In my travels to various events I have seen a lot of face painting and a decent bit of body painting. In New Orleans it is commonplace enough that you see it almost every day depending on the part of the city you pass through. In the French Quarter there are street performers in face and body makeup all the time. One New Orleans ball of a few thousand attendees I attended had a liquor table on one side of the refreshments room, a food table on the other, and body painting in the middle.
Most of the face painters I see do a fine job and are great for entertainment. I like to check out their work and take pics as they are most notably a lot of fun at any event. People love having it done and I enjoy taking their pictures (I can’t remember anyone with face paint not having a smile on their face!) but it is always a special treat to see a master of the trade at work.
This past weekend at The Scare Fest in Lexington, Kentucky I stopped and watched Terra Fender of Bella Rouge Design crafting her artwork a few times and was impressed by the precision, grace, and beauty of the simplest of her designs. When I actually caught her without someone waiting for a painting, I chatted with her a bit and then later went back and recorded the video interview below.
When we chatted I asked her a bit about her background, where she had learned, practiced, competed and such. I also asked if she knew Craig Tracey (I had the pleasure of meeting him in his studio in New Orleans a couple years ago and learned a bit about the art of body painting from chatting with Craig who is one of the top masters of the field in the world.)
She had shown me some of her gallery work and I was reminded of him. She was indeed familiar with him and, in fact, a friend of his. I mentioned I met a fellow who had said he competed at the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria but didn’t know Craig’s name when I mentioned it (Craig is one of the jury of their competition and a former world champion.) She laughed and said, “Yes, well, anyone can pay an entry fee.”
I suspect that few who wore her art at The Scare Fest realized what an honor it was to be the canvas for an artist of her caliber. It was a shame though, that she didn’t have a full canvas to paint a masterpiece, but I suspect Lexington isn’t quite as open to the body arts as is New Orleans.
It was a great pleasure to chat with Terra and I hope you enjoy the interview and check out her website.