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

 

 

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! :)

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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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.

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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A “Kunsthalle” Art Show!

I got to participate in an art show at the “Kunsthalle”, one of the major museums of Karlsruhe. They have a range of summer events to promote the museum, and this art show was one of those events. It was under the motto “Montmartre-Art Market” (named after the artist’s area in Paris). I ended up showing “9th Street”, my Mandrill-mask and my Portfolio and Postcards. I also took the time to sketch some of the people who were walking by. And there were quite a few people to choose from!

All in all, I had a good time. There were some interesting people, fascinating conversations and astounding shifts in the weather throughout the day (we went from full sun to rain and back several times within 8 hours)

 

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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The Grand Opening!

Today we opened the art exhibit at the art academy in Karlsruhe. I served hotdogs and watermelon outside my exhibit room and had my portfolio and postcards there. My mom and dad and a friend helped with the food and the setup.

The opening was at 7PM, but people didn’t really show up until 7.30 or later. But when people did come, the hotdogs were the hit!

Meanwhile I talked to some people, answered a few questions and spent time with some friends. In short, it was a great evening!

 

 

5 Professors and an Alien!

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“Greedo”
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“Devil’s Canyon” and “Window (Open)”
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“Mountain Town”
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“9th Street”, versions one and two
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my portfolio on its stand. I made the stand to cover the sink and hold the postcards and portfolio.

Today was my practical diploma exam. I presented 5 paintings and my sculpture “Greedo”. There were 5 professors and the exam was about 15 minutes.

I was asked about my process and about other (sometimes obscure) stuff: They asked e.g. why I did the American theme and I told them that I was from the US. One of them blurted out “Oh I’m sorry about that” to which I said “Well I’m not”. He didn’t mean to be offensive, just to provoke and see what I would do.

The important thing in situations like these is to keep calm and show confidence and honesty at the same time. If a critic sees a weak point, they’ll dig deep and push you into a corner. As an artist you are (or at least will be) faced with critics, everyone will have a say about what you should or should not do. Part of being an artist is shaking it off and keeping confidence. You have a choice as to how you respond to stuff. As for me, I have the rest of the day off :)

Updates on the Setup!

I’ve been spending the last few days with setting up the room for the art show. It’s still not 100% done but it’s getting there!

I especially like my Twinkie-Tire-sculpture and the restaurant painting (9th Street (2) )

It’s fun to see things come together after you put all the work into it. I hope whatever you are working on suceeds :) Have a great day!

The opening of the show is on Thursday, July 7th at 7PM at the art academy in Karlsruhe (Reinhold-Frank-Str 81, 76133 Karlsruhe). The show is there until July 9th at 9PM. Come check it out! :)