Soprano Charlotte Hoather 🌹 An Art Gowns Interview

Welcome Charlotte!

You are my only fave soprano, ever! Thank you so much for this interview! Just so everyone knows, I put my questions/voice in regular type. I put Charlotte’s answers/voice  in italics. So, let’s get rolling!

Resa: – Charlotte, have you ever worn an expensive costume, and spilled something on it, torn it or otherwise perhaps even ruined it?

Charlotte: I can remember two occasions with costumes/dresses that I was performing in that I owned. However, stage costume wise no mishaps happily. Touch wood! I’m always really careful.

I was at Edvard Grieg’s house in Troldhaugen, Norway. I was about to perform in the composer’s home. It’s a converted living museum, with his original piano and lots of important antiques around. It has a beautiful concert hall.

In the green room in the basement of the house, I was with the other singers from the workshop. Another person had just made herself a fresh hot red berry tea. She spun around and spilt it down my tight-fitting, gold sequin  evening dress. She was horrified and pregnant, so I spent a minute telling her it was fine.

The boiling hot liquid was all over the tops of my thighs in a huge red berry puddle. When I felt the heat, I ran to the toilet. The dress’s tight fit made the dress cling, and taking it off was a nightmare. I ripped it off over my head and quickly, with everyone’s help, put cold water on my thighs. They rescheduled my songs till later in the programme. I washed the liquid out under the tap and tried to dry it as best I could. It was the only performance dress I had with me, so just before the performance I put it back on. It was like a wet suit, but I wasn’t not going to perform or sing in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I still have the dress. The dry cleaners managed to get the stain out.

The other costume mishap was at the Llangollen Eisteddfod last year. I was going to be performing with the World-renowned tenor Rolando Villazon and was very excited about it. I’d always wanted a Sherri Hill dress, and this was a perfect excuse to invest in a beautiful ball gown stage dress. I was so excited about wearing it. It was a princess line, in pale lilac satin. I’d bought a new strong roll-on deodorant; one of those that last 48 hours. I put my deodorant on, then put my dress on. I normally put my shoes on first, and step into a dress like this carefully. But this deodorant was still wet. I leant forward to tie my shoe buckles, and I then had two perfect wet circles on the front skirt of the dress with no time to do anything about it.
Perhaps I should be more careful with gowns I own!

Resa: Speaking of gowns, I only wish I could have been around to supply you with Balcony Gowns, during the lockdown. I watched and listened to ALL of your balcony performances with George. I’m thrilled that “Je Veux Vivre” will be among the songs on your upcoming CD!

Resa: Have you ever had to wear a costume that fit you like….umm… a ship? Did it affect your vocal performance, or your acting performance?

Charlotte: So far, I’ve worn everything without complaint. The worst for me are shoes that are uncomfortable because most costume people will just adjust wrong fitting items.

I do remember two awkward costumes, but they were from my childhood. I had a costume as ‘Pumba’ in the Lion King. In order to give me more girth, the costume department attached a hula hoop to my trousers. It was fun, and the costume was light. However, it did impact on my spacial awareness. I had to be careful not to bump into the other dancers, and it was awkward to roll around in.

The next one was when I performed as King Louis, from The Jungle Book. The costume department wanted to elongate my arms so they attached mop poles within my costume arms. At the end of the poles, they attached huge purple hands. The costumers put orange/red fur sleeves over my arms and hands, to disguise the added length. I had to make orangutan gestures with those arms. It was really fun, but challenging.  I took care not to hit anyone else. Yet, there was a hood that came over my eyes, which made taking care more difficult 😊. I’d love to do something like that again in an opera.

Resa: Oh, Charlotte! thank you so much for sending in these photos of when you were that cute Orangutan! Everyone will love how cute you are in the slideshow!

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Resa:  As an Opera Soprano, who are your 3 fave female Rock Singers (living or not)? What song from each would you like to sing?

Charlotte: Annie Lennox –  I love her views on singing. She really believes “Singing a song is one thing, but expressing a song is another. It’s deep. There is magic, an alchemic quality. Everyone should feel free to sing. Singing is uplifting and freeing of your spirit. There are no rules”. I’m not sure which song I could manage because I think she’s a contralto/mezzo but I love ‘Walking on Broken Glass’.

I grew up listening to female singers like Blondie [Heart of Glass or Call Me].  Is Kate Bush considered rock? Some of her tracks sound it to me; perhaps Babooshka. Gwen Stefani I loved her songs in No Doubt like Don’t Speak.

Resa: I’d say Kate is in an Art Rock category. She really is an independent artist.

Resa: I’d love to see you and George do a set of Rock Classics – Any songs between 1968 – 1998! What songs would your set include?

Female rock singers I like are usually in the mezzo-soprano middle voice range. Maybe one of Taylor Swifts songs, a Bjork song or Evanescence’s Wake me Up Inside. My Dad loves Queen so something adapted from them maybe. Are Prince, Alicia Keys and Blondie considered rock? Perhaps you could give me some suggestions Resa, I asked my Mum and she said perhaps something by Stevie Nicks.

Resa: Those all sound like great options. Yes, Prince, Alicia Keys and Blondie are all in rock categories. I would love to hear you do a Stevie Nicks song! Of course Freddie Mercury had a great set of pipes, and you are a very colourful singer. I’m sure something could be adapted for you. Just thinking about it gives me shivers!

Resa: Who is your fave male Opera Singer? Which would you pick to do a duet with?

Charlotte: My favourite is tricky. I really enjoyed singing with Rolando Villazon. I also like listening to Joseph Calleja. I met Piotr Beczala, and he was just lovely and friendly. All of them, anybody! I’ve had some great male singers in all my performances.

Resa: Would you ever do a Rock Opera; say the role of Nora played by Anne Margaret in “Tommy” by the Who, or how about Janet Vice in the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”?

Charlotte: Definitely. I absolutely love being on the stage and I like trying out different genres it keeps me on my toes. I was a dancer in The Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was younger so I know Janet’s songs inside out and would love to do it. I’ve never heard of The Who’s rock opera but I’ll have a listen now, yes, bring it on.

Resa: Charlotte and I began this journey over a year ago. I began by drawing her face, to get a feel.

Resa: I needed to loosen up, so binge listened to Weber  -Kommt Ein Schlanker Bursch Gengangen and did Crazy Free Art to Music. The abstract of Charlotte’s face, below the video, was the result.

Resa: I did some gown sketches, and asked Charlotte what operas they might be appropriate for. I tried so hard to do my best drawings, that they came out stiff/out of proportion. Although I quite like all of the designs, this is the only one I still like the drawing of. I will redo the others.

Charlotte: The white dress reminds me of wedding dresses, so Suzanna in ‘La Nozze di Figaro’ or Zerlina in Don Giovanni, or Elvira in the mad scene in ‘il Puritani’. Another new aria I’ve learned is Qui La Voce.

Resa: Here’s another design I did for Charlotte, during the loosening up period. She adores the colours!

Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Charlotte+Hoather&i=digital-music

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/charlotte-hoather/id853884334?fbclid=IwAR0ZGK-f0Oqoo09ER8rM1-Q8kVi7XFqjCrMyfa9OvpjQ2mXgqk1YS9NEUjM

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/3ymVzeeFpusYCTqPqjFUco

Deezer http://www.deezer.com/us/artist/6887897

My Website http://www.charlotte-hoather.com/music/

✨ Stay tuned for the release date of Charlotte and George’s CD! ✨

Drawings by & © Resa McConaghy – 2019 – 2020

The Smexy Pen of Shehanne Moore

Please meet Shehanne Moore: writer, author, publisher, wife, mother and one of the official Art Gowns models.

SMART + SEXY = SMEXY

I just finished reading “Loving Lady Lazuli”

Cassidy Armstrong has had an unfortunate life, that has scarred her in more ways than one. Cast off from family as a baby, and her brother dead from beatings, she is pressed into being a jewel thief. Nonetheless, she has managed to hoard her virginity like it was a massive collection of fine Waterford Crystal worth more florins than any working class person would see in a lifetime.

Now, she has returned to claim her birthright. As a fake widow, Lady Cassidy Armstrong can move around more freely, searching for her proof of heritage. Yet, even after 10 years of aging, donned in a widow’s “Crow Black” and with a new name; Devorlane Hawley (fifth Duke of Chessington) recognizes her.

I asked Shehanne: Devorlane Hawley – Fifth Duke of Chessington, was off at war for 10 years. Was it the Napoleonic Wars? If not, which war was he in, and can you give a bit of history of the war and/or London around the time of this story?

Answer: It was the Napoleonic Wars but he was in the military a little before they actually started in 1803, as an unwilling recruit shall we say?  And obviously since the book is set in 1810 and the wars didn’t end for another five years, he’s no longer a soldier, having been badly wounded and invalided out. The Wars came out of chaos that was the French Revolution and for some time, a long time, it looked as if Napoleon Bonaparte could become master of Europe, until he was finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and exiled to Saint Helena. I imagine that life for people in London and indeed elsewhere, would–as  ever, even as we’re seeing today– depend on your wealth.  Whatever your class, most people had a relative in the army or navy and  would be anxious about that but that’s roughly where any kind of things in common would end.  For the rich there was the chance to make more money, for the women to adopt new fashions, go to charitable balls and see some wonderful re-enactments of battles etc onstage. For the poor–the usual struggle for survival. All the English counties had a militia, there to protect the county  and of course there was espionage, the suggestion of which the heroine of this book uses to her advantage at one point.

“Never judge a book by its cover, unless there’s a gown on it.”

I came up with that exceptionally memorable saying, after reading “Splendor”. It was the first book by Shehanne that I read. I pair it here with “Loving Lady Lazuli”, as they are both part of a series about London Jewel Thieves.

You can read my review, and mini interview with Shehanne by clicking on the drawing of “Splendor”, above.

I read “The Viking and the Courtesan” quite recently. It is definitely a bit of a departure from the other stories.

Malice Mallender is quite the piece of work. For the right price “Strictly Business” will destroy any marriage, usually by dealing with the wife nuisance. The right price; enough to buy the latest pair of shoes she covets in Madame Faro’s window. So, what happens when “Strictly Business” is inadvertently hired to destroy Malice’s own marriage to Lord Cyril Hepworth?

I asked Shehanne: In “The Viking and the Courtesan” – How did you come up with the idea of “time displacement” ?

Answer: My dearest, lovely Resa, first let me thank for all your kindness and especially for the gowns and asking me here today. You may know I must be amongst your biggest fans, not just as a mega admirer of your work but the fact you make gowns to be used for charity.

Okay, so to answer your question, I had a flash moment.  I never ever set out to write a time displacement  story.  Just like I never ever set out to write any book.  But I had written the first few chapters of this book exactly as they stand now, to the bit where she goes to her husband, Cyril’s flat. The story was to be a second chance love story between them but one day as I was belting away at the keyboard, I thought that idea was a bit  too similar to the Lady Fury book. Then the little voice whispered… you know that Viking idea you have where you have the hero’s story but not the heroine’s? Hmm?? Well … why don’t you just bung that in here?  Quite understandably I thought, no way. Are you serious????  I mean, come on. Then I went and thought about it for a moment. And I thought, okaaaay. Maybe I should just give it a try for a chapter or so, no more? What have I got to lose really? And that was it. That’s the truth. It just popped into my head.

The moment I saw the new cover of Shehanne’s re-released tale of Lady Fury (Genoa 1820), I fell in love with the gown. I read chapter one on Shehanne’s blog.  Then I read the book.

“Rule One: There will be no kissing. Rule two: You will be fully clothed at all times… Widowed Lady Fury Shelton hasn’t lost everything—yet. As long as she produces the heir to the Beaumont dukedom, she just might be able to keep her position.” 

Perhaps ex-privateer Flint Blackmoore (a man she’d rather see rotting in hell than sleeping in her bed) has never been good at following the rules, still she decides to use him to produce an heir.

I asked Shehanne: In “Lady Fury” – What was your impetus for coming up with “the rules”? Did you have a reason for making Blackmoore a privateer… ie: a love of ships, a port you have been stimulated historically by?

Answer: Ooh, I have always loved pirate stories since I read Treasure Island as a kid. I was reared on all the old films and one of my fav board games was buccaneer.  I was gutted to learn it just wasn’t possible to pursue my chosen choice of career actually. But I did always want to write a book about a pirate or a privateer. As for  ‘the rules’, well, once again I had written first few chapters and I thought, now what? You can tell by now I never ever think anything out. And I thought, well, he’s got her cornered which she’s er…not going to take lying down. So what would she do here to pay him back and keep any feelings which she sees she sort of still might have, under wraps Then I thought I could maybe have a little fun dissecting a certain activity shall we say? I am a great believer in having fun especially with rules on anything. Let’s face it, I dunno about you but over here in Scotland right now, and England, well .. I never saw so many that were badly thought through.

This is my favourite book by Shehanne. It is her most recent, and proves that she gets better with time. As the ending demands a sequel, I am hoping there is one in progress!

You can read my review, some Q&A with Shehanne and see the gown drawings by clicking on my above rendition of Destiny.

Shehanne’s titles are available worldwide on Amazon, Ingram Books & Barnes and Noble. If you click on the above banner, you will go to Amazon’s universal “select a country” page. Once there, select “Books”. In “Books” search “Shehanne Moore. It will take you to all of her titles.

LOVE!

Art Gowns’ Paris Adventure

When Rene Rosso was asked to sing in Paris, well, she said YES!

Of course, she had several requests. One, was that the Art Gowns would open for her with a fashion show. She had a special gown designed, just to announce the Art Gowns.

First out on the runway in “The Tulle Collection” was Gigi. In an asymmetric one sleeved stunner named “The Twirl”,  she swept the stage with ease.

Holly totally glammed it up for the catwalk. She had wanted to ride out onto the stage on a motorcycle. It had to be a Harley, but they couldn’t find an acceptable one, on such short notice.

Rene Rosso, being a class act, sent out a big Thank you to the Beauty Team.

Taking care of the Wardrobe is the very capable Bijou. She wields a hot iron like no one else.  Stay good and  you won’t  get your  face pressed!

Margot is the hair stylist. She was once up for a Golden Globe award.

Geneviève, one of the best make-up artists, ever, to graduate from The Coop will be attending the Maquillage.

Of course there are unsung heroes. Rene Rosso insisted they come out to the stage for a bow, to hearty applause.

Above, Bridgette is responsible for all of the staging. Below is Adrienne, the Tour Manager.

Then it was back to The Art Gowns fashion show, with the vivacious Dale leading the way  in an Avant Garde specialty.

For Shey, inspiration was taken from her romantic period novels. During the flight to Paris, the Art Gowns read The Viking and The Courtesan. The girls are all still chattering away about it!

Marina is for real, even as she models this Faux Ballerina number.

It was time for Rene Rosso to perform a song. She adores the Parisienne audiences. In an Art Gown designed by Resa, and stage production design by Bridgette to look like a painting,

… she torched with “La Vie en Rose”. Her favourite version is by Melody Gardot.

Suddenly, on the last note of the song, the lights went BLACK!…..

… and Princess Blue Holly found herself in the night’s streets of Paris.Changing to her Crimes in a City’s Dark Corners outfit, she climbed to the roofs of Paris.

Hiding by a Gargoyle on on the southeast tower of Notre Dame Cathedral, Princess Blue Holly awaited the dawn and for her Tangle – Heart to guide her.

 What was happening? How had Rene Rosso become Princess Blue Holly without conscious effort? Where were the Art Gowns? Where was her Tangle-Heart? Would the master of her inner dragons, Hyperion be able to help her?

All Paris shots, including the Gargoyle courtesy of & © Timothy Price

The Chicklets artwork courtesy of  & © Georgiann Carlson

Their names are hot in the descriptions of the gowns they model, so feel free to enjoy a visit to their blogs.

For the answer to all of Princess Blue Holly’s questions, Eye suggest you stop by for episode 2, of the Art Gowns Paris Adventure!

Princess Blue Holly & Rene Rosso characters © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Velvet Tango

Did you ever feel like making an Art Gown about the Tango?

If so, you may be thinking passion, desire and poetry in motion.

Those words also perfectly describe the prose of Holly – House of Heart. Art Gown Velvet Tango is dedicated to her.  Holly, I hope you just love this!

Gigi (Georgiann from Rethinking Life) wrote some Tango poetry. With Gigi’s permission to use these pieces with an Art Gown dedicated to Holly, I began an epic 5 month building of  Velvet Tango.

Holly thought a Tango gown could be black, red and silver. So, I immediately began deconstructing a red, 25 year old  synthetic velvet coat that I never wear.

In the rear of a fabric jobbers, I found an old rayon bengaline lining for $4.00/yard. It was a splurge, but I bought 4 yards.

Tango dresses can feature lots of asymmetry and legs for days. Unfortunately, Judy has a metal pole and 4 wheels. I didn’t cut into the fabric. Instead, I began at one side of the Judy, and draped the fabric right around. This created a massive tail off to one side, the feel of asymmetry, and the need for 20 release darts.

The unorthodox drape I had done left a huge gap in the centre back. Fortunately, an old friend found my blog, and sent me 14 pounds of old, musty and Art Gowns worthy fabrics. I found a toned down red that fit into the back space.

There was enough leftover to interline some red lace to fill a quarter front panel slit. Some of the lace was made into flowers. Using a silvery sage scarf from my stash, and an old silver grey dupioni silk dress, leaves were formed.

Easy as pie!? Here’s the classic front, back and side shots.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO: Frank from A Frank Angle

He was kind enough to submit this Tango video for the post!

OUTTAKES

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Historically the Tango is a dance of slaves and poor, and was fueled by the emotions of young men who immigrated to Argentina to find a better life. Click on the pic below to read a page on the history.

Art Gowns © Resa McConaghy – since 2012

Tango prose © Georgiann Carlson.

What Suits Art Gowns?

Darlings! Rene Rosso here, in a suit! Can you believe it?

However, it’s an Art Gowns suit. So when Holly and Resa asked me to host this post, I said “okay!” Still, how did this happen? Well, there was no multi-medium paper at the art store. Resa had to buy a sketch pad.

 It’s been awhile since Resa just pencil sketched. She was excited to rise to the occasion, & started with Shehanne Moore in a Town Suit, very 1980’s come 1930’s.

Then it was GiGi’s turn to model this ultra-uber, never seen before style. No one can wear an imaginary time unknown suit like Gi! (Above)

Craving some colour, Resa added ballpoint pen and turquoise ink pen bows. There was no way I was going to wear a suit with bows! Holly had no choice but to model it.

The musicians were going wild downstairs when Resa came up with a Crazy Free Style Art tulle skirted suit for Marina Kanavaki. Having a colour meltdown, Resa went nuts with felt pens. They soaked through 3 pages of paper, and she had to iron the sketch.

Resa should have drawn me in the above suit. DARN!

This Art Gowns Suit is more like it. Now, I can work on the next song being added to my repertoire “Sweet Love”. I’ve been very inspired listening to Anita Baker sing it.

Their names are hot in the descriptions under the suits they have modelled. They all have fab blogs to visit.

Rene Rosso Character © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Mermaid Holly will be hosting the next Art Gowns post. It’s a feature on Art Gowns Mermaids with surprise guest Mermaids. Don’t miss out!

Eye’ll see you there!

O’Roarke’s Destiny – by Shehanne Moore

Is the line between love and hate so fine you can’t see it? If you can’t see it, can you cross it?

Some women are attracted to bad boys. Are some men attracted to bad girls? What if a good boy became a bad boy? What if a bad girl became a good girl, even when she was bad?

That’s just part of the passion play in O’Roarke’s Destiny. The intrigue, mystery and small matter of an effective curse cast by Diver’s O’Roarke is the story’s action.

It’s 1801, Cornwall; a time when women needed men, more than men needed women. Or, so society knew. 1801, Cornwall; Destiny Rhodes needs no one, nor anything: save Doom Bar Hall, its servants, Aunt Modesty’s porcelain, Lord Tredwynne’s antique armour, Grandfather Austell’s stuffed parrots, garlands in the hall at Christmas, her garden and all the embroidered pillows sewn up mended.  At least that’s what Destiny was thinking. 

However, it all seems somewhat moot after Divers O’Roarke wins Doom Bar Hall, from Destiny’s drunkard brother, Orwell.

It’s a world of smugglers, pirates, excisemen and extreme danger, yet, Destiny needs only her instincts. She’s in over her head, but owns a drive to do what has to be done to get to the bottom of what is going on, and retain a position to remain at Doom Bar Hall.

Still, Lyons busted her illegal casks of spirits. Who tipped him off?  Mostly, why did Divers O”Roarke take the fall for her?

💥 BREAKING NEWS! 💥

There’s gowns in the story.

Tragically, Destiny’s dear husband Ennis, while in his carriage, had cascaded to his death into a ravine.(credit to the curse) Now, Destiny is in an eternal mourning in black. On top of it all, she has pined away her body’s curves, and chopped off her luscious long black hair.

Divers O’Roarke wants her, but black is for widows. He has won Doom Bar Hall … fair & square? So, her gowns are his, to sell at his pleasure. Yet, his pleasure is far from the few bits of coin he could get for the gowns. What he wants is to see Destiny, in any gown other than widow’s black.

Eventually, Destiny must wear a gown for him. She dons her least sexy gown, which is in Egyptian blue. (I don’t have that colour in my caddy, but I came up with an eau de nil). This colour is not her best, possibly her worst, definitely her most disliked.

Yet, what Divers O’Roarke wants is to see her in her most vibrant and glorious red gown. Will she wear it?

1. How did the idea of a curse come up? Are you superstitious, dabble in say; Tarot or Astrology? How/why did the curse entail everything turning to dust? Why not turn to toads, a lowly insect or even a hamster? (a little cheek)

Oh, now there was  a time I  did some work for a psychic  journalist. I did once say what haven’t I done writing wise and other way wise when it comes to earning a crust. And yes I also did some Tarot work for her too as part of that. So I did learn the cards.  At that time I also could do card readings from  playing cards. I had a great aunt who could do the tea leafs.  That totally fascinated me growing up. I think much as we may mock it, we do want to know a bit about what’s ahead, that HOPEFULY there’s a corner that will be turned or some good luck coming. As for the  curse idea? Well, the book started about a house that the heroine had lost. And that idea came from us having to sell up our family home and me jokingly saying to a friend, I should just have flung myself in with it as a housekeeper. Then I thought BINGO idea for a book here. And it started out as fun and frothy but there were things on the table that weren’t right. Like why didn’t the hero just put her out? How can he be so besotted with this family when they were horrible to him as a child? Was light and frothy going to sustain a book? Then for some reason I saw their pasts and how and why he had cursed her and how everything had then gone wrong in her life since. Everyone she cared about has died. So she gets this name locally that way. Now if only I had thought beyond the box though, you are right. He should have said may everything you touch turn into a hamster dude. But then she’d have been overrun.  That might have been a worse curse.  2. Your use of humour helps in feeling the underlying intense emotional states of Destiny and O’Roarke.  With Destiny it’s the simple practical day to day things she plans to do the next day. With O’Roarke, it’s what to dig his grave with. Did you intend these character’s personal thoughts to be a humorous relief? Or did it just turn out that way?

No. Firstly I always like to use humour of thoughts. We all have them, let’s be clear. Maybe not about graves and what to dig them with etc., but we do have little idiosyncrasies and of course we are not always aware of them either.  And I also know my readers expect to have a few giggles. So I couldn’t not. My characters always have some kind of wee saying or attitude. One heroine had sliding scales of things. Another would sooner swallow a crocodile than do whatever and as the book went on, that list grew and grew. One hero–my most impatient one–had Christ on various things.  I did feel this book would be a bit dark if I didn’t have these bits. They are neither of them in the best place emotionally.  However I then have the prob of her being a widow and I did NOT want to tackle it by having her thinking well, she was widow, thank God, because she had every reason not to have loved her husband. I felt that was a get out.  So I thought if I had her, having been hit so hard that her way through is to line up  tasks and tick the boxes, that that actually could prove quite humorous, especially if she’s so busy lining up these tasks, while people keep ‘getting in her face’  she doesn’t see how deep the waters are getting. It was like a wee you may think wink to my readers  she’s going to be incandescent with rage the way my other ladies would be, but you are in for a surprise here. She’s too busy thinking she has that cushion cover to sew and that stool to mend. In a way these are the things that also need to be prised loose from her fingertips. 

 3. I’m fascinated by “Doom Bar Hall”. How did you come up with that name? Had you considered calling it “Rhodes Hall”?

Doom Bar Hall was called after Doom Bar sandbar in Cornwall. Given I wanted to write of curses and smuggling, and not such great emotional states, I wanted something dark sounding and it is quite a fearsome sandbar I gather, responsible for hundreds of ship wrecks down the years. Originally before I went from frothy to dark, from Hampshire to Cornwall geographically,  the house was called Lavistock and the book title was the Lady of Lavistock. Divers wasn’t called Divers O’Roarke either at that point. I just felt all round this was stronger. I do like to create a pervading mood and landscape for each book. This became the one here.

Resa, I want to thank you not just for inviting me here today, but your wonderful friendship AND the talent and readiness to use it to create gowns, for all those you create gowns for AND that includes my ladies. They and I salute you. 

Here’ s the first drawing I did of Destiny. I was trying too, hard with the chopped off hair look. Yet, I still like it, because she looks like a pirate courtesan, with hair for an eye patch.  Yet, perhaps this is a more correct visual introduction to Destiny.

Shehanne Moore is a native of Scotland, Dundonian by birth. She is the author of many Romance novels.

Having read 3 (almost 4) of her books, I can say her attention to the details of an era puts one in a different time and place. You don’t question it. You are there.

As for the flame of love she burns with her words, I suggest you read a book to see the fire!

Click on the pic below, to buy O’Roarke’s Destiny on Amazon!

A cover for one’s book can be as daunting as writing it. After a great search, Shehanne found the image below. The colours were wrong, but they were made right.

Eye’d like to thank all who took the time to read this post. Love you all!

“Destiny” As a Resa one eye

Dateline: Chicklets’ & Art Gowns’ Host Gala Fundraiser

Art Gowns and Chicklets pooled their talents for a fundraiser, and show of support  for all victims of rape, sexual abuse and crimes of violence.

Headlining the evening at Toronto’s Uptown nightclub, Coopa Cabana, was internationally renown Torch Singer, Rene Rosso.

In a stunning Art Gown designed by Couturier Chicklet, Milly, Ms. Rosso opened with her rendition of Etta James’ “At Last”.

The Chicklet of Ceremonies, Pearl, introduced the entertainers, and speakers.

Key speaker, Georgiann, gave a mind blowing talk. It was filled with statistics and real life accounts. One statistic  from RAINN says, “Every 92 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted; and every 9 minutes, that victim is a child.”

Marina Kanavaki and Chicklet Poppy performed a Ballet Nouveau, to the happy ending of La Fille mal gardée. It is a tale of a girl who is being forced to marry someone she does not love. In the end she weds her love.

 Rebecca Budd, Creative Director, worked closely with Marina and Poppy to choreograph this classic ballet fused with modern jazz movements.

Prominent philanthropists, Sophia, Queen of the Coop, and

Queen Isabella were noted luminaries in the audience.

La Esencia de Titania literally  flew  in with her Fairy Apprentice,  Daisy.

Daisy and Titania had been enjoying the flowers, poetry & Friendly Fairy Tales in Brenda’s garden when Brenda told them about the fundraiser.

In closing the event, Chicklet Diana joined Ms. Rosso in a duet.

They chose “The Very Thought of You”.  It’s their way of saying to all victims that they are loved.

All performers, speakers and behind the sceners donated their time and talents for the evening’s endeavours.

Rene Rosso character © Resa McConaghy (w/Holly Rene Hunter) 2019

Chicklets © Georgiann Carlson

The Art Gowns are very glamorous. The Chicklets are cute as buttons. However, there is nothing  cute or glamorous about sexual abuse, rape and other crimes of violence. There are many ways to help. Find out how by:

CLICKING ON THE LOGOS BELOW TO VISIT  SUPPORT AND HOTLINE SITES

RAINN is the nations largest anti-sexual violence organization

Mariska Hargitay, Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims’ Unit, started JOYFUL  HEART,  in response to the thousands of letters & emails from survivors disclosing their stories of abuse.

CHATELAINE , a Canadian Magazine has a page listing Canadian Help Sites

Georgiann Carlson – Rethinking Life

Holly – House of Heart

Marina Kanavaki – Art Towards a Happy Day

Brenda Davis Harsham – Friendly Fairy Tales

Rebecca Budd – Chasing Art

If you have a Support Organization in your country, leave the link in a comment. I will add it to the list.

Queen Isabella

Did you ever feel like you were sculpting an Art Gown?

Well, that’s exactly how I felt building Queen Isabella.

Dedicated to my sweet friend Isabella: I said to her and T, I want Isabella in the title, but with another word.

Without hesitation, T said “Queen”. Without hesitation, it made sense to me.

Isabella is creative, and supports all arts. She’s a wife, a mother and devoted to her family & friends. She throws dinner parties fit for the Art Gowns.

As Art Gowns must reuse, up-cycle or repurpose,  I challenged Isabella to donate something she’d been hanging onto for years, but didn’t use anymore.

She challenged me back, and gave me a very textured dress. The colour made me think of a purple peacock, if such a creature exists.

I dismantled it, and draped the texture on a different angle. The bodice texture demanded a skirt to surpass it. The Art Gowns’ crinoline was pressed into service. 

To make mock feathers, random strips were cut from a vintage curtain lace. Acrylic paint with fabric medium was daubed on irregularly. This created a visual texture. Partial ruching created volume, and a feeling of ruffled feathers.

Flowers were made, using leftover bits of the painted lace.

I love it when she’s backlit.

Or on an overcast day

Or at night, in a dark room, when she stands under one ceiling light.

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For her first dinner party with all of the Art Gowns, Queen Isabella has decided on live guitar music.

Art Gown Queen Isabella © Resa McConaghy – 2019

Live music – Provided by The Mini-me.

All photos © Resa McConaghy – 2019

🌹 For Isabella, June 26, 2019 🌹

Ta ta for now!

Art Gowns Gallery Project

Where can I take the Art Gowns?

{Painted canvases are atop, the original pics are below.}

It would take someone savvy to wear an Art Gown. Fact is, some of the back tails are 7′ long. There can be side tails and front tails. Of course, I can tame tails for a fashion show.

 Well, I had 10 of the photos I took for their blog printed on canvas. Then, using iridescent acrylic paint, I high-lit,  filled and/or embellished the canvas.

Of course, with the iridescent paint, one needs to view the paintings from certain angles in various lightings.

I have done 10 paintings in this “Art Gowns Iridescent” collection.

I entered them in an art show, but have never heard anything back. Friends say I am too, niche, more unique than they can sell.

 I’ll be doing a second 10 piece collection. The chosen Art Gowns will be printed in black and white. Strong colours will be abstractly influenced.

Anyway, good chance of getting in a show in about a year, and I will have 2-10 piece collections.

For now, here are 5 of the 10 canvases I have done. The iridescent quality is insanely difficult to capture. Did my best. I’ll post the other 5 later.

Below, “Art Gowns Iridescent” pieces are side by side. The original is on the left. The canvas print with iridescent paint is on the right.

Can you see the difference?

MYSTIC LAKE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LA ESENCIA DE TITANIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUTUMN ORCHID

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATHENA GRAFFITI GODDESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MNEMOSYNE

(The only Art Gown piece unreasonable to display side by side)

Art Gowns & all Art Gowns Art © Resa McConaghy

2014 -2019

A new Art Gown has been started. I’m thinking 3 months, unless ……

Mademoiselle Emily

Did you ever channel a white cat, a wedding gown and  Jean Harlow?

Well then you know it comes out an Art Gown, and that Art Gown is dedicated to;

Georgiann Carlson from Rethinking Life blog. Georgiann’s blog is full of art, Chicklets, creative writing, flowers, Chicago, Emily and opinions.

Deciding it must be a Harlow 1930’s style movie star gown, dictated a bias cut.

Admittedly, being a rank amateur in working with bias, I was cursed with many problems. Nonetheless, it’s a challenge I’ve wanted to tackle for a long time.

Designers, like Chanel and Vionnet,  championed the anti-corset generation. Finally, women could feel more comfortable in their clothes.

At a liquidation sale, I found an 18″ wide bordeur lace for $0.50/yard.

What costs $0.50 these days? I bought 75 yards.

Thinking like a cat, I decided to shred the lace.

Using scissors for claws, I deconstructed the 18″ wide lace into many strips of lace; 3/4″ – 2″ wide. I also got many decals out of it.

The decal 2nd from the left, was gathered up into the flowers that adorn Mademoiselle Emily.

At the same sale, I found an old high quality satin coat lining for $0.75/yd.

The fabric was cut on bias, à la Madeleine Vionnet. (Click on left side pic  to read about this amazing designer.

The bias fell on the Judy for about 10 days, before it was cut into.

Mademoiselle Emily has many gorgeous angles.

 ⭐️Mini-Me has a special announcement! ⭐️

by Holly – House of Heart

She is fine

like Dynasty porcelain.

Her words are the chimes of

a host of carillons that ring

True and wise, as clear as bells.

Her hair is a storm

Of Harlow platinum

eyes, a deluge of diamonds.  

Not to give in to Winter

She winks  over her shoulder,

saunters Emmy’s catwalk

adorned in Chanel and Lavender. 

OUTTAKES

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Mademoiselle Emily looks out to the dining room. The other Art Gowns were aghast when she announced that there would be no dinner party, and that she would prefer to paint a portrait of each Art Gown.

Now, the Art Gowns are bickering over who will be first to sit for her!

We all know cats have 9 lives. Here are 9 tails, one for each of Mademoiselle Emily’s 9 lives: 1. a small pointed front tail w/ dagger  – 2. one handsome centre back tail w/ lace trim –  3. two side back tails of voile w/picot lace border – 4. 2 x side centre voile w/picot fluffs – 5. Center back fluffy tail

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Tails become tales in a who-done-it with humour, about a man becoming who he has pretended to be. I have it in my mind that there are 9 tales, like a cat has 9 lives. The next book is “eight black lives”.

Nicky is an actor, vain, jaded and tired of Hollywood fluff. He holes up, brooding in his New York apartment only to accept yet another “detective” role scheduled to shoot in his grey and gritty home turf. As stalkers move in and a real life murder taps him on the shoulder, Nicky enters a dangerous Neo Noir world. Peril looms to all those around him, including his love Lara and their unborn son. With the chill of premonition creeping over him, and wielding his “detective” skills, Nicky must awaken the true man within before time runs out.

You can read it for free. Just click on the cover and download the PDF.

Art Gown Mademoiselle Emily designed & made: © Resa McConaghy

Story & Character Art Gown Mademoiselle Emily © Resa McConaghy

Photos © Resa McConaghy

Poem: Gigi © Holly Hunter

♥️Thank you, Holly!♥️

🌹Many Thanks to Georgiann for all her inspiration. She has written 2 books. If you visit her blog you will see them on her sidebar. Click on them, and you will be able to buy them.🌹

Here is something I’ve never shown on Art Gowns, before now.

From the first scraps of an idea, to the end product.

It’s a long & fab journey!

Johnny photo bombs the shot when Resa tries to capture a dramatic moment with Mademoiselle Emily.

Goodnight!