Prints and Furniture for your Inner Landscape on my Society6

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 3.02.16 PMIts been almost a year since I released new products on society6 but with the announcement of FURNITURE, thats right! Furniture! on Society6 I couldn’t resist putting together a new collection for the fall.

Visit my Society 6 store to see all the fun new products. Link Here

Lately, I’ve been cultivating my inner landscape, nourishing myself and growing a sacred garden filled with intention and joy. Visualization is an important part of my personal practice and these images help me visualize and strengthen my inner magic. I’m excited to share these images with you, so that you too can remember to nourish, grow, and live in a state of bliss. From prints to adorable tables (I think i’ve found my new altar table ^_^) there should be the perfect piece to bring color and vibrancy to your home.

Use the Code FALL4ART before Midnight PST tonight for 30% off  (9/17/18)

Garden Circle – Fire

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Garden Circle – Orange

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Garden Circle – Gold

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Garden Circle – Bright Yellow

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Garden Circle – Jade

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Garden Circle – Navy

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Garden Circle – Blue

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Garden Circle – Purple

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Garden Circle – Violet

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Deconstructed Flower Collages

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Here are the results from Saturdays exploration with printmaking and stamps. I ended up cutting up and collaging most of what I had created. However the four prints along the bottom were too cool as is and so I left them alone. The two canvases to the left aren’t complete but I’m very happy with the results so far.

Thanks for checking it out!

Stamps, Printmaking, and Primary Colors

I am currently enrolled in an advanced studio course through the Art House. My wonderful instructor Rebecca challenged me to think more seriously about the color palettes I was working with. The pieces I brought in for the midterm critique were half finished and all across the board in terms of size, color, narrative, and so on. There was very little cohesion, except that you could see my hand in all of them. Our small group has an exhibition coming up at the end of June so I wanted to challenge myself to create more cohesion. The pieces I liked most from the critique were blue and yellow. I also had several works with vibrant pink. Primary colors are a tried and true combination for visual impact, so I decided to push that line of thought further. I was curious to see where it would take me.

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Above are the results from tonights exploration into the primary world. After making a lot of mess with water, acrylic paint, linoleum stamps, and different papers I was pretty pleased with the results. The works on the right edge of my desk were from a previous exploration with speedball inks on watercolor paper. I liked the way the watercolor paper affected the texture of the printing. However I wanted to add more color. The acrylic paint reacted in a really interesting way with the speedball. It pulled the speedball away and only printed around it, creating a lot of depth in the prints. Here are more detailed shots:

IMG_1301All of these prints were created with two linoleum stamps that I made myself. The larger stamp is of a larkspur (left), and the smaller is a pair of daffodils (below).  I added a before and after print of the daffodil on some shiny paper. The stamps didn’t print very well on the shiny paper, probably because it was very slick. I didn’t use any black on the shiny paper either to see how the contrast worked.

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After

The third experiment I did was on rice paper. The results were pretty messy but I still liked how they came out. I started by wetting the paper in water mixed with acrylic. Because acrylic doesn’t mix with water very well it created these interesting splotchy patterns. The rice paper was also slightly waxy so in some places it resisted getting damp. When I printed on the damp paper with patches of paint it created all sorts of different effects. It was really hard to predict what was going to happen. The amount of paint on the stamp, the amount of water on the paper, and the density of the paint already applied in the area all had interesting and unpredictable effects.

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My original intent was to created these images and then deconstruct them for a larger piece on Canvas that I have also started. Unfortunately I quite like the way a lot of them turned out and I’m not sure I could take an Exacto knife to them. I will sleep on it and let you know how things turn out.

And as a bonus to all the cool art I created, I also got a lot of paint in my hair and on my face. I feel like a real artist whenever I get paint all over. It means I really sunk into the process. Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. I would love feedback on the issue of deconstruction. Thanks!

 

Pushing the (h)Edge

Gallery Review from Topics in Installation Art, 2011

Some artists discover their medium over a lifetime of work, others stumble into it unknowingly, and few fall in love at first sight. Kim Dickey knew she wanted to work with ceramics after finding it in sixth grade.

As small but astonishingly skilled hands turned the lump of clay into a two-handled vase, something remarkable happened. “It was like I fell in love,” she says two decades later. Even strangers saw it. “People actually remarked that I looked different. I had a glow about me. They asked if I had been in Florida.” (Dickey)

Dickey had a quick rise into the ceramics world, being represented by the Garth Clark Gallery in New York when she was still in school. Her works sold quickly, and she was in high demand without access to the materials she needed, like a kiln. Although extremely young the pressure pushed her to succeed. Dickey had just been hired by the University of Colorado when the Rule Gallery found her exciting and innovative sculptures. They have represented her ever since.

Dickey’s work walks the fine line between nostalgic narrative and modernism. The magic is in the simplicity of her work. Although highly detailed, each sculpture always contains thousands of little parts; the overall feeling is always calm and undemanding. Her work is so subtle in some cases that it can almost be overlooked. Gardens are often the subject of her sculptures placing childhood memories of hedge gardens side by side with minimalist forms.

She likes to work with the familiar, but insists her concepts are too layered in meaning to be described as merely representational. While Dickey shies from the label of whimsical, there is clearly a sense of humor present. She likes to poke fun at what she calls the self-seriousness of minimalism. (Deam)

Dickey’s installation at the Rule Gallery in March, “All is Leaf,” embodies the hallmarks of her work.

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“All is Leaf’ was designed specifically for the long, thin space of the Rule Gallery. Eleven unique sculptures are placed throughout the space, guiding the viewer through the fantasy garden Dickey has created. Eight large green sculptures pay homage to minimalist forms, including long rectangles along the floor, a large half arch, and L- shaped beams. While clearly drawing their shapes from minimalism they also mimic the architectural construction of a hedge maze. The other four sculptures are small and white, taking the shape of familiar garden characters; a lion, a running rabbit, a hawk, and a small round bush. Every sculpture is covered in thousands of identical leaves, glazed green and white respectively.

Like many of Dickey’s previous pieces, the two types of leaves used here are not meant to be botanically correct. Instead, they are take-offs on the stylized leaves, such as the quatrefoil, found throughout decorative-arts history. (MacMillan)

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Dickey is frequently exploring themes of nature and culture, her medium of clay being the ultimate bridge between the two opposing ideas. Clay being made of the earth means it inherently references earth, and Dickey likes to play off this association in her own art. “It thus straddles the seeming opposition between nature and culture, analogous to the logic of the garden, (Rule).” Clay is also the cornerstone of culture, ceramics often being the first indicator of an advancing civilization. Dickey explains the importance of clay extensively to her students, stressing its place in culture and art;

[Clay] is the stuff of the earth. Once it is fired, it becomes a cultural object. We interpret cultures through their ceramic objects. It’s permanent and impermanent, and that also could be the garden we’re talking about. (from “The Rocky Mountain News” June 14 2007)

Gardens embody the realm between nature and man as well, by taking nature into the constructed confines of the man made. In some ways there is nothing natural about a garden at all with the strict organization of hedges and flower beds. Dickey takes this a step further by removing nature all together making the mimicry complete. However, because she uses clay instead of paint or other materials, some acknowledgment of nature is still present.Gardens are often a starting point for people to interpret their own personal history. For Dickey they played an important role in own her childhood. “Her earliest memories are of scooting along the ground as her mother worked her magic on lavish backyard gardens, (Deam).” The playfulness inherent in the garden imagery immediately pulls up stories from everyone’s youth:

Formal gardens exist as much in our imaginations as they do in reality. With their secret nooks, fantastical naturalism and unexpected vistas, these impeccable oases have long sparked mystery, romance and flights of fancy. They have played key roles in everything from “Alice in Wonderland” to Jane Austen novels. (Macmillan)

 
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The white rabbit sculpture is especially evocative of Wonderland, and the lion conjures up imagery from “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” Even the size of the sculptures enforces an idea of childhood. The Arch in the first sculpture you see as you enter and it is clearly too small for a full sized adult to pass through. One would have to crouch to go through it. The sculpture cuts the gallery in half, obscuring the back half. This gives the installation feeling of adventure, mystery, and secrecy; its almost as if some secret from the past could reveal itself amongst the sculptures.

The childish nostalgic feeling of the installation is kept from being overwhelming by the strict geometric forms. Clearly drawing from minimalism, anyone with a knowledge of art history can’t help but think of Robert Morris’s 1964 exhibition. “He displayed then-radical works derived from basic construction components, such as an L beam or plank, (Macmillan).” Dickey uses some of the exact same shapes from Morris’s installation in her own work. Unlike traditional minimalist sculpture, Dickey’s installation flaunts its adornment. Traditional minimalism revels in the simplicity of a cube or rectangle. This aesthetic is completely ignored in “All is Leaf” with every sculpture being completely covered in ceramic leaves. Without the detail of the leaves much of the charm would be lost.

This installation was a definite must see, and although simple at first glance it is layered with meaning.

Dickey’s work evokes a sense of wonder and playfulness seen in the best of post-modernism. Her sculptural gardens engage the viewer on many levels from pure, aesthetic pleasure through to the metaphysical, religious and social semiotics of gardens and food. (Garson)

Every detail of the installation is highly considered. No leaf is left unturned, reaffirming Dickey’s place in the ceramic world. Her quick rise to fame alongside this remarkable set of sculptures makes it clear the Kim Dickey deserves to be as highly regarded as she is.

 

Bibliography:

  1. Campbell, Michele. “Kim Dickey.” RULE Gallery. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http:// http://www.rulegallery.com/>.
  2. Deam, Jenny. “MORE THAN A PRETTY POT – Ceramic Artist Kim Dickey a Study in Contrasts.” Welcome to Denver Woman Magazine Online! Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://www.denverwoman.com/1008/arts1.html&gt;.
  3. MacMillan, Kyle. “Art Review: Kim Dickey’s Gardens of the Mind at Rule Gallery.” Colorado Breaking News, Sports, Weather, Traffic – The Denver Post. 11 Feb. 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://www.denverpost.com/art/ci_17343412&gt;.
  4. “Meet the Speakers- Kim Dickey.” Australian Ceramics Triennale. Ed. Shannon Garson. 26 May 2009. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http:// australianceramicstriennale.blogspot.com/2009/05/meet-speakers-kim-dickey.html>.

 

Image Credits:

  1. http://denverarts.org/local_exhibits/rule_kim_dickey_all_is_leaf
  2. http://www.denverpost.com/ci_17343412
  3. http://www.westword.com/2011-02-24/culture/kim-dickey-all-leaf-rule-gallery-review/2/

Ikebana Flower Party

Yesterday was my mother-in-law’s birthday party, and as a surprise for her guests we were all invited to make a Ikebana flower arrangement. I knew very little about Ikebana before I started, but I enjoyed the free environment set up by the party to dive in for the first time.  Here is what I ended up with.

Having played around a little with the form I wanted to know more about it. The only info we got from the florist, the same one who did the flowers for my wedding, was to work in thirds, that the form is normally done in silence, and that movement and form are key. My friend at the party, who had been a practicing buddhist for many years, said that the flowers should capture the idea of “as above; so below” or something along those lines. She also said that Ikebana always incorporates something that is about to die to signify the cyclical nature of the world.

With this little start in mind I did a little more digging. Classical Ikebana was established in Japan by the middle of the 15th century. There are a number of different schools of thought surrounding the art form. “Ikebana translates as ‘living flowers’, meaning to appreciate the life that is, was, or will be in any plant, or part of a plant, from a seed to a whole tree. Another name for this practice is kado, ‘the way of flowers’.” – Osho Leela Meditation Center, Boulder

I would like to try this form again now that I know more. I would like to also try the form in silence, in hopes of falling more into the meditation and appreciation of nature. I think a lot about play, space, transience, depth, and color could be learned from the excercise. Thankfully my mother-in-law has lots of flowers left over from the event.

To learn a lot more Check Out Ikebana International

For lots more picture: http://www.flickr.com/groups/ikebana/