A Paper Clay Fish Tale

So...it's my husband's birthday this Saturday...and after 25 years of gift giving...I was at a loss about what to do this year. So I decided to make him some art. And about the only thing I know he would like is a fish. So I used this opportunity to experiment with making a free form paper clay piece...one that is not on a board or canvas.

I used balsa wood, matte board and tape for my backing. Unlike ceramic clay, paper clay would be too fragile and flimsy to use without a support on the back.

Below is my process. And I like how it turned out. But I need a better backing than balsa wood because it warps. But it actually gave the fish some roundness, so it worked out. But I am still on the search for a better backing material that is easy to cut.

I cut a fish form out of balsa wood and taped on, then glued the fins to it.

Then I covered it with paper clay and sculpted my fish with details.

After painting the clay with finishes, I painted it black.

Then I removed the black paint, leaving it in all the indentations.

Then I painted it with transparent acrylic paints.

To cover the back, I drew around the fish on black felt with a gel pen.

I cut out the felt and before gluing it to the back, I painted all the edges black.

I made a loop hanger out of ribbon and glued it and the felt down with wood glue.

Nice and tidy back. Important detail.

Finished fish. It's about 15" long...a good size for a fish...definitely a keeper.


New Birds at Guardino Gallery in Portland

Yellow Throated Gossiper  6x6    Paper Clay on Board

Blue Backed Nag Pie   6x6    Paper Clay on Board
Red Headed Ne'er Do Well     6x6    Paper Clay on Board
Weary Traveler  5x7    Paper Clay on Board
Waiting for Sunrise  5x7   Paper Clay on Board

Winter Solstice    5x7    Paper Clay on Board


October Workshop Location: San Miguel de Allende at Casa Carmen

There is a graciousness to the casas in Mexico. And Casa Carmen is no exception. This beautiful bed and breakfast is one of the original colonial buildings of San Miguel. The owner, Cynthia, has lovely taste as you can see by the simple yet elegant decor. And our facilitator, Rebecca Brooks, is a seasoned professional who knows San Miguel inside and out.

Our workshop will be held in the courtyard where we will work outside in the open air, my favorite. After all, why be in a perfect climate if we are not going enjoy it? I don't come here to stay indoors. Days are between 75-85º and nights are cool for perfect dreams. The casa is gated from the street and the stone structure makes it very quiet.

Casa Carmen is located right in the middle of town which is ideal for this walking city. You will enjoy spending your afternoons wandering the dozens of galleries and shops filled with fine art, crafts, folk art, clothes, decor and more. This place will seriously dazzle you.

If you are considering a trip to Mexico, this would be a great place to experience. San Miguel de Allende was named the #1 Town in the World by CNN Travel this year. It is beautiful, safe, fun, inspiring and the food is fantastic. Join us for this amazing adventure into art making.

Lobby/sitting room

Courtyard where workshop is held. Sweet dog in the doorway is half coyote.

Complementary tequila is always available in the sitting room.

One of the many sitting areas outside for relaxing with your new friends.

Everyone has a birdcage. Not all have birds, but all are beautiful.

This is where you will enjoy breakfast and an afternoon meal, included in the workshop fee.

Sitting area in one of the bedrooms. I love how all the upholstery and bedding is white.

Typical bedroom.

Another typical bedroom.

The only thing missing from this picture of the lobby/library is you.


A View of Jacobs Gallery Show: Unexpected Journey

Here are some images of my show hanging at Jacobs Gallery in Eugene for my out of town friends. The show runs through March 15.


Class Work Gallery: Paper Clay Workshop at Emerald Art Center 2014

Below you will find a wonderful display of the works done by students in my 2 day Paper Clay Workshop: Friends of a Feather. 

The first day we sculpted clay, the second day, we painted it. As you will see, these students are making some wonderful art. They are all at different skill levels, and this was new to all of them. Most of the work is still in progress, but check it out...they look really great! I am so impressed. 

I am always grateful for spending time making art with others who really want to do it. What fun. They are always the most creative, fun-loving, interesting, and passionate people.

I'm blessed.

Clay work, day one. Bas relief sculpture.

Notice how different everyone's style is.

This owl is a wonderful loose style.

And others went more stylized and modern.

The sculpting is very meditative. The room becomes quiet.

Except for someone cracking jokes occasionally.

On the second day, we paint the dried clay, beginning with contrasting colors.

Designs take form.

Darks and lights are established.

Texture appears.

Mood is created.

Style is developed.
Delicate with pale charcoal.

Whimsy and movement defined.

Blue hues create gentle quiet.

Design rules.

And then we add color...and the whimsical magic begins.

Fresh and glowing in the morning sun.

Soft, textural simplicity at the beach.

Happy, sunny spring with fresh, fragrent blossoms.
Compelling, textural drama. Wow.

Move over Picasso and Matisse. I want this on a bag!
Luminous with moonlight and color dancing.

Feel the delight in this calm summer breeze.

Elegant stillness and solitude. Peace.

Dynamic, organic and just plain cool. Even unfinished.

Lightness and light. A magic combination.

Peaceful, warm and cozy. Let's rest.
And so these are the perpetrators. Tables full of diligent art makers.
...and a lot of really fun people.