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!

Constant focus change

Wax on Wood

Last week I mentioned the absurdity of a health challenged person embarking on time consuming physical tasks such as gathering natural malerials, making paper, prepping and studying new branches of the art tree, and it surprised me that nobody mentioned “productive procrastination” aka Resistance. (dah-dah-DAAAAA)

Because really, it’s exactly what I’m doing. After all I am the champion of painting these colourful random backgrounds and then leaving them for years while deciding how to proceed because I never had a plan. Not having a plan and just slathering colour is a GREAT way to beat performance anxiety if you feel like you can’t get started, it will get you into the groove or at least the studio. Unfortunately, when you come back 2 weeks later after a migraine etc, you’re not really “feeling it” (pout) and it’s so much more fun to begin something else. (especially if you spent your downtime on Pinterest) Otoh you don’t want to keep erasing the same two pieces of board or canvas in all eternity, because you wholeheartedly intend to finish all those wips, obviously. (I do finish paintings actually, but a lot of them are testing ideas and methods and not really for publication. Not that I don’t on occasion publish them anyway…)

Partial background of very large panel. It’s not done, but it does have a title!

And then it’s so easy to pull the “as long as I show up and do something it counts, so how about clearing the table and gessoing ALL the things to make the workspace nice and ready?”-card. Or the “I should totally make it my thing to paint on my own handmade paper, to make it sooper special”-card. That is what I call productive procrastination, you use new and exciting endeavours as an excuse to put difficult projects on hold. Because you’re still working, right? And “each of my hobbies spark the others, right?”

I guess I’m especially disadvantaged here, because even if I lack ideas for halfdone images all the time, I have a supply for 2-3 lifetimes in general. It’s just that they veer off in every possible direction; forget about lining up ducks, my thoughts are gibbons.

Small stamp collection. In a row.

I think I know what I lack, however: Stories. If I had a collection of those, I could always pair them up with a background. I’d like for something to happen in a painting, not just pretty colours arranged in a pleasing combination. I don’t want to try my hand at realism per se, but I’m getting bored with empty landscapes. A suggestion of figures, or an imprint of some sort is what I’m looking for. Does that make sense?

So how do I go about finding and collecting stories, and how would you keep track of them? Write them down? “Fat man walking tiny dog in November”. Or by making a lot of sketches of stuff (but even then, doesn’t the story come first?) Working from photos or real life doesn’t really light my fire unless I see something unusual (which can be turned into a story). I don’t go out much, so I don’t see a whole lot of unusual things.

This week’s supply of stories in three languages to keep me on my toes.

Well, at least I’ve come a ways since I started talking about this years ago, I do actually paint a lot more than I did then. Having my own room in the loft has also helped enormously, and I have a bag of tricks to get me going, so all I really need is more uninterrupted time. And stories.

To begin with I’m taking note of all the recurring themes and keywords which overlap all of my interests to see which ones can be used as a common base, then make a list of activities in each hobby which fit those parameters and perhaps weed out the ones that don’t, for now. And in the way of stories I collect quirky titles and sentences to peruse when I need inspiration.

My table usually looks like this, so I must be doing “things”.

Breaking news: We had a rain storm Saturday evening and my water barrel is completely full. That means I can begin testing for my new plant pigment project. To be used with my handmade papers obviously. I’ll even test them on yarns.


 

WIP Wednesday whoops (3)

Everything was glitchy yesterday, including me! But here we are a day late with a few backgrounds that I’m prepping for the new series. Click to the front page if you would like to see where the first painting is at the moment, or that side link to Instagram. Contrary to my previous post I decided to show the preliminary version after all, but I’m reserving the right to change it once the others are more complete. 😉
Continue reading “WIP Wednesday whoops (3)”

When do you share?

It’s common in the art community to share half baked paintings among ourselves and celebrating a new one as soon as it’s done. Cheer each other on, and in the case of those who are already selling (or trying to) it’s important to always have a fresh feed on Instagram for instance. Show up regularly or be forgotten, just as it is with blogging.

Continue reading “When do you share?”