Here's a sneak peak of today's project:
So what are "the Whatevers"? -you ask. Well, basically, three artist friends, Nathalie Kalbach, Cat Scanlon, and Vicki Crisman made a one-year commitment to each other to post monthly antique photos of people they don't know anything about to make art with...around an imagined story about the photo. They are "the Whatevers". Each artist posted their stories and artwork on their blogs and on this Facebook Page: The Whatevers -Creative Storytelling and invited others to play along. Although I didn't participate in the challenge, I loved the idea, and when I happened upon Nathalie's final post of the Whatevers series, I had a lightbulb moment!
I remembered a bin of old photos that my Jim's mom, Evelyn Hall Beckman, had saved that was passed down to me. So many of these old images...ghosts of the past...invite the imagination to create possible scenarios of lives they might have lived. This photo of an unknown young girl really intrigued me...
I imagined that she was shy and quite reserved...living in a conservative household, ruled by a strict and controlling preacher-father. -But he couldn't control her dreams. She dreamt that someday she would grow into a glamorous woman with colorful clothes, fancy feathered hats, and a flirtatious smile.
-That would be the story that would inspire my mixed media piece! I headed straight for my Graphic 45 Ladies Diary papers. I love this image of this elegant lady and decided to fussy-cut her for my piece.
Then I gathered all the other items that I thought I may want to add...lace, pearls, flowers.
Now it's time to adhere the first layer, then some lace...
I used Decoupage this time, but Mod Podge, or any similar medium that dries clear would work just as well. I added some diary pages, then the treasured photo.
Normally, I would use a scan of the antique photo, but this time I wanted to use the original, since I had two copies, and felt that she deserved a place of honor. I also thought the 3-D effect of the original cardboard frame would add to the interest of the piece. -Don't you just love the way these old photos were framed?
To me, this girl peaking out of the oval opening of the frame looked like she was trapped in a mirror -gazing out into her dream-world, giving power to the storytelling.
I actually decided to move the photo after I adhered it down, and a thin layer of the old cardboard pealed away. I panicked for a nano-second, and then realized how much I loved the effect. -It gives the photo movement and the suggestion of age and misplacement.
Loving how this is coming together... The small embellishment under the left of the oval is from an old business card from Jim's mom's memorabilia. Now for some fun...
Lace and pearls...what little girls' dreams are made of...
Isn't that fun? So let's not stop there...
There was a really amazing photo in Evelyn's bin taken at the Oak Bluffs Gingerbread Cottages in 1907!!!! I scanned this one in for another mixed media piece.
This time my story was quite simple...a family reunion on Memorial Day weekend on Martha's Vineyard. The men are off on a manly adventure...leaving the women behind to prepare the family feast and catch up on all the gossip...when the photographer happened by.
For this piece, I just wanted to transport the viewer back to that era, so I reached for my stash of aged papers, Tim Holtz goodies, and Evelyn Beckman's box of treasures.
Here's the finished piece, titled after the photo, "Season 1907":
Isn't this just so much fun? I love the fact that I happened to have a fabulous sheet of scrapbooking paper that actually had the date "Friday, May 31, 1907" printed on it!!!!!
I tucked-in this little card that had been given to Evelyn. It reads: "My Dear Friend, Pure as this Italian Marble, May your life ever be, And when you look at this card, Think of me." -Signed D.B.W. Isn't that just the sweetest rhyme?
I also love the images of the antique children's "ABC" cards. -And the bird cages are such a fun contrast to the birds sitting on the wire on the background paper. I imagine women in my story often felt like caged birds in their heavy garbs and restricted activities.
This piece was created more like a scrapbook page, with the items simply glued on in layers. Protection was offered by placing it in a glass frame. Here I am with "Season 1907" at the Opening Reception of the 2013 Collage Show at Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs, MA:
I hope you enjoyed my post. My thanks to Nathalie, Cat & Vicki for their inspiration, and many thanks to Evelyn Beckman and my Jim, for holding on to these treasures so that I may have so much fun making art with them, and sharing them with others!
Passing it forward, Enikö