Total Art Soul - for artists

" An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one "
Charles Horton Cooley

Our Winter Wonderland Walk

We were going a little stir crazy yesterday as we've spent much time working. Joe thought that we should get out and just down to the lake we have near to us. It was around -10C so we put our thermals on, 3 pairs of socks, wellington boots, scarf, hat and gloves.

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This would normally be just a 10 minute walk but when we got to one of the fields, it was fenced off so we realised that the cows must have been put there. We decided to walk the long way round, through the adjoining field, through some woods and over a fence to reach the lake. It was a pretty difficult walk because with all the snow, we could no longer see what was underfoot. We ended up in some marshland which was scary as our boots were sinking in quite deep.  Finally, we made it to the edge of the lake.

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Joe wanted to test the ice and having lived by a lake all my childhood, I told him not to put his weight on it. Boys will be boys and of course he ignored me, the ice gave way, he slipped and thankfully fell back on to the bank and managed to only get his wellington boot wet! I seriously thought he was going to end up in the bloomin lake! lol Frightened the life out of me.

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By this point, my feet were getting really quite cold, despite the 3 pairs of wool socks, so I asked that we started to walk back.  It was quite tough going again and my toes just seemed to be not only very cold but also very stiff which was odd.  We finally made it back to the house but by this time I was near to tears with the pain in my toes. I took my boots and socks off and sat by the fire and soon realised that I had first degree frost bite. Wow, was it painful! Once they warmed up a little, they started to swell up, like little chipolatas and I stopped being able to feel them. It was the strangest sensation, like my toes did not belong to me. It took a good 3 hours before things started to feel normal again.

We managed to take some beautiful pictures which I'm delighted to be able to share with you all and despite the frostbite, I hope you'll agree all the effort was worth it!

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Featured Artist - Steel the Show

I was very intrigued by these gorgeous wire sculptures. So delicate, yet so robust and well built that you could put them outside. I love the fact that he plays more with the negative space than the actual form. This is his philosophy:-


"Not being a sculptor in the traditional sense, I create sculptures that follow no set rules. Using a minimalist approach, I like to explore the relationship between solid objects and space, letting the viewers mind complete the picture and fill the gaps.

I feel that as I work, some of the energy I use to make each piece is transferred into the sculpture. My wire objects seem to take on a life of their own and have their own personalities and expressions. I like the idea that cold, hard steel can be transformed into something quite fluid and lifelike, with movement and feeling."

You can find a couple of his works in the Sculptors section but these are some that I found on his website.
If I had money, this is the bird I would buy. I love it!
So delicate.

It's so clear this is a frilled lizard. It's obvious to see that this artist really studies his subjects in great detail.

You can see more of his work and read his bio here.

You can interract with Steel-Sculptor on the forum.

 

The Forum

Joe and I are thrilled to have the Forum up and running. We bought the domain name for Total Art Soul well over a year ago with the idea that we would start up some kind of artists' community. Due to time constraints, we didn't get it off the ground and meanwhile I started a group on Facebook under the same name just to test the water. I very quickly had over 500 members there in the space of a couple of months with numbers just over 700 today. The group there has been a little quiet, again because of time constraints, I didn't have much time to devote to it.

The idea lays behind the fact that the days of doing apprentices with other artists seems to be gone. Where then do us artists learn new skills? For those of us that are not lucky enough to be able to go to Art School, it is a big problem. Finding out vital practical skills is often done by talking with people. Being inspired and encouraged by others is something you can only do by talking with other artists. As the internet is now very much the way to communicate, Total Art Soul was borne.

This Forum is free to join for any kind of creative person. We have categorized all the different creative fields to make it easier to find information on your subject. We have also added a Member Spotlight section so that you can share the members you feel inspired by.

This site is still very much in its infancy and will evolve over time with your input. Any suggestions you may have will be welcomed and considered. We need to get more members first in order to put in place certain things like contests and featured artists. It is foreseen that we will have a weekly contest and will feature an artist on the blog so they can get extra exposure.  We will also incorporate galleries for artists so that they can showcase their work. This is taking a little bit of time to set up and we will let you know when it's in operation.

I'd like to thank all of you who have joined already. It's heart warming to see how much support we have already from many familiar faces I've got to know over the years of being on the internet. It's a wonderful start to the new year and I sincerely hope we can make this site work for all of you.

Cathy and Joe

 

Cleaning Hard Paintbrushes

In the past, I've always thrown away paintbrushes that had gone hard. Even solvents didn't seem to work that well and I didn't like the cost to the environment using these. I've just recently found this article which says that using ivory soap gets your brushes back to their former glory.

It’s very simple - take a glass jar (I think she said it needs to be non-reactive - which would be vessels like ceramic, glass, stoneware, food-grade plastic, wood, or porcelain, as opposed to reactive vessels like copper, zinc, cast iron, brass, aluminum, carbon steel, or galvanized anything) and place a bar of ivory soap inside. Fill with enough water to cover, and drop your brushes in.

The soap makes a nasty grey slurry mix. Like this:

Let sit for a couple days, then wash with soap & water. It really works - and my bristles are softer and more workable/pliable than ever! I think I’ll let all my brushes get hard & crusty with paint, so they can go through this process.

I've yet to find the equivalent here in France so if anyone can give me an idea, I would be most grateful.

 
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