Will She Dance?

I wrote in December that I had been given a decommissioned violin to turn into a piece of art to be auctioned off at a fund raiser for the New Score Chamber Orchestra.  As I looked at and held this instrument, the idea that resonated most with me was that of a flamenco dancer.DSCN1039

So I stripped the violin of its remaining strings, pegs, and tailpiece and purchased some black and red fabric.


My husband built a stand for the violin, both to hold it upright and to give it the illusion of having legs under the skirt.


The bow became the arms, with the frog and the tip acting as hands.


Metal plates screwed into the joints allowed me to pose the arms at the angles I wanted.  Then the plates and screws were hidden under electrical shrink tubing.


A souvenier fan from my niece’s wedding was cut down and painted to become part of her costume.  Here you can also see two of the pegs and part of the tail piece that became her face.


Amazingly, as soon as we attached the arms, she took on the persona of a dancer.

Now to dress her!

I made a petticoat to hold the ruffled skirt away from the box stand and then began making her ruffled dress.  I have made clothes for myself and my children, usually from store-bought patterns, but I don’t know of a pattern company that has a dress pattern for a violin, so I was on my own.  As I was debating gluing fabric on the front, back and sides for a bodice, my daughter mentioned that she would miss the sound holes if I covered them up.  In what was actually a simpler option, paint would became the top of the dress with a ruffle to further define the bodice and a ruffled skirt glued on below.


Painting Music

Is it possible, using watercolor, to paint a visual image that invokes in the viewer the sensation of an auditory event?  Can one paint music?

This was the challenge for me as I contemplated my entry for the show (and free recital) tomorrow afternoon at Providence Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia, whose theme is “Painting the Music.”

I decided to use a book format, since like a piece of music, a book has a beginning and an end.  However, this book is all pictures, and I used a “pop-up” format to give more of the impression of motion and the explosion of sound.

Melodic Lines, mixed media (watercolor and textiles)

The book opens and closes on the diagonal, has three main painted panels, painted on the front and the back, has a ribbon tie to hold it shut, and decorative tassels. The covers are made from foam core board covered with a sequined material.

"Melodic Lines," mixed media, 8" x 8"

Update:  This entry won best in show!  The judges liked the unusual format and that the work tells a story.