I love doing local gallery shows that put out a call. However, most local shows have fairly short period of time between the call to artists and submission deadline. For traditional painters, it's no biggie to whip up a little somethin' somethin'. For me, it's a bit of an undertaking to create one of my signature texture plaster paintings.
After concocting and baking an idea that fits the bill, I have to first lay down the textured plaster on a cradled wood panel. I wait a couple of days for it to cure enough to carve the line work. Another day for priming, and then about one day for each layer of paint and glazes. I typically use between 7 to 12 layers of paint in a subtractive process and finally varnish. These pieces can take me from 2-4 weeks to finish, so you can see why I'm a tad reluctant to pour so many hours and precious art supplies into a piece that may or may not get in. Shows that call for very specific themes are usually in my "I hope it's a great show but no thanks" file.
This year's Red Chair Project Visual art exhibition was almost a "no thanks" due to the very specific subject matter of, you guessed it, a red chair. What in the world was I going to do with a red chair? How could I fit this in to my body of figurative and nature themed work? I played with a few ideas for a traditional oil painting, but was not thrilled with the idea of having a red chair painting in my portfolio in case it wasn't accepted. I agonized over this, because I truly love the Red Chair Project and its mission. Since moving to Florida, I have supported and contributed to the Red Chair Affair, and I actually wanted to be a part of this exhibit and support my two great loves; the visual and performing arts. I finally had an aha moment after some exasperation.
Red Chair. Chair. Chair pose! Duh, Utkatasana!
What hadn't I thought of it before? I love yoga and painting yoga postures. I have created several yoga paintings and had planned to make more similar work. Perfect.
It was like a fire after that. I had my inspiration, now I had to race against time to create a piece that I would love even if it wasn't selected by the exhibit jury. I set up a model session with Brian Friedman of Winter Garden Yoga ( interview with Brian coming soon) and set to work. After spending several days and nights on the piece- my sleep schedule dictated by humidity, drying times and how long my hairdryer held up- it was ready to be photographed and submitted with a few hours to spare.
Here's a time lapse snippet of the work in progress (plaster carving process) .
After a week or so, I got the notification. "Have A Seat" made the cut, and was selected to be exhibited in the "O" Gallery at City Arts Factory for the Red Chair show.
Fist pump and sigh of relief. The sleepless nights weren't for naught and the piece is in a great show.
|Click here to bid in the fundraiser auction-Detail shots and full- Have A Seat, 20"x 24", plaster & acrylic on wood|
The opening reception will coincide with 3rd Thursday Downtown Arts District gallery events
July 18th, 6-9pm, City Arts Factory, 29 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL.
For more information on City Arts Factory, click here.