So a few weeks ago, I decided to turn the blank canvas that has been hanging on my walls of my apartment into a work of art.
I had jokingly been saying for ages that when my former roommate moved out, I was going to paint the canvas that her former roommate had hung on the walls. Mark and I have been doing some wedding planning and we remembered that there was a giant Coca Cola sign in our wedding venue that we want to cover (it’s 16-feet long by who-knows-how-tall). So, my jest became a reality.
I’ve been interested in community-building projects, particularly those that involve collaborative art.
So I decided to invite a bunch of friends over to paint.
I extended the invite to not only my inner circle of ladies, but to all the ladies (and some gentlemen) in my graduate program. Everybody that participated was a graphic designer of some sort at some point in time. Some of my friends were in the graphic design undergraduate program with me and the others are currently in the graphic design masters’ program with me. I did not anticipate the different backgrounds having as much of an impact on the painting as it did, but I never could have painted something that looks like this. In fact, after I gessoed the wall (a very important step, as it turns out), I realized that there was absolutely no way I could have done this without my friends.
Here’s a video clip of the first day we painted.
We did most of the work that day, and I have been adding to it ever since. Below are some of my favorite parts of the painting. Right now, it’s not super cohesive, but I plan to push some stuff into the background and/or consult with my friend Molly, who’s a real painter, to see what to do.
Here’s how the wall looked the day before the painting party.
I added some color because a blank canvas can be intimidating.
Here is one of my favorite parts of the painting after the first painting party.
Here’s what that same part looked like after Molly added some contrast and an abstract rose.
My friend Molly added the bird (in about 30 seconds — she has talent!).
The main part of the painting after the first day of painting.
Here are some of my favorite little scenes in the painting.
These were taken yesterday after Mark and I spent Saturday painting and listening to records in my living room. Mark painted these flowers.
I love the color combination here.
I’ve been going in with a tiny brush and adding details. These are less than a 1/3 of an inch dots.
Here are more of the dots.
Here’s what the wall looks like today.
Again, not super cohesive. It’s needing some cohesion, but I’ve been focused on filling the whole canvas. The way that I paint is to cover with color, and then go back in and add some blacks and whites. I just added a ton of blacks, and I need to fill the rest of the canvas with color, but whites are next. Mark added a few whites this weekend, and those are really apparent and lovely.
I’ll have better photos of this once it’s all done. I want to put this in my portfolio, so I plan to keep documenting everybody’s progress.