I am at a loss for words. Well, almost.
I am excited to share the beginning of a new project with you. It’s huge in scope for me. I was contacted recently about the possibility of painting a ceiling in a Masonic Lodge in north New Jersey, a little over an hour from home. So, distance-wise, doable. And not just the ceiling. There are four shallow projections on two sides of the space. Make those into columns.
Ermmmm…..Ok. So how big is the space?
Wait for it.
It measures 33’4” wide by 61’6”. That’s 2200 square feet. It’s 16’ tall. We’d like you to come up with a concept to make the space look like a temple, open to the sky. The sky, by the way, will travel from dawn to night. Let’s take a look. The picture you are seeing shows about half of the room.
I’m not one to say no to a challenge and this one is not going to scare me away. In fact, less than ten minutes into the discussion, I could see the design in my mind’s eye. And you might be asking, how do I share that with a client. I’m a huge fan of show and tell so I started with a 3D mock-up of what the ceiling could be. Here’s a look at the inside and outside of it.
Once I can take a picture of it looking directly at the sky, I can make a drawing on charcoal paper, showing how it will look in tones of gray.
It’s a method centuries old called “trompe l’oeil”, the French term translating as “fool the eye”. It is the painted effect of light and shadow to make a flat, two dimensional surface, look three dimensional.
Practically speaking, the ceiling needs to be completed first and then I’ll move on to the columns.
I’m going to be breaking away from my traditional monthly newsletter (did you know you can read just about all of them since 2012 on my website under the PROJECTS tab?). This space is going to take me a while to paint, several months, and I’m just not sure where progress will be as it relates to keeping you updated monthly. Let’s just leave it that the newsletter will be on hiatus from its once monthly schedule for a bit. If there’s something to show that can’t wait for a newsletter, I’ll be sharing on Instagram. You’ll find me under sharon_leichsenring.
On the flip side of being careful about what you wish for, there is the gob smacking delight when something happens that you really did not expect. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with oil painting for several years. I hadn’t really connected with it and the learning curve seemed overwhelming. I took a few online classes during Covid, vowed several times to cry uncle and walk away from them. But I kept being tempted back.
It was only when I got the message through to myself that this was supposed to be fun and I literally relaxed into that the floodgates opened. Somewhere along the way, a background of aluminum leaf added itself to the mix. I decided to draw a line in the sand and give myself a specific deadline. That date was dictated by the entry date to an art competition called Art Comes Alive in Cincinnati. I finished three paintings which I entered a few days ahead of the deadline. Personal challenge met.
What I never expected was an email that came a few days ago telling me that I had been selected as a finalist. I will not know any more details until announcements are made at their gala at the end of July. I really don’t have all the words that swell in my heart at this recognition. I am humbled.
So here it is. The title is “Assertive”. It measures 18’ x 18”. I really would appreciate your feedback.
Always, always, thank you for reading my newsletter. Your support is appreciated.