Monday, March 23, 2015

phase 6 - update

A very busy week here in Artlandia! I am so excited to show the progress on this new piece :)

First, I carved some new full-scale blocks:


Then, I printed all the blocks I would need (2 hands, 2 boots, head, 3 crowns, and scissors) to build the figure on color papers. Next, I added the darkest and lightest tones to the prints.

The boot on the right is heightened with gouache and color pencil 

I like the way the crown turned out - I printed three crowns in gold, red and maroon, then cut out the flowers from the red and maroon and sewed them over the corresponding flowers on the gold print.
Once all the parts were ready, I started to assemble them and here's where I'm trying something new - I'm going to sew all the parts down onto a vinyl coated polyester mesh. It's fabric, so once it's together, I "should" be able to cut it to conform to the shape of the figure with scissors. Because it's a polymer, it shouldn't expand or contract much, making it a stable support. It's rigid enough to hold the form, but can be rolled up for transport if necessary (two thumbs way up! It seems like it should work...fingers crossed!)

How I got to this is sort of a convoluted process. I've been re-reading to Benedict Carey's "How We Learn" (on audio this time - the first time I read it in hard copy). One thing he discusses is the Zeigarnik Effect - the tendency to dwell on or mentally return to unfinished projects. Haha - ah yes, I didn't know it had a name, but I recognize it.

This piece has been living in the studio for a year. It's complete with the exception of the right foot. Realistically, it would take about 20 minutes to make a passable foot, and yet, here it sits...still...

As much as I like the way the piece looks, there are some problems with it structurally in terms of how the parts connect to one another. It brings me all the way back to  Eros et Thanatos and issues that arose with the relationship of the pieces to the wall. For that piece, I cut foam core backing for everything. On the one had, this solution worked, but there were ways in which it was less than ideal (Foam core wants straight cuts and the paper is complex curves, so there were areas of unsupported overhangs, as well as the problem of attaching the paper to the foamcore...) Plus, it was very time-consuming. If it were the perfect solution, that would be one thing, but... 

It makes me wonder if there's something more than aesthetics behind the choices of which pieces to keep up on the wall. This piece, the Yellow Wallpaper hangs next to my desk.  I like it, true, but from my desk chair, I see it at an extreme angle - one that highlights the way the parts pulls away from each other and the background. (blasted adhesive!) I wonder if this is a not-so-subtle note-to-self that this is a topic that needs attention?

Foamcore was the solution I needed to get it done at the time, but now that I have a chance to re-think things I want to try to come up with something else. Even if the sewing and mesh is a more complicated way to go - I'm much better with sewing, scissors and fabric than adhesive, an exacto and foam core. Fingers crossed that it's a step in the right direction...

My beautiful feline assistant checking it out :)
"Oooo - what is this?"
Me, once again matching the art to my clothes,
which match the art,
(and a new hair color - it's spring; time for a change)