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01 September 2017

A Tour of My Memory Palace

At the beginning of this year 2017, Michelle Ward invited me to write an article about my wooden castle project for her regular article in Somerset Studio magazine's department, "Make It Your Own". In this post, I'd like to show you more details on how I was inspired to create my own designs for the castle.  Before I saw Michelle's Facebook post about the wooden castle two years ago, I was a member of The Documented Life Project (TM) 2014 group where the members were given a weekly prompt to create artwork. One of the weekly prompts involved creating an artwork as inspired by a famous artist. I selected Paul Klee's painting, Castle and Sun as the source of inspiration in my "recreation" of the same painting but with my own style (heavier white lines & more loose lines). Shown below is the original painting on the left and my own interpretation of his painting. 
After I saw Michelle's photo of the wooden castle, I went to Michael's to purchase one. I had to look for the one without defects as I had to return it twice for replacement. I had it in storage for quite a while as I was not sure what to do with the exterior surfaces. After browsing the humongous coffee table book on Alexander Girard's work, I came across two castle like buildings - one of them is shown below and the next one is in the subsequent photo with the pencil drawings.
Starting with the exteriors, I did pencil drawings for the surface decorations similar to one of Girard's castle illustrations.

After looking at the initial drawings, I decided that I would add the roofs to the tops to make it more like a chateau than a castle. I also decided that I would convert the drawbridge into a door, and added the front steps with balsa wood. More than a year ago, I showed the outside to Michelle Ward, and she was very impressed by it. She invited me to share the photos and write about it for her regular Make It Your Own article. The interiors were done three months ago - I was struggling to figure out what to do with each room. I had collected various items and stuff for the purpose of storing them inside the rooms.

I had a pile of stencil samples that I created for Stencil Girl Products - I reused them as "tiles" for the floors. Stencils that I used for these floors are available for purchase from Stencil Girl Products - click on it to view my stencil collections.  I completed the interiors on time for publication before I left for the trip to Chicago for International Urban Sketchers Symposium. I learned from a website about a retrospective exhibition on Alexander Girard's work at Cranbrook Art Museum in Deerfield Michigan. I decided that I would make a detour to this museum on the way to Indiana to stay at my friend's house while commuting to Chicago for the urban sketching workshops & events.
 It was well worth a detour for me. I had noticed that Alexander had used a lot of triangles in his work - graphic logos and textile designs.
 With a pleasant surprise, I noticed that Alexander created several miniature table settings, but I'm not planning to do the same for my castle as I had no intention of making it a "dollhouse".
 I was very happy to be able to see some of Alexander's collection of toy buildings and figures that represents daily life.
 In the same section where the toys were exhibited, I encountered a large three-paneled art work. The building in the middle looks very similar to the one that I used as a reference for my exterior surface design. I love the way several buildings were grouped together to form a "city" on both sides of the buildings. I'm inspired to perhaps create more buildings to be placed with the castle.
I'm so glad that I went there, and also am pleased with the exterior surfaces of my castle. The exteriors are done, however, the interiors are not done - they're still "work in progress" as they will be modified or renovated during the later years as long as more memories were either found or created.
Thank you for stopping and I hope you enjoyed the "tour" of my castle. (note: you can purchase the stencil used for that puppet who's waving goodbye!: Kunst Puppen)

UPDATE (Sept 10, 2017): You can read Michelle Ward's blog post about her design version of the wooden castle by clicking it HERE.

*Full disclosure: Andrew Borloz does receive one-time compensation for the write-up of his article published in Stampington & Company's September-October 2017 issue of Somerset Studio and for his own stencil designs in the form of royalties from Stencil Girl Products.


michelle ward said...

Andrew, your castle is so fabulous! I am thrilled you've shared your work in the Somerset Studio article, and then took the opportunity to illustrate on your blog even more of your inspiration and detailed photos. Love the concept of the Memory Palace. All of it is genius! Bravo!!

Andrew said...

Thank you so much, Michelle, for inviting me to share my castle in your Somerset Studios article! I'm glad you posted a photo of the wooden castle, and also glad that I saw that photo!