“Uffizi”, my newest work. 18×24 oil on canvas and a whole bunch of challenge. Trying to find time to paint (time that isn’t already dedicated to the Mural Project I and working on for the Biggar Museum & Gallery) and trying to solve what turned into a very boring painting.
I hung “Uffizi” over my tv to ensure maximum viewing time. This way I think about how to solve my painting problem all the time, even when I’m not aware of it. After a couple days I felt confident attacking it with a palette knife and a free hand. I feel that it has the motion and vibrancy I wanted to communicate. I like that bits of the woman in this painting are floating away…like being lost in the Uffizi (which is super easy to do)
Last summer the Biggar Museum & Gallery approached me to possibly refurbish their mural that was painted by a man named Gus Froese in 1997. The mural is brilliantly done and is the perfect representation of the history of small town Biggar Saskatchewan. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on it since I curated the Biggar Museum & Gallery 6 years ago.
The current curator was dedicated to finding funding for this beautiful piece of work that has been faded by the sun and weather to almost oblivion. This spring, she found it.
I took this project into my newly built art studio and began, after gaining the permission from the original artist to refurbish it. 11 plywood panels. I can fit 3 into my studio at one time. I honestly thought this wasn’t going to be too difficult a task. It was going to be work, for sure, but manageable. I’m a fast painter and I had a really clear plan of attach figured out, no worries…
My goodness, painting letters sucks. I have decided that painting a mural from scratch and refurbishing a mural are equally daunting tasks in very different ways. I don’t have to dream and design this piece, but I also don’t have the freedom to put whatever color or brush stroked I want on there. Staying within the lines another artist has laid out is so much more difficult that moving the brush however I feel at the time. Its a bit soul draining, but its also so very interesting to live this piece in a way that only one other person has. I’m learning from Gus as I’m following his brush strokes. Its a strangely rewarding experience.
for a taste of Gus Froese artwork, check out these links