Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My house is a 1930s bungalow and the bathroom has the original mint and black tile. How to coordinate decor? The walls are a light beige-ish pink; the warm color balances the cold feeling from all the glossy tile. It is nearly impossible to find a green that goes with the tile. My towels are black and the curtains were cheap black fabric curtains that looked good enough.

Then one day I was in the home decor section of my local fabric store and came upon this fabric and knew it would go with my bathroom.  The green is not exactly the same but the color is the same temperature as the tile; matching color temperature while not having the exact same color makes the colors coordinated without being too matchy-matchy. I went straight home and made these curtains. The tab tops are cotton duck; it is a similar weight to the curtain fabric. I used a black satin grosgrain ribbon to cover up the hem stitching and to balance the black tab tops. Using black for the curtains helped to further tie the colors into the bathroom colors.

The tiebacks have small loops sewn to the back so that they can hook on to little hooks on the wall. I just hadn't installed the hooks when I took this picture.

Next: new kitchen curtains...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My first gallery display

From the previous post you can see the progress from rough beginnings to finished piece. This artwork was made for a "shadowbox" show at Warehouse 416 in Oakland that was shown in October and November 2011. Warehouse 416 is a nice gallery run by fab people! They also have a Saturday afternoon "drink and draw" with live models and cocktails; it is a fine example of the East Bay art scene. This was the first time I have had anything publicly displayed in a gallery and naturally I was very excited but too shy to brag about it until after the display was taken down. Making this project occupied all of my free time for a month but I enjoyed the process and learned a lot.

The case is constructed of wood, painted with acrylic gesso and then acrylic paints. The figures are made of Fimo clay over a wire structure with silk fabric garments. The accessories are made of Fimo clay and the furniture is made of wood. I made everything myself.

The front of the case holds a pane of glass in order to protect the contents. In the future I plan to remove the contents and the glass, install opaque doors, and convert this art piece into a cupboard for my bathroom. I'll keep the painting to remind me of the original purpose of the cupboard and post pictures when (eventually) I get around to hanging it up.

This is the frontal view of the finished piece on display in the gallery. It is hanging from eye bolts screwed into the top. I purposely designed the case so that it could be hung from the top, the back, or a French cleat; I wanted to give the gallery as many options as possible since I didn't know their requirements when I designed the case. I also felt it gave me more flexibility for display.

Here is a diagonal side view showing the side painting. The quote is from my favorite Shakespeare sonnet, number 18.

All of the figures are sculpted in Fimo clay. The Mary figure, being divine, is different from the others and sculped in black glitter clay. The other figures are sculpted in various colors of clay from my supply box and painted bone color. All have clothing I sewed for them.

These are the newspaper beginnings of the paper mache butterflies for decorating the sides. They are simple constructs of newspaper, tape, and glue made from flour.

There are four vignettes contained within the piece. Each display has particular personal meaning for me and is representative of a loved one who has died. This is the display on the lower middle. All figures, furniture, and accessories were hand made by me.