Monday, August 07, 2017

Mermaid Piece part 6

Mondays are usually a good day to work on art.  My current schedule has no other job conflicts that day, plus it was a rainy day today, so not much shore traffic.  So in the afternoon I grabbed the mermaid block, and my cutting tools, and headed up to the Studio.

I also made sure to bring my sharpening stone with me today, as I found some of these tools to be in need of sharpening last time.  My stone is a water stone, needing to be soaked in water before it's used, and I wondered if I'd have to go to another part of the building to get some water, since the sink in our space has been out of order since May.  As I approached our sink I noticed a small puddle on the floor nearby, which made me think the sink had been used recently.   Turned the faucet and it worked, so filled my container and dropped my stone in there to let it get soaked.  Took care of some other building business while it was getting ready.

Two main reasons for doing this.  First, noticed last week that these tools could use some sharpening, and best to get that done before starting the carving of this image.  Second, may need to do more teaching in the near future.  College starts up in about a month, and right now I am scheduled to have a 2D class at one of my schools, and I always do a woodcut project as part of my 2D class.  Nothing is less guaranteed than an adjunct teaching schedule, but I should be prepared.  And this past weekend I had stopped by the Boatworks seeking information and ran into the next intake, a dog themed show (I'm not submitting.)  I was asked about the possibility of another woodcut class session, or even a woodcut themed show.  Regarding the former I said what I always do-  if there is a demand, I'm happy to run it.  As for the latter- I doubt there are enough artists in the area doing woodcut to fill even one gallery, much less the whole building, and our business model requires entry fees to run shows.  I am working hard to build interest in woodcut throughout the state, but it's a battle.

Anyway, my mermaid piece. After sharpening those tools that seemed to need it, I began the process of sculpting, and I started in the most complex part of the planned object- the hands.  The design (as requested by the person who asked for this) involves the mermaid swimming with arms extended out in front, holding a starfish between them.  So I have at least three layers of objects in the composition- two hands (and attached arms) and the star itself.  Plywood is a layered substance, which can be good, as removing a wood layer creates depth, and bad, as in you can lose whole chunks if you're not careful.

About 90 minutes of work got me as far as what's shown in the above photo.  It's not completely flat, and there is some implied depth to the objects, though more work is needed.  In this light, shadows emphasize some of the layers of objects, but in fuller light it's not so obvious, so maybe color will be needed to clarify the subject, but that's a decision for another day.   Meanwhile, knife, gouges, chisel, and sandpaper got me this far, so I assume they will see me through this whole project.


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