Art Couture Painswick Turtle /Plastic pollution Bodypaint

Sun July 17th 2016

Much sooner than I hoped it was time for Art Couture Painswick (ACP) again- I’d been busy away painting nearly every day for 8 days, and with a sick toddler hasn’t finished the props I wanted to make for it.

ACP is a stunning biennial event in the scenic Cotswold town of Painswick. Streets are closed for the day and filled with food and craft stalls, whilst competitors in a range of categories wander the 10,000 crowds in the clothing and headgear they made from unusual objects.

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The main stage catwalk and judging (by celebrity/ industry experts etc) is set up in the historic churchyard with its 99 yew trees.

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I have been lucky enough to paint in the body art category every year since that was included. In 2012 I placed 3rd with my “Comedy Queen’ about UK TV comedies for the ‘Celebrating Britain’ theme.

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The following year, again on model Laurence Caird, my Victorian Magic Man depicting stage magic & automatons from the 1800’s, won the Body Art 1st place!

This year the Body Paint Category’s theme was ‘Food For Thought’, so I based my design on plastic pollution in the ocean and how if affects sea-life which in turn affects our food-chain. I planned a huge neck ruff of recycled bottles, etc, but it wasn’t looking quite as I wanted. Its a bit tough to design things like that without the actual model to fit it too, and as the lovely Grace (god-mum of my toddler) was based in Norwich & I’m now in Bath, I wasn’t seeing her before the event. Or I needed the shop dummy to fit my props to that I typically sold when we moved to Bath as we didn’t have the space! But I liked the bottle-jellyfish I’d made.

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We had to send in a statement about the artwork in advance, so this was mine – actually sent in a few weeks before, unusually for me, so I had a brief to paint to if not an actual design plan!:

“Plastic Soup/ All the Fish in the Sea

Only 5% of plastic is recycled, 1/3 escapes into oceans, a lorry full per minute. By 2050 plastic will outweigh any fish in the sea.

Marine creatures starve as it fills them, or strangle in netting and 6-pack rings. Bags look like jellyfish underwater, so if turtles catch one, their special throats, evolved to stop jellyfish escaping, mean they have to keep eating it.

Albatross eat fish eggs on floating objects. Toothbrushes, lighters, sanitary waste – all stuffed dead albatross chicks.

Ocean currents collect ‘plastic soups’ millions of kilometres wide, 5 swirling rubbish patches twice the size of Texas. The sea bed, Earth’s last frontier, is coated in tiny plastic particles.

Boyan Slat’s cleanup system, a floating barrier passively collecting rubbish for recycling, launches in 2020. But we need to stop plastic ending up in our oceans if we want to keep our seas and ourselves alive.”

Grace & Jennie stayed overnight at my mums’, then followed me over to Painswick far to early on a lovely sunny morning. One of the kind ACP volunteers jumped into my car to direct me to the competitors carpark, and luckily I bumped into a bunch of other painters who had already dropped off their kit who helped cart my stuff to the hall beside the Art Couture Gallery. 

 We had so much space to set up in- luxury! And ladies offering cups of tea etc.

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I set up my kit, and as the briefing went on started attempting to add rollers and plastic flotsam to Gracie’s hair, which was allowed before the official start. The rules are only professional cosmetic products, only a small % of stencilling or prosthetics, and 6 hours with a compulsory break in the middle.

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At 9.30 we started painting and I began to kabuki on colours in Cameleon white, yellow and celadon. I hate yellow so am trying to use it for once! I shaded the white neck / face with the Kryolan lustre powders in white & blue, dry (as they can be used wet).

We were closed to the public for the 1st few hours, out of respect for the models and to let artwork cover over underwear etc (even though all models wear underwear and female models have breast covers on) but I made sure I had blended colours on Gracies back too before the doors opened.

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The turtle in yellow, orange, bollywood pink, purple & inkheart blue, I based on several photos I found on the internet and a bit of memory from living in Belize. From then until the lunch break we chatted to extremely interested public as I painted.

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After snacks / lunch we started again but sadly I’d not switched on the plug so my camera ran out of battery & stopped taking time-lapse pics. I had planned to paint or make paper netting strangling the turtle but Gracie held a poll with the public and they decided I wasn’t allowed to! I did love the turtle too so I left that out.

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On the back I painted a whale & baby and a colourful, healthy reef. I added freehand glitter tattoos over the abstract bobbly layer I had painted around her shoulders (to represent the layer of plastic shapes) and decorated that with glitters from Facade and Kryolan. 

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Her face I re-used some zombie paste prosthetics I had sculpted when Gracie was being Sc’Ariel at the Prosthetic Event last year. I added flat-back pearls and some heat fused film and then added more pearls and recycled plastic to her hair

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I stopped painting about an hour early, after the public were ushered out, as I knew I would be a while sorting out the not-quite finished props.

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After a lot of messing about we decided the bottle-ruff was too bridal if worn over Gracies head, and too awkward if worn on her shoulders. I also ended up ditching the isis wings, and stuck to the jellyfish, gems and beads, all made of plastic bottles or recycled from ornaments etc. It gave a slightly netted/ dancer effect tangled around Gracies arms and neck, but I loved it. Sadly (?) it was so sunny the glowsticks inside the jellyfish weren’t visible outside the hall though.

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We all trooped out into bright sunshine to applause from the waiting public which was fantastic.

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Following Paul who was once again our charming cheeky Town Crier, all body artists took their models through the streets and across the churchyard to the photo rooms for official shots. Grace & I then took a few photos and she posed for the public in the churchyard.

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The models were then presented onstage whilst our design statements were read out.2016-07-17 17.02.06

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Whilst judges deliberated, and the other category awards were given, Paul took most of the models (some couldn’t walk too far due to the heat or uncomfy shoes or props) on a tour of the churchyard, streets, and finally the main road.

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I really loved this paint and was a bit over-excited through the whole day. I’m so happy that it turned out like I had imagined (and that now it is out of my head I will sleep a bit better!).

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Huge thanks to all the staff, sponsors, volunteers, organisers, the hugely appreciative public, and of course my genius model Gracie! Also my mum who wrangle my 2 boys (the toddler being hot & sticky & awkward!) all day….

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I will add a timelapse etc video when I finish it…

Art Couture Painswick Promo Time-lapse Body Paint 2016

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I’d been invited up to do a quick demo body paint at Art Couture Painswick as the BBC wanted to film a time-lapse to promo the vent on their social media. None of the usual models were available at such short notice mid-week, but luckily Sally the ACP Body Art Co-ordinator had the details of a member of the public who’d been so impressed by the photos in the ACP gallery he volunteered his body!

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I drove up on the 1st sunny day we had had in ages, and met Libby (the director, who rather marvellously had the winning paint I did on Laurence at ACP 2013 on her business cards ), Sally, Bob the model and Hayley from the BBC.

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As I’d only had a couple of days notice and was painting every day that week, I had made a quick stencil of the ACP name & date, and that was about it. 

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I wanted to depict all the themes for the different categories as well as advertise ACP so designed a slightly circus/ festival themed ‘poster’ on Bob’s torso, with rainbow rays coming out behind it. Clouds blended the white poster into this colourful background to represent ‘flight’, areas of cogs and machinery were for ‘Moving Parts’, green leaves meant ‘Food For Thought’, the body art category, orange brickwork and ‘splats’ for ‘Graffiti’, and Blue bubbly splooshes for ‘Underwater’.

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Bobs neck was bright pink and had the stylised ACP face on it. I finished this off with a circus top hat I made for Grace at the Professional Beauty London Excel paint, but removed the flowers etc to add a colourful ACP flyer to.

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Hayley edited it all into this video, and not only was it on BBC Gloucester’s sites,

but national BBC picked it up! Great for ACP and thank you to everyone involved.

My video clip is here.

Paintopia 2016 UV bodypaint by Bath facepainter Bristol body artist

I’d got to Paintopia by Tuesday evening to help Jennie & the rest set up.

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Wednesday was helping host the Pre-Paintopia workshops with the amazing Madelyn Greco (headdresses) and Maria Malone Guerbaa (animal transformations).

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Thursday I was the runner for the brilliant Kryolan masterclass whilst typing up the running order for festival announcements.

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Thursday evening, more and more artists and models were arriving for the first ever Paintopia UV Jam.  I’ve worked in UV clubs a lot doing small bits on the faces & bodies of clubbers, and done a couple of UV backs on clients, but had never had the chance to do a full UV body before.

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The lovely Grace had asked if I would paint her, and then arranged a vague collaboration with a Dutch artist Tanya Hommes and her local model. I’d already thought we’d maybe do something on a Tim Burton theme as grace & I loved his work, and set the Oogie Boogie UV scenes from a Nightmare Before Christmas as our idea.

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I’d not had time to sketch and hadn’t done more than print off some reference photos, so started with a giant Oogie Boogie on her front. Her hair was already slicked back with clay from the look by Gemma Horner at the Masterclass, so I decided to attempt a Jack/ moon look on her face.

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I kept stopping to do announcements or find things for people, and soon realised I wouldn’t have time to do a full body. I drafted in the fab Jade to fill in the black around my outlines, and cut back my vague plans to get a finished paint on Graces front and legs.

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David Cook and the crew had set up the stage Mik painted and it looked amazing.

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The UV lighting was super-bright when it came on and the artwork was brilliant. Everyone whooped it up and had a great time, a super way to kick off the festival.

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I shot a small timelapse and some videos of it here

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Hand -animals Painting for WWF-UK #WearitWild #GiveAHandToWildlife 2016 Bath face painter Bristol body artist

https://wearitwild.wwf.org.uk/news/giveahandtowildlife/?_ga=1.180938471.1381375318.1462310016

I’d just moved to Bath (boo – bad timing with Paintopia coming up!) so drove back to Norfolk on Monday night in torrential rain and crashed in Jennies’ office on her very comfy Tim Burton sheets.

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The next morning, still in rain, I drove to Kings Lynn to take a booking I’d managed to squeeze in whilst I was up. The WWF-UK had contacted asking if I could create Guido Danielle or Emma Cammack style hand-art on a school they loved working with.

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They had hired Anna Lingis to do studio shots of some hand-imals, and I was to do my own launch examples on kids. We agreed on simpler faster designs as I know the exquisite examples they sent me took hours, and didn’t think I or the children would have the patience/ time.

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The school was amazing, all decorated throughout with various themes, from Bewilderwood stairs mural to a Hogwarts library – and the headmasters’ hall was entered via a Tardis then became a Dr Who homage!

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In the hopes it would brighten we decided to set up under their outdoor eco pod, a sort of large wooden open gazebo (sadly it rained harder). I had a small group of Year 3s to decorate and they set to on their ipads (every pupil gets one) to look up images of their favourite animal, preferably from the endangered list WWF-UK had sent.

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I began with a panda on the back of a hand, and was able to chat about the pandas I saw every week with my youngest son when we lived in Hong Kong and had a season ticket for Ocean Park there.

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A lot of the time it was so warm that keepers had rigged up ‘refriger-rocks’ that the pandas lay on or hugged to cool off. The kids googled to find out what pandas ate when they couldn’t answer that one.

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Next came a snow leopard.

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Colin, who was on my Biological Imaging Bsc with me many years ago, became a wildlife film-maker who shot a stunning episode on them, so we chatted about those too. I couldn’t quite recall what eye colour they had& the photos I had varied,  so we went yellowish but now I’m thinking blue….

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After that I did a mountain gorilla. I knew a bit about them from researching an unused design for the Norwich GoGoGorillas statues I painted for Break Charity/ Wild in Art.

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Then a jaguar. I was lucky enough to grow up in Belize near the worlds 1st Jaguar reserve and had read Alan’s book on it. I’ve never seen one wild, just a fresh footprint so new it was still filling with water on a soggy jungle path.

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The dolphin was harder; it was an awkward pose to fold in fingers and open the ‘mouth’ but it just about worked. I didn’t want all the pics to be of the back of hands so was trying to be a bit more creative! Again we’d played with wild dolphins in Belize so I could talk about them.

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Then I had daft stories about tigers ….

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…. and giraffes from when I was the Education officer for Banham Zoo & Africa Alive.

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A quick elephant finished off the designs.

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By that time we were all wet and frozen as the weather hadn’t improved, so the kids went off to their late lunch.

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But very happy to do something so creative and fun that would also be used to help save species.

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#WearItWild is on Friday 27th May and we’re challenging you to get creative and #GiveAHandToWidlife.

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The photos on here were taken by myself, assorted press and the lovely ladies from WWF-UK.

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More press here