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After Discarded Surfaces

The show went well.  I am grateful for all the support from those who stopped by and those who purchased some work.  Now I need to get a special order necklace done, then I can start on some new bottle lamps and conte drawings/acrylic paintings on the Mapepa paper.  The previous ones are being photographed to go strait to my sold works gallery.

Below you can see my Gather Dew piece fully covered with seed pods!  I still love this stupid piece.  However, after 3,873 seed pods and a solid 100 hours of work, I am happy to have time to focus on more short-term pieces.  I will be on the road for work most of the Month of March.  It will be hectic but it will be a great opportunity to make some new sketches and photos.  I should have some fresh work turned out and posted in the next couple of months.  

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Open House Zimbabwe

It has been hard making time for my art since starting my new job in October.  Nevertheless, I decided that it was time to set a deadline for the open house.  So I am spending every spare moment to have a few new pieces for the show.  I have a week!

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Now or Never

Shelter From The Storm

Shelter From The Storm

Gathering Dew inprogree

Gathering Dew inprogree

I have been working on a series from discarded bits of trees.  Shelter From The Storm is finished and Gathering Dew is getting closer to completion.  However, when I started Gathering Dew, I had a very unrealistic expectation for the number of seedpods needed to cover it.  I am nearing 2,000 and now I am guessing that it will take around 3,000 when it is all said and done.  Also in the works I made some tree rubbing experiments and I reassembled a set of roots.  The final rubbings will be overlain with other mediums.  For the reassembled  roots I plan to weave rattan up the sides and integrate glass etchings.  

Tomorrow I start my new job.  Unfortunately this means less art time.  Regardless, I am pushing to get these pieces completed.

tree rubbing sample

tree rubbing sample

roots reassembled 

roots reassembled 

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New Place but the Roofs Remain

It has been a few weeks since we moved to Harare, Zimbabwe.  Until I can start work, I am trying to take advantage of the extra time to create and already my head is swirling with inspiration and new ideas.   The challenge is limited material and tools since it will be a while until our belongings arrive.  Working with what I have has brought about a new series that I am quite excited about.

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It started with a tree, in a clay pot, in my garden, that died.  I was looking at the branches and decided that all the dead little bits needed to be removed.  Then I decided that the roots needed to be dug up intact.  In keeping with some of my favorite materials, I played with the idea of incorporating glass from now emptied bottles and handmade paper.   I do realize I am back to roofs again, though in Armenian they were ceramic church roofs topping my bottle lamps.  Here they are these floating light little drawings that vaguely reference the traditional thatched roofs.

I have set to work with the paper roofs.   If you are interested in the process, here it is.  Otherwise, enjoy the photos.  There will be more to come with this piece and other pieces utilizing discarded parts of trees.

  1. Folded paper box- evolved to thatched roof shape.
  2. Inked paper- settled on sketches of plants.
  3. Wax experiment- ink holds, slightly translucent and flexible.
  4. Color addition test with pastel, tested with wax- successful though colors dull.
  5. Water proof? yes. :)
  6. Switch to parchment paper during waxing process, better wax barrier to iron.
  7. Thatching texture in spots- sewing nixed, roots and tall grass nixed.
  8. Settled on gluing bits of short grass in places with inked side before waxing.
  9. Wax test over grass- works.
  10. Seal seam with thin Nepalese handmade paper, followed by final wax.

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Home Leave Art

Vienna installed

Vienna installed

It has been a long time since, I dropped an update here.  Though, there have been more regular updates on my Instagram.  Let me get you up to speed.

Tatev Surp and Bee Monastery

We just came off our Home Leave in the US, and now we are settling into our new home in Zimbabwe.  It was really nice to spend time with some of our family and friends.  This was also an opportunity to get some art projects done.  Like always I bit off more than I can chew.  So things such as updating my site and rephotographing art fell to the way side.  However, I did manage to paint a triptych for my sister's front room and etch, ink, then sell the last two Armenian bottle lamps.  

The most important art piece for me was The Road Home.  This is the second in a series of etched windows from my Grandfather's barn.  After my grandfather died, I found these windows in a shed on the old Bick Barn property.  The land was being sold, so I took the windows with a plan to make something of them one day.  Living overseas, my art revolves around the places we call home.  I decided that the windows needed  as part of a series for reconnecting with my home.  With my second return to the U.S. I etched and inked the second window.  This project is where the entire etching and inking thing started and it is a more personal one.  

My sister made an immediate claim to From Grandfather's Barn but The Road Home is still unclaimed.

The Road Home

The Road Home

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Last Night to see Lips of Pride!

 My Works

 

Some of the other works

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10 Days, 3 Places

On April 25th I will be packing up my possessions and all unsold art in preparation for the next adventure.  Creating while living in Myanmar and Armenian has been really fantastic but I am accumulating several pieces that I need to move with us.  At this moment, I am showing solo in The Green Bean at Amiryan 10, and in a group exhibition with HAYP Pop Up gallery at Frik 13.  Aside from the pieces on display in these exhibitions, I have more works in my home studio. If you are in Yerevan and you are interested in purchasing one of my works, now is the time to do so.  Contact me via the form on my Where In The World page.  Thank you for your support.  

 

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Showing at the Green Bean

The Green Bean is rolling out their new roasted coffee beans and I have the honor of exhibiting my art along side the new roast.  If you are in Yerevan, come by the Amiryan location for a good cup of coffee and enjoy some of  the art.

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Armenia, Goodbyes Are Near

Here is "Fire."  I am looking at the dreadful countdown for my time in Armenia.   Among all the regular tasks that come with moving, I am tying up loose art pieces that I want to complete in these next few months.  I keep missing personal deadlines, but I was successful in completing this small oil painting.  Now, onto...

  • finishing alterations to the "New People" dresses
  • etching images onto upcylced bottle lamps
  • forming ceramic tops for lamps
  • finishing large fire painting
  • finishing wine bottle installation for "FLOW"
  • painting self portrait in Armenia

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New People, New Dresses

We are 2 days away from the photo shoot and I am painting away.  Painting on clothing is a whole new thing for me.  Anna said "paint on dresses" and I  said "how many."  For the shoot these will be worn by myself and three models.  In addition to the painted dresses I will be painting directly on their faces.  More to come after Sunday's photo shoot.

 

 

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New Project of "New People"

I usually have a few irons in the fire, but my big one at present is this exciting collaboration with an Armenian artist I met during my INKED Exhibition.  Anna Khachatryan is a young woman with a body of work in unique contemporary photo and video art.  For this "New People" shoot she will feature my painted works on some more obscure surfaces including the dresses and the faces of her models.  Today we picked out the fabric and handed our design over to the tailor.  Look forward to more updates including the finished dresses which will be for sale after the shoot.

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"Inked" Opening Night

Last evening was the opening of "Inked."   I was exhausted but it was really great to see everything put together and have such a diversity of people enjoying my work.   The show will still be up until the 25th.

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Five days until "Inked"

completed windows

completed windows

The windows are finished!  Now I am focused on "The Glass Ceiling." The exhibition is only 5 days away!

etching windows

etching windows

inking windows

inking windows

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Art Day?

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My work today consisted off polishing glue residue of bottles, drilling holes in the bottom of bottles, and scraping layers of paint off a Soviet Era window.  

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Wednesdays are set aside as my art day but this work felt more like house work or furniture restoration.  It is a good thing that the process means so much to me.  Now that the HAYP show is over and my parents have returned to the U.S., I am working on pieces for my Dalan Gallery solo exhibition in November.  Like I mentioned before, using upcycled materials means a lot of time is needed to prepare these wonderful surfaced. The show will feature all inked pieces including my intimate little ink drawings on homemade paper and a couple large installation inked glass pieces.  I have so much work to do!

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The Scale of Life- "Joints of Vishapakar"

Opening Night went fantastic.  I felt honored to show along side such talented artist.  It has been super stressful changing to a new concept and executing it in a matter of three weeks!  I have had to put so many things on hold including posting updates.   While I worried over my single piece of art, HAYP and Dzook managed to pull off an entire fantastic event in this same period of time. Bravo!

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Preparing Material for Installation Piece

Upcycled material may be free, but it can take a lot of time to prepare.

Between Friday evening and Sunday morning I pick up several bottles from some local establishments. Once home I

  1. soaked these in the tub

  2. scraped off the paper labels with a kitchen knife

  3. covered them in a soda and oil paste

  4. rubbed them free of the set residue

  5. rinsed, dried, and wiped again

I only repeated this method, 53 times, and this added up to 8.5 hours of my weekend. It feel good to see all the clean bottles lined up awaiting the next step in the evolution from rubbish to art. Despite this wonderful feeling, I cannot help but think, I get to do this all over again next weekend.

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Last completed paintings

My open house came and went with great success.  Here are the last 2 pieces from the Armenian mountain myth.  Progress of the new pieces will be posted very soon.

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On Thursday I finished the smaller piece, "Shifting Lands" and today I finished "Mother of Mountains."  Now I really need to wrap up the other two smaller paintings.  All four of these pieces come from an Armenian myth of how Mount Ararat and Mount Aragats were separated.   They are the first of several pieces which use Armenian myths to illustrate Armenia moving forward.

Mother of mountains.

Mother of mountains.

Shifting Lands

Shifting Lands

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Homage to Women Made of Earth

View of the two paintings side by side

View of the two paintings side by side

This week, I have been working on the abstract and major painting of my latest concept.  While working on the smaller abstract, I realized that the central figure bears a striking similarity to my Eve, from the triptych that started my series.  Even Eric made note of this when he saw my Wednesday progress.  Like my "woman,"  I wanted this figure to feel like she is made of earth.  This idea for this concept comes from an Armenian myth of how Mount Ararat and Mount Aragats where pushed apart to reveal the fertile vale in-between.   

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Milk Fired Ceramic

My ceramic vessel is cooling after cooking it in the oven with the milk rubbing.

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