Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020 01 Of Wonder: As Part of the World Faces Down, Why Does Not the Sea Fall Off?

Of Wonder: As Part of the World Faces Down, Why Does Not the Sea Fall Off?

This piece of art began its life as a project in Crystal Neubauer's Shrines & Shadows: Finding Symbolism and Meaning in Your Work Workshop, September 13-16, 2019, held in her 16th Street Studio in Racine, WI.

The Supplicant
(photo by Melissa Hall)

Here is the workshop description: "This is a project oriented workshop with a focus on developing a structure, shrine, or shadow box that moves the viewer to enter in to our stories without feeling the need to be overt or literal in the creation. Class discussion will center on exploring the deeper meaning in our work, understanding and using symbolism, and developing a narrative through the selection of objects and materials used. Techniques will include light deconstruction and assembly, alternative attachments (with glue being a last resort for construction), creating niches, openings, veils, sculpting objects and details with collage, encaustic, and more."

Crystal's studio

Crystal Neubauer

(Photo by Melissa Hall)

From my basement stash, I brought this vintage wood clock body

My first goal on every project I work on is: how the hell is this thing going to hang on a wall? In this case, it required me to reinforce the vintage wood with a piece of stronger, newer, wood. 

I love nails

Me, in that moment when an artist is thinking: This is a piece of ...

The central figure was made from a plastic bottle and a raccoon (?) head

I don't do encaustic at home so it is always great to do it in Crystal's space. In this case, the central figure got a coat of encaustic. 

At the end of the workshop, we all got a chance to explain our projects to our fellow workshop attendees and to hear a critique from Crystal.

At the end of the workshop, this is as far as my project got.

Crystal added an open workshop on Monday for those of us who were not done. I stayed and started the painting process. 

And, thus we have Of Wonder: As Part of the World Faces Down, Why Does Not the Sea Fall Off?


  1. Looks great, Gary! Are those square nails?

  2. I believe the technical term is square cut box nails but for years I called them barn nails because I found them associated with the old wood barns. New ones are for sale but I find it more fun to find them in dark basements, garages and yes, barns, while on estate sales. Here is a link to a source I use for new ones: