Monday, September 19, 2011

Using the Body as a Canvas

As an artist, I suppose it's only natural that I should love makeup. I'm like a kid in a candy store whenever I encounter a Sephora store. It feels as if I'm walking into an art supply megastore. Waking up in the morning, my favorite thing to do is to choose what my palette is going to be for the day and then paint my face with it. Just as I use a plethora of colors and brushes to create my paintings, so do I use a plethora of brushes and colors to apply makeup to my face. (it doesn't look as bad as it sounds, I promise! ) I pay attention to values, tones, etc. I'm not sure if all women enjoy this, or if it's just me being a bit of a weirdo.

I think that many women view applying makeup as a necessary evil and fail to see it as a fun thing to do. We also often fail to view this as a creative exercise and an artistic one as well. However, makeup is a pretty amazing medium to work with. With it, we can completely alter the look of our face, body, etc. Our noses can look narrower, wider, smaller. Our eyes can look sultry or large and doe-like. Our mouths can appear to be full and pouty, bow shaped, tight-lipped, etc. It's amazing what some carefully placed highlights can do! I haven't even gone into the amazing creations that FX makeup artists are able to do!

Here is an example where an artist has blurred the line between art and fashion. Makeup, painting, photography, you name it.

Her name is Ragen Mendenhall and her work is truly inspiring

After she has created these beautiful works of art on the human body, she creates elaborate backgrounds and photographs them. Here are a few of my favorites.
 The photographs are so beautifully composed that you can forget that they are a photograph and mistake them for a painting. I also love the way she has incorporated her background and headpieces into her body paintings. They remind me of my years as a costume designer. When working on a production, you are essentially working to bring the director's vision to the stage/ screen. It's as if you are the hands of the artist and the artist is the director. I miss this collaboration. In the end, you would often end up with something like this. Where the lighting, set and costumes move seamlessly in and out of each other.

If you would like to view more of Ragen's work, you can go to her website
If you would like to see more of Ragen's artwork and photographs that are for sale, you can go to her etsy shop.

Hope that you have been inspired and that you have a wonderful night!!

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