Pianos, Peacocks and Butterflies - Dream #34

Hello!  As those who follow me know, my dream/vision for March through May was working on a new Sing for Hope Piano - a sculpted, mosaic piano which was on display in the DUMBO Archway June 5th through the 21st.  I took a little hiatus after that but I am back in the swing of things now.  Dream #34 is one of mine - a waking dream vision (several actually) of masks and pieces incorporating masks.  I'm obsessed with peacocks and butterflies at the moment.  So I've started two new pieces.  One is a peacock mask and the other is a swarm of butterflies made of human faces (bear with me).  


So the peacock mask idea has been plaguing me for awhile so I decided to experiment with it.  I had a bunch of these lying around:

Yes, I've seen "Sleep No More" a few times but not THAT many.  Friends give them to me.  I can't imagine why...

So I decided to modify one as an initial base. Waste not, want not.  I cut off the long protuding bit beneath the nose and shaped up the bottom so it had a nice curve to it.  Then I scuffed it up a bit with sandpaper and added a couple layers of strip paper-mache to give it a different surface texture.

Cut down, reshaped and paper-mached base mask.

The paper mache needed to dry so I couldn't do anything else that night on this.  However, since I had a bunch of paste and paper strips I figured I may as well start the butterfly project at the same time.  which brings us to...


Since I want this piece to have one main butterfly/face as the focal point I decided to make a butterfly face mask first.  I perused my collection of faces to see which one I wanted to use as a base:

Yes, I have a plaster face collection, thank goodness I have actor friends who are willing to let me cast them. 

I decided to use Calvin's face (middle of front row) so I added some vaseline as a releasing agent and started paper mache-ing like a fiend.  Six layers alternating between brown and white kraft paper. I have a stash of both and not about to run out anytime soon.  Fun fact, the white kraft paper is from the music video I art-directed back in 2012 for the awesome Australian electro-pop fairytale duo Geppetto. I still have a roll of white paper we used on the floor and walls - really glad I saved it.  Back on topic, here's a picture from midway through the third or 4th layer:

I did six layers and called it a night. The down side to paper mache is the dry times.  You can force dry in the oven if your piece is small enough but unless there is a super rush I think it's better to just let 'em dry for a day in the open air. I'll check back in with you tomorrow with the next stages. Sweet dreams!