Hello. I mostly burrowed underground and hid from the world as much as possible last year, but I did crawl out to paint the odd commission – and I guess you could call this an odd commission, but in a really nice way! Some friends had bought plain white roller blinds to hang in front of their shelves of (very beautiful) board games. They asked me to make them more interesting. I did my best.
Here is a not-quite-before photo of the blinds. At this stage I’d covered them in gesso and drawn over in pencil.
Paints. I ended up using a mix of old fabric paint that I’d acquired many years ago for some forgotten purpose (but which was still good), pure pigments and a fabric medium, and was really happy with them. I should have mixed the gesso primer with a matte white fabric paint, though. I think I originally imagined that if I painted the gesso base thinly enough, it would resist cracking. Wrong! For the most part the cracks that have formed aren’t too bad, and I’ve been using the fabric medium for repairs. I’m on the hunt for white, matte fabric paint (the fabric medium I bought dries very shiny). Bit of trial and error here!
This was my first time painting with fabric mediums on a surface that would be regularly rolled up, and my first time painting at a big scale (1.7m high and between 1.16 and 1.46m wide). I’m normally peering at little A5 paintings. (I do live in a caravan: everything is small!) I painted these blinds on site, in the games room, with an MDF board behind for support that got moved from blind to blind.
I had an opportunity to try selling at an art market on Tuesday. I went in with the anticipation of selling nothing, and treating it as a learning experience. When I traded the first postcard for a $2 coin, I was so excited. The market was part of Art Week’s Late Night Art. I was vaguely aware of missing all sorts of beautiful and interesting things that night, but even though my dad was with me, and volunteers were around to give us a break, I stayed obsessively tethered to my stall the whole night. I didn’t want to miss a single moment. It was an enormous buzz and also exhausting, and it’ll probably be good to mellow out over time.
I have so many ideas of things I’d like to make and sell, and didn’t have time to try them all this time. I’d like to keep going with markets, because if I can at least break even (which I more or less did this time), I can keep learning and experimenting in a low-risk environment.
I had good intentions of asking someone to photograph me standing behind my stall grinning, but I forgot! I’m lucky that friends and fellow stallholders remembered to take photos, otherwise I’d have none from the night itself except this one: the view from high up in the Victoria St car park, directly above where the market took place:
When we arrived on the first day, this is what was waiting for the 5 other students and me (we had one each):
Which we added clay to, to turn into this:
I was pretty chuffed with my square. But it got better:
We chiseled away some of the square and discovered something almost like a head shape inside! Then we chiseled away some more…
My next-door neighbour was excited about gauging out the eye sockets. We also made a nose-hole, cheekbone/temple space and sculpted teeth. Very therapeutic!
Hair! Clay hair is fun:
I kind of wish that this was my whole life – just turning up in the back room of Takapuna Art Supplies and sculpting a head. And then shoulders, from the bones out through muscles and finally covering with skin-of-clay. And hands. And after an entire human form, maybe moving on to other animals. A horse. A tuatara.