Paper mache

While I’m not done debating what to tell you first from my accidental blogging hiatus, I can see I wrote something last summer about the Alebrijes class I took. Alebrijes are specifically Mexican mythical creatures and I’m not really staying within the confines of that, but the technique I initially worked on comes from that tradition.

So why not round that off by creating a mini exhibition of my first pieces. I’m still working on the subject in fits and starts, multiple ideas on the back burner; but this summer was quite warm aka the past dries too fast and goes mouldy + we had people looking in the windows which I’m not super fond of I must admit. Most of these figures have already been aired on Instagram, so please excuse me if this is a recap for you.

I’m calling my entire collection of paper sculptures “Heart of Stone, Feet of Clay” because I weigh them down with either a rock in the belly (Found locally on my walks or on the property) or clay/plaster at the bottom, so you can put them anywhere and not have them topple by a gust of wind.

The topic of the class was “Does it fly?” and I latched on to the “?”

Next I felt like doing something with my empty weaving cones to reflect my interest in upcycling, and to keep it related, the Weaving C(r)ones were born, each with a name and a little story. Two of these have since relocated to England, but the rest are up for grabs should you fall in love. 😉

Staying within the confines of the cone base, I took to experimenting with faces, and created a bunch of gawky geezers. I’m not going to show you today however, because I had a bit of a brain fart and entered them in a juried art exhibition. But I promise a later installment of this post with more characters.

I want to work on more faces + animals, but I think perhaps I need to let loose and not make the cones compulsory – I have plenty though, so they may appear in another series at some point. There’s a horsey set that has been almost but not quite done for some time, so they are up next! I’ve been struggling with painting horses as well, while intending to for years, but I get thrown by my poor drawing skills. Abstractifying something like that AND make it look good takes skill too.

In my next papermache post I’ll talk a little about materials that I use, if anyone is interested in that!

Studio update

I can’t believe I announced the extension of my studio more than a year ago and only now realise that I never followed through on that.

So in order to begin blogging again, I guess I might as well start where we left off. I’ve spent some time delaying this by internally debating whether to begin at the end instead, so a compromise was reached: I’ll either share willy-nilly regardless of when a thing actually happened OR this might be a one off heehaw petering out into nothing.

First I just wanted a vertical wall to hang stuff instead of stacking layers of canvasses over my shelves. This evolved into new window for extra light.

Husband thought skylights would be better.

Then while I was at it, I might as well add a second wall and a door to keep out stray cats and their disruptive, stinky behaviour. Oh, and a ceiling to prevent dust on my wall of paintings.

All that remained then was insulation on the two remaining walls and perhaps electricity. Because encaustics space. And papermache table. I simply spent more time clearing my only table in the other room than actually making stuff on it, and then it would be off limits for days with items drying.

So I basically just kept going way beyond the plan and I now occupy the entire hayloft apart from a middle aisle due to stairs in the middle. We’ve just concluded getting a new roof on two buildings this summer (asbestos fiber panels from the 60’s), so perhaps I’ll even insulate a bit more of the inbetween space. Although cold air still comes up from the stable below, I speculate it might even out the quick temperature changes through the roof tiles and perhaps some of the humidity.

All I need now is to get rid of my chronic headache.

Hayloft studio

Three years since my studio was finished and it’s been a wonderful space, even more so since I had water installed. It’s also very cluttered however, the more I do, the more canvasses are stacked everywhere, done or half done, various supplies getting crammed into to few shelves. What I really need is a dry and dust free storage space and/or weaving room separate from the painting! (my dream is 100m2 heated studio with straight walls including my office/library, but that is a completely different budget, especially the heating cost)

So I’ve been contemplating using the rest of the hayloft as a cold studio/summer messy space, eventually with inner walls to minimize moisture and cat damage. Only it’s taken me this long (20 months since I lost the ponies) to get rid of the 200 strawbales  dusting everything up as well as using the space obviously. I couldn’t even be bothered tidying up there, it was just so hopeless. Basically when I do have the energy to go make something, it needs to be easy access, not 2 days of tidying for half a day of painting.

But I finally got that part done AND I was gifted a window for my birthday, so next week the mason will fix the hole to proper size and I’ll at least have a bit of light without the wind, airflow when it’s too hot and a place to spray paint stuff so that I don’t have to leave the studio until the fumes are gone (as well as accidentally spraying my laptop and other sundries). I hope to build one tall wall to hang stuff to dry (or else cats) at least until it gets too humid in autumn.

2019

You don’t know it, but I’ve actually started writing you a number of times, planned photoshoots of what I was up to but then abandoned it all mid-project because I felt it was just more of the usual stuff and so not very exciting? Does it have to be exciting? Continue reading “2019”