Experimental Event Painting for 2

Posted on July 16, 2013

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My finished painting for Sandy LAne Auto

My finished painting for Sandy LAne Auto

A while ago Carmen Morgan, of  Writing on the Wall Inc  , called about a “performance” painting for a single night during the grand opening party of a garage. It sounded like an unusual mix and immediately had my interest.

To begin with, most automotive shops don’t have murals, unveiling events, or even clean walls.  Sandy Lane Auto  is different; it feels more like a 50’s boutique than any garage I’ve seen, which is actually quite a few. Seeing a shop that was cleaner than my house I was also pleased to find everyone there easy going and extremely knowledgeable with a passion for european cars. They even checked out a couple issues I had with my own car and recommended against the pricey repairs I had planned on doing.

Trevor at work

I was excited about this project because it smashed my usual work routine to artsy bits. Usually I work alone on a painting with a subject matter that has been predetermined by a client and is rendered in a relatively normal manner over at least a week. This mural was to be 1 of 2 painted on opposing walls with the other mural being painted by graffiti artist Trevor Peters, aka Mr. Kurls. Trevor is a stand up fella with great artistic values and input so it was really cool to work right beside him. While the two of us have very different styles we ended up feeding off each other and he even gave me one of his spray cans for the finishing touches on my painting. I have done group projects before but it was unique to do my own piece on a wall alongside another artist’s. Since then it’s actually been kind of lonely painting on my own, whine.

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Photo courtesy of Laughing Dog

Trevor2

I had complete stylistic freedom for Sandy Lane and was pushed towards new methods. This painting had to be done well within 2 days time when I would usually take 4 or 5, so my usual level of detail just wasn’t possible. I have walls full of other artist’s work that I find experimental and have been meaning to emulate in my own pieces, so much that I was briefly stunted when I sat down to do a preliminary sketch. I quickly became aware of how reflexive it is for me to base images on reality and funnelled this urge into creating shapes that could do what they wanted, rather than what they’re supposed to do. I opened up whatever painterly urges came to me enough that I want to do so much more often.

While painting as a live event sounds theatrical I’m used to working in the public so I didn’t know how different this would be. I’ve had thoughts of choreographing a combination of splashy paint moves and shaking myself about to a banjo troupe, but this wasn’t the place. I just saved an important part of the mural for the event and got paint on a surface like I always do. Even without added drama the guests quite enjoyed me and Trevor as we completed paintings that were only partial a few hours before. I give Sandy Lane Auto much credit for facilitating a visual medium as a stage medium and showing their own experiment in artistry.

My original sketch for the mural

My original sketch for the mural
Photo below courtesy of Laughing Dog

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