From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

New materials

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I have just took delivery of two big beautiful aluminum honeycomb-core panels!   One is for the Pieta piece- the other we shall see. The company (Pacific Panels) is absolutely great- family run, sweet, friendly… the  owner’s daughter even delivered this tiny order personally in this hideous rain.

Anyways, it’s a wonderful material and a great painting surface:  light-weight, archival, very tough, smooth… and it has the modern industrial look I wanted- it offsets the classical imagery of the Pieta well. I had originally thought I would use wood for this piece, but it makes it too classical.  I may incorporate wood into it (in a frame perhaps) but I really want to show some part of the metal in this.  I think it will really help achieve that bridge from classical to contemporary.

I am also tempted to pull it out into 3D- to use pieces of scrap metal attached to the surface as part of the debris around the central figures… but I am already suspecting that may constitute overkill.  I need to see it and sketch it and possibly even mock it up in photoshop before I go there… because attaching things towards the end will be much more difficult (and less archival) than attaching them in the beginning.   I think that possibly scraping into the surface post-painting, perhaps with a sander or dremel will be the way to get some of the effects I want without resorting to 3d- then I could varnish over the whole.

I love exploring new materials.  I could certainly be much more productive if I were to just keep outputting a single style or material that I discovered worked well… but that feels more like Craft and less art to me- and much less interesting and challenging.  I am always exploring new mediums, or new takes on old ones.  In the process I have become very good and confident at the experimentation process itself.  I like to think that this is one of the most telling skills of the contemporary artist.

I could use it in future for things I want reflections coming through the paint. Exciting.

I should be able to start prepping them Saturday. Yay!

Written by Mary Corey March

January 22, 2010 at 2:56 am

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