February 22, 2010

Behind the Easel

Painting people's dreams -their hopes, desires, and aspirations- is an amazing assignment I feel like I've been given. I think the origin of the idea came from listening to the yearly recitation practice from the classroom across the hall where I teach art. I was often moved to tears as I heard 4th graders rehearsing their lines from Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. There's something about those words - I HAVE A DREAM- that make my spirit stand at attention, especially when uttered by the cherub like voices of young 4th graders! 

Dream on! This past Friday evening, the official launch of  The Durham Dreams Project, marked the beginning of uncharted waters for me. Never before have I dedicated a year to not only such a focused effort, but neither such a lofty one as painting dreams! I will now be entering daily posts of the progress of this journey and invite you, whoever you are, to join me in this adventure. I'm excited. I'm scared. I'm everything in between. I'm honored to have such a sacred opportunity as translating individuals life aspirations into a language of color and symbolism. 

The first to be created is the portrait of Bill Kalkhof's dream for downtown Durham, N.C. In interviewing Bill, he spoke of his desire to see the ongoing revitalization of the downtown area emerge into "a really fun and desirable place to live and work - a place where there's walking accessibility - where people walk everywhere and know one another." With this dream of his extensive work as president of Downtown Durham Inc. and his stated favored color palette of all shades of purple, my task is to translate this dream into a painted parable that adequately communicates his passion for the city he has served for 15 years. To top off this challenge, I will also be incorporating his particular love for impressionistic style in painting. This portrait must be completed by my next "open studio" in March. Tonight I will create sketched and post them in the morning. I sure hope I have some "peeps" along for this wild ride! Here we go....



Post a Comment