Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Possible That You Might Need More Tastic In Your Diet

In addition to re-engaging some (abandoned?) works-in-progress that I didn't finish for Merican-Tastic!, I also have begun a few new pieces to swap with Heidi Hernandez, and Terry Rathje.  We have a show coming up late Summer 2013 at Quad City Arts, and since our bodies of work conceptually overlap in some places, we thought it would be a worthwhile to accentuate and explore the overlap.

Heidi still has a piece from our initial swap for Merican-Tastic! last Spring called Cool Fools Dool Gools 4 Jools.

I decided to start 4 canvases with words/phrases paired with a mask/face element.  Here are some shots as the pieces start to come together.  I don't want to 'finish' these an further than about 40% in order to leave Terry and Heidi plenty of room to develop their own ideas with my 'start'.

These piece will need a few 'ingredients' on my end.  First of all, a batch of carved letters to form words (or word fragments).   Unleash the Dremel Tool and a wee bit later......carved letters!  (-the level of excitement achieved while carving may or may not have merited an exclamation mark in that last sentence...).

Then I cut out the individual letter blocks by hand with a coping saw.

The process of cutting out the blocks by hand really doesn't take that long.  Also, I find comfort and enjoyment in using some hand tools that both my father and my grandfather used in their shops.  Call it continuity? Sentimentality?

The next thing is to sand down the splintery bits and rough parts on the sides and the back.  I used a self-made sanding block that is just a chunk of 2"x4" with an underlayer sheet of cardboard and a top sheet of sand paper stapled to it.  It's free and it gets the job done.  Actually you can take different sizes and shapes of wood scraps and dowel rods, attach some sandpaper with your desired grit, and make all kinds of customized sanding tools.

A few minutes later, I have a bunch of letter blocks ready for the next phase.

Now on to some decapitations!

I have a stockpile of different figures, faces, masks, and characters in my studio.  As creative energies in the studio ebb and flow, I work on different things.  Some weeks are carving intensive, other times I might have a stretch where I just make face/masks/figures, and sometimes I may have almost a month of just drawing and sketching ideas, characters, and compositions.  If I don't have a show sort of guiding (forcing?) my studio production, day-to-day work can be quite free-flowing.

Anyway, in the words of The Collector (played by the late Frank Thring) in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, 'We wanna keep the brains, dump the body...'

So here are the 'ingredients' for Glitter Heart (a working title based on the text blocks that will be added).

Top head/face,

Bottom head/face.

The rough layout -without the text fragments and before I decided that the mask/face in the top register would work better in a different piece.

Now with the text in place and a different mask/face/character at the top.  Here is what the piece looked like before priming.

Time to put down some brown (funny, that's somehow not code...).

About 7 months ago I bought a sampler pack of Sophisticated Finishes (an antiquing compound) that had a gold and a blackened bronze color.  Here's the gold as it's being applied.

A link to a previous post where I used the copper and the iron metallic surfacer (more images regarding surfacers).

The kit also contained a third bottle which has a patina solution which can be applied to either the gold or the blackened bronze, if desired.  In the case of the gold, I don't think I 'desire'.  So it is time to paint the sides, the letters, and the front/surface of the piece with its last coat of color before I pass the canvas off.

A few more coats of paint, and here is what the piece looks like before it goes off to be finished either by Heidi Hernandez or Terry Rathje (or if those two lugnuts don't want to tackle it, then I'll finish it.)

So for you mouth-breathers that haven't pieced together what another round of exchanging works means, it means in 2013, Merican-Tastic! II: The Son of Tastic.

All of that sanding, decapitating, carving, antiquing, and Tastic-ing made me hungry, so The 4-Foot Assassin and I split a burger-ariffic snack.  This can only mean one thing, -A new 'Scooba Steve' drawing from Thomas to add to the Pantheon of Boozie Burger to-go box images!

View the Pantheon below....

Next time we'll look at Two More for the Cause....

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