Alebrijes 2 (paper mache)

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December was mostly about personal stuff for me and no new creations. So I’ll wrap up January with one last flashback post to reintroduce myself, getting us all up to speed and hopefully by now I’m working behind the scenes to bring you interesting new stuff along the way. I think that posting things after the fact rather than during, will help me be more consistent in both making and writing.

In my first post on this, meant to be a series that got buried under the doing, not writing, merely told you that I’d embarked on this new topic after doing an online class. And then I did a recap with photos about a year ago but again didn’t follow up…

Well, I’m still tinkering, but it’s actually quite time consuming as there are layers that need to dry before you can proceed, otherwise it turns into a slimy mess. Perhaps a good thing or I’d have to build a new barn to house all the creations that live in my head.

Gallery of 2021 characters since my last papermache post:

Next I’d like to make more animals, and I want to explore outdoors sculptures, because let’s face it, I would like to send some of my creations out into the world and many people don’t have the space inside if it’s not on a wall. I’m trying to think of ways to bring back the textiles though, as I did with the weaving crones.

Eventually I’d like to show you more of how I work, but I’ve not been very good at remembering photography (not very easy to arrange mid-session if your hands are covered in paste). I’ll try to plan better, because sharing used to be the whole point of this blog. So I’m writing a series of mini tutorials about paper sculpture making, possibly some other things I’ve dabbled in too. I hope you’re willing to embark on that journey with me!

I mostly use wireframes, recycled paper and wheat paste, but there are no rules. Including found objects for instance.


Outdoors materials test (types of varnish) that I hung outside in December, planning to see how long they last before deteriorating. So far so good, although one of them is a little soft in the head.

Exhibition

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Jan. 9th I was supposed to turn in some more cone people for a show in a nearby city. Unfortunately they had to shorten the show from 6 to 4 weeks, luckily restrictions have been lifted now.

I have 6 entries that are are divided in

  1. Group of 2 figurines
  2. Group of 3 figurines
  3. A portrait painting.

The show has a theme “Grænser”, which can either mean “borders”, “limits” or “boundaries” depending on context. Submission deadline was right before open studios, so there was no way I could have created something new. I chose to go with “personal boundaries” because I had items that would
A really go well together and
B fit the theme with my usual quirky sense of humour applied.

The show is now open Jan. 29th to Feb 27th, for any Danes reading:

Fernisering 29. Januar kl. 13-16 i Næstved Kunstforening, Sct Peders Kirkeplads 14 , 4700. Ses vi?


Knus, Kurt og Knud (Hugs or no hugs?)


Fedtefadet (Doghouse)


Modsætninger mødes (Opposites in harmony) 90×65 cm

I’ve been having some trouble getting the photo colours accurate…

That painting thing

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Creative genius… is both more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, occasionally crazier and yet adamantly saner than the average person.
-Frank Barron

Did you know that this entire blog has always been about painting? The thing I’m most driven to explore, yet is also the most difficult for me. I’ve often pondered the concept of “path of least resistance”. Some say it’s what you should always aim for, not out of laziness but to find the way around things that achieves the most in the shortest time or with least effort, that’s when you’ve hit the sweet spot, “your thing”. Where you are meant to be. Others claim Resistance is the sign you are on the right track, that you need to push against it to get to something deeper, more meaningful. Resistance as fear of success. If it wasn’t important, you wouldn’t be afraid of it.

I’d like to transform the latter into the former. Too easy and I just end up getting bored and finding a new passion so I can feel the rush of learning all over again. Too much resistance and I just procrastinate (possibly by finding a new thing to learn).

The spinning, dyeing etc. were all steps to noodle my way into painting, and they did work brilliantly for opening the door. My brain was fried for a while and had lost all sparks of creativity, but doing things with my hands instead of a computer screen, working with colour in different ways, learning something that I didn’t care if I did imperfectly, all opened up the floodgates and now ideas never stop coming. What took me longer to find was my courage. Painting is the one creative thing where I can’t just accept whatever comes out. I play and slosh, certainly, but there comes a point with any canvas where I’m stuck because I want the result to be excellent. And I don’t trust my ability to match my taste. Slubby yarn, that’s just fine. Wonky paper people? What fun! But my paintings “must” show “talent”. As soon as that thought enters, everything I make is garbage. I know it, yet I persist in this pattern. So odd.

My most stubborn case was figurative work, to the point where I initially decided I didn’t want to do it. Both because I hate repetition, and to become good at drawing you need to complete “exercises” umpteen times, and I prefer to just jump in and wing it. But also because I didn’t really believe it would work, that I could master it. Abstractify things and nobody can accuse your work of not being realistic enough! Excuses, excuses. Because honestly, I’d love for my paintings to have a story, not just be empty landscapey colour doodles.

So I’m not ready to give up on it, although I could easily fill up my time with other creativities. It might even seem like the smartest and healthiest thing to do, cull my herd of fascinations so to speak, to FOCUS. Nope, every time I do, a new shiny, irresistible thing pops up instead. Not helpful. I’s why I’ve been testing out not socializing online instead, to give my creator mindset more space.

I’m such a big advocate for normalizing imperfection, so it’s curious why I get paralyzed with thinking that bad art (and thus, wasting expensive art supplies) is a disaster. Funny thing is, I don’t even WANT to paint super-realism, just some kind of interesting, recognisable, scruffy motif blending in with the expressive style.

There’s been some progress though, and I hope it will all improve further now that I’m no longer sick 2 out of 3 weeks and actually remember what project I was working on last time I visited the studio.

Anyway, I did make some paintings in the last few years in between migraines. (which also seem to have stopped, finally, so thrilled about that!! Fertility is way overrated). So to mark a new starting point, here’s a tiny compilation of oldies for those of you not in the IG loop.

Another time I may share my forays into the world of portrait painting. Doesn’t get more figurative than that!


Yarn?

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Will there be yarny things happening still on this blog? I hope so. Just need to find the magic formula for keeping my fleshmobile up and running at a steady pace.

I have:

3 batches of blended wool for a sock experiment of breeds vs. durability. To be spun. If only I could remember what I put in those batts! (I just checked and I can only find 2 batches now) Jeez Louise. I think maybe I used scraps of Lincoln, silk and rainbow nylon as reinforcement fibers, but the main portion? And which is which? Could be that random chunk of SW Cheviot I found in my stash and dyed? When I do a thing I’m always convinced I’ll remember without having to take notes. Maybe I would if I weren’t curious about so.many.things.

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Open Studios

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I promised I’d begin my “new” blog by telling you about the event I participated in this November. (photos at the end)

About 2 months before, an art community that I subscribe to suddenly decided we should all do this together, set the date for mid-November, wham. Er, um, whut? I’m not ready for that. I don’t have the space to do that. I live out in the middle of nowhere and it will be dark and cold. I don’t have enough paintings to show. They’re not good enough. I don’t want strangers in my house! I also don’t want nosy neighbours from the next village in my house. There’s not enough time! I had other plans, I just want to finish my paint project.

But in the end I enlisted anyway. Just to see what would happen, to my stress levels, my self confidence, my work speed, my sense of privacy. What happens if you don’t wait until you’re perfect and ready? If chances arrive and you don’t take them, will they come back?

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Working, not blogging

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I’ve said it before, so it may sound hollow by now: I really want to get back to blogging again. Yes, the exact same spot where we left things at the beginning of the year. (I went back to look at my post from Nov. 2020 as well, but today I’ll be addressing things backwards)

large colourful horse painting semiabstract
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Pia has a Plan?

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Allrighty then, do I have your attention now the holidays are officially over?

Blogging, SoMe, juggling life in general – is that a well-hidden secret of adulting? I wonder what percentage of the population are actually super organized all of the time. I keep coming back to the intention and then bam, months happened. Continue reading

Paper mache

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While I’m not done debating what to tell you first from my accidental blogging hiatus, I can see I wrote something last summer about the Alebrijes class I took. Alebrijes are specifically Mexican mythical creatures and I’m not really staying within the confines of that, but the technique I initially worked on comes from that tradition.

So why not round that off by creating a mini exhibition of my first pieces. I’m still working on the subject in fits and starts, multiple ideas on the back burner; but this summer was quite warm aka the past dries too fast and goes mouldy + we had people looking in the windows which I’m not super fond of I must admit. Most of these figures have already been aired on Instagram, so please excuse me if this is a recap for you. Continue reading

Studio update

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I can’t believe I announced the extension of my studio more than a year ago and only now realise that I never followed through on that.

So in order to begin blogging again, I guess I might as well start where we left off. I’ve spent some time delaying this by internally debating whether to begin at the end instead, so a compromise was reached: I’ll either share willy-nilly regardless of when a thing actually happened OR this might be a one off heehaw petering out into nothing. Continue reading