When your kids are in school, you are asked to volunteer your time for many things. Many, many, many things. That's how I got into drawing and eventually take part in painting a HUGE 18x36 foot climbing wall in the gym. Other parents volunteered over the past few months making the actual climbing wall. It is AWESOME! It isn't one of those hokey little 6' high flat, imaginationless, no-challenge regular school climbing walls, this thing is an actual challenge! It is three-dimensional in all angles, and 18' is really high! While I will not be paid in cash for my part in this big project, I know that my child, and many others will enjoy the wall immensely. I will post photos when the project is finished.
Otherwise, I have not made many art pieces to share with you. I have been working on felted hats for the fall, and since it's summer, spending time with my kids. My friend Marissa Aaron and I have started making a long flowy skirt for each of us, and I have started on a decoration piece for Halloween (it's less than three months away, you know....). I have an idea of what I might be for Halloween... but Im not telling!
Spring Daze, Cary NC
Since we have a smaller vehicle now, I couldnt bring the whole family along this year. So my good friend Marissa Aaron came along to help with the show, keep me company, and for a bit of fun.
I made her wake up at an inhuman time of day, we had a light breakfast, then we headed off to set up for the show. We had a lovely day, the weather was cool and we didn't have any rain. It was such a pleasure to see my 'regulars' again this year. The new booth design worked very well, and I am pleased with the portability and ease of set up and break down. It is also easier for everyone to navigate, since there are no tables to occupy floor space. There was a good crowd, and a good feel over all. I must admit, I did miss the lack of pirates at this year's festival. (where have all the pirates gone...?)
We returned, exhausted that evening to the home of our lovely host, Sue Oury. Her birthday coincides every year with Spring days, and I am sure my staying thwarts some of her plans, but she is gracious and doesn't seem to mind. She 'forced' us to stay up late Saturday evening to learn how to play train dominoes (I think she was banking on the fact that our brains would be as thick as refrigerated barley malt, and she would have no trouble beating us....). It was a lot of fun, and I look forward to a replay next time;) Thank you again Sue!!!!
On Sunday we decided to have a leisurely lolligag, and took ourselves to a few places of amusement. With the help of my new best toyl, the smart phone, we easily found our way to an amazing an exciting place of art supplies, darn near heaven, Jerry's Artorama. Now, I know this place isn't artist Heaven, but for someone who's last visit to Pearls (NY) was over 15 years ago, this was pretty good. I was like a little big child in a great big toy store......oooooooooh.. Needless to say, I bought some stuff. A huge watercolor pad, a tiny watercolor block (for midday forrays), more 8x10 sleeves, and some decorative handmade paper. ...Oh, I could have come home with so much more....
We had an absolutely delicious lunch at The Remedy Diner (http://www.theremedydiner.com/ ). This place is hip, but pricey, even for lunch. It was really difficult to choose just one item on the menu, everything looked so good.
Finally, we went to the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, and enjoyed a nice stroll until closing time. That is where the image came from at the beginning of this post.
Art makes me want to Do Big Art.
THANK YOU EVERYONE who attended Spring Daze, shared interesting conversations with me, and especially those who are now enjoying new art in their homes!!
THANK YOU MARISSA for coming with me! It was so much fun!
THANK YOU my family, for putting up with your crazy art mom person, and all of your support!
Yes, Okay, well.... see, I downloaded this game a couple of years ago, and since is was originally intended to run on DOS, the new PC OSs don't particularly 'do' so much of that anymore. So, it has taken a few tries to get the game to actually work (mind you, I have still not downloaded the version with the lovely voice clips *sigh*). Finally ran into a program which allows old programs to be played on different platforms (Scummvm). Well, now it works. Which is pretty cool, because it wouldn't even work with Vista's compatibility modes, which had always worked in the past for older programs.
Yes, so, art, right. I will make a completely different post today for the update on the last show I attended in late April.
Oh yes, to temporarily extend the geekery here, this is an entertaining link:
So last night I stayed up until 3 am, painting. I finished another just for fun painting, and started on a third. Not sure if the third is really finished or not. Seems the other two were less time consuming.
This morning I wanted to juice carrots for breakfast; couldnt find an important part of the juicer... *frustrated* The milk was bad, (meant no cereal or oats), so was forced to eat one of the 'on-the-brink' bananas on the island in the kitchen. With tahini on it. Now, I like tahini, but I really wanted juice. I looked again when I got home from working, and I still havent found the missing piece! (HA!) so, at about 7:30 this eve, I thought, well, okay, no juice, I'll just bake these sweet potatoes here...LOVE sweet potatoes. GRRR! baked them for 30 mins, opened them up to find that they were moldy just inside!! The insides didnt smell weird, so I ate a few bites. We'll see how that goes in the morning.
Well, really, didnt mean to ramble here, but here is the second painting from the wee hours of morning:
Wow, what on earth do people do, when they live by themselves?? There is SO much TIME!! One could get so much done!
In my excitement of this rarity, I ordered a coffee in town at Malaprops. Regrettable, since I never drink coffee, the caffeine/sugar mix really shot me through the roof, and for a good 2 hours it was exceptionally difficult to concentrate on anything, much less sit still, which is hard enough on a daily basis for me.
Oy! So, in the first rush, I made several small, quick sketches, then browsed my horse calendar collection (in a caffeine-induced frenzy, let me say), dragged out my largest watercolor block, and charcoaled then gouached this painting below. Not one to become prints, but paintings like this are always living in me, waiting for the chance to be freed. Doodling with paint, really.
Im off now, to take this one off the block, and start another.
I wonder what will be produced over the next few days?
Can you feel it in the air? Makes people smile and show some kindness to one another. Oh, yeah, and sap and blood rising with the sun and warmth. It's all very exciting:)
Can't keep me out of the garden this time of year-which really is not so good on spending time on making art. Because you can garden, or make art...but not both at the same time. There was enough rich beautiful compost to full the wheelbarrow a few times, which is very exciting. I finally ordered summer row cover-past years have just battled with insects (GRRR! losing battle!), but this year I will have an advantage on the field! At least against the vine borers, colorado potato beetles, stinkbugs and cabbage moths..HA!!
In the secret workings of this spring's new designs, I am definitely excited to be coming to Cary again for Spring Daze, and look forward to seeing the lovely familiar faces again (and meeting new ones!). The date and website link will be posted on my main page. There will, of course, be several NEW needle-felted pieces to choose from. I will perhaps post a few to share with you, once I have photographed them. I am also working on a brand new, very large piece (about 24x36"), with running horses. Hopefully it will be finished before the show.
The new watercolor painting is FINISHED, as you can see below!
I am eager to start another, now...
I hope everyone is having a good new year so far...it has been mixed for us. However, it will get better:)
I have posted Nine new felted wall hangings to the Needle Felting gallery, and have also posted them to the Needle Felted Wall Hangings Shop. The new pieces are a good array of my signature pieces, and experimentations, and some on a larger scale than usual.
Lately I have been working on a new watercolor painting, which after I gift the original to my in-laws, the prints will soon be available for purchase. This will be my first painting based on a tiger, and when finished, will be found in the colorful watercolors gallery. I have plans to paint another before the winter is over.
Recently I began experimenting with soldering, using foil tape, lead-free metal working solder, and bits of anything (really, anything) in the house. I even brought out part of my hoard of colored glass scraps, did an extensive search for the glass cutter, and have even been experimenting with the glass scraps, making small pendents, using wire for swirlies and details. It has been too much fun. Our youngest has happily joined me on this little hobby, and made a few pieces also.
Finally!!!! After over 15 years!! I, Christina Serra, have begun to work the metal! I always thought the set-up had to be more than what we had, that I had to find an anvil/rail to even start, to build a mini forge for coal or propane---etcetc...but we had everything we need to start simply right in our back yard! My 'better half' decided that his contribution to gifts this year should, on a whim, involve metal (details AFTER Christmas, just in-case!). I have a suspicion that a large part was because he's known the fire I have for iron-working for years, and he knew it would please me if we made a project together. SO, to make the 'mini forge', he filled with charcoal (the kind you put in your grill) a charcoal starter (the cylindrical thing you put newspaper and charcoal in to get the charcoal started before you put it in the grill). He did buy metal rod today for the project- this we did not have. We have an amazingly useful heavy steel worktable in our backyard which works for now in leiu of an anvil, and we also have a small sledge hammer whos head creeps off the handle...occasionally, but works ok for now. I filled one of the buckets on the yard with water (for drenching), we put on leather gloves, and stuck the metal in the coals. It (surprisingly to me!) turned red-hot, and we took turns beating the rod into a shape. Oh my goodness! WHat fun! In my own back yard! WHat shall I do now, that I have opened this Pandora's box!?! ( I guess, technically HE did....since he started it) Now, metal bits do not look the same; I am already thinking on how to easily change our heating arrangement to be more efficient (without buying or seeking anything-yet), thinking of how to incorporate this new excitement into my needle feltings presentation.....oh, 2012, here I come!! Winter- time to make new.
News on the blog here isn't exactly a month behind!
November 10-13 I attended a show in Myrtle Beach, SC. My whole family came with me, and while I worked, they made a vacation of the time. This was the first time I had been to this show, and thought I would try it out. Ugh! Thanks to the lovely people who came into my booth, and appreciated my art, and a huge and heart-felt thank you to those of you who purchased my art pieces to enjoy at your homes, or as gifts to give. You are what kept this show from being a total disaster for myself and my family! All of my appreciation to you! Aside from these wonderful people, I had some very nice neighbors, especially a hilarious off-the-cuff woman across the aisle and diagonal form me, Anne Micciulla. Oh, I wish Anne lived closer! She was truly a fun woman, especially as the traffic was slow each and every day. We joked, laughed TOO much, and at one point in our effort to stave off boredom, we both ran down the aisle, hooting, bleating like goats, and making ruckus!! We spoke of revolt (in the show!), we shared some uncanny similar stories, talked about kids, goats, sheep and whatever else came up. Really, too much to retell here! Of our other neighbors, was a nice lady who shared her salsa she makes (and her avocado one day..mmmmmm!), a jewelry maker who was somehow very amused my myself, (I think she liked my art too;), a Russian lady selling beautiful handpainted nesting dolls (she actually paints them!), and a nice lady selling baby dolls. Oh, and a magician-I think over the course of the days we ended up with one of every product he sold! Despite the kind people I was surrounded with, and the festival people I spoke with over the phone prior to the event, I found that the top woman in charge of the event is a true Cruella DeVille. Most vendors had had horrid run-ins with the lady, and told of how rudely and unfairly she treated them. The woman almost ran over my children in her little golf cart on the day of set-up, and I found out days later, that she had also YELLED at them?!?! It is well observed by everyone they come in contact with, how well-behaved, quiet and respectful my children are; this woman had no right to treat them this way! I will find out who she is and post it here. I am writing this in my entry to WARN other vendors about this show. There is false advertising, corporate greed, LOW quality, no jury process, and exuberant booth and entry prices. Also, there are NO helpers for the vendors, NO parking for vendors (they make you PAY FOR PARKING), NO hospitality, no care, no questionnaire, NO VENDOR OR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION!!! This show is called Charles Dickens Christmas Show, and every vendor I spoke with was VERY DISSATISFIED. About 85% of them said they wouldnt be returning, so that makes me think that the company Leisure Time Unlimited will have a great trial of recruiting new vendors, ones who are not familiar with this show. This is NOT a craft or art show, as advertised. MUCH of the garbage for sale here was IMPORTED, as-seen-on-tv, with very little actual hand-made. items. I have never been to a show this badly-run.
I do not, as a habit speak ill of groups, but I wish to warn others so that they can make an educated decision regarding their investments, because, face it- Being an artist is like being a gambler- just a lot less glitz and alcohol! :)
I did get to spend some time with my family during the trip, in the mornings and after dark in the evenings. My kids and I went down to the beach one morning- and it was glorious to be with them there. One evening I came back to the hotel and gathered the kids and we ran outside to the beach in the dark, because it felt so good, and we laughed and chased, and then their dad called from the hotel room, and directed our attention to the horizon where a great HUGE blood moon was beginning to 'rise' above the ocean. I have never seen such a sight, it was unbelievably large and surreal, like a planet rising in a sci-fi book. We watched it rise; we could actually see it moving, like it's opposite, a sunset (Im not up in time usually for sunrises;)! I was speechless, and exclaiming at the moment. Of course, we tried to photograph, but to no avail, in the the pictures the moon looked like a tiny orange dot. The last day, the day to drive back to Asheville, was the best. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny. We all rolled our pants legs up and played in the waves, then, tiring of this, sat just out of waves reach in the warm sand, the kids making sand channels, and I looking for sea shells. It was the BEST time! :) (btw, what do you do with all the sea shells you bring home???!!!)
I just make things