Whimsy Paper Mache Links/paper macheing, how to's, ideals

Whimsical WoW at Yada Yada

Yada Yada Gallery in Chattanooga

Yada Yada is an art gallery filled with the happy, “makes you smile”, whimsical art created by local artist, Sylvia McCollum.

Sylvia and sis Jennifer have opened this “special” little shop in the Chattanooga Art District, to display her creativity in her paintings and drawings. Each piece of work has a message and thought behind it and she uses everything; dogs, cats, people, horses, etc in such a way that you are sure to smile. “Wow, I am Special” is a book that Sylvia has written and illustrated.

“WOW, is a different little puppy with unstoppable spirit, as he uses his special gifts to help his friends and share his dreams. With a little guidance and some hard work, he discovers how special he really is. WOW learns to believe in himself and makes his dreams come true--all the way to the moon and back. Never forget that what makes you different can make you soar!” Sylvia

I had the opportunity to meet Sylvia and Sister Jennifer in their gallery and they are wonderful. The girls commissioned me to create a sculpture of Wow.
I was so excited for the opportunity to work with Sylvia, I started right away and found that it was no easy task. Creating Wow for Sylvia was challenging, I so wanted to create Wow with the personality and spirit he had already been given, and the girls to love him.

I began by creating my armature using balloons, cereal boxes, newspaper and tape, lots of tape. I created the ears, legs and cape separate and later attached them to Wow’s body. Once I was happy with the form, I started adding newsprint strips, using a paste made from and water. The paste is remarkably strong. After all the pieces where dried I dove into the final steps adding paper mache clay to the entire body for extra strength. Follow the links to the side for my recipes.

I decided at the last minute that Wow needed to go on the flat belly diet, so I cut his center out and moved his legs back further into his body, I think it worked nicely. You’ll need some patience to make your own Wow, the dry time depends on the weather, but I usually have a 48 hour dry time. The clay is applied in at least two sessions, to have a dry spot for him to sit.

The Cape really adds, don't you think?

After the sculpture completely dried I covered him with gesso and sanded him as needed. Working with the paint mixture until I was happy with the color I began painting, the best part of it all. I love the color, I love it on my hands and clothes, it means I am into my art. The bright red cape added a lot of character.

Finally, I called up the girls and met Jennifer at Yada Yada Gallery. Jennifer was so pleased she rushed to clean off a shelf to place Wow for all her clients to enjoy. Jennifer is now taking orders for commissioned Wow sculptures, I feel so blessed to have this opportunity, I truly have a deep passion for Art.

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