JIM DORAN

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About Face WIP

As referenced in the title, this is a work-in-progress post.

Last month, I started another large drawing, based on a patchwork, stream of consciousness grouping of faces, which hover above trees in a park.

Scroll on my drawing stand.

Initially, I wanted this to be a drawing, but I hit the end of the spool of paper before I could finish it. Here is Goose sitting on the drawing, for scale.

Then, I thought it would be interesting to animate it. The first problem I found was the praying mantis in the foreground. I envision using this as a background on the multi-plane camera stand. The second problem was the scale of the drawing was too large to effectively animate.

I made a smaller version, shown below.

I made a first pass of filming this on Sunday, showing movement and sound.

I think this works, such as it is, so I intend to do a “real” take, where I add and subtract from the drawing.

Actor Factory

Silicon molds and plastic mixture

I’ve written previously about my lifelong proclivity for melting army men and cowboys into new creatures. I’ve recently discovered a new twist on the theme – making molds from them, and casting new figures in plastic!

I know, I know – the world doesn’t need more plastic waste, and I won’t make a career out of this. But, it’s immensely satisfying to have single form characters, with no melted parts and weak joints.

I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth again. In chapter four, he says two things that I find relevant to what I’m doing here. First, he says:

We need to honor the world of things, not despise it. Each thing has Beingness, is a temporary form that has its origin within the formless one Life, the source of all things, all bodies, all forms.

He goes on the write:

In most ancient cultures, people believed that everything, even so­ called inanimate objects, had an indwelling spirit, and in this respect they were closer to the truth than we are today.

I feel a little like Dr. Frankenstein doing Weird Science – making hosts for indwelling spirits.

I’m still getting the hang of the casting process. Below are some early efforts.

Lobster tail with human legs attached

One example – I took the legs from a cowboy, and fused them with the tail of a plastic lobster.

Green, White, Pink and Orange Lobster tail men

I tried creating an anthropomorphic foot guy. Below, the one on the left is the original, and the other two were early casts.

Giant foot people

I liked this guy so much that I took the idea further. I found the most perfect Bond-like villain figure. Meet, Dr. Stinky (and his pet, Smelly). First, the original made from several different figures and parts:

Sexy Villain

Here are smaller figures, which didn’t quite turn out as I hoped.

And here are some work in progress photos.

One of the lessons I’ve learned is, when Smooth-On says something has a 3 minute “pot life,” then I really need to get it mixed and poured in 2 minutes 45 seconds. Another lesson – make sure there are vents (made with straws or coffee stirrers) for air to escape.

Next, I’m going to try slightly larger figures.

Update: I made a trailer for the villains…

David Best’s Temple

We visited the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. today. The following image and quote are from the Renwick Website…

David Best's Temple

David Best’s Temple transforms the Renwick Gallery’s Bettie Rubenstein Grand Salon into a glowing sanctuary, offering visitors a quiet place to reflect and pay tribute to lost loved ones. Originally part of the exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, this site-specific installation covers the walls with intricately carved raw wood panels that lead to an ornate altar. Wooden placards are provided for visitors to write a personal message and leave within the installation. 

https://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/david-bests-temple

Visitors were invited to write something on a piece of wood, and add to the exhibit. I presume this temple will be burned at some point, as this happens at the Burning Man festival.

The temple was breathtaking.

Some of the inscriptions were funny. Many were wrenching.

What is my life without your love? Who am I without you by my side?

I left a contribution, too.