Friday, July 31, 2015

The Commission Process Step 6- Balancing, Fine Tuning: Shirley and Roger

So I was really hoping that I could show you the finished piece today, but that's not going to happen.  I am SO close, but I hate to release something before it feels perfect- especially a commission!   The change of pace in working really hit home today. I was at the studio for seven hours, and yes I worked on a couple of other pieces- but not for any great length of time. But when I look at what I did that day- it does not seem to add up to much.  Find tuning, adding, subtracting, guessing, second-guessing, hesitating- and then acting. I know that these are not nearly as exciting as the earlier stages, but I am trying to be accurate and truthful about my process. And the truth is there are times during the process that that are just slow and tedious. But the reward is a piece with many layers of thought and detail and delicious visual surprises! At least that is the goal.

Here are some highlights of what happened this week:

This step scared the hell out of me. It's all about balance, and I felt it was getting too tight, and wanted some loser and lighter areas. So to counteract all the careful contemplation I did earlier this week, I poured and splashed wax on these pieces. I did "warm up" with smaller works, which were much easier. Once again, larger pieces proved to be a wee bit more difficult because wax cools it drips as you're trying to get it to the area you were shooting for across a large surface.

Next day- came back and stared it down. 

Realized I needed to carve away some areas, but wanted others to blend and feather a bit. So after carving some areas and applying pastel to others- it was time for the torch!! I got my mojo going by warming up on smaller ones again, and liked what was happening. I was just about to torch the delicate tricky parts for the commission, and thought about changing the soundtrack, but once again the music gods intervened to help reassure me on my path J. The song “Dance along the Edge” by Concrete Blonde came on, and I thought- that's exactly what I am doing right now! Gonna let it play. 

And it was the perfect soundtrack. Fire can be your friend or your enemy as we all know, and it’s a very delicate balance to harness it and get it to work with you to get just the right amount of fire to do what you visualize in your head. But I love what I am seeing. I can only hope that Shirley end Roger will as well.


Next day- more torch work- fire gods weren’t with me, left it alone, and concentrated on texture.  Applied medium to some areas to get some surface texture going- then covered it with oil paint! 

Staining is one of my favorite processes.  Reveals every little edge and nuance of surface- but looks scary at first! Love the result though.


Getting close, but still needs …..? That is my next challenge…

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