Thursday, February 27, 2014
The birds in the tree is a colored pencil drawing. I made the little quilt behind the tiny chicken eggs out of upholstery samples. The ducks are pieces of the same samples glued onto foam core and cut out. The nest is real, a gift found by a good friend. I carved the edges of the wood, again, to get rid of the manufactured look. The 3 squares on the left "wall" are pieces of a watercolor, cut into 1" squares.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
It's 12"X12". You might have seen the colored pencil drawing of the horses and trees alone, which I posted a few days ago on Facebook. The trees continue onto the top as they do in the last two boxes. The panels on the sides contain white horse hair from violin bows, wrapped in yarn with small brass doodads (I guess they are for jewelry.) The four little blocks at the bottom are pieces (glued to the drawing surface) I made by cutting and laminating pieces of paper painted with acrylics. Sort of like quilt pieces. You can see the pattern is the same, the pieces of paper are switched for each block. There are wood "walls" between the drawing and the horse hair panels and a "beam" across the front, all carved on the edges to take away the manufactured look. The tiny black horse is made of clay and was one of my 365 projects (Day 175 ~ Create a tiny version of something that would normally be much bigger). There are some curly grasses wrapped round the beam, too. I coated them with acrylic gel medium. This was hard to photograph, to get the richness of the drawing and, at the same time, the detail of the dark recessed places. I did my best!
Monday, February 17, 2014
Like the second box, the colored pencil drawing wraps around the sides and top inside. The 'floor' is covered with sticks that have been wrapped in fabric and thread. The wood pieces have been carved to make them look a bit less factory produced. The design on the frame is done with pencil and watercolor.
The acorn is a 'found object', as well as the grasses and twigs stuck in the wood beads.
More to come >>>>>>> ! Many ideas!
This is 12 X 16. It includes an original colored pencil drawing in the upper middle section. That was the first thing I did. Then I manipulated a print of the drawing on the computer, cut out an oval to reveal a shell. The tall panel on the right has a piece of an upholstery swatch with added beads. There are small chicken eggs, a deer bone, calligraphy done with a stick on velum. The flowers, done in watercolor on watercolor paper, are cut out and mimic the design in the fabric behind it. The grassy stuff in front of the figure is painted palm inflorescence stuck in holes drilled in the wood shelf. The bone is suspended from a hammered and painted eye hook with yarn and beads. The print if the tree sticks out, you can't really see that.
This was SO MUCH FUN!! And just the beginning. There will be more! I'm on a roll........
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Post Square 12.31.13 ~ Mama Who?
A synopsis of a story in the Washington Post by William Wan
I was hoping we might have an upbeat subject to close out the year, and this project, but the cover story in the Post for this day is sad.
More than 61 million children in China (I still can’t quite wrap my brain around that number) don’t live with their parents. Poor villagers have moved to cities, fueling the country’s growing economy, and leaving their children behind to be cared for by grandparents and other elderly relatives. The workers already living in the city find that with the high cost of living and the long hours at their jobs, they can’t keep their kids with them, either.
Wu Hongwei left his tiny village in the mountains at age 16 to find something better than doing back-breaking labor making 3 dollars a day. He went to the city of Zhangzhou were he was trained by his uncle to be a barber. Years later he took his trade to Zhuzhou, where he found a good-paying job. Wu met a young woman, married her, and they had a little girl. Wu’s wife, Wang, quit her job to care for the baby and he worked overtime cutting hair. They were able to make ends meet at first, but as the child grew so did their expenses and Wang was forced to go back to work. With the high cost of living and both of them working long hours they found they needed to make the decision to take the baby to Wu’s village to be cared for by his parents.
When they can, Wu and Wang make the 14-hour journey by bus, then train, then motorcycle to see their daughter, now 2. She doesn’t know them, though, and feels more comfortable with her grandmother.
The grandmother says that living in the country is good for the child. The food is clean and the air isn’t polluted, as it is in the city, but there is no future for her in the village.
The parents are working on a plan to overcome the financial obstacles and bring their daughter back home to be raised by them.
Drawing from a detail of a photograph by Xiaomei Chen
In the upper right corner is the knee of Beibei, the child whose parents are featured in this story. She’s climbing over a structure that is holding some logs. I chose two pencils at a time and used the darkest one to shade each log shape and the lighter one to fill it in. I went over the whole background with white pencil. I repeated all the colors in the background to fill in the design on Beibei’s pants.
That’s it! The last day of 2013 and the last drawing for this project. I’d love to see you at the opening on Sunday, but if you can’t make it, wish me luck. I do have some new things in mind that I want to experiment with in the new year. I’ll keep you posted!