Saturday, November 28, 2015

November 28 -- 2-D work is done!

Well, with the exception of needing to outline (with a Micron pen) one very small part and having to spray the last two collages with low-odor matte spray.  But other than that, I am finished with the 2-D work for my show.  

Everything 2-D ( and most of the 3-D) has a title and a price...another wa-hooooo!

I am very ready for a little bit of television and then sleep.  I should be able to get all of the sewing done tomorrow. 


Friday, November 27, 2015

November 27 -- the collaboration is complete

Wow -- I didn't realize that it has been several days since I posted to the blog.  I have been working long days and everything has blurred together.  Today I started (no kidding) at 6 am and Peggy (who arrived at noon) just left -- it is now 9:30 pm.  But the collaboration is complete!  Peggy finished up all of the work on the plaster cloth cat girl and also did the outlining for me on several collages.  I can outline with a Micron pen, but when it comes to doing outlining with a paintbrush I am awful.  I gave it my best shot before pleading with Peggy to fix what I'd messed up and do the others.  Peggy was great about it, not a problem.  I so appreciate it!

Here are a couple of photos of Peggy at work (but the photos are very closely cropped so that you can't see too much of the work before the show opens.)

Peggy working on the plaster cloth cat girl.
Peggy doing some outline work for me.

I am going to take a very overdue break...feed the cats, make dinner, watch some tv.  Hopefully I can start sewing tonight. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 24 -- day two of the collaboration

Peggy came back this afternoon to begin day two of our collaboration on the plaster cloth cat girl.  

At the next stage Peggy needed me to clean the old matte medium of of the cat girl's eyes.

 Now Peggy could work on the cat girl face-to-face.

Because my pen wasn't really working out very well (ink was beading up on the surface of the collage) Peggy also painted the outline around the crown on my self portrait of me as one of my guys.

 I worked on a lot of the other collages today, as well as putting several base layers of paint on the two former horses.

Peggy stayed until shortly after eleven tonight.  Now it is time for a break, time to feed the cats, time to make my dinner, and then back to work!

November 23 -- (self-imposed midnight) deadline -- ha!

My days/hours are running together and turning into a swirling blur at this point.  I haven't officially gone to bed yet, so it is still Monday to me and this is Monday's blog post.

My friend Peggy Kerwan (who I will always think of as "The Cavalry" from now on) did indeed come to my rescue.  This is one of the small great things I mentioned in the last post.  Peggy and I are collaborating on the painting of the plaster cloth cat girl.  I honestly exhausted every idea I had for painting/papering the cat girl on my own.  I took a chance and asked Peggy if she was available and if she was interested.  She said "it sounds like fun" but to me it is nothing short of the only way the cat girl was going to be able to be a part of my upcoming show.  Thank You SO much, Peggy!  Here are a couple of sneak peeks:

We discussed what I have in mind and with many of my inspiration source books Peggy was off and running.  I am giving her a freehand to interpret the animals and ideas I would like to see and I think this is going to be incredible.  It is just blocked in right now and it is already magical.

I started to block in some characters on my own on three canvases, including the White Rabbit.  These three characters were from tiles I made back when we were going to ceramics in Southfield.  They seem so odd to me in such a large format and on canvas, it is taking me a bit to get used to them and to the inclusions in the paper being an element of the overall pieces.  (man, what an awkward sentence but I am too worn out to try to reword it...ha.)  I noticed the White Rabbit's white paint shows up in the half-dark so I took a quick shot.

Peggy will be back on Tuesday after I get back from a doctor's appointment.  I am looking forward to seeing all of this unfold!

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 22 -- still here

I didn't ever go to bed on Saturday night, I stayed up working until a quarter to six.  Man.  I need to go back and update that blog post.  Same will happen for tonight's post...I will have to update it on Monday -- but I AM here, I am just more concerned with working than with posting at the moment.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 21 -- not even close to the deadline tonight -- gah!

I had a small series of great little things happen this evening and then I got on a roll and lost track of time.  I don't know if I will make it back to complete this post before I go to bed, but I am checking in.  I have been working hard all day and night.  I am going to take a short break and then back to it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

November 20 -- oh shoot, I missed my midnight deadline by 9 minutes...

I worked on a lot of the collages today and I have finally got all 11 remaining collages started and in several stages of done-ness.  Three of the collages were started by using the overhead projector to transfer images onto the canvases.  Here is one of is a picture of me as a monster/guy.

Today I also picked up Forest Horses from the framer.  I know I said no sneak peeks, but I am really happy with the way this turned out...even the (faux) floating frame looks good to me.  This is the collage from a few days ago that I felt guided to do...the "very wet" one using the marbled paper in a collage for the first time.  Honestly, this is so unlike me and not something I would be able to sit down and draw...but I love it a lot...the colors in person are very intense.  It is called Forest Horses because the green marbled paper's color is Forest and so is one of the shades of green Unryu paper.

And -- ta daaaa -- we got my very bare bones website up and running today!  Here is a link for it!  And this is all I can do for tonight.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 19 - lots going on in one room

Man -- there is a little bit of everything going on in the dining room today/tonight.  Even the computer is out here so that my helper can have more room to work and so that when she has a question I am in the same room.  She is putting together a bare bones website for me.  It will have not a whole lot of content right now but I wanted to get it up before my show opens...just for easier access by various people.  Hopefully we will be able to publish on Saturday!  I am learning some very basic stuff so that I can add photos or edit copy on my own...not too much different than doing a blog post, but not exactly the same process -- I should be able to pick it up after a few days.

The overhead projector is on this end of the room, too.  I want to try to project a couple of my older hand drawn images onto a canvas and work a collage around that.  I am not sure I can pull that off, but we'll see.

All the way down at the other end of the room I am using the wall as an easel and painting directly onto the canvas as it hangs in its drying space.  This is that darker base paper square canvas that I finally found some creatures in and a theme for yesterday.  Trying to get the images to come forward away from the dark paper is a challenge for me...but I am getting there.  So far it looks like the transparent water colors might do the trick.  I think it will look pretty cool if it works out.

A couple of other collages are getting papered in two other spaces on the long tables.  No photos of the actual work until the show is hung (if I can get some pictures that day) or until the opening reception after I get back home.

I don't know where I think I am going to get the time to finish all of this work but I am sure giving it my all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 18 - stuff is coming together today!

Several things really started to fall into place today.  Andi helped me by sewing the straps to hold that one collage to a board.  I explained to Andi what it was I was trying to accomplish and she did all the measuring and ironing and pattern making and sewing.  I will add the grommets later (maybe tomorrow) -- I am wearing out already for tonight.

Andi cutting the paper pattern she will use to make all the straps nice and even.
Andi sewing -- she has to take her right shoe off and work the pedal barefoot.
Sewing, sewing, sewing!
Ironing more and turning corners out.
Nice work, Andi...that would have driven me to tears!
I got the middle strap a little off center, but -- ta-daaaaaaa!  This is what it will look like -- kinda like hanging a quilt from a dowel.
And this is how I hope it will look once I put the grommets in...they are just sitting there for now.  I still need to sand (and probably wax) the board so it is nice and smooth -- no slivers!

I also discovered some creatures and a theme for this papered canvas.

I had to take photos after I outlined the creatures so I could find them again later...good luck trying to spot them -- I almost couldn't find them again already.  I have no clue yet how I am going to work on this collage yet in order for viewers to see the creatures.

I also brought two other collages to near-done-ness...I had to trace and cut out small pieces to fit into spots on creatures in both collages.  I try to tear paper as often as I can vs cutting it because the edges fade into the collage better, but some of these pieces I cut today needed to be cut and it won't matter that they have straight edges in the end.  No peeks, though!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 17 -- postcard!

The postcards for my show arrived -- I am very pleased with them.  I never thought I'd ever be making a postcard for my own show...still not quite believing this is happening.

I am pretty much forced to take the night off -- massive, throbbing sinus/allergy headache.  It is even effecting my vision...gah!  Oh well, there is always tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16 - working on collages and a hand sewn guy

Today the bases for Baby Beast and He Dreams He is a Tree were dry enough to see how they looked with the guys set down onto them.  I am very pleased with them.  I think I made the right choices for the papers on both of them.  They certainly look more "finished" now.

I cut out a lot of individual pieces of paper to build up a few of the characters in several collages.  I found a main image in the green papered collage.  I think I know better now what to do with the big papered collage and the square one -- they will be ones I will project images on and either paint or draw or that I can print with my computer again.  No photos until I can take a detail shot (but not show the complete collage).

AND...I started sewing the "newfangled" spikes on the large hand sewn guy.  I also started his nose so it doesn't look like a beak anymore...still a long, long way to go on this guy...but I am starting to "see" him more plainly.  I took his tacked-on head off of his body so I can work with it more easily.

And I think I may have come up with a short artist statement...maybe.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 15 -- back to the blog

My computer conked out on me last week...I just got it back today.  Graphics card or something. 

I have been working like crazy to get stuff closer to finished for my upcoming show.  And I made the postcards for the show (which are due to arrive tomorrow).  And I was waiting on a couple of different art supplies orders to arrive -- and they all did.

I know I said I wasn't going to make any more antler/horns (little ones anyway) for a long time but I was feeling pretty stuck on the plaster cloth guys and I saw this branch when I was coming in from outside a few days ago so I used it for a sort of a headpiece for one of the former horses...kinda like a Las Vegas showgirl...but not really.   I also gave him bigger ears.

I have a total of 11 collages to complete and I only have 4 that I don't know what they are yet...and they are at least base-layer papered.  Here is a peak at all of them hanging in various places on walls all over the house...these are the drying positions and not necessarily how they are oriented.  

Tonight I papered both of the bases I needed to do.  One for Baby Beast and one for He Dreams He is a Tree.  Both are very wet in the photos but I think they will look pretty good when they are dry.  Both guys go flush to the base so you won't see any of the wooden dowels and that is why I only papered up the dowels as far as I, I didn't want to interfere with the fit of the legs onto the dowels...a little too much paper and matte medium make a big difference.

Base for Baby Beast.
Base for He Dreams He is a Tree.
I am so behind on the hand sewing it isn't even funny, but I need to get the things that require drying time done first.  I saw these weird gloves at the grocery store of all places and they were 10 pairs for $10 so I grabbed up 10 pairs.  I think I want to add them to the larger guy as a mane or something.  Maybe I will mix in some of the "regular" spikes...dunno yet.  I would really like to do some sewing tonight but I probably won't get to it...I am in a super amount of pain today and tonight and I just don't think I am going to go back to work tonight once I have taken this last break.  I feel sort of okay until I sit for a bit and then it all starts taking over.

The weird gloves.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8 -- a very full day

Gosh -- a lot happened today but I don't have photos for everything and I also don't want to talk about everything in detail.  I got some incredibly great preliminary news and it comes as a huge relief, I am so grateful...I can start to breathe a little...feels so good.

A lot of the morning was spent taking photos of new work...I think I mentioned I got myself a new tripod since I seem to have given my old one away somewhere between here and the move from Southfield (several years ago now).  I have to make postcards and I want to do some Moo business cards while I am at it so that means going through a lot of photos and making sure they fit specs, etc.

I am also trying to polish and finish my artist statement.  We will be working on my website for some minimal content, including the "about" page on Tuesday -- probably most of the day.  I really dislike writing -- especially about myself.  It is right up there with painting/applying paint on my rather-not-do-this list.  But it has to be done and I will get it done in time.  

But I will say that the "very wet" collage looked great with yesterday's additions.  I just had to re-do the eye on one of the creatures.  This collage is looking pretty darn nice.  I wish the frame I have for it didn't cover as much of the edge of the collage as it does, but that is my only complaint about that.  No photos.

I worked on another small collage and after the success with the "very wet" collage I used some small amounts of marbled paper on it.  The marbled paper is two-sided and I can grab some colors I don't have otherwise if I turn the marbling side over...comes in really handy!  Here is a peak at what I mean.

The collage is underneath the papers -- it is a little girly can barely see the left edge of the collage showing her ear and part of her eye...and the gorgeous marbled papers.
Oh -- and my wonderful nextdoor neighbor took the wood and dowels for the two bases I needed to put together for He Dreams and Baby Beast.  He took the parts to work with Him because He had access to all sorts of tools last night.  Today She called me and said the bases were ready.  I love my new-ish neighbors.  I figured out how I wanted the bases for these guys and went out and got the parts cut and the long screws that wouldn't split the wood but I was struggling with the pilot holes...I needed a drill press -- or better yet -- someone to do it for me who knew what they were doing.

Baby Beast and He Dreams He is a Tree with their assembled bases.  I am so lucky to have such great neighbors!

And tonight I began papering the bases.  Baby Beast will be for sale but He Dreams will not be.  They will both be in the show, though.  So -- I am making the base for He Dreams to please me and the base for Baby Beast will be a bit more neutral.

The two bases with the bottoms and partial sides done/drying.  I had a "Duh!" moment when I realized I could turn them upside down to dry and not touch the table.

I am really jacked up physically from all of the sitting-at-the-table time yesterday and today.  I wanted to give the really long horns guy his new eyes and finish his wet plaster cloth tonight but I just can't.  I need to elevate my feet/legs.  I hope to work something else tonight...maybe writing, maybe looking through sketchbooks for images for the bigger collages...dunno.

November 7 -- back at it again

I missed blogging yesterday because I had a really really hard day.  Sometimes it comes down to me needing to stop fighting the emotion(s) and just surrendering and riding it out then getting back on track...and that is all I want to say about yesterday.

Okay -- this morning I took a look at the totally dry "really wet" collage.  Sue and I looked at it yesterday and each time I turned it and changed the orientation we both saw different creatures...but it was going to need more done to it no matter what.  Today when I turned it I immediately saw two horses...that is what this one is about.  With all of the build up of the matte medium the collage nearly looks like an encaustic (for a brief second).  The color of the green marbled paper is called "Forest" so I think I will be calling these guys Forest Horses, or something along that theme.  

The "really wet" collage is now very dry.

I needed to tear some paper for ears for both of them and a few pieces for faces but I really love this collage (so far).  

These are the shapes I needed to tear new paper for.

The other thing I need to address today is the eye situation for the really long horns guy and for the (former) rocking (horse) creature.  Luckily I think I can dig out the old eyes and replace them with different ones and repair the missing chunks by the time I go to bed.  I cannot afford to let them go much beyond tonight because I am starting to get into crunch time for the plaster cloth to dry and get papered and do the final surface and seal it with a protective coat of varnish if I want to have them in the show and I DO want/need them in the show, for sure!

Here is the (former) rocking (horse) creature with the new eyes already in place.  I am very happy with the way the eyes are "aimed" -- I will never ever get them perfect...I am not a machine, I am not a trained/schooled sculptor...I just make stuff up as I go along.  

The new eyes for the (former) rocking (horse) creature.  They look even better in person.  I don't think the camera can see exactly what a person can.

And here is the really long horns guy.  His eyes were a lot tougher to dig/chisel out.  I wasn't able to save them...the edges cracked and chipped...oh well.  I need to re-figure his forehead, too.

I narrowed my choice down to just these two pairs of taxidermy eyes...the blue ones meant for a carousel horse (in the catalog) that I have are just too large for this guy.

The new eyes are a lot larger than the ones I tried out first.

And here is approximately how he would look with each set of eyes.  Obviously, the goat eyes make all kinds of sense but I think I like the look of the other ones more.

The goat eyes.
The other eyes -- I think they are some kind of big cat eyes.

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