Hi friends! We're friends now, right? Right.
I've had the honor of doing some large pieces recently and it occurred to me that maybe you'd like to see how they came to fruition, from sketch to installation. Without further ado, here's how I tackled a three-panel commission for a local retailer and friend, Coco + Mischa.
Mission: Melissa gave me the freedom to do pretty much whatever I want, so long as it fit the color mood board for the store and related well to a mural that would be on the opposing wall by Meredith Anne White. Meredith and I met and decided using the same color palette would be the best way to connect our aesthetics. The primary images from the mood board that I used for direction were the ones below. These, combined with a recent obsession with the torch ginger flower, were my starting point.
Timeline: The timeline was pretty tight so I was trying to finish it within two weeks. I was worried I wouldn't be able to get it done, but I quickly realized that with confidence and commitment, it was going to happen. First I needed a rough sketch. As is my calling card, I quickly sketched out this idea of a collection of flowers - some big and blooming, others abstracted, almost exploding into color.
Materials: Sometimes there's nothing left to do other than just start. Once I laid out my huge pieces of paper, I went to work starting with light washes and moving closer and closer to the density I was searching for. I worked on all three panels simultaneously, letting one dry while I tackled the next. My house is small so my living room served as my studio and I used foam board to move the pieces while keeping them supported.
Tackling paper in this way is so frightening. There was so much that could go wrong but I knew I had to just keep going at it without fear. I would keep going back to those inspiration photos for new colors (a lot of which were new for me to use in this way). All the while Meredith and I were texting each other progress photos to make sure we were moving along parallel paths - our paintings were sisters, not identical but definitely related.
Eventually I reached a point at which I knew I needed to jump. I needed to take a big risk to turn this piece into a wow. There was too much white space, but there were already too many shapes and marks going on everywhere to keep adding marks. I needed to do something that would unite the three panels and make an impact. Deep blue came to mind and I couldn't let it go. I pondered it for days until finally I just... did it. And I did it everywhere.
It was exactly what the piece needed and boy, was I glad. If it didn't work out, there wouldn't have been any way to go back. This risk made the spirit of every mark come alive. I'm so happy I did it. The combination of all these colors was suited to the color palette of the store without being matchy matchy.
Last thing to do was to mount it (yet another logistical obstacle I had never encountered) to the foam board using adhesive spray and transport it to Coco + Mischa. PROPS to Melissa for getting onto a ladder with these panels and slapping them up on the wall. I cannot imagine it turning out any better. A huge thanks to the ladies of Coco + Mischa for pushing me every step of the way! Every project I've had has been possible because of a friend who had faith in my talent. And with every single one, my heart overflows with happiness.