Saturday, July 13, 2013

Red Room. Red Room.

A couple years ago I made a few sketches for a piece that never was made.  The ideas/possibilities for the piece never really left my head, so I decided I'm going to try to complete Voyage Of Discovery in time for Merican-Tastic! II: The Son of Tastic! which opens in late August.  I have less than two months to make it happen.

The canvas is almost 6'x8' which makes maneuvering around a bit tricky.

I also had to perform a canvas-endoctomy to scoot the horizontal register of letter blocks down about a foot.  I had to add a new band of canvas to close the hole, and then add a little stitching to snug things up a bit.

Some of my 'fancy' stitch work up close.

Even though there are already a bunch of letter blocks on the piece, I actually required quite a few more.  So I needed to log in several hours carving letters.

...and throw in a few calligraphic letters to ratchet up 'the fancy' even more.

There will also be three main figures on the surface (plus a gang of smaller figures).  Here I am testing out the layout/arrangement/composition of the three main figures.

Try out some different arrangements of text.

After several configurations, this will be pretty close to the spacing and arrangement of the final piece.

Like I mentioned earlier though, the piece is quite large and since I have a show coming up in less than two months, I can't tie up my primary fabrication space with just one piece.  That means I had to find another space to work on this obnoxiously large canvas.

Ahhhh, the 'red room'.  I have six rooms in my studio, one of them is painted black (my primary work space), and another one is painted red.  A previous tenant had an entirely different purpose for the space.  I won't get into the details, but let's just say with a valid credit card and your safety filters turned off, you could watch small 'one-act' plays from either the red room or the black room in the comfort of your own home.

Once I had a space cleared out for the piece and could arrange it so it was leaning vertically against a wall, I could start drawing in where the maze will go.  However, the red room doesn't have much in the way of lights, so it is difficult to see things clearly.

Yes! Several years ago my friend Karl gave me a small shop light which hung out on the back seat of Truckasaurus waiting to be loved -until now.  Pow! The underlit red room now has light so I can see to lay out the maze. Thanks Karl!

An added bonus: The floor in the red room is not level, so when I am working on the canvas, sometimes I start to roll away (downhill) from the piece.  Good times....

Building mazes takes a lot of time and in general are kind of an endurance test for me.  I set up my tripod and snapped an image every 30 minutes to demonstrate how long it takes to put the walls of a maze on canvas..

Here is 30 minutes.

60 minutes.

90 minutes.

120 minutes.

150 minutes.

Some days I can put in numerous hours adhering maze walls to canvas.  Yesterday was not one of them.  After 2 1/2 hours, I was listless and had to go do something else.  Fortunately, my studio needs cleaning.....

Today's show was brought to you by the letters 'S' and 'M'.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bustin' Out Sumthin' Old and Making It New

Skylyne Dryve is the working title for an old piece that I have just pulled out of 'the vault'.  The base of the piece is an older work (that was causing me displeasure) that I literally cut off its stretcher bars and attached to a larger canvas.

Below is a page from my sketchbook to show one of the early 'source drawings' for the painting portion of the show. Some of the imagery at the top of the sketch made it to the canvas.

I cranked up the 'contrast' and 'lightness' in Photoshop to make it easier to see the original drawings on the image below.

I added a gestural layer of color before I started to add the green line work.

I suspect that if/when I add a haze layer that alot of the green line work will nearly disappear, so it's highly likely that I will selectively haze and only add one layer of black line work/imagery.  I try not to keep any layer/image precious, but I have reservations about arbitrarily obliterating the green images.

A mix of green line work and the original canvas that had one layer of hazed-over black line work (and color).

The green layer.

Vvroooom!!!! Vroooom!!! I'm going to add a car with carved letters to the piece.

We know it's a 'car' because it says it's a car.

....and PRESTO! The car that 'says' car, is now attached to the canvas.

If it weren't for Liquid Nails, Duct Tape, Hot Glue, Caffeine, Sugar, Chocolate, Cheese, Boozie Burgers, and Naps, I don't know what I'd do with myself.

One last nugget: What did I do on The Fourth of July this year?  I designed the frame for Skylyne Dryve.  I took elements from a couple of other frame ideas and combined them into one.

Here is the composite sketch for the frame.

There you have the beginnings of Skylyne Dryve.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oh No! What Happened to Scooba?

On multiple occasions I have raved about the Boozie Burger from Boozies (a pub/grill next door to my studio).  That, along with their chicken quesadilla, form a respectable percentage of my 'dine-out' cuisine.

From time to time, Thomas (one of the cooks at Boozies) will decorate the lid of my to-go box with a cartoon of Scuba/Scooba Steve.  I save the lids on one of the walls in my studio.

Typically, they just celebrate the joys of that which is Scuba/Scooba Steve.

I mean, realistically, who wouldn't celebrate that?

Imagine the visage of Scuba/Scooba Steve guarding your delicious Boozie Burger.  I know I feel safer thinking about that.....

But one day, an ominous narrative began to appear.......

Holy smokes! That doesn't look good.

....nor does that!

....or that!

Could this be the end for Scuba/Scooba Steve?

It looks grim. But wait........