After three intensive outings, and numerous stages – the Guggenheim painting is now complete. After the jump, you will see the entire process from first to last stroke. A special thank you goes out to the Guggenheim and the Gothamist for promoting this piece.
I started out with a quick Sharpie sketch, with compositional advice from Tim.
As Paul and I would say, I am laying the groundwork to go “drop off an exhibit at the” you know what.
Did you know that the sky and the road are both straight from the tube blue?
Stupid salmon, it’s as if my sunglasses make every shade of orange materialize like a nice uncooked fish.
It feels like a strange, 1950′s acid trip… back when our color was relegated to pointillist recreations wrapped inside of Bazooka’s Joe.
As the tour bus drives by, “and look, that man is painting the Guggenheim. Painting the Guggenheim.”
“But that’s not the color of the Guggenheim.” Many a’protest started with this statement. I also counted three people who stopped in front of my canvas, opened up a map, and asked, “Where is the Guggenheim?”
The building finds its windows.
At this point, I had calls in from Erin, Pace and Ben – a hipster gathering of reading, writing, drawing and snarky commentary was minutes away.
Lego my Eggo wall drawing with crooked lines.
Ah Frank Lloyd Wright, you designed this building with your own two hands.
Full shadow in the addition to the Guggenheim… constructed well after the original by a different architect, under the same original design and plan as envisioned by FLW. (Thank you for the news tidbit anonymous nice stranger.)
“I am wearing my Andy Warhol shirt to draw attention to myself. Look for potential buyers. Can you grab me a beer?”
Last selected for kickball, first to win a gold star in art class.
It’s all white, it’s all white, it’s all white, it’s all white, there’s green, in myserious places.
More shading in the same general direction.
Pass a brother a sharpie.
And here is where the picture ended on day one.
Whenever you have a painting blocked out, the second day always feels like an exercise in futility – the progress slows down to middle school math class pace.
A car was blocking the vendor stand, so Tim ran over and snapped a photo for my convenience, startling the proprietor. In a bizarre moment of retribution, I later purchased a frozen hot dog from the same stand which was inedible.
Someone stopped by right around this time to ask me why I didn’t just take a picture of the building? Apropos. This question supports the answer to the question, “why didn’t you use stencils for the lettering?” There is something about the compressed composition of the building and hand-drawn lines that makes this image dance, in a way I cannot photograph.
Painting, no matter how realisitic (or, un-realistic in my case) is an augmented reality. Items disappear, spaces move and organically change, whether to accomodate a chosen composition or accentuate the way something feels.
Met a cool artist who shared her card, she is the Creative Director for the EZine Tangerine eRush. Have a look.
And here is the canvas after two days. It spent a week on my wall for observational critique…
Here is where day three began – all that remained was some details and a better handling of the foreground.
With a more stable sidewalk area, the lights and darks began to strike a more harmonious balance. The red umbrella was added to the window reflection, and its darker hue provided some accents throughout the canvas.
The street was calling out for a more solid color approach, so it began with a charcoal gray.
Nearly there, I added lighter shade to the street, to bring the tone up to the same level as the rest of the canvas.
Finally, the light street tone was added, which left only small details (such as the traffic light.)
Completed and signed on the easel.
And the final piece. This was a nice start to a three painting series, which will include the MET (work in progress) and the Whitney. I have a potential buyer viewing this canvas tomorrow, so the series may never exhibit together… we shall see.