Monday, January 30, 2012

Treasures in NYC

I think Fiona's and my fitness has gone up a touch in NY. We find ourselves using the Subway and just walking heaps - all day in fact. The aim of the day was to go to a couple of flea markets (Hell's Kitchen on 39th and Garage Antiques Market on 25th); and end the day at MoMA. We surfaced at 42nd street and one of first images we saw was this placemaking art piece that marked the fashion area.

Barry Smith © Needle and button in the fashion area NYC
Then to the markets.

Barry Smith © The Garage Markets on 25th st NYC
Where I managed to pick up treasures including the following; and Fiona acquired some that suited her art taste.

Barry Smith © Rusted and mini brass pulley wheels
Barry Smith © Close up of mini pulley wheels
Barry Smith © Pressure gauges
Barry Smith © Silver plated salt shakers
Barry Smith © Parker pen and decorative silver bit
Barry Smith © Larger crystals on wollen hat
Barry Smith © Crystal detail
Then off to MoMA where we saw much but I share but a few images.

Barry Smith © MoMA -stairway to the arts
Barry Smith © Detail of Andy Warhol's Gold Marilyn Monroe
Barry Smith © Detail of Girl with a Mandolin - Pablo Picasso
Barry Smith © Shadows of the art - Bicycle Wheel - Marcel Duchamp

Barry Smith © Detail Water Lilies - Claude Monet
After a market and art drenched day we have returned 'home' to have 'deli dinner' and a wine or two. All in all another great day in NY. All photos via the iPhone.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Postcards from NY?

Well you will see from the following photos that Fiona and I have escaped the hot weather and rain of Maleny to holiday and celebrate my birthday in New York. We have had a couple excellent blue sky days, then a cloudy-drizzly day and today a bit rainy. So we have walked and done as much outside stuff as we can just in case the rain and/or snow hits and we can then head indoors to the galleries.

So just a few images (postcards) from NY....... all taken on iPhone.

Barry Smith© Fiona gazes out over mid and north NY from 'the Rock' (stitched)
Barry Smith © Detail of arch at the Cloisters NY
Barry Smith© Hot dogs in Central Park NY
Barry Smith © Chrysler Building in the drizzling rain
Barry Smith © Chrysler Building in the sun
Barry Smith © Top of Empire State building in cloud
Barry Smith © Statue of Liberty in morning fog
And of course some of these photos were chosen because they offered better opportunities for alteration as can be seen below.

Barry Smith © A soft altered look at the Chrysler Building 1
Barry Smith © A different look at the Chrysler Building 2
Barry Smith © Altered detail of Cloisters arch
Barry Smith © Empire State - altered
Barry Smith © Statue of Liberty in fog - altered
So as we are away from home my art on Friday, and other days, will be play with my iPhone and iPhonegraphic alterations.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Magical Mountains

I never cease to be uplifted by the view of the mountains in the valley below our block - "our valley" as  we call it - just borrowed of course.  Some time it is crystal clear; other times it is white with cloud. My favourite view is when cloud is lifting in the soft early morning light - like a light curtain lifting to reveal the valley floor and mountains. Brushing up against the mountains as a gentle breeze blows them as they lift with the early morning sunrise.

Barry Smith © Mountains @ 6am
Barry Smith © Cloud shrouds the mountain
Barry Smith © Mountains @ 6.30am
Barry Smith © Cloud flows over the mountain
Such breathtaking majesty. The photos were taken with the iPhone so I could mess with a couple of the shots - two versions of the earlier grainy close-up and two of the later photo. Maybe it it is my way of drawing attention to the magic nature offers.

Barry Smith © Mountain study 1

Barry Smith © Mountain study 2

Barry Smith © Mountain study 3
Barry Smith © Mountain study 4

That view makes me feel at peace - hope that peacefulness is shared.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Leaf Letter Openers

As makers of stuff our work is often influenced by our surroundings. Fortunately Fiona and I live in a beautiful part of Australia - just outside of Maleny in the ranges inland from the Sunshine Coast. Our walks in our neighbourhood take us through treelined streets - the green after rain almost burns your eyeballs there is so much green growth at the moment. But I diverge - I was going to say that after rain there is often lots of leaf litter on the road. In Treehaven Way there is a lot of leaf litter from Eucalyptus trees. As you can see these are long flat leaves - beautiful slender shapes.

Barry Smith © Eucalyptus leaf on the road after rain
Barry Smith © Eucalyptus leaf on the road after rain
These are the inspiration for my 'Leaf Letter Openers'. Last Friday (13 Jan) I cut and annealed metal for a series of these letter openers. As you can see from the photos below I managed to get six done over the last little while. Long flat gum leaf blades with small curled leaf handles.

Barry Smith © Leaf Letter Openers
Barry Smith © Leaf Letter Openers
Barry Smith © Leaf Letter Openers - detail - blades
Barry Smith © Leaf Letter Opener detail - handle
Barry Smith © Leaf Letter Opener - detail - handle
Barry Smith © Leaf Letter Opener - detail- handle
I am pretty happy with the form of these Leaf Letter Openers now. And as with the 8 Leaf Bowl I like how the brass wire brush has transferred brass to the copper. As usual all are made from recycled metal - you can see some old fold marks on a couple of the brass letter openers.

Friday, January 20, 2012

'Found earrings'

When I am cutting up old EPNS trays and bowls etc to reclaim the metal for leaves and bowls now and then I see pieces that suggest the pendant part of an earring. I tend to put these aside in a bowl or bottle and when I have s bit of a stash I do trimming, drilling, maybe some stamping and of course polishing.

In October last year I posted on some of what I call 'found earrings' made from such bits; and then after a giveaway they of went to good homes.

As you can see from the photos below I have had another of my play days; and have generated some more pairs of of 'found earrings'. The bell shaped bits were formerly legs of a tray; the long thin ones stated out as the rim of a bowl; and the V and ribbon shapes were handles of a sugar bowls; and the rest from small cake-biscuit trays.

Barry Smith © Bits for 'found earrings'
Barry Smith © Bits for 'found earrings'
Barry Smith © Bits for 'found earrings'
Barry Smith © Bits for 'found earrings'  - formerly cake tray handle
Barry Smith © Bits for 'found earrings' formerly sugar bowl handle 
Barry Smith © Bits for 'found earrings' - formerly cake tray handle
Because these bits are found, gifts from recycling, they do tend to find their way to other homes as gifts. Of course they still need jump rings and ear hoops etc.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Secret lives of spiders

One of the unexpected outcomes of our recent rain has been that many spiders' webs have become obvious. Without the raindrops clinging to the webs they just blend with the background. The following early morning photos just show a few of the very very many small webs that infest the bushes and plants on the block.
Barry Smith © Webs after rain 1
Barry Smith © Webs after rain 2
Barry Smith © Webs after rain 3
Barry Smith © Webs after rain 4
Barry Smith © Webs after rain 5

And given that I had taken the photos with the iPhone I couldn't resist altering a couple of photos.

Barry Smith © Web of jewels
Barry Smith © Web silhouette

The spider, a Funnel Web Spider,  photographed below was a little less welcome. After one wet night it had wandered into the tiled area downstairs.

Barry Smith © Funnel Web Spider
It is venomous so was not welcome in the house.