I recently joined a wondermous organization ... Artist in Action. It's an organization for artists, based in Salem, Oregon. Fabulous folks ... not only hyper-talented, but they struck me as honest and authentic folks. Much appreciated in the world of art, were pretension can loom large.
While at their meeting, I caught wind of an art exhibit being featured in Keizer, Oregon, not far from my home. It's called the "Black, White and Gray" show ... and, true to it's name, all artwork must only be in shades of black, white and gray. At first, I snorted at the concept (yes, I snorted outloud, in the meeting), since my art is all about vivid color. But it stayed with the ... the concept of doing my art in only the non-color tones ... challenging ... intriguing ... all-too-tempting...!
I got hooked on the concept. I purchased every shade of gray I could find, schlepped them to my home studio, and looked about my "nekkid" furniture, to see which would be good candidates ... one little tea table jumped out at me ... round top, twisted base, and curved triplet "feet". Perfect. Then, I found a lovely vintage chair in one of the local stores wherein my furniture is displayed and sold ... "Some Things". The chair from the 1920's ... and was painted in a crackled green. Charming as it was, and yet it was crying out for a new expression (I heard it!). Again, perfect.
So, after much experimentation, the chair is now a riot of black, white and gray ... looking very much like I had taken a B&W photo of one of my multi-colored items! Without relying on colors, I had to focus on shape, shade, and details ... using a smokey gray for the legs, I then painted a subtler-lighter shade of gray for flowers ... let it dry, only to return and find them GONE! I *knew* that I had indeed painted 200+ flowers on that chair, but they had evaporated, seemingly into thin air(!) ... sigh ...
After wondering whether I'd gone completely batty, and ruling out an odd metaphysical experience, I discovered that the shade was the same as that on the legs, despite having a different name, and made by differing companies ... and while it went on a light shade, it dried darker. Rats.
So ... I had to do it again, using a customized shade I derived out of adding a blip of black into a wallop of white ... and voila -- the ideal shade for neutralized-flowers, which I then detailed with high-gloss black. I used a conglomeration of all the shades to create a lovely marbleized effect on the seat ... polka-dots, swirling vines, and checks complete the presentation. The crowning touches are finials I created out of various wood pieces, and then painted ... gluing them to the top. When it's sprayed with varnish, I'll add beaded glass fringe, and it shall be complete!
I did much the same for the table, adding strings of pearls to accent the twisted base -- tres elegant!
I'm quite pleased with the effect ... it's all much like seeing a transformed "plain Jane" get dressed in formal attire ... the result resembling a tuxedo and an evening gown.
I'll bring the pieces to the gallery in Keizer this Wednesday ... and hope that they'll get juried into the show. IF so, then they'll be on display throughout November, launching with a reception. The opening reception for family, friends and the public is Saturday, November 7, 5PM to 8PM.
Keizer Art Association & Enid Joy Mount Gallery
980 Chemawa Rd NE, Keizer, OR 97303
Phone: 503-390-3010 – www.keizerarts.org
This is my first art show of this sort ... rather than being a vendor at an art show, I'd be displayed. NO idea of whether what I've done (what I do) fits with their vision ... I could be utterly outside their box (wouldn't be the first time, LOL!). Then again, they may be charmed.
No matter ... I'm charmed. I love what came out of me, onto these items ... and as soon as they're finished, I'll share the photos here. In answering the challenge, I've discovered a whole new "line" I can share with others...!