Squared Color

CDumont squares 430x395 - Squared ColorFirst of all, thank you for the huge response and kind words about the new Summer, color focused issue of The Polymer Arts magazine. Honestly, I don’t think we’ve ever had this level of a response on social media–the enthusiasm is tremendous. I’m so glad we are putting the kind of information you want out there. Keep the comments coming, good and bad, so we can stay on track!

I can’t say that there has been just one or two favorite articles in this issue, there are at least half-dozen that people are out there saying polymer enthusiasts need to get this issue for. Even our regular section “Color Spotlight,” where Lindly Haunani interviews a respected artist about their use of color in polymer, is getting a ton of attention. Why? Probably because of the very honest and revealing comments that Christine Dumont, the Spotlight artist, has to offer. Her approach to color and her exploration with polymer is fresh and really gets you thinking about your own approach to color.

I won’t spoil it for those waiting on their article by saying more but since we focused on a handful of specific pieces, I thought it would be nice for you to see another piece that specifically follows a line of exploration she discusses in the article. The pieces that are examined for the article’s color exploration exercises embrace techniques that you can see here in a rare squared off Dumont composition. Contrast in hue, value and texture works seamlessly to create a reservedly energized painting like piece. A lot is going on in that small space.

This is one of her latest works as can be found on her website. Also, check out Voila!, Christine’s design centric educational and inspiration infused site offering classes and tutorials to help raise your own work and design sense to the next level.

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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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The Dumont Collection

CDumont work

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to not only see, live and in person, the latest work by the meticulous Christine Dumont but to see so much of it in one place. You can tell she spends hours getting every element just right, and I can only imagine how many hours she puts into developing her process in which she can achieve such perfection. The pieces here are examples for classes or are show pieces for the Fimo exhibition at Eurosynergy and not for sale, but I did get to try on and model a few for the gang and I was just in love with how they both looked and felt on. They are some truly masterful pieces of art.

Christine has not only been diligently working away on her own pieces but has continued helping others increase their creativity and exploration of design through the classes offered on Viola.eu. Take a look at the new set of courses she and Donna Greenberg are working on as well as dropping by Christine’s artist website for an eye full of her beautiful collection of work.

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Polymer Under a Microscope

The organic forms, colors and patterns of nature inspire the work of many polymer artists. There was quite a bit of this at EuroSynergy, the microscopic looking variety especially and it has been on my mind since then. So this week, let’s look at items that could be drawn from what we might find under a microscope.

When thinking of cellular imagery, Christine Dumont’s work comes to mind first. We enjoyed a number of wonderful talks at EuroSynergy and I had the opportunity to take a close look at some of her more recent work although I didn’t get any photos. However, Christine takes such wonderful photos of her work so let’s look at her images instead. This pendant is a slight departure from others in her “Cellularia” series. She usually layers the perforated clay, lining the holes in precise rows to create a three dimensional surface. Here we have just the one layer of very organically spaced holes giving it even more of a cellular look.

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Christine is known for her wonderfully helpful site, Voila as well as her beautifully finished work. Enjoy some time on her beautiful website and do check out Voila.eu.com if you haven’t yet or haven’t been there recently.

 

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Coming into One’s Own in Western Europe

This week, I thought we’d counter the theme we did on Eastern Europe a number of weeks ago by doing a sampling of Western Europe. To get a sense of this region’s tendencies, we’ll be visiting European artists from this other side of the continent, all of whom I have not yet talked about on the blog.

The Western side of the continent has a dominant edginess and a lot of experimentation with form. There wasn’t nearly so much of the floral and dominance of bright color that we saw in Eastern Europe; instead, rather subdued or limited color combinations and stylized organic or graphic forms and textures were more common in the work I sampled. I couldn’t begin to answer why this might be, but I find it interesting that although we are a very global community, certain characteristics can be found dominant in given regions.

So this week we’ll start in France with artist Sonya Girodon, a relative newcomer to polymer but an absolute natural with it. In her prior work, you could see the strong influence of other polymer artists; but the work posted most recently is really quite unique. She does credit Christine Dumont’s “Ways to Wow” course conducted on Voila for her breakthrough and Donna Greenberg’s work as her design inspiration, but the end result is all Sonya’s own.

Sonya Alone

 

I so love what she says in her profile text on Flickr that I decided to quote it whole here:

“My new Hobby started in November 2011 with a set of Fimo bought for my daughter. I quickly realized that polymer clay is the medium I’ve always dreamt of. What a feeling when the brain shuts down and inspiration overflows into the fingers, hours fly by in seconds, and wonder is created out of nothing.”

Very poetic. And so very, very familiar: a sense of letting go, of letting the process of creation guide the work. That state is what I always think of as the goal when getting into the studio. Not so much the making of a particular thing, but getting to that point where you are working in a flow state and the clay translates who you are and what you want to say as you work. For me, the works that comes out of those kinds of sessions are the most satisfying and true to who I am.

If you are interested on reading more about getting into that very creative  state of mind, we touch on that in the Flow article in last year’s Fall 2012 issue of The Polymer Arts magazine. I also recommend a book called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. But in the meantime, do explore more of Sonya’s work on her Flickr pages. She’s only been at this a couple years, but she has had amazing growth in her work during that time. I find it fascinating to see the progress of someone’s growing artistry and you can definitely see Sonya’s here, going from her older photos to the above piece, her latest work. It looks like she has really come into her own this past summer. She is definitely someone to watch.

 

pg collage 13-P3 Fall 2013

Opportunity to Grow

If you have been enjoying the conversation about expanding your artistic voice, you may want to hop on over to Voila! this weekend. As of this Sunday, there is a new class you can join–Ways To Wow … and all you have to do is show up on the site Sunday!

Here’s the deal: Voila! is creating an opportunity for you to spend the next 6 months planning, designing and making a piece to achieve significant creative growth. At the end of the course, you will have a landmark piece in your body of work that exemplifies your creativity. You will also have learned a method that you can use for your future big projects.

Christine Dumont is a force for artistic growth in our community and regularly has classes like this running on Voila!. Look at what Angela Garrod did during the last class, How to Become a Better Artist.

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Angela has thoroughly explored this hollow pendant form with a variety of applications. Intense exploration into a technique, form or approach is a great way to explore your artistic voice. You find yourself drawn back to certain aspects of your experiments which gives you a direction to push yourself. This kind of in-depth exploration is what you can expect if you join in on one of Christine’s Voila! classes.

Here are highlights from the class description:

The course will require at least two hours of your time per week. The studio sessions will of course require as much time as it takes to complete the piece. This course is free and available to all but only Voila! members will have access to the forums to discuss the course material and post images in the gallery.

New course material will be posted on the Homepage every Sunday starting May 5th. You don’t have anything to do except wait for May 5th when Christine will be posting course material for the week.

Cool, huh? Head on over to Voila! if you aren’t familiar with the site and then we’ll see you back there on Sunday!  http://www.voila.eu.com/

 

Encouraging Constructive Criticism

Yesterday I posted observations about an organically inspired necklace. Beautifully done, it still had room for improvement and I mentioned my thoughts on that. It felt rather odd to do so. Our community doesn’t really spend a lot of time talking about the missed opportunities in our art work. Usually we praise (and usually deservedly so) the work of our fellow artists which certainly helps bolster confidence and enthusiasm in the artist. But how much does it help them improve their work?

AGarrodFlickr-1

A week or so ago I had a great Skype conversation with Christine Dumont of Voila (see the interview/article on Voila in our latest magazine issue). One of the very unique things about her site is that members get constructive feedback on work they submit in their gallery. Much of the Voila concept is built around ways to help polymer artists improve their work, not just receive confirmation that they are going in the right direction. I think this is a concept we all need to embrace further.

The hard part of with working more constructive feedback into our conversations is that most of us have not been through the training and educational experience of art school or other exposure to critical commentary on our heartfelt work. But in an artistic and educational environment, constructive criticism is a major part of the learning process. Not only does it help to hear other people’s opinions and ideas about how to improve what you do, but honing a critical eye through observing the work of others can help you more readily see ways of improving yours.

I would certainly love to see more of this kind of exchange in the community.  Do you think you have a thick enough skin to hear people express what might be done to improve your work so you can learn and grow your artistic skills from it? And can you give others helpful and supportive advice on opportunities you find in their work? If so, perhaps try including small suggestions in your conversations about other artists’ work. And try Voila if you haven’t already done so.

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