Dance Shrines – Current Inspiration

I’ve blogged about my little shrine assemblages many times and I am happy to say that I am at the end of the exploration. This past month I used up the last of my little wooden plaques in the best set of shrines I have created to date!

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The latest series of shrines are all dedicated to my love of dance, specifically tribal fusion belly dance, which I have been practicing on and off for the past 6 years. This last summer I jumped back into the practice and it has been so rich and fulfilling that I felt called to make art that came from the inspiration I feel from the colorful costumes and intricate dancing. I also want to shout out to my troupe, The Tribal Misfits, for being such fun to dance with and to my instructor Ashanti, who is one of the most creative people I have ever met. Thanks!

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Creating the shrines boils down to three steps:

First I find and create the focal image for the shrine. For this collection I used stills from performances of myself and other troupe members. I started looking for fresh images but eventually came back around to using images from my elements series I created in 2014. I then set about watercoloring the dancing figures on watercolor, which is one of my most treasured art activities.

 

Second, I decorate the actual wooden part of the shrine. IMG_8348.JPGThis generally involves a combination of decoupage, painting, and spontaneity. Decoupage is the lovely process of gluing papers and other decorative pieces to an object. I like combining handmade papers, tissue papers, and recycled clippings from cards, gift wrap, and other notions to create a blend of layers and colors. I also decided to spray paint some of the shrines, and also revisit some old patterns drawn on with paint pen that I loved back in 2014. I like all the different textures created from the different techniques.

Third, I put the two pieces together, integrating the dancing figures into the decorated shrine. This sometimes involves adding additional elements to blend the foreground with the background and other times simply means gluing the figure on top of everything to create a more bold composition. I have two of each figure in this series, which appeals to my sense of variety.

I was also pleased to resolve to shrines that had been lying around in my studio unfinished since I started working with them in 2014. They’ve traveled halfway across the country and back, and it feels so good to say with confidence that they are complete!

These shrines, and others, will be for sale at A Place to B’s Summertime Swap and Sell on July 22nd.

If you can’t wait till then – please contact me!

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Day 6: Circle Sculpture Shrines

The results are in. Punches are amazing and I like working with created paper textures. Here are the shrines I finished using the watercolor circles I made a few days ago. The circles are stacked using these awesome double-sided foam stickers. I hope you like them.

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Day 2: Deconstructing Paintings

I did paint today and yesterday but the paint is still drying so I don’t have a picture to post yet for the challenge. What I do have are pictures of my extremely satisfying experiment in deconstruction. I originally painted those 16 watercolors so that I would have something to collage with for 4 more shrines I am working on. I like working in series of 4 cause its lends itself to so many themes: the directions, the elements, the seasons, and so on.

IMG_1912The four shrines that inspired the watercolors.

I want to layer circles onto the shrines to build them up. I don’t know if I will add in figures or leave them pretty abstract. I will have to see what happens with the circles. To make all the circles I splurged and bought new punches. I am SO happy with them!

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I punched lots and lots and lots of circles in the three sizes of punch I bought. It was so satisfying to look at the watercolors from a new perspective, punching out tiny vignettes from within the larger painting. It was also deliciously fun to punch out the shapes. The punches are really powerful, so even though it was cutting through relatively thick paper it made clean shapes. And they flew across the room from the force of it, which was delightful.

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In the end I not only had plenty of circles to collage with but I also transformed the watercolors into something new and extremely interesting. I’m super excited with the result. They have a really pleasing sense of randomness that I couldn’t have achieved if my eye was trying to create it. I’ve included a slideshow of the best ones. Let me know what you think of my deconstructed watercolor paintings in the comments.

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