Monday, July 02, 2012

It's Complicated

It's Complicated

Gouache, acrylic and glitter on paper mounted on birch panels
24" h x 12" W

The 5th from the series Red Bean Paste and Apple Pie.

Rice and wheat, two of the more common grains people consume in East Asia and in North America They have played a big part in how well humans have prospered — they could be stored for a long time, and refined grain even longer. But we have a complicated relationship with them in modern society. In cultivating them, we also developed a complicated relationship with the horned lark and the cattle egret, birds commonly found in wheat fields and rice paddies. The center medallion is the insulin molecule, and it's surrounded by 'sugar,' another thing that we have a complicated relationship with; both wheat and rice also turn into sugar rather quickly.

Here's the sequence of daily or every other day developments:

I'm waffling between doing terraced rice paddies vs paddies on the valley floor, so I'm playing with one and then the other.

In the end, I went with half and half:

The background is both sky and ocean:

And the birds went in:

The finished piece is the very first image at the top.

For the sugar, I played around with different options. I actually tried using real sugar. There was very little information about mixing sugar with acrylic paint (I would use acrylic as an adhesive). I tried using it as I would salt on watercolor, and the sugar melted and made a shiny, sticky mess. (I guess I could've guessed that.)

My critique group buddies suggested white sand for sand painting. I thought that was a great idea and went searching for white sand. But that was actually harder to come by than I figured. In wandering around the aisles at Michael's, I found this granulated glitter, which actually looked A LOT like sugar. And that's the 'sugar' around the insulin molecule.


Michael5000 said...

I would definitely like to enter for this giveaway!

Also, when were you in my aisles?

Also, it's so fabulous I can hardly stand it. I think it may actually be my favorite tothebone piece yet. I'll let you know after I've met it face to face.

fingerstothebone said...

You didn't even notice that I was in your aisles? I'm very insulted.

Michael5000 said...

I get distracted! Keep reading, the third paragraph may soothe your ruffled feathers.

gl. said...

ooh, yes! love the diptych, love the process.

fingerstothebone said...

M5K -- yes, my feathers were somewhat soothed as I read on. But still, me wandering in your aisles, that should be hard to miss.

As for seeing it in person, that can be arranged. It will be going up to Seattle for a show in September. Chances are, I will be bringing it home at the end of the show, but if you want to BE SURE to see it, let me know and we'll arrange a time.

gl -- thanks!