Sunday, December 4, 2011

Marley's Ghost

 As promised in the last post--more Marley's Ghost.

Tired from painting a bunch of new pics, I was unwinding and wandering around Denver. Saw this mask lying on top of a recyclables container.  A youngster had painted it and stuck on a few big sequins and some stars--either the kid didn't like it or it had gotten lost. I'd been looking at another artist's postings of some Christmas Carol prints, so the ghost was on my mind.  At any rate, Marley's face floated up and I decided to paint this for Sk3tchbook's Holiday show.

 Marley's Ghost. Mixed media on paper mache mask, 6" x 8". Private collection.

Completely excited and tired no longer, I raced home and worked on it the rest of the day.  First came a coat of cadmium red acrylic paint.  Then the details were drawn on with a brush and black acrylic. Using some skeleton pictures (which you can't see) cut from a decrepit drawing book, I pasted them behind the jaw holes in the mask.

Some old script went into the left eye, and the right eye got a bit of blank paper, on which the eyeball was painted.  Building up lots of layers of blue grey paint took the rest of the afternoon, along with the addition of Marley's jaw bandage and a cheery sprig of holly. 
I aged it a bit with some ochre and brown glazes and topped the good eye with a glossy coating of varnish.

It was a total, no-pressure, play experience. The key is to have that kind of experience with every blank canvas, but I haven't gotten quite there.

Maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea, but to me Christmas just isn't Christmas without ghosts. Happy Holidays--whichever is celebrated--to everyone!

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