So here is a super crappy picture of what I started with, this beautiful intimidating piece of furniture
The whole piece had a finish on it that everyone I asked said i would have to strip in order to get the paint to stick. i really didn’t take a bunch of pictures of this process, because A. it sucked and B. it would have just been a whole bunch of pictures of some pieces of furniture going from shiny dark brown to dry light brown.
This is the top alteresque piece I have started with. I’m really attracted to the shape and after sort of feeling out the piece as a whole it seemed like the place I would put a dominant tone-setting image.
I just laid done a done of paint to start.
This is just a base layer I put down with the idea that i would use graffiti remover on it to create a background of sorts that resembled more worn/ old graffiti.
I really wanted to combine what I was already working on with this commission/project. In late winter/early spring i started building and planting a garden. Over the winter I had begun painting imagery inspired by flowers and the passing of my friend Jon Sims. The paintings were an attempt to both create a beautiful image and meditate on what happens to us when we pass. Where do we go?
Here is an example of that body of work. The pieces started out on paper and this is one of the first canvases I completed. The idea of what the images represented was in the title, each was called “There is no easy way from the earth to the stars,” but it was in latin because 1. latin is super pretty, and 2. i didn’t want to be confrontational when talking about death. In my mind, flowers made a ton of sense as a vehicle for work that was a meditation on our mortality because of their own dramatized life cycles. Each starts with a flash of green in immaturity, blooms aggressively marking the best section of life each will have, then the blooms slowly fade until the plant slowly dies. So yeah, I decided to paint flowers on this piece.
So Working with what bloomed best, I decided to drill myself on lilies and dahlias.
I’ve always done best getting to know a subject best by working with the shittiest material possible, so i used some good old other people’s trash to get started. i wanted to mess up as little as possible when painting directly on the piece of furniture.
These guys came out amazing so expect quite a few off white yellow lilies on the finished piece.
And then this happened. Kind of became obvious what I would paint in the focal point when these guys popped of.
Just a couple more studies…
needed a cheap big board to feel comfortable, and found one at restore wornall for $2.50
and so what i’m doing on these studies is refining a process.
Through this last study, I really fell in love with a three bloom lily that i had a ton of documentation of.
went to get a picture of it, but a little too dark…
the last bloom kind of died so i am using another picture of that bloom from earlier.
polishing up the old rap letters.
here’s where i left the study. i’ll go back and make it a painting later.
So this is how she stands now. It took me a little bit but I’m rolling. I would estimate another month or 2 and it will be ready for transport and reconstruction. Cross your fingers for me that we get a day or two under 100… i still have to strip the bottom portion and some of the smaller drawers. The physical labor has never been too intimidating on this job, really I’ve just been scared about whether or not i could do the piece justice because it is/was a gorgeous piece of furniture. Some of the angles and intricate portions of the construction have made me step back and think, and now i am much more confident regarding a finished product.
So that’s what I’ve been up to….
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