|"Tonal Recall" ©Linda Friedman 2013 (30"x40")|
A while back I was given the bare bones of an old, overly loved violin and was asked by Deborah Stanley the Media Director for the New Life Arts Project it to create a work of art for the Project (NLAP) for the Smart Foundation and VSA. Because I wholeheartedly believe that the visual and musical arts serve to heighten awareness and potential. Because this project aims to empower the disabled through music and art, I was totally honored to accept this challenge.
When I received the damaged violin, I wasn't sure whether I should just use the violin or incorporate it into a larger work. As I started to organize my thoughts about this, I set up a still life comprised of disparate things from my studio and there it sat for a few weeks as my mind mulled over possibilities.
|Still Life Set Up for Inspiration|
|Plywood Backing to Canvas|
|Bust Form Sawed in Half (Looks a bit creepy, doesn't it?)|
Next came the head.
|Building Up a Facial Substrate with Papier Mache (Another creepy stage :-)|
I had the face mask in my collection of studio ephemera so here it is with a papier machie substrate that would fill the mask and give it substance.
|Face Mask Filled with Papier Mache (There, that's better...not creepy now)|
Once the torso and the head were sufficiently dry and hardened, I glued the elements to the canvas with construction adhesive.
|Construction Adhesive Used to Adhere Form to Canvas|
|Torso Bolted to Canvas and Plywood Backing|
|The Head Was Secured to the Canvas and Plywood Backing with 3" Bolts|
|Head Bolted Through Eye Sockets and Into Plywood Backed Canvas|
At this juncture the figure needed a covering of plaster cloth skin to integrate all the elements
|Plaster Cloth Unrolled, Cut into 4" to 6" Pieces, Wet and Applied in 3 Layers to Entire Figure|
After the plaster cloth was completely dry and hard, I painted the figure with 3 applications of gesso. A coat of white acrylic paint and sealer completed the torso and head. Then the background was painted to loosely suggest stage draping.
|Background Painted in Greys and Whites|
|Eyeball and Eyelid Structures from Sculpey Clay and Glued with Elmer's Wood Glue Max|
|Glue Added to the Eye Socket Spaces|
|Eyebrows and Eyeballs in Place. (Next the blank stare had to be addressed)|
|Eyeballs and Eyelinds Painted, Shaded and Highlighted. (Waalaa, no more blank stare.)|
First, I painted the body of the violin red and painted the neck black and extended the black onto the violin body to suggest it's orginal fingerboard construction component.
|Violin Body and Neck Painted Red and Black|
|Tailpiece, Chin rest and Bridge Made from Polymer Clay|
Since only one peg came with the bare bones of the instrument I also needed to create 3 additional pegs.
|Pegs Created from Sculpey Clay|
|Silver Thread Tied to Each Peg|
|Silver Thread Pulled Across Polymer Clay Bridge, through the Fine Tuner of the Tail Piece and Anchored with Push Pins|
Here is the final stringing.
Oops... The stylized keyboard is photo bombing this picture. This is a good time to explain how I made that element.
I first did a freehand drawing of how I wanted the keyboard to flow across the work.
|Freehand Pencil Drawing of Keyboard|
|Outdor Vinyl Flashing That Will Become the Keyboard|
|Transfering the Drawing to Vinyl using Carbon Paper|
I had to find a paint that would adhere to vinyl.
|Americana Black Gloss Enamel Adheres to Smooth Surface|
|The Keys were Masked and Painted|
|The Keyboard is Painted and Ready for Cutting from the Vinyl|
In front of the violin is a booklet I made of a musical score. It has several pages that were copied from an old Schumann book of music, glued together, stitched down the center and then molded to simulate a book in use. It would later be affixed to the canvas with strong glue but looks like it was stitched to the canvas.
|Picture shows one hole to accept a bolt, one bolt ground down to nut, and one bolt needing to be ground down.|
Once the violin was in place, a hand could be constructed to suggest the figure playing the instrument. I first constructed a hand armature from a wire coat hanger and pipe cleaners. Enough wire coat hanger material was left uncovered so that it could be inserted through the plywood backed canvas.
|Papier Mache Covered Hand Armature|
I then drilled holes through the fingers and the neck of the violin and threaded wire through the holes to hold the fingers rigidly to the violin.
Weldbond a glue that rightfully claims to bond to most anything--and it did a great job. The keyboard will not come loose. It is permanently attached.
At this juncture, I thought the work was complete but as I looked at it over the next few days, I realized that wat it lacked was music, so the birth of notes emerged. I made paper patterns, traced them onto plywood, cut them out with a band saw, primed them, and base painted them. I then countersunk holes in two places on each note to make places to accept bolts. Because I wanted them to stand out from the canvas, I cut 1/2" lengths of narrow copper piping through which the bolts would travel behind the notes. Each note was bolted through the plywood backed canvas and secured with nuts. More grinding and covering nuts and boths with Plasti Dip followed. I then had to fill the countersunk holes with wood putty, let it dry, sand each filled hole level with the note and then repaint each note a gloss white.
|Side of Note Showing Copper Pipeing Risers|
FINISHING THE WORK
|Backing Added, D-Rings Attached, Hanging Wire Secured and Label Attached.|