I Dream of Painting

   by Rebecca Protzmann for Build A Dream (2014)

I used the mystery build box lid as my base, and the plaster strips for the mask and hills covering the base. The foam cylinder and wire mesh were used to prop up the plaster hills. I removed the base from the mannequin so that I could have him seated, and used the mannequin base as the hanging moon. The mannequin Van Gogh's paintbrush is made from tiny pieces of string glued to the end of a small piece of wire. I made birds and stars out of paper, both the sheet of paper and the instruction booklet pages, and the canvas sheet as Van Gogh's blanket. The Van Gogh mask, which I made from my own face, was glued onto the board, which was then glued to dowels, which were inserted through the box lid and glued. I painted the rubber ear and glued it to the side of the mask. The "mobile" part of my piece was made from the wooden dowels, painted black, and from string. Hanging on it are birds and stars made of paper, the mannequin base moon, the bobbin covered in modeling clay (to even out the weight of the moon) and one of the small wooden discs. The other disc was used (along with scrunched up paper) to make the mini Van Gogh's hat. I used Blick acrylic paint, glue gun and Weldbond glue. I painted a reproduction of Van Gogh's "Church at Auvers" on the small canvas board, but was never able to fit it into the final design, so I glued it onto the back as a piece on its own.

I had lots of ideas, but none of them used the rubber ear. I am a huge Van Gogh fan, and so I finally decided to give in and devote my piece to him. I have been reading Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo, teaching my elementary school art students about him, traveling far and wide to see his paintings, and I suddenly remembered a quote of his that I heard, "I dream of painting, and then I paint my dream." I thought that if I could make a head big enough for the ear, then I could make it look like Van Gogh was dreaming, and run with it from there. I knew I wanted to incorporate the quote somehow, and bring it to life. There were many ideas I had in the beginning that didn't end up working. Mostly because they drew attention away from the main focus, making everything too busy. I was so eager to use as many materials as possible that I had to tone it down as I went. More than anything, I wanted to create a fantastical glimpse into the dreams of Van Gogh, a 3D world of brush strokes and color.

The mobile does not actually move in the realm of rotation or balance, but the birds and stars on strings make the most wonderful fluttering sound in the breeze.