Woman Fooled – a narrative sculpture in progress

Sometimes it takes awhile before a story emerges from an art work.  I love to work with a narrative theme in my sculpture and paintings.  I love the idea of story telling in art.  It keeps me interested and deepens my connection with the subject I am creating.  The story can be a personal experience, fiction or historical; whatever story needs telling.

The story of “Woman Fooled” is the period of time when a woman realizes she has been fooled and for awhile feels the fool. Hopefully, she the wretched feeling passes and she pulls up her boot straps and carries on with her life.  But, that is not how the female bust started….

I made the female bust two years ago and bisque fired her then placed her on a shelf.  She was a woman with no story or history. This year I painted the circles with under glazes and fired her with other ceramic sculptures.  I was not happy with the circles and felt she bordered looking like a clown.  She then moved around the studio:  on a shelf, on a table and on a shelf again. This week she received a copper carbonate wash and then she spoke.  She needed a cart-like pedestal where she could be displayed with her “fooled status”.  She also asked for a hat with ears; maybe donkey ears.  Then the story came together.

The new pedestal and hat will be fired with under glazes to match the female bust figure.

Woman Fooled, fired and unfired Raku Clay, underglazes, copper carb. wash, Tanna Bennett, 2015

Woman Fooled, fired and unfired Raku Clay, underglazes, copper carb. wash, Tanna Bennett, 2015

Woman Fooled, (leftside), fired and unfired Raku Clay, underglazes, copper carb. wash, Tanna Bennett, 2015

Woman Fooled, (leftside), fired and unfired Raku Clay, underglazes, copper carb. wash, Tanna Bennett, 2015

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Work in Progress – Ceramic Sculpture

As the temperatures soar in Texas, my ceramic work progress is picking up.  All the ceramic sculptures have gone through a bisque firing (1940 dgrees F).  The plan is to do multiple firings (4-5 kiln firings) with underglazes, oxide washes, glazes and some other finishing materials (casein paint, waxes and whatever else seems interesting).

The photos at this posting show the ceramic sculptures receiving a 2nd under glaze painting.  The goal is to achieve rich layers of color and texture.

Work in Progress.  "Fly Away", ceramic and underglazes, 2015, Tanna Bennett

Work in Progress. “Fly Away”, ceramic and underglazes with fabricated aluminum nose cone, 2015, Tanna Bennett

FlyAway_Print

Work in Progress. Finished painting under glaze detail of fabric print “Fly Away”, ceramic and underglazes (fabricated aluminum nose cone omitted), 2015, Tanna Bennett

HeadintheClouds

Work in Progress. “Head in the Clouds”, ceramic and underglazes, 2015, Tanna Bennett

HeadintheClouds_BackView

Work in Progress. “Head in the Clouds”, back view, ceramic and underglazes, 2015, Tanna Bennett

HeadintheClouds_CloseUP

Work in Progress. “Head in the Clouds”, close-up, ceramic and underglazes, 2015, Tanna Bennett

SecretBox_WinP

Work in Progress. “Box of Dreams”, ceramic, oxide wash and underglazes, 2015, Tanna Bennett

ThreeVessels_WinP

Work in Progress. Collection of Vessels, ceramic and underglazes, 2015, Tanna Bennett

WomanoftheWoods

Work in Progress. “Woman of the Woods”, ceramic and underglazes, 2015, Tanna Bennett

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Painting Inspiration

Most recent paintings.  My goal is to continue my paintings in this style and subject matter.  I believe in gathering strength from women who are flawed yet continue despite life’s obstacles.

In Sarah’s Dream, this intelligent and curious girl is on the cusp of putting away her playthings and focus her attention and interests on the wonders of science.  She believes she can make a difference in this world.

"I Can Change the World:  Sarah's Dream", watercolor, casein, egg tempera and silver point on archival watercolor board, 2014, Tanna Bennett

“I Can Change the World: Sarah’s Dream”, watercolor, casein, egg tempera and silver point on archival watercolor board, 2014, Tanna Bennett

Work in Progress.  "Deflowering of Agnes", casein and oil glazes on maple wood panel, 2015, Tanna Bennett

Work in Progress. “Deflowering of Agnes”, casein and oil glazes on maple wood panel, 2015, Tanna Bennett

Work in Progress, "Sisters in Pink", casein and oil glazes on maple panel, 2015, Tanna Bennett

Work in Progress, “Sisters in Pink”, casein and oil glazes on maple panel, 2015, Tanna Bennett

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Never Stop Creating

After a long period of not writing in this blog, I have found my voice again and I am ready to share the creative works in my art studio.

The first art mantra to practice is to never give up on the creative process.  Even in a slump, health issues, family chaos or just plain “in a rut” create something or anything.  Step out of the slump by writing, drawing, painting, reading a book, going to the museum or walking in the park soaking in nature.

In my case, it was time to throw out the old compositions and begin with a fresh new approach with my artwork.  When you are tired creatively, the art work is dull and listless.

Last August (2014), I took a teaching position at a small private art school.  This gave me the opportunity to teach ceramics and become the official firing technician of all the student’s art including ceramic work from a nearby private school.  I had not worked in ceramics in over 15 years.  It was a quick learning curve to understand how far a student could push the limits of the clay, how to repair clay in the drying stages and creating a firing process that would work with most student’s ceramics.  To educate myself, I referred to many ceramic books, blogs and tutorials to offer the best information to my students.

I was hooked but had to learn again the basics of clay bodies, under glazing, hand building, glazing and firing techniques.  I even placed my painting on the back burner until I found a balance or my artistic voice.  At first there was much confusion and I could not let the creative process flow.  I wanted it all to turn out perfect after the first try.  Perfection can be a deadly killer of the creative process.  How to get through the struggle?  Keep working.  If it cracks, create another piece.  If the glaze does not work out, try another glaze.  Eventually you will get through all the weeds and see the clean fresh dirt or hidden gems.  It will all begin to make sense and guide you to your next body of work.

This Fall Semester I will be offering an evening adult class in sculpting the bust in clay.  I am excited to share with others what I have learned.

So, keep creating and embrace the work that turns in another direction.  You may be surprised with your unplanned creations.

Blessings, Tanna

Work in Progress.  Under glaze painting on ceramic sculptures.

Work in Progress. Under glaze painting on ceramic sculptures.

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The 2013 36th Annual International Watercolor Exhibition

I have been accepted to participate in the 2013 36th Annual International Watercolor Exhibition at the Watercolor Artist Society Houston (WAS-H).  This is an honor and a very prestigious event to be chosen out of hundreds of artist’s entries from around the world.  One painting is chosen from each artist accepted.  Below is an image of the accepted painting.

Last year’s participation gained me the honor to earn the status as a Signature Member.

"Redemption Series:  Blessing", watercolor on archival Crescent watercolor board, 34" l X 29.5" w

“Redemption Series: Blessing”, watercolor on archival Crescent watercolor board, 34″ l X 29.5″ w

"Redemption Series:  Martyr", 13.25" X 18" w, watercolor on archival Crescent watercolor boardThis painting was submitted, but not accepted.

“Redemption Series: Martyr”, 13.25″ X 18″ w, watercolor on archival Crescent watercolor board
This painting was submitted, but not accepted.

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The Art Studio is Completed

The studio is finally completed!  I have plans for many future painting series.  One side of the lower level is available for use as a gallery, party room or whatever we wish.   I am so blessed and filled with gratitude to have my dream fullfilled.  I see sharing my studio space with art students, art collectors, my dear friends and family.

This is an interior view looking north.  I had skylights installed for the maximum amount of light.  During the day no lights are needed.

This is an interior view looking north. I had skylights installed for the maximum amount of light. During the day no lights are needed.

This side of the garage faces the street.  The bottom garage is divided into two separate sections.  Each has its own side door entrance.  The left side of the garage will be used as the workshop and the right side will be a gallery, classroom and social room as needed.

This side of the garage faces the street. The bottom garage is divided into two separate sections. Each has its own side door entrance. The left side of the garage will be used as the workshop and the right side will be a gallery, classroom and social room as needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West facing side of garage.  The back looks onto the Marmion Park and my garden.

West facing side of garage. The back looks onto the Marmion Park and my garden.

View from the staircase entrance into my art studio.  I can view my backyard garden and the neighborhood park.

View from the staircase entrance into my art studio. I can view my backyard garden and the neighborhood park.

This is the new interior of the art studio.  The ceilings are vaulted so the room seems quite large.

This is the new interior of the art studio. The ceilings are vaulted so the room seems quite large.

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Art Studio/Garage Progress

The art studio construction is making more progress every week.  We are hoping completion will be the middle of January.  The galvanized steel staircase is in the final stages of fabrication.  All the other jobs (plumbing, electrical, structural) have passed the city’s inspections.  The holidays will slow things down a bit, but we are hopeful the construction will be done very soon.  Check out Harvard Heights Construction on YouTube (ths is a garage built across the street from our house – way more detailed than my art studio):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BALWyrU5BM4

12_13_GarageBackGarage_12_13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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