Monday, September 10, 2012

Altered Blocks Play Date

Sunday afternoon and another creative adventure with my gal-pals.  We created "block heads" - or wooden blocks altered with faces.  Our inspiration was the work of Andrea Matus deMeng, wife of Michael deMeng.  Our friend D, is a huge fan of his and has several of his works.  She recently purchased two of Andrea's pieces and it was based on her art (along these lines) that we planned our play date:
Art work by Andrea Matus deMeng
Essentially it is a thick block of wood, about 3" by 5" mounted inside a shadow box.  The effect is quite magical but easily interpreted by amateurs!  You need a face and some paint or paper to create a background.  Then you add "doo dads" to create a headdress, collar, wings, breast plate - whatever you can think of!  While her pieces are quite dramatic and intense looking, we managed to interpret the concept in our own style!

D. happened to have a supply of old children's blocks for us to use.  One was 3" square and the other about 3 by 1.4".  We used to these to build our block heads.  A quick sanding and a coat of gesso for me.
I started by adding collage papers to the square block: sheet music, Florentine scroll, napkins.  My intention was to do a different face on the second block.  But as you can see above - it became the "body" for my face.  the face was cut from a vintage photo printed on matte photo paper - excluding her hair.  Next i added feathers from a butterfly for a headress and added a metal crown charm.  Next two gold birds were added above her eyes to help frame her face.
I covered the smaller block in paper and glued it below her neck. A large gold butterfly creates wings, or perhaps a cape?  An aqua marble stone is a brooch holding it on. A sort of skirt was created with a large gold filigree earring with dangling aqua feathers. On top i added a fimo clay element that had been stamped with the word ART before baking.
The whole thing will be mounted on a sturdy card stock and inserted into a shadow box frame, or possibly a elongated cigar box.
Here is K's pretty little angel, her granddaughter.  Her face was glued onto a paper covered block and delightfully embellished with a copper tree of life on top of her head.  A butterfly and crown, and cute little rose earrings were added.  Then she was mounted the block into a collaged background, further adorned with flowers, a key and a little spoon.  And some bling!  Young or old, a gal has to have her bling!  It will all be placed inside a wooden shadow box.
Here is D's whimsical block - as you can see used the block on the diagonal. First it was brightly painted and stencilled. Her face was from a magazine and an umbrella became her skirt.  A colourful butterfly centers the piece.  A brightly jeweled earring because the headdress and the block is glued to a vintage ruler - which conveniently has a hole at the top to hang it, and another at the bottom to add a metal earring.  A paper cut out Saturn was glued to the disc as the final touch!
Here is Z's work in progress - King Crow!  Yes - on her painted black block, that's Elvis's face beneath a pair of painted nail scissors acting as eyes and the beak of the crow.  His glossy black hair has been enhanced with some iridescent black feathers with a greenish shimmer.  Going with a Halloween theme, Z used a shadow box as a base.  She added different orange papers, including a paint chip to fill the sections.  The word C-R-O-W is spelled out with assorted letters.  Some sticker tape bats line the edges.  Z plans to add some birds nests made out of wire with eggs to the bottom section.  Isn't this cool?!


Aileen said...

cute idea with the blocks!

Andrea Matus deMeng said...

Lovely to see how your blocks evolved into art treasures. Very nice indeed! :)