One more post for those of you who can’t make it out this way to see the art in person. Here are some detail shots of the artwork that I took before the install and some photos from the opening on the 2nd.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support me at the opening. It was a great end to an awesome project!
Also, for your reading pleasure, here is a link to a little article about it in the Whidbey News Times: http://image.issuu.com/111206222923-c74b6831e5b24a0696c38ae599055205/jpg/page_7.jpg
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.
Here are a few more images of the woodland creatures I’ve been working on the last few months. Many of these critters are fairly close to life size and all of them are local to Whidbey island. Which is fun. I’ve had a lot of help from local wildlife experts and the wonderful librarians at the Oak Harbor library. I feel so blessed to get to work with these people! We’ve set the install date for Nov. 11. I can’t wait to see how it all looks put together. I have a feeling it will be like the thrill of completing a rather large jigsaw puzzle.
It’s kind of hard to explain what I’ve been working on. Right now it looks a mess. Animals and letters strewn about. Some just looking cute, others learning to read. I’m really enjoying myself when I get a chance to paint long enough to get in the groove of things. Really working at keeping a consistent hand on the line quality and style of it all. We’ll see in a month and a half how it all fits together. Lord willing.
And, when I say “Lord willing” it truly is by his grace that I have the time or energy to work on this. Oil painting isn’t exactly easy when you have a toddler and an infant on your hands. I praise God for my husband, my family and for reasonably well behaved children. It’s all Him. My Jesus. He created these beautiful creatures. He gives me the ability and the provisions for it all, and I am simply thankful.
Just a little preview of a project I’ve been working on. It’s a rather large piece which will serve as the entrance to the children’s area in the Oak Harbor Library. I’ve been working on it since March. It’s been a lot of research and sketching up to this point, but I’m finally getting to the fun part. Shooting for an Oct/Nov install – Lord willing. There’s still a lot of work ahead of me but I can’t wait to share the finished work with the people at Oak Harbor. The librarians there have been so helpful and supportive during the research period of this project. I am so grateful.