This Saturday night: Farm to Fork (to Fabulous!)

Opening reception Saturday, March 16, 7-10pm.

Showing with my friend and fellow artist Alicia Rheal in our From Farm to Fork (to Fabulous!) exhibit. The opening reception is a gala celebration and benefit for the Walls of Wittenberg. More info, and the poster, below. Highlight? Why Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats of course.

Poster for 'Farm to Fork (to Fabulous)' show, featuring artwork of S.V. Medaris and Alicia Rheal

This is going to be a really fun (and delicious) opening reception! (Click on poster to enlarge) And, if you drive up early, you can visit Nueske’s Company Store in Wittenberg (Sat. hours: 8-4).

The WowSpace is located at 114 Vinal St – Wittenberg, WI. Easy to find…Just look for the 8ft hanging hog carcasses and the giant pull-toy pig (cuts) in the front windows along the main street of downtown Wittenberg!

And here’s more info about the Walls of Wittenberg ongoing mural project.

One section of the wall installed for now….

Installing…. That’s an 18ft long Hampshire stud boar on right (the model, Pioneer is owned by Monson Show Pigs in Richland Center). And that’s an 8ft pull-toy pig in front window.

Cow for Graze restaurant

Graze Restaurant asked me to paint a cow for them. Here’s the progression (click any cow to enlarge), most recent progress at top.

If you want to read this from the beginning, starting with the delivery of the cow, just start reading at the bottom of this post and scroll up….

Done! Finished varnishing last week. Whew!

Wanted to get this uploaded before 2013, so here you go:

2 little terriers sit before a lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

We all breathe a sigh of relief at the completion and varnishing of the cow.

closeup of wisconsin products

Detail

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side 2.

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. Closeup: fish. Closeup of fish

Side 2, detail.

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. Closeup: fish. Closeup of fish

Pretty much done…

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side two almost done (gotta soften the pasture-to-black transition on the right side of the state, soften the udder-to-white-fur transition, and clean up the blacks and whites…)

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

A closer look…

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side one details corrected. Done.

November–almost December–Aaaack!

What a nightmare this has been. Should be easy-squeezy, but with the other deadlines in October/November…. Oh well. Working away on side two now–getting there! Here’s side one, pretty much finished (below):

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side one pretty much done

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

You can see that face is getting there–pretty much done.

Final (Side One) State of Wisconsin with products

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Wisconsin products modified (got rid of those white outlines around each object–just wasn’t working).

Side One almost done

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side one almost done…still needs some rearrangement of black spots…

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

You can see the horns painted now (over the texture added in the step below). Face pretty much done. Eyes still need some work, but close…. Hooves made to look more realistic/3-d with painting in the shadows to create depth.

Adding texture to the horns

lifesize fiberglass cow: closeup of horn texture

To build up the texture in the horns, I glob on various acrylic gel mediums. This one is a mix of Golden’s molding paste and soft gel.

October 1 progress:

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Some of the locally-sourced, Wisconsin(!) products that Graze uses in it’s cooking. Products blocked in, painting in progress.

September 23 progress:

fiberglass cow painted by S.V. Medaris, showing state of Wisconsin in cow fur, plus 2 small dogs in front of cow for scale

Black and white Holstein colors blocked in (with my little helpers, for scale of course).

September, 2012

lifesize fiberglass cow painted orange

Blocking in the distinctly Wisconsin ;-) Holstein fur pattern.

lifesize fiberglass cow with state of wisconsin fur shape on forehead

Underpainting begun on forehead–trully a Wisconsin Holstein….

lifesize fiberglass cow painted orange

First thing is getting the white out. A layer of orange as the colored ground to make subsequent layers on top glow…

Some info from an earlier post:
Aug. 20
Graze restaurant has commissioned me to paint a cow for their patio.

The design will be a holstein (modeled after one of the dairy cows milked at Sassy Cow Creamery, where Graze gets much of their dairy products). Incorporated onto the black/white holstein pattern, will be painted the specific, locally sourced products–produce, Highland beef, trout, etc (that Graze buys from local farmers in the area)–from which Executive Chef Tory Miller and the Graze team create the dishes on their menu.

It just arrived today…

Unwrapping

fiberglass cow becoming unwrapped from bubble wrap and cardboard

Yep, it’s a girl!

white, grazing fiber glass cow unwrapped standing on cement out in country

CLUCK: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks…

NOW AVAILABLE

green cover of book featuring chicken in a circle

Funny, poignant, wry look at the backyard phenomenon of raising chickens for eggs, meat or just plain pets. Additional stories by Jane Hamilton, Michael Perry, and Ben Logan. Stunning artwork by S.V. Medaris. For animal lovers, pet owners, and art enthusiasts.

Itchy Cat Press
www.itchycatpress.com
608-924-1443
Read more about Cluck.

To order paperback, send $25 (check or money order) to:

S.V. Medaris
123 Drammen Valley Rd
Mount Horeb, WI 53572

$35 for hardcover (cloth bound with foil stamp, covered with book jacket).

Free shipping (and no tax) if ordered by June 1st.

Or pick up a copy at our farm during the Spring Art Tour, June 10-12. More info here.

“The Writing’s on the Wall” exhibit…

…is up through Oct. 30. Opening night at Central Library Gallery (201 W. Mifflin St) was a success! Visitors to the reception numbered about 180, so thanks to everyone who came!

"The Writing's on the Wall" show e-vite

The artists’ work is terrific, and the debut of Michael Martin’s altered book sets “Scary Nun Stories” and “Confessions of an Ex-Altar Boy” at the opening were a hit! The exhibit features 1-4 pieces each from the following artists: Yael Gen, Nancee Wipperfurth Killoran, Laura Komai, Heather Lins, Michael Martin, S.V. Medaris, Erin O’Connor, Cynthia Quinn, Karen Timm, and Larry Welo. It’s definitely worth seeing, so I hope you get a chance to go see it this month.

Hopefully, more photos to come, but in the meantime, here’s the outside banner at the library, visible until Oct. 30 or until it falls apart (whichever comes first). It’s a woodcut (oil-based ink) on canvas, so it should be good unless the weather goes crazy, which it very well might. Printing it was a nightmare, but more on that later. Pig measures 8ft wide x 4ft high, so banner just a bit bigger than that:

pig print over 'The Writing's on the Wall', banner

putting up the banner with really tall ladders

Library hours for Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St (Madison!):
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 – 9:00
Friday: 9:00 – 6:00
Saturday: 9:00 – 5:00
Sunday: (October – April: 1:00 – 5:00)

The progression of a large pull toy

small pull-toy pigSo, I’ve been wanting to do a big woodcut for some time. At the Frogman’s workshop this summer, we cut on birch plywood−first time for me, so I thought (when buying the 4’x8′ sheet once home), “why not use the whole sheet?.” So I cut a 4×8 hog−the model being one of my full-grown feeder pigs. And how great would it be to do a big pulltoy with this big print on one side? It would be perfect for a piece for our 3rd-year grad student show. So, here’s the progression (click any image to see it larger):

1.) Carving the woodblock: a 4ft x 8ft sheet of birch plywood. Here, I’m cutting with a reciprocating carver (as opposed to a rotary−it moves back and forth−it’s an electric gauge). Definitely saved my hands, wrists and forearms…. Almost no pain cutting the entire block, with alternating between the reciprocating carver and the hand-tool gouges:
Sue Medaris carves a 4x8ft sheet of plywood

2.) And here’s the cutout shape upon which the print would go. I was going to use a jigsaw, but J says: “No, you have to use a Rotozip.” “But how do you know? The wood girl said use a jigsaw and she’s a woodworker!” I stupidly asked/retorted. Argument ensued. J went and got the Rotozip out and showed me. He was right. It rocked!! And more, I could  cut it out myself and do an ok job. Super (pretty super) fast. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! Cut out 2 shapes out of OSB, screwed in 2×4’s in-between the 2 (to give it some depth), then cardboard was stapled all around the edge of the whole shape (to enclose it, make it look as if it was a thick, solid wooden cutout−like the little wooden pulltoys). Here’s the cutout, with Zuzu for scale:

small dog poses in front of 8ft long pulltoy pig cutout

Zuzu and the cutout shape. Those are training wheels btw.

3.) Here’s the finished, 4x8ft woodcut block (broom for scale):
The woodcut block (4x8ft) of hog.

And a closeup of the face:
close-up of face of 4x8ft woodcut block

small pile of feedsacks

Used, empty feedsacks

4.) Once block carving is finished, it’s time to print. I have an awesome Takach roller, which helps immensely (a good quality, large roller), although I gotta say, inking the damn thing was a pain. Think about it (I didn’t, really, beforehand), you have to roll over the whole 4ft x 8ft sheet, without actually stepping on it/in the ink, meanwhile getting a consistent layer of ink over the whole thing. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I’m tall with long arms, and that I didn’t thoroughly think this through ahead of time (I don’t tend to trully consider the potential problems of a thing until I’m in it, which I think is my way of not talking myself out of something−I vaguely consider/imagine how it’ll happen and just mentally “ok” the process). Oh, and the paper. I couldn’t find any 4ft wide paper in a roll, so in keeping with my previous collaged work, I printed on feed sacks−not really the ideal printing surface. But the thing I loved about the final print was that the feedsacks showed through the overlaying hog print. Here are the printed sections on feedsack sections (top) and practice prints on big sheets of tracing paper below that:

4x8ft prints of hog

Feedsack-printed sections at top, tracing paper prints below that.

5.) Pulltoy shape is sealed somewhat with white paint/Kilz, and pull-rope prepared (J, the knot expert did that beautiful woven loop at end), getting ready for the prints to be applied:
white-painted, pig-shaped pull toy.

6.) Gluing the feedsack prints to the cutout shape with acrylic medium:
print of hog head applied to white pulltoy shape

7.) Printed side finished! Rope aged (dipped in bucket of water, black ink, acrylic paint), and attached with chain and hook eyes. Wheeled the thing out to the road, with little dogs pattering beside me and then posing. Such good little terriers:

little terriers pose in front of 8ft long pull-toy pig

"Market Weight Pull-Toy" • woodcut prints and paint on feedsacks; wood, cardboard, training wheels, rope (hog side)

8.) On the other side, I wanted to do the cuts of the hog, when butchering–I love making things educational. I didn’t have time to cut the blocks and print all the words, so I painted in a graphic style (as if it was printed) with somewhat-transparent acrylics, again on top of feedsacks:

8ft pulltoy pig with pork cuts painted on side

"Market Weight Pull-Toy" • woodcut prints and paint on feedsacks; wood, cardboard, training wheels, rope (pork-cuts side)

You can see this piece for a few days still, at our 3rd-year graduate student show: Triple Crown at the UW Art Lofts in Madison, WI.

Market Weight Pull Toy…

…is finished. On display at the Art Lofts Gallery as part of our 3rd year (MFA grad student) show! Opening this Friday night, Sept. 3, 6-9pm. More info here at the UW Madison Art Department.

little dogs beneath giant pulltoy pig

"Market Weight Pull Toy" • 5ft x 8ft • woodcut prints and paint on feedsacks; wood, cardboard, training wheels, rope (hog side)

giant pig pull toy with little dogs below it

"Market Weight Pull Toy" • 5ft x 8ft • woodcut prints and paint on feedsacks; wood, cardboard, training wheels, rope (pork-cuts side)