Artfest, Day 3-Veils of Psyche

Some days, things just go right.
Like my second day of Artfest classes, in "Veils of Psyche" with Andrea Matus: things started out well and just got better. Andrea started us off composing our pieces much like I do at home:
siddown and start layering the "veils" or elements on the floor to see how they fit. Or don't.
In addition to our own paper stashes, Andrea gave us more in our class packet. There were sweet fairy and flowery bits, but also graphic scrapbook papers more suited to the image I photocopied.
Courtesy Library of Congress
All was well at first... the focal point was compelling, I had some metal ephemera that underlined the subject's masculinity but didn't "otherize" him into a dime-store wooden Indian stereotype, and Andrea helped me with the paper layout.
But she warned us: there will be a point where you panic and think it's crap. You'll either think it's ruined, or about to be -- but DON'T STOP! (because you can usually rearrange or salvage things). And when I began painting the man's face, the flow was fantastic... so much so that I started to feel like I was racing on a thoroughbred and I wasn't sure I'd make the turn. What do I do next?! How do I keep from plunging headlong into disaster?!
You step back and reassess, is what you do. Andrea took me and the piece outside so I could catch my breath... she stepped back so I could see it from another angle... and talked me down.

Breathe.

And then I began the scramble to get everything down on the substrate before critique time. (I never finish early.)
And things just went right for pretty much the entire class.
I've since polished up a few things here and there, and here's the completed piece:
Look at his chin: These are the words that shoved me into the man's internal story:
-- The land is ours, papa. -- No, sir, it is his. How could I not use that conversation snippet?
That obscured compass under a faceted watch face...
the extension of his hair highlights into the metal stencil...
the paper fence echoing the toy one (the missing posts are placed in his headband)...
and the verdigris I extended into the background paper, and onto the watch to echo the pale green paper Andrea gave me...
The piece just took off running and carried me with it.

As I was working in class, a woman named Karla oohed and ahhhed over it, and said she'd consider buying it because she loves Native Americans depicted in art. So in a daze, I gave her one of my cards and went back to flinging paint. Should I hold it for her, or should it be available now to you if you're reading and you want it? Tell me in the comments or email me!

Next up: Vendor Night, in which I survive the stampede and come out sparkling.
Posted on April 14, 2011 and filed under "Artfest", "dimensional collage", "portraits".