Each year around Christmas the Indianapolis Arts Council hosts a show titled “TINY” and each year I think I’ll enter something, then don’t get it done. This year I was in the midst of creating the WOOD|STONE|METAL artwork when the call came out so I actually created some pieces to submit!
All these use some combination of natural stones, painted stones, driftwood, balsa wood, metal, paint & ink. Basically the exact same materials I was creating larger pieces from. I don’t really have any step–by-step images of their creation so I’ll share with you images of each individual piece so you can get a better idea of the details.
Each of them are currently available to purchase online in my “Giftables” shop, along with a selection of other small artistic pieces.
Of the above five pieces one was selected for the show, Origins. Which piece (or pieces) would you have selected?
One of the first pieces I created in my newest series “Wood|Stone|Metal”, this is “Serendipity”. The entire series could have been named that, it just came together in a delightful way! For many years I’ve collect bits of driftwood, sticks, stones and other items as I’ve traveled through life knowing that “someday” I would do something with them. With that stash of fun things around I was posed the question “what did you really enjoy doing as a child?” and immediately my love for collecting rocks in a shoebox popped into my mind. Even if they were just small pieces of gravel from our driveway adorned with paint, I spent many happy hours with rocks, as well as playing in nature with whatever I could find. But how to incorporate all that into works of art? That was when the exploring began. Sorting, stacking, painting, and arranging I began to gather/create items that might work together in a natural way. With the plasma cutter I started a collection of steel and copper shapes to use.
From my newly gathered stash of scrap balsa wood pieces I began to shape organic, rock-like pieces.
Rocks were pulled from jars, boxes and storage spots…as well as the landscape!
Driftwood, collected on my travels, was unearthed and more sticks gathered in our woods were stripped, cleaned and bleached to add to the pile.
I also began experimenting with paint on stones.
Over the course of several weeks I gathered, created and prepared. Then it was a bit like solving puzzles, choosing which pieces went with which, how they should be arranged and what made me happiest. Here are images of the process for this piece as it evolved:
Although I ended up with more wall art than sculptures, it was fun to express myself in a more dimensional form. Look for both types to be featured over the following weeks!
A few weeks ago I shared the process of creating new artwork on wood panels, using concrete & grout for texture and detail. Today I’m going to show you a companion piece I made at the same time. As I was unpacking in the new studio I ran across this panel that I had started before the big move.
It seemed only natural to go ahead and finish it while I was working with the same materials. When I unpacked it all that had been done was the texture layer of concrete & mortar – no colors added at all. It followed the same layering sequence as the “Journey” pieces did, building up color along the way. Lots of fun in the details of the process!
These are the rest of the images showing some of the steps along the way:
As you can tell there is a lot of painting on then covering up, then adding back with each of the colors. The last layer was with copper paint. I’m a sucker for turquoise and copper together! What’s your favorite color combination?
Next week I’m going to begin sharing some updates on the progress of the studio build. It is *this* close to being done! I’ll also share details about the Studio Open House on August 1st & 2nd, so be sure to check back then!
Continuing from my post on Monday, I’m sharing today images of the steps that went into creating “Journey #1-#3” (shown above). They began as textured concrete & mortar on wood panels. Then the fun began! Rather than bore you with a lot of words I will just tell you the most important one: LAYERS. Lots & lots of layers!
I wasn’t kidding, was I? It’s kind of like a dance, paint on, paint over, add more, cover it up, letting the layers and colors build and peek through. The final layers on all three pieces consisted of a copper paint. This gives you a close up view of each individual piece:
While I creating these three pieces I had another one in the works. Different size, shape and texture but the same colors. You’ll be seeing it shortly!
Here’s the third piece of artwork created from a section of an old metal filing cabinet, titled “Carefree” –
Unlike the pieces I’ve shown previously, the piece of metal wasn’t cut apart but instead I used the plasma cutter to etch & cut the design in the metal, cutting openings within the design. Here’s an image of the metal after cutting and sanding, before anything else was done to it.
The next step was to paint the entire piece black, using spray paint.
From there it was time to start adding in all the details. I spent a lot of time sprawled out on the floor of my studio with paint pens adding each little mark! I love creating tree art, no matter what the media, so what some might see as a long, tedious task I enjoyed each moment of.
Once all the details were finished I mounted the piece on a large wood panel (also painted black) with pieces of copper sandwiched between the metal and the wood. I am happy to report that this piece has found a wonderful home and I had the honor of being invited there to see where it had been placed. I couldn’t have been more pleased to see how it seemed like it was just made for it’s location. The light from nearby windows made it dance and change as the sun moved through the sky and the room lighting highlighted it perfectly as well. As an artist you can’t ask for more than that!
This piece of art took some twists & turns from it’s inception to completion, but ultimately it was a happy ending with the clients excited about it as well as myself.
This was a fairly large piece of art, at least in my realm of creations, and was based on the composition of a smaller piece. Translating from small to large was a bit more of a challenge than I anticipated! One of the first pieces I made was the multi-colored, metallic strip that goes down the left side. Just for fun I created a composite image of how the color of the aluminum changes with each application of ink:
Here’s another couple images of the work-in-progress, fairly far along:
There were a few more layers of color/texture added to the background before it was framed and ready to hang. It was hung at the end of a hallway in my clients home, and made a great focal point!
Some more new(ish) art to share with you, this piece was finished last month.
I was not a good blogger when I created it, I only have two images! Obviously the one above is the finished product and here is one I snapped during the layout stage:
A few tweaks here & there but pretty much the design stayed intact during the construction process. This piece was also included in the “Mixed Well and Served Fresh” show and will be on display there until April 14th!