I initially took the reality of lockdown 2020 hard, all my amazing experiences out in the events world painting, decorating and accessorising people, dancers, models… life was so good and I didn’t want to say goodbye….
BUT in the depths of the melancholy, what has emerged is the realisation of a dream… to print my paintings as fabric. My art has turned a corner… and it looks like this new venture will be successful. Selling out my first batch in 24 hours, these face masks have been designed from beginning to end. The first stage was to great bright and colourful designed patterns with watercolour paints. I am including henna elements and motifs in every design, henna designs run in my blood thread through my dreams…. I put these paintings into #photoshopcc and transformed them into large blocks that could be repeated over meters of fabric. You can see the designs I created on instagram @tropicalbirdbird
This has been an interesting entrance into a new world, I have had all sorts of things to think about….. labels, posting, orders, pre-orders, marketing, sourcing, various messaging platforms… it has been intense, but I love it…
Patiently waiting for new labels, today I will be cutting out the pattern ready to send to my lady that sews…
On a dark, wet and blustery February evening in Central London, we gathered our paper sculptures, paints and brushes and headed towards a very special #RALates event to create a Picasso inspired paper and paint installation on artist’s model Tatiana as a live performance for the guests of the evening’s event.
Go back a few weeks, we received an email asking if we would like to create something for the Picasso RA Lates… of course we did. Tatiana and I work so well together, she poses throughout the painting and costume creation, guests watch the process, they love taking photos as the look develops.
I felt really inspired to make the accessories from paper. Picasso used all types of paper in his collages and sculptures. I felt that the paper should be old, it feels special and appeals to my feelings about recycling and reuse. Picasso didn’t like to waste paper, he would paint on the smallest of scraps of paper.
I sent the wish out to the universe (posted on facebook) for some old maps, it looked like nothing would come my way then the next day I received a text from a friend that manages a charity shop to say she had been donated a bag of old books that very morning, would I like them? Everything was falling into place. We kept some of the books and used the rest as materials.
It felt liberating to make something out of books that were unwanted. Some of the paper was very thick and some thin, some light colour and some darker, all with an aged sensory patina and of course, that lush lush smell of old books.
I played around with the papers and came up with a way of tearing the pages with a ruler in a certain shape then folding the pieces in a way to make the most angles and show the most edges to create cubism shapes, I was inspired by ‘Man with a Guitar’ by Picasso. The paper seemed to be in similar colours.
So, The headdress was created in my studio (shed) and I made the elements separately for the shoulders and skirt so it was easier to transport to Burlington House. I also thought it would be really interesting for people to view the costume being built – a live installation on a real person.
Tatiana stood on the platform and I laid out the paper sculptures on the table behind and we constructed this in the Slaughter Room. The skirt was made from lengths of folded paper and I stapled more paper from the books in angular strokes. We laughed and said that Picasso probably would have used a stapler for a similar purpose! The drifting audience gasped as they walked in to the room, and some helped themselves to the antique papers lying on the stage, a keepsake of their evening at The Royal Academy of Arts, which was an extremely lavish evening I have to say. If you can ever get to one, I would recommend it. All sorts of amazing artistic things going on…… I was honoured to be part of this wonderful evening!
We had the great pleasure of being called upon by amazing make up artist Sammm Agnew who did hyper beauty layered makeup and avant garde hair designs while Caroline worked those killer painted stylisations to adorn the goddesses we work on.
The Ivy Asia surprised their guests as they ate their asian food with DJs and musicians performing in full geisha costume made up with dramatic colours and paint.
I was honoured to be part of this team, the pictures are amazing and the guests in the restaurant were certainly impressed.
A lovely post by @tropicalbird as we work together providing high quality transformative designs on performers here for Ivy Asia London! Myself on hyper beauty layered makeup and avant garde hair designs and Caroline providing those killer painted stylisations to adorn the goddesses we work on
35 floors up The Shard in beautiful London, we laid out our paints and make up to body paint two dancers in preparation for their performance that evening to guests at Shangri La.
Save The First Dance provided a selection of performers to include a contortionist, Acro Balance pair, Chinese dancers, Chinese Dragon, Chinese Drummers and Podium Dancers to entertain their guests at an exclusive party.
We attended as a team of very artistic body painters, make up artists and hair technicians. Our client wanted the dancers to be painted with Chinese dresses on. We were given a mood board but were given freedom on the design.
The day was full of excitement about creating such beautiful artwork. Our backdrop was the awe inspiring vista of London which looks AMAZING from such a height!
Body painted dancers are a great surprise for guests at any event, It is beautiful, fascinating and unusual, a real treat for the eye, perfect opportunity to take a selfie and hashtag your business or event
What I love about painting people is the way they feel when they see themselves. I put on some music or like today, we listened to Women’s Hour on BBC 4. Cher said I could paint whatever I wanted and I’m so into birds at the moment, so we looked at some Japanese illustrations for patterns and incorporated this into the design.
Cher is a dear friend and we chatted for an hour or so as I painted, I was so excited to try the Kryolan Micro Flakes that really are a pleasure to paint with and the way they catch the light is very dramatic, completely different to any product I have used before.
What wonderful news I have to tell you all – I recently won a very prestigious competition!
Paintopia and Cameleon Paints started a new Facebook page and filled it with face and body painters from around the world. Together they are wonderful at inspiring and supporting face and body artists worldwide.
I noticed they were running a competition in all things Ultra Violet face and body painting and my mind drifted back to one magical night at The Royal Academy of Arts where I did a piece of performance art in one of the beautiful rooms at Burlington House during one of their RALates events. These events are so lavish and I was honoured to be asked to create a live body paint in UV paint as a public performance.
I spent the weeks leading up to this event in the workshop at the bottom of my garden making costume accessories to accompany my design. I like to change the silhouette of the human form, making the final vision bigger and more flamboyant.
When we arrived on this special evening at The Royal Academy of Arts, we walked up the famous steps and round the corner into the room we would settle to paint. I gasped when I saw the most opulent flower arrangements that sat either side of my performance space. They were very tall, very wide and filled with delphiniums.
My model, Tatiana Moressoni changed into her costume accessories and we set about taking our place between the delphiniums. My assistants shone powerful UV torches on Tatiana as I painted this wildly bold design.
Well, I had the most amazing evening. As we painted, guests watched the artwork unfold. People stayed, asked questions and drifted in and out as they enjoyed all the activities laid on at this RA Late. You can see more pictures from the evening on this Flickr page.
Are you a face or body painter and are wondering which UV paints to use? If so, I can wholly recommend Cameleon UV paints and you can buy them here.
This is the first time I was asked to perform a live body paint at a Lates event for the Royal Academy of Arts in 2016.
The theme was ‘Dark Circus’
This is quite a spectacle. Carla is painted by Caroline as people drift around The RA enjoying the exhibitions, cocktails and activities laid on. Guests are able to see the process from first brush stroke to finished piece.
When the creation is finished, Caroline and Carla take some time to enjoy walking around to take selfies and talk to about the work.
All costume and accessories made by Caroline. Here is a link to the Etsy page
This was the event on The Royal Academy of Art’s page, check it out!