I realized it was a red-tailed hawk calming sitting on that retaining wall as cars zoomed past at 70 miles an hour. He appeared unfazed by the fact that large objects at high speeds were passing within 10 yards of him and continued to look curiously at his surroundings. As I passed I felt like he looked straight into my eyes as if questioning me about what I was going to do next.
Later that night when I got home from work I decided that should I market my artwork I would market it under the name of Curious Hawk Studio in honor of that experience. Long story short that leads us now to this blog and the humble beginnings of what I hope will become a fruitful career in the world of art. I don’t know where it will take me yet, but no matter where I go I hope I never stop seeing hawks soaring through the sky so that I will always remember to keep chasing my dreams!

In the beginning there was a lack of English skills…

So this blog has been a long time coming. I said months ago I was going to start writing one of these as a way to share my art… then it never happened. Well I finally decided that it was time to stop dragging my feet and actually do something about it. 

I think I was plagued by the usual blogger doubts of “What am I going to write?”, “Is anyone actually going to read it?”, and (my favorite) “Am I going to make myself look like an idiot by putting myself out there?”  Writing, especially for me, can be a challenge. Not that I am not excellent at writing down my thoughts in an eloquent manner, I just suck at sentence structure and spelling. So for all you folks who are kind enough to spend time reading this I apologize now if my lack of commas and fragmented sentences make you cringe, that’s just how I am, take it or leave it. (At least I have spell check! Thank goodness for small blessings 🙂

Now with that out of the way, on with the good stuff!