Sunday, December 14, 2008

Working on the DIVA show

Well, I have been super busy getting ready for my show at DIVA. Here are a few pictures of the complicated process of making the first of two large installation pieces.

These are the "scales" with their underdrawings. I laid them out to see how much surface area they had and they pretty much covered my living room/studio. The underdrawing is gesso painted on the back sides of the scales to add subtle texture and shape to the vellum.

This picture shows the back side of some of the scales after being painted. I'm including it because I like the way the backs look, but they won't be visible on the finished installation.

Here are some scales after part of the oil painting has been done to them. In the closeup picture you can see some texture from the underdrawing.

There are 42 of these scales which will be built into a 3d structure in the corner of the room. They range from blue to red. Vellum is translucent and I used all transparent colors on them. So when held up to light they have a beautiful glow like a stained glass window. They have an interesting skin-like non-papery quality. I am not sure how archival oil on vellum is (not very I would guess), but I don't care because I really like the effect.

People have asked me what vellum is made of. Traditionally it was animal skin made into a writing surface. I have read several variations, but essentially modern vellum seems to be made from embossed or plasticized wood or cotton fibers.