I've been obsessed with the "Evil Eye" ever since my mother told me about a sinister neighbor who she knew and feared growing up in Oakland. Her mother warned her to avoid the old woman because she might put the "Evil Eye" on her.
What a delicious story for a little girl! (Me, not my mom, who was probably terrified.) No wonder, then, that the theme for I chose for my first round robin journal was "Looking." And that my first spread was all about the Eye.
What will my fellow artists think?
I guess it depends on what they know about Evil Eyes. The kind I'm most familiar with comes from Southern Italy.
This is a charm, made out of metal, found throughout the area, that can be used to protect against the malocchio.
Originally I wanted to put this image on the cover of my journal. But the theme is broader -- "looking" -- and I didn't want to limit (or scare) the other artists who would be contributing spreads. Here's what I came up with instead.
These eyes belong to artist Georgia O'Keefe. There's a woman who really knew how to look! The texture on the background comes from masking tape, adhered to a cereal box, and then painted. The black and white images are tape transfers.
Here's my spread, inspired by (possessed by?) the Evil Eye. I got carried away, to say the least.
The dark oval shapes in the background are my version of the Evil Eye. I made a stamp out of foam and covered deli paper with the shape, then adhered the paper over the painted background of the spread.
In hindsight, I wished I'd chosen different colors for the background. I was inspired by the outfit of the lady in the lower right, but pink and baby blue seem too soft and…girly.
The text in the circle comes from a book I found in New Mexico about votive offerings and amulets:
"A person's eyes contain his or her life, yet they also possess a mysterious quality that is seductive and enchanting, evasive and grasping. Eyes have a bewitching quality that captivates but can potentially be negative and hostile…"
To hold the journal, I created a pouch out of a Tyvek envelope. I made my own stencils, tracing a pair of 3D classes my husband brought home from the movie theater. Those "E"s come from old eye charts.
I can't wait to see how the other artists in the Round Robin interpret my theme. I'll report back in about 9 months, when the journal makes its way back to me.