Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Monday, June 6, 2011

Taking Shape

I spent a little time yesterday at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  It was a beautiful day, and I had intended to spend part of it outdoors sketching, but I arrived later than planned, and without sunscreen, so I went directly inside to view the sculpture exhibit in the main hall.  My friend Melody Villars had two of her pieces entered, and lucky for me, the one I want didn't sell.  I'm not really sure when she'll fit in my budget, but she would live happily in my plant-filled living room, don't you think?

Click photos to enlarge, click again for detail.  See more of Melody's sculpture on her website, Melodyvillars.com (Do click this link!)
 When  I was a kid, I didn't like sculpting very much.  Playing around with kitchen clay was fine, but when it came to making a figure, I didn't automatically have the skills to create what I envisioned, so it wasn't any fun.  Patience with new skills has never been one of my natural virtues...I still have the attention span of a two year old, I just make myself work on, anyway. 

It wasn't until my early thirties, when I tried polymer clay, with sensible directions by Maureen Carlson (maureencarlson.com), that I sculpted something I actually liked.  After that, making party decor for Richfield Flowers and Events (richfieldflowers.com  DO click this link, you are in for a visual feast in party decor), I got to do a lot of quick stuff with carved foam, chicken wire, aluminum conduit, fabric, and about anything else you can imagine using to create dimensional art.  From there, I started adding dimension to murals with carved styro, and after buying Belle Ami, got into sculpted plaster ornament for walls and ceilings.  These days, I would rather work three dimensional! 

I'm trying to give the Artgirls a better introduction to sculpting than I had...

The nice thing about teaching private art lessons is that I can help each kid as much as she needs, so first experiences are successful.  Faith was especially unenthusiastic about this project, which started with wadded up newspaper, wrapped in masking tape.  Based on my own experience, I sympathised with her, but promised she would learn some tricks she would use over and over her whole life, if she would just give it a try. 

She settled on making a dragon (siiiiighhhhh, with eyeroll), but after seeing Kadence's Seussical bird (It's in the ABC book, one tiny thing in a long line of critters, so why it stood out to her, I cannot imagine), Faith decided she wanted to make a bird, too.  We pulled out the morgue file (magazine clippings) of bird pictures, and she spotted a photo of a sculpture of a penguin slipping on the ice.  Suddenly, her interest (and her beautiful smile) flared.  Apparently, seeing how another artist sculpted it was just as important as finding a subject she liked.  Jensen, by the way, is working on a rainbow dragon, but hasn't been to class much lately, so we'll show hers off another day.

The materials for this are cheap and easy to find (newspaper, masking tape, white glue-Elmer's or Weldbond, and muslin), and the method is simple enough for an eight year old, but interesting enough for any age.  You can learn the basic technique from a book called How to Make A Simple Screamer, which I promise you is a great read just for the authors gallery of hillariously titled life-sized monsters, even if you never make one.  I gave my copy of the book to my brother to share with his kids years ago, so I can't tell you the author, but I saw it on Amazon.com one day, so it's still out there.  Check it out, and give this project a try this summer!

Happy artists make happy art.

If she doesn't become a fashion designer, news anchor, or actress, this one might be an ornithologist...or something yet unimagined, to be added to the list next week.

To view some of the detail I can sculpt on your walls and ceilings, check out my website theartofthehome.com.

If you have questions about this or any project, feel free to email me at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com

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