Similar to the July 2, 2011 rhino but this time it’s is a one horned rhinoceros. This is a piece in process as I am using Korean paper my son sent me a few years back to create a sense of pattern and texture to the work. I’ll be back to working in papier mâché this week so it’s a good time to think about adding on a new layer of colour and letting the texture recede yet inform the final piece.
Category Archives: papier mâchè
I have shown with this organization before but always 3D which can be 4″ on 2 sides; 2D work is different and if 4″ on one side it can only be 3″ on the other. What to do? Being a bit frustrated and still hearing the decree from others, on a daily basis, that I’m having fun I decided to shake it up a bit and am adding feet to my paintings and turning them into assemblages instead. I’m amused by what’s emerging and am scrambling to find a place to show the work in before Christmas. Look for a new posting soon of the next one up for alterations: ‘Rhino and Bird go for a Walk’.
This blog will be a wee rant on the word ‘fun’. Where I live, anytime I mention I am an artist and that I teach, the response is almost always: “Fun!” or “That must be fun” or a 100 other sentences with the word ‘fun’ in it. I’m not denying the fact that my work has an element of joy and satisfaction, and on occasion ‘fun’ but generally; not so much. My work provides no security, I have to find my own work, I move constantly from place to place and more often than not have to figure out how to present my classes in the best way possible in places with out proper facilities. In a worst case scenario I was teaching 5 different art forms (drawing, collage, painting, printmaking, papier mâché) to 5 classes of 30 (150 children) in a day – without running water – in a hallway.
There’s a lot of research to what I do, courses I take to enhance my art and teaching abilities, materials to buy, a ton of preparation to each project, transporting the materials to the location, setup, teach, take down, back into the car and home again to start all over the next week.
Early this morning, thinking about the word fun, I decided to change tactics and embrace the word for awhile and see where it took me. A little girl in my class had drawn a ‘happy girl’ picture for me so I did a 4″ by 4″ painting inspired by her drawing… and did find that rather fun. Then I did another ‘fun’ painting of the ‘Rhino and Bird’ sculpture that I rather like as well. We’ll see how long this ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ phase lasts. At least I’m feeling less cranky about the whole ‘fun-fun-happy-happy’ thing I run into on a regular basis.
The ‘Dragons on the Move’ arts residency project (Calgary, AB) focused on 2 areas at once: Chinese culture and storytelling through image and word. I used a 17th C description of a dragon as a starting point for the students. The description draws on various other animals to make up a dragon such as ‘scales like a fish’, ‘muzzle like a donkey’, or ‘beard like a man’. We set out folders with images of snakes, fish, elephants, etc. so the students could look at these images as reference. Important to the project was to not show any images of Chinese Dragons before they created their own from the word descriptions. They also wrote their own stories about their dragons; where they lived (air, water…), what they were doing, and about their character. The results were wonderfully fresh and imaginative as well as informative for the children in a fun and engaging way.
The dragons being flat on one side were designed to hang on a wall. Each one was between 15″ to 20″ long. The colours came from overlapping tissue papers and the details from oil pastels.
Dragon Description, pp 92-96: Sze, Mai-Mai. The Way of Chinese Painting: Its ideas and Technique. New York, Vintage Books (Random House, Inc.), 1959
“Birds of a Feather Stick Together” In praise of sisters.
When my sister came to visit in early summer I taught her some of my papier mâché techniques and we came up with these two characters. I like how each one looks as if he or she is getting ready to take off. Karen also handled the blending of colours with the washi papers quite skillfully as well. Fun work.