Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vincent Van Scarecrow

This is the scarecrow that I put together for a contest in my hometown.  I am involved with Jackson County Arts and this is the idea I came up with for our entry this year.  The body was already made from last year and while I doubt that Van Gogh was over 6 feet tall like our scarecrow, it worked.  I made a paper mache head starting with a brown paper bag stuffed with newspaper.  I added more newspaper and lots of masking tape to finish the base.   I used liquid starch (that's all I had at school) to make the shell.  I looked at several different self portraits of Van Gogh as a guide.  I figured since it was a scarecrow and kind of a caricature I didn't need to put pressure on myself to make it totally realistic.  I tried to leave brush strokes and not over-blend the paint.  I found three colors of yarn that I combined to  make his hair.  After thinking it was going to take FOREVER to cut the yarn into little pieces, I finally realized that I could wrap all three strands around my hand to form a loop and cut lots of pieces at once.  I added a gauze bandage around his head after I checked to make sure I was covering the correct ear.  It bugs me a tiny bit that the "parts" don't match but I was just pulling the most recognizable parts from different paintings as inspiration.  I even made a quick painting for the occasion- Starry Night over the Pumpkin Patch.  After I stuck his head on my dog decided he was bad news and started growling and barking at the scarecrow.

We set up the scarecrow last night but had to take the accessories down so they wouldn't blow away.  He looked really creepy without the supplies- like he was going to get you!  It was pretty cool to see people stopping to pose by Vincent and I'm happy to say that we won 1st place!  I'm already trying to think of ideas for next year.  I have lots, I just need to figure out which are easy enough for people who are not art history buffs to figure out.


  1. So cool! Love the pumpkin starry night.

  2. oh the Starry night pumpkin gives me an fun idea...what if kids had to replace a part of a famous painting with a the Farmer and his pumpkin, or a carved jack-o-lantern with a pearl earring...or Magritte's Son of Man with a pumpkin instead of an apple..ok I'm off to make a list!