Who to choose as "Dr. Evil"? One popular choice comes immediately to mind, but my darker side kept chanting 'Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal Lecter". ("Silence of the Lambs" is a masterpiece of a psychological thriller and one of my favorite movies. Thomas Harris is a brilliant author and if you haven't read his books, you are missing out. But I digress.) I gave Lecter a try with a few different images, but it just wasn't happening. So I settled on my second choice and began to pull together a few telltale elements. Every piece of this card is a clue, so I won't reveal here who is "Dr. Evil". (Spoiler alert: don't look at my Flickr photostream.) No great mystery, I am not that profound. I just thought it would be fun to include a little riddle with this post. Sooooo . . . who is it? Theory holds that this individual was, in real life, a physician. Hence, I've got the "Doctor" part of the card theme covered. "Evil." His acts were grotesquely so. Read the fine print on the transparency. (Life advice: read the fine print on EVERYTHING.) The spatter, the neurological affliction that could only explain his behavior. The torn fabric, the razor (it is a safety razor, the kind you use for eyebrow shaping), the vintage paper that counts to the number six. And lastly, the twine, a miniature version of rope. No greater a dark figure in true crime history.
"Musician" was a much easier man to tackle. Not that I tackle that many men . . . but you know what I mean. I am a huge Louis Armstrong fan. "What A Wonderful World" is my all-time favorite song. Chokes me up every time. There are many, many images available of Satchmo, but this one of him in silhouette, standing on stage, reaching out to the crowd, is silently strong. I wanted to stick with that tone, so I did a simple, graphic card. The background is simply brayered acrylics. I did not prepare the background specifically for this card. It is something I had laying around for ages and was glad that I kept it stashed away for so long. Gotta love it when you have something on hand that fits the bill. The image of Louis is a contact paper transfer. I then attached a brass "L" and a fleur-de-lis rub on. The fleur-de-lis is a nod to his New Orleans roots. The card itself did not need further embellishment but it needed something. That ever elusive, dreaded SOMETHING that nags at you until you are satisfied. After some tinkering, I decided that it would look best matted against a jet black background. So I painted a mat board card with bone black acrylic, slightly trimmed the ATC and stuck the two together. Done and satisfied. Sometimes simple is the best.
Lastly, I had to come up with a biker boy. This gave me hell. No other way to put it. I tried images of Jesse James, Paul Tuttle, Marlon Brando from "The Wild One", etc., etc. and nothing worked. I have trouble using contemporary images in my cards. Nothing wrong with them, they just don't seem to work for me. So after looking and looking, I found this cool pic of a vintage motorcyclist and decided to give it a go. The background colors are crimson and payne's grey acrylics. I then collaged a piece of pattern tissue over the acrylics with beeswax. The image was then added with more beeswax and the whole piece buffed with a cloth. This really brought out the deep tones of the paints. The button was added to further the vintage theme and that is when the title of the card came to mind: "Slow Ride". I probably could have left the card as done then, but it needed another final touch. Gold leaf was added along the edges and top of the card by simply laying the gold leaf over the surface and running a stylus tip down the edges in a line. I got a little carried away at the top of the card and am not totally happy with how it turned out, but it was an experiment and next time I will be a little more precise with my placement. By the way, applying gold leaf to beeswax is not my invention. I learned this from the mega-talented Judy Wise whose encaustic work I absolutely adore. She was so gracious to share with me at Art & Soul in Portland how she employed this technique. If you have a chance to meet her, take a class or buy her work, do so. She is very gifted and one of the most genuine souls you will ever meet.
The boys have all been bundled up and shipped off to the UK for the swap. It truly was challenging to use men based themes. Certainly gave my mojo a kick start. Here's hoping it stays with me for a while.
Hope you all had a great, creative weekend and look forward to checking in on your blogs.
Ciao for now.