Since reading The Throne of the Crescent Moon is taking forever (I just haven’t been able to get into it), I decided to make an art update this weekend, using photos from my phone. There’s numerous pieces that I’ve only photographed with my phone, some which are on display at the art school, some in progress shots, and what I’m currently working on.
There’s a few pieces here that date from last winter. Below is the book carving I did before I’d painted it.
You can see the larger view here. The next piece is actually from a year ago, and it’s just something that I never got around to photographing and uploading online.
It’s from an assignment where I was given half of an old cigar box and told to use it to make art somehow. The red figure on the swing was made out of wire and hot glue.
My goal with this sculpture was to make it look like it was carved from stone. At this point, you see the base Styrofoam (taken from computer packaging material) covered with white gesso, which I put on to help the spackling paste (the next step) adhere. Getting from the photos about to the final product below was a long and arduous process.
What really made this piece take so long was the spackling paste (which is normally used for ceilings). I wanted to get this piece as smooth and stone-like as possible, so I got a bucket full of spackling paste and smothered the foam base with it. After initial attempts to use a paintbrush, I gave up and just dove in with my hands. However, spackling paste itself is impossible to get smooth when you’re applying it. So, I had to sand it down. Once I had sanded it down, I realized that I needed more spackling paste. This process repeated two or three more times.
Eventually, I got it to my satisfaction and went in with brown paint and watered down black acrylic, which pooled and eddied in a way that suggested a stone texture. I also took some of an old sponge and dabbed it with copper paint to give it some highlights. Then, because I wanted to get the shine of cut stone, I covered it with a varnish. That turned out to be a mistake – in a few areas, the varnish dried white. I had to go back in with more paint.
The statue’s currently sitting on a table, and it has yet to be photographed with a good camera against a white background.
This is a self portrait when it’s still at the stage where I desperately hated it. In the end, pretty much everything you see up there got painted over, especially those nasty green colors in the face.
(Note – I don’t really have purple hair.) The entire painting was created with just four colors on my palette, primaries plus white, which I find helps make me more adventurous with my colors.
Another self portrait, done within a week or two of the first. Like the previous portrait, I was trying to be bolder with my brush strokes or colors.
The above was made out of conte, charcoal, and red chalk. I wanted the wire clippers to have a sinister air, to seem predatory as they attacked the defenseless flower, which leaves petals in it’s wake as it flees.
And now for my latest piece, which I finished this afternoon (technically, it won’t be done until those push pins along the edges are taken out):
It’s not anything in particular – the assignment was merely to take foam and create patterned shapes, but I’m hoping that there’s suggestions of a creature. The “teeth” and spines are all made out of painted toothpicks. The speckled pattern on the foam base was made by painting it black first. Once it dried, I sprayed water over it, then red and gold spray paint. I quickly wiped at the spray paint with a paper towel, and it came off partially where I’d sprayed the water. The result was a nice patina type look. I used the same technique for the cover of the book carving up top.
Right now, I’m messing around with some more of the foam and wood scraps. I’ve got vague ideas of what I’m doing and a direction that I’m heading in. It’s not much to look at for the moment.