This week I finished up my painting, “Concert Ready”. It took a little longer than expected, but I have a new helper in the studio. Meet Coco my new little calico kitten. She was a shelter kitty who stole my heart with her spunky yet sweet demeanor, and stumpy, crooked tail. Little bit is totally loving all the open space to run, jump and play, her new furry friends and mom’s art room too. That’s the most fun room cause it’s full of wonderful “toys” (ahem, art supplies) to play with.
Anyway, back to the painting ya’ll. For those of you who don’t know, I live in a wonderful area often referred to as the Shoals or Quad Cities. It’s four cities that bump up next to each other, Florence, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and probably the most well known, Muscle Shoals. If you’ve never been to this area, you should totally put it on your travel list. There are lots of wonderful shops, restaurants and things to do. One of the best is the W. C. Handy Music Festival. Once a year, the Shoals area is filled with music to celebrate the Florence native, William Christopher Handy, a.k.a. “The Father of Blues”.
So I’m sure by this point some of you are wondering, “how this is related to the painting?” Well, every year, the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts has an exhibit called “Mostly Blues” in honor of W.C. Handy and our area’s connection to the music world. The exhibiting artists get to create work that revolves around the central theme of music. Since there are no restrictions other than for the pieces to be music related, the exhibit ends up being really diverse and quite wonderful! A total must see.
This is my sixth year exhibiting, and it’s always fun and inspiring to do. If you have time, check the exhibit out. It will be open from July 12 through August 11, 2016.
Anyway, here’s the behind the scenes on this painting:
I went kind of 80s/90s this time around. I was thinking about being younger and how we thought we were cool with our mix tapes, crazy sunglasses and jewelry (jelly bracelets anyone?), and tickets to the coolest concerts. I never dyed my hair, though, grandma would have had a coronary (apparently, that is NOT what proper Southern ladies do), but I always wanted to dye it bright red, pink or purple. So, I figured this was my way of living out that teenage dream. I think she turned out wicked cool too.
To start, I gave the background a textured concrete wall feel, then went back and splatter painted a few bright colors on top. It was so much fun and turned out so cool looking. AND!! Here’s my first ever YouTube video of the splatter paint process!
After the background was dry, I textured the boom box and painted it and her figure. Just as is, she’s already looking wicked cool!
Next up was her clothing. I layered some fabric together to get the texture I was going for, then accented with buttons, metal trim, and embroidery thread.
For her hair, I found some really cool bright pink yarn that had a nice texture to it. Then finished it off with a crazy button hair-bow. I love how her hair turned out! Coco enjoyed this part too, as you can see:
I carved her shades out of balsa wood then I painted them a lime green to match the trim on her top. They still looked too plain, though, so I decided to add some glitter to the gloss paint sealer. Now they are cool!
Her jewelry is fun too. Back in the day, we rocked thumb rings, jelly bracelets, plastic rings and buttons on everything. My backpack in high school was covered in patches, buttons, beads and scribbled band names. It was probably the coolest thing I owned. I wish I still had it, but I think it got mixed up in the charity pile when we were cleaning out grandma’s house. I hope whoever got it knows they have the coolest backpack ever. Anyway…
For her tickets, I tinted some textured cardstock in coordinating colors and then I used a black pen to add the text and line details.
Last, but not least, no boom box is complete without lots of wire music notes spreading the music out to those around her.
Anyway, I hope ya’ll love the painting as much as I do, and get to go see the exhibit.
Also, I know my first post of the month is usually an Art Challenge, but I couldn’t wait to share this with ya’ll. Check back, though, I promise, the July Art Challenge post will be coming soon!
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