Hey, it's Paul here! You have probably been wondering where we've been for the last month... and that would make sense! It has in fact been a month since we last posted and we wanted to tell you why.
Becky started a new job at the beginning of June as an Associate for ONE design collective. She has been getting into the groove of things and working on interesting projects. They're in the Arts District in DTLA so I love going down there and seeing all the development. Another draw for me is that their office is really sweet and I am totally jealous of all the space they have!
I was selected, along with 11 other artists, to participate in an art installation for Old Pasadena. I have been making brightly colored paper mache cacti non-stop since June 12th. Old Pasadena created an event called BoldPas: An Artist Takeover. They describe the event, "BoldPas" as an ephemeral intersection of design, architecture, art, history, and public space, featuring selected site-specific installations in Old Pasadena’s unique historic setting. Works from L.A. artists will feature a “bold” theme, displaying bright colors, surprising scale, and playfulness; many encourage direct interaction with viewers." You can find more info by clicking here.
When applying for the installation I tried to think of what I would want to portray on the streets of Pasadena. When we first moved here I missed the lush landscapes of the Mid-West. The tall trees and green grass we're just part of the natural environment. They weren't a foreign transplant requiring special attention and extra watering. I wanted to bring attention to the fact that although we live in the desert, we don't really experience the it on a day to day basis. The built environment has made it really tough to experience the desert ecosystem in specifically Pasadena. My idea was to create over 200 paper mache cacti. Yeah it may have been a big undertaking, but anyone who knows me knows I like to think big! "Go big or go home"!
I wanted to show everyone the process of paper mache, which honestly was new to me. I had never done it as a kid but found it relaxing in the way that art can sometimes be. First, I had to make forms or skeletons for the paper mache. This allowed me to achieve the appropriate shapes necessary for cacti. Luckily, both Becky and I get cardboard boxes delivered to work almost everyday so we were able to utilize those and re-purpose them for this project.
After making the cardboard forms comes the messy part! Equal parts water and flour and A LOT of newspaper. For me, this is what I found relaxing... spreading the gooey flour mixture all over the forms and contemplating the future. Becky said when I started that she would not be helping with this project and she has stuck to her guns. Don't worry, she is very supportive, but with the new job she knew she wouldn't have as much time as I would to dedicate to making crazy cacti.
Once the paper mache completely covered the cardboard skeleton I set them outside and they dried within 24 hours. Thank you Southern California sun! Most websites claimed a 48-72 drying time. Not here! Next comes the fun part; Painting! Farrow and Ball graciously donated all of the paint for my installation. As you all know, I love their company and their products. With their support, I will be featuring some 'bold' colors from their carefully curated color family. After some tough decision making, I narrowed it down to just eight colors. St Giles Blue, Vardo, Babou, Yellow Card, Radicchio,, Nancy's Blushes, All White, and Pavillion Gray.
Because this art display is in Pasadena everyone knows there will likely be little kids running around trying to play soccer with my cacti. For the spines of the cacti I could use tooth picks, but I don't think any of the parents would be giving me high-fives! Leaving the element of danger out I decided to take a softer, more family friendly approach. For the two above I used tiny pom-poms from Michael's and crinkled tissue paper. Don't they look so cute!?
I don't want to spoil it by posting too many photos but make sure to come out on August 12th to see all of the art installations. If you happen to come by my exhibit make sure to give me a high-five and check out my sweet new cacti baseball cap! Also, August 12th just so happens to be my birthday so I want to see everyone there!
Don't forget to go to this link for more info!