Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pinned Down Doll

Local artists were asked to participate in a fundraiser for the Rockford Dance Company's upcoming benefit by transforming a white muslin ballerina doll into anything we wanted. I love it, no rules!
My doll had been patiently waiting in the studio for attention of any kind, so with the deadline looming, and seeing my best friend Bobbie's incredible doll (almost finished), I was ready...

She was so pale, so I started by giving her a coat of burnt sienna acrylic. She did not want to sit or lie still for me, so I had to pin her down, literally. I never forget how a simple thing like adding color always gives a piece "life" even in the early stages. In this photo, I've posed her so you can see the white on her other side. Check out those gams and perfectly pointed toes...

My next step was to add a coat of a Lumiere metallic acrylic - the Hi-Lite Red. Although I absolutely love the Lumiere's, you really have to give your pieces a dark undercoat first to get the full effect of the Hi-Lite colors. It was a challenge getting a smooth application for the first coat, so I sponged on the second one. After the painting was done, I was counting on her to tell me what she wanted to look like and what she wanted to wear (if anything)...and if you know this artist well, it would NOT involve a tutu.I found this beautiful, ethereal poly sheer in my novelty fabrics stash, so I just started wrapping it around her body. Okay, that was good. Wired fabric tubes wrapped around her legs. Okay, that's good too. Uh oh, here we go - the face!!! I have to admit creating the face was the most frustrating part of the process. I mean, it's what brings a doll to life, so to speak. Bobbie and I were discussing this yesterday and we decided that we didn't like the anxiety and that we were ready to drop them off at the dance company's office.

After going through many books I have at home, I came across this head shot of Anna Pavlova, early 20th Century Russian ballerina. I printed it out on heavy cardstock and gel medium'd her face. I added a little Setacolor paint to the medium to add a tint. I then glued her face on and added a few beads with perle cotton. Whew...she's good to go.

I wonder if doll artists go through this every time...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

MIU supplies

Thanks to John, the president of Creative Art Materials and Diane of BEACON ADHESIVES, the participants in my "Create Texture and Dimension with Gauze" workshop at Make It University will receive some pretty great materials to use during the workshop and to take home afterwards!

Look what came today...John sent 25 sets of the Neocolor II Aquarelle Half Sticks (and a 40 color set for me).

and I received these the other day from of Beacon...enough 2 oz. bottles of Fabri-Tac glue for everyone in the workshop. What's good enough for Project Runway is perfect for my workshop!The thought of putting 25 supply kits together actually excites me, at this point. I often do this for the kids in Sunday School at Emmanuel and have done it many times before when I was teaching awhile back. For me, it's like wrapping 25 gifts for special people.

Now I'm on the look out for lots of 3 inch wide surgical gauze. Gee, maybe the good Dr. Phil, foot surgeon from Emmanuel has some, you think? Doesn't have to be sterile...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Make It University Sample

If you're coming to the IQF-Chicago in April, here's what I'll be teaching at Make It University for Cloth, Paper, Scissors.

My workshop is titled "Create Texture and Dimension with Gauze" and it involves wrapping pre-painted surgical gauze around small canvas panels, making folds in certain areas, deconstructing the gauze, then adding more rich color with oil pastels (Caran d' Ache Neocolor II).
CARAN d'ACHE > Company > Company > History. I have loved pastels for quite some time now, and these are my favorite for color and blending. Rich, creamy (thinking about ice cream now?) color.

Stop by and sign up - we'll have fun and make some art, too...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Substitute for Citrasolv?

I've tried almost all techniques for image transfer and after hearing so much about using Citrasolv, I thought I'd give it a try. I looked on their website to find out where I could find it in Rockford - one place. Since they didn't have it in stock, I had to order it. Alas, when calling that store today, I was told that it won't be ordered until this Friday and I'd have to wait until next Tuesday. NEXT TUESDAY? Well, that's way too long for an artist who is on a mission to try a new technique, hello?

I started my trek across the far east side of Rockford in search of it. Read: I live on the west side where there's virtually no traffic and no strip malls every few feet to slow down by to find that tiny store front. The big stores are even a little intimidating to me, but I took a deep breath and pulled into the local Home Depot.

I might have found a substitute for Citrasolv. I know it's not completely natural as Citrasolv is, but the solvent in it is the same - from orange peels.

Thank God it was sunny and a little warmer today, so a window in the studio was opened, the heat turned off, and it was time to experiment. I had read about the National Geographic art project on their website: Citra Solv's Artists Site . It involves brushing the product on every page in the magazine, squishing it together, pulling the pages apart and placing them on newspapers to dry. Messy it was, but the outcome was well worth it. Next time, however, instead of doing a whole issue, I'll just pull out certain pages.

On to image transfer...it worked. When it dried, I did feel the urge to heat set it, which left a stain on this small piece of one of my hand dyed cottons. Afraid that the image would disappear, I was hesitant to dunk it in the sink. Oh well, experimentation. I ran cool water over the fabric, rubbed it a little, and to my delight, the image stayed in place. When it dried, I noticed that some of the color had faded from the cloth - I chalked this up to the fact the this orange stuff was a "cleaner" after all. Can you say residual dye?