I haven’t yet been able to work art-making into my newly re-established work routine. So, I decided to at least keep my connection to it through this blog.
Today I would like to share the story behind my first 3-D art piece. It happened in August, as I joined an amazing Mixed Media class in NY. I started with the piece below, which was largely inspired by the Turrell show at the Guggenheim. It may be hard to see on the screen, but the piece integrates parts of the museum’s brochure, the museum ticket, as well as many other elliptical shapes and other shapes either drawn, pasted or photo transferred. I particularly like the white lines on a dark blue-gray background that come from… a perfume ad! I love recycling all those marketing materials into my pieces.
When my amazing 3-D-oriented teacher saw the piece below she suggested I try to augment it with wires to add a 3rd dimension to it.
So I started playing with that. The wires are already there on the shot above but hard to see given the angle the photograph was taken at.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, I also immediately had this vision of the paper inclined at a soft angle. But, as is obvious from the pic below, that required mounting the paper on a more rigid supporting material…
That is where my “classmate” David was so immensely helpful. David is a very young but extremely talented and hard working artist. He is still a college student but already developing his own style and ideas. And he is extremely friendly. He showed me how to use the jigsaw that was in the mixed media studio. I was initially quite scared to get my hands anywhere near a moving blade but seeing him and others in the class using it routinely to cut pieces of wood any way they wanted was inspiring. So eventually I tried it myself, and got comfortable with it.
David also had collected a piece of plywood that had been used as a palette, and he graciously let me use it. I spent a lot of time cleaning it up and taking off the masking tape that was stuck on it, and I drilled holes in it for the wires to go through. I then got stuck trying to glue another smaller piece below to support it at an angle. That was really frustrating. Here I was, excited about my new piece and the experimentation process. But totally struggling with the execution. Trying to paste a piece with a very small contact area just wasn’t working. I was trying to hold it as the glue took but invariably would lose my grip at some point a few minutes into it. Why did the instructions say you had to let it “take” for 30mn? Who can hold 2 pieces together without moving for 30 minutes?
Anyways, after trying for what seemed like hours I resolved to use a technique that worked remarkably well in the past with my plants: doing nothing – has anyone else had the humbling experience of coming home after a few days away to find plants not faded but actually, almost insulting-ly, doing better?-. I decided to just put the glue, hold it tight for a minute, and then let gravity continue the work. It was really hard to hold off and do nothing. But it paid off. In more than one way.
First, the 2 pieces actually ended up sticking together, and the piece became this:
I really like how the shadows, drawn lines and wire pieces are hardly distinguishable.
The second pay-off I will discuss in another post: I started playing with the left over pieces of plywood, which eventually led to my 2nd 3-D piece.
Another testament to the power of experimentation, doing even when you don’t really know what you’re doing, and letting others inspire and help you!
Good luck with the upcoming week. I hope this helps readers deal with “Sunday dread”.