01-02-16

She's got a name!

I think I'll call her 'Flora' after the Roman goddess of spring.
Sounds right. 


Growing leaves

Just like in spring my new Green Goddess grows new leaves with every update.
Nearly done with the foliage now, there's a few spots yet to fill. Then it's adding some tiny flowers and leaving her to dry out completely.
When the clay is hard I'll carve details and sand to make her face as smooth as I can.
Very happy with the new leaf lady so far! 


The new and improved Gwyneth

Finished working on Gwyneth's face for the moment and preparing for the leaf detail by sculpting the edge.

 Now the fun can really begin! First layer of leaves. I'll slwoly build up a nice cover of foliage and work my way up to the centre. Stay tuned!

Progress

Worked on the new Green Goddess today and slowly her features are starting to appear. I worked on her eyes and added a slab of clay on the bottom of her face; removing some at the top to place her eyes a little higher. It's still rough and will change but I think she will be a good sister to Oswine and the Holly King in the end.

Starting all over again

As much as I love my new green Spring Goddess Gwyneth and as happy I am with how she turned out she's not a relative of my other green creatures.
I guess I got carried away in trying to make her pretty and beautiful thus making her features too realistic. That's no problem as she's a goddess in her own right, but the whole plan was to make a series of all four seasons green creatures.
So I've started all over today.
This green goddess will become as whisical and friendly like the Holly King and Oswine the summer green man. The starting point is the same like Gwyneth, twigs, buds, tiny leaves and little flowers but less life like, more fantasy.
I'll be working on her the coming days and will show pictures of the progress. So stay tuned!


In progress Spring, Springer and Springest!

Three versions of my Green Goddess Gwyneth, am I happy? Not yet, but I'm getting there.
The colored (varnished) version was the first, let's call her the Mexican Goddess, acceptable but not what I wanted my Leaf Lady to be like. Second Gwyneth, the Art-Nouveau version I quite like with her ivory face and brown wreath but not particularly very spring-like I'm afraid. Thirdly, the Mediaeval version which I like best because of the mainly green color palette (she's a green goddess afterall).
I also want to do a plain version, like weathered stone without color, or even a bronze one because the sculpture in itself is well modeled and maybe doesn't need paint at all.
It's an adventure, I'm not quite there yet but on my way.


Success!!!

The mold I made yesterday turned out perfectly, sharp as a tack and no air bubbles.
It took longer to cure than normal because it's cold in Holland at the moment but that's no problem, I could wait.
Today I cast the first four! 



Making the mold of our Green Goddess.

Cleopatra used to take baths in donkey milk, well our Gwyneth is preparing herself for a silicone bath today! 

Green Goddess Gwyneth, finished!

Now on to making the mold and cast copies, than the fun can really begin painting her!

Green Goddess

Gwyneth is reaching her final phase! I'm excited about how she grew in the past week, I have to confess that I've struggled with the foliage mainly because I didn't sketch and started modeling right away, but it turned out exactly the way I had in my mind.
The clay needs to dry for a day, then I can start refining the details by carving and sanding and prepare her for the silicone cast.
I think this stage already looks fantastic, let alone seeing her painted in full glory! 


Back to the drawing board

I didn't like the previous version in hind sight, she reminded me too much of a Victorian woman wearing a bonnet. Fine in itself but not what I had in mind. So I removed the ribbons and prpared the surrounding ring for my original plan; twigs and sticks.
  
 First stage in creating a wreath of twigs and sticks around her face. The 'problem' with this sculpture is that the face is fairly realistic which means that everything I add has to be life like too. It's a challenge as I normally don't work in a realistic way but I'll give it my best. After the wreath is to my satiffaction I'll add buds, tiny sprouting leaves and little flowers. Wish me luck! Oh, I decided to call her Gwyneth!

Vicatorian woman with a bonnet ;-)

Next stage of the Spring Goddess. I got inspired by some awesome tradional Ukranian head dresses and finally figured out how I want to use the sprouting twigs, buds and flowers. The braid around her face will become more rugged with foliage sticking out and tiny buds and will continue in the ring around. The ribbon is still not final but it will become something like this.
It's an adventure for sure!


Sketching in clay

I think I'm done with her face now, the clay needs to dry so I can carve and refine the details. To get an idea of what I have in mind I've placed some rolls of clay and tiny pieces to resemble the twigs and tiny leaves that will make her into a Spring Goddess. I think I like it though I have to be careful not to make a Medusa. I'm leaning toward a Mediaeval look, we'll see. I got so carried away sculpting her face that she became much more realistic than the first Green Men I made but I'm not sure if that is a problem. She's got to be beautiful in her own right (and I'm well on my way). Stay tuned!

Leaf Lady day two

Made some slow progress today, still modeling her head/face and not paying much attention to her features yet but I think you can already tell that she's a woman (I hope Fun project, it can only get better!

Spring is coming!

With spring around the corner I decided to start working on my next Green Creature; the Leaf Lady.
While The Holly King depicts winter and Oswine stands for summer the Leaf Lady will become our spring goddess.
Very eary stages still but her first features are slowly appearing. I see pussy willows and sprouting new buds and tiny leaves in my minds eye. We'll see where she will take me, it's a new adventure everytime! Stay tuned!

From all of us at Foppe's Acre; a very happy and creative new year!


Holly King

The dark green Holly King is almost ready to celebrate his first Christmas in Tonopah, Arizona!
Just a final coat of varnish and he's ready to start his journey across the ocean!


Christmas cards

Last minute order of 40 lino cards, too many to fit on the table.

Oswine brothers

The Oswine brothers are ready to start their journey to their new forever home! 

Oswine x2

Two new Oswine's on the table today! One will become fully green and the other will have a light green/yellow face. This is one of my first and favorite Green Men and I'm looking forward to bringing them both to life.


... Is love

I realise I am late with these cards, specially for my foreign customers as shipping may take quite a bit at this busy times for the post services, but they are fairly neutral and can be used for any occasion I believe as the world needs love all year round!

What the world needs now

It's been a wee bit silent on these pages this month, and I'm really sorry for that but I've been very busy with illustration projects which didn't leave much time to create something new for my shop.
Christmas sales are going well and I had to create a few custom pieces (more about that later), so I needed to squeeze in time to create Christmas cards for my business and promotional activities.

With all the turmoil in the world right now I couldn't bring myself to print cute cards this year (apart from the existing collections) so I started working on my message to the world, or better; my wish for all of us.
This is the first run, there will be three more colors planned in the blank spaces.
Hopefully I'll finish them tomorrow. Stay tuned!


Joey and Marcel

Two new members of my miniature collection, meet Joey and Marcel!
These cute kitties are the new family members of a good friend of mine, both are rescues from a NY shelter. My friend's mom commissioned these two (like she did the rest of the crew, Charles, Minnie and Louis) to surprise my friend.
The kids have arrived at their new home this week and everyone is happy with them so I can finally present them here too.


In the lino of duty

Finally found a type of lino that I like! I've tried all kinds of lino, hard and course, even harder and finer, soft and rubbery but they all had their flaws.
Ordered this new (to me) material, it's great and suits my style perfectly. It's soft but not slippery and takes even the tiniest details.
Finally started working on a new collection of Christmas cards. 




Ready to be send

Three jobs finished today, two more to go.
Two Holly Kings for Portland, Oregon and a Foppe Buddha for California. Close observants may discover that Foppe looks different than he normally does. Well seen! The client's cat looks like our old buddy Foppe and she asked if I could adopt her cat's markings on this painting. So I made him a bit skinnier and changed the white spots. Soon they all will be on their way to their new homes.



On the table today...

... two more Holly Kings ordered from Portland, Orgeon, two custom kitty miniatures for a dear collector of Foppe's Acre Originals in the USA and a custom Buddha kitty for Laura in California! Let's not waste Moor precious time and get back to work. 

Moor miniatures

Tiny miniature paintings were the first items I ever put up for sale in my shop on Etsy and even though I love everything I do they still have a special place in my heart.

On the table today are sketches for two commissioned kitty portraits and an order for a 'Foppe Buddha Cat' miniature which I will be working on this week. It will be a lot of fun doing these, I can't wait to start painting! 

 

Twice as nice!

I made these custom Babushcats in commission of Ellie recently, they were meant as gifts to someone special.
Ellie described the markings and colors of the cats, I made the designs and after Ellies agreement I finally painted them on the dolls.
I had great fun creating these two sets of kitties and Ellie is very pleased with them.


Winter Cat

Soon there will be a green cat for every season; next to the Summer and Autumn cat we now have a Winter cat too! 

Technicolor!

Finished my first Green Cat today, well, it's actually an orange kitty in Fall colors but I'm working on a few more colors as we speak.
Painting is always an adventure because for the first time the personality of the cat comes to life and I'm really liking this kid!
Once I've got the other color versions ready I'll list them in my shop, hoping they will find good homes. 

And of course there is the real Green Cat!







And we have a mold!

Introducing the cast of Foppe's Acre muscial 'Cats'
Cast six copies of the Green Cat this morning (to begin with) which are all curing in the sun right now (cats love the sun). Once they are completely dry and hard I'll start painting them. I'm thinking about beautiful Fall colors; reds, oranges and yellows. I'll keep you posted so stay tuned!



Cats and boxes...

Well, it's said that cats love boxes, I think that's right because my Green Cat seems really happy inside this little wooden box.
Preparing to make the silicone mold today.


Almost there!

The green cat is now ready to be reproduced. I've softened her features by sanding and brushing on a layer of liquid clay slip. I think she's purrfect now!
Next step is making the silicone mold and cast the first copy!


Peggy's babies

Introducing Peggy's Babushcats who arrived home in Florida today!
Peggy commissioned a set of her own Babushcats recently and I was honered to paint them for her. From large to small: Zack, Ozzy, Sammie, Melanie and the mouse.
Thanks for this sweet commission Peggy, I hope you will enjoy them for a long time to come. 


Meeting an old friend again!

One of my faithful collectors discovered the green cat I've been working on last year and wondered if it ever got finished because she really wanted it. Truth is that I stopped working on it because I wasn't sure about the detailing and continued working on my green men, putting it away for a while to look at it in a new light. I never meant to put it away for one year though! I found it again this morning and think I'm ready to finsih it now. If there is an interest from Foppe's followers I'll consider making a mold and take it into production, or else I'll sell the original. This piece is made from air dry clay and will eventually get painted in acryllic and varnished, ready to hang on the wall. It's 6,5 x 4,5 inch.

Moor Foppes

Moor kitties on the table today! Painting two more Foppe's and sketches for custom Babushcats!
I always enjoy making these Foppe Buddhas, certainly one of my all time favorite felines! 


Desk Dudes

Finished making passports and packaging for the Desk Dudes this morning. These guys will be participating in the exhibition at the Oker Gallery in Amsterdam too, along with the paper man (who is now called Cornelis-Jan, the Delft man from Hindeloopen).

The Delft man from Hindeloopen!


Finished my Delft Blue paper man today, all he still needs is a name.
I'm very happy with him, he's exactly what I had in mind. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed every second of it, especially decorating him. The millstone collar is the icing on the cake imo, I really like how that turned out.
I'll be delivering him at the gallery on Monday for the exhibition in Amsterdam later this month (I'll post an announcement later).
On to the next project!

Paper mache, painted in acryllic and varnished. Corrugated carboard millstone collar as a finishing touch.


Another Mil(e)stone!

It took a whole lot of thinking and searching for the right material because I wanted to make the millstone collar out of paper but most paper folded and didn't curve like I wanted or was to thin and ripped. Then I had a eureka moment and thought of corrugated cardboard. Went to the artist shop and found exactly hat I wanted. It took a lot of fiddling and I need to fine tune it but it's done! Looks awesome on the paper man!

Preparing the paper man for painting

Covered the whole man in a dark chocolate coating of thick acryllic paint with gel medium.

Before the brown thick layer was dry whiping most of it off again leaving it in cracks and corners to add more depth. It creates a stone-like aged surface. Now on to the final decoration!