Friday, November 30, 2012

Feel Good Friday - Tess Felix

Hi.  Remember me?

I have obviously not been doing the best job of updating this blog on a regular basis but that's changing right now!  A few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend who recommended that if I'm trying to create a show that focuses on projects around the globe doing good work in the community, I should blog about these people and get connected to their worlds.  Brilliant.

And thus was born the "Feel Good Friday" weekly blogs!  Yes, I know that title is super cheesy so if you can suggest something more appropriate (and still alliterate - fantastic, fabulous, freaky) I'll switch. Until then, Feel Good Friday it is.

Our first FGF blog brings us Tess Felix!

I met her in August when I went with a film crew from Scary Cow to interview her as part of the travel show I'm developing.  She's an artist in Stinson Beach who creates portraits from plastic scraps she collects on the shoreline when she goes for walks with her dog, Isabel.

The idea came to her after a storm washed up so much plastic on the beach that it looked like a mosaic.  Her background as a painter inspired her to try and make something of the trash.  As Tess describes it, "the process of bringing each piece to life from the bits gathered along the shore is exciting.  Two puzzles are in play; finding the voice of the story I am attempting to tell and second, discovering combinations both in form and color to support the telling."

Filming in front of "Mr. Lucky"
Many of her subjects are personal, such as a portrait of her husband in a blue suit and her daughter envisioned as a mermaid.  The fun, and slightly disturbing, thing to do is get closer to the art so you can see what it's made of.  Straws, pen caps, water guns and condoms (in the wrapper, thank you very much for asking).  The amount and variety of materials has not been lost on Tess.

"Working with beach plastics, turning garbage and excess into something beautiful, has created a shift in my world view.  I now take more responsibility for the items I elect to bring into my life and first, weigh their value carefully."  After spending the day talking with Tess, seeing her art and finding plastic on our beach walk - now I do too.

To learn more about Tess and her work visit her website or read the SF Chronicle article from August.
Yes, you can turn a jar full of plastic bits into a mermaid!
A big thank you to Aida Daay for inspiring me to get back to blogging and Damon Tarver who took these photos!