Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dia de Los Muertos Madonna

Me in Oaxaca, Mexico, for Dia de Los Muertos, 2012
Face paint by Andrea Matus de Meng
Photo by Kristy Duncan

I have fallen in love with Oaxaca, Dia de Los Muertos, and Mexican art.  I was lucky to spend some time in Oaxaca for Dia de Los Muertos in 2012 with Michael de Meng.  It is also where I met this artist:

My friend Jessie McNally is a superior artist and she has a unique way of incorporating the colors and styles of Dia de Los Muertos into her found object paintings.  Here are some examples of her work that I really really really like:

 Jessie McNally

 Jessie McNally

 Jessie McNally

 Jessie McNally

This is the kind of art you can look at over and over again and keep seeing new things.  Stunning is a word that does not mean enough around this art. 

Ever since I have seen what she does I have been thinking about taking a whack at it (knowing full well that I am not the painter that Jessie is).  But when has a lack of talent ever stopped me from doing anything?  After all, I spent ten years in Community Theater.  

At some flea market somewhere I picked up this Catholic wall hanging of the Madonna for $2.00 American.  

Job one always when tackling these slick surfaces is to lay down a base coat of something so that the paint has a surface to stick to.  In this case, it was multiple layers of Elmers glue.  

Next up, a generous coat of gesso.  

Having no idea how to face paint a Dia de Los Muertos face, I turned to the Internet and YouTube.  The tutorial I found most useful was by Natasha Kudashkina.  Her very easy to follow video with step by step instructions got me to where I was able to tackle my piece with peace of mind.  

 Natasha Kudashkina

Then, as it always happens with me, I say, "So..."  And then I run to the basement to assemblage this babe up.  I started with a cool old box I had.  

Then I textured the inside of the box with caulk.  Some nails were added.  

Then a lot more nails were added.  And paint.  And more nails.  And some paper thread.  And some metal found objects.  And more nails.  

I like nails.  

After $20 worth of stuff and 8 hours worth of work, I had Dia de Los Muertos Madonna. 

With a big thank you to Michael de Meng and Jessie McNally.  

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