Saturday, March 25, 2017

I Donated a New Work of Art!

Chrysler Museum partnered with Hope House Foundation and created a Call to Artists earlier this month. The idea was to invite artists to submit proposals for an original work of art inspired by something in Chrysler's permanent collection. They selected fifteen artists who then completed the paintings and donated them to a fundraiser that will be held at the end of March.

The idea.

This was my proposal sketch. I used a gelatin silver print by Sal Lopes entitled Brianna and Sammy for inspiration, as well as the following quote by Jennifer Jones of the Thai Children's Trust:

"Despite everything that is behind them in the past and despite the complete uncertainty of what is ahead of them in the future, children know how to immerse themselves completely in a moment of joy when the opportunity arrives. And a smile on the face of such a child lifts up my heart and teaches it to sing again."

I did a quick watercolor sketch, scanned it in, and then used a photo editing program to add the lettering, which would be added in gold leaf. I decided to work on a cradled wooden panel and allow the grain to show through as much as possible. If you decide to use these, they are not gessoed - which is what I wanted because I didn't want the typical white background - but you'll still need to use a clear gesso to seal the surface before you add paint.

Here's a shot of it in progress. I added the leafing first since it can sometimes stick to paint!

In progress.
I have found that working on tracing paper works perfectly for me. I use a sheet the same size and shape as the final piece and do a basic line drawing of everything. This allows me to reposition as necessary without erasing on the wood at all - important since it's not always easy to erase on wood and I didn't want to damage or mark the surface! It also gave me the ability to easily position every single letter of the quote, a time-consuming but important step. After everything was drawn out, I used a sepia colored conte crayon to color in the back of the tracing paper, laid it down in position, and retraced my lines to transfer the letters, as well as the image of Brianna and Sammy.

Immersed. ©2017, 18x24" acrylic and 23.5K gold leaf on wood panel.
I intentionally make the wording a little difficult to read - an affectation? Who knows. I like to think it makes the viewer have to look at the work longer and digest the quote and the imagery. I also haven't painted a person in who knows how long. Feels good to get back into that!

Anyway, super excited about the upcoming Feather the Nest event for Hope House Foundation at the end of the month!