Painting Big

detail, lower left hand corner...

Detail, lower left hand corner…

From June 5 to June 24, I created this huge painting for the BIG PAINTINGS Invitational.  It’s in this great old building at 333 Midland in Highland Park, Michigan.

I mix up the right shade of dark grey for the background.

I mix up the right shade of dark grey for the background.

First, I mixed a custom shade of grey with black and white paint, thinned with water.  I mixed exactly the right amount somehow.  None was left over.  I applied it with a  house-painting roller on an extension pole.

I started it while it was flat.

I started it while it was flat.

The first day, June 5,  I just did this rough background.  The next session, on June 10, I started to put on the colors.  This was a long workout.  The painting was now vertical, standing up.  I applied paint with rollers, brushes and my fingers.

.....and we're off to the races!

…..and we’re off to the races!

I got quite a bit done at this second session.  This was Tuesday June 10.I had the strategy in my mind.  I’d done a few small related sketches, but I didn’t even bring them with me.  As is often the case, I knew what I was doing and what I wanted.

Ready to call it a day, note my old pin "Potential Collateral Damage."

Ready to call it a day, note my old pin “Potential Collateral Damage.”

I came back to finish it two days before the opening, on June 17.  They were thinking of hanging it, so I rushed to get the top part done first.  I applied more colors and filled in the empty spaces.

In progress, once again...

In progress, once again…

After I had most of the color filled in, I started the outlining.  It was too tall to do this while it was standing up.  To do the top part, I had to lay it flat and working on it upside down.  This is a frequent strategy with me.  I get the colors just how I want them.  Then I draw on top of them, using black (or other dark-colored) paint.

Heading toward the home stretch!

Heading toward the home stretch!

Then it went upright again and I finished the detailing.  I also added little bits of color and some fine glitter.  I noticed another artist used glitter too.  Go glitter!  That’s cool, but I’m usually subtle with it.  On the earth-toned figure, some of the paint had sand mixed with it, for texture.  I wanted to put some candle soot on but the wind kept blowing out the flame.  Yes, Special effects!

The last session took just over 6 hours, non-stop, without a break.

Finished, at the opening.

Finished, at the opening.

I finally finished it.  I think that it took me 15 to 20 hours.I came back for the opening, great.  It’s a lovely and unique space with a lot of possibilities.  The other artists worked hard too.

I wanted to come Friday but I had other things that I had to do.  Saturday night, I performed with Spaceband as part of the Summer Solstice “Grand Opening Special.”  That was a lot of fun and we had a positive response to the show.

Looking Up.

Looking Up.

http://www.onnz.co.nz/20703/1521161/gallery/333-midland-the-project-begins

http://metrotimes.com/arts/arts-features/abandoned-highland-park-factory-is-an-artists-haven-1.1700961

http://www.detroityes.com/mb/showthread.php?18633-The-Big-Painting-Exhibition-in-Industrial-No-Man-s-Land-in-Highland-Park-is-Huge

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2 Responses to “Painting Big”

  1. Don Handy Says:

    Fascinating! Thanks for sharing some of the tricks of your trade.

  2. artremedy20 Says:

    Thanks, I put this post together on my lunch break today….

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