Tuesday, March 28, 2017

LAW 124: Love Songs and studio, sigh, deconstruction

After promising myself that i would not start another daily project before the big move to Tesla's Revenge, sigh, i am proud to report i did exactly that.

Ta Da! Welcome to Love Songs. I sat down to play awhile before tying back into studio deconstruction. So much for that plan, i actually knew what i wanted to do, i'm sure that is why it didn't work. As i came to that conclusion i also realized that i had, gasp, THROWN AWAY! a book i have had for many years. I had always intended to alter it, but for some reason a few days ago in an orgy of de-cluttering downsizing, i threw it away. I reasoned that since i had possessed it for many years and not used it, it was time for Die Minnesinger to go!

Luckily, i had yet to empty the waste basket in the studio so i was able to recover the book. Inspiration had struck and i knew after years what i was going to do with the book.

See, i should never, ever, ever, throw anything out! Right! I live on a boat, and, in less than a month will likely be living on an even smaller one. This does not compute, does it?
frontspiece of 1920's edition of Die Minnesinger

See, it's this way, we plan on splashing our new floating home, the EV Tesla's Revenge, next week. In preparation i have have diligently touched every object and paper in my studio, deciding whether it comes with me, or goes into storage, or is gifted to friends. The process is over 95% complete. Storage  has been all reconfigured; everything neat and tidy in plastic bins. It all has to fit into the port quarter berth.

first step, cut away everything that doesn't belong!

So, everything is packed away, i thought i would be content with the embroidery piece i am currently working on. Alas, i can only stitch for an hour or so before the hands start complaining.

Hey, i should think of it as a test run of my new storage and allocation system, right? After all, Mungo is working for a couple of months, and isn't here, so .....

Make sure to use some of the background!

Here is the second process shot of my new project, Love Songs. My plan, to collage a contrasting narrative behind the cut out figures, while also incorporating some of the imagery of the 'background' page. Next, the final first image.

This is the beginning of a new series for me, which i will call Love Songs, which is the translation of the German, Die Minnesinger,  title of the book that i am altering. It is small,  7.25. x 4.5" beautifully illustrated, hand stitched and hardbound. I think that i want to explore the relationship between  German  popular media of the middle ages (12th to 14th century) and contemporary media. Well, at least that is where i started with Andy Warhol and print advertising from the late 50's.

The plan is to alternate which side, recto or verso, to cut away, and which to use as background.  This  of course means that i will be sacrificing some really cool pages, but, hey, that's life and art.

Make sure, please, that you keep up with what Mungo is up to at The Floating Empire. He is documenting what we are doing with the EV Tesla's Revenge.

More later, time for more Floating Empire deconstruction.

aka gail

Sunday, March 19, 2017

LAW 123: Looking Back

I commented on a friend's art post the other day, we had both made flying pigs. In my comments about my own pig i referenced the work i was doing during the 90's and early 2000's. I was introduced to pig gut as an alternative medium while i was in graduate school. I pretty much fell in love with it, and spent about fifteen years exploring the possibilities of this gorgeous, but gross sounding medium.
If The Shoe Fits, pig gut, sinew, 1997 private collection

There aren't many images of this phase of my work out there, i let my old website lapse several years ago, so when Barbara said she wanted to see some of the images i decided to dig through my archives and post a few of them.
First Steps, pig gut, sinew, 1997, private collection
So a friend in grad school insisted that i try working with gut. She was taking an entry level class taught by a visiting artist who introduced it to them, she was sure that i would love it. She was correct. The first work i did with pig gut was two dimensional, it was not until that i jumped into the third dimension that i was well and truly hooked!

Tools of the Trade, pig gut, 1997, private collection
Tools of the Trade #2, 1997, private collection
It is amazing material, self-adhesive, it has plastic memory, takes color beautifully, depending on your initial treatment it could be as soft and flexible as cloth, an opaque white, or rigid and a beautiful translucent golden hue. i could go on and on, and on...
Modern Appliances, It's for You, late 90's, private collection
Modern Appliances, destroyed
At the time i was doing a lot of work with handmade paper. My first sculptures incorporated the pig gut along with the paper. I had some structural problems with these, most of them have not survived.

When i was a Child #2, 1996, destroyed
Seed Mother, 1996, handmade paper, gut, sunflower seeds
Seed Mother, back view
From there, for my thesis show, i was mainly drape molding small, every day objects. I had a shoe fascination going on at the time(it's a long story).

Humonculi , pig gut, steel wire, glass vitrine, private collection

Humonculi, 1998? Dance Shiva Dance, private collection

Shortly after i branched out into small dolls, humunculus, mad scientist hybrid insect/human and other assorted weirdness.
Family Jewels, gut, gold thread, and red velvet, destroyed.
Humanus Domesticus var. 2, pig gut, gold wire and glass seed beads, private collection

Humanus Domesticus, var 1, gold wire, pig gut, private collection

Acridae Humanus var. 1, pig gut, gold wire, glass seed beads, private collection

At the time i had a very large studio(sigh, living on a boat does have drawbacks) so as any good artist would, i expanded to fit the space. Moving into large scale, life size, human figures, and than from there, into abstraction.
Medusa Mother Love1999, back view, pig gut, black coat thread, private collection
 These last three pieces are life size.
The Perfect Woman, 2000, pig gut, steel wire, private collection.
Dryad #1, pig gut, grape vine, 2000, collection of the artist.

Dryad #2, pig gut, grape vine, 2000, collection of the artist.

Well, i think i will break this into two offerings, as this is getting too long! I'll do the abstract stuff as a separate entry.

Please don't forget that we still have an Indiegogo campaign going o for a few more days. Check out Tesla's Revenge for info about the campaign, thank you for any support.

Also the companion blog to this one, The Floating Empire, where you can find out anything you could ever possibly want to know about building and living in a shanty boat.

More later,

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Law 122: A new art project and a Tesla's Revenge update

Well, only sort of a new project. It actually grew out of the Magic of Words series, which i promise i will update soon. I haven't been posting lately as we have been busy working on the new boat. If you haven't been paying attention, we are rehabbing a mid 70's 29 foot Cal sail boat. The hull was in pretty good shape, the interior pretty much completely gutted.

We've reassembled all the wood interior, beautiful old teak, installed a new galley counter and shelving, have the composting toilet built, re-plumbed and painted all but the final coat on the hull. We were hoping to splash late this week, but winter storm Stella has unfortunately changed those plans.

So, the new art project was inspired by a friends post about a folk art animal painting project she had attended. I thought, how cool, i could make some pretty nifty collages in a folk style of animals.

After completing the first couple of them i thought these would make wonderful greeting cards. So i think that i will be selling them for $5 apiece or an assorted 6 pack for $24. The cards are 5.5 x 8.5" printed on high quality card stock. Originals are collages.




Please use the caption under the image to order. And yes, i do know that i don't have six different images yet. Soon, real soon now!

You can use Paypal.me/gailElwell

Check out The Floating Empire and please consider helping us with our Indiegogo campaign. for our newest project, Tesla's Revenge.

More later,