Thursday, December 27, 2007

Recording the Process

Fraser had these two blue square canvases and so there was nothing for it but to paint pictures on them, one of Frase and one of Naomi. These were both done in Australia in May 2007. Notice how I accurately depicted Fraser's steely-eyed intensity. Each of these paintings took about two hours, including breaks and making sandwiches.

During the first one of Naomi I took a few photos during the process, and then on Frase's we set up the camera on a tripod and took a lot more photos and he made it into a video.

Then in July I was in California and wanted to do one of my brother Jesse. He had the idea of photographing every single brushstroke. We set up the tripod right behind me and he held the remote shutter release. After every brushstroke I ducked and he took a picture. It made me even more deliberate about every brushstroke than I usually am. At the beginning of the video you can see sunlight moving across the canvas (we're sitting under the balcony at Valley Forge Drive).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Turkish Hammam Mural

The finished mural.

My client, SK, had been on a trip to Morrocco several years ago and on this trip went to a women's hammam, which is a sort of spa where women gather to talk and bathe. She loved it and wanted to decorate her (fairly large) bathroom to recall the experience. She didn't have any photos from her visit so she described it to me and showed me some pictures in books.

This is the initial sketch.

Here is the final Photoshop comp. I initially put the Valpincon bather in as a placeholder until I found a model, but SK liked the homage to Ingres because he had been so interested in the eastern culture. So we left her in.

Priming the canvas. I used a twelve-foot length of 60-inch wide cotton canvas from Art Media, and Utrecht gesso that is so thick you could stand a crowbar up in it.
The canvas would be installed on two adjacent walls but I decided to do it all in one piece. I built a temporary wall in my studio and clamped and stapled the canvas to it. I meant to take lots of in-progress photos but forgot, so I have pnly this one and the finished painting, ta daa.

Detail showing the far right section, on the return wall.

This project took four months from the initial meeting to the installation and touch-up.
Next project: my fourth elementary-school mural, this one in Battle Ground, Washington.