Behind The Curtain – Wrap-up. Maybe.



For a while now, I’ve been sharing progress on a painting. Though many of you are artists, not everyone is a painter. And if you haven’t painted, you may be unfamiliar with what goes into creating a piece of art. I wanted to lift the veil, so to speak, and show the evolution of painting. The photo above was taken after my first session with this piece. This next photo was taken after my second session



As you can see, a bit more was accomplished, but still not enough to convey my intentions. I mean, come on! Look at that “toilet” behind the upside-down dude! The building’s details were started, and that helped. But not enough. The third session saw great improvement…



I still had a “toilet” to contend with, but started to appreciate the architecture more. The ironwork and lower doorways added quite a bit. But again, not enough to make me happy. Which brings me to this: I struggle with my own slowness when I paint. If I were faster, I think I would get to the joyful part of creating more quickly, and therefore I’d be jazzed about painting all the danged time! But I am slow. And it does take me a while to get there. So imagine my appreciation after the fourth session



This was when I knew I was cooking with gas. The bus started taking shape! The danged “toilet” was finally gone! I knew I’d make it. I wasn’t sure how much longer I’d need, but I’d reached my own personal tipping point and that was enough to keep me encouraged and working through the fifth session



After that night in the studio, I had very little to do. A bit of tree had been added. The sculpture had volume. The bus raced by and the fence was finished. The grass had texture. It was a good session and good work was done.


When I went in for the sixth session, I knew I’d be taking the piece home. A park bench and a few leaves were all I needed to add. Once those were in place, the piece was finished. Maybe. From the beginning, I have intended to splatter some paint over this work to give it a little edge. It’s not a bad piece or anything. It’s just rather ordinary. Granted – the subject is anything but ordinary, but the painting itself? Well – it needs a little something. I think. So I’m living with it for a while before deciding if I need to splatter it or not.


I’ve written before about how my art teacher performs a “framing ceremony” when students finish paintings. It’s been ages since he’s done that with one of my pieces and, truth be told, I haven’t missed it. But when I finished this one, he asked if I thought it deserved a framing ceremony. My response? “Duh! All my paintings deserve framing ceremonies!” He laughed and then took my canvas away for a moment. When he came back, it was placed on an easel. I admire it terribly…


Note: If you’d like to know more about this painting’s subject, please click here for an excellent blog post written about this London art installation.

Framing Ceremony



I don’t know if I’ve ever told you about one of the coolest rituals at the studio where I paint: the Framing Ceremony.


When one of us finishes a painting, our teacher takes it into his office for a moment, then returns with the painting placed in a frame. He props it up on an easel or on the floor (depending on size), and we all ooo and aahhh over the finished product.


The above photo was taken last night, and it was a grand framing ceremony. But then something happened: another student finished a painting, and so we had a second awesome framing ceremony…



Near the end of the night, yet another student’s masterpiece was completed and we all experienced the third framing ceremony of the evening…



Honestly, I was ooo-ing and aahhh-ing so much – I didn’t want it to end. But it did.


As you can see, we all paint completely different subjects and styles. That makes for a gallery feel at the studio and insures there’s always plenty of eye-candy in the joint. I usually take a moment or two just to look around and see what everyone’s up to. It is always interesting.


I love a good framing ceremony. And 3 in 1 night was a first for me. Our teacher said the record is 5 in 1 night. I’d be down with that. Fortunately, I’m well-versed in ooos and aahhhs.