Saturday, November 29, 2014

More Parrots

I'm posting a little early, because I'll be barricaded in the studio tomorrow trying to finish this for a deadline...
30 x 30" - like the 6 x 6" "Excerpts from the Magical Land of No,"  this is 'life scale,' only now the frame of reference is a human instead of a bird, and so it's bigger...having trouble deciding about the shirt...
I inherited those pink flowers in the bottom of the tub
 I've been working toward this for a while, but got held up on the marbling and the hand. the 30th is the deadline, so I figured it's now or never and I started off the week with marbling (check). I've been having trouble getting metallic pigments dense enough to show up in the marbling process, so I gave up and added them by hand with a metallic watercolor pencil, and I'm happy with the results.

drawing in ballpoint on the block 
carving on the block,
Then, on to the main reason I've been dragging my feet on this - I'd been putting off carving the hand, because I knew it would be difficult (it was, but then, waiting wasn't making it easier, so... ;) )

two thumbs up - a good likeness!
new helicopter block - about 10% smaller
and facing the opposite direction
from the "bunny with helicopter" one.
came across this - Goltzius's Right Hand, 1588
Hendrick Goltzius (Netherlandish, 1558–1617)
Pen and brown ink; 9 x 12 5/8 in. (23 x 32.2 cm)
Teylers Museum, Haarlem
In a round about way this brings me back to Goltzius - I saw his amazing ink painting in Philadelphia in June (- I'd never seen anything like it and would like to see more/again - that first time, all I could really take in was the hand and the wings (yum); but I digress...) So, one of the things I liked about the ink painting was the added light tones. I didn't think they were showing up well enough in the I dunked the whole thing in the gray marbling ( :o - this is part of why it's an excellent thing that it's a print and one of several and not a drawing ;) ) I was a little nervous about dipping it in the tub, but I think it worked out well - the marbling connects the raptor and the space around it and adds a layer of organic patterning like in real feathers and the white ink shows up better.

While I was marbling, I also set to work on three pieces for the show "Art & Politics" opening at 46 Green Street, Dec. 6th.

together they make a sort of "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" triangle
I have mixed feelings about the theme because I don't think of my work as political (except maybe in the sense that all artwork that rejects efficient adequacy as its goal might be read as defiant). I don't really engage with politics because, to me, it's like standing on the deck of a sinking ship arguing about which theoretical model lifeboat would be the best. (Or, put another way - it's like I'm being asked:"which do you prefer, apples or oranges?" and my response is "purple.") But I gave it my best shot - I used common, publicly available forms as a starting point and marbled them and added gold. Using their content to provide context, I chose quotations and wrote them by hand in the speech scrolls and put them in the mouths of the parrots. My hope is that, though they're ominously funny, maybe a little obnoxious, and still somehow beautiful rather than bitter.

Out patient encounter form with Freud: "Life as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains." from Civilization and its Discontents

Pre-nuptial agreement with Anais Nin: "Anxiety is love's greatest killer."

tax form with Pericles: "Where the rewards for merit are greatest, there are found the best citizens." 
from  his funeral oration in Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War.

Para-art - trying (realllly hard) to see the snow as 'picturesque'...

It kind of looks like (cold, wet) Pollock painting, right?