There's nothing like a deadline to help an artist actually finish something.
In January I was invited to create a piece for the Laramie County Library Book Arts Invitational. While that is plenty of time, I spent a few months puzzling over the theme for this year's exhibition: The Game of Life. After hashing out several ideas I finally landed on actually making a game.
Onto 52 cards cut from a very heavy watercolor paper, I assigned each card a topic from the following categories: Life Event, Helpful Tool, Surprise.
I started each drawing with an ink wash, then layered the details in with a pen. After cutting my thumb, even the bandaid got into the spirit of the game and dressed up like a ghost.
As you might expect, this set of cards has many more surprises than tools and events. And probably more bad surprises than good. Zombies, sharks, snakes, a giant spider but there are also surprises like a fancy cake, vacation and presents.
I kept most of the drawings open to interpretation: a desolate desert road- are you lost or traveling in a foreign land, luggage- are you going on a trip or moving out?
This has been a big project, but also portable. I took the cards with me for a tea break between teaching classes last Thursday. It's also hard to stop a project when I'm really excited, so it has been nice to take them with me.
Some surprises are good while some are bad- Surprise... Your shoe has a hole in it! Others are really bad... Pterodactyl!
A few life events; Too much work / Baby / Camping trip
Now I'm working on the final details; sanding the rough corners and testing some ideas for the back of the cards.
The cards will fit into a box; here is a hint as to the final presentation.
So, how does the game work? I have no idea. Since life does not come with instructions, neither does my Game of Life.
By next weekend the game will be finished (or ready to be played?) I will put images on my website under Other Projects.
If you are in Cheyenne this summer, be sure to check out the show and see how other Wyoming artists interpreted this theme!
Laramie County Library, Cheyenne, WY
Exhibition dates: June 9 - August 7, 2016
Opening Event: June 17