Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Update...

Well I've been a pitiful blogger lately, I have so many irons in the fire at once right now, and I've been doing a lot of physical things, even more than usual. Working out harder and longer and
running with my dog through the woods..this morning, as cold as it was, reminding me that it is still in the heart of January, I heard frogs..a whole chorus, that song of sweet abundance. Let's you know nature is still doing her thing! It was music to my ears, and to top it off, the crows were calling too. I can easily spend two or more hours in my personal nature haven, and often do. I love running through and navigating the wet muck and ditches. Angus circles me, races haead, then races back to me touching his nose to my hand. He is a fine companion. Makes running a true pleasure. Here he is bounding back to me...

leaping over a branch...
Angus looks regal standing at the top of the mound above the creek bank...

Here is a favorite place, almost my own little temple..there is a cattle gate here, and I stop and stretch on it...and this is the view...I know this place in every weather and season. Beauty is a constant.

Here I am down in the creek bed looking up at the morning rays shining through the tree tops...
Brrrr its cold!!


As always, Angus spends more time in the air than in the water or on the ground...



Back in the studio, I have so many projects going on at once with my sister and on my own, that I know it must appear I am doing nothing...however I am moving a large amount of things forward simultaneously while also planning even bigger things. My sister and I are bringing the family ShopSmith, a large wood shop machine that does everything and anything, to my large basement studio, and plan on making many things with it for various shows this year. I have never been so excited, because my sister, who silently and without complaint suffers from MS, has gotten her groove back and is in good and steady health now and is raring to go! We are plotting and planning and setting up and that has taken time this month , too. This year is going to be big for us production wise. I have been waiting years for this! I don't know how to explain our energy, but we were lucky enough to be born with opposite and overlapping talents. We love all the same things, and making things, and as far as skills, my weaknesses are her strengths, and vice versa.

Below are some examples on our collaborative pieces last year:
We made a pair of Moon Candelabra Floor lamps...she found these old lamps in a salvage place, restored them, made the sleeves look like real dripping wax, painted them black, and I made the moon tops. The moon tops have built in sleeves that slide on and off the lamp bulb bases and are also set with screws to tighten. As soon as she bought the lamps, we came up with the idea together! We will be making another pair this year for the Halloween Convention, this time the moons will be in my Yellow color, with black base.

Next to the lamp is one of our Halloween Trumeaus. The frame is hand carved and built from "scratch". People see these things and think we have re-purposed them from something older. or already made. Nope. We built it with pieces of wood that started out looking like...pieces of wood. Dusti carved the wicked skulls and JOL details and does the frame building...we love painting the final layers of grungy patina...they truly look like ancient antiques from someone's haunted old mansion! The bottom half of a trumeau always includes a mirror. We may experiment with etching the mirrors this year.

Here is the painting I did to go with the piece...my rendition of an old 1920's era Halloween postcard...mine is a bit more painterly.

We will be doing some more of these for shows this year, and some about half this size as well.

In short, everything we do together is ten times better than what we do alone. We were both shocked to learn as we grew older that "sister" does not mean "born best friend" for everyone.
Speaking of alone, here is a moon I finished, offered on eBay this week. My first Halloween double sided for 2010, and he is unique because he is a medium 8 inch size. I usually only do double sided ones in the x large size. I just love them lit up.

My collectors are often generous enough to send me photos of what they do with my pieces. Here is one of my sold moons hanging above a collection of a Department 56 village...I just love this!


And here, in another collector's home are some examples of pieces on display...I often find that my art is collected along side other artists', and its no surprise, but in two pictures from last week, I also found Tammy from Light and Shadow Studio's art next to mine! Her witch ornies are divine...I love her work!

In another home, here below, two of my moons on a stick, shaker and a lantern, again nestled with a cat shaker by Tammy of Light and Shadow Studios, (A fellow STJ artist!)

Here is my Moon-o- the-Week...




Lots more in store coming up soon! Two wicked feather trees totally decked out, and some Halloween/Valentine's day crossover pieces too.
If I can keep out of the woods I will be back with WIP pics soon!
Thanks for stopping by!!

3 comments:

Dustin Pearson Harlan said...

I was so excited to see a new post this morning!!! Fabulous blogging as per usual! I'm so envious of your nature so close to your house. There is precious little in the way of woods here in town:( I have to get my fix at the Farm.
Compliments galore are surely in store for our collaborative efforts in the year to come! Can't wait to show you the ropes on the ShopSmith, it requires a deft touch and an experienced hand to not pop band saw blades left and right (which I still do on occasion). But O, O, the things we'll make!
Hearts~D

Lisa said...

How many irons do you have? I was excited to see a new post too! I love your nature walks, and take photos of the Shopsmith works! Please, have to see...and great work as always,

Lisa

Brandi McKenna said...

Lisa..
Oh thanks so much for your comment! I will be sure to post pics of our WIPS when we get going...floor lamps and more trumeaus..are definately on the way and some cool trees too. I am so glad you get a kick out of my nature pics !!!
Have a great week!!!!
Brandi