Monday, March 26, 2007

Water and Earth

I've finished two more of the Elementals boxes. "Water" is below:

"Earth", which has three snakes slithering accross the desert:

Here are "Water" and "Earth" side by side. My camera was giving me trouble getting things in focus.

Here's one more side shot of "Earth" showing the detail of one of the snakes painted on the sides.:

As with "Air", all of the boxes are 6" x6" x 3" deep, and I built them out of 1/4" poplar, with a backing of 1/4" plywood. The sides of the boxes are painted with acrylic, and the background paintings are gouache on Bristol Board. The fish and snakes are carved from cottonwood bark, and painted with acrylic. The edges of the acrylic are nailed down with small #18 brads and studded with glass beads.

It has been very rewarding to work on this series, and perfect work for winter months. My garage shop has been too cold. Bren bought me a drawing table, which is set up in the den, and I have a handy set of Ikea birch plywood drawers for my paints and brushes.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New "Elementals" Boxes

I have been working on a new series of boxes since early February, based on the theme of the four elements. I built 6" x 6" boxes out of 1/4" x 3" popolar. The first box I completed was Elementals - "Air":

The background is gouache on Bristol board, which is mounted to the inside plywood back of the box. The outsides of the box were painted with acrylic, and then sealed with matte acrylic varnish. The inner sides are covered with foil origami paper. The tree is made of a root, wrapped with steel wire and beads. I carved the little dove out of cottonwood bark. The box is sealed with plexiglass, and held in place with glass beads on wire brads.

The paintings are more inspirations from the Tibetan Buddhist tangkhas, with my own twist.

Here is a shot of 3 of the boxes in progress:

From left to right: Air, Fire, and Water. "Fire" has a carved dragon that's breathing fire. I'm making a rock out of paper mache for him to stand on. "Water" will have three fish carved out of cottonwood bark floating in front of the waves. The fourth box is "Earth" - and I haven't started the painting on that one, or constructed the box. I had originally conceptualized 3 boxes: Air, Fire & Water. Then my partner and a friend both said: "What about Earth?" So I'm working on it! I have carved 3 snakes from cottonwood, and they will get painted. The snake is a symbol for Earth in many American Indian cultures, as well as for Buddhists and Wiccans.

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