Thanks so much for all the kind comments on the last post, it really does help.
Now though I'll move on to something more cheerful, as, by and large, cheerful is what we are. I've been maquetting. This is in response for a 'call for maquettes' at Clive Hicks-Jenkins Artlog. Clive inspires. He inspires creative activity, but above all, he inspires enormous amounts of love, affection and admiration from many, many people (to say nothing of other creatures). There's really too much to say about the wonderful things that can be seen at the Artlog, which is just one window on to a life which simply overflows with the making and doing of beautiful things, which, marvels further abounding, he finds time to post about the process of much of it, using high quality, high res photos and lovely bright, clear descriptions, the energy and generosity of which never ceases to amaze. I can't urge visiting too strongly, it's a glowing, joyous place.
Clive makes maquettes, paper models, usually jointed with those paper fastener things that look like little nails which you push through the paper then divide and bend back, which he uses to set up and adjust the composition of his paintings. However, the maquettes are also objects of beauty and fascination in themselves, and others have been taking up the idea and making maquettes of their own, notably Zoe with her quirky, seductive tango dancers and blue cats.
So, unworthiness to fasten shoe-latchets notwithstanding, I thought I'd have a play, not with a view to developing paintings or anything, just for the amusement of making them. First though, find your paper fasteners. Looking in on an art shop for something else, I thought to ask for them, but didn't know what they were called in French, so I had to give a rough translation of the same description as in the paragraph above. After a few moments of puzzled frowning:
'Ah' said the assistant 'attaches parisiennes!'
And owing to the, to me, inexplicable craze for le scrapbooking, which along with rubber stamps, seems to be what keep the few remaining art shops open, the shop stocked not only the traditional chunky brass and stainless variety, but also an array of exquisite, tiny multicoloured ones of different shapes and weights. Seduced by their kaleidoscopic prettiness, I bought far more than I needed.
It seems they are sometimes also called brads, I don't know if this is an Americanism,
but to use brads, you need some kind of bradawl. I'd never thought about that word before. This isn't a purpose-made one though, it's a winkle pin.
I've always rather liked the story of The Musicians of Bremen, the way the animals cheat the humans and get to live long in amity together, so thought I might try some maquettes of them. So I decided to start with the donkey and found a picture of a one on-line,
then found another use for the Kindle. You can send yourself JPEG files, but they only open as small, low contrast grey-scale things, but that's quite good just to use as a drawing aid, without too much distracting information.
After the initial drawing, I made a tracing of it, overlapping on the areas to be jointed. It reminded me of making sewing patterns when I was younger.
As well to trace it larger than you finally want it to leave room for trimming and adjustment. Then I transferred it to heavy cartridge paper, and played about to position the joints.
Then I de-constructed the donkey,
found a set of unused gouache paints,
It's annoyingly cute; as ever shades of the primary school begin to close on stuff I make and do. But the exercise was interesting and absorbing, and it is a first attempt. Dog, cat and cockerel still to be done.