Mask Series #7: Inside The Inner Workings

“Inside The Inner Workings” #7 of my mixed media Mask Series is finally complete! I used acrylic paints, flat-backed glass floral marbles, nail enamel paint, antique brass beads, copper wire, silver-tone metal findings, antique brass gears, zinc plated star washers, antique brass toggle clasps, silver-tone beads, antique silver eyelets, black/gold mesh fabric, copper stretch fabric, black with gold hologram dot fabric, black sequin fabric, white iridescent square printed fabric and put the elements together on an 11 x 14 canvas. The mask base is purple lace with hologram dot sequins scattered throughout. It’s embroidered in gold. I wanted to go for a Steampunk feel with this one. I feel like I got close but I’m not entirely certain. However, I’m really pleased with the result. I hope you’ll enjoy the photo! I have to thank John for herding cats so I could sign the artwork and then snap the shot. This piece is for sale. If you are interested, please contact me.

Mixed Media Mask Series #7, "Inside The Inner Workings," is complete!

Mixed Media Mask Series #7, “Inside The Inner Workings,” is complete!

“Happiness consists in activity. It is running steam, not a stagnant pool.” ~ John Mason Good

Mask Series #7: The Work Continues

I spent a good bit of time on mixed media artwork #7 in my mask series today. It’s coming along quite nicely. This one is entirely more complex than the previous pieces. I hope that translates to something truly nifty that people will enjoy, maybe do a double-take on. And I realize that just because I put a lot of time and effort into something doesn’t mean I’ll come out with something deemed “good.” On the other hand, I’m sure having a lot of fun putting it all together. It probably doesn’t seem like it to my family, though, as I’ve had to go on several scavenger hunts today, looking for specific items that I know I had on hand but couldn’t find. Drove me nuts! I really need a craft/art/sewing room. And one day, I’m sure it’ll happen. So here’s part of what I worked on today. It may not seem like much but it took quite a bit of time and I held my breath a lot. I purposely edited this photo with the colors sort of washed out. I don’t want to spoil the viewing when the artwork is complete. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments. I love to talk…would talk the ears off a mule sometimes. I try to tone it down a bit in replies, though. Stay tuned for more on this project!

This is where I am so far in my work on the background. There's still a good bit to do. So far my adhesive is working very well, and that's saying something. I'm not the gentlest person around, even though I try. Painted marbles, shiny fabrics, reflective fabrics, and a bit of copper wire...so much more to come!

This is where I am so far in my work on the background. There’s still a good bit to do. So far my adhesive is working very well, and that’s saying something. I’m not the gentlest person around, even though I try. Painted marbles, shiny fabrics, reflective fabrics, and a bit of copper wire…so much more to come! Jewelry for your wall! At least, I hope that’s what this will look like when it’s done. 🙂

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  Benjamin Franklin

Mask In Space!

I have to laugh. While attempting to come up with a catchy title, I tried several before ending up with this one. I talked my way around to the one you see and immediately after typing it in, I thought back to The Muppet Show’s ‘Pigs in Space’ segment. Too funny! On with the project update!

I started working on my second panel yesterday and finished it up today. It’s not complex, which seems to be what I notice most about mixed media art projects I’ve viewed. In fact, it puts me in mind of a coloring book. I think this one would look pretty cute in a little one’s room.

I painted the panel a solid black. I fingerpainted some galaxies, dotted on some stars, and painted in a few simple details with a brush. I swept a coat of hologram glitter paint over the whole thing. I used acrylic paints because they cover surfaces well and dry quickly but I still had to wait a few minutes between layers of paint.

Once the panel was painted, I moved on to making the embellishments. Honestly, I would’ve liked to do more with this but a small panel and a large mask left me little place to put anything else. I searched through my scrapbooking scrap paper envelope and found a cute space themed paper. It was regular, thin scrapbooking paper, though of a good quality. I wanted to make sure that the pieces I added would last for quite some time, even if the panel was never put into a frame. I decided to use Mod Podge to back the scrapbook paper with some card stock. It worked pretty well but the paper had a tendency to curl at the edges. I’m thinking thin cardboard would work better in the future. I cut out one martian ship and one ringed planet. I stuck some dimensional stickers on the back of my space objects and tried to stick them onto the panel. The dimensional stickers didn’t stick to the paint so I dabbed a bit of Fabri-tac onto each sticker and placed the objects where I wanted them.

Once those were in place, it was time to embellish and place the mask. This mask needed very little embellishment. I chose a green hologram fabric to make a horned mask, embroidered in pale gold. I added some antique brass eyelets at the ribbon holes. Then I had a big decision to make. I knew I wanted the “ribbons” to extend from the top of the panel, as if the mask was flying through space. I thought I might use some shiny gold ribbon, threaded through with gold beading wire but it seemed like it wouldn’t be strong enough to stand upright when put together. I opted for a heavier gauge copper jewelry wire instead. I cut two lengths for each tie. I then had four lengths of copper wire. I loosely twisted two of them together, then did the same with the other two lengths of wire. I popped one end of each tie through each ribbon eyelet and curled the ends in random patterns to hold the wires in place. I flipped the mask over and dabbed a bit of Fabri-tac at each eyelet to make sure the wires wouldn’t turn or slip. I also tacked each of the ties to another place on the back of the mask for added stability. When the glue was dry, I flipped my mask over to the right side and used Fabri-tac to stick it to the panel. I used my pliers to make zigzags in the wire ties to give them a more geometric feel.

It may not look very complex but I do like how it turned out. It’s fun to look at and it makes me smile. Here are the photos I took of the finished panel.

While trying to figure out the setting for my panel, I wondered what I could use as a little complimentary decoration. Last year, the kids put together a little robot. I thought he'd look good beside the panel. The colors didn't come through so well no matter what I used to edit it so I just had fun with this picture.

While trying to figure out the setting for my panel, I wondered what I could use as a little complimentary decoration. Last year, the kids put together a little robot. I thought he’d look good beside the panel. The colors didn’t come through so well no matter what I used to edit it, so I just had fun with this picture.

The gold thread shows up a bit darker in this photo but the fabric of the mask shows really well. The yellow sun-looking spot in the mask's eye is actually a spiral galaxy. After I'd finished the whole panel, I wondered why I didn't try to add at least one more of those. Oh, well. I'm still satisfied.

The gold thread shows up a bit darker in this photo but the fabric of the mask shows really well. The yellow sun-looking spot in the mask’s eye is actually a spiral galaxy. The large white ‘star’, I’m calling a supernova. After I’d finished the whole panel, I wondered why I didn’t try to add at least one more shaped galaxy. Oh, well. I’m still satisfied.

So my second panel is done. I have one remaining panel and several masks to choose from but I now have my theme. Magiba is simply mad about Paris, so I thought I’d use a French country theme. I’ll sift and sort through my supplies and see what I can uncover. An art project and an adventure! Who knew?

There they stand, the innumerable stars, shining in order like a living hymn, written in light.” ~N.P. Willis