Reading an Oxford University “Short Introduction to the Meaning of Life”, I discover/decide that I am a creator of fiction. As a voracious reader, primarily of fiction, I used to think I might be a writer of fiction. But that never came to pass, I did not even dabble in writing with any energy.
Instead I (eventually) became a mixed-media artist. As such, I decide now that I do create fiction: I am a fiction writer without words.
I justify this notion on the basis that I am certainly not a representational artist striving to realistically portray the world around me. I am in no way a documentarian, seeking to identify and describe actual events or objects. The idea or recording what I see in front of me bores me to tears.
So I seldom draw or paint what I see directly.
I don’t make art to record people, places, or things; I create in order to satisfy something in myself that I cannot put into words, or record with a camera.
While I certainly include representation in my work, it is rare that representation is the primary purpose or focus in a finished artwork.
Perhaps I use “indeterminancy and obscurity” to reflect (rather than portray) a personal and emotional truth.
This has been, and still is, a difficult project for me. I think it may be getting a bit easier, but we will have to see how that pans out! There is some (well quite a bit of) technical challenge here, but the real issue is persistence.
It is so very very necessary to struggle on past the “it will never look like anything but a piece of crap” stage! And I have been procrastinating for the past 10 days or so. I may manage a half hour of work, then I give up and do something (anything!) else for the rest of the day. This puts me in a rather odd fatalistic & hopeless mood, not improved by the current political climate.
At last this project may be moving forward. I think am in transition to the “there is some small hope that I may like this a little bit someday” stage… TBD! This has been more serious than the “now it looks terrible, I hate it” phases that are inevitable but usually short-lived.
One goal is to get the three part sculpture starts above to something that embodies the concept drawing at right. The other goal is to end up with pieces I can use to make molds for casting on other materials. So wish me luck please!
After the ghastly school shooting in Florida, I am so horrified that of course I prefer not to think about it at all; from my safety I have that luxury. But that seems so wrong, and I listened to NPR list the shooting victims with a brief statement about each of them as provided by their families. Now I have a title for the bird piece above left: “No Safety”.
A few days ago the holiday season hit me, and yes, that is how it felt!
So I made myself a very personal holiday season “tree”, after realizing that my resin casts of a piece of coral would be great hanging ornaments! Yes, it looks a bit more like a menorah than a tree, but that is coincidence: the brass candlestick is just heavy enough to balance my chosen curly branch, and the design went from there based on just the right things coming to hand in my studio. Well I did spend an hour searching for the dried poppy heads after realizing the one at hand was so perfect!
I had already started on “Three Ships Come Sailing In” but only have two ships so far…
These are the first resin moon snail casts from my Moon Snail limestone carving, so I am excited!
How I did the Colors:
I experimented with brushing in powdered pigment, in addition to adding pigment to the resin. This fast cure polyurethane resin is bright opaque white, so I added a little pigment to make a light warm grey throughout the first cast, and a lighter off-white on the second cast.
Brushing color into the mold is always an experiment, as you cannot see in advance how much color is collected by rougher surfaces of the mold, etc. I tried for a light touch with highlights, which is more difficult than a full surface coverage.
I was not satisfied with the results, which were too patchy and high contrast, so I brushed & rubbed additional colored powders directly onto both casts until I liked the result better. I used a clear matte acrylic spray to fix the color. This surface color is thin & susceptible to scratches, but then that’s art for you :-)
Limiting the Edition:
I have offered the first one to a friend who may want to buy it. Her price is based on my rough estimate for the cost of materials… and this price is for friends only! But she may prefer to hold out for another material or different coloring. I do plan a few more casts, but will limit the number. Not sure about the size of the edition, but under 25, I think.
I have managed to drag success, kicking and screaming, from potential disaster:
Photo of resin cast
Photo 2 of same resin cast
Resin cast scanned
Original carved stone
This is art as a technical challenge: I made a really bad silicone mold of my carving Bluestone Ruins, ruining a layer of silicone with the wrong pigment, then running out of material. But I was able to salvage it sufficiently for this resin cast, and I may be able to get 1 or even 2 more from this very problematic mold.
This “Blue Ruins” cast has two layers of tinted resin. The upper layer is more translucent, but both let some light through. I won’t back light it, since the fiber and a sheet of mesh in the bottom layer would show up too much. However there is a subtle effect from light around the edges in the right light.
Note the effects of lighting: the first 3 images are the dark translucent resin cast under different light. In the 3rd image there is an optical illusion created by the scanner lighting. The relief appears reversed, with all the “outs” appearing to be “ins” :-). I have added a hanger & protective piece of acrylic to the back, so the piece hangs well now. It would definitely benefit from careful lighting however.
I certainly hope I do a much better job with my Moon Snail mold, coming next: the materials are on order.