Almost 4 years ago in February 2015 we started Filming on "Loss Prevention" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX3nagLvQj0) with ThoughtFly Films. It was to be a fun action movie with some tongue in cheek comedy elements. I was part of the makeup department as well as being an extra in quite a few scenes. We were all doing different actor's makeups every day, and we had photos of all of the actors to maintain continuity. We weren't doing anything crazy but I still wanted someone that when I watched the movie I knew in any given scene I did their makeup. When I saw Lauren Virginia Albert I knew I wanted her to be the actress that I did makeup on every day. Lauren said "I first met Matt on the set of a movie we filmed 4 years ago. He exclusively did my makeup and I like to think we formed an unspoken bond over the course of the shoot."
Lauren has a very pretty and had unique features. I was lucky enough to have her sit in my chair the first day and we hit it off. I suppose we worked out an unspoken understanding and everyday she came and waited for my chair and or I angled to do her makeup.
The makeup was fairly simple as she was the female action lead of the film. With her face I knew I wanted to do more makeups on her but with her living in Los Angeles and just in town for filming I didn't know how that would be possible. Her and I kept in touch over the years and talked about doing her makeup someday for a photoshoot when she came to town to visit family. This past holiday our schedules finally lined up and we were able to put something together.
The plan was always to do some kind of Avant-Garde or beauty look on her. However with all the body paints I have done recently her interests started to lean more that way. With only having a month to plan and so much going on around that time of year we started talking ideas and pieces of mine she liked. She really liked the "Lenore" body paint I did with Rebecca Bien and Danny Alexander based on the Edgar Allan Poe poem, "The Raven" (You can read that blog here http://mattgoodlettmakeup.com/blog/2017/3/6/lenore ). Come to find out Lauren was also a huge fan on Poe with her favorite poem being "Annabel Lee".
"Matt and I share a mutual love for Edgar Allen Poe. I knew he had done a body paint inspired by “The Raven,” so we decided to go a similar route and do one inspired by my favorite Poe poem, Annabel Lee. Annabel Lee was the first poem I ever came to love so I was more than thrilled to be the canvas for such a beautiful piece of poetry. It’s a harrowing tale of love gained, and in true Poe fashion, love lost. It’s the only poem I have ever memorized and has been ingrained in my brain since I first read it when I was 8 years old. So in a sense it’s been a near 20 year journey for me, to be able to physically express and be a visual for a poem that has always been so close to my heart." Said Lauren
That said the imagery with Annabel Lee is not as easy to work into a body paint as "The Raven". I am not a fan of painting the images of people on to people so painting Annabel Lee as a human with her "narrating lover" was not an option for me.
Most people when reading the poem would assume that his love Annabel Lee had died. I am not saying they are wrong and in fact given Poe's own history they are correct. Most say it was based on Poe's wife Virginia who died two years prior to him writing it. That said I read it a bit differently. I read it as more an unrequited love. As he sees it her family took her away and made her love for him go cold. In my interpretation he has built up all of these monuments to her in his mind and the perfect kingdom by the sea he writes about is not an actual kingdom at all. I see the kingdom as him and as he seas what their perfect relationship could have been.
I knew I needed a castle as my center piece. I didn't want it to be this bright beautiful castle that you would expect in this kingdom by the sea. For inspiration I looked to the Castle Gray Skull for color and scope. I made the windows in the castle glowing orange as if he was leaving the lights on for her to find her way back to him. The coffin shaped hole represents the hole she left in him as she floats above the castle/him as this idealistic angel with her halo of gold the way he has built her up in his mind. I painted the clouds above the castle and the sky getting darker as it got closer to Lauren's jawline. The sun and moon on her shoulders were inspired by the Ouija Board but represent that she is on his mind day and night. Below the castle we have the charred earth of hell to not only represent the demons he speaks of in the poem but also where his foundation lies. On Lauren's arms I painted the representation of choppy waves for the sea. In my interpretation with her leaving him I didn't see the waters being calm. Lauren is also wearing Primal Colored Lenses (https://us.primalcontactlenses.com/) in "Supernatural" To give her an other worldly idealistic look. Since the narrator sees her as dead to him I paled out her face to give her a slight corpse look while still keeping her pretty.
Doing a second Poe body paint I knew I wanted to make it a series. Lucky for me Danny Alexander (https://dannyalexanderphoto.com/) who shot the first Poe body paint agreed to shoot this one to maintain the same style. To maintain consistency I had Lauren hold the same chrome skull as in the "Lenore" body paint which could not have been achieved without Danny. I am so happy with how this body paint came out and how it works as a companion piece to the previous Poe based body paint. That being said to me two body paints doesn't constitute a series and Danny has been amazing enough to agree to photograph a third Poe body paint. Stay tuned in the coming months for, "the Tell-Take Heart" which is my favorite piece by Poe. I will let Lauren wrap this up, "This makeup project has truly been 4 years in the making and I’m so grateful we finally found the time to collaborate, especially now that we live on opposite coasts."