Saturday, March 7, 2015

In Old Yellowcake

Oh my god, you guys.

I am so excited about this one.

It was a pretty ambitious project and I am done and I am (mostly, because this is me) thrilled.

First, listen to this song, as it was the inspiration for this triptych of images.   Remember how I said I was a big fan of literal interpretations? This originally started out as what was going to be a trio of more metaphorical images based on the album "Who Will Survive, and What Will be Left of Them?" by Murder By Death (Which I still have ideas bouncing around my head for).  I wanted to create a set of images set into what is essentially a painted frame.. that is, I wanted to give the appearance of a framed picture that is actually part of the canvas.

After a month or two of staring at the canvas, which I had masked off into separate squares, sketching and erasing and sketching and erasing yet again, I changed tactics.  I had Rasputina's "In Old Yellowcake" ear-worming through my head for a number of months (thank you, Well-Travelled One) and every time I listened I could visualize the lyrics in my head, so I scrapped the original idea, and took three images from the lyrics and separated them into panels, to create a sort of visual narrative.

Here is my final product:

Acrylic. I honestly don't know the dimensions off hand.  I think it's something like 36x12

The 'frame' as seen here I added after removing the masking tape that I used to block off the three panels for each image.  I'm ridiculously happy about that part, as it looks exactly how I imagined it.

Here are the three panels, up close:

"Smoke rises from an ice factory..."

I have only two complaints about this piece.  The first pertains to the first panel, and is only that I wish there was a little going on here.  I like the silhouette of the factory in the background, and the colour of the sky.  I was going to try and incorporate the 'passing bicycle' into the scene, but bicycles are hard.  I was able to use some of my pumice gel on the gravel pathway winding up the road.

"Under the window, covered by curtains all lacy and spattered with blood.."

My second complaint has to do with the girl in the second panel.  I'm not crazy about how expressionless her face turned out.  It kind of reminds me of a Barbie doll face.  That being said, it took me umpteen tries to get the face looking THAT good.. I'm happy to have gotten it at least looking fairly symmetrical and human-like.  Faces are hard.

I love the way the curtains in the background turned out.  One of the colors I have is called "Unbleached Titanium" (Liquitex 434) and it's a kind of off-white that gives a really good dirty-grimy look.  I used it for the curtains in this frame and the dude's blanket in the next frame.

"...there's a man over there in the old muddy corner. He's asleep but he'll wake up soon."
I used the pumice gel in this frame to really get the idea of a rough, dirty stone kind of holding cell and I think it worked really well.  I employed some more masking tape to create the bars in the foreground, because I wanted this panel to appear as kind of the opposite perspective from the second panel.  At the last minute I added the shading (something I often forget) from the bars to give the room a more three-dimensional look.

All in all, I am quite excited about how this turned out. In my head it seemed rather ambitious and intimidating, but once I latched onto this idea and got going it was hard to stop.  Once I finished, I giggled like a madwoman for a good 10 minutes, I was so pleased.

(If some of the colours seem a little off, it's because I tried adjusting some of the colour settings on the photos, which didn't turn out too well.  Live and learn.)

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