Friday, August 20, 2010

the first griffin is in the bank

well, i don't know that I've ever worked so hard for two straight weeks, but we finally got the first of the three griffins done.
actually, truth be told, he still needs to be varnished and his platform needs to be painted, but i want to put my legs up and have a beer now. so we are calling it done.
here he is:
here we have griffin #2, primed, looking like an "alabaster angel" as Gordie said.
and this here will someday be griffin #3. That just the lumber and conduit skeleton. The real wire sculpting is yet to come. the third griffin will have two heads.

Monday, August 16, 2010

teamwork makes the dreamwork

hey team,
there have been a lot of hands on deck helping with the laborious stages of papier macheing these 8-foot griffins with 14 foot wingspans. They are growing up so fast it makes me whistful for their heady days of youth. thats my little sister still getting that second coat of papier mache on the underbelly of griffin #1.

Young Saxton, being paid in beer, for the messy work of papier mache.
my partner in this endeavor, Gordon Zalewski of Legion Design, priming griffin #1 to recieve the screenprinted textures (which I must say look damn fine).
Young Saxton lacked the fortitude to papier mache, so he was reassigned to priming griffin #1.

Mr. Jacob Perry helping out with the application of papier mache. You may note that griffin #2 has a falcon's head with ram's horns.

There were some shenannigans, and Jacob got slimed with papier mache mix. Its messy work.

Also, team, I should mention today was a very unusual day of work down at Legion Design studios, because there is a movie filming in downtown Grand Rapids, called 30 Minutes or Less. They have cordoned off a 12 black area in downtown to shoot some kind of car chase or some shiz, and the studio is basically in the center of that. So when we arrived to get to work today, we had to park a bajillion miles away, and then to get to the studio on foot had to argue with 10 different bitchy production assistants to let us cross the street.

That was certainly charming. The crew will be filming again tomorrow, but with beer we have purchased the loyalty of certain production assistants , so we should be able to get through.

One nice thing about the movie filming here, is that it will actually be set in Grand Rapids too. SO thats nice.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

the griffins are growing

hey team,
the griffins that Gordie and I have been building for ArtPrize are starting to really take shape.
As well they had better at this point, seeing as how we are drastically overbudget and Im supposed to move to Brooklyn in all of nine days.
I love a good deadline.

there you see Mr. Gordie Zalewski of legion design working on the papier mache for as-yet-unnamed griffin #1.

There you have griffin #1 with the skeleton for griffin #2. The armature bases are constructed out of 2x4's and conduit. And, at long last, the first pages of silkscreened animal textures

Anyway, we now have a facebook page also where you can follow our progress and where we can spam you with irritating notes about how you need to text us your votes so we can get that cash.
Also, should any of you find yourselves in the Grand Rapids area in the next few days and would care to help out, we need all the hands we can get. We have started to learn that papier mache is actually intensely time consuming. We are prepared to pay you in beer and sub sandwiches.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

survivor of the editing process

HA!
When I've been contributing web content to Revue WM, I have been ending all my posts with the sign-off:

"and, also, there was so much hot tail there I could barely walk straight."
In the past, it was always excised by my editors. Apparently, they decided to look upon it this time as charming incorrigibility, because it made it to publication for the review I submitted this morning about the Blues Traveler show that was in Grand Rapids the other night.
Go check it out, team.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

things are taking shape

our ArtPrize entry has at last gotten into the 3-d phase. what you see here are the long narrow platforms that we built for them.
what you see here is the first of the rough armitures

Monday, August 2, 2010

going out of business

Hey Team,
you might remember that I told you I would be participating in an art fair in Saugatuck. Well, said art fair was this past Saturday. It didn't go quite so well as the other art fair in Fremont.
To start the day, it was pouring rain during set-up time, so that blew.
Also, I had some of my linocut prints on fabric quilted up to sell, and nobody even asked about them. No one so much as looked at them with any show of interest. As for the paintings, I got a lot of superlative compliments, BUT COMPLIMENTS DON'T PAY THE BILLS, PEOPLE.
Then there was the entire comedy of errors revolving around the painted furniture. You may have heard reference to that venture in the past. I had hoped to do a mural commission in my hometown this summer, but nobody in these parts has any budget for that. So, I thought I could flip garage sale furniture and think of that as a mini mural commission. The wise Lauren Moyer once told me that in the gallery she works at portraits are very difficult to sell, but landscapes turn around nicely, so I settled on doing nature stuff on the furniture. Left to my own devices, I would probably have painted snakes and skulls and naked women and shit on the furniture, but in the interest of commercial viability, I instead painted tasteful and restrained flowers on the furniture.
Everybody seemed to think this was a good idea for making a buck this summer, but as it turns out, the concept is flawed in a few important ways.
First off, I found out quickly that I HATED DOING THIS. Painting flowers and plants is way boring. I had to force myself to go out to the garage and work on these beasts. Not like the portraits, which I'm usually stoked to work on and for which I forsake lesser pleasures.
Second, they were a major hassle to transport to the art fair. I had to borrow a trailer from a neighbor, and even after they were blanketed and strapped down, they still rubbed in transit so the paint had some gouges in a few spots when we arrived. Only one of the four was loaded in the van instead of the trailer, so it was still perfect when we got there.
The third and biggest problem with the furniture, however, was that I couldn't actually sell them at all anyway. Here's the real trouble: over the course of the day I must have had 30 variations of customers saying "This is wonderful! I love this! I have a bookshelf at home that I'm going to go do this to!"
So, it's official. Tony's Crappy Furniture With Stupid Flowers Painted On Them Inc. is going out of business, people.
So now I'm stuck with these miserable things that I somewhat loathe and apparently cannot sell. The moral of that story, team, is to only sell out for things that actually pay, and don't try to sell a product that people believe they can do just as well themselves.
Thankfully, the day wasn't an entire commercial failure because I sold a painting in the last ten minutes before the art fair closed. Zenstar Paradela now belongs to a lovely gentleman who was a fellow vendor at the art fair.

He's on the Christmas card mailing list now.
Though I'm glad for the cash, I'm weirdly sad about seeing that painting go. I've had it in my room since it was completed last September, and I have anthropomorphized it a bit in the mind.
We all gotta learn to let go, though.