Sunday, July 21, 2013

Back to the Heart of the Matter

Before the beginning of time, or at least before the block for the Puzzle Print occupied my time, there was the Heart.  You may not recall, but the Heart is part of the Peace Health Hospital's fund raiser for their new vascular and heart health unit at SW WA Medical Center.  25 artists were ask to paint a heart and they will be displayed about the city before they are finally auctioned to the highest bidder in mid-September.

Well, this "large gray thing" was delivered about six weeks ago and has ruled my life since.  First off was a thorough wash down, then a couple of coats of oil based primer to make sure the pigment didn't flake off due to weather conditions.  Then the painting began and once the blue for the sky was there it looked for all the world like a giant blue butt.  That was partially because most of the heart was obscured by the folded-up ping pong table.  Eventually the heart's name became Helga because  half a century ago I saw a TV program about cross country skiing and the host's name was Helga and she had the biggest back-side I had ever seen.  Right then and there I proclaimed that I would never cross country ski because I did not want those results.  Of course, later I learned that her shape was probably genetic and had nothing to do with skiing, but still I never took up the sport.  Why risk it?

But, I digress.  The painting of the heart occurred over the ensuing six weeks, or so, and when it was all done I thought it resembled a balloon.  My son agreed and with his and Preston the Welder's help we managed to concoct a balloon floating off into the air with ribbon streamers following.
This involved cutting the pole, tilting the heart, and then welding it into place, bending 1/4 inch rebar to resemble ribbon streamers and welding those to the pole, building (via more welding) an armature and welding that into place.  Covering the armature with quarter inch hardware cloth, then fiberglas repair stuff (messy and incredibly stinky), then Bondo and a lot of sanding.  After that came the attaching of rubber tubing which had been sliced half way through and attached, via epoxy, along the bottom edge of the creation.  Then all that was left was the painting of the additions and the part that had been destroyed through this last process.  I cannot thank my son, Don and his friend, Preston (Kimsey) the welder,  enough for their part in this endeavor.
The ladies and the birds have been the object of several paintings and prints - which will explain why they may look familiar.  They, all nine of them, are dancing and cavorting in a meadow, with birds, birds, more birds, and a butterfly or two.

The finishing touch was the application of some silver jewelry hearts by my darling daughter-in-law, Kara:
This is one of those things I would have futsed with forever if it had stuck around, but mercifully two adorable young movers came on Friday and wrapped and carted Helga away to be clear coated by a local car dealership.  I am very thankful to this man for his donation to the cause as otherwise I would have been applying two or three coats of UV safe finish coats.  Hallelujah!  Helga is off to wherever Hearts go before they go to their spot in downtown Vancouver, WA.  Helga herself will eventually be in front of the Kiggins Theater on Main Street.

Bye-bye Helga!  Did I mention that Helga is over 6' and weighs around 150 lbs.?  She is a big girl and not easily moved.  At least, I couldn't get her to budge an inch.

And now, because I must mention woodblock work at some point in this post, I am eager to return to block printing.  What d'ya wanna bet that the next ones will have to do with printed balloons - maybe??  I am certain of one thing, those girls will be back for sure.   I feel another attempt at moku hanga coming on....  Just what I need: another challenge.

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