Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Foxfire Daily: Zentangle, and a note on Artist's Sunday

So I didn't post on Sunday. I know, I know, your dear wildland Fox promised a scheduled post every Sunday, paying it forward to other artists' works, but I was at my mother's on Sunday, with my computer... but without a power cord. (And the battery had done its slow-motion-explosion thing for the second time since I have owned my Mac, and I can't afford to replace it right now... argh...) So there was no Artist's Sunday because I am a forgetful Fox. My apologies. The regular scheduled Sunday will resume this weekend.

With that out of the way... Zentangle!!! What the devil is that, you ask?? Well, I asked the same question. Turns out that a lot of the pattern doodling that kids just *did* in class when the teacher wasn't looking is now considered an abstract artistic therapeutic expressional technique for men, women, boys and girls of all ages and all walks of life. But Fox, what does that mean in not-artist and not-therapist language...? *ahem* It means that it's an art form that is now used by therapists (and parents, and kids, and... well, you get the idea) to draw out things from the subconscious. Call it artistic meditation, if you like. Turns out there are special techniques and methods, and you can get certified as a teacher of this Zentangle technique, and there are special kits you can buy, and all sorts of money-making mumbo jumbo...

It's also *just* an art form, but then aren't most art forms more than one thing anyway?

And here I thought it was just abstract pattern art that I (and everyone else in my class) doodled as a kid. It's turned into its own art form, much like the classical styles, and people are making money off of teaching other people how to do it, and selling "kits" to "tangle" with, and...

I suppose my point is, I don't know how to feel about this - the moneymaking part of it, anyway. I loved doing it as a kid, but I feel like I've lost the trick of it... but would I pay someone else to help me re-learn how to do it? Would I spend money on a "kit" to teach my kids how to "tangle"? As well ask if I feel it's necessary to go to art school to be an artist (but that's a whole other post...)

Now, don't get me wrong; I've seen what people are doing with these techniques and some of it is absolutely fantastically awesome. But I find it hard to believe that it's necessary to charge for learning this sort of technique. Do a Google image search, and I bet you could learn just as much...

So what do you think? Is Zentangle legit? Is it worth spending the money on classes or kits the same way one would spend money on, say, a chainmaille weaving class, or an oil painting seminar, or a sculpting class?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Foxfire Daily: Worktable

 Fox's work today: some crystals, a chunk of raw (unpolished) amber, some painted bone bits, an ear cuff, and a delicate little labradorite pendant. Still practicing the basket-weaving technique. Better photos coming, I promise!

And a Wyrmling Interlude... the 2-yr-old decides it's time to practice her color words with Mommy's pens. This is what homeschooling looks like for an artist.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Artist's Sunday #1: Church for an Artist

I'll come right out and say it. I don't go to church. I find them... unpleasant. Not because of the religion, but because... well. There are several reasons, and this post is not about those. Instead, I will do as I came to do, and show you one of the ways I find church at home, as I feel it was meant to be: a communion between like-minded individuals.

What does communion mean? Community, sharing, supporting and loving one another, a coming-together for a common goal. Right? There's also the body and blood of Christ thing (which is a form of sharing), but that's not what I'm getting at. So what does this have to do with an artist's church?

This: sharing love of one's passion with like-minded individuals (and one's audience!) is, to me, one of the finer forms of church and communion, celebrating one's fellows and their gifts, their talents and skills.

I am going to celebrate other artists' works here, and on the Studio's Facebook page, and I'm going to attempt to do this every Sunday. This is my first attempt at scheduling my posts, trying to do something orderly... (I'm normally an exceptionally chaotic person, and I do my best work surrounded by my own personal forms of said chaos.) So, from deviantART today, I'm going to share some of the Studio's favorite works.

Today will be dedicated to some of the more unusual and unique uses of artistic mediums I have ever seen, that inspire me to find my own new, unusual, and unique methods of combining my own mediums.

Alkhymeia uses wire wrap techniques and 
Polymer Clay to create super-unique wearable art:

AmberSculpture's amber and wood necklaces... 
earthy, elegant, gorgeous, and totally unique:

Kanzashi is an intriguing Japanese art of fabric folding. 
SincerelyLove makes them into wearable pieces:

And last but not least... cucumbers! Yes, cucumber jewelry. Take a closer look,
you might be surprised. Ilionej took a school workshop topic and turned it into this:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fox's Muse: Help Pick One!

As my self-imposed hiatus ends (I hope) and I feel some measure of renewed dogged tenacity for my work (enthusiasm's running a bit low, so all I've got to work with is stubbornness), I feel this is an appropriate time for a request for feedback.

I am attempting to create a simple logo that I can paint/engrave/imprint on my work as a signature. I have created three different versions of a simple line kitsune. I don't know which I prefer.  So I need some help!

Look at this picture (ignore the weird winged thing in the upper left hand corner and concentrate on the foxes please) and tell me which you like better:

1. Sitting-up Fox
2. Long-ways Dancing Fox
3. Curled-up Fox
4. Find a way to use all three!!! 

Copyright Leigh Evans 2013. 
Do not steal, use, alter, or redistribute without permission.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Foxfire Daily: Paint the Runes

All painted up and drying. The other bone bits will become pendants and earrings. Now's the time to weigh in if you want a custom piece. *wink wink nudge nudge*

Monday, July 15, 2013

Foxfire Daily: Cut and Shape the Bones

Fox is working on a new Rune set, cut from whitetail deer rib bones. It's a pain in the fuzzy tail when all she has to work with is a hand saw and some detail files, but the bones whisper and sing, and she works until her hands ache and her skin is raw...

She forgets, while she works, sometimes to breathe, or eat, or drink. She communes with her materials and mediums, and they nourish her, body and soul, until she doesn't need anything external to sustain her...

And then when she finishes, and comes back to herself, she realizes she's ravenous, and thirsty, and aching... but it was so worth it.

And as a bonus: a 10-song excerpt from Fox's Muse Playlist, as she works with the bones today: 
The Root of All Evil by Abney Park
Berlin by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Blue Alice by Ayria
Anthem of Our Dying Day by Story of the Year
Joy by VNV Nation
Black Sheep by Metric
Skin is Burning by Burlap to Cashmere
The Wrath of Fate by Abney Park
The Living Daylights by a-Ha
Savin' Me by Nickelback.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dragoncraft: Antiques and Inklings, Oh My!

First on the agenda for today: Dragon has created his direction, or perhaps reinvented it. As I said previously, he loves old things and is truly in his element when surrounded by them.  The area we live in currently is rich in history and old, deep roots, and rich in antiques. Imagine how excited a dragon would get with so many antique stores and "pickable" places so close by.

Remember, we promised some treasures from Dragon's Hoard? Well, those three treasures are now up on his own, separate shop on Etsy:

is up for sale in the Studio Etsy Shop. 

Go over to Dragon's shop and show him some love, please! And help Ziggy find a home.

Much love and many blessings,
-White Fox

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Foxfire Daily: Imagery

Sorry, I don't have sources for these - they've been sent around 
Facebook so long I don't think they have original sources anymore...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dragoncraft: Inkling #2

"Feed them your hopes, dreams, wishes, and prayers 
and they'll work themselves to the bone to help them come true!"

The #2 Limited Edition Deer Bone Inkling, hereby dubbed "Ziggy" is now officially available for purchase! Message us for details if you'd like Ziggy to come home to a shelf, table, mantle, nightstand, or altar near you!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dragon's Snark

As of today, Dragon's Snark will no longer be available. I feel that it has faltered from its intended purpose. As it stands, it may resume at a later date. If you have read it, and enjoyed it, then I am sorry. However as it stands, I am not happy with the path it was taking as I am overly critical of my own works, and will be trying to come up with something different to replace it. Thank you for your time. ~Dragon

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dragoncraft: Treasures from a Dragon's Hoard, pt. 2

Dragons are clever creatures. They hoard many things - jewels, gold, expensive fabrics, and precious artifacts - but there are other less-known things a dragon will hoard. They love pretty things of all natures, of course, like paintings, fine wines and liquors... and women. But their cleverness shows in that they also find knowledge beautiful and hoard-worthy. Many dragons keep extensive libraries, and read whatever strikes their fancy when they're not out hunting a farmer's herds or raiding castles or making off with pretty virgins.

My Dragon always says that his hoard is his family, sweet, romantic, scaly fire-breathing thing that he is... I also know that he loves pretty and precious things just as any other dragon. However, he too loves knowledge. More specifically, he loves sharing it. He loves teaching. And he loves old things.

Amongst the many things I have seen him teach others in recent years, one of the most fun is listening to him on the subject of Antiques. He is deeply in his element at certain times... such as crafting, or cooking... or surrounded by old things. The area we live in is rich in history and antiques; this area of NC has roots as deep as the mountains in the distance. Inspired by these old and deeply rooted surroundings that he grew up in, Dragon has decided to share some of his personal Hoard with our small audience.

He has acquired three artifacts of history that will follow this post in pictures and detail. If you know antiquers or junkers (and yes I know the difference), you might want to spread the word.

Source credit: deviantART

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dragoncraft: Bones and Ink - Treasures from a Dragon's Hoard

“We men dream dreams, we work magic, we do good, we do evil. The dragons do not dream. They are dreams. They do not work magic: it is their substance, their being. They do not do; they are.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore

Such can be said for Fox's dear Dragon. The Internet is not his thing; blogging and networking via this electronic medium is a vexing task for my grumpy one, so he mostly leaves it to his Fox.  But outside the computerized world, he does plenty else. He takes care of his Fox, and our little dragonette, as best as he is able. And somehow amongst all that, he finds time to create. So let me celebrate him:

The Birth of Something New and Drippy: Dragon's Inklings. Feed them your hopes, your dreams, your wishes and prayers, and they'll work themselves to the bone to help them come true!

Dragon hand-carves and hand-paints bone in much the same manner and much the same techniques Fox uses to create her own bone and antler pieces. Only, he creates little wish-creatures instead of jewelry. No machinery was used; these are shaped and carved with nothing but a pocketknife, a craft knife, and some detail files. They are painted with India Ink and a fine-tip brush, and much patience and care. Have I mentioned, his hands are magic?

Now I must admit, this post is a bit of a tease; There will be 4 (I believe) more Limited Edition Deer Bone Inklings, made from deadfall deer bones rescued from an ignominious ending in a ditch. These are Dragon's current project, along with some clay versions of the Inklings. These will be available for purchase (wink wink nudge nudge). Stay tuned for more on those, but for now, let me show you what I am describing:

Thanks to Magaly (recipient of the #1 Limited Edition Deer Bone Inkling named Moe), I have got some lovely pix to share. If you'd like to see what she wrote about him, look no further than Ink, Art, Books, and Bones. The Moe-specific portion is the third picture down from top.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Foxfire Daily: Fox's Dirty Little Secret

We all have them. Sometimes as artists and/or geeks, we either have more of them than normal, or fewer, depending on how "out there" a geek/artist you are. If you're both, well... you're just screwed. Like me and my Dragon, for instance. Sometimes it's something we hope and pray that our fellow geek/artist friends, acquaintances, and/or family never find out about us. Say, a secret obsession or passion that would quite possibly destroy one's "geek cred" or forever alter others' perceptions...

My dirty little secret?

I love fashion.

There, I said it. I love seeing the latest stuff coming down the runways. I love seeing the gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) styles on the red carpet. I love seeing the new designs for wedding styles. I adore what some people can do with a piece of fabric and a handful of beads or a buckle or two or... well, you get the idea. I love clothes and shoes and accessories... however, I like to think I'm a little more picky about the things I obsess over than a lot of "fashionistas" as the vernacular goes. It's been hard over the years to downplay it, especially when the season's fashion turns to something I actually like...

Let me clarify. I am not the "OMG I MUST HAVE THE LATEST IN SPRING FASHION EVEN THOUGH THE COLORS CLASH HORRIBLY AND THE STYLE NEVER LOOKS FLATTERING NO MATTER WHAT MY BODY TYPE!!!!" kind of fashionista. I know what I like; it's a very specific set of styles. I know what looks good on me, which is not always the things I like. I can appreciate a good design without it being something I would ever wear. And I know the difference between something actually wearable, and the purely artistic pieces coming out on the runways so very often. I know that there are some things that should never see the light of day, and I know there are some things I will never be able to wear no matter how much I like them. I enjoy shoes, but my taste in shoes is governed by the same sort of likes and dislikes as my taste in clothes.

So this is my "coming out" as it were. This is the one dirty little artistic secret I have hidden all these years. I didn't feel that a fashion designer could, or should, be taken seriously as an artist. I hated listening to all the girls in my school blather on about clothes and shoes and hair and blah blah blah. I was very cerebral when I was younger. I wore t-shirts and whatever jeans my parents bought for me, and never thought twice about it. Pretty clothes were for people on tv, or people who didn't have anything better to do with their time. And then I started to discover that I could be one of those pretty girls with just a few small adjustments to my wardrobe, and I discovered that there were a lot of things that were pretty and also comfortable, AND looked pretty good on me... and then I figured out I could make my own jewelry...

And the rest is history.

To me, for a long time, the fashion world was shallow, pointless, and often harmful to women who couldn't live up to its images of beauty. I still think the world and industry can be like that. But I can also appreciate the artistry and work that goes into the creation of new styles and discovery of new materials and new ways to use the old materials. Some of the major designers today are absolute geniuses... and some of them I wouldn't touch with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole. I don't want to be counted with these women who obsess over the season's new shoes, or the latest in ridiculously expensive jackets that will never look good on anyone. To me, fashion shouldn't be about status symbols. Clothing should always reflect the person who wears it, man or woman. You can tell a lot about a person by what he or she wears. You know when someone doesn't care about their clothes. You can tell when someone's got an instinct for  It should enhance the wearer's natural attributes and downplay whatever the wearer feels uncomfortable with. Human bodies are not vessels to show off a designer's latest. We should not feel we have to conform ourselves to what the designers' ideas of beauty are. (Has anyone paid attention to the runway models in recent years? Who in the nine hells decided that anorexic models were a good idea!?!?) The designers should remember that it's the consumers whose hard-earned cash (or not so hard-earned, depending on who it is) keep them in business. Creating designs that are only good for their artistic value and then expecting real, normal people of greatly varying shapes and sizes to actually wear them is simply... well. There are better ways to run things. Everyone knows that one person can often pull off a look that another would look clownish trying to wear. And everyone knows... or should know... that there are some outfits that look clownish no matter who tries to wear it.

I find that the most beautiful clothes are the ones that flatter the person wearing them, without regard to what's in style that season. And that, my friends, is heresy of the highest order.

Mostly because it's true.