What I’ve been Up to

My blog has been quiet
and I’ve been working.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Exams are ahead
some are now passed
Lots to know, but fun as well.
I’m not a genius, but I do what I can
And that is sufficient for now.

No paintings to show
But a mask in the make
When it’s done it will crush walls
At least that’s what it looks like.

And among all things
Some writing on the wall
With Post-it scraps and paper piles

For a few months now
writing a song
And finally getting somewhere

So all in all
Life’s a bloom and I am well
One day at a time and the rest will follow

 

 

Work in Progress and New Work…

I am still working on the oil painting and am probably half done. I’m starting to get a hang of the rough canvas material I am painting on. (I had a smooth material before, but I’ve used Burlap for the last couple paintings, just to try the texture.)

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And I started a new mask! :) It’ll be a remake of my rhino, which unfortunately got eaten by moths a few years ago. So, different glue and some experience later, this is what it looks like, so far. The picture on the right shows the old mask.

A Lioness!

Today I finished the lion mask! I originally wanted it to be a male lion, but during painting, I decided to turn it into a lioness. It has a strap on it and a thin, black cloth behind the eyes. That way, you can wear it and see your environment without your eyes showing. The coat of varnish finished it off, and I am really happy about how it turned out.

Work in Progress: Mask and Canvas!

I was down with a cold for a week, so I was confined to my room and the campus area. But today I was better, so I got in the car and went to buy some necessary tools and supplies, among those a new hammer. With the hammer, I could finish the canvas. I also did some work on the lion mask, widening the face and adding some lower cheek area.  It’s good to be back! :)

A Mask, an improvised Dish, and a Canvas!

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I had some white summer squash from last season that had to be used. That combined with a bunch of left-over vegetables were a good basis for an improvised dish:
Baked Summer Squash stuffed with Spinach, Garlic, and Mushrooms, in a Tomato-Eggplant-Sauce.

Meanwhile, I am working on 2 projects in the art studio: A lion mask and a new canvas for an oil painting. I molded the shape for the mask with regular kids’ clay and covered it with special papermaché-paper (it’s really cheap and it absorbs the glue really well) and wall paper paste. It’s fun to get back to papermaché :)
The canvas frame is recycled from some cheap foto-print-canvases I found. I started stringing the burlap on the frame, but I had some problems with the stapler. I think I’ll need to get a hammer and nails to finish the frame off. Sometimes the good old-fashioned tools are more reliable!

Straw Figures Workshop!

I got to host and teach a straw figure workshop last Saturday. We ended up being 5 people, all of whom had fun making characters out of straw and wire. I thought the results were cool to see :)

A Mask, a Unicorn, a Chagall-Afternoon

I just put my 2nd Kasperle-Mask on Ebay and am excited to see what happens. :)

While I was doing some research for my history presentation, I came across the “medical knowledge” of the 12th century, as told by Hildegard of Bingen. It’s quite something to realize that what she was writing about medicine was what was considered “state of the art”, because most of it is really absurd. Here’s what she has to say about the medical purposes of unicorns:
“The unicorn […] is a herbivore. It avoids humans and other animals. It especially fears the presence of men […] but it follows women. That is why you hardly catch one of them. […] The pulverised liver can be mixed with egg yolk to form a salve to cure leprosy, unless God wills for that person to die, then the salve won’t help. A belt made from the skin of a unicorn protects its wearer from the plague and from fever. Shoes made of unicorn leather impart strength and health to feet, joints and legs.”

And this morning and early afternoon I decided to design a book cover for my new German Luther-Bible. I decided to go for a Chagall-inspired look. I would have liked it to turn out with slightly different colors, but I’m still pleased with it. The Hebrew verses add a bit of something extra to it :)

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A little bit of Art in Church…

I started my studies in theology a couple of weeks ago. The classes are really interesting and I already have some great new friends. But I also am keeping up the art side of things, even if I’d like to do more. Here are some updates:

  • The Kasperle mask turned out very well, so now I’m making a few copies to sell. Right now I’m painting mask #2 and doing some sculpting on mask #3
  • Yesterday we had a guest speaker talk about the role of architecture in spirituality/church life. It was a very interesting presentation. And afterwards I got to talk to the speaker. He is the head of Christian Architecture and Art in Germany, so he knows a lot about art. And he’s also written a few children’s books, so we had a lot to talk about. The connection is there now, who knows what will come of that. Either way it was really cool! :)
  • There’s going to be a worship night at our school tomorrow (like a church service). During the service there will be a part where we sing songs and pray. And while that is going on I will also be praying and express that through painting. I am looking forward to that :)

 

Kasperle finished!

I just put a final coat of varnish on my Kasperle-mask, and declare him finished! I know that sounds overly dramatic, but it was a big moment to see him all painted.

Tomorrow we have an opening ceremony for the new students, and each student is supposed to bring an object which describes something about them. I’ll bring Kasperle as my object. I think people will like him, but I hope he doesn’t scare anyone. Masks can be creepy as well as cool.

Wrapping Things Up!

I eventually found my phone again (hooray!). I seem to be in the mood for displacing things and getting into little messes, since that’s what’s been happening lately: I lost and found my phone twice within 2 months, ruined the original table top by messing up the epoxy and had to start my Kasperle-Mask over. I also have a lot of bumps and scratches from working and playing with a giant puppy. And I am moving out in a week (October 1st), which means there are packing jobs to be had.

But I am glad for all of this, obviously it means that I am trying things and learning:

  • I will remake the mold for my mask, this time with latex and a plaster shell.
  • I remade the table top and covered it with epoxy, this time only as a thin layer. It worked!
  • The scratches are part of having a giant puppy, so I don’t mind those either.
  • And the boxes are mostly packed and labeled. I’m actually moving more art supplies than anything else. My “normal stuff” (clothes, guitar, books,…) only take up about 30% of the space. Those seminary students better watch out! :)

Of Butter, Oil and Clay

I had to get up unexpectedly early this morning because my brother overslept and needed a ride to his workplace by 7AM. This was not to my liking… but while I was listening to the radio I learned an unexpected fun fact: There is a German saying to describe that all is well, it literally means “everything is in butter” (alles in Butter). The reporter said that the origin of this saying lies centuries ago, in the export of Venetian porcellain. In order to keep the pieces from breaking during transport, they would stack it in barrels and fill these with liquid butter. When the butter hardened it would keep the ware safe. When the porcellain arrived at it’s destination, they just melt the butter again. You never know when you’ll learn something new!

I spent the day in a low-key way, but still got some cleaning/packing done for my move to seminary. I also figured I should post some updates on my art projects:

  • The oil painting “Bangkok Rama 3” is looking good, I filled in most of the base colors.
  • I cut my “Kasperle”-mask in 5 pieces and made clay molds of each of the parts. I’ve never done it before, so considering that it’s looking great. But there are several things I’d do differently next time.

Works in Progress: Painting and Sculpture!

I managed to work on my new painting (current title “Bangkok Rama 3”) and my “Kasperle”-mask.

The painting is about the same size as “Devil’s Canyon” (2016, 5′ 10” x 4′ 2”/ 175 x 125 cm) and in its beginning stages. I first painted the whole canvas magenta and drew in the basic shapes with chalk. Now I am in the process of blocking in the basic colors (depth and brightness come later). I’m pretty happy with it, you can already see the basic layout coming clear. I think it’s turning out well :)

Meanwhile, “Kasperle” is doing well, too :) I refined his jawline and his cheeks, added ears and hair and just tried to make the shapes more clear and polished. When all this is done, this will actually be the mold for the mask, not the mask itself. The reason I’m not just making the mask straight away is so that I can make copies when I need them. The mold will be cut into 5 pieces, but I am still trying to figure out how the mold will exactly work. I believe in learning on the job ;)

An Experiment in Sculpting

I got to participate in an art show last week, and I made following observation: People love masks and costume sculptures!(I had a painting and a mask in the show, and more people noticed the mask than the picture, eventhough the picture was significantly bigger and prominent)

So, I decided to do an experiment: I will make a mask and put it on ebay. I was just in Venice and saw how popular the masks were. Eventhough I’m not making Venetian masks, I am thinking about things like Carneval, Halloween and the German “Fasching”. And what could capture that sort of attitude more than “Punch” (German “Kasperle”), the wooden hand puppet character in “Punch and Judy”-Shows… So that’s the mask I’m making! :) (Sorry for the bad photo quality, there wasn’t enough light…)

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Some Summer Comissions!

 

It’s summer and so I have time for other projects, including comission jobs. So if you e.g. want a cabinet painted/refinished, a painting, a sculpture, a poem, or something else, you can let me know! I’d be glad to make something for you.

Above are some examples of comission-work/ stuff I could do as comissions. Of course there are many more pictures on my site, but these are just a few from different categories.

Thanks for your support and your ideas, and have a great day!

 

Last Summer Exhibit!

I just finished my diploma exhibit last Saturday. But before the end of the school year the academy always hosts a summer exhibit, and I get to be part of that. We have spent the last 2 days preparing it, now it is ready for the opening tonight at 7PM. As a class we built a bar-room, with old wooden boards paneling the walls, old 60s and 70s furniture and posters from teen magazines to decorate it. It turned out way better than any of us expected it to :)

So if you are in the area, feel free to come and see it! The exhibit opens today at 7PM and is open until Saturday at 9PM. My stuff is in one of the rooms by the center hall (Lichthof), on the 2nd floor (1.OG) (there’s a giant Britney Spears-picture in that room, too). I am showing Greedo, the restaurant pictures, and a “Service with a smile”-sign in the tavern.
Adress: Reinhold-Frank-Str 81, 76133 Karlsruhe

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