Monday, January 24, 2011

Dionysus Earrings

A long time ago I discovered that I could string seed beads onto wire and wind them up into little bunches of grapes. I made a few pins and started on a necklace, but found that it was too likely to get caught on things. I recently realized that the twiggy earrings I've been making would also work well with the grape motif, and tried making a couple. I think they turned out pretty well, but you'd definitely have to keep all hair and clothing clear of the adorable little tendrils.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

First Friday in the South End

Thanks to my amazing friends Marion and JB, I will be participating in First Friday next month in their studio space! First Friday is a monthly open studio event in the South End that also includes gallery openings and other fun stuff. I will be at the 450 Harrison Ave studio building in studio #223B, and I'll be showing mostly original map drawings and large-scale pop-up cities. I don't really show these pieces outside of exhibitions any more, and certainly not all together like this, so it will be a good opportunity to see the full spread of my current work.

Add this event to your Google Calendar -

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nighttime Map Experiments

Recently I've been trying to figure out how to make compelling nighttime maps. So far I haven't really been very pleased with any of them. I suspect that is because what interests me in drawing maps is the way people lay out their individual lives around geography, and when streetlights and headlights are the only visible features in the landscape, it becomes a lot less interesting in that regard. I still think cities at night are beautiful aesthetically, but that alone is not really enough to make them interesting.

I first started drawing lines of dots with a gold paint pen on black paper. Then I tried using gouache on a tiny paintbrush using the same technique:

The lines of dots start to look more like interlocking spiderwebs than the maps I usually draw. I tried doing one on lighter paper as well, using different colors for the city centers that melded as they got out towards the suburbs:

Then I tried covering a canvas with black paint and painting lines of gouache dots on that. I think this has some potential for interesting topography effects, but that would also make it harder to paint precisely:

So far I had been doing only lines of dots, which is the general aesthetic effect of aerial nighttime cityscapes, but pretty removed from the way I usually draw maps. So I tried using a similar technique with a metallic pen on black paper:

I like the effect (it's super shiny in real life!), but now it's farther from a realistic depiction of either day or night. 

I'm thinking of giving up on this project by now, but would love to know if anyone has any better ideas. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Twiggy Floral Earrings

I started making these earrings as a slightly easier-to-wear alternative to my twiggy floral necklaces:

Recently I've been making more sparkly ones in the spirit of the snowy season. They've also gotten a little more elongated as I experiment with making them more twiggy and gnarled:

Unfortunately my stock is always fairly low, since they're very popular at craft fairs. I will have more at my next craft fair, which will be February 12th at the Burren in Davis Square. Stop by then to get inspired for Valentine's Day!