Wednesday, May 25

what's up Wednesday

We do these things because they are hard! For the last week and a half I have been smoothing the wax on the Monkey Ball. In my head I kept hearing a mash up of JFK saying, "We do these things because they are hard" and Tina Turners intro to Proud Mary, "We never do things nice and easy we do things ruff". It is hard to explain how I find myself immersed in these long slow processes, they don't seem to be my nature. But I guess it is my nature. I never do things the easy way, always the long slow hard way.

The weekend before last Mr. Eleven and I met our dear friend Jeff in DC to see the Gauguin show. It was a great treat and I got to see Gauguin's sculptures. In my mind his sculptures were brightly colored but in reality the colors were all the same value and really could have been one color. In some they were. This is important. As a painter doing sculptor you think like a painter. But as a sculptor there are different concerns. I finally got it! Once back home I knew I needed to scrap all the colored wax off the Monkey ball and unify the forms. Make him whole and rediscover the subtlety in the sculpture.

This is the hard part. Taking the wax off is easy, just heat it up and the wax peels off. But adding it is hard. Hard and slow. Adding wax requires using a brush dipped in hot wax, covering the surface one stroke at a time. Using a knife blade heated on a hot plate, the wax is melted and smoothed one tiny section at a time. Breaking down the planes from blob to smooth Day after day, heat smooth and repeat.

The Reaching Up Monkey, (Celebrating Monkey) has a ways to go too. I have been taking him in the yard to sand, adding more clay and repeating this process over an over. Again who would make a life sized sculptuer out of paper and volcanic ash?...This girl! I love what I am doing I crave it. But I find myself asking, How did I get here, a lot.

Only the Monkeys know, Onward Monkeys!


cindy said...

At first, I thought it was a very fat monkey. Then, looking closer I realized that he/she was hugging a ball. Looking good Tracey.

xot said...


Unknown said...

I love your monkey statue ;) It looks so fresh and vintage in the middle of that green spot with that tree behind.

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