Monthly Archives: April 2018

Trash 2 Treasure

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The expression “Time flies when you’re having fun,” used to feel right. These days, however, the time seems to slip through my fingers no matter what I’m doing. I blink and a week is gone. I yawn and it’s a month. I sleep a little and discover it’s been five months since I wrote here last. (Sheesh!)

Much has happened at the Cockeyed Colorist in recent months. Lochinvar and I have taken our kits and original art to the Fountain Festival, the Mesa Arts Festival, the Great Fair, and the Tempe Festival of the Arts. In addition, I currently have three pieces in the spring show at The Grotto Gallery while Lochinvar has reinvented our festival set up to emphasize our new branding efforts which are leading to a new website (coming soon). Whew! As part of our brand building, I have decided to focus my work on upcycling items, so I have new piece that I’m excited to share with you.

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I picked up this child-size violin at a local flea market.

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As you can see, I had to remove a good deal of industrial glue with bits of synthetic wreath buried in it.

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After a plenty of scraping and sanding, most of the goo came off.

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Some of it was pretty stubborn, though, and refused to be separated from the violin.

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A couple coats of Gesso and some chalk paint covered most of the flaws.

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The fun part starts here. I used a gold paint pen to add some highlights around the holes in the body and at the top of the neck.

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Next, I dipped some old silk flowers in plaster of Paris to give them the look of porcelain.

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While the flowers dried, I painted some wooden keys and put them through the peg holes to hold the “strings.”

 

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Pearl trim serves as strings with an old button cover holding them together on the body.

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Next, I added the flowers which covered up the imperfections that were still visible through the paint.

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Of course, the flowers needed some jewelry, too, so I added some pearl beads to finish them off.

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For the background, I scanned old photos and drawings of women from a variety of eras into my computer and printed them in sepia. After layering them on a backer board, I used permanent markers and oil pastels to add “make up,” creating some painted ladies. I also gave some of them necklaces and glittery buttons using pieces of old jewelry.

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Next, I dropped the background into a frame that we found on a “junking” trip to Tucson. (Of course, I HAD to add a little pearly silver highlight to the frame before adding my dressed up girls!) Then, Lochinvar attached the violin to the backer board with careful measurements and small screws.

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In the final step, I added more embellishments in the form of flowers under the violin’s neck, a couple of small frames for my lovely ladies, and extra pieces of jewelry to add just a little more sparkle. (After all, a girl needs her jewelry!)

After spending several weeks working on this piece a little at a time, I’m happy to see it finished and excited to find more items like this violin that need a new lease on life. This piece is a stylistic change for me, but the idea of turning someone else’s trash into a treasure is what I really love about art and a thread that runs throughout my work.

 

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