Kandinsky’s “Murnau Street with Women” Art Gown

March 12, 2010

Filed in: Uncategorized

 Black Light Image
 Day Light Image

Do you ever sit down and think about the date and then wonder, where did the time go? I am having one of those moments as I type this, where on earth has the time gone? 
For me, it has flown by with minutes of extreme happiness, insanity, confusion, illness, and in between all of that lots of paint and lovin! One of the projects I worked on the past few weeks was the Artgown project for Blue Velvet Studios. 

Karen Cassidy, the owner of Blue Velvet, came up with the unique idea of asking local artists to paint a wedding gown like a famous painting or painter. The idea was intriguing to me so I jumped at the chance and chose to paint Kandinsky’s “Murnau Street with Women” for several reasons. He is my favorite, way favorite of all time, and this painting is full of color, which speaks to me. It would also be part of a black light show so the combination of painting a dress, with tons of color, like Kandinsky, that glows in the dark, was to good to pass up!

I had no idea how physically challenging it would be. My niece, Savannah, helped me block out the design and initial color which was a huge help. At the end of day one though, both our necks were in bad shape so I knew this would be a project to take in baby steps over weeks, not days. As the design took shape, I kept getting more and more excited! 

Along with the physical challenge I had to take a crash course in black light painting. I had always assumed fluorescent and glow in the dark paint where equal. WRONG! I knew this gown had to illuminate under black lights, but I also had to figure out how to be true to the painting and still have this piece come alive with darkness. 

In the end, I painted it so it does both. It illuminates under black light and when all the lights are off, in pitch black, it gently glows like the stars, which is way cool. Adding textile medium was a must, but even so, due to the amount of the paint that polyester and rayon soak up, it ended up being a bit stiff, but not hard. 

Tonight, during Artwalk at Blue Velvet Studios on Dauphin St., this dress along with many other paintings will be on display for their one night only black light show. Next month, during the Arts Alive Festival April 9-11, it will be part of the artgown fashion show, where up to 20 different artgowns can be seen, all painted by local artists. 

As a visual artist it is easy to get used to painting on paper or canvas, but I would encourage anyone of you to step out of your comfort zone and find a community art project to participate in such as this. Below are some pics, beginning with Kandinsky’s painting, and then the dress. I will add some shots from the show tomorrow as well. You can also view the entire album on my FB fanpage, you can see the link over to the right of this page.(Pictures at the top are of the actual show!)

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