Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spring cleaning, two-by-two!

One of the interesting things about living in the tropics is the lack of seasons - the only thing that really marks the passage of the year here is the amount of foliage on some of our trees.  The lovely flamboyant (or 'shack') tree in our yard is just now regaining some leaf after spending the last few months naked as a jaybird!  
I was worried initially that I'd done something bad and our tree was dying (I seem to have that effect on plants, which makes my persistent attempts at gardening all the more puzzling), but after a bit of research I learned that these are deciduous trees and despite 80F/27C weather and sunny skies they know that it's technically winter and they are quick to get nekkid.  
But now spring is here and the leaves are back and it's a time of renewal for everyone!  I am about to start a part-time teaching job and so suddenly I really need to get organized with my art - both studio time as well as how I manage online social media.  Much like the gardening, tending to Facebook, Flickr and this blog is something that I have enthusiasm for but seem to continually fail at nonetheless - perhaps an actual schedule would help with these things?  We shall see!
I wanted to share with you a few little scratchboards that I've completed recently, some of which have been posted on my Facebook page.  I discovered the fun of working on tiny 2x2" scratchboard when preparing an article for the ISSA and I previously shared with you the tiny portrait I did of my own kitty, Ginger.   The result of the contest mentioned in that post is here:
(Note that this may show up on your screen larger than the actual size of 2x2"!)
This is Charlie!  He's an adorable little mixed-breed dog who looks like he might have some Cavalier King Charles spaniel in him.  He belongs to Amanda, who happens to be my sister (there was no nepotism in the selection process I assure you - I assigned numbers to all the entries based on the order in which they were received and my husband rolled a die to randomly choose the winner... and yes, we have a die for any kind of number since we've both played tabletop roleplaying games for years :D).  Amanda has her own blog full of fun ideas and thought-provoking questions, check it out here: http://breakingbootsy.blogspot.ca!
I've done a few other of these wee works in recent weeks:
The first one was just playing around with masking and layering ink and I ended up making a yin-yang shape with some fun, etched patterns.  I attempted to write my favorite line from the Heart Sutra and discovered just how tricky trying to write on clayboard can be!
I also did a small study for a larger piece and this one taught me that I might need a bit more magnification and a smaller tool to get the precision of detail that I was looking for.
That's when I borrowed my husband's surgical loupes and got a bit loupy!
The result though was that I was able to get more control over the fine details on the final work - this detail shot is about the same size as the 2x2" piece above.  It's also a SNEAK PEEK, because I'll be posting the final full image here soon!
I loved the tactile feel of these teeny boards which led me to an idea.  I have a relative who is going through some health issues and I came up with the urge to create a 2x2 that someone could keep in their pocket and pull out to look at when they needed cheering up - thus was born the Pocket Otter!
This first version suffered a bit of board trauma (related to that whole 'writing on scratchboard' issue I mentioned earlier) so it exists only in digital form.  But Pocket Otter 2.0 here is going to be headed her way the end of this week!
Those are all the two-by-twos I have to show you today, but stay tuned for some new art in my next post!!

~ Pam

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