Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day 243 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Forty-Three

Creatura Lupus Ursus came home from the Members Biennial Exhibition at Paint Creek Center for the Arts and I have been meaning to put it up on the wall somewhere -- I just did not want to leave it packaged up on the floor in the studio.  I needed a long wall space so I moved some things around.
This is good for now.
And yes, it did take me most of the evening and into right now (9:30ish) to think about and layer papers to this collage.  I have been wanting/needing to do something to further Biteyou's progress.  I had about ten papers I was working with and then I narrowed it down to four, then three, then the two I ended up with.  The end result is nothing like what I originally had in mind, but I have a few other ideas now.  If I really hate it when it is dry I can always cover over it...but I like it right now.

Trying out a paper...taped on.
Getting ready to start.
I narrowed it down to these three...the heavier ones with the ridges/lines was just too light or distracting or something.
Very wet dark green/gray/brown with inclusions over a medium purple of the same kind of paper.  I am not at all a purple fan but I like how this looks.
It looks better in person.
Drying for a bit before I move it back into the studio.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day 242 - 365/2014 (updated)

Day Two Hundred Forty-Two

Wow.  It has been quite a while since I have worked on the plaster cloth rabbitish-guy.  Here are some progress/process photos of today's multiple work sessions. 
One -- coming up with the hands construction.  I had to resort to holding up my own hand to see which direction I needed to go with and where the thumbs went.  This session was probably the longest -- a couple of hours +.  It took a while to determine the size, the materials and how to anchor them with a wrist/forearm.  I wanted (needed to) work on both hands in the same sitting so that I could keep them as even as possible.  I also needed to do it in one session so that I could remember how I did it.  As it was, the second hand was made in a slightly different way but with the same parts as the first one.
The rabbitish-guy "before".
The sketch I made a while back.
Using my own hand to make sure I put the thumbs in the correct place...and to get a basic shape to build the fingers on.
Keeping in mind that these are not human hands, they didn't turn out too bad.
Making sure I left room for layers of plaster cloth to go on the wrist/forearms.
The parts for hand assembly number two.
Securing the fingers and thumbs more securely in place.
Adding some pads/shapes to the palm areas.
Hand number one -- I tried to pre-shape the fingers into more of a "gona getcha" pose.
Yeah...not too bad.

Two -- after taking a short break I came back in to try to see if the wrists would fit with some Scott paper rags to hold them in place...just to see if I was getting the hang of the bends in the fingers and positioning in the sleeves.  This actually took a bit of time, too.

Three -- after a break to feed the cats and sit in my recliner for a short while, I came back in to put the first layers of plaster cloth over the hips/haunches area and try to get some shape overall, including underneath the plaque at the bottom of the torso.  This included a bit of shaping and holding the plaster cloth in place for a bit so it could start to set up.  I probably should have crammed more of the wet plaster cloth into the Scott paper rags inside of the plastic cups (under the masking tape) but I think it will be fine...I tightened and shaped the outside as I worked.  This area will still need quite a bit of layering of plaster cloth.
The area to be worked on "before".
The area "after".
Another view.  I know it looks pretty odd right now but I have an idea for this.  It will be something in between hips and haunches, but I want it to be less haunchy/animaly and more hippy/humanish.
Four -- the final session for tonight.  I covered the hands with a light layer of plaster cloth and tried to keep the bends in the fingers.  I didn't want the hand to become too bulky (as they have in the past in other projects) so I want them to firm up a bit before I add the next layers.  I will need to keep the very ends of the forearms fairy wet and slippery and also prepare the inside of the sleeves with one thin wet layer so that they join well.
The hands, drying.
I have been trying to think of a shape or form I could use to work plaster cloth over for the transition from waist to haunches/hips...I think I found something that will work (I can always pull it all back off later)...I cut a cream cheese container in half and cut the rim off, too.
Secured pretty least it is a start...this still needs a lot of thought and work.
Another view.  I am also trying to think of how the clothing can be built on to cover up the odd shapes.
Okay!  Enough for one day.  Man...I forgot how much reaching and stretching this work takes...I may be achy for the next couple of days...LOL.

Day 241 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Forty-One

Damn.  I missed a day again. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day 240 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Forty

Today was a semi-regular Thursday with Sue...we went to the barn so she could refill her horse's supplement containers, we went to the grocery store...then came home.

I made a sort of a mini salad bar and we chose what items we wanted in our chopped salads and they were delicious.  Sue is still on crutches so she instructed me on the making of her salad.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 239 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Thirty-Nine

I am reserving this blog spot time because I just got home from restocking the Art-o-mat machine at LIFT but I have to run back out to do my "shift" at Sue's house.  I will update this post after I get home tonight (probably after midnight).

non-update (Thursday just before midnight):  I have a couple of photos for this post but I am not quite ready to update yet as a few things may have changed slightly...stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 238 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Thirty-Eight

Today we got great news about Sue and her foot -- she can finally begin to put weight on it!  It has been seven weeks since she last did that.  Sue is making slow progress in her physical therapy sessions and her main therapist was saying things would begin to go a little quicker once she could put weight on her foot.  Sue's doctor wants her walking without the crutches in two weeks.  

I will have some news of my own tomorrow...stay tuned.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 237 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Thirty-Seven

Remember the upcoming show I was talking about yesterday...I have decided (this morning, after much thought) to not submit anything this year.  While I really love the 3 pieces I put on the disc, I don't want to just keep recycling the same collages into different shows. 

I am currently not able to focus enough attention on anything and I don't want to do anything halfway and then have to make changes later.  Things will be back to "normal" soon enough...but right now my attention is elsewhere.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Day 236 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Thirty-Six comes some sloppy writing.  I don't know really what I want this blog post to be about.  My life is usually my own and I don't have a husband+kids family or 9-to-5 job that I need to deal with.  I pretty much set my own pace.  I have a certain routine and rhythm that is who I am.  When two things happened at pretty much the same time (my sister breaking her ankle very badly + the total closure of "my" section of the street I live on for extended road repairs) it really threw my little world out of whack.  I didn't realize just how much out of whack things have become until I had this weekend off and I tried to simply step back in and pick up where I left off.  Having a couple of days off has been good but it hasn't been enough to get  back into the rhythm...everything (except the road repairs that are finally done now) is ready to start over again tomorrow morning.  I can't just flip a switch and turn things on and off again...for me it is all about patience and listening and having time by myself.  I am sort of surprised at just how much all of this stuff has effected my creative flow and process...that's all.  I am also needing to deal with my own pain management and timing of medication(s) so that I am able to drive, etc...but I digress.

I wanted to work on at least one (or two) of the partially finished collages to submit to an upcoming show that I really enjoy entering...but that isn't going to happen.  I chose three other collages and I am very happy with them and if any get into the show I will be thrilled...absolutely is just not what I had planned.  These collages will definitely be retired after this, fingers crossed!

In the grand scheme of things all of this feels very trivial and silly.  I love my sister dearly and I am more than happy to set stuff aside until she can get around on her own and feel safe about doing it.  Nobody plans that sort of thing.  She has always been there for me when I needed something and now it is my chance to give her my time.  She is progressing pretty well with her physical therapy and her six-week post-surgical office visit is on Tuesday.  She will find out then if she can begin to put weight on her poor foot yet. Sue is a very active person and this is very hard on her -- allowing herself to admit that she needs some help -- and taking things slowly -- not to mention learning to walk again.

Anyway...I will eventually be able to go back to my regular routine sometime fairly soon.  Until then, I will keep on listening and making notes.  I am not done with the blog or my "art" or anything else...all of that is simply on hold for a bit longer.  AND, I am honestly not whining or complaining...I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 235 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Thirty-Five

Sheesh.  I have the weekend off -- two whole days/nights -- and I have made little to no progress on anything.  I think it has to do with forcing it instead of listening to/feeling it...whatever "it" is.  I also decided against posting the things I had half-thought I'd post yesterday.  

I'm not feeling defeated or depressed or anything...I just feel like I have been trying too hard today to accomplish something rather than just putting in some good work on existing things.  I have several collages that I would like to finish up but they are not ready to be finished yet...and I tried to push it.

Here are two examples of the "she-swings, she-misses" attempts.

This first one isn't exactly bad, it just feels "off".  In general I want it to be done, I like it mostly...but I feel that there is something it needs.  (It looks different in person.)

The giraffe-ish guy's companion "before"...
...and "after".  I only wanted the suggestion of a face...I want the viewer to fill it in for themselves.
Overall view.
Overall view in the honkingly heavy/huge frame that the painting was in when I bought it at the estate sale -- I kind of sort of like the silver/gold leaf-like finish...but there is SOMEthing missing.

Example number more sampling of why this non-painter should not attempt to paint...LOL.  I think maybe I should stick to adding color to collages by adding various papers.  Tiny areas can be painted maybe, but not major parts...even holding my breath didn't work...ha ha ha.

One of the few paints I actually LIKE -- Lumiere Light Body Metallic Acrylics by Jacquard.
...and then I tried to mix up a color...
...which led to pulling it all back off again...except the Lumiere wants to mostly stay put.
Gah -- what an unholy mess!

I swear to you I am not beating myself up about this -- I simply know my limitations.  I should allow myself to paint (apply paint to) plaster cloth guys that require painting...but I really need to knock off the "oh, I will try again" stuff because while it does permit me to play/experiment/take up time, it also keeps me from actually doing any useful work on whatever it is I am subconsciously trying to avoid.

And I really just plain do not enjoy painting. 

Now.  I know how to start to fix things...and I am going to use the rest of tonight to listen.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Day(s) 230 to 234 - 365/2014

Day(s) Two Hundred Thirty to Two Hundred Thirty-Four

Whoa.  These last few days ran together in a blur.  I basically wen to Sue's, stayed with her until her husband came home from work, then came home and (apparently) crashed.  I'd get the cats fed, have my dinner, then wake up in my chair in front of the (turned off) tv.  Tonight Terri came by after her work and we went up to Tuscan for a quick bite and then back here for some conversation and then she left and I sat in my chair and suddenly I am startled to find that it is a few moments before my midnight posting deadline.  Whoa.

I will try to do a recap tomorrow...I actually DO have a few things to post.

This is just an "I'm-not-dead" check in.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 229 - 365/2014

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Nine

I feel like I accomplished something today by working a little on several things I have been avoiding. 

First, I went back in to look at the rabbit-like guy's legs situation.  I got as far as cramming some of the Scott rags I pulled off of his legs/butt into the plastic drinking cups that I cut and attached to his legs.  They don't "give" as much now and I think I should be able to put a first layer of plaster cloth over this arrangement.  I will probably just build the parts out of mostly plaster cloth as I go along.

Second, I put another cover up layer of paper on the big blue creature collage.  I used a much darker blue and I like it a lot already.  I may need to go back and add a bit more paper near his shorter ear, but other than that, I am falling back in love with him again.  I really like how the raggedy torn edges of the paper look like fur (a little bit)...rather than me having to try to paint or draw that sort of edge in.  The collage is very wet in these photos...I hope it dries as good as it looks now.

Even with just this small amount of the darker paper added, I'm already falling back in love with this guy again.

Third, I covered up the guy in the background of the giraffe-ish guy's collage.  I did not like how the face was turning out.  I thought I would just try to add more of the same paper but I couldn't tell for sure what paper it is.  I liked the colors coming through but I really disliked the eyes and nose that I inked in.  I came across a bag of torn pieces of a marbleized paper that was down to mostly the darker pieces -- lots of black and gold -- and it was not what I had in mind, but I think I may like it (for now at least).  It has I can already see a face in that very wet paper that I like.  It will probably look a lot different when it dries, though.

"Before" -- I am really not happy with this face
I wasn't planning on using this paper, but this particular piece fit the ear so well...
...I had to use it.
I redid his face and arm.
This is still very wet, but I can see a face in it...I hope it stays mostly like this when the matte medium dries.
Wider view.
A little drier already.

When I was adding the paper pieces to the background guy I noticed a bit of whitish material that is a part of one of the lower pieces of paper in the collage.  It almost looks like a twig.  I couldn't remove it so I think I made it less noticeable with a couple of pieces of the light teal paper.

Gah -- I did not even see that twig-like inclusion before!
I think it will be hidden under this teal paper.

And last...I felt like I needed/wanted to do something to the collage with the three friends in it.  I struggled with this for several hours and then decided to try to beef up but at the same time tone down some of the colors.  The colors are much brighter than I am used to using in these collages and it is throwing me a bit...but I really needed to differentiate the three guys and I figured color would be the way to go.  I am SO not a!  Anyway...I managed to alter the color of the first guy (on the right) but I need to stop for tonight.  I am pulling off color almost as quickly as I am adding it.  I want to keep the texture and inclusions of the underlying papers without making the colors too saturated.  I have no idea what I am doing...I am just making it up as I go along.  I don't know...we'll see what happens later.

The view from my desk today.
These guys.
I added some neutral gray acrylic paint over the mustardy color...I like it better but it isn't on there very evenly...needs lots of work.
All of the other colors need to be punched a bit, too.

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