Go Big or Go Home

I like to joke about my job at the gallery sometimes, saying: “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure!”… and it’s true. Every now and then, the opportunity comes along to do something completely different from my usual graphic duties, and today was one of those days.

The marketing department approached me with a project:  to create a large backdrop of an Okanagan lake scene, as part of a photo studio setup, which will be part of an upcoming fundraising event.

I’m sworn to secrecy about the rest of the studio setup, you will have to come to the event to see it. This is just a sneak peek.

Anyway, since this is for a fundraiser, for a non-profit organization, unlimited spending on a fancy-schmancy, large scale print, shot by a hired photographer, wasn’t an option. So we opted to do it the old-fashion way and paint it by hand!

Now, up to this point, I’ve been getting used to painting small scale, on 10 x 10 inch canvases for my 100 for 100 project. Suddenly, I had to paint a 10 x 10 foot painting, and I had just one day to do it. This is where the designer takes over, and everything is planned out logically ahead of time. Prep, under painting, hills, sky, clouds, lake, beach, details, finish, clean… all within 5 to 6 hours. Oh, I do love a good challenge like this!


Fortunately, I had an assistant to help with some of the grunt work, priming the sheet by rolling on a coat of blue latex paint, and later, sneaking in to paint a few clouds and trees between meetings and preparations for Friday’s big event. Thanks Kris!

Our day went pretty much as planned. We began setting up around 9:30 am, applied the first coat of blue by 10 am. Taking just a 30 minute break for lunch, I finally completed the piece by 2:45 pm.

I am knackered!

As with any painting, I suppose I could continue polishing it up, and spend all night on it really, but it has a specific purpose, and we only could put so much time into it, and for the time put in, I’m pleased with the end result… it will serve its purpose.

However, I am now thinking I may revisit this on a 10 x 10 inch canvas where I can spend as much time as I need to work out some ideas I had while creating this painting.