Why Be Normal?

May 28th, 2014

I used to have a bumper sticker that said “Why be normal?”
It’s a question I used to ask myself. But I don’t worry about it anymore.

This may be the most abnormal painting I’ve ever done-
It started with two long rectangular boards, which I prepared with several sanded coats of gesso. That’s normal.

IMG_7711I had to work around the holes that were already there, and also be aware of the places that would be cut out. Not normal.

Then I coated it with black gesso. Also normal. IMG_7720

Then I mixed a palette of various colors. River colors. Southwestern landscape colors. Not exactly abnormal.

Then I built up layers of progressively lighter colors on top of the black, creating form and composition.  Normal again. IMG_7722

I had a very short period of time in which to do this.
Not normal.

It took way more time than I thought it would. Quite normal.

Eventually I had to stop.
Here is the completed project, finished in less than 24 hours.IMG_7731

In the photo below you can see what it is being used for now.
It is the deck boards on either side of a bright orange raft on its maiden voyage through the Grand Canyon.  It’s a little hard to see with everything lashed to it.
But in camp, when tables and gear were on shore, I was told that it worked well and looked very nice.
Not a normal placement for my paintings.
But I’m more than okay with that.

You can just see a bit of it in this photo of the raft on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago.Jess rapids

Fishing boats on the Beach of Saintes, Vincent Van Gogh

It’s no more or less colorful than Van Gogh’s Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes.

Maybe next time I’ll get to go on the trip!
I would like that to be normal!



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