Sunday, May 11, 2008

Swan song??

Ta-da!! So here's my big surprise, finished just in the nick of time. I put in my first all-nighter since college to get this little fellow done for my show and I'm here to report that I recovered a lot more quickly at 20 than I do now!! This is a snapshot taken under less than perfect lighting conditions, but it came out pretty close to the real thing.

Fe Fi Faux Fowl
30" x 30"
acrylic on canvas
The idea for this painting grew out of the show of small works that we hung last fall. I was one of the people who pushed for that show, so when I chose "Out of the Ordinary" as the theme for my feature show, the logical creative step was to "supersize" the little toys I'd painted in the fall.

I love the concept of taking a very small toy and blowing it up to such a large size, but the technical challenges of painting this in acrylic made for many frustrating moments and a lot of very long painting days. I know that working in oils would have made this a much simpler task, but I have a long history of chemical sensitivity that has made me wary of oil paints. As it turns out, I may have to back away from acrylics too. By the time I finished this piece, I was feeling weird and woozly at the end of every day. At first I thought it was just because of the long hours in the studio, but a few days after I finished it, I opened the sealed palette-keepers that I stored my paints in and the odor of the acrylic just about knocked me over. So, in addition to loving watercolor as a medium, it may truly be the only one I can tolerate. But I'm hoping that if I back off acrylics for a while and only work on small pieces when I start using it again, it may be OK. Acrylic has so many unique properties that I really want to be able to play with it some more. I feel like I've barely begun to discover what it can do.

Now I have to get ready for next weekend's outdoor show. There's a whole bunch of framing to do, prints to make and mat, and assorted other tasks. I've recently redesigned my publicity materials and have to update my booth signage to match. It should be a busy week.

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