I LOVE Halloween! Ever since I was a little kid and dressed in a hand-me-down Mighty Mouse costume, no doubt flammable in those days. Then I graduated to the gypsy costume because my mom had old full skirts and beads and I could rouge my cheeks and put on lipstick. Next was the vampire stage which lasted for more than one season, and I could still put on bright red lipstick plus the added bonus of plastic vampire teeth! I was fascinated by that set of fangs and it seemed like I would be Count Dracula forever...
But then, that fateful day when my mom dragged me to the fabric store to buy material for a groovy smock she was sewing for me. (The smock is another story entirely.) Anyway, nestled among the bolts of polyester and chintz was a rare beast I had not seen before: FAKE FUR! Oh my, I was mesmerized by this Cousin It of the fabric family! I negotiated with my mom (in other words, 'whined') and she relented into letting me take home a swatch of the long, black haired hide.
Now, I wasn't willing to forego the fangs for fur, so, brilliant (haha) child that I was, I combined the two for a werewolf costume. I use the term costume loosely, because by time October 31st rolled around in Montana, the body of the costume was most likely a snow coat. No worries, I was mainly concerned with my fur/fanged face.
Logistics: how to adhere fake fur to your face?? I had no idea and pleaded with my solve-all mom to help. She was also stumped, but finally came up with the idea to put peanut butter on my face in order to 'glue' on the fur. And it worked! I looked fabulously werewolf-y! Out I ventured with my best friend and our pillowcases in search of some sweet loot. But then, trouble! As the temperature dropped, the peanut butter hardened and cracked. I shed my fur like a shaggy dog, with only clumps hair stuck here and there in the cold, cracked lumpy peanut butter. Yikes! I remember one of the last houses we visited, the man who answered the door called his wife over saying, "I don't know what she is, but she sure has a scary face"!
Here I am, many years older and still so excited about Halloween! Of course, I had to do a Mixed Media Assemblage Canvas for this spooky season.
I started with framing-in the sides of my canvas with stakes I'd bought at my local hardware store because I wanted to convey the feel of 'something wicked' on the verge of coming through a window or door. I textured the stakes with my homemade paste and used white crackle paste on the upper half of the canvas. The texture in the lower half is done with torn paper strips and string. Everything got a healthy dose of black gesso, with the upper half rubbed partially off with a baby wipe in order to conserve the crackle.
Next - assemblage. I went through my bins of found objects (some of which is considered to be trash by the general public) and adhered all sorts of goodness, like gears and plastic skeleton bones, beads, caps, springs, screws, broken toy pieces and the infamous orange zipper. While these goodies were drying, I began forming my polymer clay accessories. To name a few, I created a voodoo doll, a jack-o-lantern, a scary bone fish (which I named Kyle, don't ask me why), eyeballs, and a hand digging out of his grave - ooooooooo! After baking the clay, all the polymer pieces were painted with black gesso.
I know I am not alone when I say clowns give me the creeps!! So of course, that's the focal point of 'my nightmare'. From Modge Podge, foil and torn paper, Mr. Twinkles came to be. Then black gesso, crackle paint, acrylic paint, polymer clay and, yes, fake fur fine tuned him to all his glory. I wanted my clown to have skeletal hands, but saved that clay challenge for last, as I was quite intimidated by modeling them. Once they were formed and baked, the hands got the gesso- crackle-paint treatment. Quite by accident, my gnarly tree came to be from the leftover paper mache torn paper. I was wadding the strips of paper to throw out and noticed one almost looked like a branch. I set to work twisting and turning the paper until my tree (warning, bad pun ahead) 'took root'.
I loved (ok, love) hidden pictures! It was THE favorite part of my childhood Highlights Magazine. So, in the phrase from the scary movie Saw, "Wanna play a game?"
2 monopoly houses, a zipper, a birthday candle, 10 items in a sewing basket, 8 cocktail forks and 8 hands!
Prima Art Alchemy Métalliques: Deep Waters, Fresh Orange, Black Berry, Dark Velvet, Steampunk Copper, Ancient Coin. Lindy's Starburst Sprays: Screaming Banshee Black, Black Orchid Silver, Bayou Boogie Gold, Opal Sea Oats. Dylusions Ink Spray: Ground Coffee. Deco Art Americana Acrylic Paint: Snow White, Light Buttermilk, Lamp Black. Prima Art Basics: Modeling Paste, 3D Gloss Gel, Texture Paste White Crackle. Prima Art Ingredients: Art Stones, Mini Art Stones. Liquitex: Black Gesso. Ranger: Inkssentials Glossy Accents.
I would like to enter Fright Night in the following challenges:
More than Words Challenge Ombre & Change (I changed, or 'altered', many items on this assemblage piece.)
A Vintage Journey Make It Spooky challenge.
More Mixed Media Challenge "Anything Goes" + Optional Orange.
Dream in Darkness Challenge #13: 31 Days of Halloween!