Thursday, August 30, 2012

50% OFF SALE!!

Hey there! I know I haven't blogged for what seems like YEARS but wanted to let you know that I'm having a 50% off sale in my Etsy shop til Sept. 12. Here's some photos of some of the sale items--click on this link to take you there!

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Site/New Blog/New Work!

Back in October I posted about potentially starting something new, something with surface design which I have many years experience in...well I'm doing it! I'm excited to say that I have a new site/blog to post my surface design and pattern work that I'll be debuting at Surtex this May. These designs are a sample from my "Just Desserts" collection. After Surtex, I plan on creating more 2 and 3D artwork to sell in my easy shop, but for now please check out my new digs here:
Oh and I'll be having a giveaway within the next few weeks to celebrate so be sure to follow me for details.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Teaching My First Workshop!

I am very excited about the opportunity brought to me by Jenny Doh (of the fabulous Crescendoh) to teach a mixed media workshop in lovely and hip Santa Ana, CA! The dates will be June 23-24, 2012. We will take a very unique and fresh approach to this workshop, in that I will teach you how to use wire, metal, clay, and various other found goodies to create dimensional works that reflect you or a person in your life. For instance, The Juggler for the person who is always multitasking (and who isn't nowadays?) Or the trapeze artist for someone who is a risk-taker (or longs to be.) We'll draw inspiration mainly from the circus, but it doesn't have to be limited to that. Let me help you unearth those facets of your personality with a mixed media piece that is truly all your own! For details or to sign up, please click here!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ending The Year on a Good Note

Well I finally finished the New Orleans piece! I actually completed it a few weeks ago but have been remiss about showing the final product. Here is how it turned out--the person who commissioned it seemed very happy with it and I hope his wife was too as it was an anniversary present. I loved stretching beyond my typical narrative to include a specific place like New Orleans-especially since I have such an affinity for that place. I hope to create more pieces in the future around a specific city or place perhaps. Although I plan on continuing my 3D work, for now I think I'm going to take a break from blogging to concentrate on my upcoming Surtex show in May. I might be starting a new blog under the name "Tammy Smith Design" but not sure yet when that will be but I will be sure to keep you posted! I want to say a huge THANKS for the kind comments and support you have given me since I started this blog--it really helped when I felt like I was working alone to know that someone out there was seeing what I did and it spoke to them. I SO appreciate you for that:) Please keep checking my website for new pieces-I still have at least 15 or so pieces under Artwork-Available. I wish you all very happy holidays and a wonderful new year! xo-Tammy

Friday, November 11, 2011

Creating A New Visual Narrative: Part Deux

Okay I'm finally back to working on the custom commission piece that I accepted many months ago. I hate to think of how long it's taken me to get started, but in my defense the client said they were in no hurry. Plus I actually have been making other pieces in between...okay, enough excuses!'s where I'm at now. I'm FINALLY getting a solid, clear vision of what I want this piece to look like. It took me a long time and a lot of mulling over because, as I said before, I've never done a piece that depicts a certain city. Below I've listed the steps I've gone through so far. Next step is to actually roll out the clay and begin sculpting! Oh boy:)

What helped me most was finding the "stage". Many thanks to my friend Eric for bringing this wonderful old barn door over. I just love the thick, chunky bolts in the top! We had to cut it in half and add a small shelf at the bottom for the city to sit on.

Next I researched on the web-the pics I have here are an amalgam of many photos that I pulled from Flickr, real estate websites, etc. I cropped in tightly on these photos to get the detail of the wrought iron that is so specific to the French Quarter.

After looking at the research and building the stage, I started sketching the piece to scale. I don't have tracing paper large enough so I had to tape several together. I wanted to have the words "Vieux Carre" in there somewhere as that really says French Quarter to me in a romantic way. I also didn't want a realistic depiction of the Quarter-instead I wanted to give the flavor of it by focusing on the swirls found in the ironwork and the shapes in the peaks of the roofs, etc. I also wanted to get the large palm leaves in there as they are ubiquitous to that city--I ended up placing them within the context of the buildings, as when you walk by a courtyard gate and see nothing but a proliferation of palm fronds.

This is showing the trapeze couple that will hang in the upper right hand corner. This piece is to celebrate a 25th anniversary so I wanted to have two lovers flying over the city.

In this antique cheese box, I will have 3 sculpted heads, 2 saints and 1 "sinner", as NOLA is called the city of saints and sinners. The buildings will be constructed from a combination of all the mediums I use: clay, painted metal, twisted wire, and found objects.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Do you know what a murmuration is?

I know I didn't. Watch this wonderful video to find out what it is! This has apparently gone viral and for good reason. It takes place on the River Shannon in Ireland.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

A chance encounter and shared moment with one of natures greatest and most fleeting phenomena.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

60s Graphics Love

Okay how come nobody ever told me about Georges Briard? I've been admiring his work for many years but never knew who was responsible for the cool graphic designs on a lot of the vintage bowls, mugs, and towels that I've seen in antique shops and thrift stores for years. These are just a few of his images but if you're as inspired by him as I am, just do a google search under his name and see what pops up!
On the surface design front, just sent in my payment for my booth so I'm officially committed to doing Surtex in 2012! I'm continuing to pull inspiration from lots of different places and am really having fun creating new collections. I'm also trying to research the places/websites that I think might be a good fit for my work. It's always important to consider your customer first (or who you'd like your customer to be.) I'm starting with the stores or sites I love to shop at and trying to target that consumer. Have a fun creative day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Finding inspiration where you are

I went out in search of some visual inspiration the other day to help me get started on a Moroccan themed collection. Fortunately I didn't have to go very far because I live just a mile from a very beautiful place-it's called the Country Club Plaza. It's a Spanish/Moorish/Moroccan style shopping area here in KC and although I pass these buildings almost daily, I never stop to take photos of them. I thought you might find them interesting and inspiring as well! Is there somewhere near you that's also inspiring or different? If so I'd love to see it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On The Other Hand....Something Completely Different

I am very excited about a new direction I've decided to go in! It's both a departure of sorts and also revisiting my past...I'll explain. When I worked at Hallmark here in KC, I was in the Party and Giftwrap department. We didn't design the cards that Hallmark is most known for--we designed the surface pattern. The decoration that went on everything from wrap to bags to plates, napkins, and cups. I became well versed at creating a repeat in Photoshop (after computers came along-before that we did it by hand with photocopies.)
So I have decided that in addition to continuing to create my 3D pieces (and finishing that commission piece from the last post), I am going to Surtex next May to begin my reintroduction into licensing! I am shooting for having at least 12 collections of 8 coordinating designs each. I started a couple of weeks ago and now have a few card and collection ideas's really exciting to work in another dimension for a change. I think it uses a completely different side of my brain than building mixed media pieces, or at least it feels that way. How about you? Heading in any new directions?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Creating A New Visual Narrative: Part One

I've been commissioned to do a piece for a friend commemorating his wedding anniversary. He has given me free reign to create anything I want (which is a gift but is also somewhat scary to me) but it does need to be about a city-specifically, it should be about New Orleans. This city holds special meaning not only to my friend and his wife, but also to me as I used to live there and still have family there. I've been mulling it over in my mind and I keep getting do I create a piece that depicts a city yet is still in my style? I've never done a city before....I mean, what would it look like? I called this post "Creating a new visual narrative" because in a sense that's what you do as an artist when you set out to create something that has your unique look to it--and it's not always easy. I'm showing you my sketchbook here with some beginning twigs of an idea...(now you can see how bad a sketcher I am.) These aren't the first sketches of this piece by any means, but this is the first one that actually has promise-at least to me. To you it probably looks like chicken scratch, but to me I know what to start on now. A title "Saints and Sinners" popped into my head so I've drawn some saints flying overhead and also contained within boxes (Saint in a Box-THAT should be a product:). Now to create the scene: I'm thinking of trying to do a wrought iron gate along the bottom with a 3-dimensional Saint Louis Cathedral behind the gates. Not sure yet how to build the church, possibly out of wire with either fabric or papier mache over. I'll keep posting my progress here in case anyone else is interested in how a piece comes together. This is what I'd call "Part 1-The Struggle". I know something's going to work out, just not sure what yet!

Friday, September 30, 2011

New Word Signs Too!

I almost forgot to show my new word signs to you also! All are similar to old sideshow signs but with a double meaning. They are handpainted and handlettered on recycled wood, with painted and aged metal, clay, and acrylic paint. All are for sale in my etsy shop or on my website. Click the titles beneath each sign to be taken to the etsy listing for that piece.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Work-Fall 2011

The Invisible Woman

The Imposter

I've been AWOL for a long time I know, but I have several new pieces to show for it! I did these pieces in preparation for the Plaza Art Fair, held here in KC Sept.23-25. This time the theme I focused on was sideshow freaks, but not the type you usually think of--instead I wanted to show how we all have idiosyncrasies that make us each freaks in our own way. In fact I feel like I have been each of these people at various times in my life! The show went well for me and I want to thank everyone who came by. I always love doing the PAF because it's one of the few times I get to see old friends who I used to work with and also make some new ones. Below are most of my pieces from the show. I also have smaller pieces that aren't shown here so be sure to visit my etsy shop to see them all. I'll be putting those that didn't sell at the fair on my website and etsy shop later today. Please click on the title of the piece to go to those links.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More New Lighted Pieces

Lighted lovebird nest-$90.00
Polka Dot lamp with lovebirds-$160.00
Flying Bird lamp-$160.00
Grow Tree lamp-$175.00
Hidden Potential lamp-$275.00
Hippodrome lamp-$250.00
Lighted Circus Cage with bird-$90.00

The Hobbs building show here in KC went really well and many thanks to those who came by and visited my little "light" studio for the night. Here are some pieces that I still have and will now be for sale in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Work for Hobbs Show-Our Lady of The Serpentine

Thanks to a wonderful show in New Orleans, I had to get busy right when I got home to prepare for my upcoming show tomorrow night and Sat. at the Hobbs Building-a cool old building full of artists here in KC. Pictured below is one of my new pieces. This show will be all about light--I'll have some hanging lamps and small lighted lovebird pieces as well as lighted sculptures like this one. The title so far is Our Lady of The Serpentine. She is made of clay and the piece is constructed of metal, fabric, wire and paint. The bulb in the center is a 7 watt bulb, which I found gives off the subtle glow that I was going for. She will be for sale on my site and in my Etsy shop next week if she doesn't sell at the show.

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