I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since added my last note here. I guess that was the germination time of that idea. I am picking up not where I left off, but where I am right now. Female form, space between people, the quality of being each of us communicate.
I am working on a story book about seeing the other side of things.
About unknown, unexplored realities full of endless options. About removing the veil of assumption to see what really is.
When I returned to painting, I picked up pastels as my medium of choice. I loved it’s immediacy and liveliness. Looking back now, I think it was the best medium to get back into the practice, but every once in a while there comes a time of a change.
Six months ago I started to explore oil paints. It is a very different way of communicating with the pigments. Instead of layering pigments one over another as in working with pastels, oil paints mix with one another and create a completely new hues. Moreover the pigments keep changing as they sit on the canvas and dry. It is fascinating to explore the infinitesimal possibilities of paint combinations and how the eye perceives the message through the different media.
I am exploring the figurative painting right now. Even though for me it is not about the human form but about its’ presence, stature. Specifically the females, and how they face the world.
A short video on how the oil paints are produce. It is great to see the passion of this paint maker doing it all from start to finish by himself.
In an incredible timing co-incidence, the children of The Red Oaks finished the art project inspired by Peggy Whitson’s mission on the same day as she reached the record number of days spent in the space. The NPR article explains: “Nearly 15 years after her first space launch, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has now spent more time off-planet than any other American, at more than 534 days. Whitson, 57, is a biochemist who has twice commanded the International Space Station.”
A multi sensory makerspace project called Space-in-a-Box was a collaboration of MU-art and the Primary teacher Chantal Dietrich. I will let the pictures narrate the process:
I chose to include a sea cucumber in one of my murals because of their fascinating beauty despite the simplicity of their anatomy. Sea cucumbers belong to the same animal family as starfish, sea urchins and sand dollars, and they can be found on the sea bed of every ocean. Sea cucumbers have the awesome function of being the recyclers of the seas, assisting with the breakdown of waste and essentially maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem.
The image above shows just one example of these basically tube-shaped creatures. What is fascinating is how varied they can look. Take a peek at this website. One of the cucumber’s super amazing skills is the ability to liquify its body to quickly hide in crevices and cracks to escape predators. Neat feature, is it not?
When I returned to painting after a pause of many years, I instantly became fascinated by pastels. The immediacy of the medium is what made me fall in love with it. When using pastels, the artist works and communicates directly through the pigment.
The following video describes the manufacturing process of the famous Henri Roché pastels. They are truly the best of the best. The brand is still owned by the founder’s descendent, and hence the original quality of these pastels is maintained. It is wonderful to see how much of the original manufacturing tradition has lasted till this day. Enjoy viewing this process.
I am currently preparing a new art workshop with a “Pollinators” theme! Right now, I’m making a honeycomb using recycled materials such as paper egg cartons and brown paper shopping bags. During the event on Monday, kids will fill this pretend honeycomb using gold glitter glue for honey and magic clay tinted with turmeric for pollen.
My art workshop will be accompanied by a lesson about the importance of pollinators for the environment and human society itself. (Pollinators are bees and other creatures such as butterflies that contribute to the plant fertilization process by transporting pollen.) The project was inspired by the US Fish and Wildlife Services adding the rusty patched bumble bee to the list of endangered species early in January 2017.
The workshop will engage the kids on multiple levels. They will strengthen their listening and observing during the lesson, fine motor skills while making bees out of pipe cleaners, and gross motor skills as they carry the pollen and honey into the comb. All of the activities will be done in Czech to further these kids’ bi-lingual skills.
I am starting to paint in oil. It is fascinating how differently the paints react from the other media.