An unusual week, an unusual demo
Several months ago, good friend and pretty darn good artist, Scott Christensen and I were talking and he said, “I’m thinking about doing a small works show at my place to introduce a handful of artists to this area, interested?” Of course, I said, “You betcha!” It was a gathering of talented friends; Jason Saunders, Scott Tallman Powers, Christine Lashley, Scott C and also me, all artists that I admire and like a ton. Jason and the 2 Scott’s and I have known each other for some 20-25 years, Christine, a recent acquaintance, fit right in. I knew at the very least we would have fun.
Mostly the purpose behind these gatherings is to just hang out, laugh about stuff and talk art, philosophy and music… maybe fish some. This gathering had the added bonus feature of an event. Scott came up with the idea of a group demo as a fun roller coaster-like attraction. Why the hell not?
When I left Charleston, SC for Victor, ID all was the new normal in the world. By the time I landed, there were several tropical anger management issues flaring up in the Atlantic and one, as the week progressed, was predicted to come visit my apartment in Chaz. I was in a quandary. It was getting harder and harder to do the normal fun things we do. Though I did get some gouache studies done, I had difficulty focusing on the present because the not-too-distant future was heading to my neck of the woods at home.
I decided to go back and changed my flights accordingly. The weather people changed their minds as well, so I changed my flights back. I just gave in to fate and stayed for the event. One thing we all should know by now about early hurricane flight paths is that they are rarely the final ones. I rolled the dice.
Now for the fun part. Scott, in his usual all-in kind of way, got a full page ad, pushed it on FB and used the e-force, so we knew folks were coming. The night before we did a wet run, which is like a dry run only wet. Allowing each artist only 5 minutes at the helm of the painting, going from one artist to the next. And it was so much fun. It turned out surprisingly well considering that no one was driving the bus. It was sort of like an exquisite corpse project on a timer.
Next day, there was a tent, food, music, a sound guy, a house filled with Scott’s amazing work and our stuff in the studio. His generosity never ceases to amaze as he moved all of his work out of his studio to make room for ours. We had a pow-wow to review how to make this as smooth and brilliant as the night before. But, the playing field was a little different. It was a 36x36 canvas, twice up from the night before, the painting was pre-purchased and there were about 50 people watching. It added a must not fail component to the mix.
If you click on the giant canvas below it will take you to the next image… if not there’s the group below it.
Scott initiated the sketch and was also the closer. Though it went well, there was a time when we realized we were running short on time. 5 minutes per person didn’t give anyone enough room to accomplish much at that scale. The really challenging thing was that whatever any of us had in mind to do next quickly got altered as each person in line changed the game.
But as often happens when you have someone like Scott C covering the final lap, it came together well in that cliff hanger kind of way. It was very exciting. I tried my best to amuse the crowd and everyone brought their A-game even though at times we seemed to each be playing our own unique sport. Everyone agreed that, as artists, we all learned some valuable art lessons.
1) Incorporate ways to force the unexpected.
2) Not controlling the outcome from the beginning can work as long as you know how to control it in the end.
3) Rather than getting all fussed up about the things that aren’t working, just know that sooner or later they will get buried under a layer of greatness.
4) Have a little faith.
I would totally do it again. Many thanks to Scott Christensen for his generosity and bravery. And for Jason, the two Scott’s and Christine, sure was fun to hang out with you.
oh… here are a few of my gouache studies too. all in the 7x7 range.