I really wish I could have kept this one for myself, it’s one of my favourite pieces that I’ve done so far. The fire effects worked out pretty well – I ended up using layered transparent fabrics to simulate the flames, and shiny red and gold fabrics for accents. They definitely added a lot to the artwork.
The moment of truth this past weekend, as I finally combined the main figure with the background! This deceptively simple task took me about five hours; I had to cut out the shape along the edge very carefully with the scalpel, then paint the edges to mask the white cardboard. Next up is finishing a few small details of the armour that would have been too fine to cut out, and doing the fire effects… somehow.
I’ve been to Kangaroo Island almost ten years ago, and in the meantime I forgot just how enormous it really is. Once we got off the ferry, it came as a shock to realise that it would take us about an hour and a half to get to the Flinders Chase National Park on the other end of the island. You also have to plan your meals carefully, as you very well may be stuck an hour’s drive away from the nearest cafe with a growling stomach.
The drive is worth it though, since Kangaroo Island is home to some of the most amazing landmarks in Australia. The absolute star attraction is Remarkable Rocks, a group of giant granite boulders that look like abstract sculptures artfully scattered by nature atop the granite base. I was prepared to enjoy them rain or shine, but the day’s random weather played into our hands; the minute we got to the rocks the showers cleared and the orange lichen looked even more stunning against the blue sky.
In the late afternoon, we just made it to a guided tour of the Seal Bay, where you can see the Australian fur seals. We were lucky to catch them during the season when young seal pups frolic around excitedly and annoy the grown-ups who just want to have a nap.
The next day, we headed to Little Sahara, which is exactly what the name suggests: a mini sand dune area about two square kilometres in size. More active travellers go there for sandboarding, but we were content to just go for a stroll.
Mum and I spent three days in South Australia, and as always we managed to pack a lot into the long weekend at our disposal. Though I still didn’t get a proper look at Adelaide, I at least managed to see more of the city than the time I flew in for a U2 concert years ago, when I pretty much only saw the airport, the stadium, and the interior of the all-night internet cafe. I wouldn’t mind coming back for a third time and exploring it better.
After a brief stop at the Glenelg Beach, we spent time driving around Barossa Valley, stopping at a couple of wineries.
Then we drove to Hahndorf, an obscenely picturesque and quaint small town originally founded by German Lutheran settlers in 1839. It was packed with tourists, but as the day was drawing to a close the streets got a bit more nice and quiet. The main tree-lined street, with old sandstone architecture and flowers everywhere, is very pretty. Of course we just had to have German sausages and sauerkraut for dinner, topped with non-alcoholic beer.
The scary gentleman is progressing nicely and I’m having fun working with leather as my main material. The best thing about leather is that you don’t have to carefully iron every. single. piece. before sticking it on. I still have no clue how I’m going to make the fire effect, but, as Scarlett O’Hara used to say, I’ll think about that tomorrow.
The background is finished! Compared to the previous piece I’ve done for my brother it was easy-peasy, but then I suspect that every artwork I do from now on will be short and sweet in comparison.
Every one of my artworks involved some luck along the way, and this time I was stoked to find the crinkly silky fabric of just the right ochre shade (finding the right colour can be a bitch). Another unexpected bonus was getting the air bubbles effect on the gold fabric I’ve used for the sky; in any other artwork it would have been a disaster, but with this one the more texture the better. Now it’s time to begin on the main figure and the real fun starts.