Category Archives: Magic in the Studio

… Still Alive

Sooo I’m back!  I was gone for a couple weeks there… but it’s time for another post, just to catch you all up on exciting things that have been happening and to let you know that i’m still alive.    I have been going through some major life changes… AGAIN.  Every time things get crazy, and I feel like I can’t get a grip, things decide to get even crazier!  Which is fine, I’m accustomed to chaos.  It’s probably why I have to make so much art….Creating things is sort of how I process all the nonsense and energy that flies around my head.   Anywho, i’ll keep all the personal details offline, but in short… No I will spare you ALL the details.   Lets talk about art.

For starters, this piece “Silver Dust and Pepper” is available at the Potters Wife Gallery.   Click the image for more details.

Silver Dust and Pepper

Also, Many of you have contributed to my ceramics class and access to the studios, the class ends at the end of the month and I will be firing and packing everyone’s goodie boxes.   Here’s a sneak peek of some of the larger pieces I have been able to work on.  Thanks Again everyone who has donated to my cause, here are two of the pieces I have been able to make with your help.  I will upload photos of all the pieces online as soon as They are finished.

Drying up a baby cabbage and an evil giraffe.

Lets see what else is new and exciting.  OH.  I have added some mini prints to my etsy shop.  I have a few cuties available, and a couple originals too.  I’ve tried to keep all the little prints under $10.oo

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The original is available at the MF Gallery.

Okay, that is all for now, I am and will be super busy packing and moving for a couple weeks so bare with me and I’ll try to post as often as I can.  I’m starting a new body of work so lots of paintings are coming!

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Noctilucent Rendezvous!

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Tonight is the Night!  Noctilucent Rendezvous opens at the Auguste Clown Gallery.  Please take a minute to check out the new work HERE.  The work is now available on their site.

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About Noctilucent Rendezvous
This body of work is a deviation from many of my previous bodies of work in that the setting for the pieces takes place at night time.  My usual candy land pallet is now set in a dark midnight world with glittering galaxies and starry dreams. We find the signature characters now at a giant midnight tea party, each piece in the exhibition represents a guest at the tea party.  A combination of alien babes, forest fairies, animal hybrids and human girls secretly eat petit fours in the glow of the full moon.   Here is a piece called “Luna Morphis” she is a moth girl:

_3477190_origI will post more images from the opening soon!  xoxo

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Help from You. :)

Hello again friends.

(Flower Sculpture, soon to be available at Auguste Clown Gallery)

(Flower Sculpture, soon to be available at Auguste Clown Gallery)

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately, I’ve been pretty busy shipping lots of work out.  I’m pretty excited to let you all know that my Solo exhibition at the Auguste Clown Gallery in Melbourne, Australia opens up this month!  Lots of new paintings to see there.  More on that (with pictures!!) later.   That excitement aside, Right now I am calling upon friends, family and strangers to help me get my learn on.  I’m going through some major life changes, both personal and professional, and i’m making some drastic moves to improve and strengthen my skills and broaden my horizons.    I have been taking some classes with the financial aid of strangers, friends, and family.   I cannot afford full classes at a school so I am pursuing independent classes.   As a “self taught” artist (I don’t like the term self taught, more on that later as well…), I have hit a wall where I have exhausted my resources and I cannot teach myself any more with the tools I have.  My solution to this is to source education through various classes and independent studies.  My first class has finished and now I am trying to raise the funds for my second class.  This is where you come in!  😉  I am trying to raise 250.00 for an advanced and sculpting ceramics class and ceramics studio access.   I would like to build up the 3 dimensional side of my portfolio.  (Yes, I sculpt things sometimes…)  Unfortunately as a young mother and emerging career artist, it is difficult for me to delegate money to these endeavors as the cost of raising a child and producing and shipping my work is already huge.    But, if I can raise enough, I will have access to a clay studio and Kiln which will be super great for the production of new work and I’ll get to do some learning, experimenting and producing…

Basically, I’m canvassing you.  (sorry) I’ve never been super good at asking for help… But I’m going to get over myself and just do it.

Here’s the Deal:  You donate $50.00 to my cause, and when my class is over, I will send you a ceramic surprise (with some other goodies) worth equal or more than $50.00 along with a signed certificate and thank you note.    This is a cool way to help me out and to get your hands on a signed original ceramic piece of my choosing plus some desirable freebees.  I can’t say exactly what i’ll be making until the inspiration strikes, but I promise I won’t send anything out unless I feel that its absolutely magical.  😀

How To Donate:

1.  Send me an email to rudyfig@yahoo.com

2.  I will send you a request via paypal for $50.00USD.

3.  Then you can immediately feel awesome for donating to my cause.

4.  Then in October, (or maybe even sooner) when the class ends I will contact you and send your piece (Shipping is on me!!)

I have been extremely fortunate to have such a loyal and awesome group of fans, patrons, strangers and family that have helped me to move forward with my independent studies this year through random donations.  I just want to thank you for being here on my blog.   Please know I hugely appreciate each one of you.   I appreciate your time and I thank you for supporting my work and artistic endeavors   Shine on you crazy diamonds!  Please feel free to share! (Insert psycho face)

I’ve also finally added the patches to my web shop!  YAAAY patches.  They are cotton iron on patches designed from my water color illustrations.  You can put them on lots of different materials from leather to wood and I have lots of different designs, or you can get a deal on the 4 pack!    There are also a few zipper pouches.  I have a very limited number of zipper pouches so it’s not likely that I’m going to have more of them.  Snag them up!

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Cats, Clumpies, Packaging and More!

Exciting News Friends!

I’m packing and shipping my work to the Auguste Clown Gallery  for my next solo show “Noctilucent Rendezvous” and i’m just working on getting in the last details and final varnishing.  WOOO.

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Bye Bye Drawings!

I’ll be at the local festival, Plunderfest this year with my family.  I’m designing some special patches that i’ll be selling, so if you see me, ask for one!  I’ll post more photos of these later when they are finished!  I’ll probably add them to my shop as well.

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Oh yeah, and see that clumpy nail polish. I call it “Fresh Step Scoop” but it’s really called “Covent Garden” (Nailsinc) and it is super lumpy and strange. A bunch of people were asking me about it so I figured i’d tell! It has little chunks of holographic glitter as well as clumpies for texture.

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I’m going to be painting live at the Walker Art Museum’s “Cat Vid Fest.”   There will be other artists too and tons of fun.  It is going to be held at the state fair this year.  Grumpy Cat will be there along with some other feline celebrities.  Pretty Excited!   Grab your tickets now! 

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And Lastly for now, These little kokeshi dolls are discounted in my shop!

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As of Late

Its busy as usual here in the candy factory and i’m sharing a few peeks at the things i’ve been working on.   I’m wrapping up a bunch of projects and I am more than excited to start the next projects.  Also, for all of you who are waiting for commission dolls, I’ve been doing lots of face plates and i’m almost done!  I haven’t forgotten any of you!  😉

Here's one of 7 Blythe Dolls I'm working on at the moment. This girl is for a trade. She has rainbow freckles but this photo is just from my phone.

Here’s one of 7 Blythe Dolls I’m working on at the moment. This girl is for a trade. She has rainbow freckles but this photo is just from my phone and it does no justice to her true colors.

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This piece just sold at Modern Eden and I’ll have a few more flower girls at my upcoming solo show at the Auguste Clown Gallery. Can’t wait to show you all my new work for the show!
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Here’s a flower girl in progress.

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This isn’t my photo, but I’m sooo inspired by these kitschy Easter lamb chocolates. I have a similar mold and I’m thinking it would be nice to make some “magic” chocolate lambs!  They are from Bottega Louie…

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(Also not by photo, but I’m head over heels for these guys right now!)

And lastly, I'm sort of in love with this wedge from Jeffrey Campbell.  If you want to buy them for me, I would be OK with that.  Just Sayin' ...

And lastly, speaking of heels, I’m sort of in love with this wedge from Jeffrey Campbell. If you want to buy them for me, I would be OK with that. Just Sayin’ …

Ok folks, that’s all for now, and if you are not yet following me on instagram (@rudyfig) yet, please come find me for all the juicy details on all the juicy things i’m juicing on.   That sounded gross.

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Frame Hunting!

This was a headboard for a bed.

This was a headboard for a bed.

OKAY.  So a ton of people have asked me where I find the frames that I use for my work.   Here is a list of my frame hunting sources.    IF you want to find the good frames and don’t have a regular source, you should make frame hunting a normal part of your routine.

First:  Before you start your frame hunt, you need to know what it is that you are looking for.  What style of frame fits your work the best.   Do you have a sleek, modern aesthetic, or maybe something crazy and Nouveau would better suit your work?  Also, before you start, remember that if you take your work in to be framed professionally, it is likely that you will spend a pretty penny, don’t skimp on cheapo frames, it will show.  I learned this the hard way so take my advice and treat your work the way you want to be treated- with a nice frame.    Set a budget ahead of time, after a few years of frame hunting, you will be able to tell what frames are worth like a pro, but for now, watch your wallet, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to shell out a little extra cash for that PERFECT antique 3 panel vintage amiore mirror, it is not likely that you’ll come across it again.  Also, remember that sometimes older pieces need to be fixed up before you can use them, so that will cost a little bit of money too.  Also, if you work on paper, definitely matte your work.  It makes a huge difference.  If you are a painter, you generally won’t need glass over your piece.

Also, when you see frames, try to visualize them in other colors, you can repaint and refinish frames that you find, so don’t poopoo something if you like the style and but the color.  You can even modernize vintage pieces and give antique finishes to newer pieces, so pretend all the frames you see are grey.

Here's a little rococo style frame...

Here’s a tiny little rococo style frame… Sorry about the bad phone pics!

Craigslist:  Give it a whirl.  But be careful, craigslisters can be creepy.  I’ve found a ton of great frames on craigslist.

Ebay:  About half of my frames I use,  I find on ebay.  Yep, it’s true.  A lot of them start out as mirrors, I chuck/recycle the mirror and then use the frame.  I have a few keywords I use in my searches that help me narrow down and find the specific styles I need.  After some searching, you’ll see which ones you like and which ones you don’t and you can make your own list of keywords to use in your searches.  You can save your searches so you can check them the next week.  I do a frame hunt on ebay every couple weeks.  The nice thing about ebay is that its contents are constantly cycling, so there’s always going to be something you haven’t seen yet if you are willing to take the time search.

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Found these plastic frames for only 4.00!

Estate Sales:   Old people have the best stuff!  I love estate sales, one time I found a HUGE hand stretched, linen  gallery profile canvas for like 20 bucks at an estate sale.   But, that is besides the point, at about half of the estate sales I’ve been to, there has been a decent assortment of frames/mirrors.  The other cool thing about estate sales is that you can usually haggle.  I one time found a HUGE museum style  baroque frame for 45.00, which would have been at least 400.00 if it had been purchased new.  Also, Beware of Fondue pots, estate sales are riddled with them.  It’s cute, but are you really going to use it?  NO!

Bought these with Mermaids in mind....

Bought these with Mermaids in mind….

Sometimes if your lucky:  Occasionally you’ll run into an old syrocco frame at a garage sale or second hand store, it doesn’t happen often, but you never know what you will find.  The second hand stores in my area are always picked over and garage sales are a total hit or miss.  I didn’t want to leave it off the list though because it can happen.

Mirrors:  Mirrors make awesome frames for paintings.  Just Sayin’.  Antique dresser mirrors are the best thing ever.  Ever.

Tell People:  My close friends and family keep an eye out for frames on my behalf.   The frame game is hit or miss, so sometimes while your missing, a friend will hit.   On many occasions I’ve had people come to my door with frames.  It is great!

(This started out as a mirror)

(This started out as a mirror)

Obviously:  Be ready to wrestle rusty nails and non shatterproof glass out of crusty old frames.  Be careful.  Use tools, not your hands.  Spring for the expensive nail polish if you don’t want to chip your nails.  If you can’t remove glass from a mirror and breaking it out is your only hope of removing it, put it in a garbage bag first and then smash it up, that way you won’t have a shardy mess of shimmering death to deal with.

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I hand painted this plastic frame, Took a little longer than expected….

Before you Repaint:  If you are going to paint an old frame with gesso work or ornate details, clean it up first so you don’t get bubbles and crusties in your paint.   Use a a cotton swab to clean out all the nooks and crannies.   If you’re fixing up something fragile,  KEEP IN MIND that it will be hanging on a wall and it needs to be able to support the weight of itself as well as the weight of your work.  Prime before spray painting.  Don’t work in a dusty area.   You can whitewash and antique your frames with a rough bristle brush or you can leave them as they are.  Crackle paint them, gold leaf them, make ’em black, so whatever you want. The options are endless.  

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Ebay Finds… All of these started as mirrors…

TIP:  If you have a round or unusual shaped frame, remember to keep the glass or paper insert so you can trace it when its time to prepare your canvas/panel/paper.

Cracks and chunks: Fix cracks with epoxy putty or bondo.  Be sure to sand and refinish when your done an no one will know!  IF an old gesso frame is missing chunks, you can actually make molds and replace them.  I’ll post more about that another day.

Another Tip:  If you think it looks like shit, other people will probably think it looks like shit.  Do not hang your art in a gallery if you think the frame looks like shit.  Your better off with a simple frame than with a DIY antique frame that isn’t cutting it.  If edges of your work are showing because the frame is to shallow, for the love of god please at least paint them black so they are hidden against the wall.

Good Luck on your frame hunting journey friends.  I hope this has answered questions and helped someone.

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Artists in Storefronts Project: Work in Progress

I have the upcoming pleasure of being part of the Artists in Storefronts project and here is a behind the scenes photobomb what has been going on in order to build my storefront display.  There will be a fun opening event on Dec 5th!  

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