I Dreamt I Was a Dove of Peace

   by Margi Hafer for Build A Dream (2014)

I used several items, including the box, to create my Dream in which I am a dove of peace.
I used the card stock paper to create my sketch idea.
The Mystery Build Box: was cut with metal blade to create the shape of the treetop on one side and explosive images of war on the other. I glued the top and bottom of the box together and clipped the back flaps together while the glue dried. I used Acrylic spray paint on top of the gesso covered cardboard as background color, then brush-painted the leaf and branch areas of the tree, and the fire and smoke of bomb explosions and warriors.
The Dove/woman figure was created on the Manikin, with wire mesh, plaster cloth wrap, and a few biodegradable peanuts. This image was then painted with acrylic paint and accented with black ink pen.
The Nest for the egg was created by stacking the foam Van Gogh ear, the spool from the wire, on top of the manikin stand. Next, natural sponge, flexible aluminum wire a few smashed biodegradable peanuts, and plaster cloth wrap were added to create the bird's nest to support the egg. Some of the Van Aken Modeling Clay¯ was stuffed in the spool to weigh down the nest. The egg and nest pieces were then painted with acrylic paint.
The main tree branches were created by adding cornstarch, biodegradable, peanuts (smashed and glued to the Styrofoam rod, wire mesh, round wood dowels, and aluminum rod. Plaster cloth wrap was then applied for detailed bark. A flag of surrender was created on the end of the aluminum rod with a scrap piece of plaster wrap.
The base of the tree top was made from the 9x12¯ canvas cloth which was cut similarly to the top of the tree, painted with acrylic paint and hot glued to the bottom of the tree/box form. The bird nest with egg was then placed on top of this canvas cloth.
The window in the tree was made by painting the image of an armed warrior and explosions on the 6x8¯ canvas board with acrylic paint. A Square Basswood Dowel was sawed in half, painted and attached to the top and bottom of the canvas panel to give a frame effect.
The window¯ in the explosion is placed on the opposite side of the tree window. This window was made from the tempered hard board cut to the 6¯x8 size of the canvas board. The Dove/woman image was painted with acrylics on the hardboard, and accented with black ink pen. A Square Basswood Dowel was sawed in half and attached to the top and bottom of the hard board panel to give a frame effect.
The two smaller warriors were made from the box, in which the manikin was packaged. I cut out one of the figures on the box and colored it with marker and ink to make it look like a warrior. This figure was then glued into the fire area next to a much larger warrior figure that I painted on the larger box shape. I took a plain side of the manikin box to create a rear view of a manikin warrior¯. I glued the black rod (that the plaster wrap was wrapped around) to the back of the warrior, because it looked a little bit like a missal-type weapon. Next I cut a section of square Basswood dowel at an angle and glued to the area next to the window with the dove/woman image. Then I hot glued this warrior to the dowel to set it back from the window like he's looking at the dove from an angle.
I used the nylon thread to help position the dove/woman into the tree facing the warrior in the window. I thought about suspending her by the thread, but decided she would look more like she's suspended in space it I just hot glued her to the tree branch and box leaves.

I often use the image of birds in my artwork. The significance of the freedom of a bird in flight gave me wings to create my dream of me as a bird-like woman in flight. As my thoughts progressed, and I considered the materials at hand, I developed somewhat of a storyline of peace versus war. I, the dove/woman, am protecting the unborn innocence inside the egg. I can see from my window in my peaceful tree that hate-filled warriors are approaching. I look in the eyes of a warrior and wonder what breeds such hate and contempt for life? On the other side of my dream, a warrior looks through a window surrounded by the clouds of destruction and sees me, the dove woman, surrounded by the beauty of my tree where love and hope still survive.
He wonders why he is cursed with hate, and tries to remember when there was once love.

I love this competition. It makes me think "out-of-the-box" and stretch my imaginative powers. The creative images of the other artists hold me in awe of their talents and expertise. I've graduated to a slide show this year, maybe next year I'll try a video!