January - opening the Archives
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Digging into the Archives

Greetings Friends and Happy New Year! 

There has been little time for me to complete a substantial painting, so I figured that you might enjoy some pics of the artwork I did during and just after getting my Fine Art Degree at the University of Guelph in 1980.

Photos of my past work are hard to come by, (who took photos of their art when they were in university - in 1976? Not me!) So a few years ago I went scrounging around to all the different friends and family members who have some of my old art on their walls to take pics.
This large chalk pastel drawing (maybe 3' x 5') of a family photo (with me and my older brother) made the carpet in my parent's family room very dirty. But my mom was so patient, it was for school after all!

Twenty-some years later my son, who also completed an art degree, returned the favour. I was so patient, it was for school after all!
More family photos - the first, sort of prophetic, featuring me at the University of Guelph and the second shows me with my older brother and sister in our little bedroom (my younger brother was not yet born).
We had a beautiful large field for our backyard at the time (which I would grow up to love mowing); here's my mom with my sister Claudia, my brother Michael and me dangling. My brother and I are 11 months apart in age! Pencil drawing done in 1981 (after graduation).
The above is a very heavy and very large cement fondue tryptich. The middle panel is 4' x 4', the side panels are each 2' x 4' and the pieces are in different homes. (to see slightly larger images go here:

The PROCESS was a lot of fun at the time, I'll list it for your enjoyment:

1. First I punched a whack of clay the right size, onto a chicken-wired wall (at the school studio), then
2. Spent a few weeks carving the clay (again, from family photographs), then
3. Splattered the finished "bas relief" sculpture with a thin wash of plaster, then
4. Packed over that with a very thick layer of plaster, then after drying
5. Removed the mass from the wall (with help) and then
6. Spent ages picking all the clay out of the plaster form, then
7. Splattered the clean plaster mold with a few slurries of dark grey cement fondue and when dry,
8. Layered on fiberglass cloth with more cement slurry. When that was dry I
9. Spent ages picking all the plaster out of the hard cement fondue, then
10. Painted the cement fondue to look like bronze.
Stay tuned for my next blog ... of art from my trip to China!
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