Prepping for an Art Walk

I’m participating in the St. Johns Art Walk this year.

I’ve been a little bit anxious if this is the “right” venue for my work, but friends and family have been encouraging. One friend remarked “better to let the venue determine that” and that was good advice.

At any rate, art doesn’t do anything for anyone stacked in a closet. It has to be seen. It’s good practice for me to “get out there” and see how people react.

I’ll be showing a lot of work from 2020 that has mostly been hidden away thanks to the pandemic. I’ll show my series of small mixed media paintings on small panels as well as some of my newer images on silk.

My small mixed media paintings began as an iPad painting. I printed these onto canvas, mounted them to a panel, and the worked back onto the paintings with pencil and paint.

At first I was just exploring layering texture and a little bit of shape.

I created a couple of versions of each image to try out different ideas.

Sometimes the printer would fail and I’d get interesting printer errors which I kept and painted back into.

As I kept working on this series I started working with both a “complete” and in-progress version of the digital painting

I love to see the “bones” of a drawing - the construction lines and the mistakes and the redos. It gives me a sense of time - like the time it took to complete the drawing.

With digital painting it’s trivial to save a working copy at any old time, so I do that now regularly, because you never know - the half finished image might be better.

For most of the images I layered simple geometric shapes and textures, but by the end I started layering in photography and graphic elements as well.

Each of these is small - 12ʺ ✕ 12ʺ - on a panel about 1ʺ thick. I like to imagine these paintings are what you’d get if you could pop an Instagram post out of your phone by squeezing really hard.

I’m really unprepared for this kind of event. I had to buy some grid-walls to hang work. I’m borrowing a tent (lucky for me there was one to borrow). I spent today making placards to identify each piece.

I’ve also printed off a small number of give-away cards in the event someone wants a business card.

Other than making a checklist for the day-of, I think I’m prepared.

Here’s hoping for a successful practice run. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

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