Tag Archives: costume design

Pinterest board

Morgue File

What is a morgue file?

I used to keep a collection of images, a mini library of cuttings and photos to inspire and inform my costume design work. Standard practice for artists and designers, many fellow designers had impressive collections depending on their interests the projects they had worked on, and the space they had available for storage. When I was costume designing it was not unusual to need to research multiple time periods, locations, economic classes, cultures, and art styles, and of course this was before computers were used to store images and files. My hard copy collection consisted of interesting clothes, bodies in poses useful for rendering costumed characters for dances and plays, makeup ideas, hairstyles, undergarments, clothing for everyone from kings to clergy, and soldiers to peasants. I had sections for colors, fashion periods, hairstyles, weaponry, accessories, poses, animals, art styles, architecture, furniture. Really, anything of interest. As you can imagine, it could easily get out of hand.

Thank goodness for Pinterest, Evernote and Dropbox now.

Pinterest board

How I use a morgue file now

Now I have a morgue file for painting inspirations in Pinterest and Evernote. I use Pinterest mostly for the visual inspirations, and Evernote for the writing and notes. It’s not that different from my old morgue file, except for the storage space. Here I collect poses, faces, hands, compositions, painting styles, color schemes, concept ideas. In Pinterest I’ve kept some of my boards secret, others are shared. I refuse to steal, but I do participate in the time honored artist practice of responding to the work of other artists whether it’s borrowing a method of applying paint or trying on a composition that worked for someone else. There are trends, after all, and I always offer my own personal spin, colorway, palette, and hand to the project. I find inspiration in other artists, and images, and refer to them from time to time as I’m doing my own work. It’s a natural extension of being a theater designer!

Queen 3, by Lynette Hensley

New Work for Edmonds Art Studio Tour

Some interesting additions to my artworks! I’m calling them The Actors. I currently have five figures to show. This is a fun departure from 2 dimensional paintings and collages, and more akin to what I did in my costuming days.

Meet the twins, called “Illumin-naughty” and “Illumin-nice.”
Then there is “Nearly 12”, mostly because he sports an 11 on the pool ball.
The first one I made, her name is “First Lady.” Simply named.
Finally there’s “Queen 3”, pictured above. She came back from her vacation in the tropics wearing a wooden pineapple bowl.

IlluminsSm Almost-12sm First-LadySm

Also a new thing I have done is called “Headstones.” Yep, heads on stones. Kinda cool as paperweights or desk toys.

Headstones by Lynette Hensley

20130620_170026

Learning new ways

20130620_170026Part of this summer I have spent learning some new ways to make art.  Recent viewing of DVD workshops by Anne Bagby and Carla O’Connor led to some of my new work, pictured in process here. I have appreciated Anne Bagby’s work, and even own 3 tiny works of hers. Her highly patterned, intuitive process matches and inspires my heart for layering materials and mixing patterns to create interesting surfaces. It’s akin to some of the work I did in fabric as a costume designer.

Carla’s instruction is interesting to me, and watching her go through the process of a painting has encouraged me to let go of some ill conceived wish for perfection…I know better, but it creeps in. Carla works in gouache, and I work in acrylic and collage, but many concepts and processes apply.