Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Boy, talk about bogged down in details. Forgot to mention upcoming shows. ... I have a few tentative shows lined up. (I usually don't count on it until it gets closer to the actual time - things change fast these days).

- Zeitgeist Gallery in Pittsfield, MA - July 29 - August 16; Opening reception Aug. 1 6:30-8:30
- Lotus and Orchid in Keene, NH - September (and maybe ongoing pieces in collection)
- Cummington Community House - possibly fall show, if not, then next spring.

I'm still working on more paintings and trying to get myself to complete several on a theme before submitting to lots of other galleries. A more cohesive body of work will help in that endeavor. On the other hand, I could stand to sell a couple to raise enough money for materials to make the new series I'd like to work on, so some shows are necessary.

- Not sure if the Zeitgeist show is happening. Will keep everyone posted.
- Lotus and Orchid visit went well! Show moved up to June instead of September. I'll be paired up with a sculptor for that exhibit. I'm excited!!

Materials crunch

I'm almost done sculpting the twin canvases for Distant Sharing, but need to come up with more modeling goo. I have a batch brewing, but my current method takes a while before the paper is sufficiently pulped.

Normally I submerge shredded paper directly into latex paint and let it sit until it starts to break down into pulp, but that takes weeks and these paintings are all set for sculpting and I have casts ready for at least another two. The usual method of soaking paper in water then using a blender to pulp it is difficult because of the extra moisture, but it is far more quick.

I had a block of "Cellu-Clay", basically bone dry paper pulp. Yesterday, I broke it open into some paint and mixed it with sawdust - about 40/60 paper/sawdust in just enough latex paint to make it into a wonderfully soft yet full-bodied modeling material. But Cellu-Clay is *really* expensive, so now I'm determined to find a good way of quickly coming up with dry pulp at home.

I have a tub of shredded paper soaking in the greenhouse. I saw a papermaking site that mentioned pressing the pulp in an old t-shirt to drain it, then sun-dry it on screens. We'll see if that works.

I have a whole series of meditation paintings lining up in my head now, too, so the need for more is only getting worse. Sheeeeesh.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Construction Day

I went through all the casts I've been making lately and found which ones matched up with which sketches. I had all the pieces for "Bereft" and the twin paintings of "Distant Sharing", so those are the ones I'm working on while others are curing. The dimensions of the paintings are based on the size of the cast, so to match the sketch, the frame for Bereft is almost 4' wide x 7.5' tall. I'm still scraping up enough lumber for cross-braces before I stretch the canvas. I like the idea that the frame is considerably smaller than the casts and the intended sculpting. It lends a limiting, restricted feeling to the piece. The idea behind Bereft is basically just that, the essence of having nothing left to offer.

Each painting for Distant Sharing is going to be just shy of 2' wide and about 3.75' high. I matched up arm casts from Karry Brothers with head casts from Daniel Garretson and Peter Mitchell. Eventually they'll have a mix of wood slats and molding materials. The idea behind this one is that people who share a close connection can share emotions in very abstract terms even when they're apart. Elements of the feelings of the first person are present in the second, but through the filter of their own experience.

I've also finally finished the sculpting phase of a painting I started two years ago. I was always unhappy with it and kept building and building the sculpting until it caught the feeling I was after. I'd been struggling with a title that caught the essence, but once I had the sculpting done, the title "Shitstorm" popped up. It covers it entirely - the aftermath of a falling out with someone you thought you knew. I just know I probably won't be able to hang it in public spaces with that title. Oh well, it's a small one.