For my second class, I decided to really stretch myself by taking a class with Andrea Matus deMeng. I have been a huge fan of Frida Kahlo since I was thirteen years old so I was immediately attracted by the subject matter of her class. Andrea taught us to collage on a large scale using Frida Kahlo as inspiration. Here is an example of Andrea's work:
|(photo borrowed from and owned by Andrea Matus deMeng)|
My work table is in the foreground. Although I dearly love Frida, I have been disappointed at how popular and mainstream she has become over the years. I already have plenty of Frida items in my house. I decided to use my grandmother's face in my piece.
Our first task was to cover the canvas with a variety of papers for the background:
Next, we started laying out our image. Andrea called it "auditioning." We took the time to cut out images and shapes and lay them out with our face images:
This was REALLY hard for me! I got blocked and needed Andrea's help. I had so many botanical images but it really needed some architectural elements. Luckily, a classmate had brought a pile of postcards to share and many were of buildings from around the world! I used an Indian palace in the headdress and Arabic doorways for the shoulders. Andrea gave me the idea of hanging butterfly wings down over the forehead for a pop of color.
The next frustrating part was the body:
I just couldn't get it to look the way I wanted!!!
Next, we had to sweep aside our "audition" to create a color wash on the canvas:
Then, it was time to start collaging down the elements:
In a last minute attempt to unify the torso and emulate with Andrea did with her Frida piece, I tried dripping a dark blue paint along the bottom. It wouldn't drip. I ended up wiping most of it off.
I still need to figure out how to handle the torso. I am planning on using some pastels to define the outline of both the main image and the diamonds. I think if I smudge some black around them, the images will pop more. I also need to define the edges of the canvas. And it needs something in the top center!!! I have an idea but we'll see if I can execute it!
I learned a lot from Andrea. It was intimidating to try something this big. I still struggle with scale and trying to figure out how to the fill the canvas. I would definitely take another class with Andrea, though!
Attending ART IS YOU Petaluma:
Next year's ART IS YOU will be April 22-26, 2015. You can join the mailing list now so that you will know when registration opens. I STRONGLY suggest you attend at least two days. This event is kind of like summer camp for artsy-craftsy types. Most people come and take classes for four or five days. A lot of bonding occurs. If you only come for one day, you really miss out on plugging into all of that energy and camaraderie. I can't wait for next year!!!