I have been working on this for a few months – just thinking about it and slowly working on it. Some weeks not working on it at all. I think this is the way I work now, I get an idea and begin, and then I think about it a lot and time goes by but I don’t do anything with it, but piece by piece it slowly comes together. This began with a thrift store purchase of one of those 1980’s china Mardi Gras faces with the scary crooked eyes and colored ribbons hanging randomly about the face. I brought it home and took a hammer and knocked off several chucks of the face. It was quite hard and didn’t crack at all. The I spray painted it with a white primer, and I could see the proportions were quite beautiful. Then I let it sit there looking at me for about a month – I already knew what I wanted to do – but I just had to wait til it felt right. I used a thrift store Capiz shell tray for the luminous moon – I liked the way the pieces looked reflective. I had to pound and hammer that tray to get the shells loose – they were encased in some kind of hard plastic. The beautiful half-moon shell on top of Selene’s head is a junk store find from about 5 or 10 years ago. It is a beautiful heavy piece of shell, almost like glass and a beautiful amber color, I used the inside which is more opalescent.
I painted a cradled hardwood board with acrylic and molding paste, then I glued down some handmade papers and painted over them and added more paper and matt molding paste. I liked the handmade paper so much I glued some to the face too, I thought it looked like tiny silver stars. Then I made two little sculpey faces one to represent the different faces of the moon; the maiden, the mother, and the one wired to her forehead, the ever-wise crone. I thought of other moon goddesses, such as Artemis and Diana, who also represented the moon for the Greeks, so I added the wild horse in the upper left corner for Artemis and Diana who are said to arrive in a chariot with two white horses. I thought a few temple columns would add to the greek ambience, but I didn’t want them to be too solid looking so I added paint and took it away, the same for the horse. I really wanted to create a sense of magic and mystery with this project – and of another time.
I thought a compass would add to the idea of the night sky – navigation by stars – but I couldn’t find one that I could afford to tear up, or that looked as an antiquity, so I pieced one together with things that I already had. The brass dots on the end of each point have been stamped with the letter N-S-E-W, but I don’t think they show. I need to find bigger metal stamps. It says Selene in a sort of greek symbol font from the computer under the “compass” face.
Her little half-moons are layers of pasted and painted paper – I didn’t take care to make them perfect – I wanted them to look alive and ever-changing. I found this really nice very inexpensive craft acrylic made by Plaid Folk Art in a color called Metallic Antique Gold – it does magic on brown wrinkled paper. It comes out looking like dark brass.
I wanted to show you these pasted papers in the corners to give you an idea of the metallic antique gold paint, I love it with a little turquoise. The words on the strips above are from a poem by W. B. Yeats called Supernatural Songs; The last verse is about the moon and I’ve used it before:
She sings as the moon sings, I am I, am I – The greater grows my light – The further that I fly – All creation shivers – With that sweet cry.
If I talked too much, please let me know. I like to explain what I used and how I came to use it – but sometimes I think I ramble on a little too much – just say so! Thanks.