Friday, March 20, 2015

How Long Does it Take?

First thing's first--here's what those two pieces from last time turned into:

This one had the green base.  I added blue vinyl and pink paint,
sanded it to perfection, and here we are.
18" x 7ish" (it's not square, so one end is a bit bigger than the other)
"Blue Hills"

Here's the one with the blue base.  I liked the color and
vinyl combination without an additional layer or paint and sanding.
7" x 17.5"
"Spring Skies"'s Time time.

At the OKC Festival of the Arts, we are swarmed with school kids visiting the show who talk to artists, eat food, and remind me that being a teenager was the worst.  But lots of the kiddos have a list of questions (same every year--let's update that, teachers!) they're supposed to ask the participants in each category of the show.  I fall firmly into 2D Mixed Media, aka "What IS it?" (Trying to explain vinyl to anyone, young or old, isn't the most clear-cut exercise.)

Anyway, one of the questions is, "How long does it take to complete a project?"

Well...I began by saying something like, "It depends, but....(example of a particular piece and how long it took)..."  This means nothing to them, because they think an hour is a long time if they have to wait for their dad to finish his whatever before they can whatever.  An hour can be nothing when you've monetized it.  Like, LITERALLY NOTHING.  Or a  really long-ass time if you're trying to find your measuring tape.  WHY IS IT ALWAYS MISSING?

So I'm going to start saying 200 years for the new work on wood--which is probably not long enough because that tree had to grow large enough to get milled down, be used in construction of a house in 1900, hang there for a while, then be salvaged by me, who has spent 30+ years living an artful life and learning techniques to make that thing they see.  Not to mention the sanding, de-nailing, cutting, painting, thinking, applying vinyl, cutting vinyl, photographing, uploading, packing, and hanging involved.

For the clocks I don't really have a snarky thing to base my time on, because what does it take to smelt aluminum after it's mined (or whatever?) and turn oil into plastic into vinyl I salvaged?  Fifty million years or something?

I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Back to Art

After a few weeks of working on clocks and padding my inventory for the first show of the season (Oklahoma City--one of my favorites!!), I'm back to working on "non-functional" art.  The lumber here is salvaged from a home in my neighborhood.  I put out a call on our 'hood's Facebook page for wood from the old homes around here.  A neighbor said I could come and get his staircase...I literally took almost all the 100+ year old wood that the contractor left, plus some new lumber the guy was just going to burn to get out of the way.  MAJOR SCORE!

Add some paint, take away some paint with a sander, and here's what I have to work with today.  I've been cutting my orzo slices (I don't know what to call them...crescents? fronds?) and we'll see what the muses whisper in my ear.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rusty and Dirty!

I let my Etsy shop for The Retro Ranch kind of slide over the last year, but lately I've been trying to restock it and physically get my stuff all gathered together and organized in my storage area ('s my basement).  Upon moving the inventory from one spot to another to another, I've rediscovered some finds and am excited to share them with the world!  Here are just a few of my newest listings, in all their farm fresh glory...
Way old bottle!

Stop those radiator leaks with chemicals!

String it up.

Instant collection.

The texture of the handles makes me crazy--I love the wear and tear.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Anatomical Hearts

I made more hearts!  I really enjoy playing with this design and was happy to have an excuse to work on more (because I delivered some to a great shop in Lawrence called Essential Goods!).  I've been able to add more pretty textures and salvage pages from original texts.

3.5" x 5" painted fence wood, paper, vinyl

5" x 7" painted fence wood, paper, vinyl
You can see where these started here.
I will try to have them all up on my Etsy site in the next few days, but computer work really bums me out, so I have to go in shifts...

Monday, February 16, 2015


Summer, 2014.  I went for a check in with a doctor.  The office had been in a state of renovation since I'd been going in.  Finally, the work was done.

And these were there.

I don't know, man.  But I love them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Viagra, 1940s Style

My great-aunts dabbled in the chiropractic so I often come across booklets and instructional things...I opened this little one up hoping to find some cool anatomical diagrams or something.  Instead I found an early (likely snake-oily) version of America's most beloved male pharmaceutical, Viagra!
Seems simple enough...

Whoa!  Okay, you have my attention.

$12.00 in 1944 has the buying power of $161.41 in 2014 dollars.

Seems legit.
I wonder how much an ad like this cost at the time...Three color, thicker paper, widely distributed booklet...  And, YES!, Dartell Labs is still around, but I can't find any info on them besides their phone book entry.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pocket Calculator circa 1906

One hundred-six pages of numbers  make my eyes cross!  

Ropp's New Calculator helped farmers calculate all the stuff they needed to in order to navigate the turn of the century farmin' biz.  TECHNOLOGY!!!!

I'd like to use this in art sometime, but I pretty much love it as is.  This is how hoarding starts, you guys!!

I hope I look this good, even if I'm outmoded, when I'm 107 years old.