April 30, 2011

Off To The Circus!

The Cincinnati Art Museum is currently running a great exhibit, "The Amazing American Circus Poster: The Strobridge Lithographing Company." This exhibit has strong local ties as the Strobridge company was a world known printing concern based in Cincinnati for many years in the 1800's and early 1900's. And of course...it's about the circus!!

My wife and I finally made it to the museum last week to take this exhibit in and to have lunch. (It's one of our favorite past times to go to the museum in the middle of the week to take in the current exhibits and then have lunch. The galleries tend to be empty then...so it's like a private showing!) Now let me tell you, it's one thing to see photos of these posters....it's another to see them up close. They are magnificent!! Not only in their scale...they're huge!....but in the quality of the printing that was possible with lithography. I dabble in relief printing and have done a little screen printing...after seeing this exhibit I want to learn how to do litho! (It looks like a time and equipment...and chemical...intensive endeavor so I'm not sure I  will...)

The exhibit is quite extensive, filling several galleries, and is broken down into themes...like circus parades, "freaks", performers, and of course....elephants! I really enjoyed this part as I had just finished reading Sarah Gruen's book, Water for Elephants. (Thank you Erika for recommending this book in your blog!) After reading this book, you'll not look on an elephant with the same eyes!!

The show runs through July 10, 2011 so if you're in Cincinnati and have a moment do go see it. And maybe you'll be like me and think of Toby Tyler and running off to join the circus!!!

April 28, 2011


Table and chair, David Hayes, 2010

I did it! Set up a tumblr account. Yesterday. This is one of those things that I've been meaning to do since back in January...but always found a reason not to. Yesterday. It was easier than I thought! Now the big question is what to put on it...

My plan right now is to feature my favorite photographs and artwork...some of which are already on my Etsy and Flickr sites...but I think I probably will put images up of my work that won't be on either of these sites...just to keep things interesting. I like that I can add quotes and the such as well...so look for those as well.

There's not much on it as of now...but do take a look and let me know what you think. Also...I'm always open to suggestions! My site is called "Reflective Images" and you can get there at: http://reflectiveimages.tumblr.com.

April 26, 2011

How My Garden Grows

How My Garden Grows, David Hayes, 2011

I think it was back in December that "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" magazine offered a Reader's Challenge to create a piece using a flower stencil that they provided in the challenge. Always one to give something new a try, I created this collage. Some of the flowers were made from aluminum cans that I tinted while the other flowers are watercolor paper or music papers. I glued these all down on a prepped background making my "garden".

I submitted this to "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" and was pleased to learn that it was one of the finalists in the challenge! That was two months ago. Today I received the May/June issue featuring the "Stencil Gardens" winners. Unfortunately I wasn't one of them....nuts!! In any case, looking at those that were chosen, I realized the competition was tough...as they are very good! At least I know I was in good company as a finalist.

So...I thought I'd share this piece with you all. It was fun creating...and I'll keep my fingers crossed for future challenges!!!

April 23, 2011

April 21, 2011

"Hot" a Wired Terrier!

I have always had a fascination with assemblage dolls...and have created a bunch using whatever was at hand. Back in March, I posted an entry where I introduced my "family" of dolls...you can read this post here and meet the family!

It has been awhile since I created a new member...although I had some ideas in the back of my mind that the next one had to be a dog. After all, every family needs a pet! So when "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" magazine recently posted a challenge to create a Wild Wire piece, I jumped at the chance. And so..."Hot" came into being!! I had so much fun making him, that I wanted to share on how he was made.

The first step is always locating the parts to make my assemblages. I try to use what I have in my "stashes" but sometimes I have to actually buy something new! In this case, I knew I wanted to try my hand at soldering wire...after reading the "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" article on this...so I just had to buy a soldering iron and solder...the things I do for art!! So...I found some tin cans, some bolts, some bottle caps...and found my stash of wires....and I was ready to go!

I have to say that while I had some idea on what I wanted to do, I also work with the concept of letting the "creation" have its say as it come about....so that's how "Hot" worked as well...

After the "gathering" step, I figured out where I needed to drill holes...some were to connect the head can to the body, the eyes to the head, the wire to the body parts...and his tail! I got that step done pretty quickly...experience in building the other members of the family paid off!

Drilling done, it was time to paint! Now... a dog named "Hot" just had to be red...so red it was!! This step took several days as I like to let lots of time pass in between coats of paint. I think I stopped after the third coat knowing I would have to do touch-ups later...

Finally! The time came to start putting the old boy together!! I always, always start with the eyes...'cause I want my creations to be able to see what's going on so they can give me input from the get-go. So...Hot's eyes came together first...riveting aren't they....

Then I attached his head to his front body section using a bolt and nut....didn't hurt a bit!

Using wire, I attached his back legs to the back body section. This did hurt...it took me several tries to get this to work...lots of unwiring and rewiring...tried using solder to secure them...didn't work. Tried glue...didn't work! In the end, I finally figured out how to tighten the wire on the inside...then it was time to put this aside until the next day! Sorry Hot!!

Front legs went on a little smoother...and Hot is starting to look like a dog!!!

Time to wire him together...after all...he is a wired terrier!! I used 18 gauge wire that I had pre-measured and bent before wiring the two body sections together. This step went smoothly...

Heating up the soldering iron, I soldered the wire bends together then started attaching the body rings to the back part. I found using forceps to be a big help as a "third hand" as I did this soldering!!

Back section done, I did the same for the front ring...and now he really is a wired terrier!!

A dog needs ears and a nose...so I gave him those!!! The ears are cut from a beer can (of course!) and the nose is an old game piece. Isn't he cute!!

And a tail...made from a piece of notebook coil painted red....

But before I could take Hot out into the world, he needed a collar and a name tag...and so it was...and so Hot - A Wired Terrier is done!!

I had a good time making this mutt...now we're in the throes of paper training...and he's winning!! Just shows what kind of attitude this dog has!!

April 19, 2011


I've been on this kick as of late to "destash"! You know...use it or lose it! It seems that in every nook and cranny of our house there are THINGS that nobody seems to remember when we got IT. Bins of ephemera, cans of paints, clothes bought for a special occasion, special somethings picked up on a vacation...enjoyed for awhile...then put away. Boxes and boxes of STUFF!!! So....I've been going through everything I'm allowed to go through....my wife's and daughters's stashes are off-limits...and moving it on!

A bunch of stuff has gone to Goodwill, lots taken out to  the curb for the neighborhood "pickers" or the garbage guys...whoever comes first. Boxes of books to Half Price Books...although they always seem to pay less than half.... We also been very successful selling a number of "collectables" and "vintage" items on Ebay and Etsy. As of late I have been listing philatelic pieces from my stamp collection....I was a long time collector and "inherited" stock from my grandfather, father, and father-in-law...on my Etsy site, Clearer Reflections. I don't ask much for the stamps I show which has helped sell them for some extra cash. And...these items have been going to collectors and dealers so it is like keeping it all in the family. Doing this has also introduced me to some new online friends in South Carolina, Denver, New York, and Canada! Today I found out that my latest listing for four booklets of Windmill booklet stamps is featured in an Etsy treasury! Fun stuff!! My thanks to RubiesAreForever for including these in her new treasury, "Vending Classics". Check this out if you like vintage vending machines...and the things that come out of them!

And you know what? I'm also "discovering" treasures I forgotten I had...which is all the more fun! So off I go...to destash some more! Who knows what I will find!!!

April 16, 2011

Bananas, bananas, and even more bananas!!

Bananas, bananas, and even more....bananas!!! Here's a great treasury by ifONA that included my "Bananas" collage. What fun!!! My thanks to her for doing this!!!

Check "Banana Split" out at:

April 13, 2011

Even More Bananas!!

Now here's a treasury to go bananas over! Everything yellow...everything bananas!! What fun!!! My thanks to AidforAbby for including my collage, "Bananas" in this fun collection. Check this out at:

April 12, 2011

An apple a day....

Here's a fun little watercolor that I just received from Kim...isn't it great! Tucked away amongst all the bills and junk mail....a wonderful piece of Mail Art. Thank you so much, Kim...this certainly is "Happy Mail Art!!"

April 9, 2011


My wife and I were having dinner at our favorite pizza place about a month ago and while there I started to study one of those "vintage posters" that restaurants like to decorate their walls. I don't remember the details except that it was food oriented (naturally!) and some interesting interplays between the graphics and the background. Lots and lots of layers...which I just love. I was inspired!

For some reason bananas came to mind as I started playing around with ideas...so off I went! Using a 12x12 inch canvas board I created the yellow "layer" using acrylics and glazes...then the black layer. The bananas are from a clip art file that I printed on high-resolution inkjet paper then glued to the surface. The bananas text is a "decal" I created using acrylic mediums on a transfer sheet that I then ran through my printer. The "eat more" text decal didn't work as well...so I used more of the high-res paper. Once everything was dry, I used several more glazes to give it that "vintage" look. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't show the nuisances well. All in all, this little collage was fun to make...and seems to be drawing attention to itself! It was featured in an Etsy treasury yesterday....and it's now also featured in a new treasury! Wow!!!

 My thanks to EternitySquare01 for including "Bananas" in their newest treasury! If you're a Dr. Who fan you need to check this one out! You can do that at: 

April 8, 2011

Even more Treasuries!!

This past week I've not been very good at keeping up with my postings...or reading the blogs of those that I follow....except to post "shout-outs" about Etsy treasuries that have included my work. I know this can be somewhat "boring"...and I'm going to try to be more diligent in the future about mixing up what I post. However....I do feel that I need to give a thank you to those who include my works in their treasuries...after all it takes a lot of time to put one of these together and the curators have literally thousands of choices to pick from...so when one of my pieces is included in their 16 picks...I feel honored!! So bear with me as I give thanks to two new treasuries that honored me just today!! And please stay with me...I've been working on a new assemblage doll, "Hot - Wired Terrier" and hope to start posting pics about him very soon!!

The first treasury I'd like to spotlight is "If" by capitalcitycrafts which is based on Kipling and poetry. What a great idea for a treasury!! My thanks to her for including my photo, "Kipling" in this great collection. You can see this treasury at: http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4d9e3ebeb8538eef9566be92/if

The second treasury to be spotlighted is, "Feeling Fruity" by sweetgrassprints. Isn't this a fun treasury?! My thanks to her for including my collage, "Bananas" in this wonderful treasury!! You can check this one out at: http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4d9f17f9f39c8eef8b91742d/feeling-fruity

April 5, 2011

A little of this a little of that by EveryThingHarely

My grandmother always tells me, "A little can go a long way!" This treasury proves that's she's right (again!) My thanks to EveryThingHarley for including my pic, "Heritage" in this great collection. You can check this out at:

April 4, 2011

Black Ice by juliaw

Here's a beautiful treasury to check out! My thanks to juliaw for including my photo, "Pebbles" in this gorgeous collection!!!

Check it out at: http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4d99b50242b86d91d9ff1888/black-ice