Friday, June 29, 2012

Blue Skies, Nothing but Blue Skies...

The long high tall view shows how the shapes on the 'horizon' of the mural really start to POP with the introduction of blue.

Making the transition from golden to orange to blue in broad sweeping strokes.

Now certain things are really starting to recede while other things come into the extreme foreground. Just a taste of what's to come.

You can see that the 'painting drama' is starting to take on a life of its own now that the planes are being established. By 'planes' I mean the back, middle and foreground. It's all illusory of course but on this scale the visual effect - when executed with finesse- can be just stunning.

The 'yellow' in this shot is a bit exaggerated because of the ambient light.

A distant shot -standing as far away as possible inside the hockey rink; right inside the score-keeper's box.

Believe it or not, it took an entire day of painting to intensify the blue into a richer zone in the upper reaches of the atmosphere along the top edge of the mural. Between mixing the glazes, mounting and positioning the scaffold and oh yeah PAINTING the hours flew by. Once a decision is made on a project of this magnitude, you have to be prepared to dig in and just do it!

Is the sky finished you ask? Well, no. It will be positively electric when completed. In say, about 3-4 additional glazes.

I am happy that so many of you are following my progress. Well over 8000 visitors have graced this blog with your presence since the beginning of this project over three weeks ago. Thank you for all your support and interest, it means a lot to me.

Till next time...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Featured in ArtProMotivate Artists' Spotlight

Landing Pad  is the painting featured at ArtProMotivate, so you will know where to find me.
I was honored to be included in  the latest post on the madly popular ArtProMotivate website today. The post features FIFTY artists' spotlights. ArtProMotivate placed me in the top row, as you will see when you visit the post.

I have been following the ArtProMotivate site for several months now and must say that the editor always seems to conjure up fresh, relevant and timely topics that never fail to arouse my interest.

So yeah, this is a plug for you to drop in there and check it out. 

With all of the super-saturation of TMI flooding our in-boxes every day, ArtProMotivate is one site that I always welcome and read with interest.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Power to the Purple!

My computer-generated mock-up that demonstrates approximately how the finished mural will  appear.

Transparent Dioxyzine Violet ...when applied over the precedent glazes of orange and red increases the voracity of the shadows and also warms up the overall tone into the golden zone.

I made it almost three-quarters of the way across the wall on my first purple day. Yeah, nowadays I relate a day's work in terms of the color I'm into.

Each successive glaze gets a little faster as I am becoming more familiar with the lay of the land so to speak. Although admittedly there is a lot of ground to cover so the process can only be sped up so much.

The strong portraits that anchor the upper left-hand side of the composition are just starting to come to life now that the purple glaze has been initiated.

This photo clearly shows the Power of Purple. OK, violet. Transparent violet. Can you guess what glaze hue comes next?

A high, distant view shows the steadily emerging forms on the horizon as each glaze tends to more definitely articulate a contrast between light and shadow. Don't forget...there has not been a drop of light-colored glaze added as of yet. All of the light you see at the moment is simply the golden-flesh colored base.

I was happy to make it over to the far right-hand side of the first eighty-foot swath of purple glaze. (Purple Glaze, all in my brain...lately things just don't seem the same...)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Enriching with Red

I wanted to know if the kids could stretch out the entire length of the mural for this shot. They did!
 Coffee Row in Young, Saskatchewan is starting to buzz with excitement over the large mural being created inside the local hockey rink. Quite a few local people have been dropping in the past few days with very positive remarks, smiles and reminiscent stories. Seeing as how the end of the school year is fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to invite the kids over for a sneak preview and a Q&A presentation. It was thoroughly enjoyable and let me tell you, they asked some very penetrating and insightful ideas. They are such a smart and engaged bunch of youngsters. 

See that step-ladder? It's not miniature, it's seven feet high.

The 'prairie sentinels' rise to once again dominate the skyline like in times past. 

Brant Madland dropped in with his sons and said "That's my Grandpa in the back of the car!". Makes it the boys' Great-grandfather. What a great feeling to be stirring up these palpable memories with this project for Young.

More details popping up every day...

Starting to fill in some of the extraneous detail as I go.

I am looking forward to soldiering past the HUGE detail and getting into more of the textures, shapes and background. See how the turned-up sod has a certain graphic power all of its own?

Poppy and Perry Anderson make their debut appearance nestled in the gigantic 'G' of YOUNG.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Move Over Orange...

My computer-generated rendering that demonstrates approximately how the finished mural will appear.
...there's a red that wants to meet you!

A pail of red glaze all ready for application. The acrylic pigment is very concentrated and for my purposes must be diluted to a semi-transparent state for glazing over the original orange glaze. All of the subsequent glazes yet to come will be similarly transparent/translucent so that in the end all of the global glazes will retain their power while interacting in varying degrees with their fellow big happy family of co-existing hues in a full-spectrum tonal analysis.

Even with the addition of just the second ( of a total of about 10-12 glazes at least) the red glaze, you can see how the forms immediately start to pop.

Rolling down the plank rail in front of the mural with paint-brushes flying...

A good day's work gets me to about the half-way point of the 80' wall.

Dennis Sather caught me up on the scaffold just as I was getting close to finishing the eighty-foot pass with the red glaze at the eight foot level.

The 'skyline' begins to appear as the red glaze is completed at the horizon.

The same thing from a different perspective that favors the right-hand side of the mural.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Living in an Orange World

My computer-generated rendering that demonstrates approximately how the finished mural will appear.
 I guess delayed gratification is a fact of life when glazing a mural of this scale. I will not switch to my next glaze color (that would be red) until the preliminary orange glaze is pretty much finished on the first big chunk of the 'forever YOUNG' mural. According to my painting methodology, which has been honed over about 30 years of creating large-scale murals and hundreds of easel paintings, the specific order of glazes is something not to be trifled with. I know  the rich full-spectrum glazing  technique gets the best results, and a big part of this depends on exercising the self-discipline to stick with the program and not be overly hasty to arrive at the finishing or 'native' colors.

When applied judiciously, the so-called 'full-spectrum glazing  technique' results in a very warm, inviting continuity that offers brilliant 'back-lit' flesh tones that appear to glow from within; as well, deep rich shadows that feature mesmerizing variety and nuanced visual depth that is extremely satisfying to the eye.

More important, the 'full-spectrum glazing  technique' offers an opportunity to the 'mind's eye' to explore the artistic vision far beyond the mere representational imagery. The technique becomes part and parcel of the holistic visual and aesthetic experience. You can imagine that this is especially true in a work of this scale.

Let there be light!

I'm living in an orange world, overlaid on a golden field...

I realized that working off a step ladder would be quicker on the lower portion than moving the scaffold across the wall. It's a long way to go with a scaffold in tow.

Now you can plainly see there is another eight feet of height yet to go. Before this happens, the top twelve by eighty feet will be pretty much finished. Can you imagine what this will look like with another 10-12 glazes? I can!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Glaze Goes On...Work Continues w 'forever YOUNG' Mural

The computer-generated mock-up of 'about' how the finished mural will appear shows the scale. Note the tiny adult human on the lower right-hand corner. He stands 5 '10".
These captions are short and straight to the point. Once I feel I have a bit more breathing space, I will go into more detail about the thought and process that is invested in a project of this scale. There are other adjunct stories that tie into the project as well...stay tuned.

It's a new day. The scaffold stands ready for mounting with painting in mind.

The scaffold stage is lowered to the six-foot level in readiness for the next eighty-foot pass.

Fast forward about five hours as I make my way across eighty feet of glazing the next six foot wide swath of orange glaze.

You can see forms ( that would be a team of four oxen ) already emerging from out of the golden-hued background tint.

Shot from across the arena in the score-keepers box.

Before I stopped for the day, the scaffold was rolled back in position on the far left-hand side in preparation for the next pass.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Brushing on the 1st Eighty-Foot Length

The computer-generated mock-up of 'about' how the mural will look...
As with any other 'north-paw' painting, no matter what the scale, I begin with the upper left-hand corner.
On a mural of this scale, it is advisable to stay organized. This means executing successive passes across the expanse of the wall while working on 'global' glazes. The process will not be micro-managed; rather, every glaze will be completed through the full-spectrum tonal study before finally arriving at the 'native' colors. This bears repeating as the temptation is to simply paint, for instance, a 'blue sky' which if laid in at this early stage would look flat and tepid in comparison to the rich, vibrant effect that is only achievable by multiple translucent glazes. About thirty-odd years and over 60 large murals has taught me never to rush into a native color, as it a recipe for mediocrity and dullness in my view.

Taking a quick breather on the relentless march across the wall.

You can clearly see even at this early stage that the idea of separating the light from the dark with the first glaze picks out the objects which will eventually make up a very high-contrast horizon. As I spend time with brush in hand, ideas begin to crystallize in my mind about the 'concept' of the mural. It is not always possible to visualize 'big enough' when planning a project of this scale on paper until one is confronted with the reality of experiencing it first-hand.

Making my way down the eighty-foot runway in front of the mural.

Although after a few more passes the novelty is bound to wear a bit thin, I wanted to capture a play-by-play of the first trek across the (somewhat) daunting eight-foot length of the 'forever YOUNG' mural.

You can see the forms emerging...
 After I touched the extreme far end of the wall with paint on my first pass, the scaffold was rolled back into position at the right-hand side in readiness for the next go at it.

All set for the next painting day.
The next step will be to lower the staging of the scaffold to the six-foot height to paint the next swath in rich orange.