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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Painting Me A Big One

Ah, the things we do for love. Remember Liesl who just got married recently? Well, in the interest of keeping the economy healthy, her sister Justine is also going to be married in a few weeks time. (poor Papa - I can only imagine!) Anyway, Justine's wedding will have a Parisian theme and I've been asked to paint a backdrop for the guests to have their pictures taken against. It's going to be 9 feet tall by 6 feet wide with a 4" unpainted area at the top for a hem so a rod can go through it. Since I don't have 9 foot ceilings in my house the only place I have to paint it is on my deck so here I am measuring the canvas from a large roll.

And this is where I spend the next 12 hours in a bent over position painting the canvas. Good thing I do my yoga regularly.

First I draw in the image in black paint. I often start my paintings this way. I think it comes from learning to draw from the funnies as a kid. Or maybe coloring books.

Anyway, I feel comfortable with a doing a drawing and then 'coloring' in the lines. I'm experimenting with other approaches but for this image I liked this one.

And then aie yi yi just stoop labor from here on out as I use my handy chip brushes to apply color and shading.

John comes out every few hours to record my progress from a high table top. This is the biggest thing I've ever painted and it took twice as long as I'd expected.

Once in awhile I got to sit down and do some detail work. Ahhhhh ....

Toward the bottom of the canvas I was racing a storm that was moving in with wind gusts and distant thunder. No problemo. Except for the leaves and dried gunk that wanted to blow across the wet paint.

Finito! Tomorrow I'll varnish both sides of the canvas to stabilize it against puckering (easy to say - more stoop labor involved) - and then I'll get a better photo for you.

Huge busy. Art in the Pearl coming up over Labor Day (3 days) and then I ship my boxes to New Hampshire and head out to Squam Art Workshops to teach again. This is the life I asked for and this is the life I was fortunate enough to have been given. It makes me feel so happy to be healthy and able to do so much at my age. Humble thank you's every moment. I want to give back as much as I can in the time I'm given. I want people to find happiness in self-expression and in being included and appreciated.

Life is so short when all is said and done. Nothing feels better than giving back.

48 comments:

Heather, paperfollies.typepad.com said...

lovely...it was nice to get a walk through of your process...hope you got a good back rub after all of that stooping! xo heather

Anonymous said...

It does my heart good to see someone around my age, accepting and enjoying the life they requested from the Universe.
You helped me, just by sharing your thoughts. Thank-you.
And thanks for keeping such a wonderful blog.

Ambie

Louloupi said...

It's really very impressive !!!

Bravo

Louloupi from France ;-)

Whimsies Folksies said...

Oh my! I can't wait to see this right side up! ;-) Beautiful!!

Helen said...

Oh I love this and I was inspired by your enthusiastic process. Applause !!

Candace said...

Oh goodness, Judy. Fabulous and how happy you look doing what you love! Thank you for sharing the process as well as this marvelous painting...

Candace

Karoeza said...

Oh my, this truly is a BIG painting. Nice to see it develop!
Love to see how it looks the right way up.

Karin

angeljoy said...

For varnishing, could you use a roller with a long handle? It would save your back and be faster. The painting looks lovely!

Anne, Bulles dorées said...

wow fantastic artwork !!!could you show us the canvas at the end ?

StegArt said...

I love your finished painting and enjoyed the step-by-step photos very much.

Kim Mailhot said...

The backdrop is wonderful ! The colors will make for beautiful wedding photos ! Thank you for sharing the process.
I hope you have a great time in my NH neck of the woods ! I would so have loved to participate in the Squam Workshops but it is not in the budget this time !May your time be full of life-grabbing moments !
Cheers,
Kim

kate said...

How absolutely delightful to see your process on such a large scale. Lovely painting. Glad you beat the storm.

Angie in AZ said...

Oh Judy, it's fabulous! What a HUGE undertaking! But watching you and imagining myself bent over something that big all day, well, my back hurts now! I hope you have a stronger back than I do!

aimee said...

this is STUNNING, judy. i'm still going moony over the wedding portrait you painted this summer, and here you've done it again! thanks for sharing the process and transformations of the painting here. you make it look so effortless, even though i know it isn't.

Molly said...

AWESOME!

I wish I had thought of something that cool for my wedding. It is beautiful and when they are done with it at the wedding...mmmm make a headboard out of it?

:)

Fran Saperstein said...

So beautiful! Thank you for sharing your process. Your beauty comes through in all your art. Clearly you had a ball and it was a labor of love!

Lucy said...

Holy great artful goodness! What a beautiful creation you are immersed in. I would be so intimidated to even attempt something so big. Thank you for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Love it! You could tell you had fun painting.

Nancy Lynn said...

I love your work and this piece is beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I can't thank you enough for the wonderful class at AU. It was great finally being able to meet you. I wish you the best in your art endeavors. Nancy (the Canby lady)

katie said...

"just say yes to everything" ... judy wise.

wonderful and whimsical and how wonderful that it will be so much a part of the wedding - you never cease to amaze and inspire.

xoxo

MB Shaw said...

Great documentation from John :-) I truly enjoyed seeing your process. What a whimsical backdrop for photos, I think it will be a smashing hit!
And the best part is seeing the childlike joy and wonder on your face while you paint. Priceless!!
Art in the Pearl....oooohhh, nice!!! I have heard such good things about that show, too bad it's all the way across the country from me.

Jamie said...

It's grand and glorious! It must feel good to stand barefoot on something you are working on.

Thanks for the reminder at the end of your post: "Life is so short when all is said and done. Nothing feels better than giving back."

Carla Sonheim said...

So well said... thank you!

Irene said...

Judy, you personify magic, pure and simple! I love you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

art and beautiful junk said...

Wow!!! It's beautiful!

Jonna said...

Totally awesome. Everyone is going to love love love it.

Allegra Smith said...

Nothing does feel as good, too true.
And just for that very reason you must feel good all the time, love.

Gorgeous and whimsical. A true Paris portrait.

Kim and Adam said...

Wow wow wow! How fantastic! We can not wait to see it in person :). What lucky photographers we are to get to use your painting as a backdrop!!! Thank you!

Tara Ross Studios said...

this is amazing, Judy,,,so large......! Wonderful! Now I am going to make my own curtains,, thank you for the inspiratioN!

Shawn Borror said...

i love that and am so happy you shared. what fun to have at a wedding right? if you are invited and can share some photos of people who took their pictures there it'd be fun to see how it all turned out!!

judy coates perez said...

Ooooh, I can hardly wait to see it face up, it looks wonderful!

What fun you are going to have in NH, it is such a perfect time of year to be there.

Ro Bruhn said...

How fabulous, they will be able to hang this in their bedroom and be on a permanent honeymoon. I love it Judy, so rewarding.

Karen Cole said...

ooolala.

Yes, you are indeed a fortunate woman. So many wonderful places to go, so many wonderful people to meet and eager students, just dying to learn from you.

Everything looks beautiful over here.

Chris Meissner said...

Hi Judy,
Wonderful, wonderful painting! I love it and enjoyed seeing the process. Fun to see an artist in action. How's your back?! See you in October in Cedarburg!

randy said...

Unbelievable. I would get totally lost on something that size. Super! :)

Chris said...

Oh, Judy, I just married my partner, and if we could have had you make a big mural/poster/wall for us, it would have been SO AWESOME!! We didn't know you were available for weddings!
Just LOOK at this! It's so cool. I love watching your process. I wish I could go to your workshops at Artfest! I bet they are going to be Amazing.

Thanks for sharing.

Chris said...

Judy, I was just going to tell you I put a link to your blog on my blog, and you'd already commented on mine! Thank you.

You're amazing.
I'm going to go take another One-A-Day vitamin.

Gwen said...

As a massage therapist who worked on two women today with low back problems, I applaud your healthy back! Be sure to soak in the hot tub and stretch your lovely back.

As an artist, your painting is lovely!!

hugs!

Kelly Kilmer said...

Judy, that is wonderful...you are amazing...

bend, stretch and then relax ;)

Justine (the lucky bride!) said...

Oh Judy, it's gorgeous!!! It will be so wonderful to have you at the wedding in spirit through your beautiful artwork (although your joyful self in person would be even better). Thank you so much!!!

Pancho Villa said...

yo yo miss bendy back,

if you bend over and can't get back up give a holler.
i'll gallop over lickety-split and UNSTICK you

yippee hi yi yo git along little doggies! i am here to serve.

Judy said...

Bloody awesome.
You certainly are a major inspiration to me judy

Kelly Snelling_Soulhumming.typepad.com said...

jumping Jehoshaphat! that is just the sweetest thing! but girl, you need some minions! you need a couple of lithe people who you can boss around to do some of that varnishing for you.

Maija said...

You ROCK, Judy!!!

Lynn said...

What a wonderful mitzvah you are doing for this wedding couple.
And a beautiful job at that.
I love your process and your putting your whole self into it.
Yes, you are giving back...a very giving person you are indeed.
The end result above is quite specatular Judy. Bravo!!!!

ginny said...

What an amazing panel. You did a fabulous job. They should auction it off after the event to create a down payment fund for the bride and groom. Congratulations.

Pilar said...

Judy,

This is such a special piece that the bride and groom will cherrish for a very long time. You can feel the love you have poured into this canvas with all your hopes and good cheer as this couple starts their life together. xoxoxoxo pip

Kel said...

I love that it is so recognisably your work, even though it is on such a completely different scale. What a beautiful blessing to shine on their wedding!