I finished installing Paper Mountain at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art last week. After one year of planning, three months of folding paper cranes, and one week of installation with a team, it feels good to see the project come to life and to share it with others.
Below are two time lapse videos showing the installation process from Saturday night through Wednesday. I used GoPros to shoot one photo per minute for the duration of the installation. The first video was shot from the ground floor, and the second was shot from the mezzanine for a bird’s eye view. These are the steps we followed to install Paper Mountain:
- Assemble the scaffold (not for the faint of heart)
- Place tape on the floor to mark the footprint of the mountain
- Attach the wire fence to the ceiling trusses
- Tie fishing line to the wire
- Open each crane (fold wings down)
- Pierce the top of a crane with a needle
- Run fishing line through a crane
- Place crane at correct height
- Squeeze split shot (small lead weight) under the bird to hold it in place
- Repeat for each bird
- Inspect and make adjustments
- Trim fishing line underneath birds
- Sweep underneath the piece
- Light the piece
- Disassemble the scaffold (terrifying)
Beyond the Mountain is up at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art until April 26, 2019. If you haven’t already, go see it! You’ll experience Paper Mountain, Sky Project, and paintings by me and Martha Armstrong.
Here’s a time lapse video showing the process of making an abstract landscape painting. This one was the third in a series of four that I made. You may notice the little drawing pinned up to the right of the painting. This is a loose reference drawing that I made from a friend’s photo of a valley in Spain. The photo really inspired me when I saw it – something about the big space, the layering of shapes of grass, ground, rock, and sky – so I asked my friend if I could make some work inspired by the photo.
If you look closely, you’ll see that part of the way through I swapped my acrylic cart out for my oil painting tabouret. I often start my paintings in acrylic so that I can more quickly put down successive layers of paint (acrylic dries very quickly – for a split second I use a hair dryer to speed up the process), then I move into oil paint which dries much more slowly. Some people are sticklers to one medium over the other, but I think they each have their benefits and drawbacks, and they are ultimately means to an end. I use what works best for me at any point during the process. Once you start working in oils though, there’s no going back to acrylic. The painting would literally fall apart since acrylic dries too fast for the oil paint to dry properly under it.
I set my camera to shoot once every 10 seconds.
These paintings will be shown at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, NC along with Paper Mountain and Sky Project. The show opens March 15th!