Friday, April 27, 2012

Brushes Gone Bad

The last workshop I participated in at ArtFest this year was "Brushes Gone Bad" with Michael DeMeng. The idea was to turn a paint brush into something slightly sinister using found objects, doll parts and toys. The magic that fused all these parts together was Aves two part Apoxie Clay and a little E6000. So with only 45 minutes until the clay hardens, I sculpted together my doll and toy parts to create this little imp with his unicycle legs. 

Once the clay had completely hardened I painted everything black then went
 over it with a dry brush of white paint to highlight all the textures and features. 
The next step was to color wash over the white using several of Michael's color mixtures. 
Below are more examples of what other folks made in this class.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Books Unbound

Another workshop I participated in at ArtFest was Books Unbound by Lorraine Reynolds. I made two books in this class. The first was a Mariner's inspired book. To create the compass I used a pocket watch case, an image transfer of a compass rose and a small anchor charm. The photo of the fisherman I used came from an old knitting pattern book of fishermen sweaters from Ireland and the UK and was made into a transparency. You can see the original old german text of the book behind the image. The border around the photo is an old broken metal picture frame. This is the inside of the book. There are a few more pages inside that I am still working on.
  Below is the back and front of the book. The image of the sextant is a contact paper transfer on metal. The ships wheel on the cover is also mounted on a disc of rusted metal that is barely visible through the spokes of the wheel. Fishing net adds strength to the binding of the book as the spine fell off and I have to say I like the exposed staples and binding cloth that is visible between the the mesh.

The second book I made was a small pocket german/english dictionary that I found at a thrift store. I cut in to the cover to add more depth behind the keyholes and added some chain with several small skeleton keys to the spine and used a crackle paint effect to add texture to the cover.

 Inside the book I added a transparency photo of a man with a mustache with the image of a pocket watch behind him. The frame around the image is actually something I found on the beach. There is a layer of rusted paper towel over the pages. I still have some watch parts I want to add to the page opposite the photograph that will fit into the image opening when the book is closed. The title of this piece is "The Key to Success is Having a Well Groomed Mustache".
Below are some images of Lorraine Reynolds books that were on display during the workshop

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Imaginary School with Theo Ellsworth

This year at ArtFest I was lucky enough to take a workshop with one of my favorite artists
 Theo Ellsworth. Out of all of the workshops I signed up for, this one terrified me the most. Armed with a pencil, a few pens and a blank sheet of paper, I was sent on an expedition into the unknown territory of my imagination. Why would this terrify me when I create things all the time? Mostly because I'm accustomed to creating something out of something. Assemblage, collage, sculpting, sewing... but in Imaginary School you are being asked to create something from the intangible realms of thought and imagination. This was a slightly painful process for me. Enough so that I gave myself a headache and felt exhausted by the end of class. That being said, the whole experience was amazing in that I managed to blaze a trail into a whole new realm where I met my imaginary self. At first I thought I was meeting this self for the first time, but soon realized that I knew this self already. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I had lost my imaginary self and eventually forgot all about her. Now she and I have a lot of catching up to do and experiences to share!

So... after introducing ourselves to the ghost of an Ancient Multi-Dimensional Earth Native (thats the pale guy standing in front of the large match) and lighting said match with our imaginations, we were asked to draw our imaginary selves wearing a Mind Technology Powered Dis-Belief Suspension Suit. 

Here is my Imaginary Self wearing her Dis-Belief Suspension Suit 
(Note the flashlight arm that shines openings into other dimensions and the pair of Xtra-Tuffs that are the perfect footwear for multi-dimension travel)

Once we finished drawing our imaginary selves and were geared up for multi-dimensional travel, it was time to teleport through our first portal into another world. Cutting out our imaginary selves was not an easy thing to do. The rational self very much wants to keep the imaginary self firmly adhered to the page. Once free (and pasted to the inside of the folded paper) our imaginary selves were free to explore this new dimension. Here is my as of yet unfinished work in progress: