Aug 25, 2011

Art Wall in Southbridge, MA

the Art Wall on the lawn of the QVCAH Art Center

The Art Wall is an ambitious (and cool) exhibition going on in Southbridge right now. Made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts & Humanities (QVCAH) is hosting this wall made up of large paintings by artists from each of the 25 towns the art center supports.

As East Douglas is one of the communities that comprise the QVCAH's reach, I was pleased to be invited to participate in the Art Wall. Project coordinator Monika Agnello filled me in on the details, and I got started with my largest painting to date - eight feet by four feet (a full sheet of plywood).

the original blueberry jelly
my little jelly bean on wheels

Those of you who know me already see a logistical issue with the painting. I drive a Toyota Yaris, which looks pretty much like a blueberry jelly bean on wheels. I can just imaging strapping the plywood onto my roof and upon driving getting enough lift to ensure hijinks on my way home from the Home Depot. Rather than tempt fate, I enlisted the help of my husband and his truck, and made it home to paint another day.

thank you honey!

With that problem solved, I primed the plywood all over, and busted out some sketches for the painting. After being bribed with some fish pellets, my koi in the front garden (Mr. Big Fish) modeled for me and I got the design resolved. I dug out my projector from college (it pays to be a hoarder!), and started tracing my design on the plywood. My studio is nowhere near big enough to accommodate the plywood with room to work around it, so I made use of the garage for this piece. Thank God I got the urge to organize it a few months back, or I would have been tripping over power tools.

sketch made in Adobe Flash

Here you can see the progression of the painting. I painted in the large areas with a flat base color first, then filled in the water and added depth and details.

like green Pac-men...

nearly done...
I saved the koi for last. At this point, I had been squatting over plywood on furniture dollies for a few days and I was feeling the burn. the weather was pretty nice at the house, so I brought the painting outside and worked on the stone wall. Good timing too - the natural light was better for the fish, which were the most detailed bit.

Water Garden 8'x4' acrylic  -  the completed painting

it's about as big as my car!

So that's it! Hubby helped me transport the finished painting to the QVCAH building for the exhibition. I visited the Art Wall again this week to get photos of all the artwork, which I'll post tomorrow. The work is so diverse and all together it looks really impressive. The Art Wall is on display until September 4th, so come check it out! The art will all be auctioned off, with a 50-50 split between the artists and the QVCAH. It's a great opportunity to score some fun artwork and do some good for the art community. Here are the details:

Art Wall closing reception and auction
Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts and Humanities
111 Main Street Southbridge, MA
Sunday, September 4th, 2011

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