Summer Issue, “Color!” is Out! And a Lively Bird.

jsa back parrot 430x344 - Summer Issue, "Color!" is Out! And a Lively Bird.As many of you have seen, the Summer 2017 issue actually went out yesterday, a day early. Unforeseen circumstances forced me to be on the road today instead of late last week as planned so I couldn’t do the release today. Hope it was a welcome surprise for you digital subscribers (if you are due a copy and didn’t see it in your inbox, check your spam/junkmail folder and if it’s not there check your subscription account here or write my assistant at connect[at]thepolymerarts.com). Print issues are actually on the way as well–the US batch went to the post office Friday (although the holiday might slow it down initially) and get the copies for international shipments tomorrow to sort and get on its way so it will be all over the world soon enough.

As tradition dictates, this week we’ll share some pieces that didn’t make it into the new issue. There is just never enough room! This parrot by our profiled artist, Jon Stuart Anderson, was one of those pieces that we just loved but could not work into the article. It is one of Jon’s newest pieces and he was just so excited to share it with us so, of course, since it’s not in the magazine, I had to bring it to you here. There is such rich color on the front but just look at the back of the bird. It has such a lovely, lively pattern and such a perfect finish! Pure Jon Anderson magic.

Please enjoy more of Jon’s newest work on his Facebook page and his website while I mosey on down the road. And if you don’t have your Summer issue purchased or your subscription active, just hop on over to the website at www.thepolymerarts.com.

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Brave Waves

SGirodan Germinnate 430x390 - Brave WavesSonya Girodan has been consistently posting intriguing and quite exploratory pieces, this past year or so and I don’t think there has been one that I thought was just “meh”. They have all felt intense, with a sincere and thorough plunge into attempts to rip her voice and creativity out of herself and into the open. Maybe this sounds a tad dramatic but it’s rare to see work like this, playing around on the edge of the comfortable aesthetic range within polymer art.

That is not to say that every piece is unquestioningly successful but it is unquestionably brave to put such a range of work out there, to say, here is what I am as an artist right now and yes, it is a kind of all over the place. Sometimes an artist just need room to dance as softly or as wildly as they are inclined, to dance like no one is watching. .

This kind of gutsy approach has led Sonya through a lot of experimentation but to me, none has had quite the draw that these mixed fiber works have had. My prior craft work was in fiber, mostly natural materials in a raw state, so I will admit to a preference for the kind of thing you see here, mixing textures as well as materials. I know many people who work with polymer have such an awe or love of the material that they don’t want to work with anything else and may even feel like a bit of a traitor if they start to have an affinity for another material. But art should not have limitations, especially self-imposed ones. I think any creator should just reach out for whatever is needed to create the vision in their head or heart. The material is secondary to the vision.

Let me do some of that questioning of you, dear reader, that I was doing last month. I know this piece will not be everyone’s cup of tea but how do you feel about it? Bereft of color but rich in form and texture, does it feel like anything is missing? Does it feel whole and thought out or does it feel like an experiment that went as far as it could, a prelude to future work? You don’t need to post your answers (although I love to hear what you all think!) but if you take a moment to ask yourself these questions,  maybe even write them down, you might find it interesting to see what you think put into words. There is a certain bravery to critiquing other people’s work and there is certainly a learning experience possible in it.

Sorry for the rambling. I have not had much sleep, battling some crazy neck pain this past week. But hopefully my meandering mind is entertaining! What you might find more entertaining is Sonya’s work. Take a stroll through her Flickr photostream for a better overview of what I have been babbling about here and enjoy peeking in on her artistic journey.

 

 

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Words Going Round

Nikolina OtrzanTubes 430x316 - Words Going RoundOkay, let’s get serious this week. First, a bit of business for readers anxiously awaiting the new issue of The Polymer Arts. The richly packed Color themed Summer edition has had its release date confirmed! Look for digital copies to land in your mailbox on May 30th with print editions all being on the way out from the printer by that day as well.

While we wait for that exciting issue to make its way to us, I thought we’d turn our attention to a few of our more prolific artists whose work is jamming up my lists and Pinterest boards, waiting to be featured.

Nikolina Otrzan has been doing some remarkably sophisticated work with very simple shapes and surface treatments lately. Like these tubes. Tubes with dots. And on the rustic side. Simple but eye-catching in solid, matte colors, these are all about ’round’, with round tubes and round dots and nothing else to distract on the earrings.

On the necklace, there is a distraction in the form of words. Words will always be distracting. Our eyes go straight to them to try and glean their meaning. They are a focal point without having to sit on one point. I love that these are on a round surface so that there is no beginning or end to the imprinted text. There is also no one word or meaning that can be gleaned at a glance so the words are not calling out some obvious message. The necklace also, still stays in the ’round’ theme but there is a more varied energy in the texture of the text, so that it has a more intricate and energized feel to it.

Nikolina’s shop on Etsy is full of inexpensive yet in-depth tutorials on her piece and techniques. If you are looking for something different to play around with this coming week, her tutorials would be a great place to start. For more visual inspiration, take a look at her work on Flickr.

 

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Kitten Cute

lynx chibi dragon spirit by lisatoms d8tcih3 1 430x618 - Kitten Cute

I’m actually taking the day off today. I know it doesn’t look like it but I couldn’t leave you all hanging without a little something to check out this weekend.

So here’s one more curious polymer and fur creations. I apologize but I just couldn’t resist dropping in a kitty on you. I mean, there has to be some reason cat videos are so wildly popular–people love the felines, especially those with really big eyes.

A feline with big eyes and a mischievous nature seems to be the recipe for a hit cat video and although this is not a video I think Lisa Toms got the formula just about right. Now to figure out the breed!

Go ahead and have fun with this Lisa’s cuties and curiosities on her Deviant Art pages.

 

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Soft and Sleek

Escaron art doll color and aura 430x339 - Soft and SleekApparently we are doing polymer and fur this week. Looking at Tuesday’s artist led me down a rabbit hole of impressive figure and doll art where polymer is being beautifully combined with furry textures. I did try to find jewelry, and there are a few things, but nothing that was knocking my socks off.

This artist, however, did grab my attention. Furry doesn’t have to be cute, quite apparently. This majestic little creature impresses one with both the bright but not overly used dashes of blue and a very sleek and elegant line in its form. You also have to wonder what story the artist has for this creature. I can’t imagine making something like this without imagining how it would live out in the world.

The artist, Linda Lundqvist who hails from Sweden, creates a wide variety of fantastical creatures, that mix characteristics of various animals along with a good dose of pure imagination. Discover more of Linda’s world through her Deviant art pages and in her Etsy shop.

 

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Fuzzy Comfort

swap spirit art doll ooak by furrykami creatures d9xk9yd 430x619 - Fuzzy ComfortYou know when you have those days, or weeks (or years!), that just drain you, sometimes the only thing you want is something or someone cute and comforting to curl up with. I do have a particularly cuddly, loving German Shepard so I can get that most days but today I wanted to find something comforting and cute to post. You just have to do that sometimes.

Now, my version of cute is usually a little off from the standard cute of kitties and puppies (not that I am at all immune to their devious cuteness) but tell me that this little mom and her, well, baby creature, aren’t just heart-meltingly adorable. Dyagileva Marina specializes in furry and polymer mixed media creations with a little bit of creature and cute all rolled up into her sculptures. The contrasting softness of the fuzzy soft body next to those polymer faces with their big eyes probably helps, plus it is a combination you don’t see too often with polymer. I do find the combination of soft fabrics works quite well with polymer, even in jewelry, although I don’t know if I have seen furry and polymer on any necklaces but I think I’m going to go look for some!

If you are up for a dose of slightly off the norm cuteness, you can see more of Dyagileva’s creations in her Etsy shop and Deviant art pages.

 

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Colored Paper

gustavoramirezcruz Cyclopedidae Berlinus 430x318 - Colored PaperToday, we step just to the side of polymer and check out some amazing paper mache.

This collection I found today just blew me away. The work is by Gustavo Ramirez Cruz and the color and whimsy are just irresistible. Well for me, certainly, but I bet this little guy will tug at quite a few of you, too. It was hard to pick which one to show off. They are such strange creatures he creates, but they invariably have this vulnerable and unaware look that makes me just want to pack them up and take them home to protect them … and to cheer me up while they are at it. Kind of like my dogs, really! And nearly as big as our smaller furball. This cutie measures 46 x 28cm (18″ x 11″) but when I first saw it, I thought, that would make a great brooch!  It would have to be shrunk down some!

Well, instead of blathering on with patterned animal comparisons from our other artist’s this week, how about you use your precious time to jump over to Gustavo’s site and give yourself an eyeful of joy and color this weekend. Just jump over to his simple but entrancing website.

 

Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Find the pattern in the animals around you. Whether they are pets, critters you see outside your window or exotic animals in a book or online, look for color and patterns that inspire you and let what you find inspire a new piece.

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Loveless Animals

loveless cane wall seahorse 430x989 - Loveless AnimalsLet us allow Jon Stuart Anderson’s cover piece dictate the theme this week … animals full of color and pattern. Although, unlike Jon’s bull on the cover of the upcoming Summer 2017 issue (due out end of May) is a three-dimensional sculpture, this piece is a wall mosaic by Mary Anne Loveless who just so happens to be gracing our pages as well in the gallery section of that same issue.

Even though this is a two-dimensional approach to using canes to create the shape and flow of an animal’s likeness, the mind-set is probably not dissimilar when the artists sit down to work out where the canes will go. What canes and where would they best serve the image of this animal they want to convey? Mary Anne is using mosaic and pointillism to create the form of the seahorse here while Jon uses a three-dimensional form. Does seem pretty different from that aspect but the patterns are what form the details of these animals in both cases.

I really enjoy picking out the individual canes in both cases. I am enthralled by Mary Anne’s choice of color juxtaposition in this. The aqua next to the reds and the beige and peach being the color the blues fade off to like in the chest area. It’s just beautiful.

Mary Anne really likes seahorses, as you will find upon opening her Flickr page which as of this post, is pretty much all seahorses. But she also likes fish and flowers and faeries!  But mostly she loves, and is very good at, pattern and color which you can see in full evidence on her Flickr pages and her Etsy shop.

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The Summer Cover … Thank you Mr. Anderson

TPA 17P2 JSA bull cover border web72 430x562 - The Summer Cover ... Thank you Mr. Anderson

Today, I just want to share the newest cover of The Polymer Arts. We are so very lucky to have Jon Stuart Anderson gracing the cover with a wonderful close up of his Raging Bull sculpture. The article on Jon’s art and life is alone worth getting this issue for.

Jon had previously not talked much about his work and yet it is absolutely unforgettable. His process, his thoughts on creating, on color, and on living as an artist are from the heart and he minces no words. The interview conducted, and article written by, the equally amazing Ron Lehocky was a dream for us. Ron had so much material, there really could have been a book. Ron was just the person to pull from Jon the stories and details that allow us a rich and colorful glimpse of the man and his work like we’ve never seen it before. I am so thrilled about this issue. Can you tell?

 The whole Summer 2017- Color issue will be a great reference for color exploration now and in the future with the talent and knowledge of some of our best artists including Tracy Holmes, Christine Dumont, Lindly Haunani, Meg Newberg, and Anke Humpert, along with Ron and Jon.  Here’s some of the articles you can look forward to:

  • Color Theory – Simplified!
  • Creating Relatable Color Palettes
  • Fixing our Brains’ Flawed Color Perception
  • The Wild & Colorful World of Jon Anderson
  • Dramatic Color Blends for Canes
  • Painting with Polymer clay
  • Color Guided Necklace Designs
  • Re-Thinking Your Artistic Identity
  • Funding a Guild or Group
  • Color Spotlight on Christine Dumont
  • New Ways with the New Liquid Clays

… and much more!

​Don’t miss out on this essential issue. Be sure your subscription is up to date by going to your account page or start your new subscription. It’s easy … just click here!

If you are jonesing to see more of Jon’s work or want to purchase his work, you can find it on his website.

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