Busy making lots of wonderful new things in the the studio but I wanted to stop by to share something I recently read on the web that excited me and reminds me of why it is so critical to stay on the path of my purpose. Hope you are as inspired as I am.
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Line Drawing by Deborah Grayson Studios (c)2013
Over the last several months I have been able to incorporate a number of new steps to my studio practice. For one, I have found that I really enjoy drawing everyday. Often these drawings are just line drawings that are not particularly representational. I like to take a shape that appeals to me and really work it. Also, drawing before I really settle down to work on whatever it is I am planning to work on for the day really helps me to clear my mind. Drawing has been extra fun for me lately because I have been using new (for me) materials: a flexi-sketch sketchbook, india ink, pens and sticks, my bamboo drawing tablet and, of course, my computer. Working on surface designs for fabric to include in a series I have been working on. Back to the drawing board!
Line Drawings by Deborah Grayson Studios (c)2013
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Completed 4 glazes on the head. I see at least 2 more in his future. Deborah Grayson Studios (c) 2013
I am laughing right now because I think I must have chosen the busiest time in my life to do my in-house residency. Sometime during the middle of week three I realized that I was just not going to be able to maintain the 20 hour a week schedule I had planned for myself at the start of the residency on top of working 40+ hours during my other job (emphasis on the plus for this past week). Luckily I learned from previous times when I have bumped my head that it is important to assess whatever situation I find myself in and then quickly adapt. Over the last few weeks I relearned a lesson about not waiting for the perfect time to move to get something done. Because my day schedule was not allowing me solid blocks of time during the evenings, I decided to snatch smaller windows of time and really make them count. In a way, this can be an exciting way to work. I began to look forward to those short sessions to create. I also began to leave my studio with even greater excitement about what I would be returning to the next time I had a small window of time. So you probably are wondering what can you do during those moments when you don’t have a lot of time to work in the studio? Well, I got lots of sanding done on several heads, glazed 4 layers of paint on another head (seen above), and drilled several decorative holes in wood planks.
This is Happy. You’ve seen her before. She’s hanging upside down while her new skirt dries. Deborah Grayson Studios (c)2013
I also built out the skirt on my dancing friend here and began piecing together clay parts for a new figure (not shown) while my other pieces dried.
As a reward for my diligence I spent the the glorious 70+ degree weekend searching through flea markets and antique shops. Inspired by my finds, I came home, flung open the door and windows to my studio, and commenced to PURGING to create more open space for more creative ideas to bloom. Happy Spring Everybody!
I love rusty things.
. . . .and Santos Figures. Something about this one spoke to me. She’s been added to my odd collection of figures . . . .
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My first two weeks of my in-house residency have been incredible. Week two was definitely tougher than week one. It’s been unusually cold here which has made me want to hunker down and wrap myself in my quilts rather than actually make any. But since my number one rule of art making is: DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP (because it’s just NOT productive), I got myself back on track and back in the studio. Building on the drawing and writing I did earlier in the week, I hit the studio on Thursday evening excited to see what I could get myself into.
New head sculpt using porcelain stoneware. This is my second time using this clay. I like it. Deborah Grayson Studios (c) 2013
I had a lot of sanding and refining to do from the previous week’s work. I got out the dremel and my sanding pads and went at it on a few figures in progress. I see a few more rounds of this in my future.
Sculpted profile using La Doll Premix. End of sanding session #2. (c) 2013 Deborah Grayson Studios.
While the newly sanded heads, limbs, and torsos were drying, I pulled out more clay, some styrofoam, and some wooden dowels and built a new torso. I have had Santos cage dolls moving around in the back of my head for a while now. This is probably the direction I am going with this new torso. A core part of this residency for me is to make figures. I have chosen to focus on making figures out of clay and whatever other materials interest me. We will see what happens.
New torso sculpt possibly for a cage doll idea. Deborah Grayson Studios (c) 2013
What I have learned so far
As I have been engaged in this focused work I have experienced what I believe to be really satisfying tinglings of growth. I am gaining a better sense of my material and tools — when to use what to get the result I want. I am learning to be a better editor and evaluator of my work. I am also learning when to put something down and walk away from it for a while instead of pushing, pushing, pushing (though there are times when it is good to push too). Running on to see what the end will be . . . .
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Some of what I accomplished during week one. Deborah Grayson Studios (c)2013
So I have just completed the first week of my InHouse residency. I have screens prepared, clay heads drying, sewing cut out. In short, stuff is being flung all over the place. Right now I have decided to just let things roll to see where my ideas take me. A lot of muse abuse going on, though. I can’t even sleep I am enjoying myself so much. More soon! Deborah, the Artist.
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