Thursday, May 15, 2014

Exploring My Creepy Side

Don't judge me but I have a creepy side. When traveling, I visit cemeteries and marvel at how people commemorate those they've lost. Sometimes the markers are very simple as if there is no way to express the enormity of the loss; sometimes there are elaborate sculptures that depict a grief that will last as long as the statues stand. This love of the quiet and expression of graveyards inspired a new art series.

The sentences were pulled directly from a book.

But I wanted to try a different direction with my cemetery photography so it was time for art journal experimentation. I found this woman’s face on her gravestone. It has survived there for more than 120 years. There she was looking out from eternity.

One of the things that makes this a little more creepy is that the woman looks like she could have been related to my grandmother.

But instead of keeping with the monochromatic of the gravestone, I decided to place her in a field of stylized realism such as green grass and blue sky.

The black lines were from a charcoal pencil, smudged. When the lines got too thick, I used a little rubbing alcohol, which also took a little extra paint.

Again, using my own photography, I made a black and white laser copy of the graveyard scene. I transferred the image onto the page using matte medium; I could have just pasted the copy directly onto the page, but I wanted to avoid the obvious edge the paper would have left. I then painted around gravestones using a dark green acrylic paint. Once dry I added a layer of very light green paint, applied haphazardly.

The image transfer had lots of grass and barns in the background. The layers of paint kept the feeling of grass without the noise of the original image.

When I showed the page to my husband, the only thing he said was, “Creepy.” That reaction made me very happy. While the colors I used are usually associated with a light or happy feeling, they did not overwhelm the seriousness or other world quality that I wanted.
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