Thursday, April 08, 2010

My Obsession with Alice

As of late, I've had an obsession with Alice. I saw the new Alice movie last month and was "enchanted" with the artistry in the film...the costumes, the color (or lack of), the characters. It was all so "artsy". I wanted to see it again the next day, but didn't. Besides stirring the artist in me, I related to Alice in a strange way. Grown up Alice was "expected" to conform to society, she was expected to dress a certain way and marry a certain man and live a certain life. I tried this mold on for the past seven months. I took a corporate job, sat at a corporate desk, and brought home a corporate paycheck. But I was dying inside. After three months the artist inside of me was screaming to get out. Yet, I was so tired at the end of the day, that I couldn't physically do anything creative. After months of prayer and patiently waiting, I finally found my way out and couldn't be happier in my spirit.

The first thing I painted on my new journey - without consciously thinking about it - was - Alice. I was inspired by a recent issue of Somerset Studios magazine - their theme throughout the magazine was Alice. I picked it up on a recent trip to Texas, and I couldn't put it down. I also was inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts. But what turned me on to Kelly Roberts was this art post by Courtney Walsh. Courtney, you have no idea how much I was screaming on the inside while sitting at the corporate America desk bored out of my mind reading this post. I guess one just doesn't know how much we can effect the lives of someone else. Thank you for being the little white rabbit for me to follow. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the beginning of a journey.

So....I came home from our trip to Six Flags and opened my box of art supplies that the UPS man delivered the week before. (Yes, I haven't even opened the box because I knew once I did, there was no turning back) I followed the techniques in Kelly Robert's book and drawing from inspiration in the books and magazines, came up with this.

My main goal in this process was to "be free". I had to let go of any of my past artistic ways and just let things happen and deal with it. I used scrapbook paper (yeah - a new found use for my stash), a Martha Stewart punch, some stickers from a kit club (the butterfly), rubber stamp and ink, along with oil sticks, and acrylic paint. The words were an afterthought - I added them after I completed the painting shown below.

Which brings on my second attempt at mixed media collage. Again, here we go with Alice.

I used older Basic Grey papers, oil sticks, acrylic paint and a $5 12x12 multi-media canvas I found on sale. Love it when that happens.

Again, my goal was to practice the mixed media collage process again. I know that there is something unique to me that hasn't surfaced yet - a new set of series, but for now, I'm sticking with Alice. As I was thinking about my obsession with Alice, I was reminded of this song that I "found" when I was a nineteen. I found a tape (it was actually an 8-track tape and yes, I had an 8-track player in my car - so you can probably pinpoint the approximate year) that had this song on it. Want to hear it? It's worth the laugh because of the hair in the video. Here goes: Living Next Door To Alice

Thanks for stopping by today. Sorry to venture from my usually papercrafting posts!



Courtney Walsh said...

You are amazing, melanie!! These are sooo beautiful!! :) Yay!! I am so happy to see that you were inspired--much like I was--to dive into something new! :) Now, a question: are you using a black marker for your lines? I tried that on a recent painting and it came out SO harsh!!

I LOVE your versions of Alice! :) Beautiful!!

Melanie said...

THANK YOU Courtney!!! The black lines - all hand painted. Yeah - I know! I'm anal about outlining things in black. I have my other art up on my art blog...

Again - thank you!!!!

Courtney Walsh said...

whhhat? are you serious?? lol What kind of paintbrush are you using for that?? Especially the facial features. Mine are not coming out the way I want them to!!

Melanie said...

The smallest I can find...with the shorter hairs and fewest too. The long hairs are too hard to control. And you need extras b/c they get funky after alot of use. I try to buy then when there is a sale on brushes...the ones at hobby lobby are about $5 so when on sale it's even better. I'm loving the "Master's Touch" spotter. Nice and nubby. Need to get another.

Beatriz Farquhar Guzman said...

Melanie, this is fabulous! but what I appreciate the most is you sharing what you went through! I am glad you are back to being you.... an amazing and inspiring artist. Happy Thursday!

Audrey Pettit said...

What a cool post, Melanie! I'm so glad your spirit is set free. These canvases are amazing. Truly amazing. I would love to be able to paint like this.

Ann said...

Melanie - Your Alice is beautiful and I'm glad you found your way out of what was not real for you into that place of being you again. I know that feeling. hugs

Ann said...

Haha - Melanie, I noticed that my last name was not with my post and I'm thinking you'd never guess it was me commenting on your blog - that is Me/Ann Patrick. You're one of the people I keep an eye on.