Sunday, March 15, 2009

THREE MEN AND A RIDDLE

Dr. Evil, Musician, Biker Boy. Those were the remaining three titles for the men themed cards I had to complete this weekend. After Lincoln, I wasn't sure if I had used up my creative quota, but I had work to do and so I brainstormed. Or at least it feels like my brain has been through a storm, but it may just be the Sunday dinner wine.


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.


Shelly

25 comments:

Seth said...

Great job on this series Shelly. Mighty creative. Much favorites are Lincoln and Dr. Evil. But they are all great!

Stempelchaotin said...

Wow wow wow wow wow wow these are absolutely stunning. Amazing work. I love them all.

Sanja said...

fabulos work,Shelly!
xoxo
Sanja

Sam Marshall said...

These are fantastic. I especially love Dr. Evil.

ArtSnark said...

Great work, Shelly! I'm going to take a stab *groan* at the secret identity of Dr. Evil .... Jack the Ripper?

Your gentlemen are all so eye-catching - if you hadn't swapped him, I'd be begging to take the Doc off your hands. It is a really brilliant piece and right up my alley. There is a very lucky swapper out there

Elena said...

Not only do I love your cards which are spectacular, I love your thought processes in creating them. I try never to "overthink" my cards (besides, "thinking" burns brain cells!!!!) but I love your methodic way of creating. Great Job!

crafty capers said...

These are soooooo cool. I just love that biker boy :-) Fab technique of acrylics / beeswax. Lovely job! Kate

Jackie said...

I don't know how you think of them all and then where to find the images? Great work.

Lady Di said...

Your Lucky Dip Men are fabulous and four very special someones will definitely be lucky to receive them in the swap ... Dr Evil has to be Jack the Ripper, well that's what I thought when I first saw it in your album on Advanced ATCs and I truly love your detailed words to describe how you got to your finished piece. Judy Wise is going to be one of the tutors at next year's Creative Soul Retreat in Melbourne ... and I'm definitely going after the awesome one I just attended this weekend. Well done on the creativity Shelly, you've done an awesome job.

Dayna Collins said...

A man-themed swap is very inventive and I love your cards. You write beautifully, too!

ArtSnark said...

Shelly, I posted a pic of Dr. Evil on my blog today & credit & links back to you.(I'm telling ya, I'm crazy about the guy). If that is not cool, just let me know & I'll remove ASAP....

createitcottage said...

These are awesome! I especially like Dr. Evil and I love Silence of the Lambs. It's not often you see men in art and these are so well done!

Viola said...

Great job, Shelly! Look all fabulous!! :o)

slommler said...

Jack the Ripper is fantastic...as are all the cards. Love the sharing of your thought process too. Fabulous darling!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Gaby Bee said...

I love the inspiration I get from your Blog. Great series! So well done with perfect details.I love them all but I especially like that biker boy!
Enjoyed the visit today...
Gaby xo

PeregrineBlue said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and commenting. Coming from you, that is a true honor. I love yours and have often used it as a stepping stone in my journey.

Lynne Larkin said...

Shelly--First off. I love your MEN!!
the biker is my favorite! Thank you for the mention in your blog. You are so thoughtful. Best regards,
Lynne

Judy said...

Wow Shelly this is truly amazing - the last one is my fav so powerful - love it. Thanks for my blog comments too. Hope all is well over there.

Kim said...

Fabulous work Shelly just great and a little spooky. But tell me seriously, you use that thing for eyebrows!!! Even Jack might have drawn the line at that thing LOL.

vintagepix said...

Love these guys - Dr. Evil is my favorite (tho' I wouldn't want to run into him in a dark alley or well-lit examining room)
:D
Carolyn

Robyn said...

Great work Shelly. My favourite is Dr Evil...Is he Jack the Ripper?

Elaine Kerr said...

Wonderful wonderful art, Shelly.

I can tell you right now, and I know this from personal experience, "Biker Boy" (or Bicycle Boy will get you more hits than any other word you can think of. Attracts quite a crowd, LOL, and they'll love him.

Bevlea said...

these are fabulous - but I esp like the doctor evil one.. the thought and meaning behind the composition of items is great!!

Barb said...

Doctor Evil???.. Now...could that be Jack the Ripper????

Ophelia said...

these are great shelly!!