Monday, June 17, 2013
This is what a nine foot by fifteen foot mural looks like on an eight foot by six foot support wall…. I am so thankful for grid marks! I am also thankful the image did not require moving up and down as well as side to side. Skies are lovely! So beautifully empty! Well, not really. I may or may not leave the sky as is; that is determined by how the painting looks once I have filled in the fields and the people. It may need another coat of blue…. In the meantime both sections had to come together in order for me to continue the image cohesively from one door to the next. Yes, this part of the mural will be on two nine foot by seven and a half foot doors, something like Quonset doors is my understanding. The first part of the horse must meet with the second part of the horse when the doors are closed…. Most of the time I try to avoid bringing straight lines across two separate segments. If the installation is not perfect, everyone will know…. After several attempts to adjust the harness in order to avoid the possible problem I decided to anticipate perfect installation. As you can see the table is strewn with various photographs of horses with and without harness. Mostly I needed legs in the correct positions and some understanding of various bridles. The swather is still a mystery. It is easier to put highlights in the correct positions when I know what is going on. Some further research is in order. That is for another day. I will need to place these two sheets together once more: to match the paint. After all, it is one horse in the middle and the colour needs to be consistent. I love my work! Never a dull moment.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
So good to have some wiggle room! My tabletop is now my false wall support for the newest mural…. A little shy on dimensions, the wall measures eight feet by six feet and the smallest mural size is nine feet by seven feet. So now I am into drawing the image on the surfaces. The set of four are actually three separate images taken from two photos. Two of the panels are the same size and two are slightly larger. When I went to begin the transfer I discovered the grid had to be changed for the two central panels. I decided to draw the outside panels first as they are taken from the same photo and I am adding a fictional figure as I split the mother/father into two images. The central panels are really one image so at some point I may install the two nine by seven and a half feet together on my false wall. Do the math….. they do not fit…. I am so grateful I am dealing with fabric and not rigid wood sheets. As I began the central panel drawing I realized I had placed the horizon line at the incorrect level on the first two sheets. Sigh. The best laid plans of mice and men, women too. It is an easy correction, thankfully. The other challenge is the shadow area on the photo cannot be deciphered easily. In fact I can see no detail whatsoever. This presents a bit of a problem as I will be inventing horse legs and harness. The horses have been one of my favorite subjects for many years so that is solvable. I know nothing about harness. It may require some research. Fort Edmonton, here I come! The sacrifices I make as an artist…. I think I will go with a friend…. Life is good.
Monday, June 3, 2013
“Invitation: to hear” is now complete. Before I embarked on painting the next in the series I undertook to research some photos and organize the following few images alternating between horizontal and vertical. I like variety. I then took the time to draw in the grid and transfer, collage, amalgamate the various source photos onto a new watercolour sheet. It will wait in the wings as I paint the picture I had already previously drawn. Completing everything before I begin another has a negative effect on my creative inspiration. I tend to come to a dead halt. There seems to be a necessary link between having several images in various media on the go at once and creative flow. At the moment I have a nagging mixed media itch that I have been ignoring for some time. I simply do not have the space in which to experiment or begin a new mixed media series. This could be dangerous… but I have a plan. Instead of beginning the new series once the murals are done, I will take some used hardboard, seal it, prep it and have fun. There are so many ideas I wish to try. Once back in the flow I will begin my new series while continuing with watercolours at the same time. In the meantime I begin the next in the “Invitation” line while I wait for paint to dry on the murals. Love it!
Monday, May 27, 2013
I may have to develop wings so I can hover above the surface! Soon the other mural panels will be gone. I am not so sure that is a good thing. As you can see two of them are protecting my watercolour from the mad painter who throws paint in all directions in preparation of the new sheets for the second mural. Perhaps another small sheet of plastic would be in order. Prevention is infinitely more efficient than cure. Accidental acrylic drops on my almost finished watercolour would be more than sufficient to tip the madness into fury or at least disappointment. The priming is now complete and the next step is molding paste. I do love the way the molding paste makes the surface irregular and therefore unpredictable. On occasion this causes me some time costs as I scratch my brain to figure out a way around the unfortunate irregularity…. Most of the time it is just beautiful. Life is good.
Monday, May 20, 2013
So this is my first attempt to accommodate the nine foot by seven foot panels for the Willington mural. My false wall is now the table top. Even with the wall atop the kitchen table the surface is insufficient to allow more than one segment at a time (there are two to a panel). As is, doing one sheet at a time would lengthen significantly the preparation time for each piece before drawing and painting could begin. Too long. I found an extender which I attached to an eight foot side and I can now work two sheets at once. With the extender I can prime one sheet and allow it to drape over the ends and side while I prime the other. About two or three hours later I can flip them and do the other side. Of course there is a consequence for pushing things this way…. My hands and everything else get covered in paint. There are four to six layers of gel and paint to apply yet so there will be a lot of waiting for paint to dry over the next couple of weeks. Once all of the layers have been completed I will remove the extender and replace the false wall in a vertical position so that the surface is more easily accessible for drawing. I have not figured out how I am going to keep the two segments together as I move them around. Having an eight foot wall for nine foot panels requires moving. The movement will include side to side as well. Challenges for later. In the meantime the preparation is advancing nicely. And the best part: I get to paint my watercolour while waiting for paint to dry! Life is good.
Monday, May 13, 2013
All four panels are done for the Redwater Health Unit. I will be delivering them this week. The unveiling will take place around the middle of June. Watch for the event on my Facebook page and in the St. Albert Gazette. In the meantime I am waiting for paint to dry again as I prepare panels of the Willington mural. I love waiting for paint to dry. It gives me a chance to work on my watercolours. The third in the series “Invitation” is just about finished and I will soon turn my attention to the image for the sixth. I plan on drawing the sixth before I begin painting the fifth in order for me to maintain the momentum for the journey. Taking small constant steps in the direction I wish to go gets me to places I had not foreseen. Should I stop and wait for the “right” moment time has a way of running away. Time is like water. Have you ever tried to capture water in your hands? I have occasionally, usually on a hike. My hands are small and the quantity of water I manage to cup in my palms is easily lost as well. Water flows. Time flows. I find moving with it and being in the moment gives me the most satisfaction. Now is the “right” time, none better.
Monday, May 6, 2013
As I predicted the lighthouse is the first to be completed. A little discouraged by the dismemberment of the waterfall I turned my attention to the harvest scene knowing that the choices therein were far less complicated. It has a vastly different feel to it. The colours are more subtle. The layers do not produce a stark contrast. It is quiet. I kept wondering if it were finished. I tend to repaint different areas with my imagination and I came to the same conclusion each time: leave it alone. It does not need fixing. This could be applied to my life. I am highly critical of all that I do and look for the areas that need to be improved. On more than one occasion I have been told that there is nothing that needs to be fixed. Take a deep breath. Accept the differences and enjoy the simplicity. Time to celebrate!