Monday, September 20, 2010

Facebook Fan Page

I've made a Facebook fan page to correlate with this blog, which will contain photos of my body art, as well as notifications of events at which I'll be appearing and new blog posts.  The current link, because it as of now has fewer than 25 fans, is here:!/pages/Carlstadt-NJ/New-Jersey-Body-Art/108546902538267

Once I have 25 fans, the link will be New Jersey Body Art.

See you there!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Birthdays and Blacklight

This Wednesday, I turn 40.  Even before I was a face painter, a birthday always seemed to me to be a really good reason for a party, so I've always celebrated mine with friends and family, each year planning something different to do.

My family actually has a birthday tradition.  I was born at 12:12 a.m. on July 28, so it really started with my parents and sister showing up at my apartment at 12:12 a.m. every year with ice cream cake, balloon and gifts.  My sister was born at around 2 a.m. on a day in May so we'd show up at her place then for the same little party.  Well, my parents don't stay up as late anymore, so the tradition has morphed a bit, wherein everyone shows up at some crazy hour of the morning and we have ice cream cake for breakfast, with balloons and gifts.

This past Sunday was my brother-in-law's birthday, so we all met at their house at 7 a.m. for the mini-party.  Unbeknownst to me, my husband made a deal with my mom to surprise me with a joint celebration, thereby getting out of having them descend on our house on Wednesday morning at 6 a.m., two hours before he had to leave for work and an hour and a half before he normally gets up.

Ice cream cake for breakfast is the best!  I got some great gifts...

... and then later that day was my self-planned birthday party.  First, we spent several hours at the Turtle Back Zoo, where I hadn't been in years.

After that, and just in time because as we left the zoo the sky turned black with an impending storm, we continued on to Monster Golf, an indoor mini golf venue that's all lit in blacklight and laid out in UV-reactive paint!  Of course, I had to pull out my UV face paints and painted myself and my friend.

I loved the glow, and we matched the whole place!

And how amazing would it be to do a blacklight body painting photo shoot.  Anyone?  Anyone?

Dinner with friends was a terrific finish to the day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lots of Henna

I was hired to do henna tonight at a birthday party for a 14-year-old girl.  The kids were great, though I was really disconcerted to hear "Oh, this is from Glee" when songs from my junior high and high school years were playing.  Wow, am I that old?  Really?  When did that happen?!

At any rate, the party was outside, where the humidity was wreaking a bit of havoc with the henna's consistency, but I got some decent results and the kids loved it.  Mom had set up a great little table from me, with printed paisley designs to "set the scene."  That was great!

Some of my pieces...

(The girl pulled this one up on her smartphone; it apparently means "love.")

And my very last request of the night, from the birthday girl's younger brother, a penguin.  I drew it first in surgical marker to be sure I'd get it right, and you can still see it behind the henna.  The marker is easily washed off, while the henna stain will remain.  It was quite dark at this point, and I was working by a dim porch light, so I wasn't quite as "on" the marker as I thought I was.

And yes, the penguin is holding a little fish.  I just had to.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wicked Faire Revisited

I know that I mentioned in my Wicked Faire post that I was hired last minute to do a full body painting on a cat for a fashion show that was schedule to occur at the Faire.  The request was not to make her look like a cat, but to take my cues from the mask she'd be wearing with her ears and tail.  I had just over an hour to complete the look, from shoulders to shoes.  I did it!

The model, Nicole, was great to work with, and apparently was also great at the show, which I unfortunately had to miss.

Then again, she's a dancer, so how could she not be great?  Those boots are painted on, by the way.  Nicole had on t-strap shoes, but we wanted her to look like she was wearing boots, so I painted them right up her legs.

I did my best to mimic the swirls and curls of the mask, as well as the crosshatch pattern and fading that were involved in it.

All photos in this post were taken by Chris Bossio.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LA Fete 2010

I have had the most amazing time this past week, at the Louisiana Living Arts Festival in New Orleans, otherwise known as LA Fete.

LA Fete started in 2006, when I was offered a pot of gumbo. No, seriously. I'm a member of some international face and body art discussion groups, and I mentioned in one that my favorite food was Cajun. Susie Pierce, otherwise known as Susie the Crazy Cajun, told me that if I came down to her hometown of Baton Rouge, she'd make me a pot of gumbo.  My response was, "You name the weekend, I'm there," and all of a sudden there were about 30 other artists chiming in with "me too!"  We found ourselves picking St. Patrick's Day weekend of 2007, and LA Fete was born.

Once a party was planned with so many artists, it was only natural that we intend to practice our art, and that morphed into scheduled classes and workshops.

So once a year, for 4 days in March, I go down to New Orleans for LA Fete.  I take classes, jam with my friends, face and body paint, and practice my henna. 


We attend the New Orleans St. Paddy's Day parade, take an afternoon to face paint at the Audubon Zoo and donate the proceeds to charity, and body paint models for a show at a French Quarter club.



On Thursday night, we had a zombie crawl, and I got to become a tourist attraction in my own right.  I'm waiting to see photos of myself show up on Facebook or Google.  My friend Z painted me,

and I painted other friends Dot Com the clown and Liz Alaniz.


This year, for the first time, my husband Eric came with me.  After the Fete was over, we stayed an extra day and went to the aquarium.

We're finally home and exhausted, but it was worth it!  Nowhere else do I get an experience like that, working alongside the masters and feeding off of each others' creativity.  My clients will benefit from it, too.  Every time I come back from LA Fete, my skills are vastly improved.  I can't wait to try them out this weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Body Painting: Alice in Wonderland

In my last post, I showed a bit of the body painting I did on Toni at Wicked Faire. Well, yesterday I received a CD of photos from one of the professional photographers, and my biggest problem has been figuring out which ones to post because they're all so great!
All photos in this post were taken by Phillip Makselan.

Toni met me in the Green Room with her bra cups already on, and while we were waiting to be called to the stage, I laid down the blue base and the glitter spray.  The blue is Fantasy Worldwide cream; it's really easy to wear and I knew she'd be comfortable in it.  Last year, as we found out, the chocolate I used on her corset tightened as it dried and pinched her.  No issues like that with the creams!  The glitter spray is also skin-safe, made by Mehron, a theater makeup company.

This photo (above) was right after we got on stage.  You can't tell, I don't think, but I was already exhausted. I spent the entire day and night in Renaissance Faire garb, and that corset is tight!  I started "work" at noon.  Plus, I had the surprise full-body painting earlier in the day, and other paintings throughout, so by 8:15 p.m. when this photo was taken, I was ready to lie down (and the day ended at 2 a.m.!).  

Thing is, when I'm painting, I wake back up.  It's just too fun and makes me too happy.  Plus, having an audience is always a good thing.  :D

I started with the Cheshire cat's face because it was the very first element I thought of when I knew I wanted to do this design.  What's Wonderland without the cat?  Once I blocked out that shape, though, I was all over the place, painting everywhere at once.

We had a pretty good audience.  It was smallish, but constant as some people went to see other shows, and then come back, and others passing in the hall poked their heads in to see what was up and ended up either coming in to sit down, or hanging out in the doorway.

On the fly, I realized the teapot really should have red flowers, even though it wouldn't quite be a "set" with the teacup.


Body painting is really physical, for both the artist and the model.  I kept asking her to turn, raise and lower her arms, and take different positions.  At the same time, I was often bending over and around her.

Or even crouching down to paint upwards.

I did mostly stick to the front first.

At this point, I was actually down on my knees to paint, just to make it easier.

For the back, I was all about the mushrooms and caterpillar.  Together with the Cheshire cat, the caterpillar is my other favorite character of Wonderland.

And what's the caterpillar without his hookah?

Once all the big colors were blocked in, I was able to add details and outlining, since I was going for a cartoonish sort of look.

To tie the back and front together, I used a vine that traveled over Toni's shoulder.  The funny thing about that vine... for Valentine's Day, my husband bought me a 2010 leatherbound edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories, in hot pink, to inspire me for this painting.  Around the outside of the cover is a trellis of black vines that - last minute, did inspire me.

This is the finished back.

The finished front.

And a few nifty detail shots for you.

And all done in just about an hour!