Shannon Fennell's Blog

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


2 Comments

May Day

It is the first of May! Wow… that was a fast first four months 2019.

With college done for the summer I am looking for a summer job. I’ve been making the rounds, scouring the job postings, dropping off/emailing off applications, had appointments at some agencies about temp work.  It is a bit frustrating at the moment as I leave on my volunteer trip to Africa in two weeks so won’t be able to work a long term assignment or start work on a full or part-time job until I get back. I was hoping to have been able to get some day-to-day or week temp assignments but it took some time to get processed at the agencies. I might still get something temp before I go – fingers crossed.

I carry resumes with me and if a business has a help wanted sign out, I stop in to apply. I have experience in administration, retail, food service, event organization, volunteer management, amongst other things.

There have been several positions that are for the summer only that start after I get back from Africa, so have applied to all of those when I find them.

Ideally, I was looking for an official “Summer Job” in an Arts organization but all of those positions have age restrictions – you have to be between 18-30 years and returning to school in the Fall. I call that age discrimination. I am a full-time student that wants to get experience in the field I want to work in. I still sent off applications, but had to disclose I was over age 30.

There have been several jobs that I have found in my searches that would be ideal – if I was looking for full-time permanent work! If only I was at the end of my program rather than the middle of it. But that’s the way the world works so much of the time.

So enough about that – unless you have a lead on something?! I’m game for anything in Durham Region, Ontario.

The Annual Student Juried Art Show gets installed next week at the Station Gallery in Whitby. I will have three pieces in it. I was at the College on Monday getting them framed/mounted and wrapped for transportation. I shared photos of them in my last post. It will be open before I leave on my trip so I will be able to actually go and see them this time. Last year I was away the entire time of the show and don’t have any photos of the display.

My last Drawing project got tweaked after I posted in my last entry – the professor critiqued it at the beginning of class so I took her suggestions. She said a hard line of the black in the halo would make the detail of the food crown pop more, and that the rays needed black for balance. Here is the before and after – she was right. It was hard painting over the gold leaf though – emotionally, not physically!

Another project I’ve been working on wasn’t a class project, but was at the college. The First Peoples Indigenous Centre has all sorts of craft workshops and you can drop in to work on them when you can. I noticed a sign on the door back in March about the beading workshop. So once I was finished with my Work/Study employment for the term I stopped in. I learned flat beading and how to wrap a cord to make a necklace.

Beading is extremely time consuming! I spent, I estimate, between 50-60 hours on this. I’m very pleased with it given it was the first time doing these techniques. It isn’t perfect but I will wear it proudly! And I have lots of plans to incorporate beadwork in future art projects.

DSC00040 (2)

My fingers are full of tiny holes from pushing the beading needles through leather and cord, but they were such tiny holes I only really bled once…  Next time, I will use thimbles.

I will get back to the job search now – have a list of sites to check out and see what new postings have been added overnight to the usual places I check. Tomorrow I will again go out in person to hunt – I do it by area, for example a large mall, or strip malls in a row – so I park in one spot and walk around.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

I’m not always a stubborn Luddite

I’ve been “working” on redesigning my website for a year at least, officially, longer if you count thinking about how I was going to do it. It was old fashioned, clunky, too much text – compared to what the norm is now.

I’ve had my site and domain for 15 years and in all that time had only done one complete overhaul. I had originally used my service provider’s “Page Builder” program, and then “Site Builder” which was a download from them, that I used on my computer, then uploaded to the net to publish.

As you can imaging (or saw if you had ever been to my website before yesterday) it was dated looking to say the least.

As I am now  concentrating more on fine art I was researching what artists’ sites look like.  Most of the ones that appealed to me were very clean with white backgrounds and minimal clutter. Successful artists know to keep it simple and focus on the art.

I was attempting to use the program I had been using but the templates, etc. weren’t really modern looking. So I had started with blank pages and manually inserting all the functionality. It was tedious.

I had some hiccups with my email accounts connected to my business page over a week back and in the process of trying to find how to fix it discovered that there were online website builders connected to my account already, that I have been paying for all along. Well, duh.

There you go. Easy peasy. So I spent some time on Monday sorting out photos to use on the new site, chose the templates I liked and got the initial site set up. Then yesterday went in and populated it. Then published it!

I’m pretty happy with it. I just can’t figure out how to get the WordPress icon added to the social media bar… the program didn’t have that icon on the options.

I’m continuing to tweak as I am catching little typos, or deciding to rearrange or add something else. I am going to keep it simple.

Check it out at www.shannonfennell.com

Website Screenshot


Leave a comment

New shoes!

I am getting creative over the summer. Without any homework I have time on my hands so started to play around with customizing some shoes.

I’d pretty happy with how they turned out!

AllShoesI am now scouring every store in the area for cheap cotton/canvas shoes in white or very light colours.  As it is mid-summer I have missed optimum stock time as they are now putting out the Fall stuff, but am finding some in discount bins. But is difficult to find any size 10 left!

I may see what I can do on dark colour shoes with a bleach solution… sort of a reverse batik look maybe.  Or… anyone else remember acid washed denim?

It is an experimental process as I am playing with the different colours to see how they work – some do what I want, others don’t.

Here is the process – plain shoe, colour added, and finished product.

StagesBlueShoes

This pair is my favourite so far.

I found some plain white baseball caps at the dollar store so am doing them too. And I think I will look for some t-shirts and scarves as well to make myself a whole outfit for face painting in.

Once I get everything working the way I want I will be selling/taking commissions for custom wearable art!

 

 


Leave a comment

And Spamalot is a wrap!

Last night was closing night for Spamalot, a GPLT/GPRC co-production.16730162_10210365810035857_2774274503412802183_n

I was the Make-Up/Hair Designer (it says so on the poster!) and lead, and also built the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch and the Holy Grail, as well as making costume pieces and accessorizing the Lady of the Lake.  I also provide other pieces of costume to some of the Knights (when one once wore a Knight’s costume in horse shows one has stuff in the tickle trunk!)

The show has three dress rehearsals and ten performances and I was there for over five hours for each one of them.  There were eight make-up/hair crew which rotated with usually five or six at each performance.

I made pox for the Not Dead Yet number out of latex – we used toupee tape for the cast to stick them on.  It worked VERY well!  For those with latex allergies we had red face paint and a sea sponge.

dsc03455

These were actually very effective – and looked quite gross from the audience!

I have hundreds left over… all ready for Halloween – smallpox anyone?

I was asked to build props on very short notice – less than a week before dress rehearsal. I used cloth mache for both the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch and the Holy Grail.  The hand grenade was thrown each time and had to stay together, so I used a wooden dowel right through the structure and wired plastic mesh and foam… it held up fantastically.  I can’t find a dent on it.

The Grail was a rush job as I only had four days to make it which really wasn’t enough time to make it pretty, but it did the job.

dsc03575

I made headpieces for the Lady of the Lake – she had no accessories or jewellery with the costumes that she was given so I got creative.  I built crowns using pipe cleaners, ribbon, wire, beads, shells, etc.  She had seven costumes and I had different accessories for each (one of the costumes I provided – the first greek goddess one, and one was her own old grad dress – the royal blue with spaghetti straps.)  I raided my jewellery stash and outfitted her with my personal items, and created a bustle for one dress and arm drapes for another.

Here are some close-ups to show detail on the five crowns I made for the show:

Two headpieces were things I had on-hand – the beaded fringed cap I had bought in Paris years ago and the other was a simple beaded headband that matched the robe.

Here are King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake.

dsc03560-2

The blushing brides – Lady of the Lake and Prince Herbert.

dsc03570-2

And these are all taken during the performances:

16487886_10155205914313690_305797588035480275_o16665317_10154160781168204_7048912807315729256_o16665809_10154154243918204_4842035664789830693_o-216700619_10154160777998204_4072540833167558940_o16707220_10154160780743204_5756157779619570685_o

16587065_10154160781963204_6837233035148765967_o16587074_10154160779568204_1082360098919717473_o16587204_10154165882763204_2930119376327775028_o16601903_10154160781553204_7983244556927361368_o16601994_10154165871328204_8883169785352730718_o16602029_10154165876163204_1131503994035080497_o16664912_10154160779293204_3192880587039627878_o16700336_10154165869333204_265212877809107449_o

We all received a framed image with our role in the production on it which is pretty nice. The little Polaroid is when “I” found the grail and won the “Arthur” award as Best Peasant in Grande Prairie… long story… LOL.  In the group photo I am below the ‘n’ in Finland in the pink sweater.

dsc03579

It was a fun show and very funny!  We spent a lot of time in the wings watching what we could as it was so good!  Most of the crew watched it from the front at least once (some more than once.)  The next big musical will be in 2019 – we do the “big ones” every two years.  We all need to rest up between them!


Leave a comment

And… That’s a wrap for Halloween 2016!

Another year of Halloween appointments completed.  This year was a bit rough for me as I am still struggling with my gallbladder pain (surgery is scheduled in EIGHT MORE SLEEPS!) As I wasn’t driving I was able to take my pain pills so it was reasonably tolerable (most of the time.)

This was the first year that there were no no-shows, so thank you to my clients – and the ones who called to cancel.  It made planning my day and filling open spots so much easier!

My first appointments this year were on Thursday afternoon, then all through the day Friday, solid on Saturday until 10 p.m. – thankfully Sunday was free from appointments but spent prepping for a special effects job – and then Monday, Halloween, with more bookings.

There were a lot of skulls.  Every year there are skulls. This year most of what I did was skulls… sugar skulls, half-skulls, full skulls, demonic skulls… with a few other things.  And one special effects zombie.  Five years ago it was the other way around – lots of special effects zombies and a couple skulls.  Guess tastes change.  Or overexposure on social media.

So here is a selection of what I did this year.

This first one won Scariest Costume (client emailed me to let me know!)

scariest

These next ones were a few of the ones done at at Muskoseepi Park for their annual Halloween Spooktacular.

green-zombie

fluoroskull

doll

And a sampling of the skulls done over the weekend:

skullmuzzle

kirsten

skullmask

sam

skullcouple

And some of the usual suspects…

vinnygroup

Vinny’s ides this year was Cruella DeVille who had been bitten by were-dalmatians and was morphing into one… LOL…

vinny1

And the last one to share today, a little raccoon ready for trick-or-treating!

raccoon


Leave a comment

It’s alive (kinda sorta…)

I love my regulars!

Chris is always something dead… or something that probably makes things dead.

This year he wanted to the grossest zombie to ever walk the streets of Grande Prairie.  So I did a sketch of what I though would be good for this year – here is my sketch.

design

He liked it, so he bought a lot of prosthetics and I made a bunch of things (including the eye ball to hang out.)  Then I spent time building, painting and prepping everything ready to apply on Halloween morning.

DSC03211.JPG

Chris lives for Halloween.  This year he walked all over town dragging a blood and body part filled wagon behind him.  Dedicated I tell you.

I borrowed lighting from a photographer friend and she showed me how my new (I bought it almost four years ago!) camera worked and we got it set-up on a tripod.  I took photos all through the process and once I find out HOW, I will have a video of Chris’ transformation to share!  We are both really excited – but I need to learn how to do it first.  So for now here are photos of what we did today.

A before and after application photo comparison – Looks pretty darn disgusting if I do say so myself.

before-after

The rest below I took after Chris got into costume.

Studio shots to start with.  See the dangling eyeball?

studiotorse

This one I’m considering submitting to a modelling agency.  Decent head shot don’t you think?

studio-head

Then it was time to hit the road for the day!

First, he had to pour three gallons of blood into his wagon… which really was disturbing.

wagon

And… this is what people were seeing on the streets of Grande Prairie today (and the mall, and BMO, and I have no idea how many other places he got to!)

frontwalkcart-chrisyard-torso

Another modelling head shot!  I think I like my new camera.

yard-head

We are already planning next year’s “look”… I love my job!

 


Leave a comment

Halloween is Coming – part two

Here we are at the second week of my Halloween countdown in the form of some of my make-up and costume work.

I love Halloween and those clients who want to go all out with their ideas.  I’ve one particular client who comes every year, many years twice, who is the epitome of Halloween spirit.  He gets a full special effects make-up every Halloween day morning and goes out for the day, often completely decorating his truck as well.

He has the idea and gets his costume together, and I get the make-up figured out to his specifications – sometimes I make the pieces, sometimes he buys them, sometimes both are used.  Copious amounts of blood are usually involved.

burns

headsmashed

chris-small

chris2013

dr-hatefilled

doc_5470-edit

h0ssog5

I have such a lot of fun with my clients!