Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Perfect Hostess Throws the Perfect Playdate.

LINDA is absolutely the hostess with the mostess. She invited a group of us over to make shrines at her fabulous "farmhouse" with its great big playroom in the basement. If you click on the link under Linda's name, you will be taken to the Web site she and her family have for their letterboxing adventures. You will also see her wonderful home. The view is terrific from the living room window. Well, actually, every window has a great view.
Before I left for our afternoon art adventure, however, Nikki came by to claim her prize for being the 2,000th person to visit this blog. That's been a while ago, but we finally connected. She got her framed lady-face picture - with other collaged images and trinkets - and it was good to visit on a sunny afternoon. This is Nikki, her daughter Caitlyn and the picture.
Back to our trip to Linda's house: JoAnn picked me up, then we got Sylvia and Darlene followed us in her car. It was a short over the river, almost through the woods and we were there.
Dawn arrived minutes after us and we all trooped down to the basement and claimed our work spaces. There were the shrine pieces (back, walls and "floors") all cut out and painted with matte gel (both sides on the foam core board so it didn't warp) so we were all ready to begin. I went in a couple of different directions with the materials. There was a four-armed Indian Ganesha finger puppet. It appealed to me, but the Mexican influence called strongly. I gave in willingly.
I painted the walls and floors on one side and papered them on the other. Very colorful paper, too. Linda put on great, inspirational music - Mexican folk music and then we visited other countries with reggae and Irish music. Very international afternoon.
Here is JoAnn, at right, dabbing purple paint on gold. A great way to decorate the back and top of the shrine.
Below are Linda's elegant hands painting the edges of the box - four pieces glued together at the corners - that will then be glued onto what is the base (or back) of the shrine. Following me here? I hope so.
Sylvia's shrine (below) is taking shape. I love the goldy-orange of this paper and borrowed a piece for my own project. Linda had lots of milagros, devil heads and skulls and pictures we could cut out. She was just so generous!
We worked along until finally someone noticed it was getting to be "hungry time," so we took a break. We pretty much all agreed that art captured our attention so completely that it was one activity where we didn't much notice the passage of time.
Upstairs, we had pumpkin scones, plums, tasty tofu dip, fresh veggies, blueberry cake and apple slices with delish caramel dipping sauce. After eating and conversing, with a cup of tea in hand we went at it again. Back to the shrines.
Darlene had brought some recycled wooden pieces with her and decorated those as a shrine. This is her piece with the two bowed wooden pieces on top. I liked the tin hearts. I'd like to find more and try those out.
Dawn's shrine had the purple-blue background with a mermaid and other images and a devil head in the center box.
I think I told you we were making Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) shrines, but not so. These shrines are just in honor or remembrance of someone or something. They are artworks and not for that holiday.
JoAnn's shrine (right) has dried marigold petals in the glass ball. (The dead can find their way home with the scent of marigolds.) I like her stack o' skulls, too. Hanging things from ribbon was an inspiration. It's easy to make holes through the foam core board and then knot the ribbon above.
Here is Sylvia's finished shrine with a lovely rat on top. This "enclosure" with the crosses on top is really neat, with the skull picture inside decorated with flowers. I also like the skulls she used. And the jeweled flowers. Nice touch.
Linda's gent in the tuxedo and wings adds a slightly sinister edge to this shrine, I think, along with the heart. He looks like Mr. Heartbreak to me, the angel who comes at the end of a love affair. (Maybe not. I'll wait to hear from the artist on this one.)
And here is mine (left). I call it "Defending the Homestead." I didn't like the senora as much as the Ganesha, but when I put the pistola in her hand she took on a whole new dimension. I would imagine sharp shooting was a handy skill back on the Mexican frontier during the Revolution.
All in all, we had a great day. If you're still reading with me, congratulations. I hope you'll try your own shrine. Out of foam core board, cut out one "house-shaped" piece, paint both sides with gel medium; cut out two longer skinny pieces foam core and two skinny shorter pieces, coat both sides with gel; let dry; paint everything or cover with paper; glue together those four pieces into a four-sided enclosure; glue to house-shaped piece; stick inside whatever fits your theme. I may make one for Hanukkah - femminismo


Candace said...

Wow, Jeanne! These shrines are just fantastic! "Defending the Homeland"... sweeeeet! Edgar is also lots of fun and I just did not expect to see such colourful imagery throughout. Two thumbs up -- or four in Ganesha's case.

Thanks so much for sharing this latest adventure with Art Shenanigans. It's obvious you and the others had a great time!

artgirly said...

Oh I love these shrines! I am a big day of the dead fan! Great job!
tootles, Nicole