The final step, just completed yesterday, was to decide and permanently install the glass and LED Lights at the top of this work. These are installed in a circular hole I cut through the wood, with the glass pieces secured with 2-part epoxy.
I embedded a small string of (tiny battery) operated rice lights between the glass pieces at the top, with one bare “bulb” dangling down inside. The whole creates a light fixture that evokes a miner’s lantern of some sort, at least for me! The lights don’t bother or distract when switched off (from the back); they are very inconspicuous. And I do like the effect in the “lantern” when the LEDs are switched on. Also they are just bright enough to dimly light the scene in a dark room, for an interesting effect. If you tuck the dangling LED up into the “miner’s lantern” space, you can make it disappear!
Now this piece really is finished, unless I decide to add a wire on the back for hanging. For now it is free standing piece.
Forest Lights: trees, moon, and spirit installed in backlit found drawer
This work depicts an enchanted forest, softly lit and safely contained. There is no risk or danger in enjoying evening fall in these woods, with a sunset soft sky. When this work is lit with the installed LED rice lights, the woods are suffused by a diffused glow and mysterious soft lights that you can imagine moving through the trees. A benign forest spirit lives in these woods, and a gentle green hued full moon rises above the trees.
Dimensions: 17.5″ x 10.2″ x 3″
Mixed media relief installed into found drawer: wood, acrylic, resin, paper, pigments, LED lights (12volt plugin transformer for std. U.S. residential power).
This work is freestanding, or add D-rings & wire to hang on a wall.
Two ambiguous barefoot figures interact in a serious dreamlike activity using a soft frayed rope. This dream game may or may not include the pearl in the “shell” or the floating leaf. The glowing translucent figure at right is all light, poised on a vibrant gold background. The flatter clear figure at left is the darker twin, a ghostly mirror image on a dark copper and black ground.
I am quite in love with my variations of this sturdy bas relief figure, although I will soon find a new theme for art projects! My barefoot draped figure is so sincere and so intent on the work or play at hand. These figures are clearly focused on an important activity!
Look at some of my other artworks to find this figure in other roles in my recent work!
This is a multi-media multi-layer work. I attached each figure to a separate panel, then mounted these securely to a thinner black panel and a sheet of sealed brown fiber board using strong adhesive. I used screws on the back to secure the panels together.
Note the dual panels are more or less flush with the face of the frame. The relief figures protrude, sitting proud of the flat black frame included with this work. A heavier thicker frame would protect the artwork better, but is not in my budget currently.
Two Dark and Light Twin Figures with Rope. Mounted panels dimensions: 22″x18″, Frame dimensions: 24″x20″.
I have a history of using old found drawers as containers for art. Sometimes I have been lucky enough to find handsome well made drawers, and it is great to get a matched pair of drawers!
Old drawers tend to be best: all wood, or at least sturdy plywood rather than junky pressed boards. And a little or even quite a bit of damage can lend character! I am not overly fond of new & pristine for my artwork. I have come to love a bit of wear & tear of the just the right sort…
So drawers as containers for art generally become an intrinsic part of the work: I build on the style of the drawer, and choose elements that fit the piece. The elements will be permanently attached in the final artwork. And sometimes the drawers actually inspire me to a new work.
These are some more alternatives for a new work. I am struggling with this collage / assemblage. This will “go somewhere”, I think. I plan to complete a finished piece incorporating the print and one of the two angels, but it may not look like much this.
The parts that I am considering include the burn sienna colored paperclay angel, a tinted but transparent resin angel, a small low relief resin tree, leaves or scans of leaves, and a shellac coated poly-lithograph print of trees. The conceptual title is “Reason to Worry”.
I have a sheet of copper that could become a good background for this piece (instead of the chipboard used above). And if I stay with a background & use a mat, I will not use this poorly cut & tinted cardboard, this is merely a temporary stand in for something better!
However the print and angel fit into another possibility entirely, some variation of this drawer piece:
Sometimes less is better! I rather wish that I did not have so many more alternatives for a new work!
Birds in Nest Jade II, my new cast, is not a replica, even though I made this using the new mold of my oil-based clay model Birds in Nest. Read on to find out why! Love, protection, nurture & safety are all present in this small sculpture. A mother bird protects and nurtures two chicks who snuggle to her breast for warmth and safety.
The new, second mold I used for this corrects a major flaw in the first mold. The new mold also includes some improvements I made to the original clay model. So I have a better mold of an improved original work.
About this Cast
But what makes this cast unique? Well, a few things! First I should explain: I just don’t really “do” editions. They bore me! I am a creative artist, unwilling to become a technician unless I really need to. I prefer to experiment and to play. So this first cast in the new mold has a few experimental and custom features!
Birds in Nest Jade II is a mixed media cast: I cast the birds in a custom tinted resin, with “inclusions” of natural quartz and fragments of hardened colored resin. These are not prominent, but are visible. The inclusions show slightly in upper part of the piece, in the baby bird’s head, in the mother birds wing, etc. I believe this makes the piece more interesting, with a bit of the variety of natural stone. I used acrylic modified cement for the birds’ nest. The two materials were poured into the same mold, a few days apart. I have joined the two parts securely by embedding threaded hardware across both sections.
Once I removed my birds from the mold, I cleaned and smoothed a few imperfections, and added a special touch: this mother bird holds food for her young. It is perhaps a worm, or a tiny fish… I certainly don’t know!
Here is my first Fat Baby Bird cast in cement. This is the first cement “pour” in my new mold, and this mold is fine! Unfortunately my casting was flawed; I did not mix enough cement, and with the RapidSet material mixed fairly thick for strength, the layers show. So this first cast is far from perfect, but good enough to prove the mold and to please me. After all I know that I can do better with the next one!
I rather love the air bubble that was trapped in the eye. This accidental void actually perfectly matches the personality of my quirky fat baby bird, and makes this first proof special. So a good several days work, I think. And I will make another fat baby bird cast today.
Time passes … and we have the second cast. This time I mixed enough material, BUT I used a slightly different mixture (RapidSet CementAll instead of the high strength Mortar Mix). This seems much harder to mix well: it was lumpy and since it sets so quickly, I get in a hurry mixing it. I fear there are weak spots in this cast, where there were unmixed dry lumps of cement! I don’t seem to have any trouble mixing the Mortar Mix, which has a larger grit sand, I think. The dry material did not seem lumpy, but perhaps I need to mix it more, or even sift it before adding water. That would be a big pain!