"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Amulet Seller — Progression

In this series of photos you can see the progression of the small painting The Amulet Seller, number four in the Gypsies series. In a previous post, I said that I had trouble with the drawing—didn't like it, but couldn't figure out why I didn't like it. I set it aside for about a month, in a place where I could look at it as I walked by. It slowly grew on me. Once I got paint on it, I liked it even better.

The Amulet Seller — Acrylic and Micron pen on illustration board, 10"x12."

I ended up really liking her narrow-eyed expression, as if she is thinking, "If you don't think my amulets will work, then piss off." I have several other ideas for paintings in this series, and have been doing a bit more research into the history of gypsies, their beliefs, and superstitions. All very interesting. Most of us have a rather romantic view of gypsies, but throughout history, their lifestyle has not been an easy one. In this series of paintings, I did not want to veer too close to a stereotype—you know, like the typical paintings or tinted photographs of smiling gypsy dancing girls with their tambourines. I want to keep the paintings respectful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Two Recycle Projects

With the weather becoming more and more iffy, inside projects are nice, for the most part relaxing, and give me a few new items of clothing to wear. Here are the latest ones to keep me occupied when I'm in-between painting and cleaning horse stalls, and it's pouring rain outside.

The first is a turquoise T-shirt. It's a bit shorter than I like them, but it was only $2.99 at the Goodwill, so I bought it because I loved the color. I decided to stencil a design on the front then add either tulle or more T-shirt material to the bottom and sleeves. I have seen tulle added to shirts, and as long as it doesn't look too cutesy, I like it. So, black stencil design to be beaded, and then black tulle added to the hem.

The photos make the shirt look royal blue, but it isn't. The stencil is a Martha Stewart.

The little white mark at the center is made with soap, to help me line up the design.

I think I will add a small piece of T-shirt material on the inside of the shirt, behind the stencil design, to help carry the weight of the beads and stitching.

The next in line is a very wide sweatshirt, also purchased at the Goodwill. I want to make a jacket out of it, with elbow length sleeves.  I am always shoving the sleeves of sweaters, T-shirts and sweatshirts up my arm, so figured why not just cut this one off at that length. The lines on the front are made with soap to show the center, and then how much I am going to trim away from the front. This thing is REALLY wide (the size tag says M, but two medium sized people could fit inside it), so I will also have to figure out a way to take in the back. Maybe make something out of the leftover sleeve material— like the little mini belts on the back of jackets (I am sure they have a proper name, but I don't know what it is).

The T-shirts above it were laid out to see what trim color would work the best. I finally decided on the dark blue. The buttons and beads will go on last. Originally I had pulled out some very nautical looking brass buttons with anchors embossed on them, but decided it looked way too yacht club, preppy, proper, ladies-who-lunch, so I put those back in the button box and went with these mother of pearl ones, turned back side forward, with some old red buttons I dug out to be sewn on top.  This project may or may not work out. I have mixed feelings about it, so when I get it sewn up, if I don't really like it, I won't bother to add any decorations.

Here are both projects laid out on my big work table in the garage.

Those should keep me busy for a while. I am especially looking forward to stitching and beading the T-shirt. So, time to grab a book on CD, make a cup of tea, park myself in a comfy chair, and bead away.