you know i’ve finished a stage when i clean the studio.

i put all the various fabrics i used are on the floor and took a picture of them before putting them where they go.  on the left – denim jeans, denim shirt, gauze, home depot canvas apron, white t-shirt, khaki pants.  along the top, in the plastic bags, are all the hardware bits and pieces that still have to go back to the store.  on the top right are just some of the paper towels i used.  down the right side are the various liquids and gels i used – kilz, different acrylics, spray foam, plumber’s cement, epoxy putty.  and in the middle is everything else – cordage, sandpaper, razor blades, a box cutter, a paint scraper, a ruler, pencils, brushes, a level, a screwdriver, carving tools, an awl, a pincushion, a roll of blue tape, a coping saw, paper scissors, fabric scissors, pliers, a brayer, a pipe cutter, and various nuts and washers.

laying all this out took time, as i gingerly undid the pile on my central table.  i went around putting things where they go for awhile, then swept the floor, and then cleaned off the central table and assembled all the painting supplies.  then i swept the rest of the studio.  then i cleaned off my computer desk, did a bunch of emails when i found the addresses i’d misplaced…

then i went to work.  it was 2 pm.  it’s only 1 am right now.  another early night. (only 1:30)

first i scrounged around the pile o’paint cans in a far corner of the studio.  the first likely can turned out to be an inch of dried paint, so old it had shrunk away from the sides and puckered in the middle.  the second can was an old toned undercoat, a grayed green (3 yellow, 11 black, 8 thalo green).

my purpose in putting a mid green on the pipes was not to paint them a particular color, but simply to get some paint on them.

see, i may have made the mistake of wrapping the pipes with hand-cut and thus ravelly gauze.  i mean, i wrapped the pipes, i’m not disputing that.  it may have been a mistake to wrap them is what i’m trying to say.  they’re awful messy looking.  the edges of the gauze kind of rolled, so there are ridges of gauze circling the pipes that i can’t smooth with a finger because of all the acrylic i glued the gauze down with, thinking i could smooth it later (hah!).   so i’m slapping paint on it, several coats, to smooth down the texture.

paint will do that.  i remember repainting my first real apartment.  i was living with a fellow student who styled himself ‘master of the universe’ because of some relatively harmless ego trip he was going thru.  we were renting the basement apartment of a great 19th century mansion in the middle of my college town, and i got the great idea to strip all the period window and door frames in our half of the apartment.  i stripped off 20 coats of paint.  all colors.  the molding, rounded and wavy when i started, was revealed to have been carefully carved into steps originally.

i’m hoping to do that in reverse with the pipes.  so i’ve got two coats on it now, and will hit just the gauze with another coat tomorrow.

i spent some time gathering color references for my things.  i’ve got a lot of things i need to get right.  there’s the colors of the pipe bits and pieces (i have a mckenney’s calendar to help me with these).  i’ve got to do a belt, khaki pants, and yellow workboots, and try to approach the colors of the company golf shirt, and i get to repaint the cellphone and do some nice lettering on the id badge and the roll of plans.

there’s the paint tray and the hat and the wooden brush handle on the home depot dolphin.  there’s the olfa cutter and the yellow sponge roller and the blue and red striped gloves and the red and black drill and the label on the paint can, and the orange of the cord and the apron.  and let’s not forget the ochre workboots and the denim jeans and shirt, and oh yeah the metal bits – the roller, can, churchkey, and washers and bolts.

it’s quite a lot to do, and right now i’m only putting on the local color.  it’s splotchy, and the lines aren’t straight .  there’s going to be a lot of overlapping lines for the next few days, and eventually i’ll be taking a very small brush and doing the final edging of both sides.  but not now.

i was going to put in the skin tones, and jim and i discussed how to mix them.  for the white of the dolphin, i can use raw umber and white, which has a bluish tint.  for the dark gray of the back of the dolphin, add some ultramarine.  and i would have mixed it up and put it on except there are no tubes of raw umber.  but not to worry, i’ve got acrylic medium, and i’ve got raw umber dry pigment, so i’ll mix my own up in the morning.

right now i’ll settle for having put color on the paint tray, the boots, the pipes and the drill.  the cord will have to wait until last because i’m not going to repaint it a hundred times.

i’m not sure how to proceed on the waves.  the blue is too strong.  it’s not as bad on the mckenney’s dolphin because i added some white and green to it.  but the home depot dolphin is ultramarine, and not as diluted as i would have liked, even tho it was dilute enough to run and bead up when i put it on).

i’ll sleep on it, and figure out what to do about the waves tomorrow.

right now i’m bundling up for a dog walk with all three dogs, because they all ate a hearty meal just after their evening walk.  then since it’s so early, i’ll curl up with the hot water bottle and the dogs at my feet, eat a bowl of ice cream, and read my space opera.


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