Fortune Favors the Brave – Part 4

“Ok, we’ve got a roll program.”
— Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 Mission

I was going to write the “we have liftoff” quote, but when I did my two-minute internet research I found the above Neil Armstrong quote on NASA’s website. In the above statement, Mr. Armstrong is “reporting the roll and pitch program which puts Apollo 11 on a proper heading.”

As of progress today, my upcoming installation project for the Ann Arbor Art Center, now titled Fortune Favors the Brave (FFTB), has got a roll program. It has come together to a point where it feels more solid and “on a proper heading.” It is in no way, not at all, not even close to being finished, but now that I have all my walls accounted for and in good shape, there is a foundation for some real progress to be made (if you need to catch up, read part 1, part 2, and part 3 posts).

Not to mention I can now have some more fun. I am really pretty sick and tired of cutting and pasting color prints to the six outer panels (three on each side).

FFTB-Walls finished

I have 5 out of 6 of these panels done, but I. could. not. get. myself. to work. on that darn 6th panel this weekend (see blank, pink, panel on the right above.) While I love the concept of “more is better,” there’s usually a point when I’ve committed to something “more” and then the actual follow through gets tedious.

FFTB workfloor

It’s gonna get done, it has to, but come on! Let’s get to painting gold, and sticking things on the walls! I want my beads and glue gun! Glitter please!

Not to mention I wanted to have something more interesting to show you guys, so I was forced to start on some fun stuff (no beads or glitter yet, sorry) so that most of my photos were not of foam panels and the same old patterns (please, Julie, for the love of God show us something else). So I turned my back on that pink panel (temporarily) for you guys. Generous of me, I know. You’re welcome.

Adding Layers


[ Applying some gold paint to the color panels with stencils. They are way trickier than would seem. You have to have just the right amount of paint on the roller, which is to say, not very much at all. And note to Self: do not do an upper body workout (when you are out of shape) the morning of stenciling and painting on vertical surfaces. ]



[ Taking inventory of frames we have that I can use for the walls. Not sure yet what I want in the frames. ]


I was standing back, looking at the overall piece, when I turned to the left and saw my reflection…in company with “frosting” covered boobs! Cool, I thought, I’ll take a selfie with Ms. Mannequin!

Sure, fine, no problem. It will just take a second.

Selfie_with_barbie cake boobs

– Wait, you gotta get the composition just right. Boobs in the foreground, boob silhouette in the mirror, You.
– Look up at the mirror, you dork, not at the phone!
– Um, do you really want people seeing you looking like this? It’s what you look like when you work, but still….
– At least try to smile, you’re looking too serious.
– Eesh, don’t smile like that, try again. And watch your neck.
– Hey, it’s cute that the pink trim on the mannequin’s bustier matches your phone!
– For Pete’s sake, you’re not Kim Kardashian, nobody cares, just take a damn photo and be done with it.

Seriously, Julie, you are down here to work on art, not take photos of yourself. For poor Pete’s sake, again.



I hear you: from selfies with mannequins to taking photos of the trash on the floor…what kind of art in progress post is this? This woman has a serious problem with focus…

I just thought, OOH! that little pile of scraps looks interesting in an abstract kinda way, gotta take a pic. During my image prep for this post, I played with the scraps in Photoshop…short digression, and fun. Seeds of ideas for later…


Gold Paint, Doilies and Foil, Oh My

ANYWAY, back to the actual piece….

I decided on a sheet of foam insulation for the center section (not using Mike’s previous center piece), so we took a trip to both Home Depot and Lowe’s yesterday, ending up with a 2″ thick foam panel from Lowe’s (we tend to help keep both places in business). This time, instead of cutting the 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of foam ourselves in the parking lot, we asked the Lowe’s guys to cut it for us (fear that there may be Home Depot Police may be waning, but you never know, Lowe’s Police could be a whole other thing).

Back at home, after cutting it down even further (hard work!), I gave it a coat of white gesso, a coat of gold paint, and now I’m starting to add some texture as a base: doilies (I had some, but not enough, therefore a trip to Joann’s) and gold foil pieces (a roll of fancy baking foil I’ve had in the studio). It’s all going to get covered up with more gold paint.



[ Haven’t started adding the foil yet, but it’s next. ]

FFTB-in progress

So there you have it, the progress of FFTB so far. Slow going, but progress.

And getting gold paint on my hands in the process is always a good thing.

BTW, per last week’s post, on a few fronts I “tried really hard” this past week, and it’s truly amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Make a commitment. Be unremitting. Challenge your assumptions about what you can and cannot do, what you have time for.

Of course, yard work did not get done, but art making did. Priorities, my friends, priorities (sorry neighbors that have to look at the front yard, and apologies to Mike the Mailman that will soon have to hack his way to our mailbox).



This entry was posted in Art in Progress, Art Making, Fortune Favors the Brave.


  1. Barb May 23, 2016 at 7:52 AM #

    Your work is fabulous and overwhelming and it’s not even finished yet? So wonderful. Can’t wait to see the installation. Barb

  2. Julie May 31, 2016 at 12:25 PM #

    Thanks, Barb! I hope it will be even more overwhelming when I’m done! 🙂

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