Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Tony Fitzpatrick's Birds in Cages-A Peek-a-Boo Project

I discovered Tony Fitzpatrick on Pinterest after a foot surgery many years ago. In his ongoing series “The Secret Birds”, Tony Fitzpatrick intricately draws and layers images, poetry and found materials onto the page. He combines inspiration from his working class roots in Chicago, and influences from folk art, comic book characters, and tattoo imagery in his trademark style on view. Each drawn collage depicts a specific species, ranging from the Peregrine Falcon, to the common “immigrant” Starling. Tony Fitzpatrick’s earliest drawings as a child were of birds. He credits his Grandmother for instilling in him a sense of wonder and reverence for a creature she believed inspired hope, telling him, “for the price of a crust of bread you can hear God sing”. “Each bird becomes a “visitation to her”, says Fitzpatrick.

As a mixed media artist I was intrigued by his collage like images with layers unifying diverse and eclectic items. He is the inspiration for this artwork.

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Print Tony Fitzpatrick Images Sized to Fit into GSLC Cages with Solid Backs.
  3. Paint Top Layer of GSLC Cages with Metallic Paints.
  4. Add Patina by Making a Wash of VanDyke Brown Hue Paint and Water.
  5. Find Magazine Images To Use as Backgrounds of Your GSLC Cages.
  6. Trace and Cut to Size.
  7. Use a UHU GlueStick to Glue Magazine Images to back of GSKC Cages.
  8. Cut Out Birds from Printed Images.
  9. Use a Green Highlighter to Soften the Edges of Bird Cutouts.
  10. Glue Birds to Backgrounds with an UHU GlueStick. 
  11. Use a UHU GlueStick to Glue With Pieces of GSLC Cages with Solid Backs Together.
  12. Dry Completely Pressed Down with a Heavy Object.
  13. Use Acrylic Paints in Autumnal Colors to Paint Wooden Leaves.
  14. Secure Painted Wooden Leaves With Heavy Matte Gel Medium.

Final Thoughts

“Fitzpatrick’s is a narrative journey and the birds become a catalyst for self examination. They play symbolic roles some delivering otherworldly messages and cautionary tales, while others serve to commemorate and eulogize late writers like Gabriel García Márquez and he gives a soulful tribute to the Chicago songwriter and rhythm and blues legendary musician Otis Clay. His interests are numerous, and his narratives are reflections on his travels, social and political concerns or they become commentaries on the inequities and injustices found in Chicago and beyond.”

I like that Tony Fitzpatrick is a self taught artists as I am. As self taught artist does not follow the rules. They follow their hearts and create what they want. Because I never have had a class on Color Theory I do not know that some colors are not suppose to go together and I use colors that appeal to me. I take inspiration from nature with its wildness, unbridled regard for our wants or desires. Nature speaks its own language and surprises us with it beauty and recklessness. 

There are many name given to my style of art: Art Brut, Outsider Art, Neuve Invention,Marginal Art, Art Singular, Folk Art, Visionary Art, Intuitive, and Naive Art. 

 Our art is raw, “uncooked”, created uninhibitedly.  We are eccentric if only in our own minds. We may see ourself on the fringes or run the margins. My backwoods upbringing caused me to be resourceful and creative. Folk Art was in my blood as my mom’s family were crocheters, tatters, knitter, yard art not quite whirligigs but more of junk art sculptures.

A famous Bob Ross Quote: “We don’t make mistakes, just little happy accidents.”

I always like this quote by Jacob Nordby-

“Blesses are the weird people: Poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters, troubadours, for they teach us to see the world through different eyes”

Supplies:  GSLC 2 Inch Cage with Solid Back , 3-GSLC 3 Inch Cage with Solid Back , Printed Images of Tony Fitzpatrick Birds, Magazine Images, Scissors, UHU GlueStick, Metallic Paint, Van Dyke Brown Hue Paint, Paintbrush, Green Highlighter, Wooden Leaves, Acrylic Paints In Autumn Tones, Heavy Gell Matte Medium,

I cannot wait to see your interpretation of this project. Share it on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Craft Group Page on Facebook. I would love to see what new creations you are working on!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Tiny Worlds Retro Televisions -A Peek-a-Boo Project

We found a new show to binge early this year on Apple TV. Tiny Worlds is a nature Documentary narrated by Paul Rudd that focus on the smallest members of the animal kingdom. Each episode features a different habitats like the a pond, a meadow, woodland, and even a backyard garden. This show brings  new meaning to the phase “good things come in small packages”. The cinematography is stunning and the narration is enchanting. These are the inspirations for this artwork.

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Paint GSLC Retro TV 1 , GSLC Retro TV 2, with Neon Green and Orange Paint.
  3. Add Highlights and Patina with Other Yellow and Green Acrylic Paints.
  4. Print Tiny Miniature Still-Life Images. 
  5. Use a Pencil to Trace Proper Placement of printed Images.
  6. Use a UHU GlueStick to Glue Images into Proper Location.
  7. Coat With Range Glossy Accents Medium.
  8. Stack and Seal GSLC Retro TVs Using a UHU GlueStick to Secure into Place.
  9. Use Liquid Sculpt and a Bit or Polymer Clay to Secure Chosen Pins as a 3-D Element to Retro TVs.
  10. Heat and Cure in Polymer Clay Oven.
  11. When Fully Cooled Add some Patina to Pins to Make Them Look More Vintage.

Final Thoughts:

I grew up without a television and spent many hours exploring the backroads and woods around our country homestead. We had chipmunks, flying squirrels, and baby brown bats living in or around our woodshed. As I child I was delighted with their company. Sometimes on the Sunday Nights we would go to Aunt Blanche and Uncle Lester’s home. While the grownup played cards us kids were allowed to watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and Grizzly Adams. I was transported to worlds beyond my imaginations.

I had forgotten that wonderment and magic as the day to day of a working man takes over diminishing our joys. So when we discovered Apple TV’s Tiny Worlds my childlike wonder woke once again. I have always loved nature shows and have been amazed by the dedication of the photographers and film crews. It is doubtful that I will ever travel to some of the more exotic locations highlighted in episodes like rainforest, savannah, dessert , outback or jungle, but, The woodland, garden, pond and meadow transported me to my childhood home in the foothills of Pennsylvania. 

In Woodland a chipmunk hustles to make it through a year in the forest, while a host of other incredible tiny animals since every opportunity.

In Garden, it is different land and yard from my childhood but I could totally related to the creatures featured in this episode.

From Duckling to dragonflies, all sorts of tiny wonders live in a freshwater, but for small animals in a big pot, life is full of danger. We go collecting pollywogs or tadpoles each spring from a tiny swampy area up over the “new ground”. My grandparents also had pond we’d go exploring whenever we went a Sunday visiting.

The meadow of their show is different than mine. Theirs had an adorable harvest mouse, queen bumblebees, and other critters that race to make the most if summer before their home is harvested for hay. My Meadow was know to us as the “New Ground” It was adjacent to our homestead  just past the “Old Road’ that edged both properties. It had a tiny spring fed frog pond, now I know as a vernal pond. The mosses that grew there were collected as children and and we would make moss gardens or terrariums.There were own little fairy gardens. The wildflowers would change throughout the seasons and it was place to find gray squirrels, baby brown rabbits, pheasants, even bob whites and an occasional bobcat, whose haunting cry sounded like a whaling woman. Later the Black bears returned and we see them there with their cubs. Many Whitetail deer lived  here with their sweet spotted fawns. Crayfish and Hellgrammites were discovered as we dammed up the local creek with the best swimming holes. It was a magical but sometimes lonely childhood for me. 

Supplies: GSLC Retro TV 1 , GSLC Retro TV 2, Miniature Still-life Images, Micro Pins, Neon Green and Orange Paint, Yellow and Green Acrylic Paint, Paintbrush, Pencil, UHU GlueStick, Ranger Glossy Accent Medium,Liquid Sculpt, Polymer Clay Oven, 

I cannot wait to see your interpretation of this project. Share it on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Craft Group Page on Facebook. I would love to see what new creations you are working on!