Couldn’t you just…

Those are the words most of the periods start that the average expert in the area—inter ea sunt: me— would call, with aplomb, “hectic”.

My older sister asked me to “paint something” she can sell at the bazar.
No, that is not fully correct, as I found out later, it was my niece who thought of her piss poor uncle and how to get him some money and was just too shy to ask. It was a bit unclear what was wanted exactly but it should not be a sketch, neither pencil nor pen, or a watercolour. So all methods which would have given me the opportunity to get rid of that chore in a fast and easy way were off the list. After a bit of the obligatory pussyfooting it slowly came up that it should be on canvas. On the small 10x10cm canvases I once got as a gift because somebody overheard me thinking about getting some of these.

It was a slight misunderstanding, as you might have already guessed. I thought about doing a kind of a pixellated picture out of a couple of these little beasties, with the exact number hid behind the innocent expression “a couple” being 4,096; an image with a height and width of 64 of these “pixels”. Every canvas should have gotten a differently coloured frame such that the frames and the monochrome coloured canvases give a different picture each.

I had dropped the project mainly because of the cost but the height of the wall was also too low with just a bit above seven meters. The calculated height of the installation would have been seven meters (plus-minus some centimeters, most probably more on the plus side). That would have been too tight. I tried it with 48×48 (with coloured paper) but that was too small because the effect I aimed at was the inability to see the whole thing over a short distance and the opposite wall was too close for the smaller version.

If somebody is interested in such an installment: the wall needs to be 8.5 meters wide and high (height is ideally 10.75) with the opposite wall not further away than 2.5-3 meters (the original place was a hallway) The cost would be about 5,000 Euro (about 4,000 British pounds or 6,500 dollars) but probably about half of the sum if I make all canvases, paints and frames myself.

Mmh…where have I been…uh, the painting for the bazaar. The time was too short for using oil paints, so it had to be acrylics. Not one of my favorites hence but I have a lot of colours on stock. So I took a nice little canvas (cheap ones made in China but the paints used are of very high quality and, as they are based on acrylics, can exist on their own if the canvas falls apart.)

Other things replaced the delivery date untill I met my sister and she reminded me of it. Oh, and if I could get it ready a bit earlier? That was last week. I tried to come up with some ideas and thought a nice little landscape would be apt. So I painted the blue sky.
OK, the water needs a drop of a detergent, understood.
OK, the way I do those nice little clouds with oil based paints does not work with acrylics, so no clouds because the time is running.
OK, acrylics dry fast. Very fast. My brush got stuck! (Don’t ask).
OK, thin layering does not really work. If the viscosity of water is just too high or I used the wrong detergent I honestly don’t know and time is running.

The upshot was that I had a very un-refreshing night-shift putting something quite Bob-Ross-y on the canvas which I really hate myself for. Here it is:

The Tree, the Town, and the Garden

The Tree, the Town, and the Garden

The blackish “road” in the middle is meant to depict water, a drainage channel. These channels look black here in some places and under some circumstances but reflect the sky in a very curious way that is possible to resemble with oil based paints but not with acrylics, at least I am not able to do it with acrylics. If time would have allowed I would have repainted the whole lower third and would have used a dirt track or maybe even a full blown street as the border between the garden and the town.


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