Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cigar box shrine: Or while others smoke, you create!

First off I am putting this together before I have had enough coffee to really be responsible for the words that are typed. In fact, the backspace key has been put to liberal use already, and I am, what, two sentences into the post? :)
I definitely am NOT like those people in the Grape Nuts commercials; sometimes morning is NOT my time of day!
Moving on, this is a piece I love, made from a cigar box. Cigar boxes are amazing items to work with, either as they come or, like in this piece, with a little alteration.
I took the lid off, split it down the middle, then shifted the pieces 90 degrees. That left a little space at the top where I was able to insert a piece of decorative metal I had painted and aged. Gesso, and lots of it, was the secret to covering the paper and wood on the box and then applying liberal coats of color to build up depth. The pieces of the top were hinged back on with paper and medium, then all the collaging and painting was done. Tiny bottle caps with images in them, an alter at the bottom similar to Day of the Dead, the ferns that grow everywhere in New Orleans.
I am hoping the photos are able to enlarge; been having *issues * with getting them where they are supposed to be so I would guess that they will not! (just checked. I am wrong...)
I did this after the gallery I used to have work in down in NOLA closed, one year before Katrina. The photo inside is of myself---looking horrible---I believe I was
ill that year, and my friend, Taina Mechling, who ran the
I wanted a small memento to have of the lovely times spent in the warm, balmy, carefree days of the beautiful city, and a reminder of the most unique gallery that she ran. Since their move back to California, Taina opened another gallery, but I am not sure with the economic climate if she chose to keep it open or to close it and make her own lovely and unique art. (I hope she is making art so she has some time to enjoy herself!)
The cigar box shrine seemed for me a fitting and appropriate way to remember a very dear friend and times spent together on wonderful vacations.
Usually store that sell cigars will part with the boxes for a small fee, and there are an amazing variety of styles to choose from. They make perfect shrines or with the addition of a piece of glass or plexiglass across the front, a safely enclosed shadow box for all sorts of quirky items.
It is well worth your time to search some of these out and see what you can create with them.
Plus, they are just plain FUN!!!!!
So give it a try; you might be surprised at how much you can put into a small area!
And Taina, I hope you or your friends find this, and know you and Kelly are in my heart still, every day.


Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

anther beauty! This is really wonderful - I love the colors - like a sunset!

aren't bottle caps amazing things?

Is it named after the volcano Corazon?

I just love seeing all the fabulous art you're posting ... very inspirational! I'm going to kick myself in the ass and get out of this Marie mode I'm in and do some 'real' work!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Tristan, I am so low right now, I just need a hard kick in the arse! Maybe it would get the braincells working, as I feel they have settled there........ :)
I love bottle caps (bought some cool ones from Manto Fev)--they have so much possibility, either new, used or smashed and rusted out of a parking lot. I'll have to try and post one of my box canvas pieces that is subtle collage and uses a rusted bottle cap as a finishing touch.
Again, another pain to photograph!


bernadette ostrozovich said...

yummmmmy! i want to lick them. is that wrong?

Leslie said...

I love this one too.. Many so many great designs, I want one, I want one. Corazon, heart, indeed. I heart you, I wish I could give you a great big hug to give you a bit of cheer.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Bernadette---if you lick them, you might want to go for a tetanis shot afterwards.... ;)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Leslie---I am doing better. Got the good news my PT starts tomorrow so I am PUMPED! Naturally, I may not be afterwards..... <:0
I almost did not post this one piece as it is different than my other work, and was done mostly for me. Now I'm glad I did. It was fun to make both from the point of figuring it out and from the use of images and color. It always makes me smile when I look at it.
The leaf skeletons were the HARDEST things to get collaged on...I'm telling you.....they just did not want to stick! Everything else was pretty easy.
And I was not seriously producing work at that time, so there was that element of uninhibited fun with it too. That goes by the wayside with competition, but I tell you, this blog brings it back!
I have the best time sharing with everyone and hopefully there is some learning too!

Jan said...

Your house must be jam packed with all these pieces you have made. You keep showing us such cool stuff, no wonder I check in here every day. I know I have a stash of cigar boxes up in the attic somewhere. I should pull them out and at least ruin one. Start with many coats of gesso huh.....

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

The gesso covers everything. Always more than one coat. You can tell when it's right.
Then just paint with your choice of colors and then collage---then fill with what you want. It's fun, and easier than it looks. Give it a try; if you have questions you know where I am! :)

Karen said...

Always good to see Taina with a smile on her face. Thanks for posting it. Best - Karen Ringeride, Taina's sister

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...


So good to see your comment! Please come back and post; I am always interested in hearing about Taina and what she is up to.....making more art I hope! I miss her much.....!!!!

Karen said...

Hi Anne - Good to hear from you! Sorry I didn't get back to you right away. We sold our house and moved to downtown Bristol, RI and are up to our eyeballs in boxes. Let me know your e-mail and I'll send it on to Taina. She and Kelly are living in Encinitas, just North of San Diego.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Karen---Glad to hear you made it--but not the boxes part! (been there)
My e-mail is be glad to hear from Taina if she has time! Thanks!

Gloria said...

Thanks Anne, excellent work and great ideas. Your my Scythe!!:D Have a great Sunday.

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