Some studio work can be a little on the monotonous side, this part of creating the One in Eight installation is a perfect example. I've been working on this piece for well over a year (off and on as I have other projects going at the same time). I've completed the cancerous breasts and am now working on the other 140 non-cancerous ones. Together there will be a total of 160 pieces; I am currently at 65 so not quite halfway there. Once I get the balloons filled then the fun begins... then I get to paint 160 nipples! I actually really enjoy painting skin tones so that really will be the fun part as odd as it may sound.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
I spent the morning hanging work at Core New Art Space where we are bringing in the new year with a Member's Show. Rather than show work I'd already shown during the year, I decided to bring in new works even though they were small. Here I'm shown hanging 3 portraits from my American Beauties series that I'm working on (well working on and off... its an on going project) over the next few years. Next to the portraits I included a brief description of the project with a note to viewers inviting them to participate in the series if they happen to be women 60+ years of age... it works! One of my fellow members read it and volunteered! So with her I have 3 more models in the Q... but I need to get the Sinful Delights painting finished and my One in Eight installation farther along before I pick up the portrait brush again. Its crazy, I've got 5 projects going, 4 of which are series.... so a lot going on but nothing finished, CRAZY!
Thursday, December 10, 2015
After spending the morning wrapping Christmas presents I spent the afternoon painting in the studio. I primarily worked on the right hand side, on the background, the ice cream cup and the hot chocolate. I also took another pass at the whip cream throughout the composition. Next studio day I will continue working on the Sunday glass and the banana split bowl.
Last night was my sculpture class (I keep forgetting to take progress photos of the cupcakes I'm working on in class). I test glazed one cupcake, and finished icing the other four I'd make the week before. In addition I went through the entire stock of glazes trying to find just the right color(s) for the cupcakes - finally found two sample swatches but the League didn't have the glazes so I will be picking these up prior to the next class. I also experimented with combining porcelain slip (for the icing) with clay cupcakes as well as porcelain clay for the cherries... we shall see what the two textures look like together. I'm also exploring different ways I can make the cherry stem, metal verses clay verses no stem. My instructor for the class is awesome! In addition to teaching me how to create clay sculptures, he is also helping me figure out my hanging shelf system for the exhibition!
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Another productive day in the studio! I worked some moer on this painting, pulled together things for my sculpture class next, including my icing tools, gathered up more plexiglass plated that need to be cut down before I can file the sides in preparation for the next dry point etching; and finally did some research for art historical images of idealized women for my male gaze + mirror series (these are what the plexi plates are for. So all in all it was a good studio day!
I also found the address for the VFW on Santa Fe drive which I will stop by tomorrow after class and see about volunteer work. The cool thing is this VFW is in the Art District so I'm hoping I mix volunteering and art!
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Just a quick progress update... it was also a great studio day because I had a studio assistant (one other than my 4 legged furry friend) who helped out by filling more balloons for my One in Eight installation. It was awesome because in this case my assistant was the inspiration for this piece! Mom... worked along side me, while I was at the easel she poured flour... I think she successfully filled and sewed 6 balloons. Slowly but surely I'm completing the first phase of this project, I (we) have about 115 more to fill, then its on to phase two which involves painting 160 nipples (not in oil as I've learned is not a good medium for this project)... once those are complete then I need to find a location to exhibit this what I hope to be powerful installation. Over break, I'm hoping to head up to Boulder to check out the MCA there with the idea of it being a possible venue. If it looks like a good location, then I have to figure out how to convince them it is a worth piece to exhibit! Well best be getting ready to teach my Portrait Painting class at the Art Students League of Denver. Its the last class before Christmas although many of my students are asking to continue on so we are working on setting up another section after the holidays! I'm calling this one "Portrait Painting Off the Grid" since it is not officially on the schedule.
First studio day after the Thanksgiving holiday and it was wonderful! I finally got started on actually painting Sinful Delights. Much of this is what I'm considering the underpainting as I'm planning on building it up with glazes and impasto layers depending on the different sections, i.e. the whip cream and ice cream will have some impasto medium added, possibly the banana but the glass (of which I have not painted yet) will be built up with glazes.
Then I'm experimenting with a little different approach with the environment around the pastries... it probably hard to see right now but I'm painting a kind of doily collage that breaks up the negative space - this is a new thing for me so we will see if it works. In general, I'm please with the progress thus far. Its for a show I was invited to participate in, March of 2016 - the theme is more or less food/dinning etc... its a 3-d show but they wanted some 2-d work for the walls and invited me!
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Soooo... I was working in the studio last week and notice some flour on my nipple, I went to brush it off only to discover that the oil paint I used to create this beauty had eaten through the latex balloon! Well that's a big buzz kill... looks like I'm going to have to paint with acrylic (I HATE acrylic paint) when the time comes to paint the nipples for this installation. I'm still working on the breasts, I have about 119 more to make before I start painting so I've got some time. Guess its good I discovered this glitch now rather than after I'd painted all 160 breasts... now that would have really been a buzz kill!
So earlier this fall I was invited to be a 2D artist in the Art Students League of Denver's delecTABLE: The Fine Art of Dining - Third Biennial National Juried Exhibit of Functional Ceramics which as you can see is actually a ceramics show but they also want art for the walls and so I was invited to exhibit as well. I've been researching and working on a concept of which I sketched out, messed around with the composition and today has finally started the painting. I'm still figuring out the background - thinking of creating fragments and patterns of the white doylies that are often placed under these delightful treats but we shall see... I want it to be an explosion of bright candy colors of varying pinks and reds mixed with chocolates and ochre, whites and creams with the background being busy but subdues so that it doesn't distract from the pastries (I've no idea what it is with me and pastries this year!
In any case it should be fun to paint. I'm going to also use impasto so I can get some rich cream texture going on in the ice cream, whip cream and icing... should look fantastic OR turn into a complete disaster only time will tell....
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Sadly I worked all day on trying to make an even better paper cupcake than this one, trying to figure out how to shape paper into semi circles via folding the paper verses getting it wet and trying to mold it which is what I did here but none of the experiments worked other than the cherry I made for the top of this cupcake which was my first attempt. Happily thought I think my clay cupcake sculptures are much better so I think I will stick to crafting those and put this experiment to rest. Now its on to sketching Sandy!
So driving into work one day, I had this idea for an installation which I'm calling Two Dozen Cupcakes and One Banana Split the concept being objects of desire... perhaps it was inspired by my recent dieting endeavors OR maybe it is an evolution from my 99 Names for Boobs series or perhaps it is a combination of the two... I will let my artist statement flesh that out when the time comes. In the mean time, rather than paint I envisioned this installation as sculptural in nature and thus three-dimensional, which pushes the concept of a 'graspable' object of desire. My thought is that the cupcakes and banana split would be made out of porcelain, and presented on a small tiger maple wood block that would serve as an individual pedestal, which would then be placed on a small shelf that would be mounted on the wall. I'm thinking the cupcakes would be placed in pairs and then space along the gallery walls and then the banana split would be a single sculpture placed among the cupcakes.
So that's the idea, now the challenge is, I've only worked in two-dimensional mediums thus far and I've no clue how to sculpt or work in clay... my solution... learn! That being decided, I found a clay instructor at the Art Students League of Denver, met with him to talk over my idea, of which he was very interested and thought it really cool, and I am now studying with him in a clay hand building class on Wednesday evenings. The class is awesome because I'm basically able to work on my concept and he is teaching me how to create in clay. The above examples are the first two experiments. I think I prefer the shorter fatter cupcake, which was the second one I made, to the taller one. Last night at class I added the 'icing' cherry and sprinkles - talk about fate, one of my fellow classmates had actually done cake decorating in a past job so he was able to advise me on the piping of the icing and the spreading of the icing on the other (its really funny because I am not a baker which is why I had no clue how to apply icing, but yet here I am making small pastry sculptures... of course just as I typed the word small the idea popped into my head what if I made a large scale cupcake? OMG that would be so cool! Ok all in good time, I need to first finish this installation.
So now these first two experiments are ready for firing after which we will experiment with glazing! Good thing my show isn't until October of 2016. Dean (Goss) my instructor and I were talking last night and he said that if my goal is to create two dozen cupcakes I will probably have to make something like 32 cupcakes in order to have 24 that I am really satisfied with... which makes sense. When I was studying photography at Purdue oh so many years ago, one of my instructors informed me that in order to get one good photograph I probably had to go through a whole roll of film (this was pre digital camera days...) so the idea of making 32 in order to get 24 makes perfect sense to me. The question is.... how many banana splits will I have to make? Only time will tell.
Being new to three-dimensional art making, another thing I'm playing around with is making a 3D paper cupcake so I can understand the aspect of three dimensionality. I will be working on that today as well as sketching out my next American Beauty subject which is my friend and former colleague Sandy Ceas. So enough of the blogging, its time to walk Molly and get to work!