Early Birds and Night Owls

I’m an early bird.  At this time of year, the sky has just barely started to brighten as I emerge from BART to walk to work. Then, like a cruel trick, daylight savings steals even that bit of welcome light from me, and I have to wait again for the spring sun to rise earlier. George is a night owl. He’s ecstatic that he’ll have another hour of light in the evening. This is my blended photographic collage, for you night owls:

Barn owl pocket watch

And this is my latest collage, with the same pocket watch photograph, for early birds like me.

 Hummingbird watch collag

Whichever you are, don’t forget to spring ahead tonight!

The Owl and the Pocket Watch

When I’m having a creative block, one thing that gets me moving is a deadline. An art group I’m in issued a challenge: create a design using a pocket watch. Deadline: one month. Scouring the house turned up no less than three pocket watches! I chose the oldest, a broken one that I bought at a garage sale with the intent to take it apart to use in my mixed media artwork. Here’s the base photo:

Pocket watchI took out the background and drew on the watch to make it a little less clean-looking.

Pocket watch

Since my favorite thing to do is design fabric, I used elements of the cutout image to make some kaleidoscope designs, which often produce great fabrics. Here’s one:

Pocket watch kaleidoscope

That was okay, but I wasn’t satisfied. I decided to switch gears (no pun intended) to make a blended collage. What image would work with the watch face? I have a folder on my computer of what I consider to be my best photos, and when I opened it, look who jumped out at me:

Barn owl

Now we’re talking! I was very happy with a few of the different blended images I came up with. I liked this one best:

Barn owl pocket watch

I printed variations of the collage onto heat transfer paper and decorated a wooden box, but will leave photos of that for another day.

Have you used the pressure of a deadline to make yourself get to work? I’d love to hear how that went and what you created.

Wingspread Mixed-Media Art Doll

Wingspread Art Doll

Wingspread Art Doll

Meet “Wingspread,” a mixed-media art doll that I created, using several different techniques to transfer or attach my original photographs and designs to the soft stuffed cotton doll. Most of Wings’ body is decorated with fragments of my Golden Butterfly” photo collage. I used Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) to transfer the Golden Butterfly design to the doll.

Wingspread Art Doll - back

Wingspread Art Doll - back

Here’s Wingspread’s back.  The back of her (his?) head is a TAP transfer of my mandala design that I made from my photos of a monarch butterfly wing and a peacock feather.   This is the image:

And here’s a closeup of the wings on the back:

Anise swallowtail butterfly wing on lutradur

For the large wing on the right side I printed my photo of an anise swallowtail butterfly’s spread wing on lutradur coated with Golden’s Digital Ground. I stitched the wing to the center of the back. I also added a small metal wing, and a dangle of pearl, metal and glass beads.

Wingspread’s headdress is made from beautiful black and white striped hen feathers from Barred Rock hens. They are affixed to the head through another piece of lutradur, which I printed using my photo collage of the open wing of a Barred Rock hen.

Wings wears a colorful bowtie, which I made from my original design fabric.

Wingspread is a bit over 20 inches tall, including the feather headdress.  I love art dolls, and it was so fun to make this one, incorporating my butterfly photos and designs, and using so many different techniques and products.   You can see more pictures at my Artfire gallery.  Have you ever made an art doll?  What materials did you use?