I need places for my beetle people, and this work is an experimental armature for a beetle home! This experiment is currently a tin foil covered dead snag of a tree, but it will become a much more viable and durable (dead snag) home for beetles if my experiment succeeds!
BTW, the tin foil angel is not part of this piece, but is just taking advantage of the photo op!
I started with a heavy cardboard tube, which I mounted to a base. Then I slashed the tube here and there (in an artistic manner of course). I inserted slats of wood into the gashes and fixed them in with hot glue. From there, I attached additional cardboard and some natural twigs to create brutalized broken branches.
Then came the foil, and a lot more hot glue! It took a good part of a large roll of foil to get this thing well covered. I needed it to be crinkly and textured, not smooth. I quite like the look of a tin foil dead tree, but this is just an armature. It remains to be seen whether the end result will be pleasing or durable.
It is time to post a few higher resolution photos taken to document my Red Box full of Beetle People; so here are a few better photos of the Red Box of Beetles.
This artwork re-purposes an old fabric covered jewelry box I inherited from my mother. I don’t know the history of this vintage box, but I find it too charming to discard. It was never a fine item, but only a cheap jewelry box, but it has personality.
The box has a fabric covered handle and neat little metal loop latch. Inside there is a removable inset tray with a section for ring storage. The interior is lined with what may be artificial pigskin.
I love boxes, and enjoy the suspense of opening it, then removing the top tray to discover the lower of the two shallow levels.
I don’t want to make this red box new again; age has lent it much of the fabulous shabby charm I want to retain! So I repaired the latch, reinforced the fabric hinge on the lid, and touched up some especially unattractive problem areas. But I have left it looking very much used! The age and used condition seem just right for the three beetle people specimens inside!
And to complete the outside, I have added a fourth modest sort of beetle to the top of this red box of beetles.
And this curiosity is for sale now, for those who might enjoy a very peculiar artwork. Enjoy these better photos of the Red Box of Beetles.
My arrangement of my replicated carving has been finalized, and installed: Golden Boy Under the Moon is my second relief collage with a cast of my carved soap figure “Golden Boy”. For this piece I set Golden Boy on an old print (made from corn husks!) as the main background. I added a cast from a pecan shell, and another cast made from egg membrane in the shell. These are mounted onto sealed cement board and set into a fairly deep frame. This makes for a particularly quirky combination of parts, but maybe that is why I like it!
I like to think this assembly of parts creates a mysterious peaceful whole, and not just a messy attempt at same!
Once I took a photo, it was necessary to try the digital foil transformation. But I was not satisfied with that, so I had to select out the golden boy figure, and transform it differently to get the result above right: Foil with Golden Boy under the Moon.
Tidying my studio is problematic, always and forever! I save & accumulate far too much “stuff” for re-use in my assemblage/collage works.
I replicate parts for my completed works by making archival prints and casts from molds of my originals. These labor intensive parts and pieces for artworks pile up. Pieces that I like, but that are not quite the right color here or the right size there, are set aside for future use. I love to re-interpret special pieces, incorporating some of the parts, and thereby creating sets or series of related works. And I fall in love with scraps: bits of string, hardened drips of resin, palette scrapings, cut pieces of old prints, shells, sea glass, pebbles, and more!
Tidying usually means making new work. I stop sorting, to complete a good “arrangement” as a permanent work. Or I find myself re-working an older piece when I remove it from a frame that I will repurpose for my new piece! All of this is much more fun than actually making sorting, discarding or putting things away to really clear my work surfaces!
There is no such thing as just putting everything away; I have long since run out of “away”! So instead, I just move things around and, I hope, make better art!
Tidying my studio is problematic, when everything I touch could lead me to make a new piece of art!
I have successfully completed another Beetle People artwork: a red box of beetles!
I “inherited” an old fabric covered jewelry box from my mother. I don’t know the history of this red box, but I find it too charming to discard. It has a handle & latch, an inset tray with ring storage, and the interior layers are lined with artificial? pigskin. I love boxes, and enjoy the suspense of opening, then removing the top tray to discover the second of the two shallow levels.
I don’t want to make this red box new again; it has a fabulous shabby vintage charm that I want to keep! But I repaired the latch, reinforced the fabric hinge on the lid, and touched up some unattractive problem areas. It is a Beetle Box now: a red box of beetles!
I am pleased with my Beetle People series progression: my second Beetle People habitat is almost complete. The second Beetle People habitat is Beetle Specimen Drawer II. I have it all put together, with several tiny finishing touches that I just added. I still need to add the final clear finishing coats.
Drawer number two may be more intricate than my first drawer. At least it has more details on the inside “walls”. I am, of course, very fond of it at the moment. Generally I become more critical of each artwork with a bit more time and distance from its initial production!
I tentatively plan to install hanging wire to the underside of both drawers. This will let me display them in vertical orientation on a wall. This should not prevent anyone from displaying them flat for an alternate view.
I plan to continue my Beetle People series progression, but I don’t have another drawer in mind at the moment. I expect the next beetle habitat to be smaller. Some beetles prefer to be partially hidden, tucked under protective cover of some sort. In the natural world beetles don’t like to be fully exposed to view. A few beetles currently live in boxes with closable lids, but these are not yet permanent living arrangements!
I have completed another addition to the edition of Fat Baby Birds: I have my newest fat baby bird painted and ready for a clear coat! Number 10 of the limited edition casts from my hand carved limestone bird is “Green Eyed Baby Bird”! Green Eyed Baby is very charming, in lighter subdued & variegated yellow and umber tones. She? or he? is a commissioned cast destined as a gift, and will be picked up by the new owner tomorrow or Friday.
I may still need to create a base for FBB #10, that has not yet been decided. For now, she just sits on her own two yellow “feet”.
I may need to make #11 very soon, as yet another addition to the edition of Fat Baby Birds. I would love to install one or more of these at some of the Larry Scott Trail parking lots!
So many of my occasional art sales have been made to other artists: artists buy art! Today I bought myself a Christmas present from an amazing local artist: Chuck Iffland. I have enjoyed his work on display here and there, and I visited his home studio and sculpture park a few years ago. But today I made the plunge, and with moral support from Michael, I bought myself an Iffland angel!
I expect this angel to live outside, and may find a spot on my patio next year. For this winter, this new angle will stay under shelter on the porch. I think it might actually prefer to be out in the wind and rain! Then again, I plan a patio shelter, so that could be a protected home eventually.
I don’t buy a lot of art, but I purchase or trade for art now and then. It is very satisfying when you love the work, meet the artist, and feel very much at home with the artwork! Artists buy art, and now I own an “Iffland”!