Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fling Out the Radiant Hem, The Holy Ghost is Here Pleading Company

I know an artist named Jessie McNally who I had the opportunity to watch create a piece on my first Michael de Meng excursion to Oaxaca, Mexico.

Jessie in Oaxaca with the art she created

Jessie is very, very talented and has a cool way of transforming everything she touches into a work of Dia de Lost Muertos art.  I decided that this piece was going to start with art inspired by Jessie's work.  So when I found this statue from the Da Vinci Collection

I decided this bridal couple would be transformed into my Dia effort.  That means skulls, baby!

One thing that I discovered in this grand experiment is that painting like Jesse does

is not that easy.  In fact, it is beyond me.  So, I am content with the level of painting I could accomplish and now know that I need to practice, practice, practice to get this better.

After the painting got going, I came to the decision that I wanted a circular motion behind my dancing couple as well.  I searched through my stash and discovered this cool plastic round frame.

In addition, I decided I wanted something behind them and settled on a metal bread basket I had.

Attaching the bread basket to the frame went well.  So did attaching the round frame to the base of the dancing couple.   When I held the project up, it began to remind me of some of the churches I had seen in Oaxaca.

Once I could see how it was going to work structurally, I thought I needed to add some side panels and went digging through my stash for some cloth.  I stumbled upon these two old bank deposit bags and it was game on.  Some dress pattern paper and some paint made them more interesting.  Then I collage on a layer of pages from a hymnal and I had more of my theme.  

Next step was to use molding paste on the frame to hold in a variety of beads, buttons and tin molds.

When I stepped back and checked it out, the shape seemed to be calling for something to break the circle so I selected a nicho.

I used dress pattern paper to create the fill on the backdrop.

I then added a corazon to the inside of the nicho.  Into the ring of the frame went some nails and then I painted up the whole thing.

It is funny how sometimes the littlest details can bug the crap out of me but the straight line within the circle created by the hymn really drove me crazy. Just adding a little bean to the space help redefine it and ended my anxiety.

By highlighting the text on the bag, I got my title and my theme.  The scattered text, when strung together, reads like a great poem

Fling out the radiant hem
The Holy Ghost is here
Pleading company

And so, after a zillion hours of construction and painting, we have

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Monkeying Around on the Ride to the River Styx, Part Two

Back on February 21st, I posted my work on the piece I called Monkeying Around on the Ride to the River Styx.

However, as the weeks went by, things about this piece seemed missing. So I added some elements to the piece that filled in the open spaces.

A button on his chest.

Denice's Iranian shell necklace on the front of the cart.  

Brass buttons with figure heads on the sides of the cart.

Some detailing on the edges of the wings.  

Also, the plastic skeletons on the ride looked like plastic skeletons on the ride.  So I added some ghostly skin and now I am happier with them.

Now I am happy.  Well, for now.  Maybe.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Monkeying Around on the Ride to the River Styx

Back in April of 2013 at Valley Ridge during the second Make What Ya Brung (http://artthou-gniebuhr.blogspot.com/2013/06/make-what-ya-brung-2-at-valley-ridge.html) I started painting this monkey planter that I found somewhere.

After that workshop it sat around in my basement for a year before I decided it was time to commit to something.  I worked on this during the year 2014 by painting a frame

and then added the frame to the top of the planters as a sort of ledge thingee.

The next step was to add something, or in my mind, someone to the ride.  It was at this point that I began to formulate an idea that this was vaguely the ferry transporting the souls of the newly dead across this Styx River to the underworld.

I decided that I would put a whole bunch of skeletons into the planter which I did.  Then the project got set aside for another couple of months until I decided to finish it off.

What became apparent to me on the third review was that I was going to need to add some things to this to give it more of an expanse.  I decided the first item was some sort of hood.  While cleaning the basement I came across a lamp top that was prefect for this project and was the actual inspiration to take the third whack at this one.

I needed something to hang the lamp shade on so I dropped a wood post into the planter amongst the skeletons I decided were going to be the dead spirits on the way to Hell.

Now I decided this needed something more horizontal so I decided to add a blade to the rear.  However, this proved a challenge as so much of the vertical was already in place.

Once upright, I decided I had The Surrey With the Fringe on Top except I had no fringe.  After rejecting some possibilities, I decided to use a curtain pull after taking it apart.

Some of those wood pieces you can buy at Michaels were added to the side to give it even more width.

So, after two years and much procrastination, I present Monkeying Around on the Ride to the River Styx.