Van Gogh

   by Janis Harper for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Van Gogh's self-portraits; Starry Night and Sunflowers

Inspiration Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

I used a variety of techniques and tools. Techniques used include clay sculpting, paper mache', painting, and woodworking. Some of the tools I used include scissors, heat gun, glue gun, paintbrushes, and drill press. The greatest tool I had available to me was my imagination! I started by wrapping a Styrofoam head in plastic wrap. I rolled out the Chavant modeling clay and then spread it over the form. I watered down my liquid glue to make it go further and used it sparingly with the shredded newsprint to cover the clay with a paper mache' type skin. Next, I painted varnish on to the surface. To strengthen the neck I glued strips using the paper from the Mystery Build rules. I glued strips of the thin assorted hardwoods. The head form was cut loose from the Styrofoam form and I rejoined it together with more paper mache'. I heated the Chavant clay and smoothed it over the entire hollow surface of the inside of the head. A chunk of the floral foam was glued inside the head to attach to the base and for my wires of the Starry Night to go into. Using a drill press I made holes for the dowel rods to join together the pieces of the head and the base. The base was made from the cardboard box. It was painted and then I glued pieces of the wood to the surface. I filled the eye sockets with plastic pellets. The shirt collar was cut from the canvas and a button was made from plastic pellets. I unraveled the rope and used it to make the hair. The ears and pipe are formed from the Sculpey clay. The sunflowers were created from the canvas materials and then wired to the box. Finally I created the Starry Night pieces from the wire I had left, the friendly plastic pellets and some more paper mache' and paper weaving technique. The inside of the head was stuffed with shredded newsprint that I had painted. I used oil paints to paint the entire project and varnished the final project.

I had never used Chavant modeling clay, Friendly Plastic pellets or Sculpey polymer clay. Also, I've never tried to make a video for any of my art. I learned a lot from this project and really felt it stretched my skills to think outside of the box. My finished project represents several months of work and brainstorming.