did i mention the daffodils are blooming?  i’ve got half a dozen in my front yard that bloomed today.  and the buds in the trees are swelling.  i love spring.

so i took the boys back out this morning, having poured out of bed at 9 this morning.  good thing i’m back to going to bed early – 3 am!

today was a day of frustration.  the mckenney’s dolphin’s shirt was too dark this morning.  so i took the same light blue i’d been putting on the home depot dolphin’s shirt, and slathered it all over the mckenney’s dolphin’s shirt.  and it streaked.

every time i put a coat of paint on, it streaks.  so i have to put on another coat.  and then it’s too dark or light, and i have to start all over with a coat of a different color paint.  which streaks.  et cetera ad infinitum.  pushing and pulling, dark and then light.

so what i finally did was to get a fresh, dry paper towel in my left hand, and a loaded brush of light blue in my right, and go around small areas painting on and wiping off immediately.  smearing, rather, rubbing in.  i had enough time to go around the small area once with the dry towel, absorbing and smearing the white paint (because the white is the opaque, and the white is what streaks on the dark surface), and then going back over the edges with almost no pressure, only increasing the pressure to a buffing strength when the paint was mostly dry.  this kept the film of white from forming, that film i’ve been finding so hard to deal with.  this is the same film that forms when i’ve overlapped two patches slightly, when the white builds up, and then touching it at all only serves to pull white off the patch adjacent and build up the white of the patch – somehow.  anyway, you can see it all over the dolphin below, especially about four inches above the belt, which is part of a patch that is white all around the edges and dark in the middle because of just this effect.  it’s very annoying.

but i wiped-on wiped-off a second coat of the light blue, and i’m almost sort of happy with it.  with the color, anyway, which is fast approaching the light part of the bit o’shirt in his mouth, which is where i want it to be.  it’s still way too splotchy still.  and i’m wondering if it’s not going to end up too light again.

the pocket protector is staying clear, that is, shirt color.  it’s better that way.

after i got them both back in the studio at sunset, and took a break for dinner and a dog walk and putting the boys to bed, the only other thing i did to the mckenney’s dolphin was to mix up a darker gray and put it over the pipes.  but first i went around with the prior gray and made damned sure every single little tiny hole was plugged with paint.  tomorrow i need to continue working on the shirt, and now that i’ve got dark gray paint spilled everywhere on the base, i have to repaint the pressure flanges white and the wavelets pretty much the same color they are now, a mix of white, ultramarine blue, and thalo.

for the home depot dolphin, the first thing i did today was to paint more white and raw umber over the jeans.  i’m liking the jeans at this point.  i wiped out a line in the middle of the front and back of his legs; this will be the break in the pants for his legs, and will be indicated by shading rather than a line, since if you look, there’s not really a seam, the angle just turns to 90 degrees from you as the legs touch.

when i was done with the jeans, i turned my attention to the denim shirt.  i hit it again with brushed-out white and raw umber, because when you look at a well worn denim shirt you’ll see a browning of the surface, a tan color over the indigo.  so i put it in, and especially heavily around the collar, which on my sample shirt is very beige.  but you can see it won’t do at all.

it wasn’t until 5 pm, when i was approaching the alley from the other side, that i passed the jeans shirt hanging in the branches of the dogwood tree right next to where i’m working, and noticed that the jeans shirt was also very white.

so i rushed inside and diluted a few bladesfull of just white, and brushed it on and wiped it off.  this time, tho, whether because i’d been doing it all day or because i was suddenly inspired, i didn’t mess with it too much.  i rubbed it in with circular motions and a light touch, and then i left it alone to dry.  i worked fast, doing a section at a time, or half a section, never minding the edges.  i also didn’t work next to an edge that was still maybe a little wet, but went around the dolphin in segments, jumping to a dry spot surrounded by dry spots for the next application.

neither of the shirts is perfect yet, and won’t be, but from a decent distance, a few feet, it’ll look convincing.  anyone peering closely will be able to see a whole bunch of irregularities and mistakes, and that’s good, because it’s always nice to see how someone did something.

i noticed during the day that even tho i’d taken enormous care not to bump the drill today, it had sustained further damage yesterday, with the place that must have been where it was bumped denting in, and finally peeling away when i poked at it.

so tomorrow i’m going to mix up some casting resin, which is another form of two-part epoxy, and i’m going to use up my supply of throwaway sponge brushes and coat the drill out.  i am hoping to put something over it that won’t bash, crack, dent, or allow any more plaster to chip off.  this is a last ditch effort to avoid taking a hammer to the drill right there on the dolphin, and casting it in resin this time before sticking it back on, priming it, and proceeding to paint it.  as you know, i don’t want to do this.  so i’m going to try to make an impermeable coating to protect it.

i could use epoxy putty, but i only have a small amount left, and i just used a third of it to make a protective sleeve for a two-inch length of electrical cord that goes from the tip of the left boot to the wave on the left.  you can see it there on the picture above, as it was before i coated it with putty.  i grabbed it to turn the dolphin this morning, and it moved.

can’t have very much of that at all, so i made sure it was well coated just a few minutes ago, and used the rest of the chunk of putty to coat the underside of the brush the dolphin holds in his mouth.  the reason i did this is because when jim was helping me carry the dolphin back inside this evening, he held it by the brush.

rule number one in mixed media sculptures.  always handle the thing by the base sculpture.  don’t handle things by the attachments, since they might not exactly be welded on.

as he was carrying it, he heard a crackling sound.  the sound, perhaps, of millions of microscopic cracks.  can’t have that.  so i rolled out my bit of putty and stuck it to the underside of the brush.

i’m done here, and tired, and need to walk the dogs, get my ice cream (okay, homemade chocolate, with walnuts, coconut, molasses and chocolate syrup, oh yeah with blueberries) and read the last couple of chapters of my space opera.  tonight isn’t exactly an early, tho i promised to try to get to bed early after getting up so early.  seeing as i was out of bed at 9 this morning, i’m pushing 18 hours of work without hardly trying.  where does the time go?


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