When we began our regular hikes in the desert last year, we collected tons of detritus, rocks and cholla branches.
I didn’t know what I was going to do with the branches, only that they were cool.
One day I said to Liz, this would look really cool if I could put lights inside. Of course I was speaking of the eight foot high cholla skeleton that is next to our studio (and I still might put lights in it some day) but I finally decided on an easier project.
Michael’s sells LED strings that are battery operated for than $6.99. Wait for the 40% off coupon, and now we are talking something I can afford!
It took quite a bit of work with my Dremel, router and drill to fit the battery pack inside the base of solid wood and to fish the string of LEDs through the piece.
I am going to have to fine-tune the process, and hone my skills with the router for future lamps – but I am happy with this test run.
Superstition Sawblade Clock – First Water Trail
This is the First Water trail in Tonto National Forest – with quite a bit of artistic license.
I will be participating in some monthly art shows beginning in January 2014, and will have my paintings, of course – but need to have some inventory of inexpensive fine craft items that I can easily sell.
In this economy, people will buy functional items before they buy art for hanging.
Superstition Sawblade Clock
I got a little spare cash this past week and invested in a couple more clock works. I am trying to build up inventory for 2014 when we will have some art and fine craft shows. I would like to have 20 or so ready so that I can sell some.
I have to get an AZ business license, and also an Apache Junction tax certificate before I can sell. AJ is a real stickler for collecting sales tax even from artists.
Oil on canvas
Okay, I have about wore myself out on this thing – it is done. I toned down the sky which was competing with the truck a little too much rather than filling in some negative space.
I now have four canvases in the studio that I painted abstract under-paintings, simply to get my head out of this painting and into another project.
Anyway, Big Red is an early 1950′s International pickup truck that served time as a fire truck, and is sitting out its retirement at the Goldfield Ghost Town.
Something I find useful when struggling with a painting is to photograph it than look at it on the computer. I get the distance I need as well as a thumbnail size shot of what the thing is going to look like.
I have been sparring with this one for well over a month – much longer, much more attention, than it deserves. I love paintings that employ a lot of negative space. I have actually accomplished negative space in positively. Read more
I possible public art project looms on the horizon – we jumped the first two hurdles easily. The next step is to present actual samples of the artwork to the board that will decide on whom to award the job.
Liz and I each created our own 12″ square sample on 5/5″ plywood. I decided to stay a little more monochromatic, Liz opted for a more colorful presentation. We both added 3-dimensional ceramic objects and mirror. The mirror adds movement to a 2-dimensional installation. Read more
Like the Kinks song, I’m on a low budget. One step forward, two giant leaps backward.
Today I found these skulls on sale – $2.11 total (including tax) for all five. It is too late to do anything for the Day of the Dead, but I will be ready for next year.
Where I work, there are two high-shrink aisles. Shrink means that merchandise on the shelves is not what the actual inventory indicates. It is lower due to five-finger discounting.
The art supplies aisle is one of them – it seems that artists in particular like to help themselves to freebies, legal or otherwise. Read more
Desert Winter Sky
Superstition Sawblade Clock
The base of the Superstition Mountains are less than fifteen minutes from my house – on the other side of the mountains are 160 thousand acres of wilderness. Apache Junction is the end of the road, or so they say.
Mexican may have prospected the Superstition Mountains as early as 1795, and prior to 1892, the mountains were referred to as the Salt River Mountains. Read more
Desert Detritus Mantel Clock
The knurled wood on this clock i from the root system of a cholla cactus which grows the size of a small tree.
The base is scavenged wood and steel, gathered on our regular hikes in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
The clock works are accurate quartz movement. I now have a half doze clocks in the studio, all keeping the exact time with only a minor deviation of several seconds between them all.
The weather is finally amenable to hiking again – and I can’t wait to get back into the desert and mountains of the Superstition Wilderness.
This is my first mantel clock, the rest have been wall clocks. As I get extra money I buy more clock works; I have a large stockpile of old metal and wood ready to be utilized.
My latest Superstition Sawblade clock (the #1 has been straightened). It can be yours for $45 (plus shipping).
I am getting frustrated as hell on the current painting on my easel – it will eventually work itself out, but I have to walk away from it for a while and concentrate on other projects.
With today’s miniscule paycheck, I bought two clock works. The first one I used on one of my sawblades, the finished product here.
The second will be used on a new Desert Detritus clock. I have a collection of cholla cactus skeletons which I intend to marry to some old rusted metal scavenged from the desert. I have a rough idea in mind for a mantel clock. All of my others have been wall clocks.