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Scribble Artist Interview with Shetal Soni!

Profile-pic-1-300x221Scribble Town (ST): Oh my, all the things one can do! Shetal Soni moves from the sciences to the arts in the most graceful of ways. Her artwork and creative energy into the opening of Little Wing Shop gives so much inspiration for all.  It’s hard to say just a little about yourself, but let’s try!

Shetal Soni (SS): A little bit about me… well I’m someone who since childhood loved to draw and make things myself. I’m also a daydreamer and so although I’ve never formally studied arts or held a ‘proper job’ in that field (I’m officially a scientist :)) I have continued to feel the need to draw and make things in my spare time, believing that someday it can develop into something less private and a bigger part of my life.

ST: You daydream, but you also makes things come to life! What are you up to at the moment? I’m sure busy with Little Wing Shop!

SS: At the moment I’m trying NOT to read too much about Google Adwords and advertising!! 🙂 Sales and marketing are totally new to me so I’m trying learn about how to get my new Web shop seen. The designing and learning about production was an amazing journey, but there are parts of having a Business that are just not as ‘fun’ but nevertheless are important. I also have a day job, which has nothing to do with arts and crafts, but pays the bills and is stimulating the other half of my brain :).

IMG_8219-300x300ST: Who does the designing for Little Wing Shop?  There is a very particular look and the symmetry are so calming. I’d like to fall asleep to those designs, for sure! What inspires the designs?

SS: I started designing the patterns for textiles (initially without knowing they would be block-printed) while I was on maternity leave. Inspirations came from many things including parts of my old drawings, studying Indian tribal art drawings, Islamic geometric patterns and also from cellular biology! I have experience with Photoshop from work so I scanned my favourite ‘prints’ and started to play around with them, fascinated by the endless ways a single ‘form’ could be duplicated and arranged to create very different whole patterns. I did this for several months!! When you add colour the possiblities are endless! 🙂

ST: What is the production process like seeing that Little Wing Shop requires much creativity and attention from both Finland and India?

SS: Being a lover of arts and crafts I fell in love with the textiles (amongst other crafts) when visiting India as a child. The enormous variety of fabrics, colours & tones, weaves and means of decorating the fabrics was like nothing I had seen before. I have always been in awe. What I’m doing now is a teeny tiny part of that. Luckily the area where my grandma and family are from, Gujarat is still very rich in crafts and tribal arts so I was fortunate to be able to contact organisations from there and speak their language.

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ST:
Please let us know more about block printing.  It has such a beautiful outcome!

Block printing is one very common traditional method for decorating fabric in this part also and so was very familiar to me. It involves carving a pattern onto a wooden block to make a kind of ‘stamp’ and using this to print traditionally with vegetable dyes onto fabric. As the process is done by hand, by a person.. the prints can be applied according to the artists wishes and also used together with other blocks and colours. Traditionally the patterns can be very intricate, colourful and complex and the art is passed down generations. To learn you simply must go and ask to watch and learn from a ‘Master-printer’.

I have started with very simple designs in my 1st collection as I didn’t want to risk ‘making a mess’ 🙂 Working across continents was quite nerve-wrecking at times as I waited for the printer to send me the 1st photos of the trials or especially of the fully printed quilts or Duvets. What is great about block printing by hand is that even though the print is the same thing repeated, it looks slightly different every time the block is pressed down onto the fabric because the pressure can vary abit or one edge has abit more dye this time.. etc. This gives the whole print a much more alive and natural feeling than a machine printed pattern. Its the same in nature for example when looking at a field of grass or flowers, that’s why it feels nice to look at 🙂

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ST: Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  How did they encourage you?

SS: As a child I wasn’t particularly encouraged to draw, however my Father and Aunt were very skilled drawers so I first got interested when I saw them draw. I was quite shy and drawing and crafts was my way of having fun and expressing my self.  I made many toys out of cardboard boxes e.g. I fondly remember a puppet theatre and moving puppets for which I would make a play and perform for my family, forcing my little sister to ‘help’.

ST: Now I really want to try block printing! Any advice?

SS: Block printing can of course be tried by anyone!! That’s why its a craft that exists in many parts of the world and still continues. Try using a large potato cut in half (an adult needs to help with this) and cut a simple shape to make a stamp. Have a few plates of different coloured paints, dip your potato and stamp on paper/cloth. Try making different patterns using the same stamp…. there are no rules! e.g. a a triangle can be stamped in rows, or alternating (point up, then point-down), or even in concentric circles. Your imagination is the limit :). Have fun!

ST: Thank you, Shetal for sharing with us! Little Wing Shop is going to fly to great places!!

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How do you see The False Mirror?

In honor of the great surrealist René Magritte Scribble Town has made an coloring sheet for you, Scribblers! Your own version of ‘The False Mirror’ will be unique and dreamy, just like you are.

While you are filling the eye with color perhaps you can ponder, why are there clouds in the eye?  Is it a reflection?  Or is it a cloudy eye?  What does that mean for you?

Download, print, then color in your own version of René Magritte's 'The False Eye'.

Download, print, then color in your own version of René Magritte’s ‘The False Mirror’.

If you happen to be in Brussels, Belgium, you can visit The Magritte Museum.  Inspiration everywhere!

Frida and Flowers for You

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán. Known for her self-portraits, which symbolically express her own pain and sexuality, these images extend beyond herself allowing us, the viewer, to ponder, reflect and raise inquiry.  Her vibrant colors were painted in a style influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as by European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism.

The New York Botanical Garden has curated an exhibition highlighting Kahlo’s love of nature.  Catch the show between May 16 — November 1, 2015. Read more about the exhibition here.

We have made a coloring page for you, Scribblers, based on Frida Kahlo’s great work titled Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.  Feel free to download and print. Watch the picture come to life as you fill in the spaces!

Scribble your own version of Frida Kahlo's elf-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

Scribble your own version of Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

For teachers and art lovers I recommend you watch one of MoMA’s art education video, which delves into how to critically look at and discuss one of Frida Kahlo’s portraits. Enjoy!

Keeping it surreal with René Magritte

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.” –René Magritte

René Magritte, Homesickness, 1940

René Magritte, Homesickness, 1940

Surrealism began around the 1920s as a movement that explored expression and the imagination of the subconscious. René Magritte, a painter part of the movement, did just that. Much of the work during this time was very dreamlike and bizarre. Artists such as Magritte truly created some amazing and legendary paintings that breaks boundaries between dream and reality.

Magritte was born on November 21, 1898 in Lessines, Belgium. He began his paintings in 1910 when he was only 12 years old. In 1922, he married Georgette Berger who was also his childhood friend. Four years later he produced his first surreal oil painting called ‘The Lost Jockey’ and held an exhibition to present this work. He soon moved to Paris and became involved in the surrealist group. His work was finally exhibited in 1936 in New York City where he became more popular day by day. His work can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was added in 1992 and also at the Museum of Modern Art that was added in 1965.

Magritte not only keeps us fully interested in his work but also in our own. He helps us to think outside the box and brings us into another dimension of art. Try and remember one of the last dreams you’ve had that you can remember quite vividly and sketch it out. Maybe even make a painting about it. You may discover and create something you never imagined. Dreams are a part of our everyday lives whether we remember them or not. Something is always drifting through our subconscious, and if you can get a hold of it, pay attention to it and try to make sense out of it.

René Magritte, The Lovers I, 1928

René Magritte, The Lovers I, 1928

Published by Andi Thea, on June 15th, 2015 at 6:38 am. Filled under: adults,Artists,Featured,Painting,Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Scribble Artist Interview with Pieter Van Eenoge!

Scribble Town (ST): Oh the colors! Oh the design! How beautiful, charming, and exquisite they can be! I’m of course talking about Pieter Van Eenoge’s work!  We are lucky to catch up with him as he is busy illustrating and creating visual images for our eyes to play with.  Pieter, how do you spend your days and can you give us a sneak peak on what you are up to these days?

'Joris Jan Baas' - poetry poster

‘Joris Jan Baas’ – poetry poster

Pieter Van Eenoge (PVE): Hi, I’m Pieter, an illustrator living in Bruges, Belgium. I spend my days painting for magazines, newspapers, ad agencies, corporations and publishing houses, renovating our 80 year old house and playing with my wife, two sons and two cats.

Right now I’m working on the cover of the spring issue of Dutch Weekly Vrij Nederland and a new picture book that hopefully will be ready by the end of the year.

ST: Your illustrations are wonderful!  In your portfolio I see a combination of personal, illustration, and editorial work.  With your personal work, where do you come up with your images for your illustrations?

PVE: I keep a little notebook where I write down ideas and possible titles and draw some quick sketches. Or I use a rejected idea for a commission that I thought was better than the final illustration. Most of the things that inspire come from everyday life, images I see around me, graphic design, art and artist behavior, masks and costumes and opposites like good/evil, darkness/light, beauty/ugliness,…

Antverpia, acrylic on paper, 2013

Antverpia, acrylic on paper,
2013

ST: Any themes you are fascinated with?  For example, what is your Antverpia painting about?  Maybe it has something to do with Antwerp?

PVE: For the Antverpia painting I had the idea of making graphic combinations with the ghost Sus Antigoon, a famous Flemish comic character, and a woman in burqa. They both share the same visual characteristics and I thought they would team up perfectly. But there is also a second layer where I criticize the growth of right wing politics in the city of Antwerp where there is a large muslim population. Trying to live together is the only solution and the efforts should come from both sides. Antverpia is also the name of Sus Antigoon’s ship.
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'Will play for pay' - self promo poster

‘Will play for pay’ – self promo poster

ST: How does it go when you are given an editorial job?  For example, in your painting Fox Hunt I can imagine that it had to do with horses and hunting. What is the process like in working with the client?  Does it help to read what the article is about in order to come with an image?
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PVE: ‘Fox hunt’ was made to accompany a very funny article in Departures written by Jane and Michael Stern about Michael’s recent passion for fox hunting in Connecticut. I was completely free in what to paint, but it obviously had to depict people on horses and dogs chasing a fox. But apparently fox hunting is more about presence, posture and poshness than actually catching the fox itself, so I left the latter out of the painting. I focused merely on showing the speed and elegance of the ritual.

Reading the article isn’t always necessary, but sometimes when it’s about very abstract issues like finance and economics it can be rather helpful.
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ST: You are from Bruge, but grew up in Cologne and now are back home.  Both places are absolutely beautiful and very well know for their architecture and the art!  How have these historical places influenced your artwork?  Is there a lively arts communities in these places?

Bruges city game

Bruges city game

PVE: I lived in Cologne until I was 14, so I can’t say it had an influence on my work. I don’t even remember it as a beautiful city, but I guess that has more to do with the interests of a teenager 😉

Bruges on the other hand is very attractive and an ideal environment to live in (although I live just outside the city walls). It is rather small and easy going and that is something I need for my ease of mind. Yes, there is art on every corner of the street and the few museums are packed with masterpieces from the Flemish Primitives to the Flemish Expressionist. There are a few elements that unconsciously leak into my illustrations like color and shape, but I can trace those influences back to other illustrators I like, so I think it has to do more with taste than influence.
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ST: The book of Illustrated Dreams looks wonderful!  Please let us know more about this project.  Do you illustrate people’s dreams?
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PVE: The book of illustrated dreams is an ongoing project by Mexican artist Roger Omar, where he asks illustrators from around the world to illustrate the dreams of children. There is a Flickr page with all the contributions: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rogeromar/sets/1835379/
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'When we pollute the ocean, we pollute ourselves' - ad campaign for Surfrider Foundation

‘When we pollute the ocean, we pollute ourselves’ – ad campaign for Surfrider Foundation

ST: That’s a great idea!  What is the last dream you remember?

alkj
PVE:
Last night I dreamed about a school with an Olympic sized swimming pool on top and students celebrating the last 100 days of the school year. And everybody was taller than me. Do you have any idea what this could mean? 😉
 alkj

ST: Oh wow!  Perhaps your dream is projecting one of your son’s feeling about the school year coming to an end.  Soon summer vacation start.  Or maybe you want to go back to school.  Only you are the master of your dream, Pieter!When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?
alkj

PVE: Go for a run with my wife, watch a movie, read comics and look at art, do some carpentry. And this year, yes, it has to be this year, I’m going to finish that shed in the garden so I can start playing the drums again.

alkj
ST:
 How encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  Did you ever think you would become an illustrator?
 alkj
PVE: Probably like most artists I was always the one who could draw best as a child. But that doesn’t make you an illustrator, I didn’t even know that it existed. So I studied graphic design instead. It was only in art school when I discovered the work of my teacher Ever Meulen that I decided to become an illustrator one day. After graduation I worked as a graphic designer for a few years and became a full time freelancer in 2003.
alkj

ST: The teachers we have always make such a huge impact on us.  Which artists inspire you to create?

 alkj
PVE: I waste too much time on blogs so the things I see there definitely influenced my work in the last years. I’m a big fan of great painters like Matisse, Van Dongen and Hockney but recently I fell in love with a lot of Scandinavian artists like Kustaa Saksi and MVM. They make completely different things than I do and that pushes me to evaluate my work and try new ways of painting. The changes are, like a child growing up, hardly notable and that’s the way it should be.
 alkj
ST: It’s the little things that count.  Any tips for us, Scribblers?
alkj
PVE:
– When it comes to art, as a kid, never question yourself. As a grown up, always question yourself.
– There are no ugly colors, only ugly combinations
– If you see something good, keep your eyes open. If you can’t say anything good, keep your mouth shut.
 alkj
ST: Thank you Pieter for all your positivity and insight!  Now we go back to drawing 🙂  Check out Pieter’s website for more inspiration at http://www.pietervaneenoge.be.
'I can't work like this!' - cover for Das ZEITmagazin design issue

‘I can’t work like this!’ – cover for Das ZEITmagazin design issue

Springy Pot Holders

Nothing is more refreshing and beautiful than that first pot of flowers you plant in the springtime. You’ve been waiting and waiting for this cold to disappear already to enjoy some fun flower planting! Don’t worry the warm weather will be here before you know it. In the meantime, you can start on a super fun craft.

Today I’m going to show you how to make your own potholder. This way you not only will be able to plant that beautiful flower you’ve been waiting for, but you will also be able to hang it up anywhere you’d like so that everyone can see it!

Materials:

– Sturdy rope. Depending on what size and how heavy your pot is will depend on the thickness and strength of your rope purchase, but you should try and stay away from flimsy rope.

You will need 6 separate strings. It is easier with 6 different colored strings so that the tying process doesn’t become too confusing, but it is your preference on the colors. You will want to cut the rope around 5 feet long, just in case you need extra.

Directions:

Tie the six strings together.
1Tie a knot with two strings about 3-5 inches down from original knot. Do this with all 6 strings, so you will have 3 new knots. Make sure your knots are the same distances, so each level is equal otherwise your pot may become lopsided. (Knots are circled for you.)

2For a second set of knots, go ahead and repeat step number 2. Knot each adjacent pair once again. Once you have finished this you will repeat this process once more for a set of three knots. (This image only shows 2.)

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For example, the next step would be to knot the purple with the light blue, the green with the yellow, and the pink with the dark blue.

4For the final step, you will slide your pot into the 3 sets of knots. At the top of your pot you will tie all the strings together for closure. Make sure all knots are tight and feel free to hang wherever you want!

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Send in pictures of your potholders to info@scribbletown.com and we’ll post it in our online gallery!

Published by Andi Thea, on March 26th, 2015 at 12:57 am. Filled under: adults,Arts & Crafts,Uncategorized Tags: , , , , No Comments

Scribble Artist Interview with Lee Hodges!

Goulash Disko festival - This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Goulash Disko festival – This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Scribble Town (ST): Here we have a beautiful collection of splashes of colors that speak to you in all sorts of sounds and languages! Lee Hodges knows how to make images fun and lively! He is an illustrator/artist, and as he so eloquently puts it is “based in the temperate climes of south west Uk.” Let’s see what he is up to these days.

Lee Hodges (LH):  I’m luckily very busy at the moment (so I hope it lasts!), I have been working at creating a series of posters for kids activities for the RHS gardens, a few editorials too. I have been creating a lot of gig posters for music nights (including my own) and album covers, plus some really big jobs which I can’t tell you about right now…just keep looking…all in all I absolutely love it.

ST: Nice!  Well, you are keeping me on my toes with all the good stuff that you are making!  Your illustrations are wonderful.  Your posters alone make me want to go to the events!  What’s the concept development process like for you when designing posters for these places?

Panama Cardoon - Hasta La Wiggle An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

Panama Cardoon – Hasta La Wiggle
An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

LH: Thanks, that’s very kind. It’s often the title or subject matter that gives me the ideas, for my own gigs I create my own title or subject matter, which is great fun. For other peoples gigs they usually have a subject and title which then inspires the imagery. For the Spring party poster that was inspired by the Jamaican ghosts called ‘Duppies’ and a particular editorial job I did recently about them, so I thought I’d channel the imagery and ideas into the Spring Party, which has a Tropical theme. I usually chuck on some great Tropical tunes to get in the mood as well!

ST: Ah that makes perfect sense- take inspiration from words to images and vice versa.  When designing your illustrations do you first sketch in pencil?  What is your artistic process?

LH: Yea, I generally squiggle in pencil and develop them from there, adding in colour as I go along, sometimes if the idea is really clear I just jump in and create a finished piece without sketching!

ST: Just go with your gut! Your images have a special feeling to them- like I want to touch them and I’ll find paint all over my hands!  What mediums do you create in?

Mexican-Night-of-the-dead-ball-2014

Day of the Dead Poster – This was for one of my own big nights which we do every year, this idea was to capture the music and feel of the festival and the night.

LH: Funnily enough, it’s predominantly digital, my aim however is too make it look as un-digital as possible, but I use a drawing tablet and try to create a screen – printed, warm feel to my images, that have a fun, vibrant edge to them. I am working more and more at applying these techniques out of the digital realm however, which is how I started.

ST: How did you get started with illustrating?  Was this what you had always set out to do?  So curious about your path!

LH: I have always drawn and been very creative, it was and is my first love. Being an artist is right at the very core of who I am, it’s just a question of channeling all that creativity in the right direction. I have been illustrating for the last few years but it’s only recently that I have decided to give it all of my focus and I’m loving it. I am a very curious person so I have tried and experimented with many different mediums over the years, including film design/animation. It’s important to try new things and experiment with your work, by doing that you are able to apply something unique to your work.

ST: So lovely to hear that art is your first love.  You two belong together!  Who are some artists that inspire you?  What about them do you like?

LH: I like lots of different artists for different reasons…I have always loved Picasso for his versatility and sheer output of images! I love street art, particularly Os Gemeos, when I was in Argentina and Chile, most of the pictures I took were of street art! I often go through phases of liking different artists or something I see of theirs jumps out at me and inspires me, I really like Eduardo Munoz Bachs the Cuban poster artist at the moment.

The-Bellman

The Bellman – This is one of my images from the Hunting of the Snark. I have tried to make this fun, colourful and intriguing…It is illustrating the line – “The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies – Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face! ”

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?  Any games you like to play?

LH: I like to take my imagination on long walks! Generally being anywhere near the sea, up and around the wilds of the South west, I love the raw energy of the coastline especially Cornwall, which is where I am from.
I love watching films too, weird and wonderful films, short ones, long ones. I also run a club/arts night which entails making props for the gigs, crazy interactive inventions and most importantly DJ-ing, I Dj quite a lot and run a Radio show every two weeks.

ST: I can hear the music in your illustrations too!  Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?

LH: Well, no-one really gave me direct encouragement, it was just something I did, loved and kept at, supported by words of encouragement when I had shown my work to my parents.

ST: Well, now you have a whole fan club supporting you! Scribble Town and beyond :).  How is your project of illustrating Hunting the Snark coming along?  You are right- Tove Jansson’s version is great!  What are you hoping to bring into your pictures?

The Jub Jub Bird - Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book - “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

The Jub Jub Bird – Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book – “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

LH: It’s a great and crazily surreal book, it’s almost an artists dream to illustrate! It’s a little on hold at the moment as I have been busy with other work, being a personal project it has been put to the back for a bit. I’m hoping that I am bringing  my own interpretation to it, imagining it with a colourful south american twist, almost like lost explorers discovering a strange land….

ST: I’m looking forward to seeing that in the future!  For now, any last minute tips for our Scribblers?

LH: Tips – Experiment, play – make a mess! Use your sketchbook as a scrapbook too, fill it with colour, ideas. I love to listen to music when I work, it really helps you get into the mood! Think out of the box…!

ST: Will do! The mess in on. Everybody, have a look at Lee Hodges website at http://www.leeho.co.uk.  Thanks so much Lee!

Tropical Pressure festival - A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

Tropical Pressure festival – A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

Scribble Artist Interview with Kenneth Michael Zeran!

"Abstr Action"  Acrylic Paint on Canvas  48 in x 48 in  121.92 cm x 121.92 cm  1980

“Abstr Action” Acrylic Paint on Canvas, 48 in x 48 in,
121.92 cm x 121.92 cm, 1980

Scribble Town (ST): From one medium to another, Kenneth Michael Zeren is an artist that portrays an array of ideas and concepts. Always surprising and always thought provoking his works make you think of all the possibilities.  Ken says, “I am a creative person whose journey brought me to the realm of Fine Art.” Indeed he is!  Ken, what are you up to these days?

Kenneth Michael Zeran (KMZ): At the moment I am creating a glass work that is an element within a larger ongoing project (14 pieces) involving different mediums.

ST: Wow this sounds like a huge project! Your artwork ranges from painting to printmaking to new media. Is there one that you are more drawn to?  What is one of your favorite styles and why?

KMZ: I am more drawn to original painting because it is distinguished in our replicating digital world. I don’t have a favorite style because I am constantly evolving. Collectors want an artist to be defined- to use the same style. I have always felt that is boring. After you have done something it is done.

"Family Portrait"  Serigraph on American Etching Paper  Silkscreen Ink with Gold Medium  21 in x 50 in  53.34 cm x 127 cm  Offset Poster Edition Released for Bicentennial  1976

“Family Portrait”, Serigraph on American Etching Paper, Silkscreen Ink with Gold Medium, 21 in x 50 in,
53.34 cm x 127 cm, Offset Poster Edition Released for Bicentennial, 1976

ST: You’re right! We develop as persons along with our ideas, so working with different mediums seems so natural. How do you figure out which medium to use for your concept?

KMZ: Choice of medium is important because ‘it does the talking’. It is all about concept. If it is cerebral then representational control is the focus. If emotionally driven, then losing control to find it in the process.

ST: Since we are talking so much about evolutions I wonder what has been your artistic path.  What is the first memorable piece of art you have made?

"Twilight Zone Man"  Video Frame  1980

“Twilight Zone Man”, Video Frame, 1980

KMZ: My artistic path started in film production. While it was/is rewarding it is a medium that is quickly consumed. I am more interested in lasting permanence, as in Fine Art.

My first memorable piece of art was creating football uniforms with crayons on thin cardboard and covering with wax paper and using an iron to melt the crayon color.

ST: Even your first memory has you mixing mediums and combining techniques!

You have made portraits of important figures such as Salvador Dali and Andi Warhol.  What role do these artists have in your life?  How do you choose the people you would like to make a portrait of?

KMZ: Having spent time with these artists allowed me to take a ‘reading’. I experienced the natural essence of them. I was able to perceive things that have not been expressed in media accounts. Such experience has played a role in my life- call it authenticity. Knowledge of the core that led to new ways of expressing the human condition. I choose portrait subjects based upon social relevance and the result of an engagement of my own perceptions about what makes the individual function. If it is a commission, I process the subject in a very conceptual manner- looking for the edge. Whoever the subject, my interest is to place them in an unresolved state so the viewer keeps coming back.

"Oh Picasso!", Homage to Pablo Picasso, Serigraph on Strathmore Bristol Paper, Silkscreen Inks, 30 in x 40 in, 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm,  1974

“Oh Picasso!”, Homage to Pablo Picasso, Serigraph on Strathmore Bristol Paper, Silkscreen Inks, 30 in x 40 in, 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm, 1974

ST: When you were younger who encouraged you to be creative?  Also, what triggers your imagination?

KMZ: As a child, my brothers (2) and I were beneficiaries of our superlatively talented mother. She cared for and involved us in everything. I have always had an active imagination. Perhaps it was spending an important part of childhood handicapped and relying on imagination.

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?

KMZ: I am always in a mode of interaction with the intent of ‘sparking’ living creatures.

ST: You are a sparker! I would say so too. What is something that you have recently seen that amazed or sparked you?

KMZ: Something I saw recently that was amazing was driving through central California in the middle of the day with the sun blotted out by dust storms severely limiting vision – brought about by drought -a visit to the ‘dust bowl’ of the 1930’s.

ST: You just described a very beautiful vision. I imagine the sky to be very shiny and sparkling from the flying sand.

Your painting are generally very abstract?  What are they about?

"Turning Point", 48 in x 60 in, Mixed Media on Canvas

“Turning Point”, 48 in x 60 in, Mixed Media on Canvas

KMZ: My paintings are physical and masculine with heroic pursuit. It’s a two way process. It’s communication. I make a move and the paint informs. It’s about the paint. (Impressionism was all about the paint itself).  Losing control to gain control. It is high wire and on a edge and you can lose it in an instant- it is intense.

ST: I feel that your paintings are so different from your recent “Turning Point”.  What prompted you to make this painting?

KMZ: “Turning Point” is about the subject of sports and, as such, requires ‘familiarity’. Sport is all about uniformity. My longtime friend LeRoy Neiman coined the ‘look’ of sports painting and I kept this is mind when creating “Turning Point” so the masses could relate. I did the painting because it is of a major subject in Seattle culture and history. The role of Fine Art is to permanently capture such moments. Of course, I live in the Seattle area.

ST: Your painting does capture that excitement and ecstatic energy that comes from winning!  I’m starting to get the feeling that you are a football fan because your first memorable artist moment was creating football uniforms. Any last golden pieces of advice for us Scribblers?

KMZ: My advice to ‘Scribbler Nation’ is trust yourself with the unique natural gifts only you have. Use them with the power of innocence. Use yourself!

ST: From ‘Scribbler Nation’ we give you a big Thank You, Ken! That’s beautiful advice! Scribblers, have a look at Ken’s website for more inspiration, http://www.kennethmichaelzeran.com.

"Dali!"  Serigraph on Arches Paper  Silkscreen Inks and Gold Metal Medium  22 in x 22 in  55.88 cm x 55.88 cm  1974 (Re-released in 2010)

“Dali!”, Serigraph on Arches Paper, Silkscreen Inks and Gold Metal Medium, 22 in x 22 in, 55.88 cm x 55.88 cm, 1974 (Re-released in 2010)

All about Ice Art!

Ice is an amazing medium used to create sculptures. Believe it or not ice sculptures have been around for a very long time. Although they are not common, ice sculpture’s elegant qualities make these pieces uniquely powerful. The first time they came to use was in the 1600’s in China. In this time, they would create lanterns made out of ice for dark winter nights. They would first fill buckets with water and would wait until the water was frozen. Next, they would pop the bucket shaped ice cube out of the bucket, dig a hole in the center of it, and put a candle in it. This became very popular in this time and people not only used these lanterns at night, but also used them as decorations in the home and would display them in carnivals.

Photograph by Kim Iverson – Courtesy Ice Alaska: World Ice Art Championships

Photograph by Kim Iverson – Courtesy Ice Alaska: World Ice Art Championships 2013.

The first monumental ice sculpture was created by Russians in 1740. It was commissioned by the Empress Anna and designed by Piotr Eropkin. Although there is no picture of it today, this ice “palace” was magnificent. It not only featured a palace made of ice blocks, but also an ice elephant which linked to pipes that sprayed water out of its trunk, ice cannons, and ice cannons balls. In 2000, a replica was created in the first International Sand and Ice festival at Saint Petersburg. It was made at 980 square feet and 21 feet tall. Here is a picture of the replica of Anna’s ice palace.

Festival of Ice Sculpture at Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia

Festival of Ice Sculpture at Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Today much of the ice sculpting takes place in arctic areas, for example, Alaska. Sculptors prepare ideas all year in hopes of winning the World Ice Art Championships, which take place every March. It includes over 70 teams competing against each other from all over the world. The crowd gets into it as well with about 45,000 audience members cheering them on. This years WIAC begins February 23rd and lasts until March 29th. This event provides the competing sculptors with the largest natural ice blocks in the world! This gives them all a fair chance to bring their A game when sculpting their amazing masterpieces. Definitely put this event on your bucket list, it’s quite a site to see! Click here to see more pictures of the 2015 ice art pieces.

Published by Andi Thea, on March 10th, 2015 at 1:43 am. Filled under: adults,Design,Event,Featured,Uncategorized Tags: , , , , No Comments

Scribble Artist Interview with Dan Reeder!

Buddha and Jo by Dan Reeder

Buddha and Jo by Dan Reeder

Scribble Town (ST): Always inventing, always creating, Dan Reeder makes the imaginable life size!  Dan says, “Around the Pacific Northwest I am known as Dan the Monster Man.”   He made my first dragon when he was twenty-two years old and that was quite a while ago. Dan, this career started when you were younger.  Do you see it coming?  Perhaps as a kid?

Dan Reeder (DR): I don’t recall thinking at all about careers.   I have always done art because I enjoyed it.  But I never dreamed of becoming an artist.  I was just busy being a kid.  (And that’s the way it should be I think!)
 
ST: Being a kid means to be in the moment! Can you remember the first time you saw a paper mache project? What inspired you to get involved with this technique? 

Bulldog by Dan Reeder

Bulldog by Dan Reeder

DR: I was teaching elementary school in 1972.  The budgets were being cut and the first thing to go was support for our “art specialist”.    So the kids only got art for 40 minutes every other week, not long enough to make anything that they were truly invested in.   Because I’ve always believed that art is important, I wanted an art project to do with my 5th graders that would a) take significant commitment, b) guarantee their success (that was “goof proof”) and c) that was fairly inexpensive.   A paper mache monster unit was the ideal solution.  I made my first monster in preparation for teaching that unit.  It ended up almost defining my career.  The popularity of that unit was beyond anything I could have imagined.

ST: Our paths are full of surprises! Paper mache is obviously your forte. Did you ever get involved in any other types of mediums before you discovered your passion for this one?
       
DR: I dabbled in several mediums growing up.  I worked with clay, but gave up after breaking some of my best pieces.  I loved using water color and pen and ink.   I resurrected some of that interest when I wrote (and illustrated) my children’s book, William’s Treasure.

ST: You are full of talent!  I see you’re very much into mythological creatures.  Any particular mythology you are fascinated with? What draws you towards them?

Sea Dragon by Dan Reeder

Sea Dragon by Dan Reeder

DR: I’m really not into mythological creatures. I’ve only made one I think, my Minotaur. I would like to make a Medusa and maybe and Hydra.  But I’m only interested in mythology in so far as there are interesting creatures to consider.
 
ST: Do you ever see yourself exploring and creating a different type of theme in the future?
       
DR: I just want to make dragons.  It’s what I love to make.  I force myself to make other non-dragon projects just to show my skill with the medium the versatility of paper mache.  But I have made many different kinds of projects over the years.
 
ST: Did you ever study art in school or was it more of a side hobby?  What has been your artistic path? 

Maleficent by Dan Reeder

Maleficent by Dan Reeder

DR: I didn’t have any formal art education other than my classes in high school.   Once I started doing paper mache I added my own innovations.   And I just haven’t been interested in other mediums since (with the exception of doing my children’s book).   If you want to do art I think it’s important to experiment for a while, but to eventually land on a medium that you can make your own.  I consider myself fortunate for having found a medium that I love.

ST: Many of your videos are shot in hyper-lapse. Around how long does it take you to complete one of your masterpieces?

DR:
I’ve tried to time how long it takes but have failed miserably.  Partly because there is drying time to consider and I’m always making more than one piece at a time.  And I’m usually taking video and photos which adds time to the project.   So I would guess that most are 40-80 hours of work.   But that is a guess.   btw.  The videos are actually in time-lapse.  They are fast because I shoot at only 1 frame per second. 

ST: Masterpieces don’t happen over night!  You are full of wise tips, anything else we should know?  

DR: I think you can do paper mache at any age, but you must obviously adapt the medium to the age you are teaching.   My only advice is to make something.  Don’t avoid the messy art.   Practice is key. 

ST: Practice and play with the medium. For sure!
 

DR: My best advice for someone wanting to learn my techniques would be to watch my videos and visit my blog.  I show many of my pieces being made, step-by-step on my blog, www.PaperMacheBlog.com.   Of course I also have how-to books on my website, www.GourmetPaperMache.com.

ST: We will definitely do that.  Thanks Dan and keep us posted on your artworks!

Naga by Dan Reeder

Naga by Dan Reeder

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