As many of you know I have been working on a large art installation for the Oak Harbor Library. Over the last several months I’ve shared bits and pieces of it with you. Teasing you. Showing you pieces of this giant jigsaw. Well, here is the payoff: The install!
This was the largest work I’ve ever done, and the most complex. We had to create each individual piece of the installation off site based on measurements and drawings we made of the space. Even with all our measuring and planning there were the inevitable hiccups. Thankfully Seth is a master problem solver and we were able to get everything in without much difficulty. I really can’t express how grateful I am to have such an amazing husband!
Everything was constructed from 1/2″ plywood. I drew the designs and Seth cut them out sanded them down and joined the pieces for me. Then I painted the illustrations using first acrylic for the outlines and much of the background. Then I switched to oil paint for the color and details on the animals and letters. Much of the painting was done in an untraditional translucent style of application. I am partial to this style especially when painting on wood because it allows the wood texture to show through and adds character to the images. Finally, Seth finished the lower parts with a varnish to prevent tiny fingers from damaging the paintings.
The transparent mesh that hangs between the foliage and in the middle of the installation is actually just window screen. I bought a few rolls of the stuff, cut it out and spray painted it. I thought it would look kinda cool to have transparent pieces where light and shapes could overlap. It also helped with the transition from the woodland side of the entryway to the sea and shore side.
I’m not gonna lie, it was a little heartbreaking, at first, watching Seth shoot little brads and pin nails into my paintings. I eventually got over it though (you can hardly see the holes, anyway). I even got brave enough to use the brad nailer myself on a few of the little critters. It was actually quite fun.
In the end, it’s still hard to capture the entire piece with just a camera. I’m not that great of a photographer and it’s made to be viewed up close, in person. This is a permanent installation though, so you are welcome to go and view it in person anytime during library hours.
Also, there will be a ribbon cutting reception on December 2nd at 4:30 for those who want to come.
I’ll try follow up with another post of detail shots and photos of people interacting with the art after the reception for those of you who cannot make it out.