Monday, April 27, 2015

Planning for the next "Big Thing"....

So I have been completely enjoying all of my little tiny six by sixes, and the freedom they allow me to approach a blank canvas and to just play. That being said I have been hankering to do something both larger and more sculptural. And so to balance myself out and swing completely in the other direction,I  have started planning a huge piece for art prize that is all encompassing. It is going to be sculptural encaustic incorporating a lots of natural materials and at least 8 feet high. Started with the sketch, and that is usually what I do I'm graph paper so that I don't envision something larger than I can build, and that is fine if you are just building a panel and painting on it. However, I am trying to work in actual objects whose scale I cannot change, so today I started a life-size paper pattern. To up the level of difficulty and make it harder (cause i can never take the easy way out),  I am going to address all of the seasons sequentially  from top to bottom, and ultimately imbue it with more meaning.  At a particularly euphoric moment, I considered making a totem for each season, but then realized that was probably not doable, at least this year. So much fun to do, trying to figure out everything I can fit in. The dreaming up of the possibilities is the fun part. I'm sure I will be swearing at this thing in a month or two, but I am reveling in the idea phase of it. Even though my backroom looks like I'm trying to build a beavers dam, I still am searching for the perfect two branches to hold up the vernal equinox night sky. If anybody needs a curly willow from this spring, I'm your gal :-)
Here are some sketches and planning, and hopefully the finished watercolor I'll use to apply with to Artprize this year.  

Just trying to get it down on paper with some rough ideas...

Then starting with paper patterns to scale to see how they'll work with the actual branches, nests, etc.

liking the top so far....

soem sense of scale- up to the ceiling! 

closeup of the top, with the night sky from the vernal equinox done in phosphorous pigments, a spring next woven of pussy willows with qualms eggs, Gothic shaped doors that will be inscribed with excerpts from  conservation classics....

working out the rest of the piece on graph paper

Now need a more fleshed out version for the jurors to look at...

 ...and here it is. I think I will be doing an overlay with little notes explain 
what each piece will contain. 

A small sampling of whats to be included:  beach rocks from Lake Superior, fall leaves, pods, altered book of relevant nature poetry that celebrates the midwest, a tree stump portion, spring peepers, red winged blackbird, queen anne  lace, fern fiddle heads, acorns, bark, moss, bracket fungus, summer grasses, and hibernating critters carved into a the winter base.  

PHEW! now- all i have to do is make it-and give it a title...any suggestions? toying with Mighty Midwest Totem. But perhaps altar is more fitting, or reliquary, or ?? open to suggestions.  


  1. Wowee - what an undertaking! 😊 Can't wait to see it progress.

  2. Me too! but its been on hold for a bit- didn't find a home at artprize, but still want to make it! think it'll be a good winter project....