Thursday, October 29, 2015

#tbt: the story of 'paint-pot dress ... '

'paint-pot dress ...' 

I am honored to announce that  my 'paint-pot dress ...' was accepted into Cambridge Art Association's biennial exhibition, BLUE, which was juried by Katherine French, Gallery Director Catamount Arts, VT.   'lilith in blue ...' was part of Blue 2012-2013

'lilith in blue ...'
And as a way to celebrate this exciting news I am going to give the brief story of this dress' creation.  I have been wanting to return to my #tbt blog posts, telling the back-stories of the many dresses in my dressproject.  As I am review the scope of my 'dressproject' I am constantly amazed about how many the dresses have some kind of story, connection or interesting point of reflection.  Some are very poignant, such as 'dear jeff... ' and some are just fun, like this one.  

When looking at this photograph, many people are unsure about what makes up this dress, even knowing the title.  So to clarify, this dress is made out of the paint pots from watercolor sets, the basic watercolor sets that we all used in school and possibly use now.  

In 2013, I was substituting at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA.  I was covering the maternity leave of the Middle School's art teacher, and loving it.

One of our class projects was based around one point perspective and I had the students create a city street in perspective then color it with watercolor paints.  When we first pulled out the sets it was clear that they needed to be refreshed and replenished.  

This is one of the cool parts of being the art teacher, access to the art closet, full of endless art supplies and in this case, boxes of replacement pots of paint so that schools do not need to throw out an entire paint set if only one color is used up!! 

So during one free period I gathered all the paint sets and proceeded to pop out the pots that were nearly empty.  Soon my desk was covered with the old and new paint pots, all different colors and shades depending on the state of the paint.  As I worked, piling up more and more paint pots onto the desk, I knew that a dress needed to be made, and so I proceeded to cull together the blues and purples and made a dress.

Now here is the part of this dress' story that I most love ....  

I hadn't been substituting for too long, maybe a month or so, and I felt as if my advisors and I were still getting comfortable with each other. 

On the day I was cleaning the paint sets I had worked through lunch so when my advisors returned to the classroom after lunch for advisory, I was in the midst of my mess. As I scrambled to find the necessary papers and information for advisory, one of my advisors walked over to my desk and surveyed my mess and inquired what I was doing???

'Well,' I started to explain, 'I was cleaning up in the watercolor paint sets and needed to pop out the old paints so I could put in the fresh paint pot.  But once I saw all the pots of color and noted all the beautiful variations laying across my desk I just needed to make a dress out of them.' And almost before I finished my explanation she looked at me with a smile and stated in a matter-of-fact manner,
 'of course you did!' 

Then all my advisors came up and admired my handiwork and it was at that point that I felt completely welcomed.  They got me! 
link to info about the exhibit


  1. Great Story!!!! I see a book in the future....

    1. Thank you Ruth!! that means a lot coming from you! xxx


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