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... also my Happy Place.

Yesterday (on instagram) I posted this photo with the caption: "Playing with rusty metal = my happy place."
I sometimes forget.
I'm not sure why.
That whole Living in the Moment thing.

There is a bit of backstory here. Of course.
For the past 3 or 4 months, as I've primarily been painting, I've been mulling over what I want to devote my energy to.  My wont is to get bored easily (no! really??? oh look shiny things!) but it's something I want to work on because as a friend so profoundly pointed out:
Once I realized that there was no possible way I could even come close to living long enough to try everything I'm curious about, it became so much easier to let go of the drive to try to get GOOD at everything...
And that's so very very true. We ... I ... can't expect proficiency, let alone MASTERY, if I don't put in the time. (that whole 10,000 hours thing raising its head yet again)

I've loved the time painting. I've learned tons. But my hands get itchy ... to hammer shit ... to add rusty nails ... to play with plaster ... and found objects.

So. I've been trying to hone down what it IS that I LOVE to do:
  1.  rusty found objects
  2. wire
  3. plaster
  4. and yep, paint 
Even though part of me really wants to be, I will never be James Michael Starr (who it appears isn't doing any minimalist assemblage anymore either). I will always end up adding paint to something. And, I think I'm okay with that. And as much as I love abstraction, I know figurative subject matter will end up in the mix as well.

So. Months of pondering, pondering. (man! this is going on waaaay longer than I intended.)
Trying to get clear.
Trying on different cloaks for size.
Imagining my Next Step.

Along comes a double whammy of a) Geoffrey Gorman friending me on FB and b) viewing the wonderful work at his workshop at Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch's  Encausticastle.

Gotta say, I was pretty excited. And inspired.
I held off for a day or two, but hey! I needed to try this ... and ... and ...  I had some rigid foam kicking around from another project,  and I could probably pretty much assemble enough other stuff to give it a whirl ... unbleached cotton rather than canvas, gel medium and of course, rusty nails and wire. So off I went.

The bird's(?) head on the left is where I left off yesterday... pretty cool, right? Only.  A bit too close to Geoffrey's work to make me feel comfortable. (his is much MUCH more refined! As it should be. Cuz he's putting in the work. 10,000 hours, remember?)

So THIS morning, I start on the body and realize I'm gonna run out of gel medium (only the 2nd time in my artist life this has happened ... I'm trying to run down my supplies before the move to the new house/studio next year) and, here's where the MacGyvering comes in (lord! can I BE any more verbose?!?!) ... I start brain scanning ... what could replace gel medium? ... white glue? yep that'd work but not sure I want that tacky surface ... polymer medium? maaaaaybe. prolly not thick enough AND I'll likely run out of that too ... I could use plaster cloth ... definitely. don't have a ton but it'd totally work ... ohhhh. waaaait. what if I try to make a really thin slurry of plaster and run the unbleached cotton strips through it ... like wallpaper paste?? yahhhh. it might work!

The first strips on the body were quite thick ... plaster isn't an exact science. Wellll I guess it COULD be. If I measured shit. So I kept throwing in water to thin it down (which I know is a big ol' No-No but I'm macGYVERing here people!)  and the last few body strips? right where I wanted. Not sure though if it'd stick enough as it dried, I grabbed a hunk of leftover foam that was in a rough house shape and wrapped it with the thinner slurry. (the middle photo shows it quite well)

So here's where I am right now.
Waiting for shit to dry.
To see if it'll work.

MacGyvering. My happy place.