Friday, March 22, 2019

Giving Money-A-Tize a Little Attention: Part I

Adding some carved letters and a hand to Money-A-Tize.

Starting the base layer of imagery.

One of the drawings/sketches I am using for the base layer has actually appeared in several sketchbooks over the years and has even made a prominent appearance in the piece Visitors.  The original sketches started just as 'Snake Charmer'.

A couple of iterations later Snake Charmer was paired with the King Sadim character.

Eventually they were merged.

The name King Sadim is a reference to the song: King Midas in Reverse from the band The HolliesPart of the lyrics are:
He's King Midas in reverse
He's King Midas with a curse.
...all he touches turns to dust...

'Midas' spelled backwards (in reverse) is 'Sadim'.

In the top center of Visitors, the King Sadim character has morphed into a two-headed entity (vs. two-faced) with a spiky beard -who is still playing the three flutes of the Snake Charmer.

Time to apply this little history lesson to Money-A-Tize.  This time it's just the Snake Charmer.  I'm giving King Sadim the day off.

Next time we check in with Money-A-Tize, we'll take a closer look at the base layer of imagery.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Next Phase For Imminent Departure

Do you remember Mr. Anthropomorphic Value-Sized Tasty Beverage?

Perhaps this will refresh your memory?

By adding Mr. Anthropomorphic Value-Sized Tasty Beverage to the piece Imminent Departure (and his accompanying text), I made the piece visually too heavy on the bottom half for what I had thought I was going to add on the top half.  So now I have to 'go back to the drawing board' and develop a new top half to the piece.

Here's the top layer as it unfolds.

This guy might look familiar.....

All said and done, I only added 5 elements (2 of which are on the bottom half) to the piece.

The greens are all in place, now all I need to do is add white in some select areas.

After living with this piece for an extended period of time, I realize that it needs something a little more visually dominant to kind of anchor the piece (emphasis, dominance, and proportion).  I will probably need to contemplate the addition of at least a partial new layer of imagery if not an entirely new top layer.  Time to haze over this layer and go consult the sketch book.........

The haze layer seems to be ineffective, I suspect something a bit more drastic will have to happen to Imminent Departure to bring it to a satisfying resolution.  This could get a bit messy...

Forward the hands of time a bit*...

Previously unrelated to this piece, I have had the growing desire to make a tower/Rapunzel-themed piece.  As I was contemplating what might go into a tower/Rapunzel-themed piece, I realized I would want/need a character at the bottom of the tower/composition looking upwards.  That little realization made me think about the dude I had just recently attached to the bottom of Imminent Departure...

But first I needed to make a tower-esque structure for the top half of the composition.  Before I even did that however I was stuck on the idea that I wanted a one-word 'slogan' to be built into the tower structure.  After trying out several ideas/words, I decided on 'Bait'.  So I dumped out all of my extra/unclaimed carved letter blocks (thanks to a lot of free time and my trusty Dremel Tool) on to the canvas and started to comb through them looking for the right combination of letters.

We have a winner!

We have a tower!

We have a winner in the tower that is attached to the canvas...

Now it's time to deal with the canvas itself.  Over time the stretcher bars have bowed/warped.  This bowing/warping is part of the reason I haven't worked on Imminent Departure for a few years*.  I've needed to re-stretch the canvas on a flat/unbowed canvas.  That time is now.

See how the bottom pops out from the wall?  Not helpful.

Ok, enough of the nuts and bolts stuff, back to dealing with the image/concept.

As I start to play around with the idea behind Rapunzel (maiden trapped in tower in need of rescue by a man), I am also reminded of the story of Sleeping Beauty (and Snow White for that matter...).  Or at least the Disney-fied versions of these stories.  This may require a bit more least now the canvas lays flat against the wall.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Playing With Matches Part I

I was about to write something about 'not intentionally pursuing fire/matches' to start out this post, however a quick re-examination of my fire-based resume during childhood (and adulthood for that matter) and the evidence points towards possibly being a firebug...

To continue with my string of uninspiring working titles, I present to you, Matches.

A closer look reveals the use of old billboard material to form them matchbook itself.  Love those Ben-Day Dots.

All Ben-Day Dot admiration aside, it's time to lay down the base layer of imagery.  Lines!

The first layer of line work is done.

Stay tuned for some addition of color...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


After several weeks of cutting out cardboard shapes and wrapping them with fabric, it feels good to go back to working with paint.

The beginnings of Elude

A remnant of one of my pieces from my show(s) in Suriname gets new life.  You can see the piece (along with its brethren) by clicking on this LINK to one of my previous posts about Terry Rathje's and my time at the Moengo Festival in Suriname back in 2015.

As is frequently the case, I get a word stuck inside my head and have to exorcise it by putting it into something I am working on.  Even though the word 'elude' was what was stuck in my head, I wanted to change it up in some fashion, so that's how I ended up with 'eeeeeee-loooood'.

Prime everything with a few coats of paint...

As a visual/conceptual/inspirational starting point, the white wasn't enough to go off of, so I added some color.  I may ultimately pull it back to the white, but I needed a little more to inspire/motivate/inform some kind of start.  The orange and purple/pink should work nicely.

After staring at the canvas of the course of few days to get a sense of the piece, it is time start adding some line work.

Just a few more touches.

I'll let this dry for a week or so and then start adding some color.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Another Batch of Signs/Shapes

I have spent the last week cutting out cardboard with my X-acto knife and hot gluing fabric to a series of shapes that are rooted in abandoned roadside signs/billboards.  Here's my big bucket of glue sticks ready to be called into service.

And here are some of the shapes (positive).

Here's just a few of the negative shapes/scraps which will probably also get wrapped in fabric and incorporated into some future painted construction...

The negative shape to the left reminds me of both the neck of a guitar and a stylized human figure (and a funky road side sign?).  Not sure which direction I'll take that shape (the left one).  Who knows?  I may make three iterations of it so I can have one that is a guitar, one that is a figure, and one that is a funky road side sign.

I'm pretty sure the sign/shape in the upper left started out as two circles being cut out for some other something.  Whatever its genesis, it's been turned into a sign now.

The negative shape left over from these two seems like it will be something as well.

I had this circle left over and thought it might be interesting to pair it with some sort of base.  The circle would be the sign, the base would be what holds it up into the air.  It didn't take long to see the playful figure that the sign and base made.

Better cut out a few more so I can stack them to provide each one with enough structural integrity (thickness) to hold up to my working process.

The negative shape reminded me of the Gemini twins.  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Another idea for a piece...

This shape below comes from a scrap/negative shape that I found so compelling, that I've turned it into a positive shape for future use.

In order to cut it out two layers of the shape above from this scrap piece of cardboard, I had to space it out in such a way as to be left with an interesting negative negative shape.

I just have to figure out what I'm going to do with the negative shape left over from the original negative shape.  It's kind of interesting too.

As an almost random footnote, I am thinking more and more about making a series of nearly white painted constructions similar to this one.

They will still (probably) feature painted line work imagery, but they will be much more heavily painted/hazed to make them closer to monochromatic.