Well, I am twelve pieces into the series and it has changed quite a bit and is still developing. When I first started I was working more with my fashion illustration style, using a red dress and stylized Frida motif as the unifying elements.
And then...my book arrived in the mail;
This book is unique because the majority of the book is her actual diary- sketches and doodle, musings and stream of conscoiusness writing...but in SPANISH. Luckily, the back of the book is all the translations of the material.
What happened next was...I started to do portraits of Frida and stopped with the fashion illustrations. You know...I had thought in January that I might work with the idea of fashion sketches all of 2019 but truth is...it didn't fit for Frida. I wanted to create images that included more of her face.
This was the first piece showing the change in direction;
And something just kinda clicked. When the art flows from my brain to my hands more fluidly...then I know that I am on the right path. If I find myself sitting and thinking too much instead of 'doing' then I know that it is time to switch it up. And it was.
So I kept making portraits;
The thing with painting is...for me at least...it is more of a push-pull relationship. When I work in watercolors, which I often do, the watercolors are less forgiving...so I make the work in 'one pass'. I either get it right or I don't, I don't keep re-working the piece.
When I work with thicker paint I always go with acrylic. I love how fast it dries, so if I want to change something I just let it dry then paint right on top. I love the smell of acrylic paint- I love the way it glides on the surface. I just love it.
But...I also had fun spray painting last year with some of my themes, and I still had spray paint and stencils so...this happened;
...and that is where I am right now with the series. Frida portraits on colored backgrounds, spray paint, her words scribbled on the surface- then sometimes sanded back...that is what I am doing- for now.
I wanted to add this post because it may be helpful to someone out there. If you are following my #LoveFridaJLG series then you know that I am painting on board. I really like the warmth that the brown of the board gives the works, even if it's in my imagination (you know, since I am painting on it with thick acrylic paint!) One thing that I noticed early on is that my boards were warping due to the paint on the one side. I remembered a trick from the late, great Mr. Ray Elmore at my beloved alma mater, East Carolina University.
If you have a cardboard or canvas board that is warping- just paint the back with gesso. This balances out the moisture and pulls on the fibers in the board (I don't know if that is the exact explaination, but it sounded kinda smart and legit to me) ...like magic, it flattens out the work.
For real, it works! Try it!
So it's not so much that I was too busy to post about the new series...it's just that I was still thinking it all through. When I was thinking about what I wanted to do I knew that I wanted to do something 'Valentine's Day' inspired...because...well...I usually do. Not always...but usually.
Well, something happened on Friday, February 1st that gave me my final direction and inspiration for my series. My colleague, Brent, arranged for a guest speaker. We hosted John Parra, a childrens's book illustrator that was the featured artist at the Biblioarte Festival in Lake Worth that weekend.
Here are some pics;
Parra shared some of his originals with us and it was his Frida Kahlo images that really spoke to me. They were breathtaking. So many layers- such rich color! And...TEXTURE. I was smitten. He shared his process with us, which involved layers of paint, masking and sand paper and I was intrigued.
So, I left from school thinking about Frida and those images...especially the techniques that he shared. And I started thinking...maybe I should do something with Frida imagery. I mean...I have worked with her image before. Heck, I have dedicated a couple whole month series to Frida Kahlo, and she has appeared in my daily art from time to time over the years;
First off, #TBT ...I used a necklace I added shrink art butterflies to for an art opening back in the day to inspire my daily work...click here to read more about that necklace!
Now time for a 'Flashback Friday'...to the necklace I created for the KCAI show...I used that to inspired my daily art, click here to read more about the necklace!
And just like that...I blinked and January 2019 was over. I ended up making two extra pieces, one as a gift for one of my fashion students and one was a Project Runway All-Stars sketch. I could keep going with this series 'cause I am a bit of a costume jewelry hoarder but...I am thinking about something already for February! TBA!
Oh, I almost forgot! I couldn't go to the ARTS festival without looming the part, right?! I commissioned one of my seniors to 'splatter paint' a $7 sweatshirt I picked up at Walmart and to add some flair to a pair of shoes I had. Added my DIY colored pencil necklace, Mondrian earrings and a pair of fun mouse ears I made and I was ready to go!
And speaking of Art Palm Beach...
yeah, it was pretty rad- per usual.
I finished up my weekend working the Art Hive Magazine table doing my favorite thing- telling folks about Art Hive, and my students' recycled garments! The day flew by. Two moments did stand out; this group of little girls ran up and wanted to 'pick their favorites' and then they posed for a picture. Also, one of my students stopped by to say hi, he was on a fancy 'art date'- and also there to check out the street artists represented by galleries...now THAT is multitasking!
My students had recycled garments at ArtPalmBeach!!!!!
I am so excited about this! Jess and Angela from Art Hive Magazine (my side gig) asked me if I would be interested in doing this over the summer and I said, 'of course! I knew it would be a good project to motivate my advanced students and fashion club members...plus they offered to donate tape, hot glue and, of course, old issues of Art Hive Magazine! (hey, I have zero budget so I'll take what I can get!)
Well, that was MONTHS ago. Two of my AP 3D students, Elmwood and Junique each made their own dresses, they are both seniors and amaze me every day. It has really been amazing to see the dresses develop over time, watching them create, revise, destroy...and repeat. They even inspired two juniors, Winnie and Ricky to collaborate on a piece!
This was such a great learning experience for my students to have a real design problem and a legit real-life client. They took every step very seriously, from initial consultations to fittings- I was so proud of my students' passion and professionalism.
Here is a closer look at the final pieces, you can see more 'in progress' pics on my classroom Instagram, @studio2_110.
My student's even inspired ME!
Last year I created a series of necklaces that featured pages from Art Hive that I collaged onto the pieces. Well, I revamped two of those with 'snake' necklaces for Jess and Angela to wear this year;
But wait...what was I gonna wear?
(and then come home and immediately change out of an put on my fav pajamas)
I asked each girl for scraps from her dress, and then pieced them together to create what was going to be worn over both shoulders as a 'shawl'. When I was putting it on at the event one side slipped off and I...I was kinda feelin' it. Like...I was feeling some '*Ric Flair Championship Belt Realness', so- one shoulder it had to be!
*FYI...I love Ric Flair, old skool rastlin'..and all sparkly things...these things actually go together. I even drew his pic and hand delivered it to him in Miami a while back.
And that's my secret- little ol' Lake Worth High School represented right next to fancy international artwork- and everyone LOVED our pieces! Even better- my students loved the experience! Two of the gals helped me set up the pieces at the event and got a rare sneak preview of the behind the scenes of putting on a large-scale international art fair...and ALL of the girls will be attending the event with family and friends as VIPs. I can't wait to see the pics with the dresses and their family and friends.
If you are local and you go to ArtPalmBeach- make sure to stop by and see my pride and joy- those fab magazine dresses!
Reppin' the Trojan AND Art Hive fam in recycled style!
...just a gal trying to get this art out of my soul to share with the world on a DAILY basis...no big deal...check out my ramblings!-JLG