Bone art testing

I’ve always loved nature. I have an obsession with taking photos of all kinds of plants and landscapes without ever doing anything with them post shooting. I love watching how leaves, branches and huge spreads of vegetation move from wind and rain. I’m fascinated by a century plant by the door to my studio, and finding ways to show the serenity I feel whenever I look at this huge spikey succulent.

It’s not just plants, I currently have three skulls and a pair of antlers hanging around my apartment. On my patio there are and at least three full cow skulls, miscellaneous cow bones, and one pig’s mandible, and still a trash bag with even more cow bones. I also have multiple pieces of jewelry with bones and or teeth, like a ring from an amazing and badass local austin jeweler, kristi Ruthless, who’s company is @foxtrotatx on Instagram, and the ring I bought is a deer’s molar, which I I love telling people the tooth is one of my exes who decided to cross me. But I can’t ever keep a straight face.

I do not hunt myself, I don’t enjoy it nor do I support hunting solely for sport. The skulls and antlers I have hanging in my apartment are ones that I’ve found around Texas, some with remnants of meat, one completely bleached from sitting outside my mom’s house, and a raccoon skull I found in an overgrown grill fireplace. The plethora of cow bones are all from my family’s ranch here in Texas, where the majority of our family run business is cattle. There’s one pasture that has an area we call the cattle graveyard, which is where I found a giant trash bags worth of all types of bones and those three skulls on my patio.

This year, I taught myself how to do Huichol beading, named after the Pueblo in Mexico that started this technique. Since then I’ve been wanting to use bones in other decorative arts, and I finally got to experiment with painting on bone.

This year i got myself a very affordable, tiny and detail focused Dremel, and I finally tested out grinding down some of the bones to clean up the edges and dark discoloration accumulated over years and years.

Then just to try out some basic first level media I used Posca brand opaque acrylic paint markers and ended up covering a large portion of the deteriorated ilium with different colors and designs with the Posca markers. So far I like what happened, and I’m excited to keep experimenting!

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Hand painted flower pot

I found this flower pot, and had decided as soon as I got it that I would paint it. That was over a month ago, and within the last two weeks I finally painted it! I didn’t take photos before I painted, but I tried to take photos throughout the process, at various stages.

For the designs, I reference a book of Southwestern Pottery, using specific motifs and patterns from various mentioned Pueblos. Since I now have an IPad, I’m able to take photos of whatever I’m working on and sketch directly on top of the image. Before I got this setup, I’d take photos on my phone, send them to my computer via text (I didn’t know how to Airdrop until recently…. I’m a grandmother of a millennial), then open them in photoshop, and have to do all of that laborious stuff. Now it takes less than 5 minutes and I can just keep the image open and reference all of my notes with such ease.