The first week in June I attended Summer Snow and did the workshop Metal Casting with Resin Bonded Sand Molds with Robbie Barber, it was a fantastic experience. I was able to cast several different objects a few of which I was able to work on recently.
True Pieces of the American Diet
chased but not completed
51" x 8" x 2.5"
Gilt Aluminum & Wood
This composite figure was inspired by my good friend and fellow artist Frank McEntire, may it find a good home with him.
Homestead Relics II 11.5" x 23" x 2" wood frame with cast figures and cross stitch sampler under glass
I adore these cast figures, they bring to mind my gr-grandparents Franklin Peter Herndon (1889-1964) and Ludy Lula Ruohonen (1895-1988). I love my mothers stories about them and her time living in their home while her mom was in a TB hospital. Their home is pictured below, Frank grew up in this house and Ludy next door. Unfortunately the home in no longer standing. The Herndons and Ruohonens homesteaded next to each other in Fall City, WA.
The cross stitch is a found piece that I have had for several years. I loved it at first site, somehow in it's colors and simple pattern it contains so much about the ideal home I strive for.
Homestead Relics 24" x 40" x 1.5" paper collage on wood panel with found objects
Detail of objects and view showing paper wrapped around sides. Here is some insight to the process I go through in making a piece like this.
Step 1, go through old family photos and do contour drawings of the outline of the house. This can take around 1 hour or so till I settle on the shape I like. This is the new girls bunk house my grandfather built in Polson, MT. I believe it was the old granary on the farm. Step 2, research quilt patterns and find one that fits. This will take a 2-3 hours. I like the visual quality and meaning behind the friendship pattern selected for this piece. The drawing is rough and leaves room for adaptation.
Step 3, It can take 2-3 hours to go through the collections I have and choose objects that I feel will work with the concept behind the piece. It is not easy to explain what I am searching for but I know when it feels right.
Step 4, draw and cut out the pattern on 1/8 inch panel using jig and band saw. Select the placing and size of compartment to hold chosen objects. Cut out the area. I can usually do this in 2 hours. Step 5, create the cradle for the panel. This takes around 4 hours to cut, fit and anchor each piece. Step 6, I will take about 2 hours to draw the layout for the quilt pattern. Step 7, for this piece it took 12 hours to select the paper I wanted to use and cut it into the needed size and shape - It has to be accurate. I go through several exacto blades making sure they stay sharp.
Step 8, lay out the paper several times till the I know for sure the arrangement will work. This took just over 1 hour.
Step 9, gluing down the paper on the pattern. For this piece, with the wrap around edge, it took 42 hours. It is tedious yet relaxing, I usually listen to a good book while I do this.
Step 10, seal the paper with a gel medium. This can take 1 hour. Step 11, construct the box to hold the objects. Slats are cut to sub divide the area creating a separate compartment for each object. Because each object has a different thickness the back of each compartment is built up using scrap wood cut to size to bring each object to the surface of the plexi. Then it is filled with joint compound, sanded and painted. This box took 10 hours to complete. Step 12, about 2 hours to cut the plexi and frame. Paint the frame and pre-drill for finish nails. and do the final assembly. Total time investment from beginning to end 80+ hours.
With the support of my wife I took the time to update this blog. There are new heading that include my older and newest work. Now I have to see if I can keep it up. I will post in the next week the pieces I am currently working on.
My venture into Photoshop has required a large learning curve. Yogi is a 20 inch tall ball point pen drawing (a class demo) and the background is a combination of several collages scanned, overlapped and blended. I plan printing the image around 30 inches square and insetting a half eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich as part of the True Piece of the American Diet series. The piece is in reference to some old icon painting I have seen with inset relics. A True Piece of the Canyon and the Reliquary for an American Virtue: Wisdom are in this same vein. I am still working out how the frame will look on this one, I am leaning toward something on the minimal side.
You can never take yourself too seriously and a bit of humor doesn't hurt anybody. If you have not seen an episode of Johnny Bravo, it is a must. He makes a great archangel with his plunger scepter and majestic wings.