Shell Shocked

I have been working a lot with 19th century fashion plates, usually the hand-colored ones. But I liked this image of the two women in "bathing costumes" from The Delineator (a magazine published by Butterick) and wanted to create a summery collage. As the piece evolved more and more of the beach they were standing on got cut away and replaced with images from recycled greeting cards.

At first, they only wore shell hats but as I found more and more shell engravings (Peoples Cyclopedia of Universal Knowledge, Hunt & Eaton, 1881; The Popular Educator, Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co., 1884) I began playing around with transforming their skirts. The orange at the top provides a burst of summer heat. I also used watercolor, ink and pencil on the piece. 5.5”x 8.5” on acid-free, mat board.

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