Now that I have committed to having Michael Ward, a wonderful model, come to my studio to pose for me next week I have found a bit of a fire under me to get ready for this occasion. I am actually planning and working toward the series I have wanted to do for a very long time and not being concerned about how long it will take or where it will be exhibited...or even if it will be exhibited. I am still scarcely touching brush to canvas but having the set up I need is going to change that. I have been building lately...a big box.
It started with building a small model, scaled to hold the little plastic artist's figure that I have had hanging around for three or four years. I used to have one of those wooden artist's models but I think I gave it away. Anyway, I made the little box and put the figure inside and experimented with different ways to light it.
This is just one of the things I tried. When I felt satisfied that this might work I asked Michael, the human model, what size box he would feel most comfortable with. I originally wanted it to be 30 inches square but we decided on 40 inches in the end. I spent a couple of days trying to figure an inexpensive method for building this box; I really don't want to spend money on real wood and have it carpenter perfect - it's going to be dismantled when I'm through with it. I have some large sheets of heavy cardboard and I cut two sides to the 40" size, reinforced one side with square dowl sticks (which I use for stretching silk when I silk paint), just taped on (with lots of tape!) and taped a large piece of cardboard over the top. I put together the 8" high model stand that I had used for posing Samanda last spring, covered it in soft velveteen that I had from an old futon cover and placed the box on top. I had to support it by tying it to the stairs in the center of my studio, put a spotlight low behind the set up, and draped a cloth over the back. The next day I decided I didn't like the dark look; the colour of the cardboard, the purple of the floor cloth, or the dark background cloth. I spent yesterday taking everything apart, moving the models stand to a better position, and covering the inside of the box in white fabric.
Now it's beginning to look right and it is surprisingly sturdy and easy to move around in. I can practise lighting from different angles and may even cut a hole in the side to light it that way. I sure hope all the tape holding everything together holds up for the next week. I really don't want to have to reconstruct this thing again.
Reminds me a bit of those Primal Scream boxes that were all the fad about thirty years ago.