Velvet jelly.

April 19, 2009

Velvet Jellyfish

First large-scale NEARLY complete velvet painting, using acrylic paints. Image inspired by Ernst Haeckel’s lithographs.

I will nerve up eventually and try using oils, as that’s what Edgar Leeteg supposedly used. Some claim that oil separates weirdly on velvet, though. I’d love a clear answer on this.

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First completed oil painting.

April 17, 2009

Neko Shrine

Oil on canvas panel, completed as an assignment for a beginning painting class I’m taking at West Valley College. Painting is the one field of art I have never felt sufficiently self-taught at, but with just a few paintings under my belt (in both acrylic and oil) I feel pretty competent so far.

Yatta!

March 14, 2009

Etsy shop is now live!

corardens.etsy.com

Barely in time for the equinox, but Easter’s still off a ways at least!

Prized above rubies.

February 1, 2009

Here’s a fine winter brew I came up with a few months ago after reading two books in a row that mentioned drinking saffron as a tisane (Color: A Natural History of the Palette and Secrets of Saffron). My tastes are a bit outre so I wasn’t sure who else would like this blend, but taking some with me to Revels this past Yule drew rave reviews from at least ONE other person—hi Evelie! :)—so I’ll go ahead and post it.

~~~~~~
Ruby Tea
~~~~~~
1 tbsp rooibos (I use Twinings)
1 1/2 tbsp osmanthus blossoms
50 saffron threads (don’t panic! Read on…)

Bring 5 cups of water to boil; remove from heat. Blend rooibos, osmanthus and saffron, and steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain. Serves 5.

Seriously, this smells like the most Elysian of fields, tastes like the sweetest purest water, and looks like the richest depths of garnet. If you think it needs still more character, try adding to the teapot a tablespoon of dried lavender blossoms (for what I call “Sleeping Ruby”) or a dash of Saigon cinnamon and a smidgen of black pepper (“Star Ruby”).

A word on the ingredients:

Osmanthus may be hard to come by in stores. I first smelled it in a Black Phoenix Alchemy perfume, first tasted it at a cafe in Wellington NZ, and finally got my hands on the unadulterated dried blossoms through Adagio.com. It comes packed in big pyramid teabags that make about two or three cups each; I just scissor them open and scoop it out. 🙂

And those of you who saw the word “saffron” and immediately thought “ZOMG I’M NOT SELLING MY FIRSTBORN!”, keep in mind: a little saffron goes a long way. According to GourmetSleuth.com, there are roughly 463 threads in 1 gram of saffron, which can be had for $7.95 from here, a supplier that came recommended from an author of one of the books above. Just use it up within a year of purchase (it’ll make about 46 cups of this tea!) and you won’t have wasted your money.

Hmm, I’m sure my original zine didn’t look nearly this shill-y, with all the links to places to buy. What can I say, I’m a cog in a machine. So long as I have tea, I’ll keep turning.

Another dimension of creativity.

February 1, 2009

I AM still making art, however my manifold other interests take over my attention once in a while, so I figure they’re worth including here too.

About a year and a half ago I compiled a zine (downloadable here: http://www.iowaline.net/Subtle-Teas-for-Summer.pdf) featuring fun facts about my favorite bevvy, tea, and some iced tea recipes. I meant to follow up with a winter edition that year or the next, but having had little time and few recipes compiled so far, I figured I’ll post them one at a time as they come to me.

Not laurels enough yet.

September 2, 2008

I’ve only been at writing pysanky for three years, I really hope the best isn’t behind me already. Maybe I’m just not inspired. Admittedly a lot of my favorite eggs are pretty unoriginal, being essentially fan art:

Figbash & Fantod Homage to Escher

This one arguably so, the subject being a friend and the egg itself a going-away prezzie to her:

Tempest On An Eggshell
(See Tempest’s own work at http://darklydramatic.com/tempest/)

This is about the only one that (IIRC) is completely original that I also love:

Swan Cameo Swan Cameo

Bah, insecurity. I’ll think of something new, eventually.

Back to the dye mines!

Currently favoring eggs over velvets.

August 30, 2008

I know I should really aim for honing my talent on my own terms rather than feeling pressed to monetize it so soon, but my invite to an upcoming festival has tempted me to convert my rather knickknacky notions into more wearable forms, since wearable art inevitably sells better:

earrings01

Bobwhite egg earrings decorated in the pysanky style.  I ordered the eggs preblown from an ebay seller years ago, along with some finch eggs which are much smaller and more fragile and may in fact be functionally useless for this kind of thing.  Do it anyway, I guess.

First attempt at actual paint on velvet.

July 11, 2008

Scanned:

velvetpeach

And photographed, with subject:

velvetpeach 001

You can zoom in really close on the first and see how matted the nap got with the acrylic paint. I either used too little or too much extender/retarder in an attempt to layer thin glazes of color. Note to self: lint roller first, and look into different brush types.

Also, I am 28 as of today. That is all.

First finished piece of black velvet art.

June 20, 2008

Maya

Medium used: oil pastels. Very easy to manipulate, but hard to achieve saturation on the same level as paint. This was scanned in rather than photographed so the brightness and contrast are much higher than life.

Hello.

June 11, 2008

This will be a repository for various artistic attempts by me.  Therefore everything posted here, good or bad, is copyright me.   Please enjoy and feel free to constructively criticize.