Dr. Seuss Birdhouses

Several weeks ago I participated in a crafts show where I had for sale a couple of birdhouses and some yard art flowers along with my regular fare of paintings and prints.
The birdhouses are made out of cedar wood and painted with enamel paint and the poles are made out of galvanized steel electrical conduit pipe and painted with enamel paint. The flower is made out of the same materials.


Five not 5

Here's a somewhat new abstract painting on paper, actually a combination of painting and drawing on paper. All of the shapes and lines in this abstract composition are made from a template of the number 5. The title is "Five not 5". See more of my artwork at george-mckim.com.
I haven't done any art in about a month, I was very productive from December 2007 through last month, but I took a short break and that turned into a longer break! You know, it's easy to stop and hard to start back, just the opposite of drinking :-)


Couch made from 6,400 welded Nickels!

Been looking for that hard to find $50,000 couch made out of 6,400 nickels for your living room or maybe the back deck or the pool area? I know I have! Well you're in luck because I know a sculptor who makes them named Johnny Swing. I went to school with Johnny Swing at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine back in 1986. Johnny was a sculpture student and was working mainly with welded steel and paint. Recently Johnny has used his welding skills to make Art Furniture in all manner of unusual combinations of objects. This is not your parent's furniture by any stretch of the imagination. Swing takes common, everyday materials and re-purposes them, and has created practical art that is as stunning to view as it is stimulating to use. His Nickel Couch, made of over 6400 welded nickels, is a magnificient piece of work that is contoured for the body. Swing spent more than 200 hours welding 6,400 nickels into a 110-pound metallic couch. Swing's creative use of his Class 1 structural steel-welder license brings new meaning to the term value added. Attaching each nickel took as many as five welds--a total of about 30,000 welds to fashion the coins into furniture. His Jardelier, a chandelier made of glass jars, evokes a feeling of early 20th century invention with its illumination. These are but two examples of an exceptional art furniture line. The difference is in the art. Each is a unique example of beautiful and functional sculpture. Here's a photo of the sculptor relaxing on his art furniture.


Jewelry - Custom Designed by Betty McKim

Betty McKim is a fantastic jewelry designer, and I'm not just saying that because she's my wife, I swear! Betty has been creating awesome Jewelry for over 30 years and it shows in her design sensibility and her craftsmanship.
Here is Betty's profile:

Education and Experience -
Graduated with M.F.A. degree in Metals/Jewelry - East Carolina University
Attended selective Jewelry Workshops at Penland, Wild Acres and Revere Academy
Teaches and Directs the Jewelry Program at Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh, NC

Has her work featured -
Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC
Rebus Gallery, Raleigh, N.C.
Grovewood Gallery, Grove Park Inn, Ashville, NC
Lark Books Series - 500 Earrings

Participates in -
The Larkspur Garden Show, Raleigh, NC
Boylan Art Walk, Raleigh, NC
Art In The Park, Blowing Rock, NC
Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show, Exhibitor, Raleigh, NC 2007

Visit Betty's Website at: http://www.bettymckimjewelry.com


Vacation - Mixed Media Collage

This collage is one of my favorites from my own georgemckim etsy shop. It's from my series of collages called "The Vine Series" and the curving and twisting red line that runs throughout the picture is like a red vine. The rest of the picture has dark gray clouds, blue clouds, pink and purple cloud outlines, yellow sun, circles and splatters of paint. The piece is titled "Vacation" just because I get a sort of cool and breezy vibe from the picture. The process I use starts with acid free colored artists paper and I splash watery acrylic paint on the paper in a random and free flowing pattern. After drying overnight, I cut and tear the painted papers into imagery that is simplified and somewhat abstract. I try many different compositional arrangements before I finalize the design and glue the papers down with acid free glue. Acid free materials ensure that the artwork will be permanent and artists grade acrylic paints are light fast and will not fade. See and buy my art at georgemckim.etsy.com. See a more complete selection of my work and a bio at george-mckim.com.


Diamond Encrusted Human Skull - Is it Art?

Article By
Published: June 3, 2007

It’s particularly fitting that the title of artist Damien Hirst’s new headline-grabbing work came from an exasperated exclamation of his mother’s: “For the love of God, what are you going to do next?

The answer, pictured here, is a life-size platinum skull set with 8,601 high-quality diamonds. If, as expected, it sells for around $100 million this month, it will become the single most expensive piece of contemporary art ever created. Or the most outrageous piece of bling.

(Photo: Courtesy Science Ltd. and Jay Jopling/White Cube - London)

At home in Devon, Hirst insists it’s absolutely the former. “I was very worried for a while, because if it looked like bling — tacky, garish and over the top — we would have failed. But I’m very pleased with the end result. I think it’s ethereal and timeless.”

For Hirst, famous pickler of sharks and bovine bisector, all his art is about death. This piece, which was cast from an 18th-century skull he bought in London, was influenced by Mexican skulls encrusted in turquoise. “I remember thinking it would be great to do a diamond one — but just prohibitively expensive,” he recalls. “Then I started to think — maybe that’s why it is a good thing to do. Death is such a heavy subject, it would be good to make something that laughed in the face of it.”

The dazzle of the diamonds might outshine any meaning Hirst attaches to it, and that could be a problem. Its value as jewelry alone is preposterous. Hirst, who financed the piece himself, watched for months as the price of international diamonds rose while the Bond Street gem dealer Bentley & Skinner tried to corner the market for the artist’s benefit. Given the ongoing controversy over blood diamonds from Africa, “For the Love of God” now has the potential to be about death in a more literal way.

“That’s when you stop laughing,” Hirst says. “You might have created something that people might die because of. I guess I felt like Oppenheimer or something. What have I done? Because it’s going to need high security all its life.”

The piece is not exactly the stuff of public art, but Hirst says he hopes that an institution like the British Museum might put it on display for a while before it disappears into a vault, never to be seen again. Whether the piece is seen or not, Hirst will likely go down in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most extravagant artist.

“I hadn’t thought about that!” he suddenly snorts with laughter. “I deal with that with all my work. The markup on paint and canvas is a hell of a lot more than on this diamond piece.”