Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This blog has been getting a little bit non-painting heavy with all the performative (/guerrilla? -I'm not really sure how to label it...) work I've been posting, so here is painting to even the scales a bit. I completed it a while back, but it is still (sadly) one of my newer pieces, due to the fact that I've been so inactive on the painting front. Its 60" x 48", oil on paper.

Green Dress Return

I've been much more nervous about returning items since Express caught me trying to return pants with an elongated pocket a while back. Nothing really came of it - I turned and walked out of the store and that was that - but I am so adverse to being on the spot, that I have been much more prone to having others return for me ever since.

I intended to return the green dress yesterday. I got all the way inside the door and up to the line for the cashier and I panicked, sure that they would find my little sewn-in paintings and detain me, chastise me publicly, ban me for life, etc. I turned and left.

Today I tried to get a couple of friends to do the return for me. One declared that she too would be too anxious. The other thought I needed to do it on my own for the purity of the piece (and perhaps for the sake of character development?). The window of time in which the dress could be returned was soon to expire - for H&M it is only thirty days - so I focused on how small and unobtrusive my paintings are; how it was close to closing time and everyone just wanted to get home, and went to return.

All went smoothly. There wasn't even a line for me to sit and stew in, though the cashier did count out the change with excruciating slowness.

This is a different project to be doing now, than it was when I started it a couple years ago. I found myself wondering, while waiting for my change, if it were more likely that someone buying this dress would be stretching their budget to do so. For a moment I felt a little guilty - perhaps my little interventions are less an intriguing surprise and more a disappointment in a time when people are taking their purchases more seriously and making them with greater care. It's hard to feel bad for long, though, as the little paintings can easily be cut out of the seams without damaging the dress at all.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Green Dress Altered

My additions to the green dress were little painting widgets :

I sewed them into the seam that ran along the waist of the dress. Here's what the dress looks like turned inside-out:

I also added one to the tag where the spare button is sewn, sort of as the button's surreal counterpoint:

I'll return the dress next week. This time around I'm not very nervous about my alterations being discovered - they are pretty unobtrusive. However, I didn't notice until I'd gotten the dress home that it actually has already garnered some sort of smudge/stain, which could lead to returning difficulties of a more straightforward sort than usual.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Green Dress Alteration Prep

To alter the green dress, I am going to sew little abstract paintings into the seams. I make these paintings by setting down a layer of clear acrylic medium on glass, placing little dry bits of paint (collected habitually from my palette scrapings), then adding another layer of clear medium, so that the arrangements of color dry into a plastic-y sheet, which can be peeled off of the glass, creating a painting purely of paint.

I've cut little widgets out of this larger fruit-roll-up of a painting to hide in the dress.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Green Dress from H&M

I bought a new dress for Shell Game, though I don't know yet exactly how I intend to alter it. I think the bright color may have seduced me a bit, because the dress does not have the sort of hiding places that I usually look for: pockets or underskirts or other lining.

The aim, as usual, is to alter the dress in a surprising and intriguing manner - a manner that takes is from utilitarian or fashion object to art object. Sometimes I do this by erring more toward the language of fashion, as when adding migratory shoulder pads, vestigial zippers, or elongated pockets. Sometimes I cleave more toward the language of art, by painting on underskirts, or adding little abstract paintings that can be sewn into the seams or lining.

Here's one such alteration of tiny paintings that I sewed into the sleeve of a shirt a while back. I'll probably use a similar sort of tactic with the new dress.