Friday, October 30, 2009

Makeup Artist

Over the last year I’ve done makeup for a number of theatrical productions locally.

This gentlemen was playing Heinzy in The Pajama Game.
She was also in The Pajama Game, and what a cutie!
How do you like her hair? That was fun and she loved it!I did makeup for Annie, I did the bald cap for Daddy Warbucks.
And this guy was a riot, I can't remember which character this was though. Every night of the production his look got a little stranger.
Daddy Warbucks had started to melt that evening, but I was enjoying play with the spare bald cap.

And I think that blue thing on my head is actually a skirt or something, that was funky.I won a costume contest with this vintage 1950's style look. We had a lovely dinner and entertainment that evening, and a guy rode through the dining room on a motorcycle!
This one is the creepiest one I've ever done: I don't use clown white, I used pure titanium dioxide and lots and lots of it. It wasn't easy to get off but still better than that clown white stuff. I call it "white girl in purple." This photo is kind of a fluke, it turned out overexposed and I decided that I liked it. These days I don't use regular makeup on myself, I make all my own mineral makeup from the foundations to shadows that I blend myself. It's easy and I enjoy playing with the colors!
These photos of me in pink are still some of my favorites that came together by accident. I took one look at my hair in the mirror one morning and clamped that hat on my head and left for work. I opened the gallery and looked in the mirror and decided that the hat needed the pink scarf and rose from one of the displays in the shop. A little later on I made the pink necklace to match. And by the time I made it home it was kind of a fun look so I had my hubby snap some photos out back. The house that we lived in at the time had been built by a crazy artist witch and she'd splashed that pink paint in various places on the outside walls (it was mainly glass, metal and concrete!) so of course I had to stand right in front of one of her big splashes. I loved that house.
This one almost looks like a 1920's flapper style look. Almost.
There wasn't anything on my to-do list that I felt like doing this afternoon, so I pulled out this Picasso painting and decided I was going to play around with this bizarre look. When I was finished my husband couldn't even stand to look at me, so I deduced that Picasso didn't like women very much. I suppose this is the strangest look I've ever done. It was fun though!
Now to decide who to be for the costume party Saturday evening! I have the mineral makeup, pigments and mica to mix just about any color, but which one? If you have some suggestions, leave a comment.
PS... This is blog post number 197 and my 200th post will be a giveaway. To be eligible, just become a "follower" of my blog, link in the sidebar to the right.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Evening at Studio B

We have a 50% full moon here tonight at Studio B and the sky has turned lovely colors. It's a tiny bit chilly and all is still. A perfect night a walk with a camera.

Moon in the crook of the tree.
Love this cloud formation!
P.S. This is post number 196, I'll celebrate my 200th post with a give away. To be eligible to win, you'll need to be a "follower" of my blog, so click to become a follower today. Thanks!

I love the view from here

This is post number 195! I'll celebrate my 200th post with a giveaway, so stay tuned!

This was the view from my back deck at Studio B one evening this week. I love this place!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Makeover and Head Shots

My friends know that I will try just about anything, so when my friend Rachel asked if I’d consider helping her create “head shots,” I said I was interested!
I cleared a day and she came over. We started with her hair, I didn’t intend to give her a hair cut that day, but that was the way it worked out.
Then I did her makeup and we went outside for a few shots. It was a dreary overcast day but we got a few good shots outside anyway.
Later we moved inside to my quilt studio, I cleared off my design wall and set up some lights and we got to work.
I finally let her go home last evening sporting her new ‘do and I sat down to see how the photos had turned out.
It was a pleasure to work with her, she has tons of natural charm and charisma and her hair was so fun to work with!
I’m pleased that we got some good photos!
PS, the jewelry in the photos is all work I’ve created, doesn’t she make a lovely jewelry model?!
Don't you love it when the breeze helps?
Hope she likes them. It was a fun day! She's a lovely soprano, I hope these help her get the opera gigs she'd like!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dichroic Glass Necklace Sets

I'm playing around with combining dichroic pendants into jewelry sets. Here are the first two and so far I think I'll be making more.
This one in lavender and pale green is cool in person, somehow I'm not getting photos that show the colors and reflections in this work. I need to take the time to do some research on the photography of dichroic glass, hopefully soon.
These two are headed for a regional gallery here shortly, it will be interesting to see how people respond to them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Out of my Ordinary

My Mom had a set of prints that were in her living room for a long time. The color faded out of them (the room has lots of windows) and she wanted me to do something with them.
So we took them out of the frames and I pulled out the watercolors. Mom brought out a pillow and some of the fabrics from the living room to match the colors.
She took photos while I brightened up the colors and refreshed the look of the three pieces.
I brightened the colors and added a few of my own. Mom made a comment that one day they'd be mine, then we both had to laugh because this sort of thing isn't exactly my taste.
We put them in the living room and took a quick walk around the neighborhood. When we got back we looked at them again and I made a few adjustments. Mom washed the glass and I popped them back in the frames and put the backs on again.
Brightened up and ready to rehang.
Now she has exactly what she wanted and I had an interesting afternoon with Mom. I'm guessing she hung them only moments after I left her driveway. =)

More dichroic glass pendants.

None of the intentional photos I took turned out... so here's the one that was intended just to document the process.

Check out the one on the second row third from left. Doesn't it look like a piano? That was the one I was wearing today. Never know what is coming out of my kiln, each day is an adventure!

These pendants (along with my hand painted art glass, hand dyed scarves, framed mini art quilts) are now available for sale at the Oasis Gallery in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Changing Seasons

Seasons are changing here at Studio B, the dogwoods have turned red and the leaves are coming down. There hasn't been much color in the leaves this year, or at least not like some years. Before long the leaves will all fall and we'll be able to see the mountains in the distance from here. I'm in no hurry for winter, but I do love the view from here.
I love how the sunshine filters through in the morning leaving patches of light laid out all across the lawn.

Christmas Ornaments

I made small jewelry pendant sized wreaths, and suddenly I wanted to try making ornaments as well... so after some experimenting this is how they turned out. Each of these are about three inches across plus the silver bail. They are tack fused and then I used my glass glazes (check out the hand painted glass on my website for an example)to add words and another layer of texture in pearl white. These ornaments meld my work in kiln glass fusing and glazing glass together. The wreath is made from crushed stained glass and also some crushed dichroic glass, all carefully placed with a clear section in the middle. All of them (some photos were taken before I had added the bails)now have a silver jewelry bail. I think these would be pretty in a window at Christmas time!
Peace, Hope, Love... mostly lavender
Peace, Joy, Love... mostly green
Hope, Love, Joy... mostly turquoise and cobalt blue
Faith, Hope and Love... Multi earthy colors.
The cool tones all together on a scarf. $35 each.
Click on the image for a better look.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some Thoughts on Burnout and Passion. (Oh, and a Necklace)

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a necklace. A few years would be my guess. I worked nearly full time as a jewelry designer for years. And if my name is known for anything, I’m guessing it would be jewelry design. The beauty of working in a variety of art media is I can lay one aside for a while and come back when the time is right. Back in the day I worked it until it wasn’t fun anymore, I allowed myself to become burnt out and there was little joy in the creative process of jewelry design for a while. So I laid it aside.

Burn out is an interesting feature of the creative life. I have been there in the fire a number of times. I worked professionally as a cake designer for years and I remember the day that I looked down at a cake and knew that I was done. Like stick a toothpick in me and get me the heck out of here, I’m DONE! It was only a matter of time before I had left the bakery and moved on to something else. I went back years later and did a short stint as a cake designer again and I do wedding cakes for family and close friends, but for the most part I’d have to say that my focused cake designer days are behind me. (Which reminds me, did I post a photo of the wedding cake I did for my cousin’s wedding on the 11th?) Although I do enjoy those cake competition shows on the food network and from time to time I itch to get my hands back in it just to see if I could compete in that world.

Later I found myself on the stage leading a band looking out at a crowd. And I was there in the fire of burn out again. I imagined myself walking off that stage out of the doors of that place and never coming back. I didn’t, but it was tempting. I hated music for a season, I avoided even private playing of piano or guitar or anything. It was a struggle but I did finally leave, there were people who didn’t want to see me go. That was at least gratifying. The irony is that it’s been at least a decade since those days and I miss it from time to time. I wonder if I’ll ever get back to the music in the same way. I play piano in some small local venues here locally but it’s not the same as looking out at a crowd, playing and singing with all my spirit and soul. Maybe someday.

I’ve learned a few things about burnout. First of all, thankfully, it’s temporary. The best cure is to give yourself permission to walk away and give it the needed time. Just because I hit something a little too hard for a season and lose the joy in it, doesn’t mean I can’t come back to it another day and find that grove once more.

Secondly, burnout is an opportunity to learn how I was created and try to work within that design instead of against it. Often when a creative person gets to the burnout stage, it’s because we’ve gotten out of balance in the reasons we do the work or the way we go about it. Maybe we focus too much on the product instead of the process, or we get sensitive about the response the work is getting, or perhaps we’ve just pushed ourselves a bit outside of our zone without realizing it. Often we’re bowing to some kind of external pressure, or perfectionism, or a lack of understanding of the creative process, or perhaps pure simple fear. There are many ways to lose our balance and focus and begin to work in a way that becomes detrimental in the long term. Those who create in a place of freedom are the ones who experience happiness as a side effect of the creative process. There is joy in the journey, but generally it’s reserved for those who are intentional about living a balanced, authentic and unencumbered creativity.

Finally, burnout is a reminder that passion is central, seasonal and far deeper than we realize. “Inspiration” is a term one hears artists using from time to time, and usually they just mean some kind of emotional high or perhaps a manic phase. Authentic creative “inspiration” is a lifestyle, not a mood. People who understand the creative process can engage the process with or without the ambiance or special effects of the emotions. Passion is goes far deeper than inspiration, it’s the light God shines on a path that illuminates the possibilities and opportunities of one’s life. Passion is the single thing that determines whether or not a person feels a sense of fulfillment in the work of their hands. And passion is seasonal. If we are drawn by passion into new work, but are still busy doing the old work… burnout is inevitable. We’ve got to pay attention to the inner workings of spirit, soul and body. And as we are mindful and present in our skin and trusting in Providence, we’ll be guided into the next chapter of our lives. Sometimes burnout is the sign by the road that shows us the way to the exit off ramp. Staying at work when the passion has moved can drain the life out of the strongest sailor. And if you are in that place, please do yourself a favor and begin looking and planning for the next available exit ramp. Scary? Of course! But I know you are brave and you can do it. It's time.

I created a necklace today. The necklace wasn’t anything all that exciting, I’m not 100% pleased with it. However… it’s a bit of a personal symbol or mile marker. I can be a jewelry designer again, or not. I’m ok either way. Enough time has passed that I can go there and do the work in freedom. And that’s a good thing. It means that I can revisit work that used to be fulfilling. The worst is past. I’m not in that fire of burnout anymore when it comes to jewelry design. And that’s a good thing. Yeah, that’s a very good thing and I am grateful.
Dichroic glass necklace with fresh water coin pearls, silver and glass beads, sterling silver clasp and matching earrings. (I tend to avoid dichroic glass in earrings just because it can be so heavy, and heavy earrings tend to be earrings that don't get worn.) $165 for the set.

Donuts hot and fresh from the kiln!

Millefiori glass, dichroic glass and lots of color in a wearable donut style wire wrapped with red covered copper wire.
Pink dichroic glass donuts with accent colors and some millefiori glass.
Some misc donut pendants. Direct sun really doesn't work for photographing these.
Delicate wreaths of colored glass and millefiori in a tack fused style that keeps the texture of the glass but takes off all the sharp edges. These would be beautiful to wear or to dress up a Christmas tree or gift for the holidays! Click image for a better look at the larger image. I think I'd wear it on a ribbon at the holidays and/or maybe hang it in the window over the holidays. Cute and delicate looking pendant or ornament.
All donut styles are $25 each.
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