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, August 1, 2011

Gwragedd Annwn

Betcha think I had my fingers in the wrong place on the keyboard, huh?  Nope.  The Gwragedd Annwn are sometimes called Undine's Kymric Sisters.  That's much clearer now, isn't it?  I just love researching for artwork, though this one is going to take a bit more to unravel the really old stories, before they were tamed into modern fairy tales.  What on Earth am I talking about?

Did you read last Friday's post, wherein I said I was starting a sculpture that might end up being a mermaid?  Well, she's not a mermaid.  Mermaids just aren't nice, regardless of what Old Walt would have you believe.  Mermaids are man-hating creatures who enjoy luring "lovesick" (now, there's a euphemism!!!)sailors to their death with their sensuous beauty and beguiling charms, and enchanting song, just for the hell of it.  Hellish, indeed.  No mermaids in my house.

This is my brain.  If I misplace my clipboard, I am nearly useless with panic until it is found.  Just about any idea I have ever persued was hatched on a clipboard.
They're mean and they have fish tails.  Two strikes, no need to look for a third.  Althooooough, fish tales would actually be a bonus, from this sculptor's perspective, because that would be a whole lot easier to sculpt than legs.  I want to drop the whole project right now.  Legs are hard.  And maybe fragile.  And she is life-sized.  And I already started her head, and this is what she wants to be, and it makes sense with other things going on in my life that she be an amphibious being, and oh crap, say it with me..."here we go *off through the brambles, yet again."

Gwragedd Annwn live in Welsh lakes, or on enchanted islands in the middle of them.  The stories vary a bit.  They are human-sized immortals, very kind and musically gifted on fiddle and harp, fair of hair and complexion, and males are fine but rare,  which is why the females sometimes take mortal husbands.  However, if their human husbands hit them, they return to the water and never come back.  There was at one time, passage between the mortal world and theirs, but a mortal took a flower from their gardens, even though it was forbidden, which caused him to drop dead, and the gate to be closed forever.  There seems to be only these two stories, but they are spoken of as though they are examples of a whole history, so I think I'll keep tracking it down.

Well, it's a start, anyway.  Air dry clay over a styro armature.
So far, I've focused on the head of this sculpture, building up facial muscles over the foam skull, working from my memory of a photo of my sister Robin, which I can't find at the moment.  The face is generally made up, but I wanted to use her mouth.  The mouth is important, and I can't capture from memory the beautiful curve of her open lips, as she was speaking when the picture was snapped.  She was probably yelling at me to get the camera out of her face (sisters eight years apart rarely speak civilly for the first 18 years of their relationship, I'm assured),  but she looks as though she's singing.  I'll find the photo, or get the memory to gel eventually.

As for her limbs, I spotted foam fun noodles at the grocery store tonight.  Oh, no, not pasta!  These are in the summer merchandise section, about five feet long and three inches in diameter, and are meant to be swimming pool toys.  I think they may slip over aluminum tubing to fill out some of the arms, beneath the clay, though I'm not sure, as they are squishy.  Other options will be wadded newspaper, though that takes a lot of clay over the top to smooth, or sculpted styro, which involves a trip to Minneapolis and some rather terrifying mergings and intersections, in order to obtain at a decent size and price.  Wonder if one can do spray foam into pantyhose or something...that sounds potentially disastrous, and probably hilarious, so probably it merits a try...

Tune in again for "Adventures in Odd Fae", though I may have to put this aside and do some paying work, to keep the mortgage company content.  Ah, the challenge of straddling the two worlds...amphibious creatures do intrigue me!

In case you would like to lure me out into the world to earn my keep, you can see my portfolio at theartofthehome.com.

If you really think I might be qualified to give you advice, you can email me your questions at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com, and I'll answer to the best of my abilities.

*It's from my personal credo, derived from the words of Rbt. Frost:  "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I went hiking off through the brambles."  I whine, but I seem to love brambles...the berries are always worth the thorns.  It's an artist thing.

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