Monday, November 30, 2015

Prepping for A Specific "Titled" Show

A Few times a year, I receive invitations on entering specific shows that have specific themes. For instance, in the past I have had show invites for the following themes, "In and Out", "Secrets", "Love", and the latest being "On the edge".

Being primarily a landscape plein aire painter, many of my works, I feel do not lend themselves to a specific category under these labels (although, many fellow artist, do, I believe browse their inventory, and choose what ever may come close.) My solution in each of the cases as listed above, was to treat the theme as a new school/work assignment, and come up with a concept for each of the themes, and paint an original work that fits the assignment.  Enclosed are two past cases of these assignments.

While battling for an ideas for In and Out (and I did one solution with In and Out Burgers)
Our two cats posed for "In and Out"
and the real idea hit me as I was letting the cats out one morning, while one came in and the other departed, viola... there was my concept.

Another was love, and again, my first idea really did not materialize as I wished so I landed up wiping the painting off. That night, three days before the entry was due, I thought of an old hippie love bus.  I proceeded to research images (thank you google) where I used different photo concepts and ideas to create my entry "love Bus" which using the previous canvas, I painted in about 24 hours and literally delivered for entry while still wet!
"Love Bus"

Today, will go in to further detail about the latest submission for a show called "On the Edge."

First, its coming up with the concept. Many may think of is on the edge of a cliff, a building. Maybe represent a stress level, or some kind of sharpe instrument/tool etc. etc. Just for fun, I accessed Google once again, to see how images of on the edge there were, and a number came up, with the person at height the most popular. Battling this idea out, I still came up with the idea of a person on the edge of some kind structure, but, hopefully my representation  would be reviewed in a unique perspective.

A number of  pencil drawings finally netted, an overhead view of someone on the edge of a pool.
First concept, photographic reference
Since I was doing a model shot for another concept. I had our young model sit by the pool and I took various posed photos from a step ladder. I then proceeded to do a rough painting of the concept and blocked it off for composition. It was okay, I liked it but felt it was just not quite there.

First draft, by the pool
The next day while riding my bike, I went over the bridge at the Gulph river in Cohasset, and a number of kids were jumping off the edge into the water below. I said to myself, that's it. That night, a new concept was developed from that idea. Now, with the new rough in hand, I was satisfied.  Next Step, proceed to a 18 x 24" canvas of the concept.

Another concept,. another draft
Of course one of the things that worked about the rough was the spontaneity of the color and art, I needed to capture the same essence which I proceeded to do.  While working on the final, I painted in two or three kids waiting to jump into the water below as well. As I progressed I edited out two, and only left the one young girl sitting on the edge. As the painting developed, I liked the idea even more, cause not only was she on the edge, but, what was she going to do... contemplate the water, why is she dressed if she is going into the water.. jump?

After revising the water and rocks a few times, to finally meet my satisfaction, I signed the painting on the horizontal and was ready to submit. While photographing it, I stored it on the vertical, and looking at it, I liked it even better, it lent a vertigo to the scene. So, I covered up my signature, and replaced it so that the art would be viewed as a vertical, and the submission was entered.
Although painted as a horizontal as the above draft,
The final piece was rotated 90 degrees clockwise.
What solution do you think works best?

I was pleased...but like all juried shows, I am sorry to admit this particular entry was not accepted. (although, one entry that was accepted had kids jumping off a bridge, yet, just a straight on view Ho hum...)  Unfortunately that is how it resolves sometime, but all in all I was happy with the picture, (now stored in the corner with many more) and actually still look forward to my next assignment.  It provides a unique challenge other than just relabeling an existing painting.

Will keep you posted.