March 7, 2010

Rough Last Weekend... but a Goddess emerged.

So last weekend was a troublesome time for me. Besides feeling feverish all weekend (luckily no temperature) and having UK and Mizzou both lose in basketball and the US losing in the final of the men's Olympic hockey tournament (such a nail biter), I had two distinct failures in my artwork as well that set me back a good weeks worth of work.

The goal I was aiming for for this piece was to get my background streams to move in front of a few of the arms of this bio-mechanical work. My plan was to build the 'star' to a completed stage and then once I made a few of the smoking spirals butted up against the arm, I would sand down the subject and then continue the stream once I remade a smooth surface.

Unfortunately, that plan was scrapped once I realized that the sanding just did too much damage to the surface when I tried to get rid of the deeply etched Xacto cuts filled with paint... I never could really do it... there was always a visible line from where I laid down my blade on the frisket to make my make-shift stencils for the airbrush. I tried paint to help cover it, but that just made a mess as you can see by the remaining white in the second picture below. Also, the sanding made the surface so bumpy, that there was an unavoidable shadow from where I cut too deeply as you can also see in the second picture where the wave moves in front of the arm of the 'star'.... you can actually see where the contours of the arm used to be because of the mirroring shadow left from the sanding. Failure. Delete.

... that was Saturday.

#1... wasted.

So... I resolved to start over on Sunday with a new piece.
For this failure, I just made the supremely stupid mistake of rushing to brush away some eraser particles with my Big Brush before I let a glob of paint completely dry. I just spread the ink all the way across a third of the picture, meaning I would have to use a combo of sanding/painting to save the image, and I just decided to let it go because I just wasn't far enough along.

So #2... scrapped. 

You might ask about #3?

Happily, I can say I did complete an image. I was extremely careful... took my time... made preparatory sketch lines whenever possible.... I think my hand shook for a lot of the process and I probably annoyed my wife a lot with the tension in my voice whenever she tried to talk through my earphones (I love you, hon).

india ink and acrylic on claybord

This 3rd time was the charm and I'm very pleased with the results. I titled it Hathor because I wanted something to evoke a 'great horned goddess' to help insinuate a loving, sexual destruction that I think best fits with the character of the black markings of the piece.


  1. No annoyance. Totally worth it.

  2. Wonderful! Definately a sexual aspect to it, the name is appropriate. You are so brave to document your failures! Although one could argue they are not really failures - but I do understand not achieving what you are looking for. It happens to me all the time. I am so flooded by images, but I can't make my hands do what I see.

    Great work.

  3. I'm a complete process junkie, I love to see how other artists work. This is great.
    I love the piece, it has a very organic feel to it.

  4. Thanks for sharing about the process. I really like the final piece. Hope your show had a fabulous turn-out!

  5. Thanks, Ash. The show went really well!