Monday, April 30, 2012

Classic Beauty

In my class on wedding photography last week, we shot a mock wedding at one of Tulsa's classic churches, Boston Avenue Methodist. I was much more interested in the building than the wedding.
[I realize the exposure is not great on the first two shots, but you gotta give me points for composition:)]

I attended a Methodist church as a child. It was the kind of experience that sours you on church at a tender age. As an adult, once I found my present church, where worship and Bible teaching is so alive...I said I'd never go back to a denominational church where wooden pews, pipe organs and hymnals would remind me of those lifeless, loveless beginnings.
This landmark church in downtown Tulsa is traditional times ten. However, after all this time, a little seasoning and maturity, I can now appreciate the history of the denomination and most of all, the grand beauty of classic architecture. Especially when designed so intentionally and full of symbolism.
Every curve, every flower in the stained glass, every element in design, inside and out, means something.
I love how the glass strips reflect on this door as seen below.

I couldn't resist the dichotomy of this traditional window with modern lighting.
I placed a Bible where the sun rays would fall on Genesis 2:24 (remember, this photo shoot was a mock wedding). Normally, I would place the wedding rings on the words "one flesh."
I thought the lines in this shot above were interesting.
The ceiling in the sanctuary is incredible.
I wonder how old this Bible is. It's open at the altar.
This isn't a great picture but I wanted to show it anyway so you would understand the picture below. This mosaic goes almost from floor to ceiling in the beautiful Great Hall.  A close up below of the mosaic tiles laid in the angled style of art deco.
This one is my favorite. Not touched up or altered in any way; just the natural light.

Next post will be some outdoor shots. Click here to read more about the architecture of this church.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Art-Doll Workshop Project

My goodness, I've been away for too long. March and April have been full. Most of it fun stuff, some of it hard work, and there's been a bit of laziness, too. But one of the things I've been busy with was the art-doll club's spring workshop.
Our instructor was the very talented Sherry Goshon. She designed a doll specially to teach our group. It was a mixed-media project and we were all eager to learn some new techniques.  She designs her own face molds and her husband casts them. This face is so beautiful!

We started with the "bird-cage" that the doll sits on. Briefly, wires are poked into a round styrofoam, then curled to make a roundish shape. Then you twist a narrow piece of aluminum foil & wrap it around each wire vine-like. Once that's in place, you take strips of the plaster stuff that's used to make casts and lay that over the foil covered wires. Let it dry & spray paint as desired. Coffee - always a must while making art.

The lovely face mold is glued to a wad of aluminum foil covered in paper clay. My first attempt was terrible and after class I re-did it, using a halved styrofoam egg instead of aluminum foil. It gave a better shape. Not that you see it because the back of the head is covered by the hat.  Painting the face was a challenge for me. I'm used to colored pencils and felt less control with the brush. Yay for Gesso! Cover up your mistakes and start over!

For the body, I added 1/4" to the doll pattern as I find really small ones too difficult to work with. We sewed & stuffed the body & arms, then mod-podged pieces of tissue paper or pretty napkins on it.

Sherry taught "illusion costuming" too. No pattern. Take some measurements, free-hand draw a pattern and go for it. This was a stretch for the seamstresses amongst us! We're used to precise plans. So above you see what I thought was my finished doll.

Just today, I was taking pictures and thought, "this skirt needs something more." I rummaged thru my fabric closet and found a piece of bronze-ish embroidered organza. I folded & gathered it into a double-tiered petticoat. It adds a little something to the front and gives fullness to the skirt. I also inserted pipe cleaners in the skirt hem so it would have some flow & movement.
I actually made little lace gloves! I took a hand pattern from a larger doll and some dense lace. Here's what make this so easy - dissolvable stablizer! Not only does it give the needle & thread something to grab onto, the stablizer makes those little fingers nice & slick for easy turning. You just run the glove under water to dissolve the stablizer and fit to the hand. I will admit - I tried this a dozen times and still didn't get a good fit, but a little glue took care of most of the problem. :)

OK, so we have a cage. What do we put in it? People used plants, potpourri & ribbons, and flower arrangements. By this point, I was ready to be done and didn't feel like making a whole flower arrangement. I had a little box I had saved and the color and shape were perfect.

But an empty box just sitting there? Surely something must be in it?? Now we have an element of curiousity. Which is how this doll got her name. What famous lady is associated with a mysterious box?
Yes, Pandora! Dare we open it? What could possibly be in this particular Pandora's box?
What else - a fabric stash!
Some fun info about Pandora: almost everything on her came from the dollmakers in our club. The skirt & sleeves material, I bought from Brenda who was selling off a huge fabric stash. The hat - Jayne brought this material to the workshop and it was so perfect with my colors. She gave me a big strip of it. The organza was given to me by Sheri (I was supposed to use it on a challenge doll). The box is from Pam & held the gift I got in our Christmas gift exchange two years ago! I can look at Pandora and be reminded of my wonderful TDD friends.
So here she is....Pandora and her secret fabric stash!