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Gravity Series

1 May

 

 

Phew, one more semester of grad school is just about complete, and I’ve been dying to share with you what I’ve been working on! One of my courses required a new project each week that explored a different art media, but they all had to relate to an overarching conceptual idea. I chose to explore the idea of gravity and focus my own issues with social constructs and the constraints they put on people, both physically and emotionally.

gravity1

Title: Weight/Wait

Media: Wet and dry media

gravity2

Title: Content/Content

Media: Sculpture or Fibers

gravity3

Title: Totem/Tote ‘Em

Media: Digital media

gravity4-1 gravity4

Title: Luminate/Illuminate

Media: Installation media

gravity5

Title: Toiletries/Toilet Trees

Media: Printmaking or Photography

gravity6

Title: Eyelashes/Eye Lashes

Media: Printmaking or Photography

gravity7

Title: Sediment/Sentiment

Media: Open media

gravity8

Title: Weightless Coverage

Media: Time-based media

Heather

Instacube

7 Apr

We all love instagram, but what to do with those square photos if you want to print them? It’s hard to find a square frame, and you can’t scale them much larger because of the quality. But I have a solution for you! Instacubes!

Supplies:

Wooden Block
Spray Paint (optional)
Photo Paper
Printer

First find a wood block. They have these wooden cubes at most craft stores. Measure a side of your cube.

Next, set up your favorite 6 instagram photos to print. I made mine a little smaller than each side of my cube so they all had a border, but you can go all the way to the edge as well.

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 6.12.06 PM

Paint your cube if you like, or keep its wood appearance. Once you’ve printed and cut your instagram photos, spray some spray adhesive to the back of each, and stick it on your cube.

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This is a simple, cost-effective, unique way to display your instagram photos. How cute would a bunch of these blocks be stacked up on a shelf? Or even as a fun centerpiece at a wedding filled with photos of the bride and groom! So many possibilities.

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I made this Instacube for Katie, one of our winners of our “Photo-a-Day Challenge” on facebook. Be sure to follow us for fun DIY updates and more contests!

Constellation Series

27 Jan

All things galactic – stars, constellations, the sun, the moon, planets etc. have fascinated me ever since I was little. I vividly remember being about 5 years old and sitting in the backseat of my mom’s Toyota Camry on a night drive home from wherever and buckling myself into the middle seat so that I could lay down and stare at the stars while we moved along. The fact that people would travel wide open oceans using only the constellations to guide them romanticized stars in my mind to a point of no return. I still get giddy when I spot my first star of the night and so a mixed media series on constellations was inevitable.

Supplies:

Canvasses

Magazines

Scissors

Sobo glue

Heavy gel medium

Acrylic paint

Ceramic paint

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To start I picked out five constellations that had myths or meanings that resonated with me, which ended up being Orion, Andromeda, Perseus, Ursa Major and Sagittarius. In researching each story I was able to draw out some major themes and then collaged the canvasses in relation to each constellation’s main idea.

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I had intended on taking pictures of each step of the process but got caught up in the project instead. So after gluing the images to each canvas, I coated them all with a layer of thinned out gold paint. Then I thinned out a vibrant phthalo blue and layered a coat on top of the gold paint. The result was an ethereal iridescence that changes depending on the lighting. On top of those layers I put a thick coat of gel medium. I then drew out each constellation and painted each star a bit differently with gold centers and white starbursts. I connected the stars with dots of a more saturated phthalo blue. It was at this point that I remembered the “Starlight, Starbright” nursery rhyme – a rhyme that I sang often as a child, mainly on my walks home from my Nana’s house as I picked out a star in the sky and made an earnest wish. So I used the ceramic paint and drew out a phrase of the lyrics on each canvas. I then coated the letters in a gold glaze. As a final touch I painted the names of each constellation on the canvasses in the style of old star charts.

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Orion – The hunter, which for me translated into goals and aspirations.

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Andromeda – The chained lady, which I interpreted as obstacles.

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Perseus – The hero, signifying support from others, whether it be moral or physical.

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Ursa Major – The bear, since this constellation can be seen year round and is famously used for navigation, I interpreted it as routine and steady progress.

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Sagittarius – The archer/centaur, my sun sign, that I designated as reevaluation and the creation of new goals.

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Here is a panorama of where they have been hung in our livingroom.

IMG_2315And here is a photo collage of all of the pieces together.

–Heather

Framed Fabric Wall Art

22 Jan

So I have this pillowcase that is probably older than me, and it is subsequently the softest thing I own and one day I noticed a small rip in the fabric. I flipped the pillow over and tried to pretend it would mend itself in my dreams. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like a fairy tale so I threw it in the wash with my sheets and the rip more than quadrupled in size, which equaled minor devastation. I take pride in my ultra-plush bed that would make the “Princess and the Pea” sleep soundly through the night, so I decided to turn my sad, unusable pillowcase into a piece of art.

Supplies:

Poster frame – or any frame

Fabric

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Santa brought me a few large frames for Christmas and I hadn’t gotten around to filling them yet, so when the pillowcase ripped beyond repair, I suddenly had something to frame.

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First I ripped the seam of the pillow case to open it up wider and give myself more options for layout. They sell seam rippers at any fabric store, but I didn’t have one on hand and just used some nail clippers and they got the job done just as easily.

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Then once the pillowcase was just one large piece of fabric, I laid it out on the cardboard backing for the frame and took a peek at the composition. I was pleasantly surprised with the contrast between the white fabric and brown backing, as well as the black frame. Afterward, I just folded the tabs down on each side, making sure to pull the fabric nice and taught in the frame.

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Here you can see what the fabric looks like all framed. A bit of simple, modern-style art using something most people would have thrown away or turned into rags.

IMG_0079My office/studio had some blank walls that were begging for some artwork, so this piece got hung up promptly. While my framed piece of fabric has a bit of sentimentality to it, the project could be done with endless other things – wallpaper, patterned fabric, ribbon, material samples, scrapbook paper etc. In just ten minutes I had turned my unhappy accident into a beautiful piece of art!

–Heather

Budget-friendly Frame

23 Dec

Some of you may know it was my birthday at the beginning of December and my thoughtful sister, Anna, got me an amazing gift – a huge map with pins to mark where I’ve been and where I hope to go. I was excited to get it hung up and start marking off my past travels and future trips, but the walls in my apartment are very old, making the plaster super hard and crumbly(I don’t know how this combo is possible). Also, I realized that when I want to move, I would have to remove all of the pins individually. AND the map was so big (50″x32″) that any of the frames I found were upwards of $100. So I got to work on a much more budget friendly frame.

Supplies:

Cardboard/Foam Core

Tape

Glue – I used white glue and rubber cement

Staple gun or small nails and a hammer

Two small screws or nails and wire

Poster or photo

Canvas Stretcher Bars

photo-6Here is the inspiration – lots of pins and a very large map.

IMG_0037I even had the perfect spot on my wall for it! I hung it up with some tacks for the time being, which also helped to flatten the roll out.

IMG_0038I was out shopping for art supplies for my self-portrait when I came across the canvas stretcher bars and the lightbulbs went off in my head. For under $30 I could purchase these and assemble them to look like a frame.

IMG_0040They already have the corners mitered and are super easy to put together.

IMG_0059I had originally planned on buying the largest piece of foam core I could find to mount the map onto, giving the tacks something to go into, then I realized I had quite the cardboard box collection from my Christmas shopping. I decided instead to disassemble the larger boxes and tape them together to make the backing.

IMG_0060Once the boxes were taped together and trimmed down to the correct size, I smoothed the surface out with some brown craft paper. I just glued the paper down with white glue and taped the edges down. I then glued the map down with rubber cement, which helps keep the paper from wrinkling while drying. After it is dry, I attached it to the frame with a few staples on the corners and edges.

IMG_0061I thought I would paint the frame but I couldn’t decide on a color so I left it natural for now, which actually matches the map and wall very well. To hang the map, I inserted two small screws onto the back of the frame and string a taut wire between the two.

IMG_0063Finally I can mark off some special places! The warm colors are places I want to go and the cool colors are places I have been. I’m very fortunate to have traveled as much as I have, but there are an awful lot of places I hope to go to soon!

–Heather

Art Assignment: Self-Portrait

15 Dec

As promised, I have one more art project for class that I wanted to share with you. This one was based off of vignettes I wrote about my childhood development. It also pays homage to a style of art that I had lost during my time at SCAD and am excited to explore again.

photo 1

I started with covering the canvas in reflective tape and painting a pattern of eyes based off the “evil eye” found in Eastern European countries.

photo 2

Collage was a major component to my artwork in middle and high school, so I created my shirt, the apples and the bowl out of collaged images.

photo 3

I painted my face and hand, focusing on the fact that my eyes are closed – showing the self-reflection process.

photo 4I assembled it all together and then stitched embroidery floss onto the piece to create texture in the hair and eyelashes. While the piece may not look exactly like me, it embodies a lot of who I am at this point in time – observant and introspective, balanced and strong, calm and focused.

-Heather

Art Assignment

5 Dec

Fall semester is nearing its end which means that I have a couple art projects coming up. The first one I wanted to share is a visual interpretation of an observation of a 4th grade art class that I did a little while back. This class was chaotic and confusing which put a huge damper on any possible creative expression.

photo-4I created a rigid grid of cubes with vibrant explosions of colors inside that characterized the students. I covered one side in transparent contact paper that muted the visual texture of the paint and left the other side open. The entire grid was then tied up with string. The students had a lot of enthusiasm for creative expression but were stifled by the confines of teacher rules, school structure and strict guidelines. I wanted to create a visual representation of this particular observation as a reminder to myself of what happens when you try to mold students into producers rather than artists; the finished product may be beautiful, but at what cost to the students’ creative freedom?

Heather

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