The college wanted me to talk with Robyn, the person in charge of the interior space in the Learning Commons. I spoke with her on the phone, and we discussed the painting, the wall she had in mind for the piece and a little about her thoughts and direction for the interior design. She then suggested I tour the building with, Brent, one of the architects.
I met Brent and he showed me the wall near the entrance to the building. It was a big blue horizontal wall. This was a wall that needed a BIG painting. There is nothing like seeing a puny painting on a big wall.
I shot a couple photos of the wall and then suggested a couple sizes for the painting to Robyn. We agreed that 5'x8' was going to be about right. I had been thinking all along that is was going to be a vertical painting less than half that size.
Now it was time to rethink the scale of the painting, and also to rethink it as a horizontal instead of a horizontal. Reworking the general composition wasn't too difficult.
Robyn also sent me swatches of paint colors being used and I kept those within view throughout the project. The painting was going on the blue, so I wanted to make sure of my choices in blues and grays in particular.
I did some small color studies, utilizing a variety of paint color combinations.
Here is the painting in an early stage. At this point I was not happy with the overall development of the painting. I was very mindful that I wanted this work to remain more graphic in style, mostly to complement the learning Commons itself–to become a natural part of the facility. That was hard for me to do, mostly because of the way I am use to working. I would normally work a great amount of detail into each and every element. I had to fight that urge. It stretched me artistically to do this, but in the end it was a sense of accomplishment. The next post will show the painting installed.