Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Deconstructed Reconstituted 3-Layer Buddha (With a Cherry on Top)

Ingredients: image transfer, vintage book pages, metallic paper, map fragment, magazine cut-outs, acrylic ink, watercolor pencils, Koh-i-noor pens.  6" x 4"

This was another of the pieces I was working on for the postcard show.  I feel like I should explain the long and somewhat bizarre title of this piece, in case you're wondering.  (And who wouldn't, right?)  So, here's the story:

1. I started by gluing down a bunch of old book pages and stuff, then did the image transfer of the Buddha grid,  using acrylic gel medium.  It worked quite well.

2. I proceeded to paint it and color it and glue more stuff on around it. 

3. After a while, it got all muddy and floopy-looking, so I covered it with more book pages and did the transfer again.  Again, the transfer came out perfectly.

4. I then commenced to mess it up once more, chiefly by way of adding some metallic crayon stuff that I didn't like.  (You never know until you try it, right?)

5. I had one more copy of the Buddha grid, so I thought: why not?  Yep, you guessed it; I covered it with some more vintage book pages, and did the transfer ONE MORE TIME- hence, the "3-layer" part of the title.  This time, the transfer didn't go as well, mostly due to the crappy metallic crayon, which the transfer didn't want to stick to.  So, I thought:

6. It looks like doo-doo, so what's to lose?  I started pulling the layers apart, just to see what happened.  Of course, most of it came apart in pieces.  This is where the "deconstructed" part of the title comes in.

7. But, I had most of the top layer, and a few other pieces that were interesting, so I tried putting them back together to form a semi-complete image, fitting them together like a puzzle.  I felt almost like an archeologist (which I have always wanted to be), piecing together fragments of some broken, long-buried artifact.  Okay, you can see how pathetic my life really is, but I was having fun!  I'm sure "reconstituted" isn't what they actually call it, either; I think that's orange juice, or powdered milk.  Whatever.

8. At this point, I started to like it more, and not just because I got to pretend to be an archeologist.  I now had a sort of pieced-together Buddha made from acrylic gel, kind of a very bumpy and stretchy decal. 

9.  I put some more stuff on the background, and then glued it down, glued on some more stuff, and- Voila!

I'm pretty sure the "cherry on top" is self-explanatory.


  1. wow. beautiful!!!!!!!!!!! i love how you incorporated the grid:)
    thanks for the inspiration!

  2. ah such is the way with art!! it looks wonderful...

  3. Oh my goodness I love you! Ok, well maybe I should take that down a notch...Nope I am just gonna leave it.This layering is so much like life. Buddha of course find this would be amused with how you deconstructed and reconstituted him. So you just start gluing? I really feel like my paper pieces that I used to collect are calling me...This is great.

  4. This is a fabulous piece and you probably will never be able to recreate it. It is an original like none other! Thanks for showing the way.

  5. Ha Ha! Great story. On Facebook the other day, I asked the art-related question, "Is it o.k. to make the same mistake twice?" I thought the answer should be yes, and so did my friends.

    Wouldn't life be dull if everything worked out the first time?

    Great piece. So glad you shared the back story.

  6. I love the way this came out, great colors and I'm always wild about buddha images. I know what you mean about adding things and realizing it's just not working. Stringing jewelry is so much more forgiving for me when it's not working out, but this mixed media is a whole other ball of wax. I hate it when I've added an element that just doesn't work and "reconstituting" fails. But you managed to resurrect this splendidly.
    xoxo Kim

  7. It just goes to show that more is more in mixed media :)

  8. Oh thank you so much for sharing your process. I love your Buddha...and the grid!I love all the layers. I also do mixed media and...it is interesting just how many layers can build up!
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and yes! what is going on in India against girls is...unthinkable but...true.

  9. Oh, this rocks. I love that you shared the details. I'm printing this out because I must memorize it.


  10. A great description of your process for coming up with this piece. I can totally relate to it and really enjoyed reading about another artist's play/struggle/despair/salvation of her art work. Even though it's supposed to be all about the process, it is gratifying to finally come away with an image that we can take some pleasure in sharing, isnt it.
    How did you do your image transfers? Photocopies applied with medium and the paper scraped away or...? If you have a moment to answer, fine, but don't worry about it.
    Nice work!

  11. LOVE this Sharmon, so much interesting texture going on here...makes me think of a map of the heart. I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the student butterflies you sent to Trudi!

  12. Thanks so much foor stopping by my blog - I'm so gald you did otherwise I wouldn't have been able to see your amazing artwork! You are truly gifted - this Buddha piece is phenomemal. Can't wait to go through all your older posts to see what I have been missing!

  13. Oh yes --oh mighty mighty yes. Thank you for finding me. I am deeply excited about this blog. And welcome you to mine. I have a cool new contribution coming along, and should have posted today. Got tied up. Tomorrow for sure.

    You have given me permission to publish a list of "ingredients", which I was just describing to a visitor. It's downright comical some of the stuff that ends up in the art. Hilarious moniker--but hey who am I to deny sanded grout when my painting needs it? You're brilliant. Thanks for the follow, and back at you!!!



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