Friday, August 26, 2016

"Quickie Artwork" Inspiration from a Museum Photo

Wedding dress from Customs House Museum collection
8 x 10 inches painted on bristol board with acrylic paints
This bitty blog post is all about inspiration striking from the most a routine online perusal. On Facebook, I ran across a post from the Customs House Museum, Clarksville, TN, that showed one of the thousands of items in their collections.

The image was of an old wedding dress worn by Temperance Catherine Joslin in 1844. For some reason that image of an old wedding dress just struck me as something I could make “come alive”. I took the image and drafted up a sketch of a young lady in the dress in a backyard wedding setting. I carefully counted the pleats of the collar..(3 each) plus one going “off shoulder” and a final one not on the sleeves but connecting the sleeves with the bodice of the dress. The bodice had diagonal lines in the bodice itself. The ¾ sleeves each had 3 pleats finishing with a dash of lace. It closely followed heirloom sewing techniques of the period.....i.e bodice shaping and sleeve trims using tucks in the material.
I transferred the sketch over to some bristol board and painted up the entire composition in acrylics. I wanted it to have a back lit sunny day look.....with a dash of impressionism. I premixed my colours and it “painted up” very quickly. I really enjoyed turning the lines into masses that resolved into a blushing bride in her wedding dress.

This was an enjoyable painterly type “quickie” sketch. Something that took advantage of an idea that came across my mind's eye and that I hope brought a bit-o-history to life. Museums, like the Customs House Museum, are great places to get "quickie art sparks".  

An enjoyable bit of artwork like this,  reminds me to be on the look out for chance impressions that can spark an art “quickie”.



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