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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s called Elemental Figures with the obvious connections to sun/light/glow, vegetation/treetops, water/sky and earth/dirt.
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.