Motivation and inspiration, two requirements for creating that no artist can survive without. For motivation,I decided to challenge myself over the next month and so I borrowed from the idea of a "painting a day" to create 30 faces in 30 days. For inspiration, the human face, my favorite subject. I find great intrigue in examining and creating the nuances of facial anatomy and expression. I began 6 days ago creating face jugs and mugs that have a classical appearance. I plan to stay with functional figurative work and to let the work evolve in a natural course over 30 days. I will post faces that I have completed every few days (in their greenware stage), in order to remain accountable and on task.
Here is a photo of the first six faces (two are face jugs, one is a double face jug, and two are face mugs).
I began creating a new body of ceramic work in January of this year. I am continuing to work with figurative ceramic sculpture. Some of the photos posted are still considered works in progress. I really do love being able to fire my work multiple times to achieve the surface I want. I am experimenting with layering underglaze and using different application processes.
I am playing with figurative functional work along with figurative sculpture. Figurative face jugs and tea sets and containers, sculpture that has hidden function, a dual purpose. I am very drawn to the concept of marrying a powerful piece of sculpture with a utilitarian intention
Anitan, Face jug, PL Deaton 2013
Nagashee, Face jug, PL Deaton 2013
Three Sisters Tea, Tea Set, PL Deaton 2013
the whole,face jug, PL Deaton 2013
The content of my
sculptural work is evolving as I struggle through levels of understanding my
deeper self. I have been dwelling on shadows and how they fleet unnoticed
through our lives. Casting themselves across our paths and over our bodies. Sun
shadows and moon shadows and shade shadows. Faint and blurry or dark and
defined, hovering always near, connecting us to our surroundings. Their subtle
presence ignored by busy eye.
This has been one crazy, wonderful, and challenging summer for me! In February I found out that I had won a Lilly Endowment for teacher creativity renewal. The endowment gave me the opportunity to first travel to the Smoky Mountains of Cherokee, NC, where some of my ancestry originated from. I spent a week staying in a cabin up in the mountains and traveling to various sites and meeting area potters. My main focus was to learn as much as possible about the Cherokee pit fired pottery methods. After returning home my family and I dug a fire pit so that I could begin experimenting with my own pit fire pottery. I also plan to teach pit firing to my students. But it is now the end of August, and we have been under a no burn order since June, so I have not been able to even try out the fire pit. I am hoping that we will have enough rain by October but one never knows.
In July, the second leg of my endowment journey took me to a fabulous arts and crafts school called Penland. The school is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and is a tiny community unto itself. I took a two week course on figurative/narrative clay sculpture with an excellent instructor named Arthur Gonzalez. During the two week course I constructed three life-size busts, three maquettes, tiny figures, and pendents. Arthur took the class to the studios of two ceramic sculptors, the Blue Spiral gallery and the art museum in Ashville. My experience had a "monkey wrench" tossed into it though, when one week into the course, I fell going up some slate stone steps. The impact left me with a 1/2 inch deep cut and tissue damage to my right knee and bruising on my left elbow. The accident made for a very difficult second week, but the people were so kind and caring and helpful that I was deeply moved and it gave me the tenacity to fight through the pain to finish the course.
Once I returned home, I had three weeks before school started back. Needless to say, those weeks were spent going to the doctor, getting x-rays, and focusing on recovery. It has been 6 weeks since my injury and I am still not properly healed, but I am told that "these things take time". My experiences have taught me a lot though. I am no longer afraid to go on a long trip by myself to a strange place. I have recognized my pessimism toward change and realize that without change life becomes stagnant. I also see that being socially adept takes work on my part and I must fight my tendency to be a recluse in social situations.
The experiences that I have been blessed with due to this grant cover a multitude of areas and will affect the rest my life. I am very grateful to have been given such opportunity. Thank you Lilly Endowment Inc.!
My 5 year relationship with ebay has come to a close for the most part. I have become very disenchanted with their policies and the way the site has changed over the years to cater more to larger businesses which shut the little guy out. Etsy has impressed me though it will be a challenge to get established in a new venue. I am looking forward to new opportunities through Etsy and to supporting a site that believes in handmade items created by us "little guys". I am looking at 2012 not as an ending but as the beginning of a new era. May it be the beginning of a new era for you also!
Midnight came and went while we were snoozing peacefully in our snug bed. We had no clue as to the passing of that fleeting moment of old turning into new. Ten years ago, we never would have let that magic hour come and go without ringing it in joyfully. And now the serenity of quiet hearth and home wins out as does the call to slumber at a reasonable hour. I came across some quotes that are quite befitting this changing of the year.
Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to. ~Bill Vaughn
Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits. ~Author Unknown
A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. ~Author Unknown
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin
May the next twelve months bring you more joy than sorrow and abundant blessings and wisdom to handle all that 2012 throws your way.
Well, Summer is long gone, Autumn tip-toed by and Winter is surely here. Where does time go???
Lady Elizabeth Mews and her tomcat Peyton finally came to full creation and are now listed on ebay.
I will also be listing a little elf named Chester and some twinkling star ornaments this weekend.
Everyone have a happy holiday and don't let time fleet by so quickly that you miss the enjoyment.
August 1st has passed and school begins in less than 2 weeks now. It never ceases to amaze me how time continually speeds up with each passing year. My installation at the Indianapolis Art Center came down Monday with immense praise and success on a unique exhibit. I sold two figures that will now reside in an office in downtown Indianapolis thanks to a wonderful collector.
Many of my small creations are in process and will be available on Etsy and ebay in the near future. Here is a sneak preview of how they are coming along, keep in mind that they are not "dressed" yet....
As the smothering heat intensifies outdoors, I am taking refuge in my air conditioned studio. We are trying to be conservative by shutting the ac off at night and not turning it on again until around 11am since our house cools off at night. My lilies and cone flowers are in desperate need of rain as I am sure many others are. Until we get a break from this heat, I am thankful for an air conditioned studio!
I am focusing better on "working small" again. My life size installation at the Indianapolis Art Center is a success and it doesn't come down until August 1st, so that buys me some time to focus on dolls.
I have five dolls in progress right now, each in a different stage. I am playing with a design for a doll that sits (I know that doesn't sound difficult but I like to be different so I am trying to come up with a way to use my canvas base and that is a challenge). My latest doll on ebay is larger and more colorful than the last one and she has two very loyal cats to accompany her. I really like the aristocratic design and I plan on creating many more. I am going to fade out my listings on ebay over the next couple of months and move to using Etsy more. I feel like ebay is becoming way too commercialized and not as artist friendly. Well enough typing, time to get back to creating!!
My installation is up and my creative energies are flowing once again in the direction of smaller works of art. I have made a few changes in design by adding more layers of painted canvas to the bodice to create a fuller gown with sleeves and collar. And of course, since she is a cat lover, she is accompanied by her feline friend Bartholamew. He is a bit on the crazy side which causes Bianca more than just a little exasperation. Bartholamew likes to climb her velvet curtains and to use her favorite mahogany writing desk as a scratching post. Bartholamew is not pictured here but you can see him on ebay beginning tonight. Just click on my listing ad at the bottom of the blog.
My doll offerings thus far this year have been sparse due to the fact that I am working on an installation for the Indianapolis Art Center. The installation opening will be June 10, 2011 and the work will be on display until July 31st. I took this photo after we finished setting up the installation yesterday. More information on my installation work can be viewed at stonepaperstudio.blogspot.com
I almost decided not to sell this piece! He is so adorable. Rudolphus is a paper mache candy container. You have to watch him though, he loves chocolate and is innocently sneaky. He just can't help himself. And he is so cute that he usually gets away with eating whatever he wants!
While I have been busy creating sisters and cats and girls with balloons, the holiday season has quickly crept up behind me. It is peeking over my shoulder right now and I can't believe that I thought I had more time!! This seems to happen to me every year. So I do have new creations to show you but no holiday offerings completed yet. I hope the holidays are kind to you and do not catch you off your guard!
My work table is full of little creations in the birthing process, not yet sure who they will become. So many sibling personalities to develop. And the time is flying by! The end of October is upon us and the hands on my clock seem to be spinning faster each day (it does this up until Christmas and then it drags slower until spring!!). Most of my new creations will be listed in my etsy shop over the next few weeks. Please stop in to see my latest dolls!
This pair of sisters can be a little odd. Instead of being afraid of scary things they actually prefer them. Here is their story:
Sister’s Haunted House
Tuesday and Wednesday are somewhat creepy by nature Their favorite pets are two bats and a one eyed alligator. Their haunted playhouse is quirky and creaky and weird It is filled with freaky things that keep them quite scared. Tuesday loves her balcony where she croakingly croons As the haunted playhouse sways being pulled by the moon. Wednesday and Tuesday love nights most of all Especially combined with the cool chill of fall. These two strange sisters have oodles of fun Keeping all of their friends and foes on the run!