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Summer Singer


Janel

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Thanks for the cheers and encouragements. Doug, nope. It is in response to having received a beautiful, large cicada from Don Fogg towards the end of the summer. It was gorgeous, and promised a challenge. It is in the first photo on this topic.

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Yes I do.  It is still in progress, waiting for the oil colors to dry (cloudy and humid does not help) to add color to the branch, and to moderate the strong undercolors.  I had a great, dry and sunny day on Saturday, with a quiet studio to apply the first colors.

 

I struggled with my decision between a monochromatic brown variation, or color.  The cicada itself has such great color, and I have a hard time ignoring details... well it is colored.

 

post-2-1141825870.jpg

Would

"WOW" be an appropriate response? cooch

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I am busy every day, the coloring is still going on. Patience and perseverance. The camera is not getting a chance to tell any stories. While waiting for one day's work to set and dry, other bits and pieces are being made. That also is evading the camera. You will just have to wait!

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I had to take a quick photo of the cicada, better lighting for the best shots are necessary. The coloration is mostly in place, but the piece is not done. The color needs to dry, harden, what ever it does. Time needed mostly. In good daylight, the colors are effective. I still debate about a monochrome color scheme, but this choice seems to be working for me.

 

386_11w.jpg

 

 

This week has been a quiet one on TCP. I hope that it means that we are all busily making sawdust, piles of metal filings, or what ever it is we do when we are busy being creative! I know that I have been busy, and having a good time with it!

 

Cheers to you all, have a great weekend!

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Yes I do.  It is still in progress, waiting for the oil colors to dry (cloudy and humid does not help) to add color to the branch, and to moderate the strong undercolors.  I had a great, dry and sunny day on Saturday, with a quiet studio to apply the first colors.

 

I struggled with my decision between a monochromatic brown variation, or color.  The cicada itself has such great color, and I have a hard time ignoring details... well it is colored.

 

post-2-1141825870.jpg

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Janel:

 

The past few days I've been browsing thru TCP and what a path it is!!! I'm very impressed with what I see. Your cicada is beautiful!!! What kind of paints did you use? Is it all handpainted or did you use an airbrush for some of it? What kind of wood did you use? I'm having trouble locating some boxwood. Is boxwood really necessary? How about hard maple? You can tell by my questions that I'm a real newbie!!

 

Kas

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Kas, thanks for going deep into TCP and reading. Truly, it is a great source of information for those ready to learn more. The past week or so has been quiet, that happens now and then as we find our work more compelling and our lives getting busy. When we return to TCP we have more to share.

 

For this piece I have used artist oil paints. There is a latent 2D artist in me, having begun my artist life with painting and drawing in childhood. I love the smells and the ways color work together. This method is not traditional, and is not durable for pieces that would be netsuke and for daily use. My belief is that my work is often looked upon, and handled gently, so the choice is a fair one.

 

Other pieces have other colors. I've written about nut shell stains, pecan, walnut. Masatoshi's book presents yashabushi from alder cone, and incense smoking for ivories. Some folks use fabric dye, but care must be used so read the cautions. Others use acrylic paints. As Katfen says with her signature, "Creativity is limited only by the imagination."

 

So, try hard maple, try soft maple, try what ever is at hand. Boxwood has been an ideal wood for the most finely detailed carvings for centuries. See Katfen's topic: http://www.thecarvingpath.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=511 for examples of such detailed work.

 

Keep looking for the boxwood if you seek detailed or colorable wood for carving your ideas. Try Gilmer, or Eisenbrand hardwood suppliers. They are USA sources. If you live in the southern half of the eastern US, or perhaps the northwest (not sure about that) you might find that boxwood is removed from landscapes as rubbish now and then, and might get lucky to find landscape workers who would gladly have you dispose of some of the older (larger diameter) logs. I have boxwood samples from three such occasions, from different eastern states, artist friends who were in the right place at the right time. A piece from Baltimore was excellent, I have "scraps" from a friend who uses larger pieces, and those are from W. Virginia and are good too. I have some English boxwood, from a supplier who lives in the Seattle area. (address at studio) And I have a log from Laos, which I purchased from Eisenbrand Hardwoods.

 

That is what I used for the cicada. It is a little less dense than the English and Baltimore boxwoods, and a little more open than the W. Virginia boxwood, but is very carvable and colorable. The grain raises a little more than with the harder boxes when wetted, but sands down nicely.

 

Doug Sanders has acquired boxwood from Asia, and may share contact information with you. I will PM an address for the boxwood from Seattle, though I do not know if he is still supplying it. Jim Kelso, do you know if he is still offering boxwood?

 

Now, there are scores of other sorts of wood to use also. Just start cutting it with you tools and see what happens. Light colored woods can be a color canvas, dark woods support sculptural work in its own way. Figured woods are beauty of its own and the simple sculptures would likely be the choice. There are so many opportunities with wood!

 

Oh, hand painted. I don't have an air brush. I am a slow and steady plodder with my work. Thus, there are not many "big" new pieces with each year (big is relative...as in detailed or complex).

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I've been busy working on multiple little pieces as the cicada piece settles in to its final stage. The camera has been waiting for my inspiration, but ... I'd rather be carving I guess. When I've got the little goodies more in order, I'll tell you about the piece in progress. Meanwhile, I am going to Chicago via Amtrak tomorrow and returning Saturday. Quick trip to see a client, and taking the low stress transportation. Eight or nine hours behind the wheel vs putting my feet up and reading for as many hours is a no brainer. Except that the tickets cost more than the gas, but this way I am not using the gas and saving the environment... Where is everybody? What are you all doing? I'm busy, so maybe you all are too! By the way, Happy Spring!

 

Janel

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Did I post a before picture?

 

386_montage_w.jpg

 

This is on my web site. I'll pull together a montage of just before coloration, which illustrates the ukibori, subtle as it is, and the textural detail that shows up more clearly before color.

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Thanks all! Jim, I hadn't considered that I was responding to your twig statement! I sometimes wonder if the line I walk with interpreting realism in detail and color is enough. Should I figure out more story somehow. Don't we often wonder what else there may be needed or considered for any given work?

 

Also, I wondered if this should have been monochromatic, but I just couldn't do it. The beauty of the insect (the real one, a gift from Don Fogg) is in both the form and the color. I did not dare make the wings clear though.

 

Now, I've got a couple of peapods and a peeking peeper to complete plus the other parts to pull together and have something entirely different to present to the world.

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  • 2 months later...

TA-DAAA! :P

 

388_Collection_w.jpg

 

The last shot out of 30! I did something right, and then the battery gave up (I left the adapter cords at the house). Tomorrow I will try to do some individual piece shots. (Mopping my brow smiley, this one was not easy to shoot!)

 

The shell is black walnut, large polyphemus moth wing quarter: boxwood, leaf: boxwood, peapods and peeper: boxwood, moth: amboyna, pearl eyes, crow feather: ebony, shiney find: baltic amber.

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