Good morning all.
Feels so weird making a post at 5AM but what would you not do out of sheer stress. Spent the entire night just working on my projects and alas I have finished them fully! I have already talked about the PoV project in a previous post, this post will be orientated towards the Artist For Artist project which just so happens to fall under the same deadline as the PoV one. It was quite the challenge juggling between them and I honestly barely made it. But hey, we made it nonetheless, which is what matters.
Before I get onto the work that I have produced, if you have not watched the video presentation I have made on the artist, I would recommend viewing it for the purpose of familiarizing yourself with the artist and having an idea on what to expect.
Click here to go to a post that was fully dedicated to this presentation.
In the video I gave a very abstract outline of what I wanted to do for my reflective piece, in the post I uploaded some sketches and progress photos (which are featured in this post too). Before I get into the images, I would like to expand more on the idea and reasoning of the piece which I decided to create as a response to the project.
My initial idea was to recreate a character from a Michael Sowa’s painting, or the Sowa-verse. The one I had my eyes out was the crocodile from this painting:
For whatever reason, I just got the sense that the artist’s style would translate very well in a clay sculpture. (Felt is also one of the options that comes to mind but since I did not have access to a felting setup, I had to resort to sculpting) But something was off, I got a feeling that it would simply be too easy if I just recreated something the artist has already made, just in a different medium, there was a lingering sense of cheating whenever that idea would revisit my mind.
Because of that, I had to continue thinking about what to do and eventually came up with the idea of painting my cat in Sowa’s style. The reason I thought it would be a fitting subject is because my feelings about having to leave (esentially abandon) my cat back at home when moving for university fit the vibe of the artist’s work.
Final Reflective Piece
A page in which I wrote down every word that came to mind when observing M. Sowa’s pieces.
First conceptual sketch for the painting.
Some more playful/experimental concepts.
But I did not feel too satisfied with this idea, sure, it was something original, but a single painting just seemed like it was a bit too little. I spent a couple of days thinking of what to do and it finally hit me! Why not just conjoin the two ideas and make them into a single one? And that is exactly what I did.
On the very night that I thought of this fusion of the ideas I had, I pulled an all-nighter working on the clay sculpture which would end up being the center piece of the entire project. I have to admit, was rather surprised by how well it came out considering I have not worked with clay in a good while. Not only that, but I never felt like clay or sculpting was for me. However, for some reason working on this piece was different, I felt an inner drive pushing me to continue working and finishing the sculpture. That and the fact that the clay would harden if I did not use it up in one time, haha. Here are some images of the process of making clay Bella:
The small canvas in the most bottom row features a replica I made of one of the artist’s works.
I had planned to make more of these replicas and hang them around in the set which I will be covering next. But sadly, time was cut short due to procrastination and worrying about the other project..
Having made the cat sculpture I was very satisfied with how it came out, however, it kind of felt like it was still not enough, thus the idea of creating a miniature set for this sculpture was born. I struggled quite a bit with figuring out how to make it. The first attempt was quite disastrous, chucked it into the bin straight away..
I was truly so disappointed in myself. This is not the first time something like this has happened, I actually evaluated that this could (and most likely would) be the outcome but still proceeded to work on it. I even made the fancy 3D window.. and unfortunately all that time and work just went straight to the bin. But hey, at least I learned my lesson. (until the next time I encounter this problem..)
(The room design was based on these 2 interiors which were featured in Michael Sowa’s paintings:)
After that I just felt like it was over for the day, started clearing off my table and then I noticed something white shining through the clear walls of my moving boxes. Thankfully it was the 3 A4 size canvas coasters I brought with me – I pulled them out and started working on the set all over again – this time with a more positive outcome.
Once the set foundation was set up and secured with several strips of sticky tape, I went on to create and acquire more props for it.
Using the remaining clay I created a set of food and a mouse. Then I went out and bought a small wooden box to be the “fridge” in the composition. Once I had gotten everything ready, all that was really left to was to colour every item in and make the painting that was going to accompany this piece.
Throughout today, I will be figuring out and making full set shots from different angles and portraying different scenarios, they will be uploaded onto this post by the end of the day. (Update 22:40 – Here are the images:)
If I only I had not taken so long to finish it, I could have taken it with me to the studio and take even better photos of the piece. But I am fond of how it came out either way! Had to improvise with the greenery so I cut off a couple of branches off of my succulent.
Finally the painting itself. It took me a few tries to really get it down as it has been a good while since I last painted a piece. I am happy with how the end result came out – it is reminiscent of Sowaism in almost every sense possible. Here is the process:
And lastly, the final piece!
The development of the painting’s concept is pretty apparent in the process, at first it was going to be something rather generic but it eventually evolved into something more surreal. The final concept of the piece is – the cat is so distraught over being abandoned by their owner that they are no longer capable of functioning like they are supposed to and since the cat is no longer at work, the mice start to gain rule over the premises – turning it into something that might as well be considered a giant slice of cheese.
The only thing that was rather unfortunate was my limited access to some resources for the creation of this set. I wish I could have made at least a couple of different sets but because I did not have more coasters (and I still have no idea where to get them here) was only able to make a single set. Also, wish I had more experience with clay, because everything that you see here today was made using my sausage fingers and a qtip.. To be fair, no one asked me to make this out of clay so I feel like it is unreasonable for me to whine about that but I thought I would mention it for the sake of establishing somewhat of an image of how most of the aspects were not in my favour and how I “overcame the odds”, haha.
That is all that I wanted to say in this post, make sure to return to this post later on to check out the full set photos! Thank you for tagging along on this lengthy post, as always, would appreciate feedback and ideas/suggestions for future projects and such. See you in the next one