Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Creepy ... masks, wax and styrofoam.

In my previous blog I mentioned that acrylic paint takes ages to dry on styrofoam. I was experimenting with something.

I like burning scented candles, but had a huge collection of almost burnt-out ones. I melted them down in a saucepan in the kitchen and poured the wax into the styrofoam frame around my three masks which I made almost 10 years ago now, and here is the result:


It's okay if you think it's kind of nasty. I would have to agree with you. But it was a fun experiment.

When it dried, the edges of the wax seemed to disconnect from the styrofoam frame, and I don't know why that is. Also, there was water in there too, which I had to drain off by picking the thing up and turning it over slightly. Of course when melting the wax I was curious to see what would happen if I put half a cup of water in there - it bubbled up madly and I assumed the water evaporated away, but maybe that wasn't the case. But I like how the surface of the wax is crinkly in places, like old skin or something.

I imagine I broke a few health and safety rules making this, but playing with fire is, I suppose, part and parcel of making art. One of the boys in art college enjoyed painting figures on his canvases, and then spilling turpentine on the canvas surface and lighting it up to see what would happen, and he got some very striking results. Of course, he did that out of doors in the courtyard. Not sure if he actually had permission for it. I know other artists work on a painting in the conventional way and then take a blow-torch to it.

The masks were plaster of Paris painted with acrylic, plaster of Paris, and cardboard. I wonder how it would look if I applied a little glitter ....


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Street Festival XIII The Hands

The title is kind of self-explanatory. When I was taking the photos, these guys were a bit drunk and silly and very keen on showing off their rings, so I got several shots of hands, one or two I had to delete because of the, ahem, gestures, but anyway.

And being someone who gets a bit caught up in details from time to time, I decided to paint this up as an exercise, and see how the hands would turn out.


Naturally I drove myself crazy with this piece, what with hands being such an intricate subject and oil paint being so .... oil painty.

It probably won't be included in any future exhibitions, because it's not really that nice a painting, but as an exercise in painting hands, it was valuable for me. I've done lots of difficult foreshortening drawings, but not many paintings .... time is a consideration, as always.

What am I actually doing at the moment? I'm working on a 3-D piece with masks I made over 10 years ago, and thinking about a submission to a major art event, and how to present it. I'm also looking at exhibiting in Limerick city, and options for that. And I'm thinking about bringing more work to my nice friends at the DraĆ­ocht Gallery in Adare. And I'm going to send out a submission to a gallery in Dublin. And slowly building up something that might turn into a book of my own paintings .... and still thinking on stories. Always.

Oh, and I learned something new yesterday: acrylic paint does not dry very quickly on styrofoam. It takes HOURS. Pissy when you're trying to build up layers, but what can you do ....

AND, before I forget - I have four more Street Festival paintings, two of which are being painted now, and two that are finished.

Okay. Blog done now. Till the next! XXX