Monday, March 21, 2011


I’ve finished shellacing the shit out of my piece! I couldn’t be happier with the end results. The smell of shellac can be pretty… thick… if you will…. So I have a great respirator that completely blocks out the fumes! Worth every cent, that respirator! What stinks more than the toxic solvents is the fact that my studio is literally a storage closet so I have no real ventilation system going on. I’ve basically gassed myself completely out of my own studio. Fans are on full blast but I don’t know how much good they’ll do unless my door is open. I can’t leave it open unattended because I have a large collection of expensive tools that I’d rather not get stolen. Worth the risk? Maybe. I figured I’d see how bad it was tomorrow night. If its still a wall of toxic…. I’m going to have to babysit by studio with the door open till the smell calms down.
Was it worth it? Of course.
Will my studio mates get a little high tomorrow/hate me? Most definitely.

Final portfolio pictures to come. I have a round of show applications due March 31. Gotta get this dried and photographed ASAP!! AHH!

Burlap is DONE!

What a tedious process!! I’m happy with the end result though and am ready to shellac! 

Who Knew...

...This would take so long..... progress pictures: 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sexy, Sexy!

This weekend I’ve been slowly upholstering “Cathartic Birth” in sexy, sexy burlap. Wait… you didn’t know that burlap is sexy? Well… now you know! I’m glad I could be the one to point that out to you. Burlap covered in shellac… now that’s the ticket! I want to go to there.

I’ve completed the arms, hands, and head. Last night I started the main trunk of the figure. I’m trying to not be too anal retentive about all this. It’s my nature to want everything to be just so and in my control, but ever since I started making more frequently, I’ve been making the conscious effort to loosen up a bit. Seams are going to happen… and that’s okay. The burlap might imperfect in some areas… and that’s okay!

I have to let the process “take over,” in a sense, and embrace the output.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Burlap Attack

Tape is Done!

I recently finished up the tape job for the "Cathartic Birth" piece. All the legs, feet, crotch... DONE!! On to the burlap!! I made a tester to see how the burlap will look wrapped tightly and coated in shellac. I'm sold! Looks great and I'm ready to move forward! Tests are definitely an annoying step in this whole process.. but it has helped me gain confidence in treating the surface of this piece. I'd rather waste time on meaningless tests than screw up in a way that I can't reverse.
You should take a moment and marvel at my HUGE bolt of raw burlap. Its just so... beautiful....

Burlap/Shellac tester = SUCCESS!


Labor Of

Even before having my first child this past August, I knew this would be the ultimate act of love. Filming some of my first contractions helps me to remember how much I went through to receive my little boy. “Labor Of” is a visual representation of love through sacrifice, pain and suffering.

Much like most of my previous performative pieces, a threshold is definitely met. I chose to have no sound in this video because I feel there is such power in the subtle nuances of my facial features. Looking over the footage, I noticed I would have the slightest eye twitch whenever another contraction was coming. I would see the twitch and get anxious for myself… myself from 7 months ago… knowing that a wave of pain so great was getting ready to wash over my entire body.

I now know the limits to my physical and mental strength after enduring such an intense labor.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reading! And Baby Pictures!

Do you like how I lured you in with promises of baby pictures in the title? A small token of my appreciation for those who are reading my modest little blog.
Micromanaging my schedule has really helped me stay focused on being productive after I get home from work. I’ve decided I have to take it another step further. My schedule used to be the following:
Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays are dedicated towards reading, website revamping, and blogging.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays are for studio time.

Now that I’ve been doing this (tiring) schedule for a while now, I’ve come to realize that I need to designate what I DO on my Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Fridays…. Or those days just get lost.

Wednesdays are now designated “READING” days. Once Brody goes to sleep at 7pm… I won’t watch TV or go on the computer at all. I will take a shower… grab a beer… and read… SOMETHING! This way, reading is always on the docket and is given a higher priority than it’s ever had in my life. I really do like reading, but I always think about what else I COULD be or SHOULD be doing… then my mind wanders. If I tell myself that Wednesdays are for reading… then I won’t think those thoughts because…. Wednesdays are for reading!!

Time for BABY PICTURES!! I could stare at this boy forever...

Six Rolls of Tape Later...

I just need to figure out how I’m going to finish the surface of this piece and I’ll be done!! I’ve done a lot of tests and have yet to reach a decision. I think I’m going to upholstery the figure in burlap, layer it with shellac, then finish with a thin layer of polyurethane. Sounds like an extremely strong (and toxic) mixed drink.
bark and shellac test is getting bigger.
acrylic yarn and shellac. If I could get the loops tighter, I would consider doing this on the figure. But alas.. I don't like the gaps.
This week I added the breast and pregnant belly to the figure. I feel so much more connected to this piece now that it is clearer what the final product will look like.  There’s definitely a powerful energy that surrounds this piece.  It demands your attention. I think I’ll have some good luck entering her into shows. That’s right. It’s a she. Like a large boat. 
I’m starting to think about picking a freight company to ship my larger pieces when the time comes to ship. Unfortunately, beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to show locations. If I get into a show in Wisconsin or… Maine or… one of those square states… I have to participate to build my resume. I wish that showing work didn’t have to cost the artist so much money! There’s the entry fee…. and if you get in… then you get to pay for your own shipping (you have to pay for a return label as well)… and on top of all that, if you happen to “win” best in show or some sort of money, its always something like $100. $100? Really? Thanks for paying for 1/5 of my shipping cost ya jack rabbit. I understand that a lot of galleries are non-profit and what not… but I think artists should be rewarded more if they get into shows.
For the record… I’ve applied to 8 shows since January 1 and I’ve gotten into…. Zeeeroooooo! Still going strong! Hopefully my new work will breathe life into my quest for shows…. Or maybe I need to start entering proposals for shows. That’s probably the next step. Very high-risk, high reward. There’s a lot of work that goes into proposing a show and to have it be rejected would suck so much more than just losing an entry fee. We’ll see! There’s much making to be had before we jump that hurdle, you and I.