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Author Topic: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!  (Read 5720 times)

NibbleKat

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Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« on: July 09, 2012, 03:35:07 pm »
Heyo.

So, I do art. More specifically, I tend to do more Pagan-related art and altar icons.

I haven't done "real" art (painting) since December, and before that, I was spotty coming up with stuff because of stress. Bad stress. Mentioned in a post somewhere around here. Anyway.  I'm coming out of it, but I feel like I want to do something different with my art.  

I have a big leaning toward wanting to do altar icons. I really, really want to be able to provide people with some sort of icon/figure/representation, what have you for their altars that might not be available on the market today. For ease of typing, I'll just say "icon" from now on, kay? :)

At any rate... my previous icons wouldn't really stand up, and were small, thereby not really challenging me to do the best I could do in terms of painting/figures/etc.  I can't stick a giant icon onto most altars, and the bigger they get, the more expensive they get.

I've played around with sculpting figures, but if I only do that, I'm not going back to painting, which I REALLY love.

(By the way, I paint on wood 99% of the time).

So.

Is there anything I can do to incorporate my art in a challenging way while still having something that can stand up on an altar and can potentially be hand-held? Mixed media seems the way I'm going to have to go, but...

...which ones? What do folks want? What would YOU like if you had a mixed media icon?  Or are there ways I can work in wood that don't necessarily involve me cutting it (since I have no means of doing it?)

Halp!
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Tana

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 05:48:59 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63447



Personally I think I'd love to have something like a triptych?
Something that pictures more the vastness of my Lady than a special face or something. And maybe things added to it, like feathers, stones, snail shells....

A triptich could easily stand up by its own, but when closed could be held in hand, depending on what's painted on it.
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LiminalAuggie

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 08:11:02 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63447

Is there anything I can do to incorporate my art in a challenging way while still having something that can stand up on an altar and can potentially be hand-held? Mixed media seems the way I'm going to have to go, but...

...which ones? What do folks want? What would YOU like if you had a mixed media icon?  Or are there ways I can work in wood that don't necessarily involve me cutting it (since I have no means of doing it?)

Halp!

 
I second the triptych idea! My first thought after looking at your (awesome!) gallery was maybe some combination of painting and collage or decoupage? I just get the feeling altar icons in your style would be mindblowing with say, gold leaf or metallic paper, and abstracted designs to complement less anthropomorphic deity attributes.

Also, I have a feeling this thread is really going to give me an artistic kick in the butt to get me working again. I will be following eagerly!

Erinnightwalker

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 01:03:44 am »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63447


Halp!

 
I can think of lovely lovely things to do with wooden triptychs. Like making the whole thing the icon- painted inside and out so when it folds up it looks like art as well. It would also make a kick-ass portable icon. You could even get all fancy with hinges and clasps and extras on the outside, like jewels and such. Maybe you should invest in a drill and a saw? >.>
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I make ceramic art and am currently taking commissions. Have dream altar ware you\'ve always wanted, or a statue for a deity or spirit that you could never find? PM or email me and I\'ll see what I can do ;)

SkySamuelle

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 02:24:18 am »
Quote from: Tana;63465
Personally I think I'd love to have something like a triptych?
Something that pictures more the vastness of my Lady than a special face or something. And maybe things added to it, like feathers, stones, snail shells....

A triptich could easily stand up by its own, but when closed could be held in hand, depending on what's painted on it.

 
I wholly support this awesome idea. A tripidich is also ideal for people who, like college students  or frequent travelers, need a portable shrine . Combining with decoupage might, in that sense, work wonderfully as well.
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MadZealot

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 03:09:42 am »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63447
Is there anything I can do to incorporate my art in a challenging way while still having something that can stand up on an altar and can potentially be hand-held?

 
First things first, congrats on getting out of whatever hell you were in.  

Second... in terms of portability, I'm thinking small picture frames.  The ones with little pop-outs on the back so you can stand the pic on its own.  The backs of those little frames are often made of masonite.  Masonite is interesting, and versatile, because it has two surfaces.  The rough side is sort of like working on canvas & wood at the same time (sounds weird, but it's true).  The smooth side is ideal for stenciling, tole painting, decoupage.  Older pic frames often have backs made of thinly sliced wood, which oughtta be right up your alley.  

But frames are expensive, you say.  Hell no, I say.  Get thee to a thrift store!

I don't know about you, but for me working small has always been more of a challenge.  I cut my teeth doing large canvasses and mural size stuff, so the real challenge for me has always been going small.  There's not much that's as challenging as painting eyes and teeth on a 1" tall Warhammer (geek alert) mini, but YMMV.

Oh, and the triptych idea is brilliant.  In fact, for any kind of tripartite theism, if that suits you, it's damn near perfect.
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NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 03:22:09 pm »
Quote from: Tana;63465
Personally I think I'd love to have something like a triptych?
Something that pictures more the vastness of my Lady than a special face or something. And maybe things added to it, like feathers, stones, snail shells....

A triptich could easily stand up by its own, but when closed could be held in hand, depending on what's painted on it.

 
Yes, I've thought of this.  I can't find any blank triptychs online, though-- but I think they might be easy enough to make.  I  have a big dremmel set, so I could make designs in them, carve them out, and then use hinges to put them together.  If you know of any place to get pre-made ones, though, I would love a link.
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
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Ask if you\'re interested.

NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 03:25:02 pm »
Quote from: LiminalAuggie;63481
I second the triptych idea! My first thought after looking at your (awesome!) gallery was maybe some combination of painting and collage or decoupage? I just get the feeling altar icons in your style would be mindblowing with say, gold leaf or metallic paper, and abstracted designs to complement less anthropomorphic deity attributes.

Also, I have a feeling this thread is really going to give me an artistic kick in the butt to get me working again. I will be following eagerly!


I love working with gold paint.  You can't really tell it, but a lot of my paintings (if they have halos, of course) have gold or silver paint. I adore the illuminated look to no end.  If I start doing these things again, I probably WILL incorporate metallic somethings.  I have never worked in gold leaf. I've seen it in the craft stores, and have always been too afraid to use it AND too lazy-- but I think I might lean more towards it now since I am wanting something more hand-crafty, as opposed to ... er... how to put it? I don't want to say "Higher art" because that degrades stuff like collage and all, but that's as close as I can get to describing it.

Thanks for reminding me of the gold leaf!
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
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NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 03:26:32 pm »
Quote from: Erinnightwalker;63513
I can think of lovely lovely things to do with wooden triptychs. Like making the whole thing the icon- painted inside and out so when it folds up it looks like art as well. It would also make a kick-ass portable icon. You could even get all fancy with hinges and clasps and extras on the outside, like jewels and such. Maybe you should invest in a drill and a saw? >.>

 Hee, I have a dremmel! Drimmel? Dremel? COME ON, SPELL CHECK.  

At any rate, my friend Kim gave us a housewarming gift of a huge dremmil ...hahah... set, and my husband just this weekend said, "This thing is useless for house repair things."

I think that was a nudge in my direction for the art thing, I do.

PS-- I'd love some tips on how to create human figures in clay, Erin.
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
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NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 03:27:20 pm »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;63515
I wholly support this awesome idea. A tripidich is also ideal for people who, like college students  or frequent travelers, need a portable shrine . Combining with decoupage might, in that sense, work wonderfully as well.


Haha, okay, that's what, three? Four? nods for triptychs. I believe I shall look into it!
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Erinnightwalker

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 12:20:15 am »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63584


PS-- I'd love some tips on how to create human figures in clay, Erin.

 
Look at people and play with clay. A lot. It took me three years before I could do people that looked like people instead of Gumby XD Look at nudes and see how the body moves. Look at clothed people and see how things drape (the model for Sirona? 60+ little old lady in the ceramics class. She was a great sport). Detail comes after it dries a little, which is ridiculously important and hard to remember when you want it to look perfect NAO GORRAMIT.

Mostly? A lot of playing with clay.
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I make ceramic art and am currently taking commissions. Have dream altar ware you\'ve always wanted, or a statue for a deity or spirit that you could never find? PM or email me and I\'ll see what I can do ;)

NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 11:52:14 am »
Quote from: Erinnightwalker;63630
Look at people and play with clay. A lot. It took me three years before I could do people that looked like people instead of Gumby XD Look at nudes and see how the body moves. Look at clothed people and see how things drape (the model for Sirona? 60+ little old lady in the ceramics class. She was a great sport). Detail comes after it dries a little, which is ridiculously important and hard to remember when you want it to look perfect NAO GORRAMIT.

Mostly? A lot of playing with clay.

 
Oh, so I -can- go back and play with it, say, a day after it's started drying? I'm playing with kid's clay, so it might make a difference. I've got that crappy BUT CHEAP Crayola stuff. I should take a picture of the three ones I've done and show you what I came up with, just for kicks.  I want to sculpt nice faces like...  
http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/images/templecourtyardwalkthrough2.jpg

Or

http://www.colorado.edu/Classics/clas4091/Graphics/Sulisminerva.jpg

Things like that.

And whenever I try to "carve" into the clay, it leaves these little crumbs behind, which drive me bananas.
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
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Aster Breo

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Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 12:17:12 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63585
Haha, okay, that's what, three? Four? nods for triptychs. I believe I shall look into it!

Add another vote for triptychs!  And a potential customer.  :cool:  I'd love a tiny one to add to my travel "shrine".

Also, plate stands and hangers work well for displaying panels and such.  I have a beautiful Brighid 's cross painting someone ( ;) ) did for me a couple of years ago, and it's on a plate stand on my shelf.  

And Ikea is pretty good for cheap picture frames in a variety of colors.

What kind of wood do you use and where do you get it?  Just wondering whether the type of wood is a factor in your designs.  F'ex, oak or birch would be ideal for a piece of art for Brighid.

~ Aster
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Taliesin

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 03:16:06 am »
Quote from: NibbleKat;63585
Haha, okay, that's what, three? Four? nods for triptychs. I believe I shall look into it!

 
Yesss! Another vote here too! Like others have said, they'd be great for something portable, and since I'm technically homeless at the minute (long story) and am starting university next year... portable is right up my alley! Go for it! :)

P.S. Aster, I'd love to know what your travel shrine comprises... It's something I've thought about doing for a long time but I feel my ideas are quite limited!
Cambiano solo le onde, sempre uguali e sempre diverse.
Feel free to leave a candle at the Manannán shrine.

NibbleKat

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Re: Need Help With Artistic Altar Ideas!
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 11:53:27 am »
Quote from: Taliesin;63781
Yesss! Another vote here too! Like others have said, they'd be great for something portable, and since I'm technically homeless at the minute (long story) and am starting university next year... portable is right up my alley! Go for it! :)

P.S. Aster, I'd love to know what your travel shrine comprises... It's something I've thought about doing for a long time but I feel my ideas are quite limited!


Yeah, I'd love to know about Aster's travel shrine in more detail, too!

Here's a question:  How big is just right, but not TOO big?  I was thinking that for optimum detail without getting too huge, a triptych around 8"-10" tall... the shortest of that is the span of the tip of my thumb to the tip of my middle finger stretched as far as they will go, so not pocket-sized, but still able to be put in a messenger bag or suitcase or large purse...


And another question:  

For whom are you guys looking to get shrines done?  I know Aster would want Brigid; but what about the lesser-known deities? Or would people want a little more generic figures that could be whomever you wanted them to be?
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
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