In my last post I shared the inspiration for this latest assemblage. Therefore, I won't blather on much more, other than to say it's finished. Oh, and also to give the dimensions: 6" width X 9" height X 2.5" depth.
Below is a detail pic of the lower portion. This little chamber will be covered in glass; however, because of the glare, I left off the glass for this shot.
In my last post--my messy art lair--you may have noticed an old White Owl cigar box amongst all the other junk. It's the container for my latest project.
Owls have always fascinated me. As young boy on my daily, pre-dawn paper route, a great horned owl once flew between me and the streetlight. I was briefly enveloped in shadow and, needless to say, momentarily terrified.
With their nocturnal tendencies, enormous eyes, and eerie calls, I can see why owls have been the subject of folklore and myth. We humans tend to demonize that which we don't understand. Therefore, owls have often been associated with, among other things, "evil" (a vague, human-constructed term usually used to distract our attention away from honest introspection--but I'll save that discussion for another post). To me, though, owls are amazing creatures.
I discovered that in many Native American tribes owls are the bearers of the deceased's soul as it passes from this world to the next. In this manner owls performed an honorable, necessary task. Kind of cool, huh? This bit of folklore is the inspiration for this project.
Below is my "owl," created from vintage photos (someone's ancestors), which will be the focal point of my piece.
Below is an owl silhouette (roughly the same size as the above image) cut from thin plywood. At this point it's just coated in gesso--but eventually I'll add some collage elements to this layer.
In the next pic I've placed the cut-out layer above the image. This gives you an idea of where my idea's going... These two layers are NOT going to touch; my plan is to leave a space of about 1" between them, creating depth in the piece.
Below the owl is a rectangular opening. My intent is to box this in with a glass cover. What will it contain? Frankly I don't really know at this point.
However, I'm kickin' around the idea of leaving it empty so that whomever purchases the piece can fill it with personal items gathered from their ancestors--kind of a shrine. However, since this shrine idea requires someone buying my piece (and, frankly, my art's been garnering ZERO purchases lately), I may just go ahead and fill this space with something from my collection of interesting junk. We'll see...
...when I'm making a mess. Yesterday and this morning I got to spend some time playing around with a new project. Needless to say, my "studio" is a mess, but that usually means the creativity is flowing and can't be stopped for something as trivial as clean up.
My table with old photos--in varying stages of dissection...
More pics of my "studio": AKA, The Lair. When creating, neat and tidy are over-rated...
I'll post some "work in progress" pics of my latest project soon.
Since yesterday's posting, I've added another (albeit minimal) collage layer to my latest assemblage, "Activity of the Heart." Here are some pics of the finished piece, along with some detail shots.
An update from yesterday's blog post... Today I added some color to the blocks, as well as some collage elements. I'm still deciding whether to call it good or add another layer of collage on a few of the blocks. By the way, this cigar box is a small one: 6.5 X 5.25 X 3". My original intent was to put a hanger on the back so it could be used for wall art, but I think it works just as well as a free-standing piece.
I had an idea to create a sort-of "tile" affect inside a little cigar box. As shown in the pics below, I cut up some chunks of wood in various dimensions so that they could be arranged in the box. Next I'll dive into my collection of paper ephemera and add different images/text to each "tile." I may paint the sides of the tiles a uniform color, or I may just leave them natural, so to speak. I haven't made up my mind yet. Again, these are just work in progress shots; I'll post pics of the finished piece when I get there.
I had the house all to myself today, so my plan was to dive into some collage work. That said, I turned to experimentation with a collage technique. This technique involves making an ink-jet copy on a sheet of transparency film. After that a layer of gel medium is brushed on the substrate, and the transparency image is placed ink side down on the gel medium and rubbed so that the ink embeds in the gel and is released from the transparency.
Here's a video by artist Gary Reef, where he demonstrates the technique.
Unfortunately my experimentation didn't go so well. None of my images transferred very well. The key, which I will keep striving to achieve, is the thickness of the gel medium. Too thin, and the gel won't "grab" enough of the image. Too thick, and the image can break apart and distort. Needless to say, I experienced both types of failures today.
But, regardless of today's failures, you know what? A day in the "studio" experimenting and failing is still a day doing something I love. In that regard it's a huge success.
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.