Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Making Magic out of Junk

I joke that I had to become a Mixed Media Assemblage Artist so I could continue to justify collecting junk.  But the reality is that I am inspired by junk, both the sublime and the tacky.  The school book from 1950 that has the inscription of 5 different students all written in shaky childhood beauty.  But also the once loved doll at the goodwill with her fake yellow hair  and her atrocious outfit complete with hand painted snowman.
(beautifully tacky doll before transformation)
There is catharsis and liberation in  deconstruction. Aka it is a lot of fun to tear the hair off of a tacky doll.  Then the magic begins. The transformative powers of paint with a side of fire…

A little video showing the paint and fire technique

After tearing the doll apart and setting her on fire, then comes the fun of adding  paint washes and  diluted walnut ink over the body and face.
(Tacky doll being reborn, midway through the process)
My style of working is not heavy on the precise and the tidy. I really love the look of distressed and grungy.  I love the happy accidents they tend to give a piece of artwork more life.
After the paint washes then comes painting the face.  I can get lost in painting a face for hours. Most of my dolls tend towards “realistic” faces, but on this doll I took some inspiration from both Picasso and circus clowns.
(close up of face painting)
After putting on her face, then on to the clothing.  I do a lot of hand dying of lace and vintage fabric and then combine it with found object to create a complete look.
And here is the completed doll “Saint Serene”

(She sure has came a long way since her humble beginnings)

I will be teaching a classes at Art and Soul in Virginia Beach
and Art and Soul in Portland that are incorporating these techniques.
Thanks for stopping by… Clarissa


Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

Can't wait for class in Petaluma!!!


Sue said...

Thanks for the little paint texture video.....will have to have a play with that idea.

Ingrid Dijkers said...

Who would think such an awful doll could turn into something so fabulous and unique. Nicely done! Love the video too.


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