Sunday, April 29, 2018


In a previous post, I talked about the importance of having a title -or even just a name by which to refer to a piece.  The small canvas that is the genesis for the larger work I'm about to discuss was referred to as 'Flag', because it was partially reminiscent of a rearranged flag.  It wasn't much of a title, but it turns out to be appreciably better than nothing.

I am by no means committed to the title 'Flag', but it (the working title) gives me a starting/departure point to dive into the piece.  Almost like an interesting sketch that I am eager to put down on a canvas, sometimes the (working) title helps generate ideas on how a piece needs to develop.  It may not be 'where' the piece ends up, but having a title/descriptor helps generate forward momentum.

I cut the small canvas ('Flag') free from its stretcher bars and attach it to a larger canvas.  As both a fun visual, and added holding power, I also stitch it into place.  The stitching is overkill, but it is a nice subtle visual treat.

A couple shots of some of the stitching.

While I'm discussing the original smaller image/canvas, I'm going to detour ever-so-briefly to a few early stage photos I recently came across whilst unsuccessfully looking for another image on my hard drive.  Anyway, here are a few early pics of the small image.

Hey, I didn't say they were Earth-shattering images...back to the piece already in progress.

Time to add the first wave of color.  Since the working title is 'Flag', the use of red seems like a good foundation on which to build a composition.  If the color scheme is truly horrible, I can paint over it.  But marks/colors of any kind allow me to 'respond' to something.  A blank canvas can be quite daunting.

Sticking with the 'Flag' motif a bit further, I paint several long stripe-like rectangles.

Now for some color...

Just a little bit more.

'Flag', or whatever it will ultimately be titled, is taking shape. I have roughly 4 weeks to complete it, along with all the rest of my pieces for Pop Culture Palimpsest.  Who needs sleep?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ye Olde Sea Dog...At Least For Now That Is What I Am Calling It.

Last time I taught sculpture at Northwest Missouri State University (2015-2016), I began working on this sculpture.  From nearly the beginning of its creation, I planned to pair the sculpture in a show with a separate piece on canvas which is now being called Skinner Box II: Lessons Unlearned (you can check out a post regarding that piece by clicking HERE).  Since Skinner Box II is going into Pop Culture Palimpsest, it's high time I finish Ye Olde Sea Dog...

Here are a few images of it in the woodshop at Northwest Missouri State University shortly before I moved back to the QCA.  If you want to see what it took to get the piece to this point, here is a LINK to an earlier post from 2016 (if you look closely in that post, you'll see a quick shot of that pointing figure with arrows coming out of its head dude that I used in another piece I am working on called Countdown (Here is a LINK to the Post about the early stages of creating Countdown).

I cracked out my trusty Dremel Tool to carve this area out.

Anyway, it has sat in storage long enough.  It's time to re-engage the process...

The first thing I had to do was track down where I had stashed the various components for the sculpture.  At one point, I had sections of the piece stored in three different buildings around town.  After a brief treasure hunt, I have everything I had completed united under one roof.

I then assembled what I did possess in order to see what I still needed to fabricate.

In addition to making new components, I went back into the existing stuff to cut, sand, paint, and clean then up slightly.  I'm not trying to make this piece the Taj Mahal or anything, but I feel it is essential for it to look/feel like a 3-dimensional version of one of my painted constructions.  That will go a long way to unify the show.  First step is to apply several layers of paint to seal up the surfaces, fill in some holes, and spend some time reacquainting myself with the piece.

Then I deal with the top portion more in depth by wrapping select areas with jute.

Then I hit the jute and crescent areas with several layers of paint in order to change the textures of both the fabric/canvas, and the jute.

I have some more wrapping and priming to do to prepare/complete the top crescent shape.  Ultimately, it is going to have three heads sprouting up from the top portion.  All of these endeavors and more will have to wait for a future post.

Next time we're going to get a little patriotic...

Monday, April 23, 2018

Countdown Gets Its First Layer Of Imagery

Now that Countdown's base layer of color has dried, I can add the first layer of imagery.

Here's my full version of Man In The Moon based on a cool sculpture (and current studio guardian) from Lisa Mahar.  You can see more of her work by clicking on this recent POST.

This is what it looks like before I add any color.

Now for some color(s) to spruce things up.

The Man In The Moon now with some color.

That's about it for the first layer of imagery.  I'm going to let this one hang out for a week before I haze over selected areas.

Next time we'll take a peek at one of my sculptural endeavors that is going to be in Pop Culture Palimpsest.