First, here is the Fairy painting in the frame:
I made the frame out of corner molding, and have had a lot of “fun” actually getting this thing into the frame. Third attempt is in progress now, as I write. While the glue dries on that, I’ll relate the annoying tale. I made the frame just a little too big. Something about cutting the pieces with the miter box, and getting them the length I measured, eludes me. I can make the top and bottom, and the sides the same length without a problem, but it tends to come out too big once I get the painting in. I had the same trouble with the frame I made for this painting. Anyway, I liked the size because the opening was exactly the perfect size to not cover up any of the painting. I paint seriously all the way out to the edges of the canvas, so I don’t really want to cover any of the painting up, even with the frame. So I went ahead and painted the frame. What I did not realize at that point was that this size left me with few options for securing the painting to the frame… First I tried using brads to hold it in, but they’re just too short to hold in the wood of the frame, and hold onto the canvas stretchers. They tend to just fall out, and one did Christmas morning. And corner molding is thin, so I can’t nail them in very far without splitting the wood. Which I did twice. Glued that back together on Christmas Eve and tried using a combination of the brads and popsicle sticks glued together along the sides to hold the painting in position inside the frame. This was all dry Christmas morning and I gave it to my daughter. She loved it! I had no reason to fear on that point. 🙂 As she unwrapped further gifts I picked it up and the painting fell out. Luckily no one saw that. So now the brads are out and I’m gluing short chunks of the corner molding inside the frame, using their angles to hold the painting in. If that works, tomorrow I’ll hang the dang thing. Sheesh.
This was inspired by two things : First, the ice stalactites and nemertean worms under the antarctic ice from the “Creatures of the Deep” episode of David Attenborough’s Life. (Very cool video there.)
I’ve also been reading more about Dada. I talk about it so much on this blog, I figured I really should know more about it, and it’s inspired me before; with more exposure it likely will again. Actually it just did: my second inspiration was Hans Arp’s “Automatic Drawing”, in the Dada collection of MoMA. More ‘nemertean worms’ and other organic shapes there. So yeah, this painting is kind of busy, but it started out that way…
Another aspect of Dada was a rebellion against how calcified and rigid the definition of what was and was not art had become, at that time. Even though impressionism had loosened things up a bit, it was not enough for the Dadas. They blew the definition of art wide open, to pretty much everything we count as art today, with works like Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. This I think was done in the spirit of, “I’ll do whatever the hell I want and call it art, and declare that it’s not art at the same time just to mess with you, even as it sits in an art gallery.” If somehow you have missed ever hearing about this (I know, it happens), yes, it’s a manufactured urinal turned on its side and signed “R. Mutt” by the artist. So I was also painting the above in the spirit of, “I’ll paint whatever the hell I want to paint even if it does look like crap!” Or more articulately, too much red at this point I think, and too ‘squeezed in’…
I also made a lot of progress with this one, but it’s so close to done now that I think I’ll just try to finish it up and post it Friday in lieu of an update now.
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Update to the update! The third attempt at framing the fairy finally worked, and it’s hanging on the wall now. 🙂