Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Happy Little Nothings


Last year I bought a set of Arteza Real Brush Pens. I thought I was going to use them for lettering but quickly realized it was going to be really difficult to use them for that purpose. They are really hard to control. I swatched the colors, played with them a bit, then they sat unused.

I hate it when I buy art supplies that I don't use. Last week I searched on YouTube for some demos using these pens. It inspired me to give them another try. I sketched out some doodles on watercolor paper and outlined them with a fine line Sharpie. The ink in these pens is water-based and they are blend-able. A water brush pen was included in the set. I went to work inking my doodles. It's difficult to get good shading, but perhaps with a little practice I will get better.

I cut out my doodles and created a two page spread in the small art journal that I have been working in.
It's bright, colorful, and cheery... especially in comparison to some of the other "dark" pages I have completed in recent months! My lettering sucks due to the texture on the background. The background is a combination of acrylic paint, bits of sheet music, gesso, and distress inks. It was a pleasant way to take some time for myself on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes mindlessness is a good thing.

Wishing all a creative and happy week.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Serve it up with a pig

 A few months ago I had an order for a large piggy jar, big enough to hold K-cups for coffee. Jeff and I had a little fun experimenting with getting the size right. Why make just one?

I realized that this one was the perfect size to use as a serving vessel! Perfect for serving snacks or coleslaw at your next pig pickin'. 

I love doing photo shoots where I can eat the props when I am done. I hadn't eaten any snack food this unhealthy in months. I enjoyed every bite.

You'll find this pig, along with others, in my Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/meeshspottery

Monday, September 28, 2020

Create without Fear!

 While the kiln was firing I spent some time with my small journal of gel printed pages.

I have been trying to let the backgrounds tell me what to do with them. There was an oval of lighter pink paint on the left side of this one that looked like it should be an elongated face.

I just took it from there. The journal is a great place form me to get in some lettering practice.

I struggled with this green and yellow print. I added some old book pages, stamped a background, then doodled the flowers using a simple sharpie marker. When I look at it now, I know what I would do differently. I would probably apply some gesso with a brayer to give it more of an "aged" look. I try not to be disappointed with end results. Journals are the place to explore and make mistakes. Create art for yourself and without fear!

I will leave you with a random butterfly. It's been great year for them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


 A couple of weeks ago I was going through an old box of art supplies and came across a set of oil pastels. I bought these nearly twenty years ago when I was taking a drawing class at the NH Institute of Art. They looked like they were barely used. I knew nothing about working with oil pastels so I went to my old friend YouTube to get some tips.

What I discovered is that they aren't easy to work with. It's really hard create something that doesn't look like a kids coloring book! I heard that blending multiple shades of one color is one way to avoid the "coloring book" look. Easier said than done!

I had some fun with it, not sure I will spend much time using these.

I did learn a little history about oil pastels while researching techniques. Sakura Cray-pas came out in 1925. They were the first company to combine a non-toxic crayon with pastels. In 1949 Henri Sennelier created fine art pastels for Pablo Picasso and Henri Goetz. Sennelier's company still makes the finest oil pastels on the market. It seems most artists use less expensive oil pastels for their base work and then finish with Sennelier oil pastels. Cray-pas are still very affordable at around $9 for a box of 16. Sennelier, on the other hand are between three and five dollars a stick.

Now it's back to clay. I have some sponge holders in the studio that need finishing and two bisque kilns to unload. Jeff fired both the gas kiln and the electric kiln between Monday and Tuesday morning. I see lots of glazing in my future.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Busy Hands

 Here is a little sampling of things I have been working on.

I watched a few YouTube videos this summer about making glassine envelopes using deli paper.

I spent an afternoon printing the deli paper using my larger gel plate. The printing process is always fun. Not every print is a success the first time around, but you can almost always print layers over it and turn it into something cool. I keep everything I print and often use scraps in other projects.

The envelopes were fun to assemble and add details to them. These were made in random sizes and I will probably use them as little gift bags. I plan to make more that are a standard card size. Not good for mailing, but nice for in person gift giving or to tuck in a box to be shipped.

I have a finished a fourth coptic stitch bound book. I made this one for my daughter who loves all things French. I bought a set of Paris stamps some time ago and thought they would be perfect for this project. I used a combination of parchment and glassine papers for the signatures and they were much easier to bind than watercolor paper. I gel printed the cover papers with this book in mind.

And YES, I still make pots! I am currently overwhelmed with piggy bank and salt pig orders. In between making those I am trying to make a few cheese stones for each firing. They are starting to sell online, which is a good thing since our gallery is still closed for in person shopping.

Have a great week, and if you are in the path of hurricane Sally, or the terrible wild fires on the west coast, I hope that you stay safe.

Always remember the three W's.