14 August 2010

time to make the donuts

Or more to the point, time to make the assemblages.

I was going over my to do list (the one that has been taking steroids) and realized that I hadn't added in working on my assemblages for the show I'm in in October/November.

About a hundred reasons why ran through my head. I'll do it after Fabrications. I'll work on it when I'm less busy (yeah, go ahead and laugh, I did), I'll start when the moon and stars are aligned just right.

You know the drill.

Excuses. Plain and simple. Truth is, I'm intimidated by having to produce seven pieces. I don't know why, doesn't make much sense. But the scope of it has been picking away at my brain since the day the show was booked.

Mostly I've been debating if I want a theme or if I want to just go with the flow for each one. I'm confident that if I picked the latter they would still be cohesive. After all, they are all made by me so my style will be present and that would be enough to hold them together.

I figured if I did a theme then it would be easier to make them, that I could work quicker. But trying to nail it all down ahead of time was about as enjoyable as a root canal. It mostly kept me away from the project entirely.

Then I thought that if I had to come up with seven entirely different ideas, that that alone would be exhausting.

See? I argue with myself too much.

I decided enough is enough and its time to get down to business. I'm not doing myself any favors by trying to figure this all out in advance. All I'm really doing is procrastinating - just with the fancy label of "preparation" attached to it.

I entered the studio determined. I set the timer for four hours and told myself I was not allowed to leave or quit working until it beeped. The important thing is that I worked and got back to it. Because truth be told, I've been concentrating all of my efforts on my etsy shop and other projects that have zip to do with art making. Its been making me a bit grumpy so this was a self imposed play date. With myself. Which just sounds weird to say. Moving on...

I was faced with this as soon as I stepped through the door:

I began to clean. I stopped cleaning. I took the whole pile and pushed it onto my other work table that I wouldn't be using. Cleaning is another form of procrastination for me. I can do a quick clean tomorrow morning before I leave for the Modern Quilting Lecture.

I have lots of boxes (we've been over this) plus I bought wood to build my own boxes. I've had a layout in my head for a while so I decided to start there. I cut slats to size (sometimes I wonder if I like making assemblages just because I get to use stuff like saws and drills) and then painted.

While the wood was drying, I dug out some branches from my stash and painted them a rust orange:

That was almost meditative, sitting there brushing the paint onto all those little branches. I really enjoyed it.

I tortured the slats a bit more with some light molding paste and a wash, screen printed some trees on the background board, did a dry brush of metallic paint and laid things out in the format I've been daydreaming about and:

...I hated it. Didn't like it. Didn't dig a thing about it. And that smaller box that is unpainted in the shot above? What a beast to try to drill holes through. Those boxes are best left whole and altered in other ways that don't involve trying to separate any part of it from the other. That was a bit of a disappointment.

I wanted to quit after this but I still had an hour and a half left on my timer so I tossed the smaller box aside and grabbed two smaller ones. I honestly have no theme for this box (maybe branches?).

I drilled holes in the smaller boxes (which worked wonderfully), painted them out black and started decoupaging pages from a damaged book on the backs. I liked it, carried it to the outside of box and ended my work session with this:

It still has quite a ways to go but I'm much happier with this direction. I'm regretting the metallic paint on the back board, shiny isn't really my thing so I don't know why I did that. But the smaller boxes aren't attached yet so there is still time for me to pick at the background and downplay the shimmer.

Its hard to capture the depth on it with this crappy photo. I'll be sure to take proper ones before the show.

I plan to repeat this work session a few times a week between now and the show. I don't really have a choice. I'd forgotten how time consuming these pieces are. Especially with all the painting and drying time. I'm hoping it grows into a habit for studio time, that's something I really need to create. I've been talking about developing a body of work for a couple of years now and haven't done it. Mostly I just need to break all the bad habits I have that keep me out of the studio.

Dooley did this all day:

Lovely lazy westie. Can't say that I blame him. Its still nasty humid weather here. Better to nap through it until its over. Clever little man...


mary said...

oh i love how the assemblege is coming along!

The Scrappy Bee said...

My sympathies. I over think and analyze everything. I even found a new excuse to sit and muse...blaming my knee. Setting the timer is a good idea. Of course, being easily distracted is another time consumer. All you can do is keep on trying. See you at lecture. Bonnie

Leann said...

You go girl!!! These are gonna be amazing!