Yesterday I finally completed my Object Challenge piece for the BEE Team. The idea was that each of us would send another BEE member an object of our choice. Once we received the object in the mail, the challenge was to incorporate it into a finished encaustic piece.

I received a nice collection of items from Deanna Wood: a vintage advertisement, two paper flowers, and some cards from a library card catalogue. The return address sticker on the envelope said “because equality is still an issue,” which is most likely what got me thinking in the direction this piece eventually took. It started with this 1930s Vogue ad for underwear. The text quoted a dialogue between a mother and a daughter, with the daughter exclaiming how her mother looked so slim, like “one of the girls.” So, the goal of the ad, apparently, is to convince us that we’ll all look young and slender, if indistinguishable from one another, if we wear this underwear.

A Good Woman
8 x 8, mixed media encaustic

I thought about what it means to be “a good woman” (a title from one of the library cards). According to the message in this ad, wouldn’t a good woman look (and act) just like all the rest? I created the dotted pattern to visually emphasize the repetition in this idea.

This piece surprised me (even more than setting a paper towel on fire while making it did!). If you’ve seen my other work, you will notice that this looks nothing like it! The process definitely stretched me by challenging me to work outside my norms. Click here to see the finished pieces of all who participated in the object challenge.

This piece is available for sale here.

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