What is Quartz Inversion?
No, it’s not a quart of milk standing on its head. It’s the point at which silica crystals in clay change their molecular structure during the rise and fall of temperatures in the kiln. Heat serves as a catalyst for permanent change. Very cool idea. I think of it as a metaphor for most things in life. The transformational power of art can change us at the very core. Our actions change the earth every day, for better or worse. The choices we make, the thoughts we have, and the words we say change us in every way at every moment--from the inside out. I like to think that I go through a quartz inversion on a regular basis....and once quartz inversion occurs, there is no going back.
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Monday, May 31, 2010

Au revoir, Louise....

She inspired me to the very core....


Traffic Light

After several weeks (!) of not working, I finally got some stuff done today in the blazing heat of my studio. Dealing with a broken heat gun and resorting to using my hair dryer (which works, by the way), I labored over three small panels. I tried scanning these with my new scanner, but not sure they look any better than when I shoot them with my Coolpix. Anyway, I'm glad I got some work done....

Carissimo Fratello

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tiny Treasures....

I just love these tiny little canvases I found at Dick Blick Art Supplies. They allow me to plow through little thumbnail sketches in wax and work out ideas for color, composition, and content. These are 4 'studies' for my Family History series and are only 2.5" X 4" in size.

"3 Siciliani"

"Sylvia ~ Diddie ~ Sunny"

"Felice ~ Felix ~ Phil"

"Destination Pozzallo"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010...

"Mother's Day"

Today is the second Mother's Day since my mom's passing in January 2009. There was a lot of activity on facebook with everyone wishing their moms, aunts, wives, friends, and sisters and Happy Mother's Day, and feeling a little envious of those who still have their mom, I decided to spend some time in the studio creating a tribute to my mother. Oddly enough, the piece did not just flow out of me ~ on the contrary, it was a day of struggle where nothing seemed to go right. I worked on this simple and very grey piece for around 3 hours until reaching point where I knew it was time to stop.

I never start out with the idea for a composition in my mind before starting a piece. I usually just place the objects on the page and juggle them around until the composition feels right. After contemplating this composition for some time, I noticed how I had placed the photo of my mother beside the empty frame, rather than inside it....
Happy Mother's Day mom. I miss you and I love you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pyromaniac at work....

Provincia di Ragusa

Note to self~ Next time you choose a new medium to work in, make sure it has nothing to do with HEAT.

It was almost 90 degrees today outside and around 190 degrees in my top floor, sun-drenched, low-ceilings, skylit, heat trap of a studio. On top of that, add the heat from my two hotplates and heat gun and you have one heck of a hot situation. Determined to make the best of it and get some work done I drew all the curtains, covered the skylights with paper, put the exhaust fan in the window, and propped the Vornado on the floor blowing in my direction. With a liter of ice cold seltzer within reach, finally, I am ready to begin.....

So without planning anything too ambitious, I finished a small "quartet" of 2" X 2" panels and started a new horizontal piece. Ironically, although I have little tolerance for the heat, I seem to always work in a medium that has to do with 'heating things up'. After spending years in boiling hot kiln rooms making ceramics, I am now hunched over a 250 degree hot plate with a heat gun in my hand. Now that summer is upon us, I'd better put my thinking cap on and come up with a good plan to keep my work space cool and well ventilated....or I might just be working on mono-prints all summer.....
Family Four