I got some progress done on my oil painting. Now, most of the pink coat is covered and has a base coat of color on it. It still looks really wild, but I can see where it’s going :)
And when I went to check on my garden, I saw the first tomato flowers on one of my plants. They are really small and could easily be missed, but if you look closely, you can see them. If you keep your eyes open, little things are bound to surprise you at random moments. And when that happens, you just stop a second and smile. At least that’s what I did today :)
I have a lot going on these days, and haven’t gotten to painting for quite a while. However, a painting won’t finish itself, so when I found time today, I got some progress done.
I’m not sure what I’ll call this picture, but for now, it’s “A Chair and a Wall”. What do you think it should be called? If you have any ideas, leave a comment! :)
Also, I planted my tomatoes, kohlrabi, and sweet potatoes in my raised bed garden. They really needed to be transplanted, they were starting to grow out of their little pots. When something needs space to grow, give it space to grow :)
I started the actual “painting” part of painting my new canvas by putting on a base coat of magenta pink. You won’t see the pink when the picture is done, but it makes the colors that come after it stand out.
I also started building a raised bed in the student gardens. I didn’t plant it yet because there’s still a risk for frost at night. But in 2 weeks, this white cube will go green! :)
The steps are really simple:
1. place bag securely on the ground (use bricks to hold it in place)
2. fill bottom third of the bag with old wood and twigs. They should be so rotten that you can break them by hand or easily crack them
3. add a thin layer of cardboard. This attracts worms, which makes the ground healthy
4. add old dirt
5. add a 15-20 cm layer of good soil
6. cover with mulch (straw, grass cuttings, wood chips, or similar). This keeps the ground moist and prevents weeds.
1. secure bag with bricks
2. fill bottom third of the bag with wood
3. add thin layer of cardboard
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! :)
This is what my newest painting looks like so far. It’s an entrance to a movie theater somewhere in Seattle. I got most of the base coats in and will be working on the shading and “details” from this point on (it intentionally won’t be detailed in the end).
Speaking of movie theaters, what do you think it should be called? And what do think of Disney’s new movie “Moana”? I haven’t seen it yet, but I’d be curious what your thought are :)
I am making a “Tauriel”-inspired costume out of burlap. Considering that I’m not a good sewer, I think it’s looking really good. Now that the basic shape is set, I will be trimming and hemming all those messy edges. :)
I’m happy with the way it’s turning out, but there are two things I’d try to do better next time:
When shaping the pattern for the dress, I didn’t calculate quite enough extra fabric for the pieces. This means that the dress fits ok, but when I try to move around, it gets a little tight. Next time, I’d calculate an extra 2-4 inches to the initial “plastic wrap” (skin tight) pattern (possibly even more, depending on how loose the final fit should be)
I also would try to leave even more of an edge for hemming the cloth, and I’d hem the pieces as soon as possible. I did leave a edge for the hems, but in some places it wasn’t enough, and some edges started fraying already, so it’s a little messy. So if you ever try to sew something, leave a 2-3 inch-edge and don’t wait with the hem for longer than necessary :)
When all this hemming is finished, I will dye the piece green. And then I’d be done! :)
Have you ever attempted a bigger project without much pre-knowledge? What was your experience with that? Leave a comment if you like and have a great day :)
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! :)
when you don’t let clay dry long enough and have air bubbles…
shape of new mask out of kid’s clay
outer 2-part-shell of mold (plaster)
covered with papermaché
Bangkok (2016) -sold
new table top with epoxy finish
what my room looks like right now
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:
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 :)
Bangkok Rama 3, Aug 31st 2016
Kasperle, Aug 31st 2016
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 ;)
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…)
I promised to show the art I am making here, so here it is.
I am trying to impove my skills in colored pencil, as well as drawing cloth and caricatures. The chickens are concept sketches for my book “Chasing Chickens”.
Concept Sketches “the Farmer” (based on Van Gogh)
The main Characters
I started sketching for my story “Chasing Chickens”, getting some ideas in for the main characters.
The chickens are loose! But why, what do they want, and how do you get them back to the farm? After chasing the chickens all over town, it turns out they’re on strike! When the farmer promises better treats, they come to reason. Thank goodness! All is well now, but whether mom will believe what happened, is another story…
These are the main characters:
- “the mayor” is a big guy, fat and has cheery eyes
- “the farmer” is modeled after the painter Van Gogh, but softened up a little. A bit nervous, awkward, well-meaning
- “Dan” (the narrator’s best friend), about 6-7 years old. A white kid, slightly self-important, curious
- “Gabe” (the narrator), about 5-6 years old. A black kid, fit, curious, looks up to Dan
- “the Chickens”. mischievous, smart, demanding
The Summer Exhibit is over, the rooms are mostly back to normal, and I officially am done with my formal art education. I got an A- (1,66 in German grades) on my diploma and could just rest on that…
But that’s not happening, here’s what will really happen:
- I will take a 2-week vacation with my parents and sisters in Italy. Although it is a vacation, I want to use that time to draw and go to art exhibits. One week Tusany near Pisa, one week Venice.
- I will try to paint 2-4 Paintings as well as reframe some of the old ones. I still get to use the art studio at the academy until I leave in September
- A mini-art-show in one of the main museums of Karlsruhe! I applied for a place, and I actually got accepted! I can only show one piece, so it’ll either be “Window”, “9th Street”, or “2 Fishing Boats”.
The show will be on Sunday, August 21st, at the Botanical Gardens of the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. It’s part of the “Kunsthallensommer”. The Motto “Montmartre, Paris“
- Study at the academy’s library. They are open even during the vacation and the book about art and art history are amazing! I hardly had time to be there before, but now I do :)
- Getting ready to move out: I will start studying for another degree, this time Theology. I will move to a small town in Hessen (3h north from where I live now) and study at a small but very good seminary. I will have a lot to do there, but I also get a free art studio and acess to the tool shed and shop. Art is not going away!
So that’s my summer news. What are you doing with your summer? And do you have any tips on relaxing, studying, or packing? Leave a comment if you like, and have a great day!
Unicorn 1 (Helmet)
Two Fishing Boats (2015) -$1000-
Unicorn 2 (Helmet)
Portrait of Martin’s Kids (Oil Painting)
Work Table (Wood, Metal, Epoxy)
Happy Easter (Collage)
Service with a Smile (Sign)
“Greedo”(2012) with “Mountain Town”
Saw Coat Hanger
9th Street- 2 (Oil Painting)
Book Shelf (Wood), back view
Book Shelf, front view
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!
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!
Devil’s Canyon, Open and some sketches
These are some lithographic portraits of another graduate student
9th Street with a Bacon-Dessert placemat
I might make something out of this mouth-lamp: It would be a 50s-style sign that says “Service with a Smile!”
My sculpture “Greedo”
Twinkie the Kid in a tire
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! :)