An old friend and wonderful artist, Susan Morgan Hoth, not only paints gorgeous, one-of-a-kind silk scarves, she also collects and sells vintage jewelry, ephemera and memorabilia in her LaVogue Esty shop. When she looked at my artwork created by collaging vintage images that I had been posting to my blog and facebook page, she offered to mail me some imperfect vintage magazine ads that were slightly damaged. Naturally I jumped at the chance.
Part of me wanted to scan them and use printouts to create new art. The other part of me said "she is going to throw them out anyway, so just dig in and use the originals." I started with an ad for lemons and timidly put some sections of Cecilia Swatton Kalidescope Stencils in the background using soft colored, brush tipped markers.
It looked kind of cool, but didn't make a statement, so I decided to try and emphasize the retro-housewife theme with a Jane Davenport face stencil. That looked interesting, but didn't make much sense, so I added lines for the neck, some color, and a Jill K. Berry compas rose star stencil on the cheek, and a steampunk stencil on the top of the head to suggest a hat, then on the neck to suggest a necklace or blouse. I used a big white brush marker on the face to add interest.
The piece seemed almost done, but I wanted the whites to pop more, so I used white gouache and re-painted the whole face. Gouache (prononuced g'wash) which is basically a high quality tempra, was the paint of choice when I was studying textile design, so it is often my "go-to" paint.
After the addition of the white gouache, I liked it. It didn't really say "retro housewife serving delicious homemade food made from lemons" as I had intended. The plate goes through the nose and ended up looking like a giant piercing, and the fork goes through her eye, which is kind of scary. The face ended up being more 2014 than 1940, but that's the way art is—you never know quite what will happen but the journey and process is always fun.