When Jenna Donahue called to ask me to create an old woody for her, I was stumped. I had no idea what an old woody was. I Googled it. Old trusty, that Google. I found tons of images of woodys. Yet I wondered how on earth I was going to find a real life woody to photograph for original reference material, and then the universe once again amazed me with its magic. My studio neighbor, Lorene Lovell, told me she had a friend whose husband had a real life woody. A woody he rebuilt with his own hands. A woody that has won awards and been places. I was thrilled!! “When can we visit?” I asked.
Bernice and Larry are amazing people. Originally from California, Bernice now runs the King’s Mountain Depot, and old train depot which is now home to the Southern Arts Society, Inc. Her home and the depot are testament to her eclectic tastes and laid back attitude. She truly knows how to live an artful life. I would attempt to describe her gorgeous home here, but words are not enough. You just have to see it. She has lavendar ceilings for goodness sakes!! Larry is equally as amazing. He is a jack of all trades and a handyman to the n-th degree. His hospitality in inviting me his garage was wonderful. He pulled that bright red beautiful automobile out into the sunlight, and I immediately understood the passion some people have for these types of cars. They scream fun in the sun, but in a mellow “I’m truly what cool is all about” way. I am thrilled my path led me to this wonderful couple.
Back at the studio, the journey to create this woody continued. I decided this new torn paper technique I had been working on MUST be included in this project too. I began with my woody photos which I superimposed over a gorgeous beach scene in Photoshop. With my reference in hand, I began tearing handmade paper into bits and affixing them to the 24″ x 18″ gallery wrapped canvas.
Over the torn paper, I cut decorative paper in sections to use as collage elements for the foreground image. These large sections of color were treated as a base color upon which I continued painting to create depth, volume, richness of color, and truth using layers and layers of glazes in tandem with layers of opaque pigments. I was very careful to allow a great deal of the paper to peak through in certain areas.
The final piece is one of my favorite pieces of the year – so far. DO I say that about every piece I finish? Maybe… But that is how I do it. I put everything I am and everything I have into what I am working on. I live it, I breathe it, and I love it. I may be the luckiest person on the planet to be able to do what I love.
What do you think?
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