"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Folk Art of Cactus County #21

Here’s a new piece just finished, a papier mache skull.
I’ve been working on this for what seems like ages and it seems that way because it has been ages. Painting it only took a couple of days, it was waiting for the thing to dry out that took all the time. I made the mistake of building it up from a small ball of papier mache instead of putting a thin layer over a balloon scaffold. But this means that the skull is quite weighty as opposed to being very light, so although I went about it the wrong way, I actually ended up with something better. But it did take ages to dry, I’m talking weeks and weeks.
I’ve had him sitting out in the sun for days at a time, building him up with more papier mache then having to dry that out. Then I kept spraying him with stone effect paint from a can, which made him wet all over again so I had to have that dry out before I could continue. Anyway, I got there in the end and I think he’s been worth the wait. I’m definitely going to be doing more of these but don’t hold your breath, it’s going to take a while.

Things are moving on a pace for the art show in September. Mrs Kitsch has created a blog especially for us to publicise the exhibition and she’s come up with a fab design for the poster, and here it is.
Double kudos to Mrs Kitsch, not just for doing these things but having to do them quickly and on a new laptop after her old Mac died last week. Not the best time for that to happen but then when is it ever a good time? Anyway, well done Mrs K, she’s a ruddy marvel an’ no mistake.

I’ve spent a lot of today sending out a press release about the show, so hopefully we’ll get a bit of local press coverage to draw in the punters. I’ve already had a reply from Steve, the art guy at Venue Magazine who said he thought my work was “by turns macabre and cartoonish” which is a pretty good reaction. I’ll be using that quote a lot I think. He’s going to try and get a photo in Venue in a couple of weeks, which will be great if he does.

Still so much to do like making and painting frames, varnishing, writing accompanying short stories or commentaries for some of the paintings, getting postcards made, and about a hundred other things. I’m really enjoying doing the work towards the show but the stress levels are starting to rise.

1 comment:

  1. Nice one Gary.

    How about making more than one "head/skull" at a time, letting several dry out together, and then just paint each one when you're ready. That way you will have a continual supply.....and will also mean that you'll be clearing up less often.