The day has come to deliver my barrel. It is a bitter sweet parting. After spending the last four weeks getting acquainted and forming a relationship, fighting, and making up, I will miss my barrel, we part as old friends.
One of the last things I needed to do to the barrel was to put some kind of a protective coating on it. It will spend the next few weeks outside the entrance of the Benton County Historical Museum so it needs to be protected from the elements. I decided on a product from Minwax called Helmsman Spar Urethane.
"Helmsman® Spar Urethane is a specially formulated protective clear finish for exterior or interior wood that is exposed to sunlight, water, or temperature changes. It contains UV blockers to reduce the sun's graying and fading effects. Helmsman® Spar Urethane forms a protective barrier against rain and moisture and its special oils allow the finish to expand and contract with the wood as seasons and temperatures change." (from Minwax)
It is also water clean up, always a plus in my book. I chose a "Satin" sheen.
I was 99% sure it would go over my acrylic painting with out a problem but there is always that 1% chance something could go terribly wrong. The first coat was a bit stressful but all went as planed and four coats later it looks great.
Beginning July 2nd the barrels will be auctioned off and part of the proceeds will go to the Philomath Downtown Association and part to the artists. The link to more information and the on line auction is Philomath Downtown Association.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I am the happiest when I am painting. All of my troubles disappear and I am lost in the joy of creating.
I am very close to having my barrel completed!
I painted a grape vine mandala on the top of my barrel and touched up the black rings with some black paint.
All I need to do is seal it and deliver it!
My intention was to stay true to the origin of the barrel and keep it in as much of it's original state as possible. I used grape vines around the top ring and a grape vine mandala on the top. The center ring depicts landscape scenes from around the local area including the Benton County Museum, Alsea Falls, Marys Peak, vineyards and Philomath's welcome sign.
I am very pleased with the way it turned out :)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Today was both rewarding and frustrating.
I started work early this morning. The weather today was much cooler and a bit rainy. This has helped with the paint, extending my work time before it dries. I started with the last fiddle bits on the band around the middle.
The bunghole has been a bit of an issue from the start. When I received my barrel it had a bunghole and I was given the bung to reinstall if I so chose. I was not sure whether I wanted to put it in or leave it out. I thought about how I could incorporate the hole in my painting and tossed a few ideas around. Mother nature helped make up my mind. On a warm afternoon I noticed a lot of gnats flying around the barrel. They were drawn to the wine smell emanating from inside. I decided to reinstall the bung.
The bung is a small round piece of wood and when inserted in the bunghole sticks out about 1/2 inch. I glued it in place and left it to dry contemplating how I was going to cut of the excess and sand it to match the surrounding surface. The next morning while drinking my coffee and staring at the barrel inspiration struck. I decided to paint the bung to look like the welcome signs as you enter Philomath. The signs are mounted on large logs and great traffic at both ends of town. Voila, problem solved.
I was finished with the middle band by around 11:30 and had the rest of the afternoon to finish the smaller bands. My plan was to paint a grape vine around the small bands. Shouldn't be too tough, right? Wrong! I tried to get the vine to look right all afternoon. Around 4:00 I gave up and worked in the garden for awhile. When I came back I realized the vines were too close to the same value as the barrel and needed to be much darker to stand out from the background. The last thing I did before calling it a day was use a very large brush and paint over the leaves. They need more work but that will have to wait for another day. I'm beat!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Ah, perseverance shall prevail!
Today went very smoothly, a bit cooler so the paint was not drying before I could apply it to the barrel. I am also feeling better about working with acrylic paint again, it is not my normal medium of choice.
I managed to get about 90% of the band around the center very close to finished by early afternoon so I decided to knock off early and give it a break. I'm exhausted! Creativity is hard work.
"It is very hard work to turn out anything that looks like a good painting." Georgia O'Keeffe
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Another LONG day of painting. Thank goodness it has warmed up and stopped raining, at least for the time being. Unfortunately the warm weather is also drying my paint much faster.
I managed to make progress dispute the speedy drying of paint. Most all of the color is blocked in and I have about 1/4 of the painting on the center section done, or close to done.
It is at it's ugly stage. This is when I begin to doubt myself and the painting. I have to push through my fear and self doubt and do battle with this invisible enemy. "Creativity takes courage" Henry Matisse.
Philomath Downtown Association is hosting a "Roll out the Barrels" art exhibit. I have been chosen as one of the participating artists. Two weeks ago I picked up my wine barrel and we have been getting acquainted. These empty wine barrels will be painted by artists and will showcase the beauty of the region. All the barrels on exhibit will be available for purchase through the Philomath Downtown Association (PDA) website’s silent auction. Minimum bids per barrel start at $100 and bidding will begin July 2nd.
I had some ideas for my barrel but it was not until I actually obtained my the barrel that I could start visualizing how my plan might work. My plan is to paint a panoramic view of scenes around the area on the band around the center of the barrel. I will be using acrylic paint instead of my colored pencils since the barrel is quite large. It is set up in my back deck, much too big for my little studio. (Hint, Hint)
The weather and other obligations have postponed my starting. I started on my barrel yesterday. I began by lightly sketching the position of the major masses with charcoal onto the barrel. This allows me to understand the placement and make corrections as necessary. I then started the painting process beginning with the sky and working my way down and around the barrel. I originally thought I would paint one side at a time but have found it is better if I work around the barrel tying one scene to the next with color and scale.
It looks like another sunny day so I'm off to paint!!