Friday, October 10, 2008

The Shrines

Shrines were our main project for this retreat - and all of the classes provided inspiration and artwork for creating unique assemblage pieces using large, rough-hewn wooden shrine boxes.

One of the things I appreciated most about the format for the Midnight Art Retreats is the opportunity to really immerse yourself in a major project. Having the entire five days to work on a major piece gives you the freedom to think about your work, redo parts that you aren't pleased with if necessary, and let your muse guide you without being rushed.
Each class builds on skills and techniques that enhance your work. You can pick and chose which mediums and techniques you choose to incorporate in the finished piece.

Patricia and I (Zeb) both ended up using Memory Mist sprays to do the backs of our shrines.

Patricia added some embellishments using techniques from Jeni Calkin's classes.
We'll let Patricia post her completed shrine on her blog. I think she wants to add some finishing touches before it is shown in it's entirety.
It is going to be a fabulous piece.

Linda tried out some of the Golden gel mediums on the inside doors of her shrine.

I thought it was wonderful. Rich and highly textured with a lot of glitz.

But after thinking about it for a couple of days, Linda decided to scrape the inner doors and go in a completely different direction.
I had to admit- I like this version much better.

Linda has used a beautiful copper embossed initial that was a gift from Lynda Abare.
Her focal piece is an encaustic painting under glass with a copper tape frame.
She even included some items from her favorite local winery.
Items she collected during our field trip and some of the grasses from her field and interesting rocks were added. One of her wire wrapped chandelier beads hangs from the top center.
The Welcome words are done with Grunge Board letters distressed with Ten Second Studio tools. The same tools we used for the pewter work.

This horseshoe was donated by a neighbor and beautifully decorated by Linda.

The front of Linda's shrine has a pewter embellishment and a piece done with PMC.
The "Thank you" sentiment, mounted under mica, is for the realty agent who found them their wonderful new home in Sonoita AND donated the shoe from her horse. :)

I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with my shrine. I knew I wanted my pewter piece to be the focal point.
I printed one of the sunflower photos I took on our field trip and added that to the top. I used some gel medium to strengthen it and to add texture by gluing on Essential Elements organic bits.
I made a swirl flourish with Duo adhesive and applied some Metallic Fashion Flakes.

Then I started adding things that would bring back the memories of this stay in Sonoita. These were all thing gathered at the Midnight Art Ranch or on our field trip.

I had a great time playing with techniques for the front of the shrine.
I used papers from the class with Jeni and also some of the slump glass pieces.
A Krafty Lady butterfly mould perfectly symbolized all of the beautiful butterflies I enjoyed in the yard.

I am sooo in love with the new technique Jeni taught me. I added a few layers of other mediums over it and got this amazing texture and color. I even took close up photos to print out for background papers in the future. :)

You might notice that the flourish on the inside door somehow turned into a lizard.
That's what I mean about being able to allow your art to evolve and develop at its own pace during the retreat.

Being at this retreat was so much more than "taking classes". It was learning and creating with plenty of time to think a project through.
It was wonderful to be able to go back and tweak pieces. I don't think I could have turned out a piece I would have been nearly as pleased with if I had to try and finish it during one or two days of class.

The camaraderie of the participants was so inspiring.
I loved every minute of it.


Michi, Orange County, CA said...

What a special 5 days you had at the art retreat in Sonoita, Zeborah . . . the shrines are so unique and wonderful . . . I love the experimentation with the techniques and embellishments!!! How I envy you all!!!!

Patricia said...

Sigh!! I WANT TO BE THERE NOW!! That is all I have to say about that! I am sooo spoiled now after being there. Linda your shrine turned out awesome but I really liked the doors the way they were when I left, even though they look great now. Love the grungeboard lettering. What a fun project. Hopefully the day comes when I get to post some of my pictures. I have been in webdesigning hell.