Daub du Jour

My name is Marianne Plumridge. I am an artist of mythic fantasy works and fine art images. More of which can be seen at my website, 'MariannePlumridge.com', and also my main Blog, 'Muse du Jour'. These sites are in the links section of this page. This site began life as a painting a day blog in 2007. However that project has now passed, but I still find myself painting in that way. So this site will now be the showcase my new paintings as inspired by those previous efforts.

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Location: New England, United States

Friday, May 26, 2017

Steampunk Sarah...

Victoriana
(Oils, 14x18")   Price: $ 2500.00

Last year, at Illuxcon IX in Reading, PA I had a chance to do something that has been close to my creative heart for several years. Moving the annual mecca gathering of artists, collectors, students and fans of the art of the fantastic to its new, bigger location, I finally got to produce the Illuxcon Costume Salon and Sketch Lab on the top floor of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts. It was a four day dedicated work space for artists to collaborate with volunteer models and a mass of loaned costume pieces and props, and watch daily demonstrations about working with models, creating costumes to enhance ideas, photograph them in a professionally lit space, and also to sketch them. It was a fantastic experience for one and all, and so many of us exhibiting artists were torn between manning our tables and running upstairs to create and play. I personally took over 350 photos, sometimes on the fly as one of our costume clad volunteers was escorted to a perfect place to be sketched or photographed by an entranced gaggle of spectators and participants. We learned a lot last year, and will be applying that new knowledge to this years efforts of the Costume Salon and Sketch Lab. Meanwhile, of the many, many inspirational photos I took, one group stood out and I just had to take brush to canvas to capture my version of it. Sarah, who graciously hosted the four day event, and patiently wrangled not only costumes but enthusiastic artists and models with panache and aplomb, also became the model for my painting 'Victoriana'.

On the Saturday of the workshop, I had left my table in the hands of my husband and darted upstairs to the Salon to see what was happening. Sarah was modeling her authentically made reproduction Civil War ballgown, complete with hoop, petticoats, hair and makeup, and other essential accoutrements. I arrived just as her session on stage ended and she headed over to where fellow artist, Ruth Sanderson was standing with her camera in hand. Sarah announced that it was time to change things up and she wanted to 'steampunk' up her ball gown. Mair and I looked at each other and went 'suuuuuuure' and swung into action. Out came the hoop skirt and petticoats, in went a ruffled and upswept new petticoat. Sarah chose a leather vest and belt off the tables, and a little 'fascinator' top hat affair that she perched at a jaunty angle on her  head, leather gauntlets, etc. The sunlight streamed through the nearby window, and when it fell on Sarah in her costume, I just knew magic was in the air. I took soooo many photos of that particular set up, and eventually returned to my table and art very much inspired. Below, are a very few of the photos I took that day. The last one is what served as the basis for my painting.

Following on from my last painting and wanting to test myself, I decided to start Victoriana 'cold'. I did not do ANY pre-sketching. Instead, I scrubbed Burnt Umber oil paint into a canvas board, covering it, and scrapped off the excess...giving it an aged look. When it dried, I took a fine liner brush and drew basic lines and compositional elements on the canvas in freehand. It was a concerted effort to get the oil sketch correct, but I did make an initial error in the model's right arm. It was fixed while painting sometime later in the process. The goal this time was to be able to create a full painted figure using only my eye, my instincts and experience, and my love of the painting process. This was a follow on from painting 'Jeannie' freehand. I reached my goal and was rather pleased with the outcome.

Sarah in her Civil War ballgown.

After we added and subtracted a few things...

A fine closeup of the finished effect, and ready to be used as basic reference for a painting...

And this is the photo that inspired me to paint 'Victoriana'. Isn't that a glorious lighting?

Anyway, there are sooo many more things to paint from the reference photos that I took at the Salon...and so many more memories and creative situations to make at the upcoming Illuxcon Costume Salon and Sketch Lab this coming November. I'm really looking forward meeting up with everybody again, costumes and props in hand, and making magic...

Thanks for stopping by,
Cheers,
Marianne

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