Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Beginnings Of Go West

I'm looking at creating roughly 20-25 new pieces for Socrates, Soup Cans, and The Cola Wars Pop Culture Palimpsest.  Many of them will be canvases with carved frames.

Go West started out as just a little doodle, but there is a certain bit of persistent spunk to the idea which I can no longer ignore.  Time to make it an actual piece.

I am reusing an old canvas from my old Dialog Series of works.  There used to be a giant double burger attached to the surface of this canvas.  I had hoped to find a full image of the double burger on my hard drive to insert into this post.  However, my hard drive, much like my studio is a bit of an organizational adventure.  This is all you're gonna get.

It's an excellent opportunity to 'repair' the holes by stitching on some patches before I start putting any paint down on the surface.

After a few washes of color, it looks like this.

I really like the open area in the center of the composition.  I think any subsequent layers of imagery will be used to enhance the clutter around the edges (leaving the center comparatively intact).

For my next trick, I shall comb my sketch books for imagery....

Once I have selected some of the images I wish to utilize, I begin to paint in the lines.

I'm gonna let this dry for about a week and then I'll start adding some color(s) to it.  I was initially thinking I might add an additional layer on top of this one.  After staring at the canvas for a bit, I don't think it needs it.  Therefore, it's time to move on to the frame.  Here are a few glimpses of the it so far....

I finally found a use for my 'Jalopy Billboard'!

Miles to go before I sleep...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Countdown To Countdown

So far I'm calling this 'piece' Countdown.  I'm not sure if that title is going to stick, but for today anyway, it's called Countdown.  I am creating it for Pop Culture Palimpsest this coming Summer at the Figge Art Museum.

These are the really early stages of making the piece.  Basically, I know I want a rocket with USA on the side and a circular window with a face peering out.  That's my starting point.

I carved two potential faces for the rocket.  This one is the 'winner'.

This face may end up being a Cosmonaut (I prefer the Kosmonaut spelling) on this composition, or just end up in something entirely different some point in the future.

In addition to the rocket, I think I want some kind of launching pad.  I have some currently-undesignated carved scraps laying around that just might fit the bill.  Since I wanted the rocket on the far left of the composition, I have to modify the carved scrap pieces to accommodate that configuration.

I attach everything to a smaller (but currently stretched and primed canvas) to lock everything into position.  Once I flesh out the idea in my head some more, I will cut loose what I need and attach it to a different surface.  Right now, things need to be primed, and even though it seems like a wasteful extra step (attaching components to a canvas that I know I won't keep), it allows me to get raw surfaces primed (and dry) and to stare at what I have and figure out what I want to do with it.  Basically, it's a 3-dimensional sketch.

A few weeks later, I stretch a larger canvas and cut free the rocket and launching pad.  I know they will be located to the far left of the piece.  Now I need to figure out what will take place in the rest of the composition.  I test out all kinds of options (including Punchy) to see what catches my attention and sparks an idea.  Punchy, by the way, was a no-go.

I have all kinds of scrap materials lying about the studio for exactly this purpose.  The rectangle with the series of cut-out ovals is actually now part of a different piece.  It didn't work here, but it does work quite well in its new home (more on that in a future post).

Testing out another little sumthin' sumthin'.

One of the things I tested out was a remnant I had attached to canvas that was in a back corner  leaning up against a wall in my studio.  It was something I was working on prior to 2010.  With the hope of working on it some more, I brought it with me to Northwest Missouri State University in 2010 (where I taught sculpture for a year).  I forgot it in a back corner of that office when I moved back to the QCA at the end of the school year.

When I returned to Northwest Missouri State University to teach sculpture again (this time for the 2015-2016 year), artist/sculptor/profoundly nice guy, Glenn Williams had left it untouched in the back corner of the office.  The second time around I didn't forget to take it.  That being said, prior to placing it within this composition, I had no idea what I was going to do with it.  It took at least 9 years for it to find a home.

Things are starting to take shape.

I added a little bit of a 'structure' on the right hand to help visually balance out the launching pad.

Here's how it looks with everything brought together on one canvas, just prior to its last layer of priming.

Now with a little rust added in select areas.

Once I have achieved my desired level of rust, it's time to lay down the base layer of colors.

This is how it looks with everything in place and the base layer of colors laid down.

I'm gonna let this bad boy dry for the better part of a week before I even start considering painting any kind of lines on it.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Naughty: The Misadventures Of Lord Fenton Percival Philpotts Pennymoore and Co. Part I.

Another piece I am working on for Pop Culture Palimpsest is Naughty. Here are some glimpses at the early stages of bringing this piece together.

I start with some saved 'bits' (components from earlier pieces and a few things I fabricated for some unknown-at-the-time-future-project.  The future is now!)  The crusty cut stitch long bit is from a discarded canvas from 13 years ago, the white circles are something I fabricated this past summer just in case I needed them for some sumthin' sumthin'.  Once I determine that I want to use them, it is time to start playing around with the composition.  How am I going to make these things work together?  It's the unknown, and it's the part of art-making I really enjoy.

Even something as straight forward as adding the word 'cameo' out of carved blocks requires some playtime.  I boiled it down to 4 potential font combinations and tested out how they looked in relation to everything else that was going on.

I really liked this combination of letters, but when viewed as part of the whole composition they did not work as well as I had hoped.  Frequently, the quirkier something is, the less it works with surrounding elements in the composition.

The cameo needs to be filled with a character.  Perhaps Lord Fenton Percival Philpotts Pennymoore himself?  Perhaps.

Cut to fit.

Primed black and ready to be painted.

Ahhhhhh. Naughty.  You may remember a quick blurb about Naughty in a previous post from last Spring?  You can revisit that post by clicking HERE, and an even older post HERE!

The ingredients are starting to come together.

Stately Pennymoore Manor.

After an initial color wash it is now ready for some line work.

........and PRESTO!  Some line work!

More to come.