Painting, sculpting


Working on paintings for a September show, and both paintings and sculptures for an October show.


The gray critters on the lawn started as armatures made of empty plastic containers and cardboard tubes. Above, they are further along and drying in the sun on a lawn chair. At this point I’ve used several types of adhesives, fabrics, and modeling compounds like paper mache, paper clay, and of course any piece of stuff from the recycling bin that is the right shape.

Though I used various adhesives when called for, a lot of the construction is made of cloth strips soaked in acrylic gel medium. The resulting shell is durable and not prone to soften again while working on it. Lightweight, too! The outer shaping was done partially by wrapping like this, and also paper mache that I added some acrylic medium to, to make it adhere well and be water resistant when dry. Thick parts of the paper mache layer were poked with a chopstick to give them some air holes so it’d dry faster. They would be filled in later as I work on details of the animals with finer grained materials like acrylic modeling paste.



Four paintings in progress on the patio table. All are painted on vintage sheet music I found at a thrift store and adhered to panels. They dried nice and flat, must have been nice paper in those days.

Didn’t find any eyes in thrift store toys that satisfied me, so I resorted to ordering fake eyes for sculptures, and as soon as they arrive I’ll be adding eyes to some things that don’t have any. But, in a way, I’m kind of liking the no-eye look of one, so you never know!

I have taken later pictures of several paintings and sculptures, but they’re all too close to being finished now, to keep displaying them, until the shows are being announced (late summer-early fall).


3 thoughts on “Painting, sculpting

  1. CINDY! These are fabulous!!!!! You’re amazing! They all look so textured and they have so much life in them! Wow…………..
    Can’t wait to see how the eyes work out.
    You really are an inspiration, you know? I’ve always wanted to make a sculpture, somehow, but never knew how to begin — thought I had to have special materials and tools, etc. But thanks to your posts I know that there are lots of ways and I’m going to find mine. THANK YOU~!!!!
    By the way, thank you, too, for following the new site! My first post is going to be about dice and randomly assigning colors and shapes to an abstract. I’m not going to do any commenting from it (ever since that scary experience I had) so I’ll comment here using this one (if that’s OK with you). LOL…I don’t want to comment from the other one, lose track of which account I’m using, and then go comment on some stranger’s post. Eeeek!

    • Thanks! A good way to save up good stuff for armatures is throw empty containers in a big box. Then when you have a good selection, just see what you come up with. Stuff that can be cleaned or won’t attract pests. I like cardboard and plastic as I can cut them with knives and scissors. The heavy tubes inside things like plastic wrap are great but TP and paper towel tubes work, too.

      The cheapest acrylic medium and gesso are fine for making ‘glue’ for wrapping strips of cloth. You can get it thin, or the thicker gels. There is a product called paper clay that comes in a black plastic wrapper about 4 x 6 inches, an air dry clay, that is really nice for fine detail or smooth textures. It’s sandable when dry. If you work it with wet hands it gets softer and runnier. (Not to be confused with another product by the same name that is clay with paper fibers, and is meant to be fired in a kiln.) Some of the acrylic modeling pastes are nice but I swear they change them frequently, and they’re not always what I thought I was buying once I get it home. They’re also expensive. So I use them for whatever they’re good for, sparingly usually.

      Worn out clothes, towels or any fabric, or whatever’s cheap at the fabric store. It’s stronger than paper and still lightweight, as wrapping strips impregnated with acrylic products. I like to recycle things so I use as much stuff as possible that was destined for the trash, or just sitting around taking up space not getting used. We were both into sewing more than we are now so we had fabric I knew we’d likely never use, so I grabbed that. Towels make a nice rough texture, and because they have thickness, it’s fairly easy to finger blend the edges of wrapping strips so they kinda disappear.

      The more you do, the more tricks you learn, (accidentally sometimes!). Cheap paper mache from the craft store, which is powdery, makes a good material to build up shapes. I put a little acrylic medium in it to make it stronger but you would not have to. When I needed something that looked like natural tree trunks I just pruned one of the citrus trees and used the sticks. Sometimes when I look around for materials I imagine all the containers, plants, etc, getting nervous, because maybe they don’t want to end up as a sculpture. Or maybe they do. Maybe they are saying “pick me!” 😀

      • Woooohoooo! Haven’t read all of this yet, but I want to make sure you know how much fun I’m having reading it! Thank you! Will be back later!

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