Thursday, June 8, 2017

Painted Jacket Inspired by Artist Franz Kline

I had previously refashioned this trench coat in 2013 by exchanging the boring 3/4 length sleeves for long sweater sleeves. I loved it and still do but the jacket, over the years, got dingy. 

No matter how many times I washed it it remained, well...dingy. And then I found these pen marks on them, not sure how they got there but there they were. Not wanting to give up on it, I searched for ways to once again refashion this amazing jacket that still fit pretty well. 

Black, White, and Grey, 1959. Collection Metropolitan Museum
So I decided that I could paint it! That's what a painting essentially is right? Paint on fabric, the fabric usually being canvas. Well, my trench coat was my canvas! 

The next decision was how to paint it? In what style? I immediately thought of one of my favorite painters, Franz Kline. Kline was an American painter born in Pennsylvania and associated with the abstract expressionist movement of the 1940s and 1950s.  

I am not sure what it is about his black and while abstract paintings that attract me. I do love the energy, the expressionistic, bold brushstrokes, the grittiness of it all. It reminds me of writing, graffiti, urban strength, everything I love about the city. 

Untitled, 1954

I was particularly interested in the paintings that incorporated the color beige as my jacket was a solid beige. 

So the second week of April, while the kids were on Spring break, I decided to embark on this project which had been on my mind for so long. 

It was a nice sunny day and while Dan was frolicking in the backyard, I started to assemble my palette. On wax paper I squeezed out titanium white, unbleached titanium, and mars black. I was going to use fabric paint, but had run out. I am actually glad I did because I really like the shiny quality in  acrylic paint. 

I also used two different brushes; a big flat one that I got at the hardware store and a medium sized one (not pictured here).  

I made sure to line the mannequin with garbage bags. I was about to go all Franz Kline on this coat and my hubby would kill me if I got paint on the deck. I also placed the sleeves on top of the mannequin top for a quick game of simon says, just kidding! Didn't want to get the sleeves painted. 

I buttoned the jacket and I started applying the black paint with the large brush, not wetting it in between to give it a dry brush effect. I then went over some areas with the white, making sure to blend and also used unbleached titanium which gives off a beige color. 

When I opened it, I realized that I had to also paint the other side in case I decided I wanted to leave the jacket open which I sometimes do. 

Now I had both sides painted. 

All finished. Here's the front/side

And here's the back. I love it so much! 

Definitely an improvement

So here's an example of a jacket that has been refashioned two times! I think this is it. The only other alteration I can think of doing is cutting it, but I have no plans to do that yet.

One day I met my museum colleague for a meeting. After I walked in the office and sat down she said, "when you walked in, you looked like you were wearing a painting." 

Yay! I nailed it! Exactly the look I was going for. 

With this crazy New York City weather I had the opportunity to wear it even into June. Looks like it's getting warmer starting today so I will hang up my beautiful painting until the fall. 

What do you think? Any questions? Feel free to e-mail me or post your comments on the bottom.

God bless and have a great day! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Girl, Reconstructed: Crafting a Creative Business as a Special Needs Mom

Hello friends! I am so excited to announce that I finally published my book!  It's titled, Girl Reconstructed: Crafting a Creative Business as a Special Needs Mom

This book is basically a detailed way of answering the question I received time and time again; how do you manage to create items and run a shop with two kids on the spectrum? Girl, Reconstructed: Crafting a Creative Business as a Special-Needs Mom offers encouragement and inspiration particularly to crafty special-needs moms (it would actually help anyone) who might want to turn their creative passion into profits. I pour out my heart and soul in strategies, quotes, ideas, and resources to help you along your journey. But most important of all, I use myself as an example to show you that if I can do it, you can too! 
You can order the e-book or paperback here. I will be posting excerpts from the book here so stay tuned!  

Thank you for all of your support throughout these years of my building, Nelesc Designs. I paused the business for a little bit to write the book but I will be back soon!

Enjoy your day! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

On Being the Noun

Photo: Nellie Escalante

In a blog post I wrote back in October titled, On Having a Second Art Language, I talked about the freedom in being the verb, in simply doing our art. I wrote, “ and that’s the beauty of having a second art language, it allows you to remain the verb without the pressure of being the noun. It allows you to just SING, instead of being the Singer. Today, however, I’d like to chat a little bit about being the noun.

Being the noun is important when we find it difficult to get to the verb, to get to the doing. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of who we are. Being the noun motivates us to do and sometimes we have to tell ourselves who we are so we can get unstuck. Here’s an example:  “Come on, move your butt, you are an artist, make some art!” Or “you are a poet” or “a writer, now write!”

There are times, when I’m discouraged or in a funk, when I have to tell myself, “stop it, you are a child of God, you will be fine, He’s got this, you were fearfully and wonderfully made.” Because, yes, He (God) created you (verb) but He is also the creator, (noun), and knowing that this is his job title, Creator, gives me comfort, peace, joy, and assurance.

The other day, my friend and I were sharing and encouraging each other. At the end of our conversation, she didn’t say, “thank you for encouraging me, instead, she said “Nellie, you are such an encourager.” It immediately clicked, “ahh, the noun.” I do love to encourage others and route people on, and to be called the noun, it was just different when I heard it that way, “encourager.” It simply solidified this identity in me.

So friends, go ahead and label yourselves! I know this is not encouraged in our society but there are times when we just need to tell ourselves who we are, whether it be Artist, Writer, Dancer, Scientist, whatever it is. We need to remind ourselves, especially when we are feeling discouraged. There is no arguing with your identity and once you have that down, you can quickly get to the fun part, the doing.