Work In Progress- Primitive Gray Form

side View of an abstract paper mache sculpture in progress by MJ Seal that resembles a cross between a mountain and some primitive clawed sea creature

Finally at the half way point-

“Primitive Gray Form- Ancient Winter Mountain”- Original sculpture in progress by MJ Seal. Paper ephemera, old paintings, old rags, PVA glue and river gravel, 42” x 18” x7”. C. 2020

A long time ago in another world (🙄 ) I applied a thick layer of paper mache clay over an armature-

A starting point

After it dried and I peeled it off the armature it kind of sat around for awhile- like – 2 years.

Coming into form

When I first came up with the idea I was envisioning some sea scorpion like form crossed with a mountain- the inspiration being our local ancient hills where you can find fossils of sea scorpions leftover from when our region was under the sea.

Anyway so it started to bug me that it was still sitting there after all this time- not even close to being finished and finally I got cracking on it again.

First I finished filling out the mountain adding little feet and claws I had sculpted earlier (see the pic above and below)

It needed something else- and it looked a little to much like an ancient sea creature and not enough like a mountain. So I took some old rags and paintings, balled them up and added them to the sides with strips of paper ephemera soaked in glue water-

Almost there

I continued adding more rags and paper ephemera until it took on a distinctly mountain-like shape and most of the clawed feet were “reabsorbed”.

The results look like a cross between a 3-d map of one of our local hills and a primitive sea creature 🤗

Still very animated

Now it just needed a little texture. Originally I was thinking about using twisted up paper to make spikes that would resemble an abstract forest- but I felt that would compete to much with the wonderful form.

Then thinking about it one day while looking out the window (at one of the local mountains) I thought why not apply something granular to give it the appearance of the forested hills in the distance. Sand or couscous would work well- I had used those in other projects- and then I thought why not river gravel ? It is after all what these hills eventually turn into.

Like a bird’s eye view of a snow covered mountain

So I gathered up a couple lbs from the creek behind my Mom’s house- thoroughly washed it and then glued it on to this peculiar piece. The texture looks great. Now this sculpture just needs to cure for a bit and it will be ready for a skin of paint.

*Stay Tuned- and Stay Safe*

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