Monday 2 July 2012

Born, never asked

This weeks theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is "Spritz, Sprays and Stencils". How to explain my entry this week without typing a mini-novel that will bore you to tears? I'll try to make it brief!

I have been a huge fan of multimedia artist Laurie Anderson for over 25 years. I have seen her perform more times than I can remember, I have a signed copy of her career retrospective and she was even the subject of my final degree dissertation back in my college days. I'm sure that many (if not most) of you won't be familar with her work, it's definitely more "arty" than mainstream. She sings on some albums, tells stories on others and is a gifted violinist. Above all she is the queen of digital technology, frequently inventing the instruments she uses in her music. My piece this week is inspired by her track "Born, Never Asked", which I love for her emotive violin playing. If you'd like to give it a listen it can be found here.

I started out by making 2 stencils for this piece - the first was a block of numbers, used in the centre panel in the bottom row. The second was the lyrics of the song that inspired the piece, which are:
It was a large room, full of people. All kinds. And they had all arrived at the same building at more or less the same time. And they were all free. And they were all asking themselves the same question: What is behind that curtain?
I used that stencil in the top-left and centre-right panels. Oh, by the way, while we're talking about making your own stencils, it's an activity that definitely has it's pros and cons! Yes, you have a unique stencil of your own design that is perfectly suited to the project you're working on, and once made, you can use time and again. However, and it's a big "however", be prepared to spend hours picking tiny pieces of plastic out of the stencil and then even longer finding them in your hair, on your clothes, in your mouth and even in your food!

Ok, a quick skip through what I did on each panel, starting top left and working left to right.
  • Coloured with blended Distress Inks, stamped with letters stamp and stencilled with text, both brown Distress Ink (I forget which brown). The hand was moulded from paper clay and coloured with Promarkers.
  • Letter blocks paper from Tim Holtz's Lost and Found stack.
  • Stamped the hand and coloured it with Promarkers. Edged the tile with brown Distress Ink (same edging on all panels).
  • Coloured the tile with blue Distress Stain. Splattered blue and red Distress Stain on my craft mat and pressed the tile onto it then stamped the ticket.
  • Photo from the Lost and Found stack.
  • Covered the tile with Tissue Tape then painted it with green Claudine Hellmuth paint. Stencilled the text with red C.H. paint.
  • Background is text blocks from Lost and Found stack. Coloured the base of a grunge block with brown Distress Ink then stamped dates image on it. Coloured the grunge T with black Distress Ink and fixed them both in place.
  • Coloured tile with blended orange and yellow Distress Ink then stamped numbers grid on it. Stencilled numbers with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink.
  • Coloured the tile with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and stamped the dots with Dusty Concord Distress Ink. Used a black Distress Marker to edge the main details on the man stamp then stamped it on Kraft Resist paper. Inked it and stamped again on white card. Cut out the man's face and fixed it to the Kraft Resist image then fixed both onto the tile.
  • Finally I fixed all the tiles together with the Tiny Attacher and mounted them onto black card.
Looking back at it now, it's clear to me that I was also playing around with ideas of scale - big hand/small hand, big numbers/small numbers, big text/small text. I confess that I wasn't aware of it while I was doing it, it must have been subconscious, lol I have a running joke with a friend of mine, any time we look at someone's art, whether it be in a gallery or on a blog, one of us, at some point, will say "Do you see what they're doing? They're playing with ideas of scale!". It's quite possible that that was rattling around somewhere in my head during the making of this piece.

Supplies I used included:
Our ever-generous sponsor Simon Says Stamp is offering a $50 gift voucher as the prize again this week, just make something for the challenge and you could the winner! The winner will be chosen at random from those who enter the challenge, so why not give it a try? At the very least why not head over to the Challenge Blog to see how the other members of the design team have interpreted this weeks theme! :)


Erum Tasneem said...

This looks so fabulous and thank you for the detailed explanation.

Julian said...

There's so much skill in a piece like this, it seems to me. Not so much in the construction of each panel (though they are beautifully executed) but in their placement with respect to one another. You've created something much more complete than any single tile could ever be, surfacing interesting meanings through the juxtaposition of all the elements. And yes, I see the scale thing! A very beautiful piece. I think you are in the zone!

Andrea said...

Dan another quality piece from yourself and sorry I have never heard of the artist you were referring to and now forgot her name, but love your art as ever x

Glen said...

WOW Dan! A lot of detail and lots of explanation means you must have been up all night to blog! *Ü* I like the idea of the patchwork design. Maybe you could invest in a stencil cutting iron/wand. I think I paid about £20 for mine quite a few years ago and used it several times back then - making an Egyptian Sphinx for my college work in Interior Design. Thank you for the inspiration and reminding me I have another tool that has been dormant for a while! LOL. ~Glen~

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Wow Dan what a creative piece, I love how you cut your own stencils and applied them in your piece. Love the moulded hand too, very clever. Loved finding out a little more about your inspiration. This is a fabulous unique piece and I really must look up the artist and take a look. Tracy x

Anonymous said...

Totally in love with this and all the details you shared! I have quite the mental picture of your stencil adventure! Looking forward to working with you on the team! - Ashli

Candy C said...

Dan...I love this! You really did a lot of behind the scenes work on this one! Love the images from the stencils you made. You are quite a talent! Oh... And thanks for sharing your inspiration. Wink... Hugs, Candy

mark gould said...

wow. very cool, so much work has gone into this and it has paid off fantastically. great job.

misteejay said...

I love the effect of each panel on the whole item. Great piece Dan.

Toni xx

email: said...

Very cool creation, Dan I especially love the way you bound all the small pieces together with the tiny attacher, provided a cool effect!

Simon Says Stamp!

Marijke said...

just fabulous, love it

Anna-Karin said...

Wow this is gorgeous! Love all the squares and the way you stapled them together. Fabulous!

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