While others were shopping, diligently working on paintings, or decorating for the holidays, I was playing with a tangerine bag. It began several weeks ago when I didn't cut the bag into pieces (for animals' sake) and left it lying on the counter. At first, I thought it might make a nice hat--with that little tassel. It did; I looked a bit like an old elf and considered wearing it to holiday parties. I then noticed the similarity between frozen turkey breasts and heads. I thought it might be cool to take a photo of a head in the bag. The memory of a photo--Mussolini hanging upside down--brought gravity to mind.
After several days I had a plan. I would wait until my husband was out of the house (explaining my project would have been impossible and I didn't want an audience). I chose a small Danish leather-topped table; I moved the dining table to make sure I had enough space, set up a light, set up the camera--a cereal box stood in for my head--and I lay across the table. Anatomy (and a couple of fused disks in my neck) made it impossible to get all of my chin below the table top. With my left hand holding the bag tightly behind my head, I snapped the shutter with my right and waited in place for the timer. In some photos I forgot to remove my glasses (they were hanging on my forehead); in some I inadvertently used the flash (I wanted shadows); in some I am without the bag (I look like a gray-haired Dracula); and in others I am laughing too heartily.
I chose a photo and with Corel Photo/Paint was able to remove my arms and the table legs, clone my missing chin, enhance the turkey-look of the skin, and add the carrying strap. I think the contraption on the right represents a scale--$2 per lb. Lesson learned: If you're in your sixties and want to hang upside down, a net bag is handy for holding face parts in place. Gravity is awesome.
I am usually very serious when working on a painting. Playing with digital photos is just great fun; I don't think of it as art but as "arting around." I'm still looking for a model.