When Erin booked a pair of tickets for the Minny-Apple, I decided to spend a few days capturing a marquee location. The destination? First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Day time. On-location.
First Avenue is a legendary venue, 40-years strong, which has hosted just about every important musical act in history.
It took me three days to capture this fine establishment in my architectural impressionist collage-painting style (deep breath) – but it should only take you about one minute to recap the entire process. After the jump, a stroke-for-stroke, blow-by-blow recap from the street of Minneapolis – with all of the dirty (don’t say I didn’t warn you) details.
You will notice the billboard in the background is different from the final painting – that’s because a Droid landed and changed up my scene. Alas. OK, back to the script – a quick sketch on the pre-stretched canvas clear wrap to get things situated.
Banging out the quick yellow outline – pretty standard really.
Collage time. A host of New York Post headlines, with the inclusion of the Star Tribune Masthead and a shout to the Twin Cities. Did you know that Minneapolis and St. Paul are in fact fraternal twins?
While my initial under painting continues to confuse the locals, I will take this moment to note that I am not the first artiste to take brush to the facade of First Avenue. Artist Michael Birawer took his skills to First and the result is rocking.
Working my way around the color wheel, primary triad of yellow red and blue, followed by a liberal splash of purple nurple.
Hello! Big update shot. Lots of darks and oranges, two color cycles in, calling it quits for the day.
Day two started out with an outline (fun) and a run-in with an urgent street character (less so.) Now, this is horrible, and seeing is believing (at your own risk) – but I must share. Ten minutes after setting up at 10:10AM on a hot summer day, a potentially (definitely) high gentleman came shuffling past my easel. He Sinatra-smooth dropped his pants, deposited his breakfast (and various other substances) in a swift midair leap, lands in it, leaves a perfect footprint, sashays in two more leaps, wipes his bare ass against the wall, pulls up his pants and disappears. This whole thing took 12 seconds, but the joyous smell lasted a lifetime as the thermometer rose to 95. Thank you universe.
Cranking on that background, which holds a building I painted last year. You know you have been painting for a while when you paint the same building from different angles.
Carving into the image. Making it nice, more defined, finding my way.
Really starting to tighten things up. Once the shadow was dropped and the light-time was selected, things began to make sense.
The billboard said “Droid does Apps” but I thought “Droid Is Acid” was more apropos. Our brains are going to melt out of our heads over a game of snood on the subway. Mark my words.
Check yo self highlights!
Bam! Done. I must confess, at first I was scared of the stars. As any artist will tell you, nobody likes painting stars. But, after a while, I came to enjoy my task of creating an asymmetrical cosmos.
I was fortunate to have professional lens-man Tom Hessel grab a few cameo shots of yours truly in action. Check that unruly mane.
Smiling, enjoying my day and recession tee – which was given to me by a guy while I was painting in Times Square last year.
A typical scene from the streets. That lady in the green shirt is my friend from college, Alicia! She married my friend Johann, and they live in Minnesota with their four good looking kids.
All smiles, with my awesome new hat from my awesome lady Erin.
Feeling the scene. I truly love my job.