Current wip

I made a clay sculpture yesterday. It’s inspired by Spring. Blooming, full, lush, chocker-block.

I wanted to try and capture that mood in making this diorama but I struggled to create the shapes I wanted. I wanted lots of shapes to be suspended in the air but that’s difficult because clay is heavy and needs really strong supports. I want shapes in the air to mimic the dense foliage of tree canopies. Suspended shapes in the air.

I think a lighter sculpture material would work better, or a very strong support system under the clay – wire, mesh. Paper mache is a much lighter material, perhaps that would work better. I would use foil and wire to create shapes, and then paper mache over the top. It would be handy to have a glue gun to put together the foil shapes. They could be so delicate! And I could paint it afterwards, wow a white one would be beautiful.

I then photographed this clay model in staged lighting and made two paintings based on two different photographs.

These paintings are certainly translations from the original land I visited. This is in the realm of cultural landscape rather than the land itself, to reference Wendell Berry.

The paintings are morphed and strange and dark. The canvas was primed black, which I am not used to. It slightly messed with the way I usually paint which is from dark to light. This time I kind of started in the middle tones and then added dark and light bits randomly – not as good. However the dark underpainting does make the colours look sumptuous and intense. The shapes look very mushroomy. The lighting and colours are atmospheric.

On the first painting I need to get rid of the white shape on the left hand top side. I think it would be better to have a black background.

The paintings are translations from landscape > image > sculpture > painting. That’s exciting! What is left of the original landscape? What is there instead? Is it still a landscape painting? Or a still life painting? Or an abstract painting? I am excited.

Keep making quantity!

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