When I was gearing up for the Artists' Garage Sale a while ago...
I thought maybe I needed more new inventory for the occasion, something more dimensional than a print. So I turned to some Library of Congress images to paint over, and found this woman.
Courtesy Library of Congress
(Dang, that collar and dress together is just... whoa. Anyway.) Although she's in a fairly standard studio pose, she seems to radiate an emotional distance. An iciness that can't be completely cracked open.
Which made me think, hmmm... an ice queen... surrounded by wintry whiteness... I have lots of textured white papers. Hey... "pure as the driven snow." So I incorporated a page of old text containing the words "purity" under her cheekbone, and "purification" at her chin.
Of course an ice queen would need a castle, preferably with a good lookout tower.
Castles need walls... Walls, walls, what do I have that looks like walls or -- BRICKS! I built bricks from wooden squares I never used for another project, and layered them with extra-coarse pumice gel I bought with my Golden Award (thanks, Tracy Fraker and Lynn Scott!).
But castle gates have to open at some point, even just once.
And even impenetrable fortress walls crumble.
The barricading of the inner person, the illusion of purity and perfection... that's how the original image struck me. In that spirit, I'm calling my painted-over version "Impenetrable." The piece stands 12" x 24",  and incorporates paper, old text, metal findings, acrylics and pumice gel.
I'm not yet certain where I'm going to offer this piece for sale. But I have a few ideas, and some layouts for a couple more dimensional wall pieces.