Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blue field (working title)

I'm close to finishing a 36x48 blue field. Have been working on it for a while, on a side track.
Trying to stay away from the usual overabundance of red and green colors in my artwork.
It's time consuming to do my mixed media fields.


The flowers and grass are cut out of fabric, a layer of gesso is applied, then painted with acrylic. Then they're assembled on the painted background, glued and sewn through, adding wood beads and yarns. I use pretty sharp leather needles to pierce through all the layers. It takes time, but it's worth it.


On the other hand Halloween is around the corner, and I'm sewing a long mysterious velvet cloak for my younger daughter.  She's going to be a masquerader, inspired by the Phantom of the Opera, and the rest of us will be dressed as an unruly bunch of pirates.  (If there won't be a bounty on this ship, I'll try to snap some photos and post them here on Sunday before we disperse through the neighborhood in search of some loot).   

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An interview with the artist / plastic surgeon Saulius Jankauskas, MD

      I've known Saulius for a few years now. We met at an Orlando art show. He's a great guy with a broad smile, a warm personality and a wonderful sense of humor. The themes of his glass art range from mystical faces,  the four seasons,  flowers and plants, and they're all equally beautiful and fascinating. Photographed images simply don't do them justice, you need to see them in person, to appreciate all of the tiniest details  emerging through the thickness of the glass.

Tell me about yourself.

Saulius Jankauskas, MD.
Born in Detroit, MI to Lithuanian parents who were forced to run from their homeland because of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania.  I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with my practice in Longwood, FL.  Have been working with hot glass since 1996.

What is your opinion of arts education? Is an artist born or made - or both?

Arts education, like all disciplines, has an integral part in the shaping of young people.  It teaches and gives them the ability to be creative, which translates in to all fields and disciplines.  I also work at Unique Glass Colors, , as the research and development person. Creativity, allows me to develop new products and come up with unique answers to existing problems.  Also, as a Plastic Surgeon – the ability to think creatively helps me find solutions to sometimes complex and unusual problems.

I believe and artist is born and made.  We all come out of the womb new and clean, with certain tendencies, likes and abilities.  When these abilities are nurtured and developed they come to fruition.  I believe we all are born with creative abilities.

What work do you most enjoying doing?

I have always enjoyed working with my hands and in undergraduate school delved more intensely into ceramics.  Over time I found myself more interested in the glazing of the piece than the construction.  Then it dawned on me, that if I were to work in hot glass – that would be the glazing without the clay. Eureka, I can cut out the “middle man” and go for the creation using the glaze – the glass!

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

Working with and “on” people is absolutely my first love.  Helping people either through reconstructive surgery or cosmetic surgery is really gratifying to me.  What is interesting is the similarity that both processes - surgery and hot glass, have with each other.  In surgery, working with human tissues, you have to have the ability to know how certain tissues react in the healing process over time.  So, sometimes you have to over-correct or under-correct or just correct to get the great final result -  knowing that in the healing process the tissues will change.  The healing time for the glass is the time it spends in the kiln.  So, like human tissue, you have to over-correct, under-correct or just correct to get the final result you are trying to achieve.
When people ask me what my primary medium is, I like to answer “human flesh” – which is true and it leads to some interesting responses!

What inspires you?

Many things inspire my creations, but my main muses are poetry and spirituality/religion.

What research do you do?

I’m constantly doing research or almost everything I do.  New information, techniques, applications.  Life becomes stagnant and festers (to paraphrase  a line from the Addams Family “My name is Fester – you know like to rot”)  if you don’t create or learn.

Name something you love, and why.

I absolutely love to sit outside on a warm day with a nice breeze, taking in the smells of freshly mowed grass and letting my mind wander through the realm of prayer.

Name something you don’t love, and why.
Not many things get me angry, however people espousing absolutes (not including the vodka), and extremes to suite their own purpose and injustices, can really get me going.

Favorite writer, favorite song, favorite inspiration ?

My favorite authors change, currently a classic Lithuanian author – Satrijos Ragana.  My standby favorite is  F. Kafka.
Favorite song: “Love song to a Stranger” by Joan Baez.

Where can one view your work online?

Some of my works can be viewed on my Facebook page and on the Unique Glass Colors web page:  Working on a separate web page also...


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Time for the fair

Time for the Fair 
by Raymond A. Foss
The cold in the air
reminds me of the country fair
the candied apple,
the hot burnt sausage sub
the smell of wet hay,
the warm touch of a cow’s side
the shriek of the roosters,
the squeal of the pigs,
Men with canes urging the oxen
to drag the sled farther
weight added as the stakes rise
kids running from ride to ride,
teens sneaking off
the races after twilight
the craft booths,
the giant pumpkin, squash,
the pies and paintings,
with sash and ribbon
pride of the makers
for all to see


Our friends invited us to go with them to the Fall Festival at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando. We hadn't gone to any of the local theme parks for a long time, so the kids had a blast.

   I have to admit that I wasn't  crazy about going there, but seeing all the laughter and smiles on my kids faces as they ran from the ride to the ride made it worth the effort.

   My kids live quite a different lives than what my husband and I lived. They don't roam around the neighborhood freely playing with friends, mainly because living in a subdivision and there is not much common grounds for playing. Their world is wrapped in video games, talking to their friends (they met online) on Skype.

   Last couple of visits to Croatia they got a taste of our childhood and they loved it. Their grandparents live on the outskirts of the capital city and there is plenty of gardens, meadows and woods to explore and get adventurous.



Watching them enjoying the spinning rides made me think how some things never change. Ferris wheels, Pirate Ship, Bumper cars and similar rides are about a century old and kids still enjoy them as they did when they were introduced.
    Cotton candy has been around since the 1400s and kids still like it. Popcorn and caramelized apples too.


   The most fun is just being surrounded by their  friends and enjoying all the same stuff like kids from a century ago, when they didn't have any other form of entertainment, and a hoop and a stick  were enough for hours of playing.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Imaginary green

 48"H x 36"W
Acrylic painted fiber collage on burlap

Imagine the world green and lush, without the pollution, garbage, toxic waste and all other human made matter. The world as it was intended to be. Intact nature ruling with its own laws and ways. The world without humans and their greedy need to conquer and destroy everything in their path.

It concerns me deeply what kind of world we are leaving for our children. My family recycles and reuses many things, but it seems to me that all of us who are doing so are just a tiny invisible drop in all of the world population that  doesn't care or doesn't give it any thought.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Forest in Fall

 Here are two of my newest seasonal mixed media necklaces celebrating Fall. I used a great variety of beads utilizing a free form peyote stitch and incorporating something new this time, little flowers made with silk and felt.

I  wrote before about how much I miss seasonal changes living here in Florida, but I'm grateful for not dealing with cold weather. Here it's kind of easy to forget that four seasons exist. (And I honestly think that they should change the name of the "Four Seasons" Restaurant to "Two Seasons", because it would be more appropriate.)

A few years ago while my husband was working at Blue Sky Studios in New York on the animated movie "Robots" kids and I  visited him. It was October, and quite cold for my Floridian born kids. It was like a new undiscovered world for them. They loved seeing the changes in the nature. Strolling around the Bronx Zoo they collected all kinds of Fall foliage, (some of those leaves are still lingering around the house).

Driving around Westchester County through the beautiful subdivisions with enchanting Tudor houses, they expected creatures from Harry Potter movies to show up.

They're all growing up and in few years they'll be College bound, possibly moving away from Florida. And right there will be my new chance to visit them and  once again enjoy the seasons changing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My daughter's interview on character design blog

 Jennifer Gwynne Oliver interviewed my 14 years old daughter Veronika on Academy of Art Character and Creature Design Notes blog.