Well, I have begun a new piece of artwork... a really big piece! This is one of my favorite kinds of paintings, those collaborated with God. His idea, His vision, my hands. The vision for this piece came quite a while back... maybe a couple years? But, I have found that when God gives me a vision for a piece of artwork to be done, He most often says, "Wait" because the vision is more like an invitation to me to enter into a process more fully. I'm never able to start working on one of these types of pieces until I have walked through much of the process of what the piece is about. So, this one has been on the back burner. Then, a few weeks ago, during a message, the title for the piece was given to me. I was not in the service thinking about this artwork but immediately, when the words were spoken, the picture flashed in my head and I knew it was for a reason. So, the title of this piece is "How did you find me here?".
Now, because I knew from the get-go that the piece needed to be fairly big, I needed an inexpensive way to execute it. I could not afford a canvas this size. Then, I realized I could paint it on unstretched canvas. And, in doing so, hope to be able to do some sewing on it as well, creating more depth and texture to the piece. So, I went to my local favorite fabric haunt, SAS, and purchased a big piece of unstretched, unprimed canvas for $2.99 per yard! Now that's my kind of deal! The piece I found already cut was a bit longer than a yard so, my painting is looking to be about 4x4 feet.
My next dilemma was figuring out what kind of solid surface I could put it on to paint! I ended up taping plastic to my studio wall and then using thumb tacks to mount the canvas directly to the wall. I have decided I am going to be really brave and post photos of progress as I go so, here's the first few:
To give an idea of the size of this piece, the work in progress on my easel is 2x3 feet. You can see that this new project is much larger.
Next, I added gesso on. I intentionally did not paint the entire surface solid. I like the variety of texture in having some of the gesso thicker in areas.
I was up much of the night processing this piece in my head while I just stayed there in bed. I could not get a sense of whether or not the figure in the painting should be a man or woman. I wasn't feeling like it should be a woman, necessarily. And, after looking the web to death in google images trying to find just the right image for inspiration to match the vision in my head, I gave up. I got out my tripod and camera and did some self portrait pictures in the pose I needed. However, I wanted my figure to have on jeans and shoes so I nabbed Max when he got home from school and took a photo of him in the same pose. I got a very rough sketch done of my figure and have now painted the background. The walls will be stone so my first layer of color is the dark shadow that will be between the stones. I decided not to do mortar as I really like the look of old stone walls in Europe that have just been stacked for generations. So, first layer of background color down. Stones will slowly emerge from the walls.
So, here's where I'm stopping for tonight. My studio lighting is HORRIBLE.. I have to use a pole lamp with three lights on it to see what I'm doing in there... and it casts shadows while I paint. I prefer painting in the daytime.
So, that's where I'm at. This piece has a deadline of about 3 weeks because it will be part of our annual week of 24/7 prayer at my church. So I don't have a lot of time!