My vision is to create sculptures based on my “Askew” series of paintings, designed so they can be disassembled and packed flat for ease in shipping. Then, on arrival at the destination, the piece could be easily reassembled.  How to manage the logistics of this was a problem that may seem insignificant to you, but I’ve been stalled out, stumped and stressed about this particular issue. Reminder: all of this is new to me as a painter with virtually no experience in visualizing how to work in three dimensions. Once upon a time, a few days ago, the sculpture, made of painted cardboard, was intact, but, alas, sitting on an unpainted base. Plus the edges weren’t painted either.

Duh. You may think it would be a no-brainer to paint the base and finish off the edges first. Well, not to me apparently. It does turn out that this isn’t necessarily the best way to go, since knowing what the sculpture looks like after piecing it all together is helpful in deciding how to design the base. Perhaps the order of base-painting, first or last, will need to be made on a case-by-case basis… This base dilemma forced me to figure out a solution to reconstructing the work right away. One thought was to color-code or number the pieces where they’re attached to each other, but neither seemed like an efficient solution. Then a flash of brilliance (?!) provided me with an easy way to map out putting the pieces together. Before I took the sculpture apart, I took a bunch of photos from many different angles. Then I put my iPad right next to the base so that I could refer to the photos to see how it all went together, piece by piece. This was a breakthrough moment for me.

The great part is that now that the maquette is reassembled, I can proceed to my next step in experimentation with materials and processes. Stay tuned to watch me learn how to move from cardboard to birch bark panels, and how to cut out the shapes traced from another “Askew” painting. Still working small, on a 16″x18″ base. Gradually moving along to my goal—the creation of an 8’x8′ sculpture. Below, watch this 50 second video of me and my new best friend, my iPad. Thanks to James Cowlin for shooting the video. And to the Arizona Commission on the Arts for the Research and Development Grant, supporting my project!

All together again, finally, complete with edges and painted base.