Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sets and scenes

Sometimes my paintings are quite small, and sometimes they need a ladder. That's been the case over the past three weeks as I've been painting the set for a Christmas musical. It's been both exciting and frustrating to try to best capture the mood and look of 1850s England in 8 4x10 foot and 5 4x8 foot canvases.

But today I'm very happy to say they are finally taking shape. It's been reminding me of writing - you start with some ideas sketched out and then you have to go back and work out the details, sentence by sentence, block by block. Some things just fly off the pen, and others need to be reworked and reworked and reworked. You think you have something finished but the mood changes around it and it needs another edit. Then you take it to your critique group or set it away for a bit and more work shows up.

But when it finally does start to "pop", it's incredibly exciting. Even those small areas are reassuring because you know the other spots have the same potential so you plug away until its smooth and seamless and captures exactly what you want to portray.

There's really nothing like it...on canvas or on paper.

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