My first surprise came when I accepted the "Day of the Dead" artist's challenge from the Artists' Nook as I definitely DO NOT enjoy this type of art. The second surprise came to me when I knew exactly what I was going to make! This project just flowed for me.... it was one of those 'aha' moments of working in the "zone".
Photographing is a huge challenge when mica is involved. I had to place my shrine at an angle to prevent so much glare. A cigar box was perfect for me as it was not too deep. The mica was glued down with E-6000 glue and then antique looking brads from Tim Holtz was added to the outside. The inside back was covered with a "Chattel Mortgage" paper that my parents signed. The box sides were covered with pages from a 1942 USDA "The Modern Farmer" book. After this was collaged, I painted the paper surface with Golden Fluid Acrylics, Yellow Ochre and Red Iron Oxide. The photograph of my dad was taken in September, 1956. It was his first corn crop on the new farm they had purchased and moved to in March of 1956. National farm moving day is always March 1st.
I colored his shirt with pastel chalk and added an optical lens over his face to give the viewer a closer look. Dad was President of the local school board at one time, so I used his signature stamp, too. I love using this particular stamp in a lot of my more personal artwork. And of course, at the time I was growing up, we used Allis Chambers WD-45 tractors. The rusty nails were found on my last visit on the farm before it was being sold. The three fence post nails hold tags that describe my dad, his love of farming, and his family.
My wish would be for Dad to smile with my tribute of celebrating his life.