Variation on Time

pieces clock 430x823 - Variation on TimeI spent a lot of time looking for differently constructed clocks in polymer and couldn’t find much that really illustrated the point I was hoping to make. What I wanted was to show that a clock does not have to be on a flat surface. It can be made of many parts, attached or not, and fully dimensional. As long as you have something that can house or hide the clock mechanism while holding out the hands, the rest is wide open. You can have the hour markers designated by any form and attach them with sticks or wire or be free floating–whatever suits the piece and your inclination.

These two examples are commercial designs rather than polymer art but I think they give you the basics of this idea of moving beyond the flat clock face. Not only do these kinds of clocks make for really interesting wall pieces, they give you the freedom to use pieces you may already have such as large hollow beads, faux stones, unhung pendants, small figurines, flowers, etc.

As a gift, giving a clock that has separate pieces might be best attached to something that can be hung as one piece, like a backing of Plexiglas or painted plywood. Or include instructions for a template to mark on the wall where each piece goes. There is little to no construction to deal with but you will have to make concessions in the design for how the individual pieces will be hung. Alternately, go for a design where the elements are attached like the flowers you see here.

The sky is the limit with these kinds of designs. For more ideas, try searching “DIY clocks,” which was the keyword set that brought me to these two pieces. I hope these sparks some ideas and I look forward to seeing inventive clock designs this month!

Following the Lines

anarina anar circles 430x732 - Following the LinesI know this week will be a particularly busy one for many of us, especially in the US where we are kicking off the holiday season with our family-oriented Thanksgiving festivities involving way too much food and way too much shopping to follow it up the next day.

So for today, I thought I would harken to the theme of the just-released issue of The Polymer Arts, our Winter 2017 – Line, with a simple piece that represents a quality of line that I discuss in the article in this issue, “The Language of Line.” The simple circling forms, in the signature wavering organic forms of  Anarina Anar, keep the composition centered and focused with a soft energy that continuously winds around in these soft but warm colors. Although the pendant is three-dimensional, it is the line the forms follow that gives the piece its balance and verve.

For more of Anarina’s colorful and energetic compositions, take a look at her Flickr site or her Etsy store. And to learn more about line, get a hold of your copy of this wonderful issue through our website if you have not seen it already or have it on its way to you.

A Many Layered Thing

jess kirkman 430x518 - A Many Layered ThingTo wrap up our week of looking at the effect of gathering a multitude of things, I thought I’d share an example that shows not just a collection of many things but also the proliferation of negative space.

This wall piece is the work of alcohol ink artist Jess Kirkman. Although the multiple layers are the physical aspect of the work, it is the many holes–the absence of material–that brings about the energy and texture of this piece. The negative space allows you to see past each layer and multiplies the colors and texture. The “cells” as Jess calls them allows for full participation of each layer in the composition. They create both shadow and light as well as density, in the texture, and airiness, with all the open negative space. It is a wildly enticing set of contrasts.

Jess has a whole series of these, scattered in among the more traditional 2-D work. But the colors and textures are all lovely to look at. Take it in on her Instagram page or her shop.

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Fun and Colorful Memories

corvino 030112 350x418 - Fun and Colorful MemoriesHere is another post that was very popular when I was posting art just on my Facebook page. It is from March 1st, 2012:

After a long day of car shopping (ended up with a ‘wasabi’ colored Subie–I’ve been calling car colors by their Premo equivalent! Such a polymer nerd!) I got on the ‘net looking for something light and fun–found it! The colors in this are fantastic and the shape of the necklace is inspired!

The piece is by Olimpia Corvino. Find more of her work on Facebook.

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Neverknead 052217 - Fun and Colorful Memories    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Rainbow Redux

Heather moore 430x393 - Rainbow ReduxThis arresting little piece was created by Heather Moore. However, she was not designing but learning as she created this in a class by Claire Maunsell. I recognized the technique immediately but the application of it and the design was far more geometric than what Claire usually creates so I was intrigued. Color wise, she has a very successful piece here, but what about the rest of the design? Or can we even examine it based on design when it was part of a learning process?

Personally, I think design decisions should be part of everything you do when creating. This is not to say that we have to constantly pull ourselves out of the flow of creating to examine and critique the work but rather, we should make an effort to consider all the elements that go into the work.

Whenever we have a halting moment in the creative process, if we are stuck on something that doesn’t look right, or even when we get up to refill that coffee mug or water glass, we should check to see if we have intentionally considered and made specific choices in regards to design. Is this the right shape or shapes? Does the form convey the right feeling? What do the lines in the work do for it? Is there enough color or too much or do any of the colors not work together? Is there anything I can or should do with the texture to make the parts feel more integrated or finished looking?

That may seem overly analytical and I know a lot of you just want to go in and have fun, but if you regularly stop to really consider what choices you are making, after awhile it won’t even be a conscious consideration. You’ll just know what needs to be changed and won’t necessarily know it’s about the line or texture or color choices. You’ll just stop and contemplate how to work it out better and do it. And you’ll be so much happier for it.

So why not use that analytical muscle and see what you find here? I thought it could be interesting, for those of you who are so inclined, to compare Heather’s use of color with Claire’s. Just click on the names here to get to photos of their work and see what you think.

Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Look through your work and determine what design element you seem most focused on when you create. Is it color? Form? Focal points? Do you possibly lean too heavily on one element to carry the design? Then with the next thing you create, try to focus on making unique or unusual choices for design elements that you don’t consider quite as often like form, shapes, surface texture or whatever seemed to be less considered in your past work.

Rainbows Falling

C Leonini Squares 430x726 - Rainbows FallingFor our color contemplation today we have a classic centered and graduated size drop design, although the treatment of the shapes and application of color is anything but classic.

Cecilia Leonini is this piece’s creator. Cecilia is extremely fond of color and seems to get most, if not all, the colors of the rainbow into the majority of her work.

So, what do you think? Does she depend too much on the riot of color here to carry the design? Or does she use it to spice up a classic composition of shapes alongside her other not-so-classic applications and design choices?

Perhaps you could be a better judge of her color sense if you see her body of work. Just jump on over to Cecilia’s  Flickr photostream for an eyeful of color as well as seeing what joyful work she has available for sale in her Etsy shop.

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Like this blog? Lend your support with a purchase of The Polymer Arts magazine and visit our partners.

Neverknead 052217 - Rainbows Falling    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Rainbow Color Contemplation

ChrisDamm Sea Cave earromgs 430x475 - Rainbow Color ContemplationI’ve talked a lot in the past about monochromatic and restricted palettes and, sure, I’ve had weeks with just explosions of color to cheer us up and to just drool over but we’ve not really talked about how to use a full spectrum of color. This week, I thought I’d delve into the idea of rainbow colors from a couple different perspectives.

For one, I notice that when I post super colorful art, our reads and view statistics shoot up. (Yeah, I have people who make me look at that boring stuff. Thank goodness they do!) Obviously, humans love color but isn’t it funny that very colorful work is often not respected the way similar work in more subdued or restricted color palettes is? Personally, I think that misconception likely stems from so many pieces that lean on color without consideration for other design elements. As I always try to drill into people’s heads, successful design considers all aspects of the work.

So, I thought I’d make it one of those weeks where I’m going to ask you all to do a little contemplation of the pieces presented this week. I’ve chosen some very colorful images and I’d like you to say whether you think the piece has more than color carrying its attractiveness. Does it look to you like the creator considered more than just color in the design?  If you are up for commenting, please go to the blog page (click the header of the post here to be sure you are on the web page where you can comment) or have a conversation with another willing soul or just yourself. Don’t worry about being right or wrong. I just want you to be considering the whole and then see what you come up with. It’s a good habit to have.

This first piece is by Christine Damm. It was a recent post I saw on Facebook and the colors just grabbed me. I know her style is not popular with everyone but I think her approach is one of the bravest in our community. Her rough, organic and thoroughly heartfelt work just sings with energy and with this rainbow of color here, it is singing quite loudly.

Now ask yourself about the design. What works, what doesn’t and can you see design decisions that support good design or do you think it’s the color that alone carries it? It’s a simple piece so don’t overthink it but do consider some of the basics of design including form, line, balance, rhythm, texture, and composition.

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Like this blog? Lend your support with a purchase of The Polymer Arts magazine and visit our partners.

Neverknead 052217 - Rainbow Color Contemplation    The Great Create Sept 15 blog   businesscard-3.5inx2in-h-front   Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog

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Mid Week Underwater Color Burst

il_fullxfull.644467359_1c3mHere’s a quick and colorful look at some further fishy polymer today.

This bright pendant is by Estonia’s Katrina of  the shop Filigrina on Etsy. We took a peek at another ocean inspired work of hers last year and although this is the same form of pendant, where the other piece was in a limited palette of blues and white, this has a ton of full strength color to show off all this hand tooled texture.

Katrina uses the same basic techniques employed for what is often called polymer embroidery but this time, there are no flowers, which the application is commonly used to create. Obviously the technique is perfect for undersea scenery as well!

I’m sorry this is so short but I must go catch a plane and leave all my little fishes behind. Enjoy this little mid-week color burst!

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Go crazy with color. Use color directly from the packet, choosing the brightest ones you have. Try using more of the colors you tend to steer away from. Create or design a piece with the color itself as inspiration. Let the things and memories that these colors remind you of be the source for imagery, form, texture and lines.

 

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The Great Create Sept 15 blog  never knead -july-2015c-125  TPA Blog 125x125 2015 - Mid Week Underwater Color Burst

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Fishing About

halibut bowlAlthough I’ve been so buried over here under the enthusiasm of readers and the many orders for the Polymer Journeys book as well as getting ready for the Summer issue and picking up slack while my key staff is in the process of moving or settling into a new home, my better half has regularly been dragging me away from work to help with the new home project, a large fish tank. I thought setting this up would be more like a chore but I have to say, it’s actually quite a creative process, picking out fish with an appropriate mix of sizes, colors, textures and temperaments as well as plants and structures for the fish to play around and hide under. The tank is like a canvas with a whole composition to work out. With two artists on it, our conversations have sounded more like we are working on a collaborative painting than creating an underwater environment so it’s been quite the relaxing and creative escape.

I also seem to be spotting more and more fish in the streams of art going through Flickr, on Pinterest and in my Facebook searches. (It’s been a little creepy actually … like the computer knows what I’ve been up to when I’m away from it!) So I’ve pulled a few favorites to share this week.

I absolutely adore the work of Gera Scott Chandler and spotted her hand in this Halibut Bowl as soon as I saw it. Her intense colors and the surprised expressions of the silly fish make me smile every time I look at it. The circular texture of the bowl emulates a flow of water and, with the saturation of these colors, it collectively gives the bowl a very energetic and fun feel.

Gera has a beautiful new site here. There isn’t a gallery but if you want to get this bowl for yourself, it is up for sale! You can keep up with her latest creative endeavors (including lots of fish!) on her Facebook page as well.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Bring your outside life into your studio. What has been going on in your family or social world, or with you personally that you can pull visuals from or create visuals for. If  you’ve been spring gardening, bring a texture you’ve seen in the plants or the landscape into a piece of your art. If you have a lot of abstract things going on, imagine what colors, shapes or textures could represent it and create work around the visuals you conjure up in your mind.

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Like this blog? Lend your support with a purchase of The Polymer Arts magazine and visit our partners:

PCTV March 2016 Blog  Shades of Clay Sept 15 Blog  2Wards Blog May 2016

The Great Create Sept 15 blog  never knead -july-2015c-125  TPA Blog 125x125 2015 - Fishing About

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