arthead sf

arthead sf blog was created to bring readers the meaning behind the art. These are not critiques or interviews with artists. Each feature is written entirely by the artist, revealing only what they feel and want readers to know about the featured piece. If you see a piece of art you'd like to know the meaning me. And subscribe to my blog below to get updates when new features are posted!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Shawn Marie Hardy

Shadow Box
Mixed Media on Glass with glow-in-the-dark-paint
14 x 18"

"When I was a child I made an insect cemetery. Over time it grew and it also became the final resting place for the occasional frog or bird. Sometime during those years I sent away for a pair of x-ray glasses after seeing an ad in a comic book. I couldn't wait to see through walls and into places the eyes can't penetrate, and of course I knew I would also be able to see through people's clothes. Much to my dismay, the glasses didn't work, but perhaps this is what I would have seen had they been real.

This mixed-media piece was done using a frame that I turned into a light box. I simply turned it upside down and placed the glass at the back instead of the front. I put fairy lights behind it for the glowing affect. Tissue paper is attached to the front and wrapped around the sides of the glass using Golden Soft Gel Medium. Circles were cut out of the paper so the bugs could be seen through the glass. The bugs are photo images that are glued down to tissue paper, then attached to the back of the glass - they are underneath the earth and are viewed through the glass. I used a highly textured pumice medium to give the paint a more earthy look and spread it around the "burrows" so they would resemble nests. I used Golden acrylics and photo images of coneflowers, as well as silk leaves along the borders. The glass in this piece represents a window where one can peek into places unknown.

The most fun part of all is the glow-in-the-dark paint that I spread on the underside of each burrow. In darkness they glow a lovely phosphorescent green!

By Shawn Marie Hardy

A little about Shawn:
age: 45
Something people don't know about me: I struggle with agoraphobia and OCD
I am a mixed-media artist, currently living in Lansing, Michigan.
I create images that are emotive and tantalizing - impressions representing the core of my imagination, from transient thoughts and deep-rooted memories to endured tribulations. I am fascinated by dreams and the haunting images the mind conjures up while we're asleep. Most of my work is as spontaneous as these unconsious images and I tend to work directly on the canvas, rather than drawing a preliminary study or mixing paints separately on a palette.

I am also interested in spiritualism - not necessarily in the sense that the living communicate with the dead, but more in the sense that I question where our energy goes after we die. In the wonderment of these questions I create dreamy landscapes that represent the state of passing from present life into the next state of being. They are both light and dark, depicting both joy and melancholy, often with the focal point being a window of light or an ethereal, winged being on a path into the unknown. I sometimes incorporate copies of vintage photos into these landscapes - visages of unknown people who have passed on, in order to give them a purpose and to honor those lives that are long forgotten.

Besides my online gallery, I am not currently exhibiting. Most of my time lately is spent working on a project that will benefit missing and exploited children (see the honorwithart site). I'm gathering art from artists all over the world and using that work to create an "altered book." Once finished, the piece will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to charities that advocate for the cause.


Blogger Cat said...

Dear Shawn,

I love this piece; colors are so vibrant, delicious. I am also a mixed media artist, and just came up with the brilliant idea of turning a box frame upside down and collaging on the underside! Nice that you have pioneered the way. I've been trying to figure out the best way to put glass on the box to seal the art. Would you mind sharing how you did this? I'm sure there is a simple solution, but can't quite see it yet!

Happy creating,

4:00 AM  

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