Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Squish Squash

Squish Squash got his body colors yesterday and here he is...still minus his little bucket which is outside drying. He has a little orange cape that goes over his vest and of course has a bow tie to cover his skinny little neck. You will also notice that his arms and fingers look spindly and vine-like.

When I first made the head my husband said it reminded him of a conehead, but I was just going for a big head to hold lots of brains. Kind of like the intellect of the squash family. You see, there are terribly nasty squash vine borers and cucumber beetles that carry viruses that kill the entire vine and consequently all of the squash. So in my crazy little brain I dream up that nature being as wonderful as it is, develops this "super smart" squash (still with me) that also due to the size of it's head is heavier than normal. This smart little squash has the ability to recognize these nasty pests in the garden and can roll over and squish the nasty bugs before they can do any damage, thus protecting his brothers and sisters on the vine. Because this little guy was the first to develop this technique he was given the nickname, "Squish." He is a proud little guy and very willing to share his knowledge and that explains him being all dressed up...he is now doing a lecture tour to gardens around the country. He just might show up in your neighborhood so keep an eye out for him...I know the bugs are!!

Have a great week!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Something new....

Sorry for being absent this past week. I was trying to sculpt and finish up some details on a few pieces and ran into a snag. I opened a new bag of paper mache mix and evidently there was more powder binder in this bag than normal because my hands started cracking and the clay was setting up within a 10 to 15 minute period of being mixed...which isn't normal!! When my hands started having a burning tingle as I put them in water I knew it was time to stop and rethink what I was doing. Because my hands needed a day out of the clay I painted yesterday and have the initial coats on two of the Haunted Harvest figures' heads....now, they aren't done, but I have a start on them and thought I would show you what I have been up to.

Lillian Lumina and Squish Squash....they are distant cousins.

Lillian has a bit more work to be done on her lips as I got carried away with her lip gloss....

and I have more layers of glazing to do on the surface of Squish Squash's head. You'll learn more about his name as the figure is completed.

Today is laundry and more painting...I told my husband we need a wife to cook and clean for us and he just smiled at me. I'm not sure what he meant with that smile and decided it was best not to ask.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the Mad Tea Party today!! (I wanted to play but other obligations got in my way!! )


Friday, June 19, 2009

EHAG Gorey Tribute Challenge Piece is Done!!

It's done!! I finished the Ode to Edward Gorey Orb last night and here it is below. The first image is the spider web design at the top that covers the night sky.

Dancing pumpkin figure shown...
The cemetery keeper's house with the ghost...

The "Gorey" cemetery keeper just inside the gates walking down the path...

Large Pin Oak and monument with "Gorey" cats and....

Sir Jack Spinner, my signature and date on the bottom.

This was such an interesting experience for me and I was shocked that this 5.5" diameter sphere took so long to complete. Then I measured the circumference and realized it is 16 inches around and it started to make more sense to me why I went through 5 India Ink pens over the 3 days and 24 hours it took me to complete this. Lots of little details and no idea how many lines are on the surface of this piece. As I finished the orb my admiration for Edward Gorey and his work soared and I need to thank the EHAG Moderators for giving me this challenge!!

This will be a one-time piece. I love pen and ink, but it is not suited for the paper mache surface and it is better left to those whose work I admire so much!! With that said, I hope to have the auction link up later tonight or tomorrow!

Have a great weekend and thank you for all of the support this week. Now, go to the bookstore and pick up one of Edward Gorey's books and enjoy the illustrations. He is so inspiring!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ode to Edward Gorey Orb Update

Yikes, it still isn't done after 16 hours of line work, with 1 full pen and part of another pen left to work with. I'm more concerned at this point about not having enough ink to finish the piece then the amount of time this little fellow is taking.

Below is the dancing pumpkin fellow with his vine like limbs...he loves his little JOL companion in his hand and the fact he has the tree leaning toward him joining in the dance. Ms. Moon is smiling at his performance because she is sure he is doing it just to amuse her. I think there is a crush thing going on between the two of them, but it is a romance destined not to be.

Little Gorey shaped bats and one tombstone with the initials E. G.

Kitty on the left overlooking a rather large JOL and graveyard.

Oh dear...I still have that much to finish?!!! Better get to work!

Have a great day all and send me some elves!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

EHAG Edward Gorey WIP

The Eclectic Halloween Artists Group is having another challenge for it's members and you need to go give everything being offered by this group on eBay a look!! The challenge this time was Edward Gorey, American illustrator, author, and playwright....which if you are a Halloween or PBS Mystery buff, you will recognize his pen and ink work immediately.

My piece isn't finished yet. I thought I would try to combine my paper mache work and cover the surface with pen and ink instead of paint. This is the culmination of 8 hours of working with two India Ink XS tip pens that I completely used up. I had no idea that even with burnishing and priming the paper mache ball how hard it would be on the ink pen tips. I used a Monkey-Cats Studio spider web and sky at the top of the piece and added a Ms. Moon on one side and a "Gorey" cat (with a Monkey-Cats' twist) on a monument stone on the other side. I still easily have another 8 to 12 hours of work on this little guy and I'm currently evaluating why I thought this would be the way to go for the challenge.

What I came up with is that I'm just crazy for working on an irregular curved textured surface and obvious like to push the limitations of the medium I'm working in. Plus it has been years since I worked in pen and ink, so kind of like a woman who has given birth I forgot about the time involved and any pain involved in the process.

The kitty looks a little scared of me!!! Giggle!

I'll post the finished product and auction link when I finish.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

♫ Monday, Monday ♫

I have had tunes running through my head for about 5 days now. Does that mean I need to look at doing a series of performers or do I need to look to Broadway for ideas since last Friday all I did was sing show tunes? I don't know what is going on, but those little brain cells of mine are firing off jingles in my head like crazy. This morning, of course, it was The Mamas & the Papas singing "Monday, Monday" that came humming from my mouth so who knows when this will shut off. I'll count it as a good thing since I had a good weekend in paper mache.

Below is this weekends bounty of WIPs plus I loaded the bowls with Halloween eggs and balls that need to be painted. I was able to get both bowls formed and partially dried (we are so humid here that it will take days for them to really be dry even with the dehumidifier running). I was also able to cover forms for 11 bodies and started on a series of Ghoulish Garden concepts for heads this month. I also have 2 scepters started, but of course this is just all roughed out right now and things slow down as I start adding the details, but I'm feeling energized and excited to get more mache mixed to begin work again today.

Below are the 2 bowls....will they be pumpkin, cat or skelly bowls?.....hmmmm....

Below is a little squash head with a big grin wishing you a great week!!

I'm kind of thinking with that big forehead he has to be a bit of a "brain-iac"...the geek of the garden so to speak. We'll see how he evolves.

Have a great week all!

Friday, June 12, 2009

SpookyTime Jingles Updates Tonight!!

Tonight, tonight, ♪ won't be just any night, tonight STJ has artists' updates ♫. (sing to West Side Story music...if any of you are old enough to remember!! YIKES) That's right, we update at midnight tonight on STJ! Below are peeks of my works for the month!!

I have 2 Patriotic Spooks....

and one little Jingle, "This is for You."

Hope one of them catches your fancy!!

Have a fantastic weekend and see you next week!! I'm off to mix clay now... ♫ gourd heads and pumpkins and ♪ whiskers on kittens ♪ ...I think I'm in to Broadway musicals today ♫ !


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Mr. I. B. Purring"

Let me introduce "Mr. I.B. Purring", of the renowned Purrings of Nebraska. I know, I know, many of you have not heard of this family, but they are very well known in the Great Plains for their vocal skills, as they are the opera stars of the cat kingdom. "I. B.'s" relatives have performed on the best fences and roofs throughout this region "singing" to the moon, stars and their fellow felines. I personally have experienced several of their concerts, which always seem to start shortly after placing my head on the pillow at night.

Each family member seems to have a special vocal skill, and "I. B.'s" happens to be the fine art of purring. He can purr in the range of a soft deep tone similar to the gentle humming of a computer fan to his kicked up roaring purr resembling a lawnmower. It is a talent limited to a special few, and "I.B." is more than happy to share his skills with anyone willing to scratch him behind his ear and provide him a tiny piece of salmon.

" I.B." is shown here in his stage attire getting ready for his annual Halloween performance. He and several of his family members always practice for this annual ritual throughout the summer months in preparation of their celebration of voices on Halloween night.

"I. B." liked the photo above so well he has decided to use it for the advertising this year for his upcoming concert series. I'm sure I'll catch a few of those concerts this summer when we have our windows cracked open...you too?

Thanks for stopping by !

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Purr-cival's Unveiling

"Purr-cival" is done and ready for his unveiling. Below you see the little fellow in his off-white cape, festive hat with copper garland, bow tie, bucket and striped detailing. Just like his namesake, Percival, this little Halloween kitty is on a quest, just one not nearly as noble. You see, "Purr-cival" is in search of that perfect Halloween confection.

He has searched the world over for the best caramel apple, gooey popcorn ball, handmade ganache, cookie, cupcake and other divine treats trying to identify the one premier confection to make him stay and live with the maker of such a tantalizing creation. Alas, "Purr-cival's" search continues, but he knows in his heart he will persevere.

For now, "Purr-cival" is content to spend his Halloween nights going door to door with his little bucket collecting treats in anticipation of finding the "Holy Grail" of sweetness. Being true of heart, he knows it is out there, somewhere, and he is undaunted in his search.

So when your doorbell rings on Halloween night and you see this little face standing on your porch, don't give him a Snickers, Milky Way, Butterfinger or Baby Ruth, because it just won't do...go to your kitchen and give him the most delectable treat you can conjure.

If he likes your treat he just might stay, curl up in your lap and purr the night away!!
Now, wouldn't that be a storybook ending.

Have a great week all...one more kitty to paint and then it is back to the clay!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Little Penrod Lumina Pumpkin

I really need to get to the studio so this will be short and .....sweet?!! Below is Little Penrod Lumina Pumpkin with his Boo Bucket, Willard. Little Penrod is related to the Lumina Brothers of the past postings, but he has a little more "refinement" due to his upbringing and education. I think you can see it in his appearance.

Little Penrod wears a celestial star hat with copper glitter trim, a Halloween orange jacket with white piping and a black scalloped-edge cape with a star motif to match his hat and star button on his jacket. You can tell this little pumpkin attended Halloween prep school.

Below is a close-up of Willard on the Boo Bucket. Even Willard wears a bow tie to go out trick or treating!!

That's it for today. Little Penrod bids you a good day and wishes you spider hugs and kisses until tomorrow!

Have a great day everyone!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Stars and Stripes Skelly

Posting one more piece before the weekend..."Stars and Stripes Skelly." This little guy is the brother of the other two patriotic skelly figures and finishes the triumvirate. He is every bit the patriot they are, and proudly wears his Halloween-colored patriotic attire.

He wears a huge grin and is shown hanging on to his inflated star so it doesn't soar into the sky. He has a large collar with stars, a bow tie with stars and a vest with stars and selected striped pants to match his lovely top hat. (Those skelly boys really know how to put a patriotic outfit together!!)

He really is quite a dapper little guy!

Hope you enjoy him and have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Star Spangled Skelly and the Gift from the Gourdqueen!!

Hooray, the sun is shining today so I got some photographs taken. I don't have a light box to shoot images in so I rely on sunlight and some days nature just has a different agenda than I do. Since we were overcast yesterday I turned on my Ott lights and painted the day away. I finished the piece below..."Star Spangled Skelly".

Before you ask, yes, he is related to "Uncle Skelly" that carries the star. The two are brothers and were raised to celebrate "the land of the free and the home of the brave," they just seem to have a problem giving up their Halloween colors.

A slight difference between the brothers, besides their attire being different ("Uncle Skelly" likes a more formal look) and having similar yet different faces, is that "Star Spangled Skelly" has an affinity for anything that rockets into the sky and explodes. If it booms, sends embers flowing down, flashes, spirals, crackles or bangs...it is all good in his book!! He loves a good aerial show, especially if he is the one managing the fireworks. He has a little bit of the pyro in his nature, but fortunately it is in a good way. He is shown below posing in his patriotic finery and holding one of his special celebration rockets.

Lots of detail in this little fellow...stars, stripes, dots, lines and shading.

All he asks is that when you think of the fireworks exploding in celebration of our country's freedom, that you pause for a moment and remember a little Skelly equally as patriotic setting off his own show for the ghouls, ghosts and witches across this great land. He is a proud little fellow!

Now, the special news!!!
Linda at The Gourdqueen , recently had a blog giveaway (she actually gave away 2 pieces!!) and little ole' me won one of the gourdie-do figures. He arrived in the mail all wrapped in special tissue with ribbon and a lovely note, and when I carefully (okay, you already know I tear open things, but this sounds better) unwrapped the tissue this is what I found. Isn't he just the cutest little guy!! Not only can Linda sculpt beautifully, this girl can paint...look at those sweet little eyes and the detail on that base!! Perfect! Linda is a PFATT sister and I am thrilled to be a member of this great organization with her. She makes me giggle.

I love people that are talented and have a great sense of humor and I really LOVE it when I win something so special!!! Thank you Linda....now, the rest of you go take a look at her blog!

Have a great day and happy creating!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Little Dipper

Little Dipper is painted and ready for a preview!! Here is his backside with the Little Dipper constellation painted on his cape and you can also see how pitted his head is from the asteroids and space debris crashing into it. I imagine he has had a headache or two from those collisions, but he still seems able to grin through it all.

Here is the little guy in full figure below. Not only does his cape bear the constellation, but so does his hat and bucket.

You may remember that this little guy has a problem with ...uh, "borrowing" candy from others (I think some people call it theft or stealing, but he prefers the word borrow). You see, Little Dipper is particular about his candy and treat selections, so he lets other children go door to door and do all of the work, and then when they are away from their evening spoils, he sorts through their containers taking out his favorites. Since he is small in stature and dips into the candy of others, he was given the nickname, Little Dipper...that is when he decided to have the heavenly constellation sewn or painted onto his belongings.

He loves his fellow "stars", so he wears them on his boots, bucket, cape (look at that collar), vest and hat. It sort of makes it easy for him to coordinate anything he wears since it all has a similar motif.

He has a very painterly complexion that you can see in the photo above.

Hope you like the little guy...because he really LOVES your candy!!

Have a great day and happy creating!