today was my last day working on the dolphins.  except for two instances of lettering (the black surrounding the white of the liquid nails tube, and the details on the label of the jeans), a retouching of the yellow on the olfa cutter, and a few drips on the lid of the paint can, all i did was paint clear acrylic varnish on my dolphins.  two coats of semi gloss acrylic varnish, a gallon of which was one of the prizes snatched from the brink of destruction when my local arts council closed its donated art supply depot and i was one of the first in line, yay.

for the jeans labeling, i put my signature and the W and L measurements of the pants.  i was going to be cute and put W20 L11, for the year, but then thought how much more interesting it would be to put the actual measurements of the dolphin.  after all, i signed the jeans as if they were my brand, so i might as well specialize in hard to fit sizes.  this dolphin is wearing jeans that measure 49″ around the waist, and an 18″ inseam.  on sale now.

i got to look at everything carefully when i was varnishing it.  the varnish was thin, and i put it on with the same raggedy old brush i used to put the original primer on with, months ago.  so we’ve come full circle.

i noticed while i was painting on the varnish that i’d totally forgotten to color in the grommets holding the apron on.  so i put the varnish down and grabbed a brush with mixed up brass metallic paint.  but since it was colored orange, no matter how much metallic paint i put on, the mass tone showed right thru, so i had to get out the yellow ochre and paint it, and then put white in the middle, and when that dried, i could paint the brass color, and the blue of the shirt underneath.  now i need to varnish them before i go to bed.

them and the silver pipes.  i noticed while varnishing the pipes that some little bits seemed white instead of silver, so after putting on a coat of varnish, i repainted them with more silver.  it’s okay if i put varnish on and then paint and then revarnish.  it’s all acrylic, and when dry nothing will be able to touch it.  except bumps, which i’m going to live in fear of for the next 18 hours.

one of the amusing things about this project is that i put my blood, sweat and tears into it. i cut myself at least once and bled all over the place, it got hot several times down here, and i remember bursting into tears over the dishes several weeks ago, when things got particularly frustrating and i wasn’t yet used to being worn out all the time.  it’s second nature to me now.

starting tomorrow night i get to go to bed at a human hour.  i’ll miss all the internet news programs, because i have only been watching tv in the studio because of the uprisings in the middle east, and we don’t have television upstairs.  but i’ll get up with the dawn and won’t put in 18 hour days anymore.

varnishing the pipes, i was thinking about two things.  there’s an awful lot of dog and cat hair on my statues, stuck down and painted over.  especially at cat and dog height.  but that’s okay, there’s a precedent.  if you look at rembrandt’s paintings, you’ll see hairs from every animal in his house.  all the dust, bits of fiber, whatever.  especially in his late period when he was nearsighted.

the other thing i was thinking about was the blend of the colors on the base.  it’s hard to tell where the blue of the wavelets changes over to the gray of the pipes.  this is because i kept deciding to paint the cleavages between pipe and base with the gray i’d chosen for the pipe color, and then deciding to paint them the blue green wave color.  and i did this over and over again, and since the paints were translucent because they were so thin, the colors blended, and so the whole area is now a grayed blue green.  and i kind of like it.  it makes the form look more organic, as if the pipes are emerging from the waves.  which is a great way for them to look, since they kind of are.

so, aside from the spot touches of varnishes after i finish this post and before going for the dog walk and to bed, i’m going to let the varnish dry and cure, and tomorrow, after laying in bed for a nice long sleep, i’m going to saunter down to the studio, carefully manhandle the dolphins outside to the palettes in the alley, pose them and do their photo shoot in the early afternoon, because of the light, wrap them in paper and then plastic (to avoid any chance of the plastic pulling the paint up), wrap them in blankets, load them into the trucklet, and then drive crosstown to deliver them to the aquarium.  and that’s really all that’s left, except for a final report.

but we’ll get to that part later.


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