Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 181 - 365/2014

Day One Hundred Eighty-One

Tonight I have been working on the from scratch goat-like guy.  I reinforced the cardboard and evened it up down to the underbelly.  Then I added the first layer(s) of plaster cloth...yay!  It feels like it has been forever since I worked with the wet plaster cloth!

And oh yeah...I had to cut a lot of plaster cloth strips in half...for this layer I don't need triangles, just half strips to cover the areas quickly.
The first piece of wet plaster cloth goes on.

Whew -- that is enough for now that layer needs to dry.  I wonder how much the wet cardboard will distort the basic shape...I was going to not cover the very top of the from scratch goat-like guy's back but I thought I'd better keep everything even -- wetness-wise.  We'll see if that was a good idea or not.

Day 180 - 365/2014 (another post a day late)

Day One Hundred Eighty

Man -- I have really been getting behind on posting to the blog.  Oh well, I am posting now.

I was looking at these two repurposed canvas/collages -- ones that I have been having a hard time finding anything in.  Today I took them out to the living room and set them against the wall across the room, hoping distance and shadows would help.  It did to some extent, but (so far) I'm not in love with either of them.

I won't bother to show all of the bazillions of photos I took of all of the different orientations that I kept turning the canvases to...that took all afternoon.  I kept coming back to this one guy in the first collage...a kind of a sort of giraffe-creature-guy.

The second collage was just not giving me anything.  I finally ended up deciding to try something a little different -- I chose a decorative paper in the color I wanted to use and tore it (freehand) into a sort of a creature shape...then I adhered it to the canvas with matte medium.  After that I decided to add a freehand-torn circular shape as a moon or sun or something.  And later I decided to center some circles on the yellow paper and pierce holes for stitching.  

I will paint and draw and stuff on top of the blue paper of the creature.  I will continue stitching the floss into the circles.  I am not sure if this sort of thing will work with a collage this size but I am going to keep going with it -- get it out of my head.  And I only made it through one "lap" of stitching tonight -- after all of that piercing I could only do one large circle.  Each circle gets stitched in one direction, then the opposite way, to make a solid line of stitches.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 179 - 365/2014

Day One Hundred Seventy-Nine

Today and tonight I have been wrestling with the from scratch goat-like guy.  I really want to get started on the plaster cloth wrapping/building but I had to give in and admit to myself that he really wasn't stable enough to work on.

I hung up another clamp light at the far end of the basement and took the from scratch goat-like guy down there to work on him.
I added more cardboard to strengthen his back -- so that it could hold his head.
Then I taped the head in place so I could start to plaster cloth it...but then I sat down and really looked at it and had to admit to myself that it needed to be more stable.
I decided that another board at the top of his legs would maybe keep them from wobbling...but I had to cut another piece of that board to fit...and this time I had to do it by hand...for ME, this is a huge job.
I removed the papier mache rock and laid the structure up on the table on its side.
I added the board that I cut and attached it with corner brackets.  I do not understand why this had to be so difficult.  Yes, the angles were tight, but come on...I was totally drenched with sweat by the time I was done.
Then I figured I better make some makeshift things to secure the tomato cage to the new board.
I added four of these to the top of the new board...this isn't moving at all now!  Again, tight angles...I had to do these by hand with the screwdriver...the drill wouldn't fit in there.
Then I decided that the papier mache rock might be better used in a different project and I really wanted this guy to be made out of scraps from the basement...I crammed a box into his chest area -- it fit very tight.  The flat part of it held the head in place very well when I tried it.
I need to strengthen the box with more cardboard and shape it a little more, but this is a good start...I am beat for tonight.
I think it feels a little better I feel like it is all my work.  I am sure I will do something really cool with the papier mache rock that Ingrid gave me...but it will come along sometime in the future.

Day 178 (one day late)

Day One Hundred Seventy-Eight

I did pretty much nothing all day and night...very under the weather...taking a personal day. 

I did, however, figure out how the blocks can be attached to each other for the Woodly project...but I will need help with the drilling (again).

I have a lot more sanding to do, too.  I think I have a better idea of how I might want to finish Woodly and he will need to be pretty darn smooth.

Day 177 - 365/2014 (two days late)

Day One Hundred Seventy-Seven

Juana, Franciney, and Terri came over tonight to play Cards Against Humanity (and Crabs Adjust Humidity).  We had a great time -- laughing, eating pizza, was so fun.  They stayed until we had gone through all of the answer was 2:30 a.m. when they left.  

When the night was still quite wasn't here yet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 176 - 365/2014

Day One Hundred Seventy-Six

I started the day by wrapping up my three pieces for the Members Biennial Exhibit at Paint Creek Center for the Arts.  Sue came over and we drove the stuff out to Rochester.  This show runs from July 11 - August 8.  I will post more about it in a few days.

Getting ready to pack up Creatura Lupus Ursus, Time for a Nap, and Djubi for the trip out to Rochester.

After Rochester, Sue and I came back to Northville for lunch at Tuscan Cafe.  In between Rochester and lunch and then directly after lunch we were running into all sorts of frustrating snags and problems...both of us had our share for today...and then things started running together and man -- it was time to medicate and chill out.  Most of the stuff worked itself out, thankfully -- but it has been a very frustrating and emotional and physically painful day.  

Tonight I have still been toying with the idea of sawing off the goat-like guy's head and attaching it to the from scratch guy's body.  Last night I dug through the blog archives and found a few early mentions of the piece that became the goat-like guy.  Here is the most relevant one.  Like many of my early plaster cloth guys, the goat-like guy has had several transformations.  That post is from September of 2011...but I found what seems to be the second reference in April of that year (when he was some sort of canine creature)...I can't seem to find out when he was really first started.

I figured I was armed with a pretty good idea of his inner construction, so I found my trusty "I-mean-business" saw and got to work liberating his head from the tomato cage structure.  And I must say that after all of today, it was very very therapeutic. 

My patient, the goat-like guy.
My tool of choice -- the "I-mean-business" saw.
Going slowly around and around the goat-like guy until I can...
...triumphantly break through!
Yep -- some sort of plastic hanging basket was/is inside of him.
The from scratch body and its new head.
Balancing the head in place with one hand while taking photos with the other hand and trying to get far enough away to get everything in the shot.
The head feels pretty good sitting on the former papier mache rock (thanks again, Ingrid!).
I took a chance and balanced everything while slightly leaning them against the pipe...take the picture quickly...and then snatch the head and sit it safely on the table and stash the body back up off of the floor.

So it looks to me like I did the bulk of the early work in 2011.  Maybe this will be the year it is finally revealed to me what the six round headed guys are for...I have been waiting patiently.

These are those six round headed guys that I was absolutely driven to make...they need a lot of reinforcement layers and work...I am sincerely hoping to learn what they are for...SOON!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 175 - 365/2014

Day One Hundred Seventy-Five

I was thinking about the from scratch guy this evening.  I went down to the basement with my camera and sketch book and did some thinking...and made a couple of adjustments.

The from scratch guy...safely stored up off of the floor.
I pulled him out and really took a long look at him from all directions. 
I decided I was not happy with the tail-end...I didn't like the pointy triangly thing going on and leading into the sticking out tail...which would be even longer later.
I decided to cut off the legs of the tomato cage...this meant getting out my trusty all purpose hand saw. took quite a bit of sawing and also quite a bit of bending but I finally got the legs off!
I want to still use the three wire legs as the base/armature of the is less likely to break with the metal inside.
I wrapped masking tape around the three metal legs, just allowing them to go how they wanted to go.  I think it will make a decent tail and I can shape it later if I want is a pretty good length, too.
I covered up the open end with the same cardboard that was on the triangle end and I realized I could cut part of it out and then wrap tape and part of the end of the cardboard around the back legs to form the beginning of the back hind quarters.
I know this is still very rough, but I am starting to get more ideas.
It occurred to me maybe one of these heads could work with the from scratch guy's body...make the front be a chest instead of a head...but the dog guy head is just too large.  I need to look back in the blog and find out how the goat-like guy's head is attached to the tomato cage base.  I think it is a cylindrical oatmeal box or a cottage cheese container attached to an inverted plastic hanging basket set over the legs of the inverted tomato cage.  IF that is the case, I should be able to remove the head (and maybe neck parts) pretty easily and then work them onto the from scratch guy's body...but not tonight.
I tried sketching it out and then I printed the photos and tried cutting the parts out and gluing them together -- just to see.
It is still early in the ideas/construction phase of the from scratch guy...whatever he turns out to be, he will not be very reality based...definitely creature vs kind of real animal.  It also just occurred to me that the goat-like guy's head/horns are also pretty from scratch.
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