It’s always interesting to notice when I stop thinking of a sculpture as “it” and start saying “her” instead.
With this one, it started at the armpits.
This is how it always starts: heavier vertical wires taped to the form. Multiple layers of tape, because the wire does not want to stay put.
Then I go around the hips and attach a lighter-weight wire to each vertical wire. This part drives me crazy. Wires everywhere, trying to poke me in the eyes, making a little shivery sound as they brush against each other.
Here’s a close-up of one of the little wires wrapped around one of the bigger ones:
Fussy and barely manageable, like a newborn baby. It takes me a while to get into a groove.
I wear leather gloves when I’m working on my sculptures. The left glove always wears out before the right one. Here is what a glove looks like when it stops being useful to me:
The right one ends up filthy too, but much less ragged.
It makes me sad to have to throw both gloves out and buy a whole new pair.
A while ago, I found an Instagram feed full of photographs of people in outrageous costumes holding taxidermied animals. Like this one:
When I don’t feel like doing my daily drawing, I bribe myself by using one of those photos as a model to draw from.
More recently, one of my artist friends has been playing with Yupo paper (which is not paper at all, but smooth plastic). Another has been doing blind contour drawing, where you don’t look at the paper or lift your pen while you draw.
All of that, plus my ongoing carpal tunnel issues, has resulted in my doing things like this:
I’m not particularly attached to these drawings, but it delights me to make them. There’s something magic about the process. It’s like being six years old again, but with less fear and loneliness.
I dream about someday facilitating collaborative art playgroups for grownups and sharing the fun I’ve been having with other people.
For the second week in a row, my Awesome Monday Plans got canceled because of snow.
I cried. I ate a frozen leftover cupcake.
And then I sat down at my desk and worked on a project that I started over the weekend. Prof Hebdo (aka Lynda Barry) posted this picture…
…with instructions to her students (for extra credit) to draw 8 of these creatures, then pick two at random. They fall in love. Pick another random creature. This one ruins their love. Make it into an 8 panel comic.
I’m not officially one of her students, but sometimes I do the extra credit assignments anyway. They are usually fun, and always worth doing. Yesterday I drew 15 creatures.
Everything I’ve been reading about comics says that if you want to do them you should get used to working fast. But I am not, as my therapist pointed out early in our relationship, “a fast and easy kinda gal” (that was at least 4 years ago, and we are still digging). Also, I seem to be having some sort of repetitive strain issue with my right hand. So I am working slowly, and that’s okay.
Today I drew 3 panels. As usual, I drew with a Sharpie pen because I hate eraser boogers and I hate the wispy tentative way that I draw when I’m using a pencil. I drew on index cards, because the big sheet of Bristol board intimidated me. Here is the first panel:
The Royal Whatever is about to fall in love with one of the Fishy Things. The Crab Thing in the lower left hand corner will ruin it, although it must be said that it is not really the Crab Thing’s fault. The Royal Whatever and the Fishy Thing were doomed before they ever laid eyes on one another.
Writing about my process is also showing my work!
I’ve made a lot of progress on the newest girl. She has a name now: bad signal.
Before I started working, I hung this print up behind my workbench for inspiration:
There’s a lot of writing under the scribbling. There are also faces:
I started finding little objects with faces on them all over the studio, and decided to incorporate some of them into the sculpture.
This one is a bead made by a friend of mine a long time ago. I like how it looks like it’s trying to chew its way out of a cage. The green wire reminds me of tiny little fists on the ends of wiry arms.
In the print, the faces are scattered randomly. On the sculpture, they’ve ended up being placed along the milk lines (where you might find extra nipples), for no other reason than that it amuses me and makes me think of this email that my ex-boyfriend sent me many years ago:
Subject: A Moderne Taxonomie Of Ye Beastes
Kitties – Hair, fur, mammaries, usually nipples.
Chickens – Have feathers. Also frequently beaks, bills, wattles,
beards, muffs, tufts, stripes, spots, quacks, clucks.
Fish – Cold blooded. Frequently wet. Not cuddly, but not too yukky.
Bugs – Cold blooded. Yukky, or obviously bugs (there are some nice bugs).
Quail = chickens.
Elephants = kitties.
Lobsters = bugs.
Turtles = fish (cold blooded, not overtly yukky).
Snakes = fish or bugs, depending. Doesn’t really matter.
Platypuses = Kitties (hair, mammaries, although no nipples).
Angels = Hard to classify – hair, feathers, nipples not found.
I suspect that, if you were to frisk your Arcturian Megachicken for nipples, you’ll find that it’s actually an Arcturian Megakitty.
(I still maintain that the Arcturian Megachicken is actually a megachicken. Those are not nipples. They are supernumerary beaks.)
(I don’t know if the Taxonomie is something he came up with himself, or if he found it somewhere. If it is yours, please let me know so I can give you credit!)