"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boxed In

       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.


  1. Hi there Karen!... What a unique project to kickstart a block!

    Usually folks speak of "thinking outside the box"... or "don't let yourself get boxed in."

    Here's another way to look at things! Somehow..."You" seem less boxed in... and easier and more enjoyable to read... than when you were.... Well you know how you were feeling best... and I've been there, so I'll leave it at that!

    Good to see you planning and upbeat about your work! Look forward to seeing things move along with your model.

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  2. Wow! Seems to me like your recent R&R has produced some very interesting results. Your new project is intriguing & I'll watch it grow with much interest. Glad you're back!

  3. I love the composition of this posed "model" and am excited to see the painting that arises with your real live studio model, Karen. This is going to be fabulous!

  4. wow...this is going to be very interesting--I hope you will post updates. I also hope your model's legs won't become paralyzed if he has to assume that same pose (kidding). What a cool project!

  5. Wow, I can't WAIT to see what you come up with with this set up and your model. :))) SO glad to see the fire under you again. Now where's the painting??? Or sketch maybe??? ;)