Coax a Smile with Art

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan & CollaborHeARTists, Collabor-Animals mixed media

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan & CollaborHeARTists, Collabor-Animals mixed media

Even though CollaborHeARTists agreed to build an “animal totem” we hesitated, postponing the initial meeting two times. (NOTE: CollaborHeARTists is a group of six women artisans who collaborate on art projects for fun.)

We each began (finally!) with a three-inch Styrofoam ball mounted on a small dowel. Pat, who had the sculpting experience, guided us through the process of adding wire mesh enhanced with light weight stone clay.

Like the individuals in charge, each animal’s construction took on different details and offered new challenges for its owner.

©2013, Pat Moorman, Cleopatra mixed media

©2013, Pat Moorman, Cleopatra mixed media

First to completion: Cleo Z-baby, or, Cleopatra. Pat’s animal was straightforward funny, thanks in part to its luminous green eyes.

©2013, Frances Starnes, Baaabs Bleatwell mixed media

©2013, Frances Starnes, Baaabs Bleatwell mixed media

From concept beginning, Frances insisted on referring to her black sheep as Baaabs! Her exquisite needle-felting presentation caused a sensation at our meeting.

©2013, Maria Berry, Leona the Lavendar Lion Queen mixed media

©2013, Maria Berry, Leona the Lavendar Lion Queen mixed media

Further hysterics ensued when Maria announced Leona the Lavendar Lion Queen with her street-wise pierced tongue might be cross-gender. The hooting and hollering contributed to a general sense of celebration about the project.

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Indigo Raffie, sans eyelashes

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Indigo Raffie, sans eyelashes

Raffie, as I referred to my blue giraffe, took detailing to a new level: beaded coat, eyeliner, fringed mane, jeweled harness. Read more in my July blog post.

©2013, Mary Rothman, Daphne "Daffy" Delphin mixed media dolphin

©2013, Mary Rothman, Daphne “Daffy” Delphin mixed media dolphin

Daphne “Daffy” Delphin sported a pearlized, shimmery glaze and smelled faintly of coconut oil, a finishing touch Mary added at the last point before submission.
Maria made secretarial notes at the final group meeting.

©2013, CollaborHeARTists

©2013, CollaborHeARTists

Romeo the Rad Raven still needed some attention.

©2013, Cindy Chavez, Romeo (in process) mixed media raven

©2013, Cindy Chavez, Romeo (in process) mixed media raven

Even Cindy confessed she did not expect the feathers to cover her beaded appliqué when all was done.

©2013, Cindy Chavez, Romeo the Rad Raven, mixed media

©2013, Cindy Chavez, Romeo the Rad Raven, mixed media

Thanks to Mary (one of the CollaborHeartists is a graphic designer) for a logo as well as name plates for each animal.

©2013, CollaborHeARTists

©2013, CollaborHeARTists

Pat and I delivered the entry to the Fine Arts Pavilion for submission to the New Mexico State Fair and waved goodbye as two unidentified workers carried the piece off for jury viewing.

©2013, Collabor-Animals enters the NM State Fair

©2013, Collabor-Animals enters the NM State Fair

Good news one week later: submission accepted. So ends the Collabor-Animal chapter of CollaborHeartists.

collabor-heartistslogoDoes Collabor-Animals make you smile?