31-12-17

A colorful end to 2017!

On the last day of the year I added the last detail on the last part of Little Paul the Farting Elephant and his Muscovy duck friend Saffy.
As we all know Little Paul is a king and has a talent that make the subjects of his kingdom sad and happy at the same time; badly smelling but beautifully colored farts escape him from time to time which turn the grey and miserable Middle Ages into a beautifully colored world. I thought hard and long about how to visualize the farts without making it embarrassing for LP or too obvious. In the end I decided to only show the stains the fumes leave on the backside of his tail. 
Funny how the end of Little Paul symbolizes my year at Foppe's Acre Originals, it's been the most creative and most colorful year so far with new initiatives that resulted in sweet pieces and lots of commissions I loved working on.
A big thank you!

Little Paul is ready to find his way to his forever home and a warm and lovingly welcome awaits him and Saffy.
I will show photos of the finished piece once he's home so please be patient for a little while longer.
The new year will start with a new project which I'm looking forward too with much excitement. Moor about that soon!
All of us at Foppe's Acre wish you a wonderful and safe New year's Eve and a very Happy and Healthy New Year 2018!

These boots are made for walking!

Adding finishing touches to Little Paul and Saffy this weekend.
I wanted to give Little Paul's boots black soles but because of the rough surface and the difficult areas under his belly it's very tricky to paint straight lines. I once watched a video about how little wooden animals are carved and painted on a production line and decided to give it a try too. I prepared a paint bath for LP and placed him inside for a couple of minutes, voila; beautiful straight soles on his cowboy boots!
I love these hacks that make life a bit easier


29-12-17

Home for the holidays

Lots of Foppe's Acre Originals have found a forever home for the holidays, here are a few.
I'd like to thank all of Foppe's fans for their loyalty and support in the past year. For your interest in my work, for your encouragement, for inspiring many new pieces and for welcoming my work into your homes. I'm humbled.
Foppe and Peter would like to wish you a very happy and prosperous new year and hope to continue our friendship.


*photos courtesy of the new owners, thanks for sharing.




Tiny changes

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; made Little Paul's pupils smaller and placed them in the centre of the eyeball, much better! It gives him a more surprised look, more whimsical and less 'Disney' like in the previous version. Also gave them an outline and will add reflection lights and eyebrows later. Took Sophie's remembering box that I made a while ago as an example for Saffy's colors (Saffy and Sophie were identical twins) *could have gone outside and find Saffy but this sculpture was easier. I'm on my way and having fun!

Coat of many colors

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; started giving Little Paul and Saffy their first coat of paint yesterday to bring out their character. Trying to decide which shade of pink for his skin and adding the pupils so we can finally look at eachother.
I'm reasonably happy with the overall look though his skin may need some toning down. At first I liked the position of his pupils, looking straight ahead and not so much the "Marty Feldman' eyes looking every which way but it made him too cute and innocent, it also made the eyes more bulgy. Looked and thought about it hard and changed them in the end in the same way like the original LP.



Happy Holidays from all of us at Foppe's Acre!


White elephant!

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; The Proverbial White Elephant!  After adding a few details (eyelids, edges on the boots and smoothing out a few areas) it was time for the first ground cover of paint. It will seal the paper-mache (which was completely dry) and shows the final skin. While still in his newspaper jacket I couldn't really tell how the surface texture would be, it's exactly like I want. Don't want it too smooth, you should be able to tell it's paper-mache and the folds and creases add to the feeling of elephant skin. I'm happy!
Next is to give him and Saffy their final appearance which will be fun and exciting!
Stay tuned!


Smile

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; the paper-mache pulp is wonderful material for sculpting details. The original Little Paul only had a black line indicating his mouth but the new LP has a real 3D smile!

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; Added a few more layers of newspaper strips yesterday and started smoothing out the eyes, boots and body of Saffy with toiletpaper pulp. I will eventually cover the smooth areas with newspaper again because I like the folds and creases the paper strips create. Because of the nature of modeling with crumpled paper some parts were too rough with dents and bumps so I worked on these details too. A few more layers of paper strips for rigidy, then drying, sanding and finally painting! Already I can see their personality appearing, they're going to be sweet and cute.  

 

LP coming to life

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; Little Paul is ready for his paper-mache skin. I changed a few things; made his ears smaller because they didn't look right, so I copied the size and shape of the original ears and like them a lot better now. Also gave them a bit more body by adding a rim. Changed his tusks too. I started with cardboard curls but they weren't strong enough so I attached metal wire inside his trunk and gave them a cuff so they don't just seem to comeout of his cheeks, wrapped masking tape around and will curl them when the paper-mache is on. Finally gave the end of his trunk an edge but I'm not sure if that will stay that way. The bird has bulging eyes like LP too now. On to adding the skin! Stay tuned!

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; Friends for life Little Paul and Saffy after their first coat of newspaper strips. They have been drying on a radiator for one day so are sry and ready for the second coat of paper-mache. I think four to five coats will be sufficient to give it enough rigidity and hardness. I like the rough surface the newspaper creates, resembles the skin of an elephant but I'll smooth it out in areas where needed with paper pulp. It's going very well, love working on them!

 

Little Paul the Farting Elephant step by step

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; start of adding volume to the cardboard armature by taping crumpled newspaper to the frame.

 Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; following the existing sculpture as close as possible but allowing myself to make small changes. Piece by piece LP appears. The mass of paper is still soft enough to press into the desired shape.

Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; Added eyes, ears and tail. Changed the shape of the trunk a little. Position of the eyes and ears might still change a little but so far I'm happy. Next step is to cover the whole body with paper-mache (newspaper strips) and finally smooth parts out with paper-mache pulp. The first Lp has a saddle on his back but the new version won't have that, he will have cowboy boots. I am considering giving him a little friend on his back though. I'm also debating if I want to make the tusks from pipe cleaners as they are a bit flimsy, we'll see it's all possible!  

 Little Paul the Farting Elephant paper-mache sculpture. Progress; added a little friend on Little Paul's back, because LP's motto is; Life is better with Friends! Added a few blue lines to see if I like the proportions and if everything is in the right place before I add the paper-mache strips.


Yay, starting something new!

A nice lady fell in love with my paper-mache sculpture 'Little Paul the Farting Elephant' which she found on my Flickr pages a long time ago. She carefully asked me if he was for sale, I had to dissapoint her as I made Little Paul (who features in a children's story I once wrote) for myself. I offered to make a duplicate for her with some artistic freedom as my initial version was a prototype I never really developed. She accepted happily!
So I started today, but with a different method of building the core of the body.

The original body was formed with plasticine on which I build the sculpture with paper-mache (newspaper strips). After hardening of the shell I cut it in half to remove the plasticine and glued the two halves back together.
This time (25 years later) I'm going to use Jonni Good's method of building a cardboard armature on which I will form the body with crumpled paper (or aluminum foil) and finally paste paper-mache ontop. This should be interesting and fun!
The 2018 version of my four legged friend will be slightly different but in his whimsical way similar in character.
I'll guide you through the process of his birth, so stay tuned!


Holly ready to go home

Finished the commissioned pink leaf kitty today and I think she's very sweet!
She's meant to be Noël's (the winter cat in the background) new girl friend and I think they make a beautiful couple. Fun to be a matchmaker for one time, she'll be on her way to her new home tomorrow after a final coat of varnish.


Creating Holly

On the table today, a new member for a young lady's litter of green cats.
She owns two green cats already (Forrest and Oakley) and one winter cat Noël and asked if I could create a girl friend for Noël in pinks and purples but with the winter look so Noël wouldn't be so lonely on her wall.
Looking forward to bringing this new kitty to life this weekend.


TLC

Lots TLC goes into creating each piece and lots of TLC goes into sending them to their new homes.

All together now!


The army of love, ready to start the pilgrimage to their new forever homes! Yay!
They only need a coat of varnish to protect them but then they are fully finished.
I had great fun painting these, it took longer than I had invisioned but you can't rush this kind of work and I'm very happy with them. 
 
 

Last bits and pieces

I expected to finish my five sets of Saint Francis matryoshkas today but it didn't happen. There are too many small bits and pieces that needed filling and all colors need at least two coats, so still a lot to paint in one day. But I'm nearly there! I'm enjoying myself though, it's nice and warm in my studio, the music is playing and the cats are keeping me company! Tomorrow is another day, a day to finsih these kids and send them on their merry way!

Nearly there!

I'd hoped to have finished them today but it is more work than I expected. It took three days to design and paint the first one set but that isn't a guide to painting these as all the design and colors are already established. Means they go out in the mail one day later, not a real problem as Christmas is still 4 weeks away and I don't/can't rush painting. I'm happy though, I love working on these matryoshkas so it's all good.


Coming along

Made a lot of progress today but it's a painstakingly slow process as all the edges of the color blocks need to be razor sharp. In my Nativity- and animal Matryoshkas I use black contours to devide the colors so I can hide jittery edges, but not here. It asks a lot of concentration but I love it! Hopefully finished tomorrow or Wednesday.

Expanding Saint Francis' family

Well, three Saint Francis families have found loving homes already so I'll be making Moor this week so I won't have to dissapoint anyone for Christmas. Good thing as I am totally in love with these matryoshkas! At the same time received a custom order for a green cat, so I'll be painting that too and a request for a paper mache version of my 'Little Paul the farting elephant'! If you don't see me on line you know where I am! 

Saint Francis and Friends finished

Look who came to visit this morning!
I'm very happy with these matryoshkas, firstly because I love Saint Francis; for who he was and what he stands for and secondly how I stylized these characters. They are very much related to my nativity- and animal matryoshkas but without contours which makes them less folk-artsy and more contemporary, I think. Also love the color palette, not too bright and in your face, more modest like Saint Francis himself was.
They need a coat of varnish still but they are easier without sheen for the photoshoot.
Listed in my shop as I type this!



It's all in the details

Sometimes I can really get excited about details, like how the dove sits in Saint Francis' arms. How the lines of the dove's body continue in the sleaves of Francis' habit. I like the geometry of the design. Getting near the end, tomorrow I'll paint rosy cheeks and eyes and the saint and his friends will come to life. 

Taking shape

Started painting Saint Francis and his friends today. I want to keep the color palette small, mostly earth colors but a bright hint here and there. Working on contrasts at the moment.

Moor about Saint Francis

I just finished a commission of a sweet Matryoshka family (will show later) so today could get back to designing Saint Francis and gave him his lamb friend. They'll be joined by a dog and a cat and a mouse! I'll hopefully finish them soon to be listed in my shop in time for Christmas.

Printing Christmas cards

Sold a whole bunch of lino Christmas cards today but noticed some were almost out of stock, time to print a few Moor!
I haven't designed a new collection this year but there are plenty from the previous years to choose from. 





My messy art table this morning!

Busy times at Foppe's Acre at the moment as Christmas orders are flying in and green cats and cat calendars are flying out the door. I love this time of year!
Working on a series of green cats (Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring) today and two sets of commissioned Matryoshkas, while a set of feline nesting dolls in in transit across the ocean right now and a Matryoshka Nativity and Blossom green cat will start their journey to Oregon, USA after the weekend.


 New litter of kitties waiting for their beauty treatment tomorrow. Somehow I'm getting in the mood for Christmas!

Slowly they come to life; first medium shade base color then adding layer of dark and carefully rubbing it off in places that should become lighter again. Next is refining and detailing. 

Phew, it was a lot of work but they're done and ready to find homes! (except one who's already been adopted) New stock for my shop! 

 

Thank you!

Had new 'Thank You' cards printed to send along with orders from my shop at a new online printer. Great quality, I like them a lot!





Saint Francis and Friends

I've made a Saint Francis Candle Kit and a lino print of my favorite saint but never made a Matryoshka of him, so here we go! These should get really cute.

I'm also working on a new Martryoshka family commission but I can't show anything yet.


New edition to Foppe's Matryoshka collection!

My Matryoshka Nativity nesting dolls have been a favorite of Foppe's fans for many years and light up many rooms all around the world at Christmas.
Now there is a new version alongside the existing blue dolls with closed eyes; Bright eyed Nativity scene in festive Christmas colors! I don't know which ones I love best, I think they are all my favorite!
Now available to cheer up your home for Christmas in my shop on Etsy.
(If you'd like to order outside Etsy please send me a private message and we'll figure something out).

Army of love, ready for Christmas!

These sweet Matryoshkas always sell fast in the last two months of the year so I made some in advance, don't want to dissapoint anyone! I've also made a new version, which I will reveal and list in my shop soon. Stay put!

Work in progress

It's been a wee bit quiet here but there's a reason for it!


Preparing for Christmas!

While my two recent Matryoshka families are finished and in transit I decided to start making new nativity's. These have been bestselers for many years but this season I'm offering some with a small difference! Stay tuned!

New nesting dolls family!

Great fun to be making Matryoshkas again!
Client loved the designs so let's start painting and bring them to life! 


02-10-17

Start of a new painting

While Patsy's portrait isn't yet finished (want to look at it for a while before I continue) I decided to pay tribute to another important resident of Foppe's Acre's past; Snuggles, our Muscovy drake. Snuggles was one of the first scovlings to be born at Foppe's Acre in June 2003 and lived 8 wonderful years with us. Snuggles had health issues in his later life and passed away in my arms in march 2011. Muscovy boys are always much more affectionate towards people than the girls are so we became best friends over the years. He was an important member of the flock so it's time I painted a fitting portrait of him. I want to try give this a more recognizable background instead of the solid colors I mostly use, he looked so good in his environment. Another challenge!





Felines of Foppe’s Acre 2018 Calendar

Foppe's Acre is a little farm in Friesland, the Netherlands, owned by lord and master Foppe the cat.
Follow Foppe and his family on their adventures through the seasons on this special edition A5, 12 month desk calendar with metal spring bind; smooth matte paper with incorporated sturdy stand.

Get your copy today so you’re all set for four fabulous seasons with the felines of Foppe’s Acre!
Outside Holland: Only $ 20.00 including shipping!
Binnen Nederland: voor maar € 15,00 inclusief verzenden!
Order through my shop on Etsy or directly by Paypal to amoor@xs4all.nl note; Feline's of Foppe's Acre Calendar (include your address).