September 13th, 2012 Comments
Earlier this summer Rob and I took some photos to use for publicity for WiLD related things, workshops and more. We had a fun day, here is what we made:
These two are just for fun:
The following photos I was aiming for something slightly blurry with movement and colour like a carnival. I put on every fringed item of clothing I own, and spent a long time leaping around. It was hard to get the effect:
Here I am as a fringed monolith:
Here’s the one that works – Teifi as flying Kraken:
Then we went into the woods which created a lighting style directly transported from the 1970s:
The one I like:
Finally we took some pictures with Max:
A fun day with useful results!
September 9th, 2012 Comments
How do I show pictures of masks without freaking you out? They’re sinister just by being masks. With all the facial recognition portions of our brains I think they have an enormous power, not supernatural, but… stirring. I definitely had a ‘moment’ whilst making this one. Here was the process:
Make a base layer mask on your face, using gummed paper. Theatre designer Steve Denton taught me this process, it’s an easy, cheap and environmentally friendly way to make a mask that fits your face perfectly.
Start by taping first around your crown and then under your chin and over the top of your head. Then you gradually fill in the gaps. For the first layer put the tape gummy side out.
It looks slimy and wet, and it actually… is, but it’s also fun! Like a facial with absolutely no beautifying properties. Actually the inside is mostly dry, so it’s not too bad. I switched from blue to brown tape because the blue tape was too thick. This turns out to be a useful way to see what I did first and second.
To begin with you have to manipulate the tape every once in a while to make sure you get a good nose shape rather than a big domed nose face. Maybe there’s a better way to do this, but I haven’t figured it out yet. I think lying on your back and having someone make a mask on you would solve this problem.
Making it on myself with the help of a mirror made it easy to get in really close to my eyes without inadvertently gluing my eyelashes together.
Here’s the base mask with several layers of tape over the whole face. You can see there’s a better fit over the eyebrows, nose and forehead than there is around the mouth, but I tweak that later. I’m actually smiling in this photo so I don’t look too scary.
Taking it off – the stocking-hat protected my hair from getting glued into the mask. Before taking it off I gave it a blast with a hair dryer. Then I let it dry overnight.
Once it’s dry you can sculpt it with the mask sitting on a table. Here I’ve added eyebrows, mouth creases and cheeks. I also cut out the mouth, remade it and then cut out the shape I wanted. It’s winking – I just haven’t done the second eye yet. Even with the very first eyebrow it started to come to life, enough to make me want to put it on and show everyone.
I still use the mirror at this point, trying on the mask every few minutes so that I can see what needs to change. It looks surprisingly different on a face compared to just sitting on a table. Somehow I can see asymmetry more easily with it on my face.
It was at this point that I tried it on for Rob. He hadn’t seen the new eyes yet. He liked it but said it could still be a bit evil or ghoulish (which isn’t what I want for this character). I agreed. It was happy with a dark side… (maybe it was the way I wore it?)
In the image below you can see I have added much bigger rosy cheeks. This solved the ‘evil’ problem. I think it must be something to do with baby faces – we all love fat babies! It was at this point that every time I put it on I instinctively started to jiggle and breathe differently, and then suddenly I couldn’t stop giggling. The mask had come to life. I went and danced around the garden for a bit. The way I had imagined the character would move had evolved into something much clearer and more rounded.
You can also see that I’ve changed the shape of the nose, tidied up the mouth and nostrils and a few other bits and pieces.
Step 3, 4, 5:
When it’s bone dry I’ll give it a light sanding with a very fine sandpaper. Then I’ll paint it and finally decorate it with…
Ooh, but I’m not going to show you any of that. For that you’ll have to come and see the show!
Book your tickets now!
December 21st, 2011 Comments
Last Week’s rehearsals went well. We went into huge amounts of detail for some scenes, spending an hour and a half on one 13 step walk into a room (that I haven’t yet perfected), then worked with broad brush strokes (is there an equivalent theatre metaphor?) for other scenes.
This video clip shows me trying out the movement for one of the Monster characters. I’ve been working closely with Angharad who’s doing the costume and set. We’ve now spent many late nights, cups of tea, hummus and crackers, whilst poring over pages of sketches as we try to work out solutions for the set. The costume for this character will be wonderful, but I’m not revealing it here… I won’t have a wig on my face when you see it in the theatre!
I also did the first run for the team last Friday which was nerve-racking for me, but worked out really well. I was glad to be able to finally show the things I had been talking about. Working with other people on your vision and making it a shared project, means careful and frequent communication. Many of the scenes only make sense when you see them, so a showing it was.
I also worked with Marilyn Le Conte last week. She is acting as a dramaturg for the show. Working with Marilyn is like having a ray of positivity in the room. She gave me so many excellent detailed pointers on voice and physicality for several characters, it was the highlight of my week. Thank you Marilyn! It was particularly amusing watching her do an impression of her son to help me get into character as a man. Apparently it’s easier for men to transform into women than it is the other way around.
We’re already halfway through this week, so another update will be along soon, also something about, what was it, oh yes – Christmas!!! Decorating the tree tonight, right after we’ve finished recording some sound, and having a meeting about lights. On Christmas day I’ll be napping.
Later this week I’ll be introducing some more members of the WiLD team…
Until then, keep scoffing those mince pies,
December 4th, 2011 Comments
Having set a very high fund-raising target on my Wefund page (which has a target deadline), I then didn’t quite achieve it. That’s ok – I had not tried fundraising like this before and I was doing it mostly on my own. I have learnt a great deal about fundraising which will help enormously for future projects.
But what happened to WiLD?
Would a small thing like this stop me? HA! NO! Everything is going ahead as planned. I reshuffled my budget and called in some favours, I have the Arts Council Grant – the show will go on!
I also have the fantastic donations that many of you have made. The amount I am raising with your help is making a huge difference to the show, and I am always bowled over by your generosity. Thanks to each of you.
If you would still like to donate then fundraising will continue the whole length of the project – that is until the performances on January 20th and 21st (and possibly beyond).
Use this link to go to my website to donate
I do have a new more modest target of £500, which will complete my budget. I am still honouring the rewards that are listed on the website, so for £10 you will get three artworks as a digital download, and for £25 you will also get a handmade sock puppet – and many more items for different amounts. Everyone who donates will get their name in the programme and can visit a rehearsal if they wish.
Thank you for your on-going support, it makes a huge difference to me!
The picture: In return for her generous donation, I painted Kim as a Puffin last night, to accompany her wonderful costume for a Fancy Dress Party. She won first prize!
September 19th, 2011 Comments
I’ve been learning to face paint over the past couple of years (very slowly) and this summer I started earning proper money from it. Here’s what I’ve managed to paint.
Some One Direction fans wanted carrots and turtles (and a shamrock not pictured).
Other pretty things:
Big Cats, small cats and a Parrot:
It’s very pleasing to practice something and watch yourself improve. When I started, the brushstrokes felt impossible, then there comes the magic moment where you realize you can do it – the point where the muscles in your hand understand what’s going on. Face painting is completely different to ordinary painting because the surface is rounded and with crevices, each face is completely different and what’s more, many children move the whole time. The challenge for me now is to speed up, when I can do a face in 5 minutes I’ll be happy.
May 14th, 2011 Comments
December 9th, 2010 Comments
Sitting in the light of the sunset after frolicking outside to showcase more of my ethical clothing findings, this time the white ruffle shirt dress is NEW from People Tree (fairtrade dedicated shop) designed by Richard Nichol. The belt is from a pile of old things in the house.
Here’s the frolicking around bit:
The coat is from a charity shop and the hat is a present from a vintage collector friend.
I recommend tree climbing for health and happiness
There are baby stripy cows in this magical nook,
with furry faces, looking cuddleable
this is me running away when I realised they weren’t cows but bullocks, and when Puffalicious started making mooing noises to attract them over,
so there you have it!
December 7th, 2010 Comments
Continuing my ethical fashion parade!
I bought the ridiculous blue housecoat thing in a charity shop, mostly for the fabric to turn into a dress. The hat is also from a charity shop. The velvet ribbon I found in my boyfriends flat (and have worn nearly every day since). The furry black jumper I found in a bin bag in the garage, the blue t-shirt (underneath) is a fairtrade gift from a friend, the socks I plundered from the parental sock drawer (thank you!).
The necklace I MADE IT!!!!! From vintage buttons (but unvintage wire – will have to work on that but at least it’s not plastic),
and this most marvellous venetian glass curtain tassel from the 1920’s, from an antique shop in Haverfordwest. It has copper leaves and the most amazing colours.
It’s fun getting all dressed up! I highly recommend it.
Photos by the inimitable Puffalicious
December 7th, 2010 Comments
I’ve just started reading How to be Free by Tom Hodgekinson which is about anarchy, and living a life of idle, beautiful merriment. It’s been giving me a spring in my step.
“Career is just posh slavery. Career is an institutionalized putting-off, a paradise deferred”
That’s how I’ve been feeling this year – that I’ve been putting off feeling like I’ve arrived, paradise deferred. His point is not to strive for some Puritan ideal of self-betterment, but to just keep on engaging in something that brings you joy. Basically there is no ‘there’ to arrive at, you can just do the thing you love and be happy. Sod the ‘career’.
December 1st, 2010 Comments
Clearing out everything, finding things I’d forgotten about,
It’s so pretty broken, I might not mend it. The feeling of beads falling off string is like the feeling of losing control.