Every so often -- when I beat myself up about a blog post -- I need to remind myself that the blog is basically for me. It is a tool for keeping myself busy and accountable. It is a way to document my projects and the process and progress of each one...but it is all done for me.
Today I wanted to come to the blog and talk more about the road trip we just took. I also wanted to work on the marsupial. I wanted to have the marsupial (at least "stage one" of it) done in time for the deadline of the online art show I chose to participate in this month. None of that is happening...and it is okay.
Instead, I am choosing to be give myself a break and enjoy today's incredible "find".
Ruth and I got together late this morning and went to an estate sale, then to lunch at the yummy Thai restaurant (mmm-mmmm!) and then we stopped by the antique mall so Ruth could see if she could find any vintage buttons. She did, and I also found something that I thought was long gone.
LOOK at this marvelous piece of horse tack.
It is SO cool -- I don't know for sure (yet) what the material is. It sort of feels like bakelite or something. I am also not exactly sure what it is -- perhaps a section of bridle or halter -- my sister or niece will be able to figure it out.
I think it will be a great accessory of some sort for a (future) plaster cloth creature.
The pieces are so smooth and feel so nice when you touch them. The colors are really good.
The rusted metal parts look really neat next to the worn and weathered leather parts.
When my sister and I went back to the antique mall (about a month ago) to look for this piece it wasn't where it was when I first saw it with Joan and Leann...and I thought it had been sold. I am SO happy I found it again today!
Michigan is getting its fourth Art-o-mat machine!(I am so excited I barely slept last night!)
Ruth and I are making a road trip to South Haven, MI to go to the opening reception at the South Haven Center for the Arts. Arto-Founder and Bureau Chief Clark Whittington will also be on hand to give a presentation about the Art-o-mat project.
On the return trip we will swing by Kalamazoo and visit Michigan's third machine at Bonnie Pfingst's Tiny Studio.
I will have plenty of photos to blog tomorrow -- but in the meantime, have a look at the links below (if you haven't already).
The hands and arms are proving to be a whole lot trickier than I would have imagined.
I am trying to give the aluminum foil covered styrofoam packing material arms a little bit of shape and make the hand attach as part of that instead of doing it all separately. I think that the plaster cloth step and attaching the hand/arm will go better if this is one piece.
So far today/this evening I have only gotten this far with the one 3-piece section. I am trying to shape as I go along.
This is the three-piece section lightly taped in place.
I am also trying to figure out how the arm/shoulder will look. I don't want the elbows poking waaaaaay out to the side, either.
I just don't know.
I will figure it out...just not tonight.
Tonight I still need to do laundry, pack, and GO TO BED AT A REASONABLE HOUR because Ruth and I are taking a road trip to South Haven tomorrow to go to the opening reception for the newest Art-o-mat machine. I am SO excited! I need to start winding down early so I can sleep.
Where are the Universal collaborators -- that is what I'd like to know.
I have such trouble with mirror image things/things that come in pairs...hands, eyes, etc. I can usually make one (or the other) that I like...but then making something even similar is really tough for me. Two and a half hours straight...no break...that's what it took to tweak these hands to fit the pouch.
These are the original hands...the ones that needed tweaking.
This is where they need to fit...to be wide enough to hold onto the pouch.
Okay. I like this hand. This is the glider-creature's right hand but for me it is the left hand -- looking straight onto the creature while I am building it...the one on the left side of the assemblage.
And finally...here is the creature's left hand -- the one on my right, facing the creature.
See...sort of close, but not really.
Here is my left hand taped sort of in place.
I need to leave room for plaster cloth on the fingers and hand.
This is my right hand taped sort of in place.
These are going to be a real trip to try and attach to this creature, I'm telling you right now.
I'd like to shoot for making arms and attaching the hands to the arms tomorrow...we will have to see how far I get.
Tonight I worked on the glass bumpy areas on the glider-creature and smoothed on the sides of the pouch.
"We" are still working on the design of the arms and hands. This prep work needs to be done first, anyway.
This is how the area looked tonight as I got started.
This is a side view of the glass bumps and pouch.
This is one of the old glass bumps that was loosened when I was de-constructing this piece earlier this year. Tonight I reattached this bump.
These are new glass bumps...the one on the farther left is positioned over the edge/corner of the body...
...I wasn't sure I could get it to stay the way it hovered over that v shape...but it stayed!
I pushed small pieces of wadded up plaster cloth underneath the glass and then quickly smoothed small triangles of plaster cloth over the area and it held. I am pretty darn happy about that. The one on the other side of the body worked, too.
This is a close up of the touched-up pouch.
I still have a long way to go with this. I am now not so sure it will be ready for the EBSQ marsupial show but I am still working towards that. I have a couple of Animal People collages I can submit to the show, but I'd also really love to have at least a very basic version of this guy to submit.
This was a quick plaster cloth session tonight...and a very simplified blog entry.
Two things are at work against me...the Bendaryl I took for my horrific allergies is kicking in much, much quicker than I thought it would and I am getting pretty loopy. The second thing is the outside edge of my left hand started doing those painful -- but very wacky (and a little scary) to look at -- cramps where (in this case) my baby finger is being pulled away from the rest of my hand and twisting a little bit downwards. I shake it out and it stops but then another wave starts...maybe I am a bit dehydrated or something.
Anyway...here are the photos from me covering the marsupial's pouch with plaster cloth and then attaching it to the body. Besides the aforementioned problems, I also need to see how I make the arms and hands before I get the plaster cloth too built up.
(ow...now my upper arm (like where they would give you a shot) is starting to do the cramping thing...maybe from typing in this odd position? I'm going to go and watch tv and drink water all night.)
I did it!!! I cleared up the clutter behind my desk in my studio -- I can spin around in my chair again! I can dance around to music! I can walk into the CD closet and find music I am looking for! The paper is all together!
I have a good feeling that the Universal collaborators will be showing up later tonight -- especially now that there is so much room!
You can see the "before" photos in the post for Day 112.
I never got back to work on the glider-creature last night. But I just now had a flash of an idea and it might be good.
I was cleaning up the kitchen counters late this morning and this was in my "wash-it-now-and-save-it-for-reuse" stack. It seemed to me it might be just the right width for the pouch.
I want the smallish pouch to have a rounded over edge so it is easy to put things into it when it is completed. It makes my life a whole lot easier if I can get the shape partially ready in the prep stages.
This tray seemed to fit the bill -- but I had to figure out the right configuration for cutting it and putting it together in the new way. You know me and math-y problems...so frustrating.
I cut it in half and kept turn the halves over each other and every time I thought I was "getting" it, it just wasn't it.
Finally, the collaborators stepped in...good thing they stayed for a while, too!
The collaborators and I looked at my sketch and sort of pieced together temporary arms and taped the pouch and arms in place.
Hmmm...not too bad for a first stab...but we need some hands. Sugar gliders have those creepy/cool long fingers on their hands.
A-ha! Remember those really long wooden paint stirs I tried to make hands/arms with a while back? I still have them!
(oh my gosh -- when I went back in the blog to look for the entry to link to I had NO idea I was working on this guy with these hands!)
Maybe these can give us ideas...
Well, they'd have to be cut to the right size and angles...but this is the general idea I am going for.
Oooh -- good idea, collaborators!
The spots on the creatures neck are made from these glass pebbles. How about if we take the already cut fingers from the wooden hands and use them on more of the glass pebbles?
We got a better feel for it on the second hand.
Yeah...that's getting there now!
And this is where they wanted to stop for now...everything just kind of faded out and I think we need to leave it and figure out the "real" arms.
I will need to take it apart and plaster cloth the elements in the right order for attaching to the main piece...and that is a whole 'nother session's worth of work.
The actual plaster cloth work seems to be a better fit for later in the evening. I think it helps me to have the day behind me and nothing else poking at me...then the plaster cloth is really relaxing and that is when the ideas really start to flow... collaborators partytime.
I belong to EBSQ and they have monthly online art shows. At the beginning of the year they issued a challenge for artists to commit to submitting art for at least one show a month for a year. That seemed to me to have my name written all over it.
Okay -- so this is the glider-creature as it is today.
How can I give it a pouch? What else will I do with it?
I found a sheet of styrofoam packing material that was in my reuse bin and I cut it into strips. What a mess -- all those little static-filled tiny balls floating around!
I cleared up all the debris and quickly put aluminum foil around the pieces...whew!
At first I just tried to cut the pieces and hold them to the body to see if I could make arms and hands...yeh...that wasn't very productive. It became a major math problem very quickly.
No getting around it, I had to try to sketch it.
Then I went shopping in the basement...
...I wonder what will make the best pouch?
I will work on this some more tonight. I wanted to blog it now before I got too far along when I wouldn't want to stop and take photos and blog about it. I am hoping my Universal collaborators are planning on coming over.
When I was looking for marsupials I also looked for Australian myths and legends and that led me to The Dreamtime/The Dreaming and after that I also looked at some aboriginal art to see what possibly might work its way into the piece.
There is another upcoming art exhibition I have in mind that calls for collage and assemblage. I am hoping this finished piece will work for that show, too...but that isn't until July. Plenty of time to keep morphing.