Last month I held a mixed media workshop to create wall sculptures. My class ended up being small…and I mean SMALL, as in one student small! But that was just fine with us, we had a great day and he received one-on-one attention instead of being one of several. For this project we started off with a box full of different shapes and sizes of wood that I had cut a few months ago. We talked about design & composition and then he selected the pieces he thought he might like to work with and began laying them out in a tentative pattern.
After he was pleased with this starting point we went on to discuss color, patterns and hues. Then he selected paints, papers, metals & inks and began covering the individual pieces of the sculpture. We took a break for lunch as those pieces dried and then he re-arranged the pieces to come up with the final composition before attaching them permanently.
Next was the gluing/clamping portion of the day. Once that was finished we cleaned up and let the piece dry overnight. I will be anxious to see this piece hanging up…there were several options for orientation and I am curious to see which he chooses! It also made me anxious to play with wood & create a sculpture of my own!
A few weeks ago I showed you a piece of art that I collaboratively created with some of the participants at Noble of Indiana. It turned out pretty cool and I was pleased with it, especially for a first try at making a piece like that. Last Friday I was invited by Noble to be part of their spring event “A Noble Evening in the Garden” which previews the local flower & patio show. My part in the evening was to create/complete a work of art (while in one of the gardens) that would be auctioned off at the end of the evening. I debated a while on what I would create and then decided I would make another mixed media wall sculpture. I have a box of wood already cut into random shapes so I dug through it and pulled out the pieces I thought I would use, in addition to a piece of wood with a ridged surface that I would use for a center piece. Knowing I wouldn’t have the luxury of several days to let glued pieces dry I decided to assemble the piece with screws so it would be sturdy as soon as it was complete.
After I had the layout and attachments figured out I unassembled it and began doing some initial painting of the back and front of the piece. I also covered the center piece with aluminum and colored it with inks. Choosing the accent color without knowing what the rest of the piece would look like was a bit challenging but, since this WAS a flower show, I decided to stick with the nature theme and colored it green, hoping that it would blend in with the rest of the artwork when it was all finished.
Then I started sorting through different papers, prints, clippings and embellishments as I decided what to bring with me to the show.
I tried out one of the tree images on a piece of the sculpture. I looked good but I later discovered that I had put in on upside down! Sigh! Oh well, there’s nothing that can’t be covered up later. I reassembled the entire piece before packing it up so that I wouldn’t have to carry a heavy cordless drill with me. (I had restricted myself to only bringing items I could carry in one trip!) Here’s how it looked after it was primed (including the upside down tree image):
I had also decided to print some images on transparency paper and sprayed/sealed them so that they could be layered onto the image. Here are a couple of the images that I printed out:
Then I packed everything up and was off to the show! I set up my supplies and started to work. It’s always interesting working in public and getting reaction to the work in progress. There were several people interested enough to keep stopping in and checking on the piece from time to time and others who saw the initial work and scurried away, never to be seen again! I’m the first to admit that some creations don’t look that great till you get to the end, so I’m sure the early visitors weren’t terribly impressed. I had hoped to have photos of the progress to share with you but, honestly, once I got into the groove (and saw the deadline looming for when it had to be done) I didn’t take a break for anything – photos included! When it was complete I did snap a few photos of if, knowing it would be whisked away to auction and I would never see it again. Working with the floral/nature theme felt a bit different but it was fun to explore and fit the theme of the evening. Had I created this in the studio it certainly would have turned out differently but that’s part of the fun & challenge of creating “on the spot”. I know I would have made the center piece a different color, maybe something in the orange/rust hues to blend more with the rest of the piece or even a pink/red hue. Who knows! Here is a close-up photo of the middle section:
You can see some of the layers of tree & branch images that were printed on transparency paper, as well as some of the under layers with the flower images on them. There is a small quote that is layered on it a piece (not shown here) that, unfortunately, now I can’t find the words to. It was still covered in acrylic when I took the photo so it’s not clear enough to read. Even if I can’t quote it to you exactly I know the final part of it says that he’s never as happy as “when I walk between the flowers” and that is where the title came from.
I still have lots of wood pieces left and ideas for other, more slowly & carefully created, wall sculptures. I know I’ve committed to make one for another charity event so once that is complete I’m sure you’ll see it here. Between now & then who knows what might show up!