Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today I am a very happy girl.....after two long days of painting, "Old Goat" is finally complete. This is the first piece I have finished this year, although I have quite a number already sculpted and ready to go.....it's been difficult to concentrate on just one piece. I'm very happy with how this one has turned out.....I think I've gone some way towards achieving the naturalistic look I was after. I've finally realized that what interests me most in regard to my own work is trying to depict an attitude or emotion in the character. For me, this takes precedence over just about everything else and if the piece doesn't have that quality then I feel that I've failed in some way. "Old Goat" looks like he has quite a bit going on inside that shaggy head.....I like to think that, like all fauns, he had a rather "eventful" youth and rather enjoys these moments of reflection that come with age and experience.....there is still mischief to be made, but it's now a more considered and sophisticated affair.
So, there it is.....one down, finally. I took a couple of shots of the completed sculpt of 'spider girl' while I was photographing today, and will most probably tackle her painting next. Then again, I have another attention demanding piece sitting on my studio computer table (it's a long-suffering Faery nanny complete with squalling infant!) built and ready for painting.....decisions, decisions.....might just wait till I get to the studio tomorrow and see who talks to me the loudest. Stay tuned for the winner.
Till next time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Awesome day at Mt Lofty gardens!

Well, I think someone must be looking out for me because after a truly awful week I had the most wonderful day on Saturday at the Mt Lofty botanic gardens with our much loved friends Linda, Nick and Lily. After a delicious picnic lunch, we spent our time photographing fungus, watching our kids roll down the steep grassy hill (some things never change, thank goodness!), walking, talking and laughing. My laughter deficit of the entire previous week was more than made up for in just a few hours! Guy was relaxed and happy too and I could just feel all of the tension lifting.....being in such beautiful surroundings with such wonderful company.....heavenly! Of course the time flew by at a ridiculous rate, as it always does, but there never seems to be enough time does there?
Linda set her camera on timer to take the shot of us all (Linda, Nick, me and Guy at the back, Noah, Lily and Grace in front) and she also sneakily shot the pic of me lying on the ground getting up close and personal with a Fly Agaric toadstool. I really dislike having my picture taken but she always manages to sneak a few.....and they're always good.
Fungus has always held an enormous fascination for me....it is so connected to Faery lore and it also has those wonderful 'Alice in Wonderland' connotations. I'm determined to one day sculpt the caterpillar on his mushroom.....another one for the ever growing list!
I hope to be able to post once more this week before I go in to hospital on Friday. I'll be spending the next four days hard at work in the studio so hopefully will have something worth sharing.
Till next time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spider girl is progressing well. It was always a bit of a gamble as to whether she would actually work as a sculpture, the legs being the biggest hurdle. Too thick and they would destroy the look of the piece....too thin and they just wouldn't support the weight of the torso and abdomen. Happily, it seems to have worked out and better than I expected. There is still a bit of fine tuning to do, but I should be able to start painting her in the next day or so. I ended up working at home on the kitchen bench (again) because she is too big to fit in my studio oven and she needed multiple bakings. I don't like using the home oven because of the cleaning required afterwards, but sometimes it's unavoidable.
Apart from work going well, it's been a pretty horrible week. I had my pre-admission visit at the hospital on Monday which was all fine (no bloodtests!!) but they forgot some stuff so I had to go back in again on Wednesday. Of course that means that Guy has to take more time off work and it's an hour trip there and an hour back.....we were ten minutes late so they kept us waiting for two and a half hours in a tiny shoebox of a waiting room....for an appointment that would have taken no more than ten minutes! Anyway, to cut a long and boring story short, I ended up having a panic attack and we had to leave before we saw the doctor. I've never had anxiety (except the usual kind) and panic before in my life and I have to say that I really don't enjoy the feeling. I just hope that once this final surgery is over next week, things will get back to normal and I won't have to even see a hospital again for a very long time, if ever.
To top things off, we lost our much loved pet rat Bernie on Tuesday. His brother Vern died a couple of months ago, so we kind of expected that old Bern wouldn't be far behind....he was a loving, gentle and intelligent member of our family and we will all miss him.
So that's the week gone and I'm glad to see the back of it. We're getting together with wonderful friends tomorrow, the weather is beautiful and it will be 'Friday night groove' in the kitchen after work today. Nothing cheers me up like watching my nine year old son do his 'robot dance' in his socks on the lino.
Till next time.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spider girl

It's freezing cold (damn it!!) but it's been an interesting and busy week at the studio. While I was VERY keen at the start of the week to get straight into sculpting 'spider girl', I decided to first re-work the 'fat faerie' head as the eyes have been bothering me for weeks. I needed a softer expression for what I've decided to do with her, so have made the eyes smaller and added a network of wrinkles and lines.....I've since finished building this piece, but haven't taken photos yet. Next post, hopefully.
With another piece built and ready for painting and costuming I moved onto tackling the armature for the spider girl sculpture. I drew out my idea of what she should look like and then tried to visualize an internal support structure that would not only hold the weight of the clay, but also allow for any changes I might decide to make along the way. You can't really tell from the photo because the whole thing is wrapped in masking tape, but the armature is very sturdy with the legs acting as a kind of cradle for the torso and spider body. The final spider legs will be longer than the armature so the whole thing will sit up higher.....at this stage, the most important thing regarding the look of the piece is that the legs remain quite spindly and delicate looking, but not in a 'pretty' way.....I want her to look elegant but dangerous at the same time. As you can see, I've already started to make changes from the original drawing by giving her multiple breasts.....at this stage I like the idea, but we'll see what happens as the sculpture progresses. So, all in all a good, productive week despite the cold weather.....I've strung some fairy lights in the studio for cheer and covered my blackboard with interesting quotes from interesting people. With luck it may just be enough to stop me from hibernating under a blanket (or several) for the next few months. Brrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!
Till next time.