St.George & The Dragon 2017 Gold Sovereign

2017-sovereign200

I am honored to present the coin that I have been working on over the past 2 years and the reason I attended the Istituto Poligrafico Zecca Stato at the Scuola dell’Arte della Medaglia in Roma, Italy this past year. In association with the London Mint Office I have designed the Newly anticipated Gold Sovereign 2017 Saint George and the Dragon on its 200th Anniversary from the original by Benedetto Pistrucci. I am honored to share with everyone my heritage and the story of my ancestors.  I am overwhelmed with excitement to bring this coin to the world.

-Angela Benita Pistrucci

 

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The Alchemy of Art

2014-02-28 14.25.29Conte/ Powder charcoal made with red iron oxide and yellow ochre mixture with an addition of kaolin whilte china clay/ DIY spray workable drawing fixative

Spray fixative for Drawings
1part Casein
2parts Vodka/alcohol
5parts distilled water
Mix well and strain in cheesecloth / pour strained liquid into a fine mist spray bottle.
Use as a workable fixative on pencil, pastel, conte or charcoal drawings.

Impasto painted Bluebirds made entirely from DIY paints:
Bluebirds

While I am on a renaisance enlightened path to making your own art supplies I highly recommend taking a peak at this blog – two artists who enjoy sharing wonderful ways of creating their paintings from scratch.
The site link for the blog and the artists in Duncan David Gluck and his partner Kate Stone HERE –
David Gluck and Kate Stone
IF you really cannot bring yourself to be part of the new rennaisance of art supplies then you can have them made from natural materials by this wonderful company HERE:
http://www.naturalpigments.com/
For my LOCAL PEEPS:
Pigment suppliers that are less expensive than art stores Victoria Clay art but I prefer Vancouver island pottery in parksville  and
Seattle pottery supply  but will need to be ordered and shipped .  Also Greenbarn in surrey sells pigments.
For my blog PEEPS HERE IS THE LINK TO  suppliers such as the mason stain site
http://www.masoncolor.com/ceramic_stains.asp

NOTE:
Also check out cement supply stores and cement pigment – I am not an expert but I believe it is the same as mason stains or artist pigments from the same suppliers.

ron red oxide & yellow ochre is less expensive to purchase at the pottery supply stores and makes the
orangey red conte artists  know and love.
—————

PASTELS:
The basic ingredients of pastels are simple: pigment, a filler, and a
binder. You start by dissolving the binder, mix in the pigment and binder,
get the consistency right, then roll out your pastels and leave them to dry.
It will take a bit of practice and experimenting, so keep records of what
you do so you can recreate your successes!

Cheap Pastels Recipe:
• Quarter cup of rolled or crushed oats (combined with the water to make a
binder)
• A quart (just over a liter) of water (preferably distilled so there isn’t
any chlorine in it)
• Two tablespoons of powdered tempera or poster paint (for pigment). Another
option is to collect leftover dust when using bought pastels and use them to
make new ones (the mixture of colors can give a beautiful grey)
• Half a cup of unscented talcum/baby powder (for filler)

Step 1: Put the water in a pot and set it on the stove to boil. Add the oats
and leave it to boil for five minutes.
Step 2: Pour the oats mixture through a fine sieve to strain out the oats.
You’ll be using the water only.
Step 3: Mix the talc with the paint powder, then add a teaspoon of the
strained oats water. You’re after a consistency like dough or putty
consistency, which sticks to itself not your fingers.
Step 4: Roll out into sausages, put on absorbent paper (newspaper is a cheap
option), then cut into pieces about two inches (6 cm) long.
Step 5: Leave to dry at room temperature, at least 24 hours.

Tips:
• If your pastels are very crumbly, your binder was too weak; add some more
oats next time. If your pastels are very hard, your binder was too strong;
break up the pastel and dissolve it into some more binder.
• You could use diluted wallpaper paste as a binder.
• Create tints of a particular color by adding more filler or white pigment.

True Pastels Recipe:
• Gum arabic or gum tragacanth (binder)
• Distilled water
• Pigment
• Chalk or kaolin/China clay (filler)

Step 1: Dissolve the binder in the water in the ratio 1:20 (one part binder
to 20 parts water).
Step 2: Mix filler and pigment in the ratio 2:1 (two parts filler to one
part pigment).
Step 3: Add the binder liquid to the filler/pigment slowly, until it has the
consistency of dough or putty.
Step 4: Roll out and dry as described above.

Tips:
• Gum arabic makes a harder pastel than gum tragacanth.
• Damar resin mixed with plenty of white spirit or turpentine can be used as
a binder.
—————
Basic Pastel Recipe
Ingredients
1 part Gum Tragacanth
Alcohol or wine
30 parts distilled water (approx)
The making of pastels is fun, easy and surprisingly economical. It is felt
by many that handmade pastels are much better quality than the extruded type
typically sold to artists. One of the first pastel-works was Leonard de
Vinci’s “Portrait of Isabelle d’Este” in 1499.
Preferably used dry, these pastels may also be diluted with water providing
infinite nuances and ranges of permanent, non-fading color. An artist can
achieve varying effects by further working the pastels with his or her
fingers. The key to making pastels is the right balance between hardness and
softness, as this will affect its ability to adhere to the paper and to be
manipulated.
Prepare gum by placing it in a covered glass bottle or container. Begin by
pouring a small amount of alcohol (grain or denatured ethyl) to moisten the
gum, then add water and shake the container. Leave this solution for 1 or 2
days. Tragacanth can’t be rushed. It will not dissolve, but instead will
form into a gelatinous solution. When ready to mix with your pigments, warm
the tragacanth and strain it through cheesecloth. Mix the pigments with
distilled water to make a paste. You may wish to use the pigments alone, or
mix them with chalk, for example in a 1 part pigment to 2 parts Whiting
Chalk ratio. Crush the pigment paste with the gum solution until smooth and
evenly distributed.
Spread the wet pastel onto absorbent paper to help pull excess moisture from
the mixture. While it is damp before complete drying, cut or break into
shapes to work with. Test to see if the proportions are correct. If the
pastels crumble in your fingers, there is not enough gum. If they slide on
the paper without leaving color and texture, there is too much gum. In
addition, linseed oil or wax can be added to your preparation to make
pastels last longer.

Check out Pistrucci Artworks tile: Animal Kingdom line launching soon!

First Steps Old World Grey

VISIT—–   http://www.pistrucciartworks.com/

Life Drawing – The Challenge

Pistrucci sept2012 Coast Collective

Yes, I can draw, I can paint and I can sculpt. But in saying that I avoid life drawing like the plague. why? you ask..because I have to show up to it. I have to go somewhere and sit in front of a nude person. Peeking out from my paper only when necessary. I admit it – I’m uncomfortable with the nudity in life drawing – I feel like a peeping tom – seriously am I going to hell for this?  Unfortunately two circles, two dots and a smiley face just doesn’t cut it anymore.  So in the spirit of open minded abandon I decided to join some of my artist friends for life drawing – Lucky for me because I received the best piece of advice from fellow artist Ann Jarvis– ‘ spend more time looking at the model than at your paper’ .  If you look at your paper and only glance at the model you have to rely completely on memory and your imagination –  reference by observation of the model is how to draw what you ‘see’.

Observe and draw, repeat.
So, Finally I bit the bullet and went to an intensive 5 full days of life drawing

Working together and sharing creative ideas is an excellent way to expand as an artist but rarely do we actually get the opportunity to get out of the studio. Artists are usually found under rocks or in solitary confinement .

I learned to love to draw again because I was inspired by these amazing artists and their love for art and drawing. At the end of the week I was given a book by Sharron ‘The natural way to draw’ by Nicolaides.  My Plan is to complete the excercises in his book over the next several months and to write a blog on my progress.

Below: Whiskey Point Life drawing August 2012

Image

Image

I was definitely humbled by the overwhelming artistic talent in the room.  Ann, Kay and Sharron make it look all too easy.  I learned so much from these artists and I know I need to keep drawing. It is far to easy to rely on techniques and mediums that you have mastered but it is very important for an artist to continue in all the disciplines – Painting, Drawing and sculpture.  I also realized in order to get better you have to challenge yourself and do the very things you need to work on. It is not a sign of weakness not to do something well– it is a sign of weakness NOT to work towards accomplishing it. Life drawing is not for the faint of heart it is for those who want to become professional artists. Challenge yourself – According to Nicolaides = the drawings are not  the important part, they are only excercises- it is the training ground to become an artist. That said one of my goals for this coming year : concentrate on life drawing,

OBSERVE, Draw, Repeat…

January2013 -Update : Currently attending several life drawing sessions at coast collective wednesday afternoons 12:30 -3:30 and at Xchanges on wednesday mornings 10-12. I have also attended Uvic 10-1:00, Goward House tuesday afternoons from 1-4pm and Sundays from 12:30-2:30 at Victoria College of Art 1625 Bank st. Xchanges has a Monday evening life drawing session as well. Wednesday mornings there is another life drawing session at Fisgard st. I highly recommend attending a life drawing session and if you are interested other fellow artists will most likely know where to go and when. WARNING — Life drawing is addictive

Life Drawing November2012 –

lifedrawingbirthday

How to make a sketchbook – VERY inspirational video

I am really inspired by this ladies work – I absolutely have to share -check it out! Her website and youtube videos – creative! inspirational and artistic! Sketchbooks are very important to an artists development and if you do not have one I highly recommend building your own as it personalizes your work and inspires you to draw!

sketchbook project campaignGet yours before April an excellent way to improve your skills as an artist.

http://www.arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject?utm_source=Art+House+Co-op+List&utm_campaign=1b7befd6bb-November_16&utm_medium=email

FOr more see TrAnsIEnt ArT by Lauren Nash

http://www.transientart.com

Art Tile – Concept to completion

Since the beginning of the year I have had an obsession with creating tile – artistic, creative, elegant, colorful and distinctly different from anything currently available. From my research I have noticed 3 major areas are lacking in today’s tile –  { figurative, large Accent tiles& expressive}. Accent tiles used to be decorative centre pieces in bathrooms and kitchens, with relief ,texture and figures. Sculptural Artwork has been replaced with basic patterns, shapes and colors.
Pistrucci Artworks main goal is to produce a wide variety of bas relief accent tiles from contemporary to figurative offering distinctive flair with color and texture. Jeremy Hileman took the concept Pikaso Kichen and created an expressive colorful line of tile for the contemporary kitchen. Here is the results of our next tile line titled ‘ Pikaso Kichen’.

To view the catalog go here: art-tile-catalog-pikaso-kichen

First the concept drawings were designed and a rought draft completed [see below] :

 

Then the sculpting of the relief tiles:

 Glaze tests

Old world stain

& more glaze tests….

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Alto Relief – Moonlight Sonata

Here is my recent work & my attempt at Alto Relief – Sonata 30″ x 20″ sculpted with a porcelain clay – still in progress. Current photos and more updates to come. I will be cold cast bronzing this piece so will show the process for cold cast bronzing. Most people do not realize that Alto Relief is a rare form of sculpture and one of the most difficult art forms to master and to my knowledge it is not taught in any of the fine art schools. Low relief is also more difficult followed by 3d , painting and drawing as you do not have to alter the axis for any of the elements. I believe Low relief is taught in the last year of most fine art schools after students have learned painting, drawing, and 3d. I advise every artist I know to work in all of the art forms from low relief – high relief – painting – drawing and 3d. Each builds on the strengths of the others. It is a synergistic relationship. Artists that work in all the mediums in the past became great and I believe it is because they did all of the art forms rather than just focusing in one area – Take Michealangelo for example he sculpted and painted throughout his life and I am thoroughly convinced that this was the key to his success. So I plod on ….. My Alto Relief…

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How to build and Sculpt a Custom Architectural Ceramic Fireplace Surround

left side figure- finished and painted

left side figure- finished and painted

Siempre Sonador
siempre Sonador
After second firing ready for high fire
After second firing ready for high fire

I recently completed a custom architectural ceramic fireplace surround ( title “SIEMPRE SONADOR”. Above is a picture of it prior to installation.
I will be giving a basic description of the process here in this blog.
First I met with the clients to determine their personal style and get an overview of the project and its layout. This is an important step as it is necessary for the 2 parties to decide if they can work together.  I really love old architecture and figurative movement and use it whenever possible and I was happy that my ideas for the fireplace went well in the home and space.

Fireplace surround
Fireplace

The fireplace would be built for an old 1900’s period style home and would be the center of attention in the dining room area.  The family is the owners of the Elk lake bed and Breakfast in Victoria BC  Canada and take an immense amount of pride in their home and business.

I did an initial drawing of my concept and ideas, as well as a materials list and quote.  From my drawings I set out to sculpt the parts of the fireplace that would take the longest and would need to be ‘repeated’ or molded for consistency in the design.

Sculpted figure for right side on canvas
Sculpted figure for right side of fireplace

I sculpted relief on gessoed canvas out of paperclay let dry and painted on the rubber molding compound. I let it dry between thin layers building up over several days to a week depending on how thick I wanted my moldFor some of the relief tile I used the upholstery on the back of the chairs to match the design elements.

Upholstery design from dining room chairs
Upholstery design from dining room chairs
Completed sculpture design from upholstery
Completed sculpture design from upholstery

Once I had completed the basic designs I needed a reoccuring theme within the design itself. I chose the iris for its meaning and beauty.

Plus I needed added dimension for a more sculptural and aesthetic appeal. I knew The focal point would be the keystone tile which would be an  original one of a kind sculpted figurative relief to match the left and right figures. Here are pictures of the sculpting of the keystone and iris’s.

sculpting figurative tile
sculpting figurative tile
Right side original sculpture before molding

Right side original sculpture before molding

Sculpted keystone tile drying
Sculpted keystone tile drying

The sculptures were placed on a sheet of drywall and left to dry  – the corners were weighted and dried slowly by covering with plastic.

Fireplace tiles cut to size allowing for clay shrinkage and set to dry on drywall
Fireplace tiles cut to size allowing for clay shrinkage and set to dry on drywallAfter second firing ready for high fire

The clay is a porcelain body and slow drying was necessary to avoid cracking or warping. Cracks that did appear were immediately filled with a mixture of the clay body, toilet paper and water (paperclay). Once the fireplace was bone dry it was bisque fired to cone 018, After it is cooled down and removed from the kiln it was submerged in water to test for cracks which were filled with the paperclay mixture.The fireplace was sanded and dried again. It was refired again to cone 018.

Here is a picture of the unpainted fireplace. Once the fireplace was dried again and sanded it was high fired to cone 4 we had to choose a color. After tooooo toooo many glaze tests the customers finally settled on a bronze patina highlighted with dark brown umber and cobalt green accents. Here is a picture of my signature on the back of the iris tile.

Pistrucci signature on back of iris
Pistrucci signature on back of iris

Picture of completed fireplace: click on picture to enlarge  and (+ or – for larger detail)