One major reason why I have been away from WordPress for so long is the long awaited finishing of my studio. Our 10th anniversary was in 2016 and my husband gifted me with this wonderful, little building. I told him that I wanted it to look like a Wild West mercantile. The wood is cedar that was milled by my father-in-law on a small, circular sawmill giving it an authentic, vintage look. The windows were salvaged from my sister-in-law’s house when she had all their windows replaced. My husband designed and built the entire thing including the garden which, soon after this photo was taken, was filled with wildflowers. He has two shops of his own and we turned my old porch shop (see previous posts) into a lapidary for the stones we have been collecting. I think it goes without saying, that I married into a pretty awesome family and I have a more than awesome spouse!
This illustration has been sitting on my table for at least six months now. Every chance I get, I go and add a few thousand more dots to it and then set it aside for another day. I started using the most amazing erase-able pens about half way through. They are manufactured in Japan and use thermal ink. When you rub the ink with a piece of soft plastic, it creates enough heat that the ink completely disappears! It’s magic. Otherwise, the pens work nicely. It is an interesting solution for my unsteady hands. On the plus side, I can correct my mistakes. On the minus side, any extreme temperatures can either remove or replace the ink as well. I guess I will need to have a disclaimer on my work stating that it should never be stored or displayed in anything but a climate controlled dwelling. Put my artwork in an attic and you might just find out the truth!
In my previous post, I mentioned that I have a separate site for my illustrations. My daughter is a graphic designer and we have teamed together to form a shop called Pronghorn Designs.
I started my career path as classic artist, earning a degree in fine art and, while I originally thought I would go into painting, I always seemed to drift back to drawing. I love the details. The above drawing of a dragonfly was done while looking through a magnifying glass. That is how much I love the details.
My drawings are almost always inspired by nature. I am not a big fan of architectural drawing or of portraiture although I have dabbled in both. I tend to gravitate towards individual subjects rather than busy scenes or layered compositions. My focus is rather intense.
My hands are badly arthritic now and I am not sure how many more drawings of this type I have in me. Lately, as in the above drawings, I have been working by stippling (drawing with dots) because my hands shake too much to make a reliable line. I will eventually have both of my thumbs rebuilt but until then, I will focus more on the metal work.
As 2016 is drawing to a close, I realize that, while I did not manage to make it the year that my shop became successful, I DID manage to hone my skills and determine exactly what it is that I want to accomplish with my art. I have turned my jewelry design in a brand new direction and have settled in to metal smithing.
I have thus far, been working predominantly in copper. The colors I can achieve are really amazing but I have a very long way to go before I can say that I actually have any control over the outcome.
When I started, I was more interested in the shapes I could form and had not realized the full potential of the copper. I will be working more towards fold forming and color combined in one piece, There is still A LOT to learn,
My shop will go back into full sale mode beginning next year. I also have three other shops under my thumb: one for my illustrations, one for my personal journey and one for the extra supplies I have lying around that I no longer need. So busy is going to be my new name! Stay tuned!
When I was in college, one of my art professors was fascinated by juxtapositions. She loved pitting dark against light, strong against weak and most especially male against female. She loved playing with stereotypes as well. Once she restored an old Porche (a masculine symbol) and covered it in pink lace (a feminine symbol). She drove this car all over the country and got a lot of different reactions. Since them, I have also been drawn to these odd pairings and have experimented with them through painting and design.
One of my most successful (commercially speaking) has been what I call my “Tough Girl” jewelry line.
I have a number of ideas along these lines for paintings which I hope I can create once we move to central Oregon permanently and I have a proper studio.
On the bench this week are sapphires, I am working on a very small chain of them in a rainbow of reds. I have not decided yet if this will end up as a necklace or a bracelet. When it is finished, I will have it for sale on my website http://www.gilliancbruce.com.
It has been a while, I have missed you……
I started this blog back in October, hoping to revamp my Etsy store and spend some time chatting about it, and life in general. Well, I have given up on Etsy now. On top of the already discussed issues of allowing mass producers of crafts to sell on the site, now they are letting mass producers of supplies….I have been choked out and I quit.
My new site is all mine. I can sell what I want, how I want. If you would like to visit me it is GilliancBruce.com. I will blog there about my creations as well and use this site to talk more about life and my restoration work at my house in Central Oregon.
I have not been doing any work on the house in La Pine as of late. We have mapped out where my studio will go and have spent a lot of these rainy looking for old wood stoves and firewood trucks.
Once the Aspen leaves start sprouting, I intend to use them as molds for my silver metal clay. I can’t wait!!!! In the mean time, I am slowly packing up our house here in Beaverton, getting rid of a lot and trying not to get lost in memories.