Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Paused...

"Holden Caulfield"
Oil on Canvas

I paused this afternoon when I heard JD Salinger had passed away. It's probably safe to assume that we all read, at one time or another, "Catcher in the Rye". It was, without a doubt, one of my favorite books. It never ceased to inspire me. It's time to read it again I think.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Same Ol...


Same ol goin on here today.
Thankfully though the organizing and straightening of the files is DONE and now I get to putter around the studio desk. What is fueling my enthusiasm? Making a list of supplies I need and getting to order them on Friday. Product and supplies are gooood.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Continue....

Found ink drawing
"The Little Mouse Ball"

I continue to clean. In my quest to find the floor in the upper studio and a true sense of organizational zen I found some great pieces I forgot I drew. So many sketches. So many drawings. A few paintings....all shoved and stuffed in folders and behind furniture in such sinful ways. Not sure why I was such a terrible host to them. They aren't as bad as I remember when I shoved them here and there in frustration. Not bad at all.

Ink and watercolor
"Opera Mouse"

Crow quill on bristol
"The Kiss"

Graphite on paper
"Study of expressions"

Graphite on paper
"Study of hands"

Graphite on paper
"Study of expressions"
I call this one: "After the Third Scotch"

I am so happy I found the next ones. There were maybe four in the series and I suspect they were drawn during one of Pratt Institutes' annual "Draw-a-thon's". Drawing figures in the (then) foundation building from 7PM till 7AM. My favorite weapon to capture a figure was a thick black marker. No mistakes. I was committed from the moment the felt tip hit the paper. Adding the chalks was the cherry with whip cream on top. Of course, I didn't just pick up the marker when I first started figure drawing in my career. I grew into it. I had amazing teachers who encouraged such exploration and growth. Two of the most influential teachers I had were Dave Passalacqua and George Pratt. Both amazing teachers. Anywhoo, out of the four in the series these were my favorites. I especially loved to draw larger models. Just loved every inch of drawing them.

Marker and chalks on paper
"Figure study:

Marker and chalks on paper
"Figure study"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Last Leg

Unopened goodness

It's the last leg of the grand "house cleaning" adventure here! I've saved the worst room for last. It's the upper studio/file cabinet section filled with old and mostly unused paper garbage. Each stitch of paper here needs my personal attention. Read it, sort it, and then shred whatever has personal info on it. I've managed to get through one box so far. ONE. It's gonna be a long, drawin out week and it isn't helping that some cool "paper" stuff keeps winding up in my mail box.

Beautiful and inspiring invite

In my quest to get to box two I found an unopened issue of Arabian Horse World. SCORE! That proved to be a perfect tool in procrastination! Sweet Arab goodness. There is just something so lovely about an Arab.

I think I forgot to share with you one of my favorite porcelain pieces from December. It was rather busy then and I was scatterbrained, for sure. This is one of my "Bittibabi" bowls complete with a scampering wee little mouse on the edge. Painted in Spanish Oils (which I have had a blast exploring and letting my mind chomp on and sink with swish). I anticipate a few more of these being created. I just love the way the organics of the mouse play against the geometrical shape of the bowl. Fun, fun stuff.

Bittibabi bowls with mouse

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Break...

Blast from the Past

A break to procrastinate today....
Boy, I sure miss this magazine. Even with all the information out there via the web, there is nothing like paper which you can hold in your hand. It was such a nice diversion today to sit down and flip through some old Horsing Around magazines. I really do miss it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Goodbye and Hello

Sweet chicken gear

So...the big boy is gone.

Goodbye. :(

Hopefully off enjoying his time crowing at a sweet Pennsylvania farm. My rooster left me on Tuesday and it was bittersweet to say the least. In talking to one of the heads of the animal rescue I found that sometimes they do have a need to place hens in new homes. I've placed my name on the rescue.

I want to publically thank everyone who took the time to email me and talk about the chickens and just offer their thoughts on the "saga". Thank you. I haven't had a moment to sit down and write you all personally but I will very shortly.

Of course, now I have become very aware of "chicken art".


I never really noticed it before but some of it is slowly making it's way into my home. I also have some sketches down in the ol' sketchbook for some "raku chickens". I have no idea where that idea is gonna take me but Im rather excited about forming something, hollowing it out and then firing it up with raku glazes.

For now, I'm still taking care of house things. I'm growing ever impatient with myself and the images that keep flashing in my head as I'm dusting and organizing. I won't touch clay or paint till the 25th of January though. I made a promise to myself. House first...then studio.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Bloggy Break


Wow....that was a much needed break.....and the last post quite a mouthful.

That last post was certainly "wordy", but I felt it needed saying. Over the years I have learned that the best way to handle such things is to nip them in the bud. So, all is nipped and to end this ongoing saga of "Penni" the rooster I can safely say that an animal rescue is taking him. I didn't eat him, I didn't just chuck him on the side of the Belt Parkway, and I didn't stop till I found a place (with help from a very good friend) that we felt would be the best solution. He will be safely transported to Pennsylvania on Wed. morning by an animal rescue. I sure will miss him and after having gone to my neighbors to smooth things over just one more time I've found that a few actually enjoyed hearing him in the mornings crowing. Sorta put my mind at ease, if only for another 24 hours or so.

My vacation from the studio continues and finds me fiddling with framed photographs and dusting off curtains in the living room. The living room is the least of the disasters in the house. I have two more rooms to go and then I can center in on my studio which truly looks like someone ransacked the place.

Close up of the crackle. that crackle!

The lidded piece with additional "bead"

I did manage to get the pieces I'd like to sell photographed. The photo cube was probably the only area down in the studio that wasn't amazingly covered with a ton of junk. I'd like to hold an online sale if I can manage to finish up removing the rest of the clutter from the house in a timely manner.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Note About Those PET Chickens...

We interrupt our regular art studio broadcast for a short word...

This one is going out to all those following the chicken saga. Apparently I've pissed some people off out there. Perhaps I need to explain my posts? Anyhoo...(Mizzy...this one is directed at you.).

I'm normally really thrilled to hear comments, but when someone can recall such detailed tidbits from my personal Facebook page and regurgitate them in a nasty way in my comment section of my blog, I have to put on the brakes. Unfortunately, you ruined it for many as I cleared house tonight on FB and just left very close friends and family on my FB pagee (I'm really sorry to those who I've had casual encounters with. I really didn't want to do that, but I have to keep my sanity. I'm always here and happy to chat via email. Just email me or catch me on Blab. )

For those that don't know...or didn't realize... I am new to owning chickens and yes, I lost one to a cat and another was just missing. Cat? Hawk? Other? After that incident I went into action immediately. Since I'm here in NYC, not the woods/country, things can be different. Apparently, we do have predators around including possum (they come in on the Christmas tree trucks) and of course stray cats. Believe it or not we also have a hawk family living in the church tower. All of which love the taste of chicken. I purchased several Scat Cat devices which are very humane and emit a loud sound if the cat (or any object) comes close to it and placed them around the property and near the coop. I also spend a ridiculous amount on this stuff called "Coyote Urine". Good LORD!!! It cost more to ship the damned stuff than the stuff itself. Smells awful, but so far its been months and no cats. Nothing. NADA! The hawk has seemingly moved on for the winter. I suspect he will be back come spring.

Losing a chicken brings about all kinds of thoughts and ideas of how to protect one's flock. These are all new learning experiences and when we don't have nice people willing to extend their expertise and experience to newbies then we newbies must learn the hard way on our own...sometimes with some sadness. I will add here that if you (MIzzy) or anyone else (especially chicken owners) do have any POSITIVE and useful information/experience to extend to me I'm totally and inexplicably all ears and waiting for you to talk. The comment portion of my blog has now been turned off to the public, but you can email me directly at This way (Mizzy... whomever you are) I can see whom I'm really talking to and not just replying to a "ghost" profile. Man up....say what you need and sign your real name.

Having said that, I did joke about having the rooster for dinner and it was just a JOKE people. Anyone who has taken the time to get to know me either in person or online knows how much I adore my PETS. YES.. I WON'T STOP calling my chickens pets. They are pets. They come when called and they sit on my lap and fall asleep when I pet them. That means lots of time spent with the PETS folks. If the rooster was truly "disposable" to me I'd have eaten him already cause we LOVE every form of chicken, including chicken soup, in this house. If he was truly "disposable" to me I'd have saved myself the gore and mess of a soup killing and just taken him to the Bronx or Queens for fighting. If he were "disposable" I would have chucked him down at Jamaica Bay to fight his way amongst the stray cats. But no...he is still here and now he's crowing like mad. I've gone to my neighbors and personally apologized and explained the situation. I'm trying to exhaust every avenue in order to find him a good home (hence the reason he is still here cause no one wants a rooster as a pet in NYC) and I have two more possibilities before I have to take him out of state which will not only be a hassle with a toddler in toe, but an expense I am willing to pay even in these horrible economic times. All....all...all for the sake (MIzzy) of doing everything I can for my PET.

SO, before posters start spewing negativity my way with their pointy little finger pushin' it's way into my face they need to stop, take a breath and take a look at how many in that hand are pointing at THEM.

Here be my rooster in his glory. MY PET which came to me by accident in a lot of 6 day olds. Falcon and Crest come to snag some treats, but Lucy was still soakin in the heat lamp in the coop as it was rather bitter today. She did eventually come out and I saved some snackies for her. And btw we suspect the one my "husband lost" was actually taken by the hawk as he made it a daily ritual to circle not only our house but our other neighbor's house who also have hens who, like mine, free range happily during the day. Two of which met their fate as well with....something...odd. So, before I turn my wonderful readers back to our regularly programed schedule I will depart with a few small words:

Quick to judge are you....

Nuff said.


When it gets cold out...

Fill the head with pretty things


Think green


I'm here, just totally engrossed in getting my house in order. For three weeks I've scheduled out work and house chores for myself. It is a most mundane and boring thing compared to studio work, but I figure if everything in my home life is in order, my studio life will ultimately run better during times of deadlines.

Of course it's been dreadfully cold in NYC. The worst part has been the wind. It whips down the avenues and around buildings and just stops one in their tracks. I'm fairly tough to the weather having grown up in PA, but this year I have been choosing to just stay in and enjoy the warmth of the house. I drive when I can and have been living in my sauna. I am really missing summer.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Raku in the Snow

A perfect day to raku!

For several months now I have been itchin' to capture a snowflake in my glaze via the raku method. Having been so busy with Christmas fairs and general holiday orders left me without an acceptable vessel to try this "snowflake" method once it actually started snowing.

Prepping the kiln

Although I knew that my stoneware vessel would probably meet it's end during the process I proceeded on just for curiosity's sake. I figured the experience of doing raku (with an electric kiln) in the snow was worth the trouble. When I have an acceptable vessel later on I'll be used to the snow and know what further precautions to take.

Everything went well with the actual firing. The snow wasn't too harsh, but rather just right and it didn't get my kiln too wet. I was worried about that aspect. Firing time was normal despite the colder temperatures outside and my glaze came to a nice molten stage without any hitches. Unfortunately, as suspected, the vessel itself (stoneware) didn't survive the thermal shock and it broke in midair practically. I also seemed to have lost my glaze, but I blame that on sub quality raku glaze I purchased (and placed on the vessel). I have my favorite glazes from my favorite companies and from here on out wlll only use those since the others are truly a waste of time.

Waiting for the glaze to melt


Overall it was a good learning experience. I feel mentally ready for the next snowfall and will try to make a few small pieces out of raku clay. That clay can really handle the thermal shock. So my quest to capture a snowflake goes on.