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:
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.
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.