Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!

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Wearable Arts Show this Saturday

I have entered a work in a Wearable Arts Show this coming Saturday.  It is part of Alberta Arts Days and there are masses of events and activities happening all over the province this week.  That photography project I was working on with Don Zwicker is also part of this and his photos are going to be in the gallery at the Centre for Creative Arts where the show is so I’ll get to see the final photos!  And soon after have copies to post.

Back to my piece… since I am a body painter my art is going to be on my model not worn by her!  Amy, mom’s aide, is an excellent belly dancer and she is going to dance wearing … well… pretty much just glitter.  Should be blinding!

I’ve been building props and pieces of costume for the last few weeks, and sewing the bodyguards’ skirts, making sporrans, etc.  I really love contact cement… I’ve never used it before this summer but that stuff is great!

There is glitter everywhere and I’ve been testing things on myself.  Like… glueing beads up my arm with different types of adhesives to see which is the best/longest lasting.  Testing how liquid latex affects different grain sizes of glitter or different fabrics and ribbons.

Testing which works/looks better – gold metallic acrylic craft paint or gold dimensional fabric paint?  Which gold matches the glitter better?

Will the white latex need two coats, three coats or four coats to be opaque?  Will two layers and glitter be enough cover? Will the holographic glitter hold all day?  Will the gold glitter hold to the latex or should I use body glue?

Should I paint sandal straps or just leave the slip-ons as is?

I’m covered in glitter right now with ribbon glued to my right hand with latex… just to see how long it will hold before starting to lift.

I love coloured duct tape.

Fun foam is a b*tch to work with.  It doesn’t stick to anything… or, I guess I should say, nothing sticks to it!  I had to pre-treat where I wanted to glue things by applying a layer of white glue, use my finger to smooth it out and let it dry, THEN I could glue things to it and they held.  But the glue had to soak in to create a surface for stuff to stick to.  Even contact cement doesn’t work on fun foam.  Dries out and comes apart like crystallizing caramel.

As part of my props I wanted to add a creature… I had actually decided not to when I spotted the PERFECT size and shape in one at the dollar store!!  When I got home I noticed it was one of those “growing” things that you put in water and it get 7 times bigger, then shrinks as it dries out again… oops.  So, experiment time… is acrylic craft paint wet enough to cause swelling?  And if it does, will it shrink back overnight so I can add another coat?  Good news… it didn’t swell!  Got it painted, and then the wonderful contact cement worked great to apply it!

I had to submit music for our presentation.  It is 2 minutes long which is about a minute and a half longer than most of the other people… well… I’ve got a performance piece, costumes, a bit of acting and belly dancing…

I think Amy is going to be a hot photo-op.  There are several photographers that will be there and I’ve had a couple say they will come and make sure to get GOOD shots for me of the glitter… it is tricky to get good shots of glitter.  You need extra light sources.

Amy will be here around 8 on Saturday… then I have to sketch out the design, get her sealed up to hold things in position, then start applying glitter in stages, latex, glitter, latex, glitter, latex, glitter…. then do her body make-up as we want to bronze her up a bit, then her make-up, then transport me, Amy, Mom, Kenisha, repair kit, costumes for the bodyguards, over to the Centre for 3 p.m., then get the guys into costume and make-up (they don’t know about the make-up yet but they do know about the costumes) and do a final run through so the guys will know what they are doing.

I’m really looking forward to this.

Then next weekend is when Mad Moose Mayhem opens, that show I’m in… I have two rehearsals this week and really should be off-book, then I think three more next week… then… OMG… paying audience!!!!

I’m not describing my design… but… here’s a hint… She’s considered the  most beautiful woman in antiquity.