Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jump On In! Mock-Up

Sunday, February 20, 2011

U of M Open Studios

On Friday, March 4th, from 6-9 pm, the graduate MFA students at the U of M will be opening our doors to the public. Come check out what myself and thirty-some others have been up to!

Oh- we also have a blog, check it out!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Northern Spark-Call for Volunteers!

This coming June 4-5, from sunset (8:55pm) to sunrise (5:28am) will be the Twin Cities' very first nuit blanche or "white night" festival, Northern Spark. This all night participatory art event centered around the Mississippi River and surrounding areas will showcase local artists and turn an urban environment into a city-wide art gallery.

I am very excited to have been appointed the Volunteers Coordinator for this huge event. We are looking for energetic individuals to assist with information distribution and artists' projects throughout the night. Volunteers get a t-shirt, their name on the Northern Spark website, and lots and lots of gratitude! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, visit the Volunteers Site for position descriptions and to sign-up!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Painted Architecture

Finished up my column on Weds. morning!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Routed Office Sign

I had been promising my dad I'd route him a sign for his office for awhile now. I finally had some time to do it last weekend. I used the simple and clean design created by my talented sister, Emily Schwartzman. The letters came a bit thin, I will probably re-do this a bit down the road to make it just a bit cleaner. Anyhow, here it is hanging in the office.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Scenic Drawing and Painting

I'm auditing a scenic painting class this semester, taught by the fabulous Lance Brockman. We started with some value studies on an ornament, created a pounce, transferred the drawing onto a base-primed canvas, and started painting values. I am loving the class!

This architectural piece will be painted tomorrow morning!

My Those are Big Shoes!

I carved foam (or as some say it sounds like, car phoned) all weekend to finish two giant pairs of shoes for my Toy Theatre After Dark performance. Come see them dance next month at Open Eye!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Toy Theatre After Dark

Toy Theatre After Dark approaches! This year Open Eye Figure Theatre is hosting two programs, an all ages show and an adult audience show. My piece, Balls, is in program 1. I am also a puppeteer for Waterbox by Justin Spooner, also in program 1. This time it is bigger and better, with even more surprises! Book your tickets, come out and see us!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tree in Progress

I will bring you through my process of creating a giant, sad tree, just like I did with Ms. Daisy. However, I will hold off on showing you the end result just yet...

I've started with a steel understructure, shaping the trunks form very organically around a central base using steel rod. Thank you Hosfeld bender for helping me do the job!
And have begun to tie on diamond lat mesh around the understructure.
Once the trunk was covered in mesh, I used a mixture of cement, masonry sand, fiberglass strands and water to create a nice "mud". I laid the cement about an inch thick onto the mesh using a pool trough. After it set up for about an hour or two, I went back in to carve out a bark texture. Now the trunk weighs about 250lbs.
I started with a double coat of what I like to call a "macaroni and cheese" colored exterior house paint. Here I've begun my first layer of glaze, a chocolate color.
I continued with two more layers of glaze, getting progressively darker each time, to end up with the final trunk color below.
I've handled the tree top the same way. A steel understructure with a central base that slips onto a piece of steel sticking out the top of the trunk. I tied my mesh onto the structure, and used a mache/plaster mix to cover the mesh.
I spent about 2 months testing out a variety of animatronic eye fixtures to try to make his eyes move. I successfully got them to look up and down and side to side. But after much deliberation, I decided that they way his eyes look when they move was not the look I was going for, so ultimately scrapped the moving eyes altogether to achieve a more stagnant, sullen look.
I got the tree top in place on the trunk and have started to add ApoxieSculpt leaves. I happened to buy lots of purple. But since this photo I have primed and painted the leaves to a cool green, and replace the moving eyes with permanent still ones.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ms. Daisy-Process Shots

In effort to display my current working process, I've been documenting the progress of my new sculptures each step of the way. I don't want to give away too much, in terms of the finished product, as that is waiting for its big reveal in May. But here are some images leading up to where she is now.

I've finished the welded steel understructure, and have begun to shape her hands and shoes with aluminum foil. Notice I've welded the top separately from the legs/hands so that I can remove the bush part for necessary adjustments.

I've begun to tie diamond-lat mesh over the shape of the bush. I've also started to cover the aluminum foil shapes with a layer of Ave's ApoxieSculpt.

I've completed the ApoxieSculpt coating on the hands, legs and feet.

Gave it a good 2 coats of primer.

Here I've started the daisy flowers. I covered a styrofoam ball in ApoxieSculpt, then added each pedal, one by one, letting each dry completely before adding the next.

I've coated the outside of the bush with a mache, and have begun to sculpt each individual leaf out of ApoxieSculpt and lay it on top. I've also painted the hands and feet with exterior house paint.

Another shot, more leaves. The colors of them vary, based on the random buckets of ApoxieSculpt I bought, but it won't matter since I will prime and paint over them anyhow. It was kind of fun to see her as an odd rainbow assortment.

Finished leaf sculpting, gave it 2 coats of primer.

I won't show you anymore, so as not to spoil the surprise, but I've painted her leaves multiple shades of green and inserted her flowers around the bush. They are quite pick-able!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Over winter break, I got to travel for a month and see lots of really inspiring visuals. Here are some of my favorites.