Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fun, But No Sun

       Summer is a busy time, more-so when you live in a big city full of fun people and lots of events, more, more-so when you are moving soon and you need to get things done and people seen! More, more, more-so when you are trying to stay on top of art commissions and personal fun projects! Here's my summer in review! 

These dead/alive Yoda screen prints were the last thing I made in my printing on paper class at Lill Street. I had two hours of open studio left when I finished my final project, so I grabbed a razor knife and some paper and sliced this minimally-cool Yoda design for my dear friend Ted, who is Yoda. What a great class, go take it, Chicago people, and tell The Ginz I say 'hey!'

       Immediately thereafter I signed up for the screen printing on fabric class ('cause I have so so much free time, y'know), which was great also, so go see Camille. The first things I made were these tote bags using the Dynamic Duo design I had used previously on paper. It made for some pretty sweet bags, and I have three left, so holler if you'd like one! 

       While pondering my next project, I had a brainstorm, but Martha put in my mouthguard, so I was okay. That's a joke form 30 Rock but I couldn't find the clip. Anyway - screen printed NERD dolls! Maybe I'll call them Sidekicks, or Sidehugs... First up was Chewbacca! I drew the layers on tracing paper to burn the screens, then started printing on soft, off-white canvas. 

Wesley tested and approved a prototype for me. I ended up having to leave that one at Playgroup; It got a little too much love to consider sellable. 

The Smokie test went almost as well, but there was a marked deficit in enthusiasm.

Next, Batman (naturally). I printed on grey this time, as I learned a lesson with Chewie - that soaked up a lot of brown ink. 

The layers went together with only a few casualties, and the hand drawn look makes it very personal, not just a Batman doll... It's my Batman doll. 

See that look in Juju's eye? That's the look... MINE. Go ahead, try to take it - you'll lose a finger. 

One big happy, nerdy family, with enough construction finished in time for the Revolution Craft Show, which was my last in Chicago (as a resident). 

There's my table!

        The very last thing I screen printed at Lill Street. Man! I miss that place - great facility, generous open studio hours, wonderful people... Hey Nora! The Harry dolls are going to be great - I'll have them put together and looking cute for the first art/craft show I'm doing in Kansas, Craft Collective, in November. 

       Amidst everything else, I was still teaching the little behbehs at Playgroup all summer, and we had some graduating to see to! As every year, I made the kinder-bound kids some parting gifts - yearbooks and these tooth-boxes, which have gotten better every year. The graphic on top is decoupage applied cut paper. 

Nine this year! I painted the portraits on watercolor paper and deco'd them in place with a shiny, waterproof lacquer. 

I had a Zora and a Zola - had to be veeery mindful to not switch those spellings.

Zola loved hers - and the likeness was spot-on. 

       I spent some time in the wood shop, too, getting the next generation of Hunting Trophies ready. They're cut and sanded and waiting for paint - I mean to have two or three ready for the November show.  The metal-leaf on these looks so pretty in the sun.

See if you can guess what this one is going to be when it's put together. I'll give you a hint: Quack. 
Wait, Triceratops quacked, right?

I made this sleepy dog for a friend on Instagram in exchange for two very cool mugs. 
Follow Dan - she's neat! 

       Next, I was off on a handful of puppet commissions. Some personals, made in the likeness of the client or their spouse or friend or what-have-you, and this one, which I very much enjoyed, as it was my design (not a caricature) from the get-go. A scarecrow, "not unlike but not exactly" Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. 

Burlap doesn't sew very neatly. Luckily this is a scarecrow and the look fits. I think i inhaled about a pound of burlap dust while making this guy. 

To skip a few steps, here's the finished product! He has buttons for eyes, and I went a bit further on this very fun project - he had legs and clothes! 

This guy was fun and turned out great. I used a new method to try and hide the stitches. It worked really well on the head (which it really needed to) and pretty well on the arms and body (I was less picky there). 

This dapper fellow went all the way to Australia, a gift from a cool mom to her muppet loving adult-son. 

I used some of the doll eyes I had left over, it was a new look, and I think it was a welcome improvement to the flat dots of felt I had used before when going for something a little 'beady.' 

This was the last one in Chicago, a 'normal guy,' as described by the friend who bought it for the recipient. The guy was pretty normal looking, I agree. The client loved the puppet, so all is well! 

That was IT for art before the move. These next two are the first commissions I received Kansas-side. They were fun to make - a couple of well known public figures. 

Mr President! Where is your shirt?!

       And for you football fans - RGIII. The braids took a few years off my life, but the look couldn't be achieved in any other way. That's it! That's all! Go away! Get some sun! It's Autumn for pete's sake - get out there and carve a pumpkin!