Monday, April 30, 2012

OSU EcoCar Project!

I cant believe March was the last time I posted, it's not for lack of work though. Here is one piece I had a particularly fun time making the past month or so.
I was lucky enough to be chosen, along with about eight other local artists, to partner up with the OSU Eco Car Program (check out some more info about them here) and 83 Gallery here in columbus to make a pretty unique piece. The long and short of it is we took old junk yard car hoods, and turned them into art! This is what the hood looked like after I got it and cleaned it off. I kind of wish I had a picture of it when it was all covered in rust and dirt, but I was too eager to start working to think of it.

I chose one with a hole in the center because I knew it would be fun to try and do something with. So step one was getting it clean and prettied up, then came the gesso. It was interesting to see it go through the next couple of stages as it went from black to white to bright orange/red, then ended up mostly blue.
 The gesso layer helped me start the planning process better, at this point I really didn't even know what it was I wanted to paint on here yet. I had so many different ideas, I think the hardest part of the whole thing was just deciding. The next step was what I usually do with my paintings, I put a wash on it to make the base color. I also took out the center piece covering the hole.
 The intensity of the orange was something new though, I usually use a burnt sienna or something close to it that is more of an earth tone. The recent pieces I was doing with the lettering probably influenced this step the most. After this one it was time to start actually committing to a painting.
I recently did a piece entitled "Think Happy Thoughts" that had a lone island. I really enjoyed how that piece turned out and was excited to try and tweak it and bring it to a much bigger scale, I think the hood was close to 4 feet on both sides. Thats quite a step up from the 3" or 2" paintings I usually do. I did want to bring a more graffiti influenced feel to it as well, so I added in the arrows and stylized clouds to bring attention to that tiny spot in the middle of the hood. I wonder what that is?
 After I had the sky and Island blocked in and laid out it was just a matter of painting in the entire thing. I started by finishing up most of the clouds and water, then trying to paint the island as loosely and undefined as possible. I really didn't want it to look like I was painting a specific island or even a realistic one. I wanted it to have more of a dream like feel, something you would catch a glimpse of real quick in your mind then it would disappear.
So this is how it turned out! Now for what is through that little dot in the center; I made a box with a small hole on top so I could put a light hanging in. I then made new cover for the front and put a peep hole in it so you would have to get right up close to see what's inside. Then I covered the inside with chalkboard paint and scribbled thoughts and ideas all over the inside. Most of them had to do with environmental and societal problems, that I think could be easily changed if more people knew about them and cared enough to actually make changes in their lives. I have been trying to incorporate things like this into my work lately mostly because I think many environmental problems can be easily solved if more people start to take a part in the change, so even if one person saw this and was influenced then it was worth it to me.