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.

Sharing the things you do takes so much time from actually doing them. Like two fulltime jobs. My break from blogging has helped me get out of the “I need to make something quick just to show it, because my blog is due – and then next week I need to make something else for variation”. Granted, I’ve been instagramming a bit, but not nearly as intensively as some people and definitely not like a marketing boss!

Stay tuned for that paper mache post I promised – I need to dig out photos or make some which takes a bit of time.

I’ve played with mindmapping again to see if it works better than checklists to organize my ideas. I never finish those in one sitting because I can’t find my previous notes, somebody wants dinner, I lose my attention span or whatever, so it’s a work in progress.

It’s not likely it’ll help me deselect anything, given that I think of new stuff to try before I even finish developing the last batch, but maybe, just maybe, I could discipline myself slightly if I had a visual aid to go back to. My serious bouts with stress a few years ago, physical and otherwise, have left me a bit scatterbrained. I’m fine now in the angst department, but one long term effect is that I can’t just pick up where I left off if I have to tend to other matters for a while. Combined with my many interests and curiosity, yes, I do need some kind of system, notes, lists and plans. I’ve come to the conclusion that changing my personality is not a thing.

So I was wondering if anybody had luck drawing up an understandable schematic of your diverse interests to see where they connect and overlap? Venn diagrams? I’m not looking to make a plan of actions and goals and timeframes, I’m the person who just spent 2 years NOT finishing a specific set of paintings because I was dead set on making them same style and theme as a previous one (same size – they could have been a collection – like real artists make). When really, I only get things done when I move with the flow of the day. The plans are just for remembering what I’ve got to pick from.

Alternatively, a plan for making things AND getting around to blogging about them. Those schedule thingies, do they actually work? If I get an alarm while doing something, I simply snooze it, the end. Not a shred of guilt.

Anyway, mindmapping is kind of fun and you can get a variety of apps for them. I change things up too much during the process to make paper a viable option tbh, and I add to them over time – we all know what that would look like with 4 outdoor cats in the house. So it would be really cool to hear how others might go about it, different angles, categories, some system I haven’t thought of myself.

I’ll go first and show you some of my initial maps. I’m making more detailed ones for each project group, hoping to get all the way out there to project descriptions. I’m also trying Scrivener instead of the blog draft section to write down various things I’d like to tell you about, for projects, website update ideas, because while I do have notebooks galore, I can’t seem to use them for other than linear brain dumps. I’d have to cart them around on a trolley to always have the correct one at hand if I had one for each subject. I did have a huge binder for everything at one point, spacers and index, but it’s just not very handy for a quick note or relaxing on the sofa with tea and ideas, or adding inspirational photos.

So what do you think, am I simply confusing myself? Each map makes sense when I start it, but they should stay like that even if I haven’t looked at them for 2 months, or they’re not working.

I guess we’ll see eventually if it at least helps me blog a bit more. Maybe I’ve just found one more thing to spend time on. Interestingly, I usually begin making these things when I’m overwhelmed. When I have enough energy it doesn’t seem like too much hassle to get things done, so perhaps I should simply focus on that.

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.

I’m calling my entire collection of paper sculptures “Heart of Stone, Feet of Clay” because I weigh them down with either a rock in the belly (Found locally on my walks or on the property) or clay/plaster at the bottom, so you can put them anywhere and not have them topple by a gust of wind.

The topic of the class was “Does it fly?” and I latched on to the “?”

Next I felt like doing something with my empty weaving cones to reflect my interest in upcycling, and to keep it related, the Weaving C(r)ones were born, each with a name and a little story. Two of these have since relocated to England, but the rest are up for grabs should you fall in love. 😉

Staying within the confines of the cone base, I took to experimenting with faces, and created a bunch of gawky geezers. I’m not going to show you today however, because I had a bit of a brain fart and entered them in a juried art exhibition. But I promise a later installment of this post with more characters.

I want to work on more faces + animals, but I think perhaps I need to let loose and not make the cones compulsory – I have plenty though, so they may appear in another series at some point. There’s a horsey set that has been almost but not quite done for some time, so they are up next! I’ve been struggling with painting horses as well, while intending to for years, but I get thrown by my poor drawing skills. Abstractifying something like that AND make it look good takes skill too.

In my next papermache post I’ll talk a little about materials that I use, if anyone is interested in that!

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.

First I just wanted a vertical wall to hang stuff instead of stacking layers of canvasses over my shelves. This evolved into new window for extra light.

Husband thought skylights would be better.

Then while I was at it, I might as well add a second wall and a door to keep out stray cats and their disruptive, stinky behaviour. Oh, and a ceiling to prevent dust on my wall of paintings.

All that remained then was insulation on the two remaining walls and perhaps electricity. Because encaustics space. And papermache table. I simply spent more time clearing my only table in the other room than actually making stuff on it, and then it would be off limits for days with items drying.

So I basically just kept going way beyond the plan and I now occupy the entire hayloft apart from a middle aisle due to stairs in the middle. We’ve just concluded getting a new roof on two buildings this summer (asbestos fiber panels from the 60’s), so perhaps I’ll even insulate a bit more of the inbetween space. Although cold air still comes up from the stable below, I speculate it might even out the quick temperature changes through the roof tiles and perhaps some of the humidity.

All I need now is to get rid of my chronic headache.

Hayloft studio

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Three years since my studio was finished and it’s been a wonderful space, even more so since I had water installed. It’s also very cluttered however, the more I do, the more canvasses are stacked everywhere, done or half done, various supplies getting crammed into to few shelves. What I really need is a dry and dust free storage space and/or weaving room separate from the painting! (my dream is 100m2 heated studio with straight walls including my office/library, but that is a completely different budget, especially the heating cost)

So I’ve been contemplating using the rest of the hayloft as a cold studio/summer messy space, eventually with inner walls to minimize moisture and cat damage. Only it’s taken me this long (20 months since I lost the ponies) to get rid of the 200 strawbales  dusting everything up as well as using the space obviously. I couldn’t even be bothered tidying up there, it was just so hopeless. Basically when I do have the energy to go make something, it needs to be easy access, not 2 days of tidying for half a day of painting.

But I finally got that part done AND I was gifted a window for my birthday, so next week the mason will fix the hole to proper size and I’ll at least have a bit of light without the wind, airflow when it’s too hot and a place to spray paint stuff so that I don’t have to leave the studio until the fumes are gone (as well as accidentally spraying my laptop and other sundries). I hope to build one tall wall to hang stuff to dry (or else cats) at least until it gets too humid in autumn.

Alebrijes

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I’ve been asked to begin blogging again, but all the fiber stuff has been dormant (I put up some old handspun for sale and then forgot to tell anybody…) as I’ve focused on painting, which isn’t our usual focus here, so I’ve been reluctant to share. Today however I’ll tell you about another rabbit hole I fell into.

I joined an online school/community here in DK that feature a lot of different classes, and this month is something I never thought I’d be interested in: sculpture. More specifically the technique for making Mexican mythical beasts “alebrijes“. But the course was so well presented that I found myself rearing to go and full of ideas. Too many ideas in fact, that after just a couple of days into the project I’m beginning to wonder what to do with them when they’re done – I can’t imagine dusting off 20-30 figurines around the house, not to mention picking them off the floor constantly when the rowdy bunch have been through. (aka cats) Seems a shame to just fill up the hay loft with boxes, don’t you think?

The process is very simple, like something you might do in elementary school, except you begin with a wire frame/skeleton instead of using pulp. This adds stability, and I hope durability too. It’s a bit like going back to 3D computer graphics as well, where you also coat a mesh like these with a virtual surface.

I ran into a migraine weekend the second day, so instead of making one sculpture from start to finish I’ve decided to make a bunch of frames, then begin adding the paper-maché, since the glue is made from flour and goes bad after a few days. I’m also experimenting wildly with balance, because a challenge only makes it more fun, right?

The theme of the course is A: begin with a sphere, and B: “does it fly?” I’ve been taking the title quite seriously but focus on the “?”, such as a bull with tiny little wings and goats with propellers…. There’s also a turtle with balloons on the drawing board – they just keep lining up for my attention.

I’ve been wanting to get figures into my paintings, so I’n curious whether these sculptures will be a way in for more stories rather than just abstract or empty landscapes, as it often happens for me with cross polination between different crafts.

Hopefully by next week I can show you the coated figures, then I will paint them all together. Possibly there will be art yarn tails included, or is that a bit twee, what do you think?

Sculptures by Else Frøsig, teacher of the class

 

Latergrams

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For a while my blog brain has been really, really silent, so I’m going to treat you to collections of Instagram posts for those of you who don’t use that platform. Who knows, maybe my words will be jumpstarted along the way.

Today, spring flowers! It’s pretty cold out still, and I don’t think my vine and hydrangea can get out of winter storage until next month. But it looks pretty and full of hope.

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#muscari #perlehyacinth #grapehyacinth

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#ribessanguineum #blodribes #redflowercurrant

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