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tentafterThis is the last of this group of altered paintings and was the one that I felt a bit bad about using. It is the strongest of the group and I think it might have been a students piece or study. I even did some googling of the signature, just in case they had gone on to become a known name, but nothing came up. At any rate, it had come into my hands and was fair game for being “improved”. My first thought had been to alter the people but decided the better option was to explain their situation a bit more. (and putting clothes on him would have made it far less funny) Now they have something to look at and the painting has much more of a narrative going on. It was also the hardest to match the brushwork style of, but I think I got very close. The reflections were especially challenging, but worked out. The colour mixing and paint texture also matched so well that the fact it was altered is surprising most of the people who’ve only seen it in this state. It’s acrylic on canvas, and nicely stretched, so I opted not to frame it but to simply go with the black wrap around the outside. Keeping it down to only it’s modest original size should make it easier for someone to find a spot for this bit of slightly creepy fun. (and that person might be me since I really do love how it turned out) tentbefore

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IMG_6193I’d been pulling the pair of anatomical hearts out of the stash periodically for years. I’d look at them, think about possible uses and then decide I didn’t love that option enough. Over this past winter a pair of tiny frames came in and I loved that they were small enough to be used as jewellery. While I’ve had a few similar sized square ones pass through my hands, I found the hard edges read as too harsh. These, on the other hand, not only had a great vertical oval shape, but also had lots of in-scale details on their edges. One was just the right size for the smaller of the two hearts. I went with an antique wood backing piece, for the great grain texture, and painted it white. The heart projects forward a bit, but not too much. It is just clearly three dimensional. The chain was from the stash and I was lucky it was long enough since the weight was just a perfect balance to the pendant. It has already been snatched up, but I still wanted to show it off.

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This is probably the simplest of the altered paintings. Finding pieces to work with isn’t actually as easy as it may seem. Part of the hunt is choosing ones that are just bad enough. Georgian bay "after" I don’t want to be painting over works that have any real artistic merit but also am not interested in the truly terrible things that are so often what’s available at the price they need to be. I also only want to work with actual oil or acrylic paintings. With those, it’s possible to properly blend in the overpainting but with prints, it just sits on top and while you may be able to get a decent photo of the finished piece, they tend to look awful in person. On top of all that, it also has to have room for the changes. I like ones that have a sense of incompleteness about them. This was one that worked really well, from my perspective. While it is clearly Georgian bay, and not completely bad, (even with it’s abundance of “happy” trees) the large, empty expanse of water in the foreground came across as boring and unfinished so it made a great canvas for the addition of a “Nessie” style beastie. Georgian bay "before" Painting in the white water ripples around it took almost as much time as the beast, but I think they help tie it into the original artwork and look less like an add-on. (the down side of that is people thinking I did the whole thing, which has happened a couple of times. I think big “altered painting” signs are the way I’ll have to go)

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pen1I’ve been trying to get better about taking photographs of more of my work. Since almost all of the jewellery tends to one-of-a-kind, it’s good for me to keep some sort of record. This was one of the ones where I was good about getting it recorded before putting it out for sale. Not that I got the photo up or anything like that. The main design drive for it was the large, salvaged piece on the top. It was paired to the watch body first and then the antique image, jewels and drops were picked based on it’s look so the whole thing works together. I love how it is so much more vibrant that I typically dare to go, but still has a very cohesive feel! It’s gone off with it’s new owner and it always makes me happy when people like my stuff enough to wear it right away.

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sgaftThis was another of the altered paintings. Once again, not a piece that had much in the way of artistic value to start with so it was a great candidate. At first, I couldn’t understand what was going on with the circular stone gate, but someone explained that they apparently are quite common in Bermuda. No matter why it was there, it had an extremely obvious solution! While I thought converting it to an active Stargate would be fairly simple, it turned out to be the most complicated of all the painting alterations I’ve done so far. There was just so much detail to it and I was trying to keep within the style of the original painting as well. (and the existing stone gate not actually being round didn’t make it any easier) It was necessary to use a dark enough grey to cover up the base picture, but that came out darker than anything else in in the original painting. As is, it stands out a bit more than I would have liked. Even with the various complications, it was still fun to do and at least I’m pretty happy with with how the event horizon came out.sgb4

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I’m going to be back in Toronto this Sunday for Bazaar of the Bizarre: Frostbite. It’s free to attend so stop in, 11-8, and check out the amazing range of strange goods! Just remember to drop me an email or phone if you are interested in masks or any of the Steampunk supplies since I’ll only be bringing those by request.
frostbite14

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The last of the Key racks was were I had the most fun. IMG_6129 The back is the centre part of the panel and a chunk of the original sticker was still on it. While it was no where near intact, it is still partially readable and has a great look. I wanted to keep that but doing so limited where hooks could be placed. I fiddled a bit with using the key hooks but then remembered that I had a few antique brass gears around. These ones hadn’t been used for other things because they all still have their central pivots solidly attached. That made them perfect for my needs and I was able to embed them into the wood backing. Almost all were bent, at the tips of their pivots, or in one case, it was tilted strongly upwards, so they will still work as hooks. The spacing even worked out well enough that the remains of the label show well through the open parts of the gears! While I’m pleased that it turned out to still be a functional key holder, the finished piece has such a great Steampunk vibe to it that I think it is likely to get hung up as pure decoration.

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