Dune Contours

Cardboard cut out to simulate the dune contours

I started work today “on exhibit”.  There were a lot of people at the museum, so I got to talk to a lot.  I have decided that I will not wory about how much I get done and try to be available if anyone has questions or wants to talk.  Amazingly, I was still able to get a lot done!

As you can see from the photo, I cut some contours out of cardboard to start to plan out the look of the sand dune foreground.  When I return to work on Tuesday I will see if I want to change things before I give the cardboard to the construction shop to cut out of plywood.  They will screw the plywood to the base and I will staple on wire mesh so I can put plaster and sisal down for a strong support surface.  White glue will be spread over the plaster and sand sprinkled on to make what should look a lot like a sand dune!

Explore posts in the same categories: Preparing the Foreground

One Comment on “Dune Contours”

  1. Linda Miller Says:


    It was such a treat this past week to take time to really look at the exhibit. I loved spending a lot of time with the paintings as well as reading the accompanying text, watching the video, seeing the three dimensional objects that you and others have made for the foregrounds, and hear you explain what you are working on now for this foreground. I also read the little catalog. I keep thinking how fortunate it is that you were able to obtain the letters from Thanos Johnson which so clearly illuminate how JPW was feeling and thinking about the work he was doing on the Shoreline Diorama. It helps explain why these really are “portraits” of landscapes: he says, “For the past two days I’ve been painting the pond, and everyone says it looks very inviting, with the water faintly stirred by a touch of air. Perhaps we should install a diving board”. Later you say that Ralph Morrill recalled a very warm day while working on the Shoreline group: “It’s hot in here”, said Perry. ‘Guess I’ll open a window.’ And he did. There’s an open window in the old farm house beyond the pond.” Wilson really is evoking a time of day, time of year, kind of weather, because he is putting himself right in the scene experiencing these things as he paints…His technical comments are fascinating and shed light on what a huge undertaking this was. What did the stipple brush look like? How did he feather those 13 bands of color in the sky with that brush?! It says that installation of the three dimensional foreground would take another thirteen months and Wilson would spend another month on the “tie-up” and final touches. I wish that we could have quotes from Ralph Morrill and others on some of the details that went into this work. For me it is very humbling and inspiring to get a glimpse into how much incredible, painstaking work is involved, and I appreciate the dioramas a lot more. When you were showing me how you had to re-do the leaves on the False Solomon Seal so that they would attach correctly to the stem, I was reminded of when the scientists came in and debated about how the toe nails should be on the Torosaurus. There is just such an incredible amount of attention to detail to make things accurate scientifically and artistically…Thanks for bringing this all to light for the viewer…


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