Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Own Lizzie Siddal

It has been forever since I have posted to my blog!  I have been distracted from my routine and trying to get other projects done and then overwhelmed at how to begin with my blog.  So, I decided to do a short post about someone I love and who has been inspiring me for about 20 years!  This dear sister-friend of mine is my very own "Lizzie Siddal". 

I used to live in NE and she was a fabulous model for my photography, paintings and monotypes.  She is also a photographer, painter and printmaker so we both took turns being each others model.  We also just had a wonderful time being together.  

 There were fun trips to vintage clothing stores all over to find costumes for our photographs and unique(and cheap!) pieces of furniture to make our little ancient apartments into jewel box castles. 
( Look at what she did to my apartment when I was away for a weekend!  She made the outside of it as well as the stairs up to it(all 3 whirling and twirling teeny previously servant quarters stairs of an very old mansion)into an overgrown, enchanted Castle right out of Sleeping Beauty!  This is after I got into her apartment and covered everything with "pixie dust" and posted blown up photographs of her from one Pre-Raphaelite shoot all over our wee village!  Ha!  It was really sad, I kept these up until I moved.  It was extremely hard to take them down.)
 There were also many trips to hear concerts from artists like Loreena McKennitt and the Medieval Baebes.  We climbled lots of mountains and picked blueberries from low growing bushes which we made jams and pies.  We swam in fabulous secret swimming holes where there were beautiful waterfalls . 
 We were always cooking, making art, dressing up, taking fun little trips, going to our favourite restaurants and poetry readings, getting ready for art shows, weaving on our bead looms together to get through the long winters and we just really liked to be in each others company.

 Hay Jumps in Western MA!
 Photographs in Enchanted Forests~

 The Gorgeous Skies of Fall in NE
There are always hilarious sides to these "very serious" photographs!  Love this one! Moving around in this gown when it was wet was crazy, but she wouldn't get out until we had the perfect photo!
( An amazing "Garden" of old trucks circa 1940-gorgeous with Victorian finery!)
  I am not sure what I would be doing now or if I would be doing art now if this sister hadn't kept pushing me and telling me to keep going!  So, I have to thank her a million times over and am always sending her my love still though I am back in the midwest.  

 We still send each other our art, letters, and keep in touch with phone calls.  She will always be my favourite model and muse!  I miss her and all the fun we had together! 
 Grow, Braid, Cut, Repeat...I still have this set of braids-there are quite a few!
  Miss You!  Love you! Ooh, I always loved that coat and I still have that cobalt blue scarf that I wove!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Painting That Started it All and Came Full Circle

The Pre-Raphealite Painting by Millias that I saw and wanted to try and do my own photographic portrait of.
My finished photograph of my version.
Another painting and version of Ophelia which inspired me.
And, two of the photographs that I took in my own verision of it.
This inspired me to dress up as this Ophelia for Halloween one year with one of my art students who wanted to dress up like one of my art dolls. I think she did a really good job!
The doll she dressed up as was the first art doll I ever made. Her name? Ophelia!
Recently, I have started doing digital self-portrait photographs. I took this self-portrait photograph in my own bathtub which I shrouded with dark black fabric, filled to the rim with water and about 4 dozen roses. Why? It has a bit of an "Ophelia" vibe going on.

The more photographs I took, the more I studied the Pre-Raphealites.  The self portrait photograph below is part of my "Prosperine" series which was inspired by Dante Gabriel Rossit's painting above-the famous  "Proserpine"
His imagination and my photograph inspired me to make another one of my art dolls(at this time I had made hundreds of them and learned a lot).  This time, I was focusing on Prosperine's gown and gorgeous, wavy dark hair in the painting. She was to be a gift for dear friend, but ended up in show instead.
(She is in just the beginning phase of getting her costume and hair together in this photo, but now she is done now. More photographs to come!)
Then, after many years of being inspired and making pieces of my own, I was given the opportunity to curate an Art Show in which I asked all the artists to do their own take on the Pre-Raphealites. It was so exciting to see what each artist came up with in their own style!
Above is a large painting that a local artist Justin Cooper did called "Jane Burden Recyled".  I love how he mixed the old with his own unique style!
Almost 15 years later, my original photograph of my first film version of Ophelia was blown up very large as a digital photograph and put in this same show.  No one had ever really seen her, especially this large, and she had never been in one of my shows. What a thrill to come full circle!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A New Post Finally!

It has been forever since I have posted anything.  I have been busy putting together a show at a local gallery and turned out to be a lot more work than I realized, but ultimately, I think the show was beautiful.  I am also so happy with the amazing artists who were so gracious to be a part of the show.  I will write more about the local and national/international artists who put their amazing art in the show and share some images in my next post-I promise!  The title of the show was "Useful and Beautiful: A Return to Myth and Romance in Art" and my thought was to have several different artist make their own art with the theme of  the "Pre-Raphaelite" Art Movement in their own different styles.  How fun and exciting it was to see the outcomes!  I will share Dante Gabriel Rossiti's painting "Prosperine" which inspired a large part of the show.  More to come! 

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Photographs Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites-Art and Letters

I haven't been up for art much lately, but I am trying! This new set of photographs was inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites(yes again!) and my love of my glass pen and sepia ink brought back to me from Italy by my dear friend and former printmaking professor.  She knows me too well!  I was inspired by this JohnWilliam Waterhouse Painting.
My series is more "Writing Letters"(with one of my light up Art dolls and one of my framed Paintings in the background) than the Sorceress in this Painting, but what a beautiful inspiration! I was also inspired by the arrival of a lovely Relic piece of Jewelry by Jen Parrish of Parrish Relics Jewelry which I love! They always inspire a new series of photograhs so thank you Jen! Here are the other photographs from the series as well as Jen's Relic.
Thank you Jen! This piece is "Margarita of Florence" and I adore it! you will find her pieces on Etsy now.
As always, that was a lot of set up, wardrobe and monkey business for just a few photos, but that is me!  And yes, it all went down in my crazy house which is very old and full of unique archs and other magickal details.
This is also why my whole life my clothes are more a collection of costumes and vintage pieces than anything else. This is also why I have collected this and that from antique stores and places all over the world with the thought, "OOh, this doo-dah will look cool in a photograph!".  Just don't expect me to wear anything but a black t-shirt, jeans and black boots in "real life" but, do come on over and for tea and I can tell you some stories about all the "doo-dahs" as they fill every nook and cranny. Hope you are all well!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Been Forever-Photographs I Have Been Working On-Swan Dancers!

"Swan Brothers"
I took several photographs of my two nephews as the male Swan Dancers from the all male version of Swan Lake.  They like this version of the Ballet very much-the dances, the costumes and the magic of it all.  Then, they put their own twist on it by wanting me to paint their faces and their arms-well, everywhere.  They wanted to look like my paintings with Tribal body and face painting.  The 4 year old(teeny tiny Swan) had to be dragged away or he would have never stopped with my face paints.  This may be my favourite photograph from the shoot.  This is a pose that the "big Swan Dancers" do in the Ballet.  My boys did such a good job!
What they were making me try to live up to!
Their version became very "Wild Child Lost in a Forest" too as they can't take a photograph without a stick looking like they are going to use it as a weapon of course.  They also wanted to look "like an ancient tribe of Swan Boys" so there is a little of this and a little of that.
Magic Acorn from Delila of Robin and Sage!
Hee!  They crack me up because they are so good!  We watched the Ballet a few times and they still want to watch it more.  People have asked me 1)Where is this amazing place I took the photos and 2)How do I work with kids and "get them" to do these things in photographs.  Well, this is just their back yard with the sun setting and, I didn't make them do anything.  They thought of all the poses themselves.  I just had to keep reigning them in or they would have flown away.  They had way better ideas for photographs then I could have thought of so I let them do their own thing!
And, it was the oldest's Swan's Birthday last week and when I asked him what he wanted he said, "Duh!  I want a Swan Photo!".  So, I gave him the one of him "flying".  Everyone in our family got Swan photographs-that's all I have to give!