April 22, 2010

Behind the Easel

And, they're off! The ideas, that is! Mary Ann Black's Dream for Durham has sent images racing around inside my head. Last night as I unpeeled the layers of her dream, I had so many ideas galloping through my mind!  The really amazing thing, however, is that they all seemed to quickly order themselves into neat little clusters. Like  rambunctious children who immediately file into their proper seats as a respected teacher walks through the door, my squirming ideas snapped to attention in a record breaking amount of time. It's as if they knew, "Mary Ann Black is here!" Poised, refined, graciousness cloaks a cavernous reservoir of knowledge and understanding of deep systemic issues for the community Mary Ann loves so dearly.Truly amazingly, I was able to formulate the concept for the painting within an hour's time! 
As with the previous two Durham Dreams portraits of Bill Kalkhof and Sheriff Hill, I ask three questions during my interview with each participant. 
1.What is your dream for Durham?
2.What is your favorite artistic style or favorite artist
3. What is your most desirable color palette?

 The "talking points" of Mary Ann's amazing dream are as follows"
-that Durham would become one of the healthiest cities in the world
-all of her diversity would be embraced, loved and cherished
-the city would exemplify health spiritually, physically, and financially

Sharing that her tastes in art were eclectic, Mary Ann did confide her joy in owning an original Ernie Barnes, of whom she is fond of greatly. As for color preferences, jewel tones, especially cobalt blue and red are her choices.

Putting all this information in my brain, stirring well (along with some praying too!) an exciting composition began to take shape. The image above is the RAW idea. Much like sperm and egg joining powerfully but unrecognizably as to the completely gestated baby, so too are these sketches. They are simply the whisper of thoughts on paper. Now I will sketch again, this time fleshing them out a bit more. So, stay tuned! I will tell you this much:  Durham's skyline is going to be painted to look like gem stones.There is also are going to be three dancers in the foreground representing spiritual,physical and financial health. So as not to be too distracting in their clothing, as far as fashion, I am going to paint their forms mostly in silhouette. However, in order for them to become vehicles representing these three facets of health spoken of by Mary Ann, I will paint scarves flowing from their graceful necks on which will be symbolic images for these three components of health.

All of this being created in deep jewel tones will be fabulously striking. I can not wait to get started. As excited as I am, I must restrain myself to complete the next phase of sketches before I 


Post a Comment