I sort of hit a wall with all the projects I’m working on, so I decided to turn my attention to yet another project (is this the best idea? I’m not sure) – a series of drawings I want to make, based on the Voynich Manuscript.
Like my series based on Bosch’s work, this won’t be a copy at all, but I want it to sort of adhere to the methodology as we understand it of the Manuscript.
From the Beinecke’s site:
Based on the subject matter of the drawings, the contents of the manuscript falls into six sections: 1) botanicals containing drawings of 113 unidentified plant species; 2) astronomical and astrological drawings including astral charts with radiating circles, suns and moons, Zodiac symbols such as fish (Pisces), a bull (Taurus), and an archer (Sagittarius), nude females emerging from pipes or chimneys, and courtly figures; 3) a biological section containing a myriad of drawings of miniature female nudes, most with swelled abdomens, immersed or wading in fluids and oddly interacting with interconnecting tubes and capsules; 4) an elaborate array of nine cosmological medallions, many drawn across several folded folios and depicting possible geographical forms; 5) pharmaceutical drawings of over 100 different species of medicinal herbs and roots portrayed with jars or vessels in red, blue, or green, and 6) continuous pages of text, possibly recipes, with star-like flowers marking each entry in the margins.
So… yeah. That’s what I’m trying to wrap my head around tonight.
Well, it’s not the happy update I’d hoped for. But after casting 25 of them in plastic…
…and sanding them and spraying them with four coats of Bulldog spray adhesive and then painting them with enamel paint…
I dunno. I don’t like the way they’re turning out. The little chips and errors that looked amazing in the original clay model look like crap in plastic. And the paint… the paint just sits on the skin of the doll… there’s something not quite right about it. And what’s more, this is an awfully labor intensive process for something that I plan to make a gazillion of and sell for cheap. And I haven’t even gotten to handmaking the tiny dresses and tinier ghosts. This part is supposed to be the easy part.
Hmm. So I figured it was worth it to me to try and make it out of another material, just at least for argument’s sake, before I try to go further with the plastic. (I really like the plastic in its “natural,” all-white state… it’s just the finishing that’s not working for me. But then it becomes a different sort of piece if they’re not painted “flesh” color and wearing a dress, like my girls in my drawings are.)
I spent much of this (increasingly creepy) evening googling “doll making,” “doll clay,” “doll supplies,” and… just don’t. There’s a whole weird world out there of people who make alarmingly realistic newborn baby dolls and I’m sure to get nightmares based on what I saw. But the end result is that I ordered some more materials and have some more things en route to try and do this a different way while still using the same mold.
Hrm. Not the way I hoped to end today, but so it goes. New supplies arrive in a few days…
I’ve been working on this one for a couple of weeks, and it’s still not finished. I think I’ve finally come to the realization that I need to move on to the next one, then return to this one, in order to actually get it done. It’s part of a four-part series that I’m doing for Miami, and as much as I want to neatly square away each drawing one by one, art doesn’t really work like that.
So here’s a pic of it in its unfinished state:
I just snapped that shot of it on my drawing table, so it’s not the best. But when it’s finally ready to be finished, there’s maybe four or five hours worth of work to be done on it (which is really nothing, given how long I’ve spent on it so far)… I’m so close to being done… but it’s just not there yet. Argh!
I’m hoping to grab some time today while the weather is cooler to try and paint some of the Dolls With Souls. I’ve been holding off til the heat broke, because I’m worried about the paint not adhering perfectly when it’s 108 degrees outside. Today it’s much cooler, but it’s also very humid, so I’m not sure this is the best time to do it either. But we’ll see. If I succeed, pics of that later!
Finally, after a month and going through a whole container of pencil leads, the piece is finished!!
It will have to be photographed somewhere better than my bedroom, eventually. You can’t really see the text well, but I made a list of the topics: the search for utopia, the theories of Buckminster Fuller, the consciousness of animals, the drawbacks and benefits of technology and free information in the Middle East vs the US, and a discussion of the denizens of a subculture known somewhat disparagingly as “crusty punk.”
Anyway. For now, here are some pics.
The whole thing:
It’s getting really close to being finished! Here’s the latest update:
Click on it to see it big.
It’s that second panel that really needs more work, but it’s coming along. Should be done in a couple of days and then I will take proper pics! So excited for this drawing… it’s working out great.