Thursday, April 28, 2011

Waiting for the Opportunity

The Artists Co-op that I belong to recently had a show opening at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.  Called Earth:  the Power and Fragility, this show had some super work from about 15 members.  So, in the middle of the basement remodel, my painting class, a trip to NY as well as interviewing for a job and ferrying the kids around, I had a show-quality (shouldn't they all be show-quality?) piece to create. 

I juried into this group as a handmade paper and paper mosaic artist so this is the type of work that I needed to make.  It felt good working with the heavily textured handmade paper again!

My idea on this theme was to highlight the plight of the Great Lakes with regard to the very invasive Asian Carp. These fish are expected to enter the Lakes via the Mississippi River and Illinois Canals.  Currently there are "zappers" in the canals that are supposed to keep the fish from entering Lake Michigan through the Locks but it is inevitable that these fish, with their voracious appetites, will get into the Lakes and alter the ecosystems.  These fish are just Waiting for the Opportunity.

Here's my progression over several days:

Back to working with handmade paper again.  Yeh!  The fish are handmade paper fish glued onto a canvas.  The chair that is supporting the canvas gives you an idea of scale.

A coat of tan paint went over the whole thing then I started to build the colors of the water.

Each fish received it's own color.  My formerly bright and fun fish had to become rather dark and menacing.  Asian Carp are not pretty fish!  The white over the blue on the right is plaster.

Continuing to layer blue on blue on blue on blue.  I used my fingers for about 90% of the water on this piece.  Very little brush work involved.

The fish get a bit of highlighting with copper paint and the Lock is put in.  The lock is more plaster so it is raised.  Lots of dimension on this piece.

The Lock is painted copper as well.

OMG!!  What happened?!?  Stay tuned...


PS. That is what they call a cliff hanger. :)


Kathy L said...

Awesome piece thus far!!! I am almost speechless!
Did you use tar again?? If not, it gave the feet. Can't wait to see it finished.

Joanne Huffman said...

Well, here I am, hanging on the cliff...

last minute lynn said...

I can't the suspense!

wwilloww said...

OMG!!! I know it is going to be gorgeous when you are finished but WOW, it really is a cliff hanger!!! If you want to make those fish look menacing, I thing you are on the right track cuz that one fish on the bottom looks like he is smiling... guess he doesn't know what he is in for... LOL... Can't wait to see the finished piece!!!

Shelley Whiting said...

Wow love the conceptual idea of the piece. Love the way you did the textures.

Lorrie Grainger Abdo said...

Love you guys! Fun to see posts from Shelly and wwilloww too. Thanks.

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