Retrieving My Muse

March 27, 2014 at 9:18 am | Posted in From The Studio | Leave a comment
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Sacred Space by Joan Desmond 2014

Sacred Space by Joan Desmond 2014

May there be

December 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Posted in From The Studio | Leave a comment
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by Joan Desmond 2013

                                                                                                                                                by Joan Desmond 2013

Frosty December Nights

December 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Extra | Leave a comment
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bring found sculpture from birdbath ice

Joan Desmond 2013

Joan Desmond 2013

The Collage Process Explained

October 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Considering Ideas, From The Studio, Mail Art | Leave a comment
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*
  1. First there’s a rough idea for paper collage design, or two or three ideas.
  2. Scanning your immaculately organized studio, you consider the backing/support. Heavy watercolor paper, Bristol board, museum board? Rummaging through a drawer, a file, a cart, you pull considerations out onto the desk.
  3. You bring out the stored decorative and handmade-papers. Seeing the colorful bags sorted by type and size, you feel so TOGETHER.
  4. You plug in a Mozart tape.collage-table
  5. Tear. Cut. Snip. Hey! Let’s make four different collages at once, or more!
  6. At the counter, arrange, and rearrange the paper shapes on the backings. You vaguely notice that there’s an equal amount of bits and pieces on the floor.
  7. They need something else, pop the lid off that other bin of collected oddments!
  8. By now, every studio drawer should be hanging precariously open.
  9. You didn’t notice that the music ended long ago.
  10. For the fifth time you’ve misplaced the small and large scissors, and can’t find the Xacto-knife.
  11. You bring out more scissors. Plus you consider a yellow silk ribbon; 5 inches of orange cotton cord; 1960’s stickers of a chicken, a t.v., a hula girl, and a rubber duckie; a vintage matchbox; a soap wrapper from India with elephants; and textured metal buttons. None of which you’ll use.
  12. Right about here, every surface in the studio should be covered with collage materials. The purple papers are in the orange bag, and the tans have disappeared. You feel, MMM…words fail.file-drawers-top
  13. It’s time to glue: with paste or acrylic medium depending on the paper’s weight.
  14. You glue  in layers, covering each in pieces of plastic drop cloth, so they won’t stick to the big art history text you weight them down with to dry. There’s likely a place left on the floor to put them.pastes
  15. Another layer, more stuff.
  16. If you did it right so far, the palette knife for the paste is glued to a CD cover; the acrylic medium brush is best friends with a paper towel; one shoe is stuck to the floor, and the other is trailing a bit of Thai pink mulberry paper; there is unexplained ink on your hands.
  17. Then, suddenly, you are finished- can’t remember when you started, but it’s dark now. Looking around at the chaos, you feel GOOD.
  18. That’s right, collage had its way with you.
  19. The next morning it takes an hour, or two, to reorganize, put back, wipe down …you find the scissors, and the bag with the tans under the canvas cart.
  20. You arrange some of the collages for a photo shoot.

    Collage Postcards by Joan  Desmond 2013

    Collage Postcards by Joan Desmond 2013  

  21. Hah! such a clean and tidy pic.
  22. Collaged, mail art postcards, ready for messages, addresses, and stamps. For the Grandkids. Sending some art through the mail.

Considering how it all comes down

May 30, 2013 at 9:00 am | Posted in From The Studio | 1 Comment
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Swirling by Joan Desmond 2013

Swirling by Joan Desmond 2013

Are You Well Versed?

April 15, 2013 at 10:23 am | Posted in Extra, From The Studio | Leave a comment
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Microscopic by Joan Desmond 2013

Microscopic by Joan Desmond 2013

We are halfway through National Poetry Month, which highlights this literary form. See also April Is Poetry Month. So have a go at it. Pull out that anthology. Read some words, maybe craft some rhyme, and verse up your month.

The wind blows the dirt

It flies in furtively

through window screens

disguised as fresh air

it scurries

over furniture

hides

under couches

I chase it down

scoop it up

and throw it

in the can

Then, once a week

it is tranported

isolated

in the back

of a white truck

twenty-five miles

or so

I take it to the dump

release it

into the landfill

and there

the wind blows the dirt

The Wind Blows the Dirt by Joan Desmond 2013

Fresh from the Studio

April 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Considering Ideas, From The Studio | 1 Comment
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by Joan Desmond 2013

by Joan Desmond 2013

This means it may or may not be finished. I wouldn’t usually display such a work yet, but this one feels pretty close to finished. Anyway “finished” is a concept that needs discussing so I’m posting it.

When is a piece of art finished and ready to jump off the easel? Hah, the answer is… relative, vague, unclear, depends on the artist, what was for lunch, or maybe on an evening glass of wine. Generally, it’s a cumulative decision based on experience and that sense that anything else would be extra. It has something to do with accomplishing the idea you began with but also being mindful that a work develops its own direction as you progress. But that’s a whole other conversation.  Mostly, the work has to “pop”, stand on its own.

“Finished” is also intuitive, if you listen, the painting says, “That’s enough, put down the frigging brush!” It’s much better to stop before that point so the thing doesn’t look tight; something I still struggle with, as I like to push design and color to the edge.

What works best for me is to leave it sit out for a time period and just glance at it in passing. Often, if it’s not finished, my eye will keep coming back to something that bugs me, some unwanted tension. The perspective of time, which sometimes means six months and put it out of mind until you have more insight, is invaluable.

Then again, some works can come together in a day, title and all. This one is yet untitled. It reflects a stronger direction toward movement in my art, so perhaps something about dancing or rhythm. I’ve also been thinking about marbles. Go figure.

Had to look for it

March 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Posted in From The Studio | Leave a comment
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By the Path by Joan Desmond 2013

    By the Path by Joan Desmond 2013

 

 

Softly spring comes calling

March 4, 2013 at 9:39 am | Posted in From The Studio | Leave a comment
Spirit of the Day by Joan Desmond

Spirit of the Day by Joan Desmond

A Queen of Hearts

February 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Posted in From The Studio | Leave a comment
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for some February valentine fun. With a bow to the recently retired Monopoly iron, it sat on the board well.

Queen of Hearts by Joan Desmond 2013

Queen of Hearts by Joan Desmond 2013

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