Saturday, May 6, 2017

If Your Baby More Fat, Order More Size: Part III. Introducing Quest(Shun).

I've called this series of posts "If Your Baby More Fat, Order More Size" for two reasons: the main reason is that I didn't have a strong working title for this piece until just recently, and because the awesome backstory on the "baby more fat" bit comes from a friend of mine named Karl who purchased a Halloween costume once that on the back of the packaging had the spot-on instructions of: "If Your Baby More Fat, Order More Size".  How could I not use that?  That reminds me of Joyous To The Eyebrow from Terry Rathje's and my adventure in Suriname for Moengo Festival Of Visual Arts back in 2015!

Anyway, all joyous eyebrows and fat babies aside, this piece needs to be named.  Since I have a Don Quixote/Sancho Panza theme along with an unrealized/unfulfilling relationship undercurrent to the piece, I think it's going to be titled: Quest(Shun) (although 'The Fool Who Follows...' was a strong second-place contender).

I painted (partially) the tower and the figures with a green color as kind of a place holder until I figure out more specifically what colors I want to use.  The stark white that was there originally, just wasn't speaking to the rest of the piece.  Since that green color is starting to grow on me, it's entirely possible that I will end up retaining some of the obnoxious green in the final piece.

As Quest(Shun) is starting to develop, I realize this simple figure is not going to be visually strong enough to fulfill its function to the overall piece.  After some deliberation on how to remedy that deficiency, I decided that since I already have some carved wood elements in the composition, I could replace the head with a carved wooden head.  It will give the figure a little more personality.  As Jules Winnfield says "Personality goes a long ways"......

It may be overkill to some, but I wanted to actually test several head/face/mask designs to try them out and see how they looked.  I would hate for a carved head to have been the solution that would have worked if I had only the proper face, but since I only carved one, and saw that it didn't work, I decided to abandon the idea.  Best to have options.  Time to crack out ye olde Dremel Tool.

I carved and cut out 16 faces total.  Sprayed them all with black spray paint, and then hit them with a light coat of white paint.

Some of these carved heads/faces/masks are easier to love than others.  A few of them have already been incorporated into other projects.

Time to tackle the last (I hope it's the last) layer of imagery.  In my sketchbook, I drew out roughly what I want to add to the canvas.  Once I was satisfied with that, it's on to the line work.  I swiped the figure from the lower right and the idea of the tubes from this first drawing and added them with a diagram of a water pump and a series of windmills.

The 'Ver-T-Kul' box somehow didn't make the final image.

Line work!


The next image on the canvas was actually inspired by a portrait a Surinamese youth drew of me when Terry Rathje and I went to the Matoekoe Center in Paramaribo, Suriname.  You can see more images about that day by clicking on this LINK and going to my previous post regarding the experience.  I've redrawn the image a couple of times in an attempt to translate things into my visual language, but here's the original:

The image was so cool, I just had to add my version of it.

During the lifespan of this canvas, I've actually ripped off enough things from the surface that parts of the canvas are no longer 'primed' and so I am painting on raw canvas.  Not my favorite.

(As a total aside, I'm giving some thought to making this large head figure into a big ole sculpture....)

Now that everything has dried, it's time to add the windmills.  The patches of raw canvas that I talked about earlier means that I have to go over a line several times in order to make it both smooth and solid.

A couple shots of how much of the unprimed canvas is contributing to the final look of the piece and the chore it is to make smooth lines on.

I have the black lines down, time to wait a few days before adding the color.

With a narrower brush, I go back over my black lines with a brown color to complete the paddles/sails on the windmills.

I was hoping to wrap up talking about Quest(Shun) with this post, but I still have a few more things to do, so I'm gonna have to create one more post before this one becomes monstrously huge.