First of Spring

Detail of an original sculpture by MJ Seal made from paper mache that resembles spiky, spring green tentacles breaking out of a gray, papery skin

We may be approaching the end of summer now but when I started this piece it was before things had started to pop up out of the ground in late February (I’ve been very busy).

“First of Spring”- Original sculpture by MJ Seal. Paper mache and acrylic on canvas. Approximately 18″ x 20″. C. 2018

The brilliant spring green of the spikes is not an exaggeration- if anything these pictures make it look a little muted. The light gray of the ground in this piece really helps them to pop out. And the very glossy glazes of yellow I applied over the green portions help build contrast with the matte gray portions- the spikes glisten like new leaves.

I carefully fashioned the paper mache clay into branching spikes. Around the bases of each spike I molded it into what looks like a skin peeling back so it really looks like the green buds are bursting out the ground.

There is a lot of movement in this piece the spikes of green bursting up, branching and twisting around like writhing green saplings or antlers.

I love how this piece grows right out of the wall. The intense green of the spikes really glow in the bright, diffuse light of morning when the sun shines through the east window in my studio.

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