New Piece: Leon, The Black

Two weeks ago during Downtown Longmont’s 2nd Friday, I revealed a project I’d been teasing for a few weeks, #mysteryproject. For this project, instead of my usual work in progress pictures, I just took little teaser photos, hinting at what I was working on. It was the first time that I’d played around with teasers for a project and because this project was something very different from anything I’d done before I felt that teasers were appropriate.

For this project, I worked with a really good artist friend of mine Robert Shea. He created one of my all time favorite art pieces that I fell in love with so deeply when I first saw it, I had to buy it almost immediately. Photo Mar 19, 8 48 54 AM

His name is Frank, and from the first moment I laid eyes on him we had a connection. Robert crafted him out of cardboard and Magic the Gathering Cards, and it was Frank that gave me the idea of a collaboration.

The quilling work that I do, which adds some 3D dimension to my artwork, is still mostly two dimensional. Sitting in my studio/office at home, starting up at Frank, I got it in my head that it would be fun and interesting to quill something more three dimensional. Robert was interested, and thus Leon, The Black came into being.

Robert provided me with Leon’s shape, crafted out of cardboard and I went to work. First, I spray painted the carboard black as the foundation for the work I was going to do. Next, I crafted the eyes,enlight35-1 which are the only elements to the piece that I didn’t quill. For the eyes, I used color pencils and resin circles to give dimension to the eye.

After giving Leon the ability to see, I moved on to quilling the rest of the body. Not having quilled a sculpture like this before, and that is really what this piece was going to be, sculptural. My strategy was to start from the bottom and begin working my way up.Photo Feb 15, 1 49 19 PM

I found some definite challenges to quilling a three dimensional surface, especially with some of the harder angles. Having never done something like this before, it was hard to know exactly what to expect or what to ask Robert for in the initial construction.

Still, I kept working and after a few weeks, things really started taking shape.


As 2nd Friday rolled around, I was in a frantic put to get everything finished in time for the big reveal. Photo Mar 09, 2 51 02 PMI’d been teasing this project for weeks, it was time to show off what I’d been working on.


I learned so much from this project, and it was a lot of fun to work on. There are things I would do differently for the next 3D project, both how the project is construction but also in how I present the project and try to build a buzz about it. There are so many different social media outlets to work with, I need to better streamline how I post and share media.

Currently, Leon, The Black is on display in my Downtown Longmont Studio at the Old Town Market Place. There’s still a little more work I’d like to do with him, such as finding better ways to display him including being able to mount him on a wall, and fine tuning some of the little details missed in the push to the 2nd Friday Show. I’d love to have him on display in my booth at Denver Arts Festival in May.

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